The word "resurrection" is a loaded one for X-Men fans. While the numbers haven't been crunched, it doesn't feel like a stretch to say that Marvel's mutant team is probably the most heavily resurrected team in all of comics. Not only has the team's members and their villains repeatedly bitten the dust only to rise from the ashes, entire teams have died -- or faked their deaths -- only to eventually return to the land of the living.
And now the word has had a stylized makeover -- "ResurrXion" -- and it's been attached to a string of new title announcements that promise a drastic overhaul (the good kind) of the X-Men line in spring 2017. But the name "ResurrXion" got us thinking about some of the X-characters that actually do need resurrecting -- and also the ones that have stayed dead for a surprisingly long time. While we still don't know if "ResurrXion" is the name of an event (after all, the first reports pegged it as another Inhumans/X-Men storyline), there's always the chance that some big X-names could return to life in spring 2017. Here are the 15+ mutants that we hope to see come back to life.
WARNING: The following may contain spoilers for various X-Men titles.
15 Multiple Man
DIED: "Death of X" #1, December 2016
Okay, yes, Madrox the Multiple Man just died in an event that's unfolding right now. Years after he was last seen in the final issue of "X-Factor," Madrox appeared once again in the opening issue of "Death of X." In the interim, Jamie had returned to Muir Island to staff a mutant research facility. There, the deadly Terrigen Mist rolled through Muir Island's hills, killing every single one of his dupes along the way. The X-Men arrived too late, and Jamie's death informed them of the horrific consequences of the Inhumans' sacred cloud. But Jamie Madrox is more than just cannon fodder; he was the lead of his own team book for almost a decade. Madrox is a beloved character whose power makes his death easy to undo. There's no way the mist killed all of his dupes, and it's been established that Jamie's consciousness can jump from dupe to dupe (that's how he survived the last time he died, anyway).
REVEALED DEAD: "Extraordinary X-Men" #2, January 2016
Thanks to the time wonkiness of comics, we are just now learning how Cyclops died almost a year after we learned of his death. Cyclops has taken his crusade to save mutants at any cost to a new level in "Death of X," and we know that doesn't end well for him. But even though we haven't seen his death yet, we know that it's coming and will have massive ramifications on the larger mutant population; as it should. Cyclops has long been the public face of the X-Men, even before his recent extremist turn. Being one of the five original X-Men also makes him one of the team's definitive members; no one else has led the team as long as he has. With Professor X, Wolverine and Cyclops all dead, mutants have had to turn to others to fill those iconic boots.
13 The Mutant Race
REVEALED ENDANGERED: "Extraordinary X-Men" #1, January 2016
Mutants don't have it easy. Whether it's classic prejudice and bigotry, reality-warping sorcery or, as it is now, a deadly Inhuman cloud, there's always something trying to wipe out all mutants. This latest threat is relatively new, having just been introduced in last fall's "Extraordinary X-Men" #1, but it's already left a huge mark on the mutant population. With Earth inhospitable to mutants, Storm has taken the school and a squad of X-Men into the demonic dimension known as Limbo, while Magneto has rallied a band of his own extreme X-Men to combat growing anti-mutant sentiment. Whether or not this Terrigen problem will be cleared up anytime soon remains to be seen; after "Death of X," there's still the "Inhumans vs. X-Men" event to get through before the mysterious "ResurrXion." Could the mutant race itself fight its way back from extinction?
DIED: "Death of Wolverine" #4, December 2014
You kill Wolverine and two more take his place. Okay, not really... but sorta? Wolverine died two years ago in the aptly titled "Death of Wolverine" event, with his entire body being coated in unbreakable adamantium. The iconic, mainstay X-Man may be missing from the team nowadays, but his spirit lives on in two successors. Laura Kinney, formerly known as X-23, took up the Wolverine mantle and ran with it as both a solo hero and a member of a teen X-team; meanwhile, Old Man Logan, an older version of Wolverine from an alternate reality, landed in the main Marvel universe and joined Storm's crew. But still, it's remarkable to think that Marvel has now gone two years without Wolverine himself appearing in its books. Logan's going to come back eventually, and as one of mutantkind's dead figureheads, his return would most likely be a welcome one.
11 Professor X
DIED: "Avengers vs. X-Men" #12, December 2012
Speaking of dead mutant figureheads, here's the big one: Professor Charles Francis Xavier. Professor X's death at the end of "Avengers vs. X-Men" sent Cyclops down his extremist path, as it was Scott himself (albeit possessed by the power-hungry Phoenix Force) who took Xavier's life. Even in death, Xavier still made a massive impact on the Marvel universe. For decades, the X-Men franchise was defined by the push and pull between Xavier and Magneto; when the two made amends, the feud-torch was passed to Cyclops and Wolverine. Now, Magneto's the only mutant left standing -- and his views, while still more extreme than others, have shifted more into a grey area, as he's taken command of the X-Men. It would be fascinating to see how a resurrected Xavier would handle seeing his legacy in the hands of his best friend/sworn rival. A resurrection for Xavier would truly be a game changer.
DIED: "War of Kings" #4, August 2009
The Majestrix of the Shi'ar Empire, Lilandra continually fought on behalf of her people and justice for her alien society. That usually meant fighting off her totally evil siblings D'Ken and Deathbird, who sought to rule the Shi'ar in a much less civilized manner. Her battles led her to the X-Men, who teamed up with her on many occasions; she even began a (literally) star-crossed romance with Professor X that lasted for quite a long time. Her last attempt to restore order to the Shi'ar empire, and the galaxy itself, came as she tried to challenge Deathbird's consort Vulcan -- a powerful mutant hellbent on domination (also Cyclops and Havok's long lost brother). Lilandra's attempt failed, as she was assassinated by one of Vulcan's minions -- a possessed Darkhawk. Lilandra was such an important supporting player for so many years, thanks to her pivotal roles in "The Phoenix Saga" and "The Dark Phoenix Saga," and she's been missing from comics for over seven years.
DIED: "New X-Men" #45, February 2008
Almost everything about Caliban's life was tragic. First, his extreme deformity caused him to hide from humankind underground as a member of the Morlocks. There, his talents as a mutant tracker went unappreciated and he never found the love he wanted. He found a better life as a member of X-Factor briefly, but his own inner anger over the slaughter of the Morlocks pushed him right into Apocalypse's arms. The X-Men villain gave Caliban a musclebound makeover and turned him into one of his Horsemen. After shaking free of Apocalypse's control, Caliban joined X-Force and tried to live as a hero. Caliban did die as a hero, taking a bullet meant for his teammate Warpath. Caliban died (the first time) in 2008's "New X-Men" #45. But another resurrection-filled event, "Necrosha," briefly brought Caliban back to life as the techno-organic puppet of the immortal witch Selene a few years later. Caliban's return was short-lived -- and he never got to see himself played on the big screen in "X-Men: Apocalypse" (or next year's "Logan," for that matter). Caliban's big break came years after his death.
DIED: "Wolverine" #54, July 2007
Feral's most remembered as an original member of X-Force. Her cutthroat attitude and knack for murder made the team even edgier than the militaristic Cable had intended. Feral never really clicked with her teammates, with her aggressive tendencies putting her at odds with pretty much everyone. Fed up with X-Force's passive (to her) ways, Feral defected and joined the Mutant Liberation Front terrorist group. Doing so moved her from being a regular player in the X-Men line to a member of a villain team, meaning she'd only pop up every now and then. Her final appearance in the land of the living came as part of the "Evolution" storyline, which placed her up against someone even more bloodthirsty than she: Sabretooth. Victor Creed bested Feral, ripping her apart and, in a truly gruesome panel, feasting on her remains. The ex-X-Forcer did pop up as a sarcastic ghost a few years later in the pages of "X-Factor," but so far it looks like this is a cat that only had one life.
7 Jean Grey
DIED: "New X-Men" #150, February 2004
This is the big one: Jean Grey. For a character known for coming back from the dead over and over again, Jean Grey has stayed dead for over a dozen years. There is a teenage time-displaced version of her running around right now, and there have been many versions of Jean over the decades, but the genuine Jean has not come back from the dead following her deadly cosmic-level stroke in "New X-Men" #150. Could it be time for a resurrection? After all, there is a new "Jean Grey" series coming as part of "ResurrXion." Whether or not Marvel will break their dead-streak for it remains to be seen. After all, having a death stick for more than a decade is a rare feat in comics -- especially for a character as massively popular and important as Jean Grey. But with Cyclops, Professor X and Wolverine all dead, Jean Grey could return and easily become mutantkind's new spokesperson...
DIED: "Uncanny X-Men" #423, July 2003
Like many of his Generation X classmates, Skin showed a lot of promise. Debuting as one of the next generation of X-Men in 1994's "Phalanx Covenant" event, Angelo Espinosa became a founding student at Xavier's new Massachusetts Academy. And while his mutant ability (he has six feet of extra skin!) lacked excitement, he more than made up for that with his sarcastic personality, caustic outlook and irreverent attitude. Skin provided zingers for the team until the school closed down. While the rest of his teammates moved on to new super teams like the X-Corps or New Warriors or even the X-Men, Skin faded into obscurity. He came back one last time two years after the end of "Generation X" in a horrific fashion, crucified on the X-Mansion's lawn by an anti-mutant hate group. His former classmates Jubilee and Husk acquired his ashes and gave him the respectful end he deserved (even if the issue in question wrongly identified him as Angelo Torres).
5 Moira MacTaggert
DIED: "X-Men" #108, January 2001
As the X-Men's resident all-around Nobel prize-winning scientific genius, Moira MacTaggert helped the team through many rough patches. MacTaggert helped clone Xavier a new body once his had been infested with the Brood, she tinkered with Magneto's genetics in an attempt to keep him from going evil and she worked hard to find a cure for the Legacy Virus. Despite being a human, her prolonged exposure to the mutant-only virus led her to contract the disease. But that's not what killed Moira; no, an attack on her Muir Island research facility by Mystique did, and Moira died in 2001's "X-Men" #108. A decade later, though, Moira was resurrected as part of the "Chaos War" event -- but that resurrection was very short-lived. Since her death, Moira's gone on to appear in two feature films played by Rose Byrne (albeit as a radically overhauled version of the character). But Moira herself, despite being one of the franchise's most important supporting characters for a quarter century, remains six feet under.
DIED: "Cable" #87, January 2001
It's actually quite shocking just how permanent Pyro's death has been. Since he debuted in the iconic "Days of Future Past" storyline, St. John Allerdyce became a mainstay nuisance of the X-Men as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Freedom Force. If there was an X-villain team in the '80s or '90s, Pyro was most likely a member of it. And that ubiquitousness got him a recurring role in the '90s "X-Men" animated series and a major part in two X-Men films. He contracted the Legacy Virus in the mid '90s, which spent years wrecking his powers and health. He finally gave into the disease in 2001's "Cable" #87, flaming out one last time to save Senator Robert Kelly's life. Like Caliban, Pyro was also reanimated by Selene's techno organic virus, and Pyro was last scene in 2010's "X-Force" #21, ripped apart and in a near inhuman state. Still, a major X-villain and popular character has been more or less dead for 16 years (with one tiny resurrection in there).
DIED: "Generation X" #70, December 2000
Everett Thomas deserved better. Another member of Generation X, Thomas was the most well-adjusted member of the teen group -- which makes sense considering that his mutant power allowed him to get in synch with other mutant abilities. Everett was the definition of a good dude; he did well in school, treated his teammates with respect and had solid instincts when it came to being a superhero. But his giving and selfless nature ended up being the death of him; when Emma Frost's villainous sister Adrienne planted bombs throughout the Massachusetts Academy, Synch prioritized throwing other people to safety over protecting himself. He died in the explosion. His death shattered his teammates, taking many of them on a darker and more depressed route, culminating with the end of the "Generation X" ongoing in 2000. Synch and his classmate Skin have both avoided permanent resurrections, give or take a "Necrosha." With a new "Generation X" series on the way in 2017, one has to wonder if these two will finally get the resurrection they've been waiting too long for.
2 Rusty Collins
DIED: "X-Men" #42, July 1995
Similar to Synch, Rusty Collins was another X-kid that everyone got along with. He was the first teen mutant rescued by X-Factor in the mid-'80s, giving him a permanent bond with Cyclops and the rest of that crew. While he was wracked with guilt about the damage his fire-generating powers caused when they first emerged, he tried to fight past that and become a better man, mutant and leader. He enjoyed a long relationship with his fellow ward Skids, and they both found new lifelong friendships with other teens when they joined the New Mutants. But Rusty's luck ran out when he and Skids were kidnapped by the terrorist Stryfe and brainwashed into joining his cause. And after Magneto gave them back their individuality again, Rusty and Skids felt loyal to him. They stayed with Magneto on his space station Avalon -- where Rusty eventually died because his boss Exodus brought a life-sucking mutant called Holocaust on board. Skids survived and has rebounded, becoming an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and reliable ally of the X-Men. But Rusty's now been dead twice as long as he was alive.
DIED: "Uncanny X-Men Annual" #17, June 1993
This is the real doozy right here: Mastermind, major X-Villain and initial orchestrator of the iconic "Dark Phoenix Saga's" events, has been dead for over 23 years. A founding member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Mastermind debuted way back in 1964's "X-Men" #4. He tormented the team throughout the Silver Age and then returned with a vengeance in 1980's "Dark Phoenix Saga." Jason Wyngarde used his mental manipulation powers to unlock the evil lurking in the all-powerful Phoenix, unleashing a threat unlike any the galaxy had known.
Mastermind was Dark Phoenix's first victim, and he never really recovered after that. He made one more go at the X-Men, but quickly faded into obscurity. He reappeared years later in "Uncanny X-Men Annual" #17, his body failing thanks to the Legacy Virus. Unlike Pyro and Moira MacTaggert, who died of outside complications coupled with the virus, Mastermind totally succumbed to it as one of its first victims. Mastermind's legacy has lived on in his two mind-manipulating daughters Regan and Martinique, but Mastermind himself has been out of commission for decades. Maybe it's time to give Jason another go -- or add him to Uncle Ben's list of Marvel characters that stay dead.
Which X-Men and Women do you miss the most? Let us know in the comments!