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50 Greatest X-Men Stories: 6-4

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!

Here is a master list of every story featured so far. Here are #6-4.

Enjoy!

6. “Gifted” Astonishing X-Men #1-6

asx1

Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s opening storyline on Astonishing X-Men spotlighted Kitty Pryde as she rejoined the X-Men after retiring from superheroing to pursue a “normal” life. Cyclops convinces her to return as he needs someone who can bridge the gap between “normal” humans and mutants and few people do that better than Kitty Pryde. Her return to the X-Mansion brings back loads of memories for Kitty but things get even more crazy for her when she reunites with Colossus, who she thought died some time ago! Meanwhile, Beast and mutants as a whole struggle when a doctor unveils a mysterious “cure” for being a mutant. This became the basic plot of the film X-Men 3.

5. “E is for Extinction” New X-Men #114-116

nx114

Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and Tim Townsend were the creative team on the opening arc of Grant Morrison’s tenure on X-Men. Morrison revamped the look of the X-Men as well as the general status quo, as mutants are popping up with so much frequency that the Beast (who has mutated into a more animalistic, feline-looking version of his “normal” blue furry self – the idea of “secondary mutations” was also something Morrison newly introduced into the X-Men universe) discovers that if things continue as they are going, NON mutants will be extinct in a few generations! During this turbulent time in mutant history, a new villain made her mark. Cassandra Nova takes control of a seemingly defunct Sentinel base to decimate Genosha. 16 million mutants killed in less than an hour! The X-Men, along with new member Emma Frost (who was one of the very few survivors of the Genosha attack), hunt down Nova and seemingly stop her…but it is too late, she has taken control of Professor X’s mind. What will she do with her new body? The X-Men will soon find out.

4. “God Loves, Man Kills” Marvel Graphic Novel #5

In this classic graphic novel by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson, the X-Men are forced to team up with Magneto when they run afoul of the anti-mutant religious zealot Reverand Stryker. Stryker ends up kidnapping Cyclops and Professor Xavier and the X-Men and Wolverine go to resuce them. Instead of a larger battle on live television, though, the X-Men essentially win the day through vigorous debate. After Stryker denounces Nightcrawler as non-human, Kitty retorts, “More human than you! Nightcrawler’s generous and kind and decent! He had every reason to be bitter, every excuse to become as much of a demon inside and out, but he decided he’d rather learn to laugh instead! I hope I can be HALF the person he is, and if I have to choose between caring for my friend and believing in YOUR God…then I choose…m-my friend!” Nice. Eventually, Stryker’s inhumanity rears its ugly head and the X-Men are saved. Powerful stuff.

90 Comments

Oh wow, I really underestimated people’s love for Whedon/Casaday. I’ve been stating this whole time that I didn’t know what the 6th slot would be and that is a surprised for me.

E was nice and very dramatic as a change but I’ve never been a fan of Quitely. But the story was amazing and Emma as part of the main team was a breath of fresh air.

GLMK is simply an amazing story from cover to cover.

Can’t believe the final three are next. Pretty obvious to everyone what they are but still, they are the top three for a reason.

Let me just say it’s a load of bullshit that a certain alternate universe storyline is going to finish ahead of EITHER of these three.

E for Extinction is my #1. For me, it’s about as perfect an X-Men story the 21st century has produced. If you read the issue before this(#113), it’s like a quantum leap forward in comic book storytelling. Gone are the purple prose narration captions of Lobdell desperately aping Claremont years after his departure. Gone is the clutter and the depressing tone of failure that overtook the books for years. It has fantastic characterization, wonderful dialog, superb artwork, a terrifying new villain, has the X-Men acting like X-Men while some big changes happen all around them. It’s daring, shocking, persuasive, powerful, and goddamn exciting on just about every level. For all the various highs and lows Morrison’s run would take(although I still believe it to be the best longform superhero comic of it’s respective decade, warts and all), this is his perfect love letter to the franchise. An absolute gem.

Gifted is a pretty strong story of it’s own, probably the best tied with “Unstoppable” for me. The idea of a mutant cure is a great one, and it’s utilized properly here through some great dramatic scenes, like Beast and Wolverine’s argument over Henry’s potential usage, and tackles that ever-popular social allegory, an echo of anti-gay “science” and being “cured” of your personality. On top of that, it’s just good ol’ X-Men superheroics. After Morrison’s run, there were two options: try to compete with his ideas and creativity and keep going in that direction(lol), or to go old school, and do it right. This is the latter, with a sharp, witty script from Joss Whedon, and fantastic artwork from John Cassaday and Laura Martin, that recalls Paul Smith for it’s turbo clarity and smooth cinematic sequences. And it’s got some great moments; Colossus’ revival scene is just about perfect in pacing and staging. This is a damn good one, no doubt.

God Loves, Man Kills is a story I rather like, without loving. It’s my least favorite of the three here. The book is pretty damn pretentious and mawkish, with a LOT of ham-fisted metaphors, and weak characterizations. The man bad guy, Stryker, is so one-note that he can’t possibly stand up to the complex issues Claremont wants to address. Trying to assign the whole X-Men metaphor to one group with the whole n-word thing is too much, way too loaded of a phrase and problematic on a LOT of goddamn levels. I get why people vote for it, because it’s important and “serious”, but as a story, it’s far from Claremont’s best.

3 more to go.

E for Extinction was on my list. I had two Morrison slots, and I think I gave the higher one to RaX, but I still really liked this story, both the Quitely art and the shocking break from tradition that Morrison made right from the get-go. It was a real blast reading the mini-trades Marvel released for Morrison’s run. I picked the first up on a whim (collecting EifE and the annual), and I remember reading the whole thing in one sitting and deciding right then that I needed to read the rest of this run. For a lot of people, Whedon is the definitive modern X-Men writer, but to me Morrison’s run is better in every way.

Speaking of Whedon, I KNEW this arc was going to be in the top 10, although honestly I figured with all the love Whedon’s run gets, I figured this would actually crack the top 3. I have my own personal issues with Gifted (the non-sensical resurrection that feels forced in just because Whedon likes the 1980s team, the telling of how awesome and cool Kitty is, the dragged out pace that to me feels like the worst transgressor of writing for the trade, Ord’s blandness and the 1 millionth appearance of the “Mutant Cure” MacGuffin plot-device), although none of that really makes it BAD, per se, but those are the reasons why it completely misses the mark for ME. However, I can see why people would love this arc (and really, most of the run) if they were either just being introduced to the X-Men comics with this run, or if you’d left around the Paul Smith era. Overall, not really my cup of tea, but I’m ok with it being this high up the list.

GLMK is probably one of the big X-Men stories I still haven’t read, but I’ve heard so much about it (plus Singer borrowed a lot from it for X2), so I know it’s gotta be good. I figure I’ll get to reading it someday, but right now I have no opinion.

Doing the math right now, there’s one crossover on my list that hasn’t shown up and I’m a little worried that it won’t, considering the Claremont stories left that I KNOW will make it on the list.

Hm! I thought “God Loves, Man Kills” would be #2. And I think we all know what #1 will be.

@ Holski

I’m not sure that it will make the list considering the three stories left by Claremont that I’m sure will top out here, but either way, this isn’t YOUR list, it’s everybody’s. If a lot of people like it, then it has the right to be higher. That’s the point of voting.

One thing I have to admit, for all my mess-talking on the choices Morrison made, and for how much I hate Quitely’s “everyone is a fat baby” style he used at that time, there’s no doubt that that run was the one that broke up a good 10 years or so of no one (myself included) giving two shits about X-Men comics. Since then, with a few obvious stumbles, the franchise has definitely become something again. I have to give that to GMozz.

Also, I think it says something about “God Loves…” that decades later, written in plain text in an article, after reading the words a dozen times, that Kitty mini-speech still affects me.

Word up, Saul. I was saying the same thing on one of the other posts. Some people have a real problem understanding the difference between “opinion” and “fact”.

As far as the unnamed crossover goes, I have no doubt it will show. Are there better X-stories? Without being too hypocritical (considering the opinion/fact thing I JUST said), I’m sure we would all agree that there is. But I don’t know if there’s one that I can say I personally enjoyed more at the time it came out.

“Gifted” was on my list somewhere — can’t remember which number I had it at.

“God Loves, Man Kills” was my #3.

My #1 and 2 are obvious favorites that have yet to appear. But there are 3 spots left… hmmm, I wonder…?

Sweet! I now have 4 on the board. I’m hoping with AoA, I’ll finish 5 for 10. I’m pretty surprised Scott and Jean’s wedding didn’t make the top 50, though. That was a good read.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

July 31, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Color me surprised! I had a good idea of what the top 6 would be, but I didn’t know they’d come out in this order.

I didn’t vote for any of these, though I admit that’s because I (somehow) forgot about GLMK when I was making my list. For shame, I know.

At any rate, Gifted was Whedon’s best arc in my eyes. It had the best combination of character, action and plot out of all his arcs.

E is for Extinction almost made my list, but I only gave Morrison one slot, and it went to Here Comes Tomorrow. EifE was really good, too, and it completely changed the face and style of the property.

God Loves, Man Kills is simply great. I’m kicking myself so hard for not having it on my list. If I’d remembered, I’d have dropped one of my two Gillen stories for it.

I’m still 4/10, though I’m sure my top 3 will be a clean sweep, so I’ll hit 7/10, which isn’t bad.

Wow. People really like the Whedon stuff a lot. The art’s great, at least. 4 and 5 were no brainers for the top 10, though I thought EiFE would be lower and GLMK would be in the top 3.

Gifted was one of the stories I was going to vote for, but I never voted…

I thought Colossus’s return was very well done and I can still remember it years later.

E for Extinction was good. I like Morrison and I have reread those issues. I do not consider it ‘great’. Maybe if they had worn traditional superhero costumes…

I have never read God Loves, Man Kills, if I ever see it at a convention I might pick it up.

I’m 4/3 with God Loves. In some ways it’s clunky, certainly, but it has a great mood and ending.

That E is for Extinction image has everything I dislike about Quietly’s art. He’s much better in other places. Not too fond of his costumes either, the bright yellow makes constantly wearing leather as silly as sometimes wearing spandex.

I’ve never been a fan of Colossus’ resurrection, it’s cinematic comics at it’s most unimaginative and superficial. I actually voted for Colossus’ death, partly because it’s an example of a good Lobdell issue, partly because I honestly believe it’s better executed than this.

I reckon that one big story will come in third, too many people mentioned it at the begging for me too think otherwise. If not for that I could just have seen it avoiding the list. I think that particular story works better in memory than as a reading experience.

Travis Pelkie

July 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Gifted is pretty damn good, especially the return sequence. Granted, I read it in trade, so any of the “writing for the trade” issues that might be there didn’t affect me. But damn good stuff.

E is for Extinction is so damn good. Those first few pages blow your head off, they’re so awesome (not unlike the opening of GMozz’s Batrun, which I’m currently re-reading). Plus, the one cover is the “stacked” Emma Frost one, so score! (hee hee hee. I like that cover, but I know plenty of people don’t.)

God Loves Man Kills got collected/reprinted within the last few years, with the pages that Neal Adams started, and maybe some other bits. Pretty solid stuff.

Then there’s my favorite part of the next to last countdown entries — everyone saying how they “know” what’s left, and essentially ruining it for the rest of us who don’t have it all figured out yet. Thanks, all! ;)

Actually, since some people seem to be leaving out one that’s definitely here still, I am curious (tomorrow!!!) to know what storylines people thought were a lock that didn’t make it.

Tomorrow!!!

I meant 4/10 obviously.

7/10

GLMK and Gifted were both on my list. I figure I’ll be 9/10 with the only one missing being the Annual I tossed a bone to. Both were great, and I have no issue with the Morrison arc.

Now here’s hoping that the most predictable thing ever doesn’t happen in the1 spot.

Onslaught for the win. Never give up until it’s over.

Just to talk about the Colossus resurrection for a second – my problem isn’t that it isn’t executed well (from a storytelling perspective, I think the way it’s shown is rather good), it’s why Ord did it and the way he’s resurrected – it’s an unintentional parody of comics resurrection tropes in that the explanation for it is so nonsensical and out of left field that it takes me right out of the story. Brubaker can complain about the “Warlock’s spare cocoon” method of resurrecting Jean Grey, but I’ll take that any day over Whedon’s method of wonky Breakworld science and logic.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

July 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Smokescreen, how much you wanna bet that Brian puts Onslaught up as the teaser image for the top three? Or even a “faux” number 1 pick? That’d be funny to see the kind of reaction that gets.

And I agree that the likely number 1 pick is pretty predictable, but I like to think there’s a reason for that. I mean, whenever I see a top X-Men list and it isn’t number one, it feels weird to me.

But I guess we’ll see!

God Loves, Man Kills is actually the only thing on the list so far that I haven’t read.

I’m still at 3/10. I suspect that two of the rest made the final 3.

One of the common themes that stuck out for me on my list was “Wolverine faces a situation he can’t slash his way out of.” I had Fatal Attractions, the opening arc of Wolverine & the X-men, and the Lady Mandarin arc.

I didn’t vote for either of these three but they are stories I respect and I can understand why they are here. I don’t dislike them, they just aren’t stories I’ve read as much, hence my not voting for them.

I think my number 1 and 2 will be tomorrow’s 1 and 2. I’m surprised many posters think “AoA” might be the number three, that never even occurred to me. I was actually surprised that at this point this has been an alternate-universe-free list (since there’s no “Ultimate X-Men” here; that’s how completely I forgot about “AoA”)

Since I’ll guarantee that this story is not in the top 3, I’ll reveal the one story I voted for that has not shown up at all (outside of “Dark Phoenix” and “DoFP”): The original Magneto/Brotherhood storyarc from X-Men 4-11 back in 1964-5. Stan wasn’t really much for plotting long story arcs back then, but to have 8 issues straight of Magneto methodically recruiting everyone he could (even if Namor and Ka-Zar turned him down, rightfully) was pretty revolutionary for the all done-in-one era.

@ Greg

I also had the opening arc of WatXm on my list. I think it was too recent to get enough votes, but I’m hoping when this list is done again in like 5 years or so, it will show up.

@ Sam
I’d almost bet on Brian using that gag too lol

Brian, I know in the past you’ve done honorable mentions lists of stories that just barely made the cut, I was wondering if you were going to do that for this one too. I think it would be really cool.

joe the poor speller

July 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm

god love, man kills… I always think this graphic novel as a wasted opportunity. the concept is very, very good, but the execution is full of cliches… it’s like claremont choose the easy way out, instead of asking the real painful questions. the villain is very cartoonish, almost moustache-twirling. I was kinda expecting he would tie kitty to the train tracks.

I have to say, if you’d told me only three of Whedon’s four story arcs would make the top 50 I’d have never guessed the one that missed.

Of these three I’ve only read “Gifted.” “God loves, man kills” is just to enshrined in the minds of folks for me to want to read it, if that makes sense.

I think we all know the last three but I’m hoping for the remaining Clairmont stories to be upset by a very deserving crossover event.

What if everyone thought, “Awww, Dark Phoenix is a shoe in, there’s no need to vote for it,” and we wind up with “Pryde of the X-Men” for #1?

I am also shocked about at least one of the top 3 beating this group of stories.

I voted for all three of these (up to 8/10 now).

“Gifted” was by far the best of the Whedon arcs, hitting all the fanboy buttons, and making me have more fun reading X-Men than I’d had in a long time (or have had since).

“E for Extinction” may not even be the best Morrison arc, but it got my vote ’cause I remembered the sheer excitement and energy of reading it, a new direction that had me enthusiastic about X-Men for the first time in a decade (not unlike Morrison’s JLA, which got me enthusiastic about superheroes for the first time in a long time).

God loves, Man Kills was a no-brainer for this list. Just loved it when it came out way back when, and always thought if the X-Men had a movie (a pipe-dream back then), they’d need look no further than this story. The Magneto characterization, the violence that was actually horrific, and that final come-uppance of Stryker at the end, so beautifully banal.

But of course, the REAL reason it was so awesome when I was 10 was; Wolverine says “bastards” in it (and a thug says “bitch”). And that PROVED I was reading comics that weren’t for kids…that was pretty cool.

Mike Loughlin

July 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Gifted was fun. Colossus’s resurrection scene was well-done, and I liked the idea that Cyclops wanted to tackle the X-Men’s p.r. problem. Was the FF team-up sequence part of Gifted? It was my favorite part of Whedon’ & Cassady’s run.

I’m pleased E for Extinction placed so high. I loved it, it made me excited for X-Men comics for the first time in years, and Morrison & Quitely brought some new or better contextualized ideas to the table. I get that some people don’t like Quitely’s art, but I have always been a fan. His characters are unique, not pretty, and memorable. He did a great job with layouts, storytelling, and world-building. I wish he’d done more issues.

GLMK is a classic, and Claremont’s melodramatic tone was suitable for the story. I liked seeing a version of Magneto that resembles Ian MacKellan’s team up with the X-Men. Anderson did some of his best work drawing the book.

@Sam

I’d bet on Onslaught for the gag as well, so I do feel a little bad about harping on it (kinda forgot about it, actually). So here’s a peace offering if I rumpled any bits: I actually think there’s a funnier, less obvious choice for the gag bit that no one has mentioned yet anywhere to the best of my knowledge. Though he’d have to go early 80’s for it.

As for what I think the #1 will be and my being tired of it: I see why it is, but through the lens of time I just think there’s better (though I reiterate that it needs to be on the list)…and that it’s become almost a running joke what it’s led to. But that’s a discussion for another part of the countdown.

Well I guess I can stop holding out hope for “The Draco.” I kid. But seriously I’m surprised “Gifted” wasn’t higher. I guess we all know what the top 3 are.

Cassaday was the real star of Whedon’s run. Ditto for Quitely on New X-Men (if to a lesser extent).

GLMK is overrated like nobody’s business. Too preachy, poor dialogue, and drawn out at least twice as many pages as it should have been. AFAIC it’s the low point of 80s Claremont X-Men.

God Loves, Man Kills was #5 on my list. It’s a fantastic story. It’s powerful stuff, with excellent art.

So it looks like UXM #303 won’t make it. That’s a shame. It was such a heart-wrenching story. Some fantastic character stuff from Lobdell. People bash the ’90s a lot, and the crossovers tend to get all the attention. But I think Lobdell did a genuinely great job on Uncanny, and I think #303 is one of the finest X-Men stories ever.

I’m also very disappointed that none of Gillen’s run made it, because he did an excellent job. I suppose being paired with Greg Land for so much of it dragged it down, but in my mind, Gillen was the best writer on Uncanny since Claremont left in 1991.

And I’m shocked that Kitty’s Fairy Tale didn’t make it. That story is hilarious and adorable, with a really touching ending.

It’s easy to slam on GLMK as being cliched, hackneyed, etc now, but keep in mind this story is over 30 years old and was done at a time when it was revolutionary. It’s been redone, ripped off, & homaged so many times now I can’t even count. That says something. Personally, I still like it. It’s another leaf in Claremont’s reconstruction of Magneto as a much more interesting and complex character. It deserves it’s place up near the top.

@Tiamatty

I’m disappointed that UXM 303 won’t make it as well. It’ll be my only pick that didn’t make the top 50.

It is odd that, we as fans, don’t just consider 303 as a prelude to Fatak Attractions, as it clearly is. Surprised Marvel hasn’t retroactively included it in trades and such.

Almost voted for “God Loves, Man Kills.” I originally didn’t think it counted since it was not part of the regular series, but a separate graphic novel. After Brian said it could be included, I almost re-voted to include it, but in the end I decided not to, since I knew it would get plenty of other votes from other people. So, yeah, I’m very happy to see it rank so high up.

Gifted was tenth on my list. I knew it was going to place really high. I almost considered dropping it for something less likely to get some love, but I just couldn’t bring myself to not include it. It is the perfect distillation of almost every major enjoyable characteristic of the franchise, but updated for the modern world. Morrison did a lot of the legwork in making the franchise relevant and enjoyable once again, but Whedon brought in a little more Claremont to the mix and created a fun story for new, returning, and established readers alike. No easy feat. There’s a lot to appreciate in that title. The whole run is deeply indebted to Claremont’s work on the franchise (which is why I find the reaction from the Claremont-faithful to it so puzzling) without getting bogged down in the tics that can be difficult for new readers to get past with Claremont’s writing (specifically the overwriting). The dialogue and plot pacing are tight and quick; the art is wonderful; the team roster is one of the most well-rounded and strongest in years; it has so many memorable character moments…I really can’t say enough good things about it.

No, Ord and the Breakworld are not the most original of creations, but using an established villain in the opening arc would add yet another barrier of entry for new readers. But none of that was ever the point. Astonishing was always primarily a study of the persons that comprise this dynamic group of powerful individuals, and their relationships to each other, that united under one common belief in the face of extraordinary threats to that belief from within and outside of the group itself. The X-Men have always been their own worst enemy, the group under the greatest duress when it faces instability within its ranks. It’s something that I often wonder is lost, or at least not appreciated that much, among those that seem to hate Dangerous and Torn so much. Those two arcs dove the deepest into that framework, yet one placed pretty low and the other is almost guaranteed to not make this list. But to each their own. I’d agree that the rest of Astonishing wasn’t quite as consistently enjoyable as Gifted, but neither was anything else since Gifted (Uncanny X-Force, specifically The Dark Angel Saga, came really close). It’s the perfect introduction for new readers, yet it has plenty for established fans to chew on.

E for Extinction was eighth, and was another story I considered dropping because I knew it was going to do very well. X-Men had been a completely unreadable pile of awful after Joe Kelly and Steve Seagle left. There was a lot of promise there that managed to peak through despite editorial’s heavy hand. Then Morrison came aboard and completely revamped the landscape with the quickly-paced, no-nonsense punch in the face the franchise so desperately needed. Not only had X-Men become readable once again, it became a really, really great book. The chaff was thrown away (the convoluted 90’s, 16 million mutants, scads of lame villains) and taken back to basics. NXM played on familiar characteristics while giving them new spins, but it also emphasized new ones that no one had really focused on before; the idea of the Xavier Institute actually being a school with students (which hadn’t been seen in the flagship books since the original five “graduated”), and the examination of mutant culture. It even managed to introduce a delightful new character that was a womanizing mystery man with a faux-French accent who happens to be a thief by trade with a heart (or three) of gold! And though it was (rightfully) not included in the entry for E or Imperial, let’s not forget NXM #117 (Danger Rooms). A lot happens in that issue. The mutant protests outside the gates of the Institute, the reopening of the school as an actual school, the further establishment of Nova as one of the most dangerous villains the X-Men have ever faced, the heart-wrenching scenes with Beast, and the tasty setup for Imperial.

I was a late comer to God Loves, Man Kills. It’s the single best representation of the “hated and feared” plot device common to X-Men stories, and demonstrates that the rogue’s gallery have never been the most dangerous external threat to the X-Men. It’s also a good standalone story that has maybe suffered a bit with time and changing styles, but is still one that I often point to as something new readers ought to check out. Not at all surprised or disappointed to see it in the top 10.

(I submitted this once before, but my browser spazzed out and might have eaten it. Or maybe it was deleted, I don’t know. Whatever the case, it’s not showing as having posted. I took the opportunity to replace the couple instances of playful profanity that were in the original.)

I have no clue the order of the last three, just that my mind will be blown if Age Of Apocalypse doesn’t make the list. I’d be shocked to the point of wondering if we are all completely out of touch as AoA has been revisited so many many times and merchandized very profitably over the years.

Whedon’s run is what got me back into comics, but… Wow do I think it’s overrated at this point. It seems to draw most of its strength from nostalgia, whereas most of the other great stories actually do something in their own right. The big moment of “Gifted” was Colossus’ return, but… when I read it the first time, I didn’t even know he had died. Compare that to how Morrison referenced Cyclops having been taken over by Apocalypse. One leans heavily on nostalgia and emotion (Whedon), the other states the information, moves on, and does something with it (Morrison; using Cyke’s conflicted emotions to play into his transition from Jean to Emma).

I just find the Whedon stuff to be too nostalgic, reverential and hollow at times. It spends so much of its time just referencing past X-storylines from the Byrne and Smith days. And… that appeals to me, I LIKE seeing that, but I think it’s a mistake to give Whedon so much credit just because he references stuff we like.

Maybe I just don’t get it. I liked the 2nd and 3rd arcs of Astonishing more than “Gifted”. And the Breakworld arc, which also ranked high on this list? Wow, I think that was pretty bad, actually.

I also think maybe the whole run should just be considered one entry. Most of it happened within a, what, 48-hour period, actually, when you break it down. And all 25 issues were as much of a cohesive story as the Dark Phoenix Saga was.

I always like to think that Gifted’s big moment was Lockheed’s return and the dialogue that followed.

Kitty and Piotr creeping into the kitchen for breakfast and Logan is already sitting there eating cornflakes and takes one sniff of the air and says, “About time,” is my personal high point for Whedon’s run.

Never been too interested in reading God Loves, despite all the hype it’s accumulated over the years.
Gifted was good but didn’t I vote for it.

E Is For Extinction was my #3.
Previous to it, the only Morrisson book that I’d read and loved was Arkham Asylum. I had tried a couple issues of JLA but didn’t care, and I’m sure there was probably another thing or two but I never was a fan of his (I’m still not to be honest haha). It was the same with Quitely, what little of his I had seen just looked ugly to me so I never followed his career. Then #114 came out and I randomly bought it to see what it would be like, and wow….
Suddenly Quitely’s ‘ugly’ art made sense to me, and that last page with the countdown was such a holy hell moment!

Then flash forward a few issues later, when the art becomes horrible, the Shi’ar come in, and I was out again after the silent issue.

Wow, GLMK was at exactly my spot. Interesting. I agree that it a little ham fisted at times, which is what dropped it behind my thematically similar #1 and #2, a Green and Pleasant Land and Uncanny #196, but it packs such an emotional punch. GIfted and E is for Extinction were both great openings, but I voted for the better things they led up to instead.
I’m surprised at how out of step I am with the other CSBG X-Fans. Unless there are some major upsets only half my list made it in. I wasn’t that surprised that Germ Free Generation and New Worlds didn’t make it in. All the Morrison I expected to place placed, and I’ve long known that my favorite parts of Morrison’s run weren’t the most acclaimed stories he did. I didn’t expect Uncanny #390 to place even as part of Dream’s End, but I figured that Uncanny #303 and #196 would place somewhere.

@Tiamatty I’ll be saddened is 303 isn’t on the list as well. As I think I said in another post, Lobdell (and to a lesser extent Nicieza) sort of mastered the one-off, character driven story, mainly because they had no choice — the over-reliance on crossovers almost completely negated the chance of either one of them writing any long term storylines. I didn’t realize it until the other day as I was looking back, but Lobdell and Nicieza had to contend with FIVE crossovers in their first 30 issues (and Nicieza left mainly because of that).

Nicieza ended up slightly luckier than Lobdell at first, because of the way the crossover issues fell in “X-Men” as opposed to “Uncanny,” he got 9 issues in a row — issuues 27-35 — to do some powerful character driven one-offs with Gambit, Cyclops, Beast and Rogue in particular, plus the Scott/Jean wedding. His only real misstep was his two-part Psylocke story, “Soul Possessions” — he pretty much ruined that character.

But back to Lobdell, because of the publishing schedule, he had almost solely one-off, character driven issues in his non-crossover work for almost 4 years. He became sole writer of “Uncanny” beginning with issue 289, yet his first story longer than 4 parts didn’t come until issue 341-345 — previously they were all 1-, 2- or 3-parters.

His best work was issue 303. However, issues 289-290 (“Frayed Knots”), 297 (the Xavier/Jubilee one-off), 327 (the introduction of the tragic “Joseph” character, then conceived as actually being Magneto), 331 (the Iceman/Emma Frost truce) and 340 (Iceman’s father brutally beaten) shouldn’t be overlooked. If this list was top 100 as opposed to 50, a number of those might have made the list.

I love the comments section: I never fail to read the comments section of old comic books when I get them, and for a similar reason. I enjoy fan insights on stories, and growing up, it was my way to ferret out information on previous stories and put together the entire curious tapestry.

Before my next jump overseas, I just may need to decide upon a device with a comic app after all! Dr. Traveler’s comments about keeping favorites that way finally made it click. I usually can’t read anything more than an hour unless it’s physically in my hands, but this blog satiates my buzzing bee attention span. I’ve enjoyed marinating my imagination in these selections and comments very much and look forward to digging out my ideas and writing while visiting the home fries this fall.

As fans of the Invisibles, and with more credit than sense in college, “E for Extincition” was the kickoff to an X-Men habit for the first time in basically a decade. Radical superheroes, almost disquieting. Arguments of execution are part of the good clean fun, but when it comes to throwing you a flow of wild ideas, Morrison is an auto-didactic post-modern writer version of King Kirby.

All this Whedon discussion has guaranteed I’ll sit down and watch Firefly and Buffy reruns with friends when I get back to the home front. Kicking back with his run the first time around was not exactly an option, but it will be nice to dig into the collected versions one day. The stray issue of “Dangerous” I read didn’t hook me.

I hope to dig out a copy of GLMK, too, as I wasn’t actually blown away by it at the time. I tend to read any literature as itself, standing free as a piece of craft work, and in relation to its times, to help shape my understanding of the period and a cross-section of the evolutionary strata.

I enjoyed the chance, as with Avengers, to screw around with one of these lists and posters as it rolled out. IF I never have time again in the next decade, I sure enjoyed it, people!

R Comics Good? OH, hells yah…and talking about them creates a whole other part of the triangle from conception to execution, a new piece of art called interpretation that can be contributed back to the community…and as we see, again “begin the begin”!

Thinking about how well represented Chris Claremont is on this countdown, I decided to do a bit of counting…

By my best count, Chris Claremont wrote 212 comics with “X-Men” in the title between 1976-1991 (not counting the backups in Classic X-Men): 186 consecutive issues of Uncanny X-Men (94-279), 11 Annuals (3-12, 14), the first three issues of the second series, the GLMK graphic novel, the Teen Titans one-shot, the two issue Alpha Flight mini-series, the four issue Fantastic Four mini-series, and the four issue Micronauts mini-series.

Of those 212 comics, 103 of them will be featured in this countdown. (For the sake of argument, I’m adding in prologue and epilogue issues like #111 as part of Magneto Triumphant, #138 as part of the Dark Phoenix Saga, #98-100 as part of Phoenix Rising, #154-155 as part of the Brood Saga, etc.)

That is an amazing testament to how consistently great Claremont was for 15 years, and how many great stories he told that still resonate with people, that virtually half of the 200+ issues he wrote over a decade and a half are remembered as being among the 50 greatest X-Men stories ever. What a resume.

I hope Claremont sees this list sometime.

@ Jeff

I’ve never understood why people harp on 90s X-Men, specifically the writers you mentioned. I mean, the stories really aren’t anywhere near as bad as people make out (trust me, I’ve read them and Whedon’s run, and I’ll take 90s over Whedon for a reason). Not only did these guys get the one-off issue down, they were paired with some amazing artists during their runs as well – Joe Madureira, Andy Kubert, Paul Smith John ROmita Jr (who looked way better then than now because inking and coloring were held to a much higher standard back then, imho).

Just to give you an idea of how underrated these guys are, I just reread Onslaught and the build-up to it, and honestly it holds up better than I thought it would. People complain about the villain’s plan not making sense, but compared to modern events, that’s par for the course for pretty much any crossover. The main chapters work as action pieces, plus Lobdell manages to work in some very emotionally powerful moments, plus it really helps that you have Madureira in his prime doing Uncanny, Andy Kubert doing vol2 and Adam Kubert doing the opening and closing one-shots. It’s flawed, to be sure, but it gets more right than wrong, which is more than I can say for Civil War, Infinite Crisis, AvX, etc. And this is the crossover everyone rips on, the one people point to for why the 90s sucked! Then after the crossover, Lobdell turns in one of the best one-off Uncanny issues of his run! Now, I certainly wouldn’t have put Onslaught in my top 10 votes (or even in a top 20), but if this is the worst the 90s have to offer, it’s a much better decade than the vocal internet minority makes out.

@Saul I’ll tell you why the ’90s get a bad rap:

1) Big shoulder pads
2 )Big guns
3) Odd hairstyles
4) “Image” style
5)Too many or too long crossovers (I voted for zero crossovers in thsi countdown … I’m a ’90s kid that preferred “The Sentinels Live” over “X-Tinction Agenda.”

A lot of that is visual stuff. The content of the stories, at least the smaller scale ones like Illyana’s death, is a lot better than the now-dated costume updates and “extreme everything.”

Also, I think “Onslaught” gets a bad rap not because of the “X-Men” portions but because of the Avengers and solo hero portions. Aside from Mark Waid’s decent but low-selling “Captain America,” the “Avengers” books were borken almost beyond repair (read: Kavanagh) and I think people were miffed that Marvel started a story in “X-Men” to fix “Avengers” and “Iron Man” (and disrupted a perfectly decent “Cap” run).

@Third Man — Does he have a twitter? Someone should send him a link of this when it’s done.

@Jeff
Couldn’t agree more about Onslaught. A decent if not very good story which unhappily had major consequences in the other branches of the Marvel Universe for no other reason than to get the Image Boys back on ship (a colossal failure as everyone remember – and it’s this failure that tainted the Xavier/Mags merge).

On the list, still 4/10, I think it’s now safe to regret #201 – aka the Duel – where a depowered Storm beat Cyclops for the leadership of the team and put him in semi-retreat. As a kid, I remember the delight it was to see the then boy-scout always first of the class be kicked out of the team this way. Since, Storm is the leader of the X-Men for me.

Kinda losing hope that Obnoxio the Clown # 1 will make it. I thought it was a sure thing so figured I didn’t need to write in and vote for it. Well, we’ll see.

Painintheasso the Mime

August 1, 2013 at 2:39 am

@Danny — Kinda losing hope that Obnoxio the Clown # 1 will make it. I thought it was a sure thing so figured I didn’t need to write in and vote for it. Well, we’ll see.

I FUCKING VOTED FOR THAT!

@Jeff and @Saul

I agree, from the end of Claremont through to the end of Age of Apocalypse really wasn’t a bad era for the X-ttiles. Where they went wrong was in trying to do too much shocking stuff and convoluted reveals/lingering plot threads, such as the Legacy virus, the Psylocke/Revanche split, et cetera. But there were some good stories in this era, and you bring up a good point that the stories were definitely not decompressed, with single issue stories often the norm. In Uncanny, I remember 289-290, 297, 303, 308, and 309 as all being particularly great, and with X-Men I loved issues 4-7, 28, 30, 33, and 38.

@Cadio:

Not all of the fallout from Onslaught was bad. It created a decent feel of desperation in the Marvel Universe with the big hitters gone, and brought us Joe Kelly’s Deadpool and the original Thunderbolts series, followed by Busiek’s run on the Avenger. Waid came back to Captain America, but as has been pointed out, you had that before Onslaught.

And did anyone actually expect Heroes Reborn to be permanent? This is a real question, because I never did from the moment they announced it.

Well you’d have to be a moron not to figure out two and one but I cannot for the life of me think what 3 will be
I must be missing something really obvious

Wow, I really thought God Loves Man Kills would be 1 or 2. Kinda bummed that the single issues Magneto War prelude with Magneto befriending that guy to see if human were worth saving didn’t make the list unless it’s number 3 which I doubt.

I think, if you think about what stories have been revisited and homaged the top 3 are obvious even if order isn’t. The only possible surprise left seems to be a possible upset with AoA somehow missing the list entirely. But again, if that happened I’d have to question if we were all just out of touch.

@Josh. I voted for that.
To speak to the conversation about the 90’s, I know people tend to criticize all the excess of comics back then, but here was a lo of good stuff. As other people have mentioned, Lobdell and Nicieza turned in a lot of great character moments and “quiet issues.” The wedding of Scott and Jean is one of my favorites. Especially the scene where Jean telekinetically lifts Xavier out of his wheelchair so they could dance. Even the issue where they got engaged , 309 IIRC, is a gem. I particularly loved Uncanny 337, the aftermath of Onslaught. It was issues like those that made the X-men feel like real people.
With regard to Onslaught, that was my first marvel universe crossover so I will always have a special place on my heart for that story. Even Operation Zero Tolerance was good up until the conclusion, which clearly suffered from editorial interference. How about X-Men 70 where the X-Men reunite to get a bomb out of Scott’s chest? The confrontation between Maggott and Juggernaut made me laugh out loud. Lots of good memories from that period.

“God Loves, Man Kills” was the one I hadn’t considered when trying to guess the rest of the winners. Like Jeff said, it’s a story I respect more than I like, but I have no issue with it being here and am not at all surprised to see it. Definitely worthy of recognition.

“Gifted” is probably my favorite story from Whedon’s Astonishing, while “E for Extinction” is right near “Riot at Xavier’s” for my favorite Morrison story. Even though I don’t love everything that unfolded in Morrison’s run, there’s no denying, as Jeremy said, the breath of fresh air that was “E for Extinction”, and the ensuing sense that, once again, anything could happen. That’s a rare feeling in comics, especially in modern times.

(And, for the record, as a child of the 90s, I really don’t think the books went off the rails until sometime after “Onslaught”. Overly-complicated Psylocke/Revanche stuff aside, Lobdell and Nicieza really did some fun, interesting stuff in the wake of Claremont and the Image Exodus, and many of their standalone issues from that era (including #303, #33 and #309 – which I voted for) are some of my favorites).

I also wanted to mention Steven Seagle’s Uncanny X-Men 365, the Christmas issues where Colossus is visited by Illyana’s ghost. Great, Great issue.

Stephen Conway

August 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

Didn’t vote for GLMK but I knew it would be up there. Gifted and EifE leave me at 6/10. The two big Claremont stories that haven’t shown up will give me 8/10. I’m surprised that (Uncanny) X Men #1 didn’t make the list, being the story that started it all, and I thought Gillen’s Mr Sinister story from UXM vol. 2 would crack the top fifty.

I guess this is kind of opposite of the Iron Man countdown which was weighted heavily in favour of newer stuff.

@ Jeff

1) Big shoulder pads
2 )Big guns
3) Odd hairstyles
4) “Image” style
5)Too many or too long crossovers (I voted for zero crossovers in thsi countdown … I’m a ’90s kid that preferred “The Sentinels Live” over “X-Tinction Agenda.”

The thing is, those first four 90s stereotypes that everyone applies to the whole decade were pretty much gone by 1993 when it came to the X-Men. I think you should check out Not Blog X, where the guy who runs the blog breaks down the whole decade when it comes to 90s X-Men. It’s actually a fascinating exploration of how the X-Men evolved over the 90s. He’s a bit more critical than I would be, but even he has a lot of good things to say about 90s X-Men compared to the average internet blogger.

@ Cadio
That might be why everyone seems to hate Onslaught; if you were an Avengers or Marvel heroes fan, it had to suck that your books’ last issues were part of an X-Men crossover.

Buuuuut, at the same time most of the Avengers books were broken and NEEDED something to be done. You’d just had The Crossing, which is legitimately bad on pretty much all levels – the story was an unintentional parody of X-Men crossovers, where nothing is explicitly stated and everything revolves around mysteries and hints, art that (despite some decent James Cheung and a few Deodato issues) wouldn’t even qualify as fill-in quality, horrendous dialogue, etc. You ended up with Teen Tony, an Avengers team with some pretty lame costumes, Thor had been constantly getting worse since MC Wyman started his run (despite the Ellis four-issue hiccup), and who knows what the hell was going on with DeFalco and the Fantastic Four. At this point, as you said, the only decent book was Captain America.

Honestly, not only were the Onslaught tie-ins for these books a bit above their average quality for the non-X-Men books, but for books like Fantastic Four and Iron Man, the books actually got BETTER with Heroes Reborn (and the Liefeld books were actually pretty decent once Lee’s Wildstorm took them over). It was a gimmick that was a bit of a black eye for Marvel (because they basically had to outsource some of their core books to creators who five years ago had been too good to work at Marvel anymore), but it’s not like these were the worst comics in the world. And once HR was over, we got Busieks Iron Man and Avengers runs, more Waid Cap, Dan Jurgens competent run on Thor, and, well, IL’m not sure what people think about post-HR Fantastic Four.

I think, as someone else pointed out, that even Seagle and Kelly get overlooked too much too. Now, They may not have had the greatest runs either, but they were certainly a breath of fresh air, and before the editorial interference got to ridiculous levels, there was a lot of potential.

I wish I had remembered to vote, but the major miss from my list would have been the Claremont/Lee WW2 flashback with Captain America and Black Widow. I always loved that issue.

Also, I have a soft spot for Uncanny Annual 10, the first X-babies. Art Adams killed it, and I think I read that one 20 times growing up. A nice “New Mutants” grow up story, and I loved their redesigned, individual costumes.

I feel I can, easily, guess 2 of the top 3 (one of them being #1). For some reason, I’m struggling to fill that third slot. I guess I’ll be surprised…

Meghan Ansbach

August 1, 2013 at 8:29 am

my missed votes were Uncanny 196, Uncanny 201, Uncanny Annual 11 and the Mike Carey storyline for Rogue (though I agree that Supernovas was probably the better choice for this countdown)

I didn’t even think of Uncanny 303, which was actually the first X-Men comic I read aside from the series that adapted the cartoon. I didn’t know the characters the first time I read it, but after 9 months of digging through nickle bins at a local comic con (you know, in a Ramada ballroom, no special guests) and reading most of Claremont run of both Uncanny and New Mutants, the second time I read 303 was definitely filled with tears.

90s single issue character stories is what first made me interested in the X-Men after watching the cartoon, and the Claremont 80s single issue character stories solidified my love for comics, and are primarily what I voted for in this count down. My X-men reading experience comes down to my love of the characters, which is also why a lot of the crossovers didn’t even register for me when compiling my list.

God Loves, Man Kills was a decent story until the end, where Kitty gets all “I choose to stand with my f-friend!” Even as a young teenager, I was rolling my eyes.

I don’t know why I didn’t vote. I’ve only been reading X-Men for about 3 years so I guess I thought I wouldn’t have read enough of the best stories to vote intelligently. But thanks to the library, Marvel Unlimited, and Comixology, it turns out I’ve read about 3/4 of the stories that made the cut. Shame nothing from Gillen made it, though.

Just to reinforce what some other commenters have said, “God Loves, Man Kills” has something in common with the works of H.P. Lovecraft. That is, for a modern reader it all seems incredibly predictible, completely cliched and possibly even bordering on hackery. But it only seems that way because people have been referencing it (if not straight up ripping it off) for 30 years now. When it was written all that stuff was brand new, even revolutionary. It’s the first place I can recall the racism metaphor being so explicitly laid out, ironically in a scene that probably couldn’t be written today. It may even be the first time Wolverine did that “threaten to pop the middle claw” thing.

Yes, it totally deserves it’s spot on the list.

Oh, and @Lee M… I share your disappointment with that WW2 issue not making the list. I LOVE that one, and for my money it’s some of Lee’s best work ever.

Charlie X – I really liked those first 10 issues of Seagle and Kelly’s run, I’m also kinda surprised that Uncanny 350 with Gambit’s trial didn’t make the cut, I know Lobdell’s stuff is polarizing and his dialogue is a little hammy (and it’s gotten worse) but that’s still a great issue and in all honesty that was the last time Gambit really felt interesting.

Holski
“Let me just say it’s a load of bullshit that a certain alternate universe storyline is going to finish ahead of EITHER of these three.”

I did a comment like this before and it wasn’t well received by the other posters. I now apologize to them and I wonder if you actualy read Age of Apocalypse…

First, it wasn’t an alternate universe! It was the real canon X-Men universe modified by events in the past… so AoA is totally Canon!!!! This is something many seems to forget…

Second, you take AoA alone (suppose you never read any X-men story before) and you have an incredible and powerfull story. It has so many great moments! And if you know a little or much on the franchise, the enjoyment grows incredibly!

The great thing about AoA was that the odds were real… anything could happen (and it did!) and there wasn’t any way to know how it all was going to wrap up!

I think that AoA was not one of the greatest X-men stories… it was probably one of the best crossovers ever made and one of the better stories I ever read!

I thought E for Extinction was one of Morisson’s weaker ones – particularly for the really unpleasant characterisation of Wolverine and Cyclops. It was still good though – and got my #10 vote.

Gifted didn’t quite make my list.

God Loves Man Kills was Claremont – so I didn’t like that.

Wattan

I agree with you on your following opinions:

“Whedon’s run is what got me back into comics, but… Wow do I think it’s overrated at this point.”

I think it is benefitiated by the fact that many new readers never read the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s stories. If that’s the case, if you take into acount that they started reading in the 2000’s then is clear that many Morrison and Whedon stories are so well regarded, because they seem much better than the rest that was published inmediatly before and after.

“Maybe I just don’t get it. I liked the 2nd and 3rd arcs of Astonishing more than “Gifted”. And the Breakworld arc, which also ranked high on this list? Wow, I think that was pretty bad, actually.”

I don’t get the love for Gifted. It seemed to me a very boring story, with little relevance and a very poor villan. And I can’t stand tha fact that Kitty is written as if she were the best superheroe in the world… in detriment of the rest of the team.

“I also think maybe the whole run should just be considered one entry. Most of it happened within a, what, 48-hour period, actually, when you break it down. And all 25 issues were as much of a cohesive story as the Dark Phoenix Saga was.”

Yes, it happens so little in the 4 arcs that it is indeed a unique story X-tremely stretched.

I’d actually struggled to think of what the other Clairmont story in the top 3 would be. Then I saw a movie poster online for the up coming x-movie. Then I got it.

The Jim Lee issue with Cap, Widow, and Wolverine was awesome and I think it just got crowded out of people’s minds due to a lot of the big stories the x men have had. That’s sad, as even as awesome as some of the arcs and crossovers have been a lot of the best x-men stories have been one off’s. I’d say the same about Spider-Man.

Again, I’ve got nothing but love for the Whedon run. I still carry it on iPhone and reread it occasionally. It’s just fun and lighthearted even as it hits some deep emotional spots. I would have rather voted for it as one single story arc though. A lot happens in those 24 issues but at the end it all just fits together fairly tightly.

I have to wonder if a lot of the Whedon backlash is at least partially motivated by the Morrison fan boys. He always seems to have a truly rabid following going around to the point that a lot if ign reviews and best of lists are fairly well ruined by Morrison bias.

As some others have said, I’m a little disappointed X-Men Annual #10 won’t make the list. I didn’t vote for it, but I certainly considered it. I loved reading it as a kid.

I figured E for Extinction would be here in the top 10. I liked Morrison’s run overall. It seemed less about the X-men and more Morrison doing his typical Morrison thing with the characters, but Morrison’s typical thing is usually pretty entertaining. That said, I could never really get into E for Extinction so much. Cassandra Nova seemed like too much of a villainous Mary Sue (“here’s this new character I created and she’s the most powerful telepath in the world!”) and the mutant genocide just seemed more like lazy house-cleaning than anything else (like, sure a nation of millions of mutants with all kinds of powers, led by Magneto, wouldn’t have defenses in place for a suped up Sentinel attack), essentially a much less creative way to do Decimation.

I never read AoA. I pretty much dropped the X-books after Claremont (or, more accurately, somewhere about midway through X-cutioners Song) and didn’t really pick back up on anything until the Morrison stories. Until this list, I always thought AoA was just another bloated 90s X-over like so many others, but it seems like alot of people here really like it. I’m thinking one of these days I may need to go back and read the whole darn (1000+ page) thing to see what the fuss is about.

@ Traveller

No, I don’t like Whedon because it’s legitimately weak comic writing. I’ve read about 3/4 of all the X-Men comics published (including spin-offs), and it pales in comparison to a lot of the stuff I’ve read. Even not counting Morrison or Claremont stories, I could have made a ballot of 25 stories and Whedon wouldn’t have come close to making that list. Saying that the only reason that Whedon could get this much backlash because we’re Morrison die-hards seems at least a little biased, especially considering I’ve probably seen more negative opinions of Morrison on these lists than Whedon.

I’ll admit that I’ve occasionally had my problems with hard-core Morrison fans, especially in regards to his disagreements with Millar and Moore. But if anyone ever had a truly rabid fan base it’s Joss Whedon.

I have to wonder if a lot of the Whedon backlash is at least partially motivated by the Morrison fan boys. He always seems to have a truly rabid following going around to the point that a lot if ign reviews and best of lists are fairly well ruined by Morrison bias.

Wait, a Whedon fan is bashing Morrison fans for being rabid and ruining articles and lists with their bias?

*head explodes*

The 90’s were bad for comics, but it did have a few great/very best stories!

Onslaught is generally regarded as very very bad but I think the prologues and X-Men Onslaught are great comics. Per example, X-Men 50 was a very interesting issue showing the impending menace of Onslaught…

Many said that the felt a sense of wonder when reading E is for Extinction and Gifted.
I felt the same with X-Men Onslaught: I haven’t been reading X-Men comics since X-men 7 and then I read X-Men Omega and I did felt the sense of wonder and everything is different. I was truly shocked by the Proffesor X revelation, Wolverine’s bone claws and feral state (WTF??), the legendary traitor’s identity finally revelated and so on.

I agree that after X-Men Onslaught all went to pieces and the story that started so good ended very bad.

The final issue of the Onslaught crossover, which was written by Waid, was collected in the marvel “Best Of” trade that year and easily deserved the spot. Onslaught has a lot of weak points but the finale and a lot of the build up is just awesome stuff.

All these posts about Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza’s time on the X-Men books is actually jogging my memory! Yeah, now that I think about it, they both did pen some nice one or two part character-driven issues. I just couldn’t think of anything written by them when I was compiling my list of votes! As others have mentioned, there were a number of crossovers during that period that sort of prevented them from doing the kind of extended arcs Claremont was free to write back in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Anyway, I *did* vote for Uncanny X-Men #297 as a stand-alone story, not as part of the whole “X-Cutioner’s Song” crossover. And now that others mention it, #303 was also a very strong issue by Lobdell. And there was also X-Men #24 by Fabian Nicieza which I really liked. Maybe I should have voted for one of those instead of “Bloodties,” the Avengers/X-Men crossover. Oh, well, too late now!

By the way, I do not blame Nicieza for the whole Psylocke / Revanche mix-up. That’s really Bob Harras’ fault. He ought to have remembered what happened in the original story by Claremont, considering he was the editor.

I didn’t really like the Morrison or Whedon periods that much but they were light years ahead of the crap Lobdell spewed out in the 90s. AoA was an interesting idea but the execution of the story was as subpar as the rest of Lobdell’s run. There is a reason everyone thinks the comics of the 90s were crap and that’s because Lobdell was a hack writer. I had been reading X-Men since #128 and Lobdell was the writer that fionally drove me away from the franchise. The book seemed to go for years without have an actual team of X-Men. It just seemed like he had a stockpile of generic solo plots/stories that he would try to shoehorn X-characters into every issue. He couldn’t write then and is still a talentless hack today. I didn’t read X-Men again regularly until Morrison came in and made the book semi readable again. Even Chuck Austin’s run was better than Lobdell.

Another reason why the Cap/Widow/Wolverine story didn’t get more votes is that it isn’t an “X-Men” story but more of a Wolverine adventure. That’s why I didn’t vote for it, I tried to keep it to only “team” stories. Which is why I’m surprised LifeDeath and Wounded Wolf made the list. Good stories, but solo adventures

I really love #303, although I hated the idea of killing Illyana, and I really hate the idea of a virus that only affects mutants. (I really detest this idea of the mutants as some kind of distinct species. That’s not how mutation works. Aside from people like Wanda and Pietro who are closely related, the mutants should all be genetically closer to normal people than they are to each other. I know there are more ludicrous examples of comic-book science, but some things bother me more than others, and this is one of them.)

But #303 is a great story. I stopped reading X-Men sometime during the Australia period when it became a convoluted depressing mess, and #303 was the first new issue I’d read in a few years. And it just blew me away. I couldn’t wait to read more by this Lobdell guy I’d never heard of. Then I got #305 and #306, and they were no good at all.

I’ve read scattered Lobdell stories since then, and they vary greatly from extremely awful to fantastic. I guess he’s just one of those inconsistent writers. But he definitely seems much better at the quiet character-type stories.

Had GLMK at 7. Didn’t have the other two, but worthy stories. I dinged the best Whedon arc for the lame villain in Ord. And Morrison’s start for perpetuating ridiculous things like secondary mutation (because telepaths need to become diamond, and Avengers Beast somehow wasn’t the coolest), 16 million mutants around to even die, and the regular trope of “hey, let’s make te costumes like the movies.” But they’re both really good stories.

As for the comments, the oft mentioned Cap-WWII-Wolvie story loses it for me when they convolute Black Widow’s whole history in a one off without any intent to follow it up.

Someone above mentioned Uncanny X-Men 303 is the obvious prelude to Fatal Attractions and they were surpirsed it isn’t in the trade. It actually is in the new hardcover edition. I assumed it was included and didn’t vote for it.

http://www.amazon.com/X-Men-Fatal-Attractions-Scott-Lobdell/dp/0785162453/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375432035&sr=8-1&keywords=fatal+attractions

nice for figured god loves man kills would be in the top five if not maybe the top three. for not only does it show that nightcrawler is as human as ever but also the restraint it takes Magneto from giving in and doing away with striker and thus proving stryker right of muntants. not to mention how chilling the story is about judgeing people just because they may be differant is wrong. a real power ful xstory. gifted joss surely knew how to go to the hearts of the charcters including tearing kittys heart by reviving colluses. e for extinction not only gave the x-men some new powers like secondary mutations even though it would screw up beast. later but also gave more history proving that xavier is really not a nice guy not to mention caused the old subplot of magneto’s fate

While I liked some aspects of Morrison’s run, Casabdra Nova and the Wild Sentinels never appealed to me,

Enjoyed Whedon’s run – Gifted was in my short list at 17 (dangerous was at 15)

God Loves, Man kills was in my number 2 spot (up to 6 of a predicted 8/10).
Greatest moment in it was the battle of morals between Kitty and Stryker giving the heroes a victory achieved through means other than the heroes resorting to violence..

i will never get the appeal of morrison’s run.

There was a backstory in Classic X-Men #9 called “The Gift” in which Nightcrawler consoles a young patient at a hospital. It’s a great story that presaged The Sixth Sense by many years.

There are other Classic X-Men backstories that hold up really well, too: “Tag, Sucker!” in which Wolverine gets his throat torn out by Sabretooth (Classic X-Men #10); “A Taste for Vengeance” details Mesmero’s capture of the X-Men before he turns them into circus performers (Classic X-Men #17); “Just Don’t Look in It’s Eyes” has Wolverine survive a bear attack only to be targeted by a hunter; “Who Am I?” the X-Men attend a costume party with a homicidal ex out to kill his girl (#28).

[…] is one of the all-time great X-Men stories. It was #4 on CBR’s recent poll of the 50 Greatest X-Men Stories (and was #5 on my own Top 10). It was adapted for the second X-Men movie, which was nowhere near as […]

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