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 #30-26.
30. “X-Tinction Agenda” New Mutants #95-97, Uncanny X-Men #270-272 and X-Factor #60-62
This crossover picked up from where the earlier Genosha storyline left off, with Genosha now becoming more aggressive in their attacks, as they are now associated with the evil Cameron Hodge (one-time ally of X-Factor). A team of Genoshan magistrates, led by a brainwashed Havok, show up and kidnap a group of New Mutants as well as a de-aged Storm. The remaining New Mutants, Banshee and Forge hook up with X-Factor to go rescue their friends. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Jubilee and Psylocke make their way to Genosha on their own. By the end of the storyline, New Mutant Warlock was dead, Wolfsbane was trapped in wolf form, Storm was re-aged and the X-Men were finally reunited for the first time in over a year. Plus, the world learned that the X-Men were actually alive. This storyline also saw the New Mutants’ roster so decimated that they would soon reform as X-Force. Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson wrote it and Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld and Jon Bogdanove (plus a bunch of inkers) drew it.
29. “SuperNovas” X-Men #188-193
Mike Carey took over X-Men with penciler Chris Bachalo (and roughly three thousand inkers) on this storyline that introduced the set-up of Carey’s X-Men run, which was that Rogue was given control of her own X-team. She decided to embrace her name with the team, as it was very much a rogue version of a typical X-Team. Mystique, Lady Mastermind, Cable, Cannonball, Iceman and, to a certain extent, Sabretooth. It was like the island of misfit toys. Their first mission involved the sadistic Children of the Vault, who were hunting Sabretooth because he knew that they existed. They were awoken by the events of Decimation. The Children of the Vault were neither humans nor mutants and they wanted to destroy both races.
28. “Crossroads” Uncanny X-Men #269, 273-277
This was another story that I initially split up, but the Rogue/Savage Land part just barely missed the top 50, so I figured it was better to just re-combine them than to have the Rogue storyline not make the top 50. This storyline was interrupted by the X-Tinction Agenda crossover. But it really began in #269, when Rogue is finally split from her Ms. Marvel personality. Rogue teams up with Magneto in the Savage Land on a mission involving Nick Fury as they take on the evil Zaladane. Meanwhile, after a “breather” issue in Uncanny X-Men #273, the newly reunited X-Men are kidnapped into outer space where they get caught up in a Skrull plot against the Shi’ar Empire involving their former teacher, Professor X. Half of the team is captured and replaced by “Power Skrulls.” The remaining team members must stop the Skrull plot, save the Shi’ar Empire AND rescue their captured teammates. In Uncanny X-Men #275, we also see Magneto forced to choose whether he wants to be judged by standard human morality when it comes time to deal with Zaladane. These stories are a great encapsulation of how good writer Chris Claremont was at juggling various storylines, as he expertly mixes between the Shi’ar plot and the Magneto/Rogue plot without giving either story short shrift. Lee (inked by Scott Williams) meanwhile is outstanding with both the action sequences as well as the character-driven moments between Magneto and Rogue.
27. “X-Cutioner’s Song” Uncanny X-Men #294-297, X-Factor #84-86, X-Men #14-16 and X-Force #16-18
This epic crossover began with Cable seemingly shooting Professor Xavier with a bullet containing the techno-organic virus. The X-Men naturally headed off to hunt down Cable and X-Force, as well. Eventually, the X-Men discovered that “Cable” was actually Stryfe. So now their mission involved hunting down Stryfe while also contacting Apocalypse to acquire a cure for the virus (as Apocalypse created the virus). Mister Sinister kidnapped Cyclops and Jean Grey in the middle of the chaos and essentially sold them to Stryfe. The finale involved Cyclops and Jean Grey realizing that either Cable or Stryfe was Cyclops’ long-lost son!! Fabian Nicieza, Scott Lobdell and Peter David wrote the story and a variety of artists drew it.
26. “Torn” Astonishing X-Men #13-18
In their third arc on Astonishing X-Men, Joss Whedon and John Cassaday had Emma Frost seemingly revealed as a villain once again, working with a new Hellfire Club to tear the X-Men apart using each of their greatest fears. However, it turns out that not all is at it seems and perhaps Emma Frost is as much of a victim of the situation as anyone else. This was a powerful examination of the psyches of the various members of the Astonishing X-Men, particularly Cyclops and Emma Frost.