It's fair to say that the last decade of the X-Men franchise was not necessarily the strongest, though fans did see some great storylines come from Marvel's merry mutants in the 2010s. Thankfully the "Dawn of X" relaunch by Jonathan Hickman has elevated the X-Men back to the forefront of Marvel's line, and fans are once again talking about the team's exciting future.
But like we said, there were still a few great X-Men storylines from the last decade that we want to remember as the New Year approaches. So today we will countdown the best storylines from the X-Men's last 10 years that highlighted their growth over the decade.
10 THIS IS FOREVER (2019)
Matthew Rosenberg closed out his run on Uncanny X-Men with a bold claim from the recently returned Cyclops - "This is the last X-Men story." And as the final look at the X-Men before Hickman took over, Cyclops wasn't wrong and Rosenberg was clearly going out with a bang.
Cyclops' return was explained as he gathered the final remains of the X-Men to make a final stand and take out the last threats to the X-Men before there were no X-Men. The team suffered quite a few heavy casualties while other characters switched loyalties, all of which continued to shock fans as they prepared for what came next by saying goodbye to what came before.
9 THE HELLFIRE SAGA (2013)
Following the Schism between the X-Men's leaders (more on that later), Wolverine decided to take the X-Men back to their roots, and he opened the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning in the pages of Wolverine and the X-Men. Logan became the Headmaster of the school, and alongside his fellow X-Men, he began to raise the next generation of mutant heroes.
"The Hellfire Saga" was the culmination of the first few arcs of the series that saw the new Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club (alongside their Hellfire Academy) launch a war against Wolverine and his school that captured everything we loved about this title in one storyline; tons of action, good-natured humor, and respectful character development that would continue in future titles.
8 BATTLE OF THE ATOM (2013)
One of the biggest changes to the X-Men in the last decade came when Hank McCoy/Beast decided to mess with the timestream and bring the original five X-Men from the past to the present day, hoping to show them how they turn out so as to avoid the troubled future.
Things obviously backfired and during the Battle of the Atom crossover, the X-Men encountered future versions of the X-Men and the Brotherhood who offered a glimpse at the possible timeline Beast had created. This crossover was a shining light in an otherwise unimpressive storyline that featured a number of other less impactful crossovers.
7 SEASON ONE (2011)
It may be strange to include a retelling of the original five X-Men's origin on this list, but X-Men: Season One by Dennis Hopeless and Jamie McKelvie really is that good. The updated origin follows Xavier's first class of X-Men over their first year as teen heroes.
While the reimagined origin might not offer the most to long-time fans of the X-Men, it serves as a fantastic introductory series to new readers with amazing art from McKelvie that is sure to impress long-time fans as well.
6 THE HATE MACHINE (2018)
Jean Grey was finally resurrected after 18 years in Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey to a world that was very different from the one she left. Cyclops was dead and the X-Men were still recovering from years of disasters and threats that rendered them almost extinct.
Jean set about forming a new team in X-Men: Red and attempted to create a new haven for mutant-kind, though she was framed and discredited early on by Cassandra Nova. "The Hate Machine" served to not only show how much the X-Men and their world has changed since Jean's death but also showcased just how badly the X-Men needed Jean Grey back as a leader of her people.
5 SCHISM (2011)
The rivalry between Cyclops and Wolverine had been brewing for years, whether it was over their feelings for Jean Grey or their choices over how to lead the X-Men. X-Men: Schism featured the inevitable breaking point between Scott and Logan after a series of attacks led to a final disagreement between the two leaders.
The series not only features a few amazing battles between the two X-Men but also set the course for the next few years of X-Men comics as the team found itself on the brink of extinction and divided. Schism is often forgotten when looked at over the whole decade, but it
4 AVENGERS VS X-MEN (2012)
Much like Schism saw the climactic result of years of built-up tension between Cyclops and Wolverine, Avengers vs X-Men did the same for Marvel's two biggest superteams after years of devastating events continued to drive a wedge between them.
Battle lines were drawn and loyalties were tested as the two teams argued over how best to deal with Hope Summers and the return of the Phoenix Force. Avengers vs. X-Men saw a few iconic moments including the birth of the Phoenix Five, the flooding of Wakanda, and one of the worst deaths the mutant community has ever seen.
3 THE APOCALYPSE SOLUTION (2010)
While "The Apocalypse Solution" was technically an Uncanny X-Force, we're still including it for a number of reasons, the least of which is that the team was made up of active X-Men like Wolverine, Psylocke, and Archangel while they operated in secret along with mercs like Deadpool and Fantomex.
"The Apocalypse Solution" is really only the start to one of the best stories, as Rick Remender's entire Uncanny X-Force run is not one to miss, and would go on to affect a number of related titles throughout the decade.
2 SECOND COMING (2010)
Much of the early half of the decade in the X-Men's world was dedicated to the protection of the alleged mutant messiah, Hope Summers, who was the first mutant born after House of M's "M-Day" that depowered the majority of mutant-kind. Hope first appeared in Messiah Complex before she was taken to the future to be raised by Cable with the promise to one day return.
Cyclops and the X-Men spent the next couple of years preparing for her return, but so did their enemies, and when Cable and Hope finally returned during the Second Coming event, everything hit the fan. The X-Men were in for the fight of their lives that would cost them a few friends while bringing Hope to the mutants, both literally and figuratively.
1 HOUSE OF X/POWERS OF X (2019)
Jonathan Hickman recently took the reigns of the X-franchise with his dual series event House of X/Powers of X, which relaunched the X-Men in a dynamic new direction. The series and resultant "Dawn of X" titles have set about redefining the X-Men's place in the Marvel Universe while uniting the mutant community like never before to create new exciting story opportunities.
HoX/PoX is not without its issues and we are certainly left with more questions than answers, but it was great to immerse ourselves in a new world starring our favorite characters. Dealing with the unknown is something the X-Men are experts at, and as they've taught us for years, we shouldn't fear what we don't understand.