50 Greatest X-Men Stories: 35-31
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the X-Men, we’re doing a poll of the greatest X-Men stories of all-time! You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 50 Greatest X-Men Stories!
We’ll do five each day from here on out (until we get towards the end, when it’ll probably get down to 3 a day). Here is a master list of every story featured so far. Here are #35-31.
35. “Blood Feud!” Uncanny X-Men #159/X-Men Annual #6
Storm just attracts all the bad boys. First Doom and now Dracula (there was also Akron)! In this beautifully drawn two-parter by Bill Sienkiewicz and Bob Wiacek, Storm is bitten by Count Dracula. The X-Men must then fight to save their friend. Chris Claremont did a fine job following in the gigantic footsteps of Marv Wolfman on the Dracula character.
34. “The Rise of the Phoenix!” X-Men #101, 105, #107-108
You could also include #98-100 if you’d like, since that story didn’t make the Top 50 on its own and a few people included #98-100 in their vote for this one. Anyhow, after seemingly sacrificing herself to save her teammates at the end of #100, Jean Grey is instead reborn as the Phoenix in #101. Over the next few issues, her power begins to shock everyone with the seemingly unlimitless nature of her abilities. This storyline also introduced the Shi’ar Empire and the Imperial Guard. Likely the highlight of Dave Cockrum’s run on X-Men with writer Chris Claremont.
33. “A Green And Pleasant Land” Uncanny X-Men #235-238
Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi, Marc Silvestri, Dan Green, P. Craig Russell and Terry Austin delivered this classic four-parter that introduced the extremely subtle commentary on Apartheid-era South Africa that was the mutant island nation of Genosha. Wolverine and Rogue were kidnapped and stripped of their powers and witnessed first hand the awful goings-on of Genosha, where a handful of non-mutants ruled over an entire nation of mutants. The X-Men show up to rescue their teammates and they turn the whole nation on its ear.
32. “Here Comes Tomorrow” New X-Men #151-154
The post-script to Grant Morrison’s X-Men run, “Here Comes Tomorrow” was drawn by Marc Silvestri and Joe Weems. It is set in a horrible future where the evil Sublime has taken control of the Beast (we learn here that Sublime is really a bacteria that can infect mutants and control them) and an older version of Wolverine must team-up with a rag tag team of future X-Men to protect the Phoenix Egg from Beast. In the end, it “hatches” and Jean Grey returns and eventually takes her place as the White Phoenix of the Crown. This is not before she first uses her powers to go back in time to force Cyclops to reconsider both becoming the new Headmaster of the Xavier Institute and pursuing a relationship with Emma Frost. As it turns out, it was Cyclops leaving the school that led to this horrible future. With the timeline now fixed, Morrison’s run was complete.
31. “Second Coming” X-Men: Second Coming #1-2, Uncanny X-Men #523-525, New Mutants #12-14, X-Men: Legacy #235-237 and X-Force #26-28
In this epic crossover, Cable and Hope Summers (the first mutant born since the Scarlet Witch said “no more mutants”) return to the present. Hope is now a teenage girl. The villainous Bastion, though, has been waiting for this moment. He arranges for essentially an elaborate trap that results in the X-Men (and essentially all the mutants left on Earth) being trapped within an energy dome with an army of future Sentinels on their way to once and for all eliminate the mutant race on Earth. Obviously, the X-Men survive (with help from X-Force, which shut down the Sentinels, which were being delivered from the future – Cable, though, sacrificed himself to shut the time portal behind them) but they lose a number of their members, including longtime member Nightcrawler, who sacrificed himself to protect young Hope (Bastion’s plan involved going after all of the X-Men teleporters, since he did not want them to have any way out). The storyline was written by Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Matt Fraction, Zeb Wells and Mike Carey and was penciled by David Finch, Terry Dodson, Ibraim Roberson, Greg Land and Mike Choi