We've seen a lot of character redesigns from the Big Two over the last decade, giving the multiple reboots, relaunches, and renumberings both comic companies have gone through recently. Even the latest Marvel event War of the Realms has seen a few magical redesigns, which while maybe short-lived, are genuinely always an enjoyable, and profitable, event gimmick.
One group of characters that seems to get redesigned more than most are the X-Men, who are primed for yet another relaunch at the hands of Jonathan Hickman. House of X and Powers of X will kick off a new line of X-comics that will chart a new course for the X-Men and is sure to include a number of great redesigned characters. As this is merely the newest course-correction for the X-Men this decade, we are going to take a look back at some of the X-Men's best redesigns.
10 NEW MUTANTS
The New Mutants have actually gone through a few redesigns over the last decade. The first came in 2009 with the third volume of New Mutants, which saw Cyclops reassemble the New Mutants as a field team of the X-Men. The original roster returned with updated versions of their original X-uniforms and played a crucial role in a few X-events before disbanding.
The team got another recent redesign with the release of Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Gorham's New Mutants: Dead Souls, which saw a new team of mutants that included former members of the New Mutants and X-Factor. This team featured similarly updated versions of the original X-uniforms, though each character embellished the look in their own way.
9 ALL-NEW X-MEN
When Brian Michael Bendis took over the X-titles in 2012, he introduced an interesting new element to the Marvel Universe when he had the Beast bring the original five X-Men (Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast, and Angel) from the past into the present. The youthful X-Men came at a tense time for mutantkind, and their presence changed the dynamic of the X-titles for a few years.
While the team wore the original X-uniform during their initial appearances, they received a new set of matching costumes that better represented the era, while still unifying the O5 as a unit. When members like X-23 joined, their uniform was changed to match the rest of the original five, though the individual costumes changed the longer they stayed in the present day.
8 X-MEN BLUE
When the X-Titles separated into the X-Men: Blue and X-Men: Gold titles, writer Cullen Bunn initially focused on the time-displaced original five X-Men as they worked together as a team in the present day under the guidance of their former enemy, Magneto.
However, the O5 were embroiled in the Poison-X event, and Magneto was forced to recruit a new team of X-Men, led by his daughter Polaris. Not only did Magneto's X-Men include characters like Xorn, Daken, and Ultimate Wolverine Jimmy Hudson, but the quickly assembled team even got matching uniforms, setting them apart from some of the other redesigns on this list.
7 FUTURE X-MEN
Given the nature of the X-Men's manipulations to the time stream by bringing the original 5 to the present, it's no surprise that a few different versions of the future X-Men were sent to the past. The first was in the Battle of the Atom event, which saw both Brotherhood and future X-Men teams, including Charles Xavier Jr., a wizard Iceman, and a grownup Jean Grey as the new Xorn.
The next set of future X-Men came during the Extermination event, which began with a look into the future that saw the end of the X-Men, due to the O5 staying in the present. This future featured the grown O5 in matching blue and black X-costumes, though Jean still wore the leather jacket that had become a defining part of her youthful costume.
6 EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN
The X-Men were a very different team during the "All-New, All-Different" rebranding of most of Marvel's line. Mutantkind was again nearing extinction following the release of the Inhuman's Terrigen Mists, which created the mutant-killing disease known as M-Pox, which even took out Cyclops and left the X-Men endangered and leaderless.
Storm led a new team of X-Men that included her Giant-Size X-Men teammates Nightcrawler and Colossus, along with his sister Magik and the elderly Iceman (there were older and younger versions at this point in the timeline), as well as young Jean Grey and the time-displaced Old Man Logan, which is a good example of the state of the X-Men during this rebranding. But at least they had great matching costumes!
5 UNCANNY X-MEN (2013)
Following the events of the Avengers vs X-Men event, Cyclops was no longer the leader of the mutant Utopia, but instead became the figurehead of the building mutant revolution. He led a new team in a new volume of Uncanny X-Men that adopted a black-on-black motif, both in costume design and attitude.
Cyclops was joined by Emma Frost and Magneto, whose powers were all broken after their dealings with the Phoenix Force. The new Uncanny X-Men began rebuilding their own school and training a new squad of young mutants, all while remaining wanted fugitives of S.H.I.E.L.D. while they fought for the freedom of mutantkind.
4 UNCANNY X-FORCE
The X-Force team has seen a number of iterations since Cable first reorganized the young New Mutants into his own personal strike squad. However, following the events of Messiah Complex, Cyclops was forced to put together a new team of mutants who were tasked with covert ops against the enemies of mutantkind.
Wolverine eventually put together his own team that debuted in Uncanny X-Force, which featured the team in grey-and-black versions of their usual gear, which followed the original covert ops squad design theme. The darker take on the costumes matched X-Force's missions and became an iconic redesign for not just the costumes, but the various characters involved and how the X-Men interpreted Xavier's dream in their dangerous world.
3 UNCANNY X-MEN (2018)
The final redesign isn't exactly a new idea for the team, but more of a return to basics. The latest volume of Uncanny X-Men saw the "X-Men: Disassembled" and then forced to deal with the "Age of X-Man," which left the main team trapped in an alternate reality. Formerly dead heroes Cyclops and Wolverine returned to keep the X-Men dream alive.
They formed a new team of X-Men to deal with some of the biggest current threats to mutants, and their various costumes helped showcase the places these leftover X-Men were in their lives. For instance, Cyclops wore his iconic blue-and-yellow 90's outfit promising a return to more heroic times, yet still featured the modern silver visor as a small reminder of who he was before his death.
2 ALL-NEW WOLVERINE
While not necessarily a team-wide redesign, X-23's evolution into Wolverine also came during the "All-New, All-Different" era of Marvel Comics that affected a number of characters. Following the Death of Wolverine storyline, Laura stepped up to fill the role of Wolverine, becoming a hero that Logan would have been very proud to see.
Laura's time as Wolverine features a few different costumes, with her initial costume homaging Logan's original blue-and-yellow style. She would later return to the dark greys of the Uncanny X-Force look, though she often paired the costume with a similarly-themed leather jacket. Unfortunately, Laura returned to the X-23 name and another new costume prior to the return of Logan.
1 X-MEN RED
After the original Jean Grey's return in Phoenix Resurrection, she embarks on a new mission to help heal the world and save mutantkind by establishing them as a mutant nation. To do this, she recruits a new team of mutants that include some very interesting additions, while including some familiar trusting faces for Jean after so many years away.
The team was forced to adopt new costumes that allowed them to remain uninfected by a new breed of Sentinels known as Sentinites, which caused the infected to lash out and attempt to kill mutant "abominations," or kill themselves if they were a mutant. The costumes served both form and function, but unfortunately, X-Men Red was canceled and the characters mostly reverted to classic costumes.