X-Men In Comics Members, Enemies, Powers | Marvel (2024)

Table of Contents
Members History History
X-Men In Comics Members, Enemies, Powers | Marvel (1)

Charles Xavier’s team of merry mutants is charged with the mission of protecting a world that hates and fears them for their unusual appearances and abilities.




Realizing that mutants were the next step in human evolution, Professor Charles Xavier gathered five gifted teenagers to be his first class of students. Xavier sought to protect and educate the next generation of hom*o superior, while pursuing a dream of harmony between mutants and humans.

That peaceful dream has been challenged over and over, either by evil mutants or human bigotry. As costumed heroes, the original team fought for a world that hated and feared them. Their struggle has continued with each subsequent generation of mutants. The dreamer may be gone, but the X-Men live on.

X Marks the Spot

After early encounters with Magneto and a harrowing fight with the Shadow King, Charles Xavier realized that evil mutants were a threat to humanity and their own kind alike. Charles dedicated his life to promoting peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans by opening Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

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One of the rechristened Professor X’s first pupils was Jean Grey, a young girl whose telepathic abilities developed far too quickly for her mind to handle.

Xavier subsequently recruited Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel before formally introducing them to Jean, whom he renamed Marvel Girl. Soon after, Magneto made his public debut by striking at Cape Citadel and seizing control of the military base. Upon hearing the news, Xavier sent the X-Men to confront Magneto and deescalate the militarys response. Despite their inexperience, the young X-Men managed to force Magneto into retreat.

The original X-Men remained together for years, adding a few new heroes along the way. The team doubled in size following an incident on the living island of Krakoa, as mutants from around the world answered Xaviers call for help. The X-Men have continued to expand, with multiple teams dedicated to keeping Xavier’s vision alive. Their mentor’s dream has often seemed just out of reach, but it remains the driving force behind the X-Men.

Team Dynamic

For most of their existence, the X-Men are based at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. As the headmaster, Xavier is in control of both the educational institute and the super human team. Xavier remains in this role for years, and subsequently relinquishes it to a repentant Magneto. Eventually, Xavier resumes his leadership position before resigning. Cyclops and Emma Frost become the new co-headmasters of the school. After the facility remains dormant for an extended period, Wolverine takes over as headmaster of the renamed Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Upon Wolverines death, Storm takes over while Cyclops leads his own rival school of mutants.

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Cyclops becomes the first field leader of the X-Men and he often takes over when Xavier is out of the picture. Following Cyclopsdeparture from the team during his first marriage, Frost succeeds him. She remains in control of her own team even when Cyclops and the rest of the original members rejoins the X-Men. Many mutants subsequently lead their own squads, including Wolverine, Rogue, Gambit, Jean Grey, and Nightcrawler. Currently, Kitty Pryde leads the X-Men Gold team and serves as the headmaster of the newly reopened Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach.

Factions of Foes

Magneto is the X-Mens very first foe, and the ideological opposite of their founder. The Master of Magnetism and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants embrace their own dream of supremacy.

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Magnetos later followers, the Acolytes, worship him with an almost religious fervor and regard their leader as a mutant messiah. When Cyclops unites the mutant nation under Utopia’s banner, Magneto purposefully defers to his leadership and he remains an uneasy ally since that time.

Apocalypse’s twisted vision of mutant domination goes far beyond Magnetos darkest dreams, and he emerges as one of the team’s deadliest adversaries. The immortal tyrant’s former associate, Mister Sinister, also menaces the X-Men with his genetic machinations and deadly team of Marauders. The Hellfire Club, the Reavers, Factor Three, and the Children of the Vault prove themselves to be dire threats to humanity and the X-Men. Psychic entities like the Shadow King, Cassandra Nova, Onslaught, and Proteus nearly destroy the team on numerous occasions. Xavier’s vengeful stepbrother, Juggernaut, also attempts to crush the X-Men.

During the X-Mens adventures, they face the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, the Skrulls, the Phalanx, the Brood, the Z’nox and other destructive alien races. The cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force almost brings the X-Men to the brink of doom during their multiple encounters with it.

For all of their power, the X-Mens greatest enemy remains basic human bigotry. That racial hatred is demonstrated by several of their adversaries, including the Friends of Humanity, the Purifiers, the Right, and other organizations. It is also embodied in Sentinels, the powerful mutant-hunting robots created by Bolivar Trask. Nimrod, a Sentinel from the future, proves to be almost unstoppable, and becomes even deadlier when he is merged with the Sentinel Master Mold to become Bastion, a highly evolved android dedicated to the demise of the mutant race.

Exemplary Allies

Many of the X-Men’s earliest allies have fallen in the name of Xaviers dream. Dr. Moira MacTaggert was a researcher and scientist who remained dedicated to Charles’ goals, even when she didnt see eye-to-eye with her former lover. Moria was murdered by Mystique, who wanted to pervert her research by using the Legacy Virus to attack humans. FBI agent Fred Duncan was also an instrumental figure who dedicated his life to Xavier’s cause, who served as an unofficial liaison with the first X-Men team. Duncan even refused to hand over his records of the X-Men for Project Wideawake during the height of anti-mutant paranoia. Other human allies who flocked together under Xavier’s banner included Stevie Hunter, Sharon Friedlander, Tom Corsi, Candy Southern, Carol Danvers, Val Cooper, and Peter Corbeau.

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Among the Super Hero community, Alpha Flight and the Fantastic Four have been steadfast allies to the X-Men, and Spider-Man briefly becomes a faculty member at the Jean Grey School, following Wolverines demise. The X-Men also forge close ties with the Starjammers, who are led by Cyclops’ father, Corsair (Christopher Summers). Through Beast, the X-Men also hook up with Abigail Brand and S.W.O.R.D., while Blade assists the team during a war with the vampire nation. Mutant thief and interstellar rock star, Lila Cheney, proves herself to be a loyal friend to the X-Men.

The X-Men’s relationships with the Avengers and the Inhumans have become increasingly frayed over the years. During the Phoenix Forces return to Earth, the X-Men and the Avengers go to war over the fate of Hope Summers, the mutant messiah. Following that conflict, the Avengers Unity Squad invites several X-Men to join in a bid to bridge the gap between the teams. The Inhumans and X-Men also have a good relationship until the Terrigen mist in Earth’s atmosphere threatens to wipe out mutants and force them to abandon the planet. The Inhumans and X-Men fight each other for the survival of their respective species. Medusa, the queen of the Inhumans, ultimately decides to destroy the Terrigen and spare the mutants, but the bond between her people and X-Men has yet to be fully repaired.

Base of Operations, Current Members, Former Members

  • Base of Operations

    • in San Francisco, California; formerly Xavier Institute For Higher Learning, Westchester, New York; Reaver's base, Northern Territory, Australia; Mutant Research Center, Muir Island, Scotland; Magneto's Island, Berm
  • Current Members

    • Professor X
    • Cyclops (Scott Summers)
    • Phoenix (Jean Grey)
    • Angel (Warren Worthington III)
    • Beast (Henry McCoy)
    • Iceman
    • Colossus (Piotr Rasputin)
    • Nightcrawler
    • Rogue
    • Kate Pryde
    • Storm
    • Wolverine (James Howlett)
    • Magik (Illyana Rasputin)
  • Former Members

    • Banshee (Sean Cassidy)
    • Beast (Henry McCoy)
    • Bishop (Lucas Bishop)
    • Cable (Nathan Summers)
    • Chamber
    • Changeling
    • Darwin
    • Forge
    • Havok (Alex Summers)
    • Jubilee
    • Juggernaut (Cain Marko)
    • Lady Mastermind
    • Lifeguard
    • Lockheed
    • Longshot
    • Maggott
    • Marrow
    • Marvel Girl (Rachel Summers)
    • Mystique
    • Mimic (Calvin Rankin)
    • Phoenix (Jean Grey)
    • Kwannon (Psylocke)
    • Cecilia Reyes
    • Sabretooth
    • Sage
    • Slipstream
    • Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida)
    • Sway
    • Thunderbird (John Proudstar)
    • Thunderbird (Neal Shaara)
    • Vulcan (Gabriel Summers)
    • Xorn
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Xavier’s Expectations

As a young man, Charles Xavier first witnessed the horrific potential for evil mutants during an encounter with the Shadow King. Xavier narrowly defeated his enemy in psychic warfare, which ended the life of Amahl Farouk, the Shadow King’s physical host. Years later, Charles befriended Max Eisenhardt, a fellow mutant who had taken on the name Erik Magnus Lehnsherr. Xavier and Lehnsherr initially kept their powers to themselves while sharing spirited debates about the implications of mutants in the modern world. They were forced to reveal their abilities to each other when their mutual friend, Gabrielle Haller, was kidnapped by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and his Hydra forces.

Lehnsherr’s mastery of magnetism and Xavier’s telepathy overwhelmed Strucker and his men, but the union between the two mutants was short lived. The duo parted ways over their deep philosophical differences regarding the place of mutants in the world. Magnus adopted his Magneto persona and advocated mutant supremacy, while Xavier believed in peaceful co-existence with humanity.

Although he lost the use of his legs while preventing an alien called Lucifer from leading the Quists’ invasion of the Earth, Xavier continued to refine his approach towards his dream of human and mutant unity. Because of his reputation as a geneticist and a psychologist, Xavier was called upon to help Jean Grey, a young girl whose telepathic gift had rendered her catatonic. Charles used mental blocks to dampen Jean’s telepathy while allowing her telekinetic abilities to emerge.

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Years later, Xavier saved Scott Summers from the Living Diamond and a possible life of crime. Summers became one of the first students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where he took on the codename Cyclops. Subsequent recruits included Bobby Drake (Iceman), Warren Worthington III (Angel), and Hank McCoy (Beast). Together with Jean Grey as Marvel Girl, they became the original X-Men under the tutelage and leadership of Xavier as Professor X.

The X-Men received their first test when Magneto seized control of the Cape Citadel military base. Even though the team was inexperienced, the supposed Master of Magnetism was forced to flee. Their successful debut led the X-Men to be hailed as heroes, and they subsequently took on the Vanisher, the Blob, Unus the Untouchable, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. In response, Magneto recruited the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Toad, and Mastermind for his own team: the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The Brotherhood proved to be very dangerous foes, although Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver had sympathy for humanity which prevented Magneto from destroying their rivals.

Shortly after the X-Men’s first encounter with the Avengers and Xavier’s rematch with Lucifer, the team discovered the prehistoric jungle known as the Savage Land and befriended Ka-Zar. When they returned home, Professor X’s estranged stepbrother, Cain Marko, made his debut as the unstoppable Juggernaut and attacked the group. As public opinion turned against mutants, Dr. Bolivar Trask unveiled his mutant hunting giant robots: the Sentinels. Because of their programing, the Sentinels decided that the only way to protect humanity was by controlling it. Trask gave his life to stop them, but his son, Larry, eventually rebuilt the Sentinels.

Mimic became the sixth member of the X-Men, although his personality clashes with the other students meant that his stay was a short one. The team also made a new ally when they freed Banshee from the control of Factor Three and the Mutant Master. Following Factor Three’s defeat, Xavier began making preparations to head off an invasion by the Z’nox, a powerful alien race. By chance, Factor Three’s shapeshifting operative, Changeling, approached Professor X with a desire to reform. Charles accepted Changeling’s offer and allowed him to step into the role of Xavier himself. The false Professor soon fell in battle, leaving the team to believe their mentor was dead.

Although they were officially disbanded, the X-Men remained in each other’s lives. An early confrontation with Mesmero led the team to Lorna Dane, a young woman who inherited her magnetic powers from her father, Magneto. Cyclops’ younger brother, Alex Summers, also joined the team as Havok. After his initial battle alongside the X-Men, Havok was injured and placed in the care of Dr. Karl Lykos. While Lykos was not a mutant himself, he was an energy vampire who took advantage of his patients to keep himself fed. But when Lykos drained Havok, he became a pterodactyl-like creature who called himself Sauron.

After defeating Sauron and encountering the Japanese mutant, Sunfire, the X-Men discovered that Xavier was still alive. Jean revealed that she had known all along and helped Professor X prepare for the Z’nox invasion. The final battle nearly killed the real Xavier, but the X-Men were once again able to revive their mentor. As the team returned to the Savage Land to learn about Magneto’s fate, Xavier and his former lover, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, began training a new team of X-Men: Petra, Sway, Darwin, and Vulcan, the secret brother of Cyclops and Havok.

When the first group of X-Men was captured and fed upon by the living island of Krakoa, Professor X sent the new team to save them over the objections of MacTaggert. This proved to be a disastrous decision, as the untested mutants were seemingly killed by Krakoa. Xavier used his powers to erase Cyclops’ memories of the tragedy, and he quickly assembled an international squad that included Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Storm, Colossus, and Wolverine, as well as Banshee and Sunfire. Together, they rescued the original X-Men and sent Krakoa hurling into space.

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Many of the original members soon departed, as did Sunfire. Thunderbird died during his first mission while fighting Count Nefaria, and Jean Grey very nearly perished soon after. Following a battle with the Sentinels in a space station, Jean took it upon herself to safely pilot the shuttle back to Earth. Her body was exposed to a lethal dose of radiation, but a cosmic entity called the Phoenix offered a chance to survive. The Phoenix assumed Jean’s mind and physical appearance, while her physical form was cocooned and hidden while she healed from her ordeal.

The false Jean emerged from the shuttle crash and declared herself to be the Phoenix. The X-Men were soon drawn into a battle with cosmic stakes as Lilandra of the Shi’ar Empire sought Xavier’s help with her brother, the mad emperor, D’ken. The X-Men traveled to space and overcame D’ken and his Imperial Guard, which left Lilandra installed as the new leader of her people. Phoenix’s powers grew exponentially, but she came under the mental influence of Mastermind, through his Jason Wyngarde persona.

Over the course of a few months, Mastermind unlocked the darker side of Phoenix’s mind in an attempt to remake her in the image of the Hellfire Club. The X-Men were defeated by the Club while recruiting a teenager named Kitty Pryde. Although Phoenix decisively defeated the White Queen (Emma Frost) in battle, her transformation into the new Black Queen was soon completed. Mastermind pushed his luck by forcing Phoenix to witness the psychic murder of her true love, Cyclops. She broke free from Mastermind’s control and left him in a catatonic state.

No longer able to control herself, Phoenix became Dark Phoenix and attacked her friends shortly before she consumed a star and sentenced the D’Bari race to extinction. While the X-Men were able to help Phoenix regain control of her malevolent impulses, Lilandra and the Shi’ar Empire declared that Jean Grey had to be destroyed for the sake of the universe. The X-Men fought valiantly for their friend, but the Phoenix felt her control slipping away and decided to commit suicide to prevent Dark Phoenix’s return. Devastated by his loss, Cyclops left the team. Storm took over as the leader, while Angel returned to the fold and Kitty Pryde was enrolled in the school.

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Angel’s reunion with the X-Men didn’t last very long, but Cyclops returned in time to face Magneto in battle alongside the rest of the team. The longtime villain nearly killed Kitty during the fight, and his grief stricken response forced him to reevaluate his priorities. In the Shi’ar Empire, Lilandra was overthrown by her sister, Deathbird, and the parasitic aliens known as the Brood. The X-Men were subsequently captured and implanted with Brood eggs. Even Xavier was unable to escape the Brood, as he was implanted and subconsciously ordered to form a team of New Mutants. The X-Men returned from space intact, but were unable to prevent Professor X’s final transformation into a Brood. To save their leader’s life, they allowed the Shi’ar to place Xavier’s mind in a clone body that still had use of its legs.

When the underground mutant society called the Morlocks kidnapped Angel, Storm assumed control of them by defeating their leader, Callisto, in combat. A short time later, Rogue defected from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and joined the team in return for Xavier’s help with her powers. The X-Men were initially distrustful of Rogue, but she won them over by saving Wolverine’s fiancee, Mariko Yashida, and Colossus. Cyclops also found love with a woman named Madelyne Pryor, who looked and sounded just like Jean Grey.

Mastermind attempted to get his revenge on the team by convincing them that Madelyne was actually Dark Phoenix reborn, but Cyclops was able to hold off the X-Men long enough to expose their old foe. Cyclops and Madelyne subsequently married and left the team, but the first Secret Wars forced Scott Summers to fight by their side on Battleworld. Upon their return to Earth, Rogue was targeted by U.S. government agents who attempted to depower her with a device created by Forge, a mutant inventor.

Despite Forge’s best efforts to prevent the untested weapon from being used, Storm was hit by a blast meant for Rogue and stripped of her mutant powers. Forge took Storm in and helped her recover from her ordeal, but their feelings for each other were complicated when she discovered his part in the loss of her abilities. Around the same time, Rachel Summers, the daughter of Jean Grey and Cyclops from an alternate future, found herself stuck in the past alongside the X-Men. Rachel quickly joined the team and claimed the powers and the codename of Phoenix as her own.

Due to a brutal physical assault and other issues with his body, Xavier’s health rapidly declined and he neared death. Charles reconciled with Magneto and convinced his one-time rival to take his place as the headmaster of the school and leader of the X-Men. Lilandra and the Starjammers arrived in time to save Xavier’s life, but with no expectation that he would ever be able to return to Earth. Magneto reluctantly accepted the responsibility, although the rest of the X-Men were very hesitant to trust him.

Changing times meant that the X-Men actually had to unite with the Hellfire Club to defeat Nimrod, a powerful Sentinel from the future. Meanwhile, the real Jean Grey was discovered in her cocoon by the Avengers and awakened by the Fantastic Four. Upon hearing the news, Cyclops left his wife and baby son behind to join Jean, Iceman, Beast, and Angel in X-Factor. Using a public guise as mutant hunters, X-Factor secretly gathered young mutants and placed them under their protection.

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The Mutant Massacre changed everything for the X-Men. Mr. Sinister’s Marauders slaughtered most of the Morlocks, and left three X-Men critically wounded: Kitty Pryde, Colossus, and Nightcrawler. Psylocke, Dazzler, Longshot, and Havok were added to the team, as they stayed away from their familiar home and sought new alliances. Magneto and Storm were even added to the Hellfire Club, although they refused to take part in the morally corrupt aspects of that group. Storm received a warning about Forge that led her to believe he was trying to reopen a portal to a nether realm. Storm even tried to kill Forge to prevent it, before she realized that she had been tricked by their true enemy, the Adversary.

Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men followed Storm to Dallas, where they learned that the Adversary could only be stopped by sacrificing their lifeforce as part of Forge’s counterspell. A re-empowered Storm joined her team, and Madelyne Pryor, to make the ultimate sacrifice on live television. The X-Men were dead, but not for long. The goddess, Roma, resurrected the group but allowed Magneto, the New Mutants, and the rest of the world to believe they were gone forever.

Secretly, the X-Men relocated to Australia and forcefully evicted the Reavers from a remote town. The team converted the base into their new home, and Gateway, a silent mutant teleporter, helped them travel the world in the blink of an eye. Wolverine and Storm discovered that Jean was alive, but were unsure how to handle that revelation. Madelyne and Havok began an affair of their own, as she was seduced by the forces of evil who turned her into the Goblin Queen.

The Goblin Queen ignited an Inferno in New York, as Limbo’s demons invaded and corrupted the city and its people. Even the X-Men were not immune to their influence, and Havok became Madelyne’s Goblin Prince. By joining with X-Factor, the X-Men were able to prevent Madelyne from sacrificing her son and they restored New York to its normal state at the cost of Pryor, revealed to be a Mister Sinister-created clone of Jean Grey. The two teams also defeated Sinister and the Marauders in decisive fashion before parting ways once more.

In Los Angeles, a young mutant named Jubilee witnessed Storm, Dazzler, Rogue, and Psylocke in action. Jubilee was quickly impressed by the way they saved her life, and she secretly followed them back through a portal to their Australian headquarters. The team’s resolve had been badly tested by the Inferno, and they were stunned by the twin blows of Rogue’s disappearance through the Siege Perilous and Storm’s apparent death at the hands of an errant blast from Havok.

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The X-Men were unable to prevent Zaladane and her Mutates from seizing control of the Savage Land. Returning home in poor spirits, Psylocke seized the opportunity to force the team to go through the Siege Perilous and be reborn with new lives before the resurgent Reavers could capture them. Wolverine wasn’t as lucky, and the Reavers ambushed him upon his return. Unable to leave Wolverine behind, Jubilee finally revealed her presence to him and helped sneak him out of the town. In New Orleans, Storm emerged as a child who quickly made friends with a thief named Gambit while avoiding the Shadow King’s new minions.

Halfway across the world, Forge and Banshee became convinced that the X-Men were still alive, even as they faced attempts on their own lives. Dazzler, Colossus, and Psylocke returned with no memories of their old existence, while Rogue reappeared with her memories intact but separated from Ms. Marvel’s personality. Havok was reborn in Genosha as a mutant soldier loyal to the country that oppressed his race. When Genoshan forces kidnapped Storm and members of the New Mutants, the X-Men, X-Factor, and remaining New Mutants converged on the country to save them. Storm was restored to her true age and Havok regained his memories by the end of the conflict.

After a brief respite, Gambit, Forge, Banshee, Storm, Wolverine, Psylocke, and Jubilee suited up as a new team of X-Men moments before they were shanghaied by Lila Cheney and Deathbird. Superpowered Skrulls had infiltrated the Shi’ar Empire and taken the place of Charles Xavier, the Starjammers, and the Imperial Guard. The X-Men turned the tables on the Skrulls and reunited with their mentor before returning to Earth with him. In the Savage Land, Rogue, Magneto, Ka-Zar, and Nick Fury were able to defeat Zaladane, but Magnus’ willingness to murder their enemy ended his burgeoning romantic bond with Rogue.

The Shadow King took control of the X-Men upon their arrival at Muir Island, forcing X-Factor to once again help their founder save the team. In the battle, Xavier was crippled again and his son, David Haller, was rendered comatose. Undaunted, Professor X invited his original students to rejoin the X-Men, and the roster was split into the Gold Team and the Blue Team. The return of Magneto and his Acolytes nearly ended the reunited X-Men before they began, but Magnus was believed to be dead after the treachery of Fabian Cortez. Soon after, Bishop, a mutant from the future, joined the team.

When the Legacy Virus emerged and threatened the lives of all mutants, Magneto made his dramatic return and successfully recruited Colossus to the Acolytes while pushing humanity and mutants to the brink of war. Xavier personally led a team of X-Men to Magneto’s mutant sanctuary satellite, Avalon, where the Master of Magnetism brutally pulled the Adamantium from Wolverine’s bones. In response, Professor X wiped Magneto’s mind and inadvertently created the Onslaught entity, which was made from their two personas.

Logan left the team to recover from his injuries, while Xavier took in the ferocious Sabretooth as a prisoner whom he believed could be redeemed just as Wolverine had. After the alien Phalanx nearly assimilated the mutant race, Xavier’s son, David, awoke from his coma with an idea to give his father the dream he always wanted. Legion planned to use his nearly limitless powers to travel back in time to murder Magneto before he could challenge Xavier’s dream. Instead, David accidentally killed Xavier, which created the alternate timeline known as the Age of Apocalypse. In that world, Magneto led the X-Men against Apocalypse and his horsem*n.

Bishop lived for 20 years in the alternate timeline before his memory returned. He was able to convince Magneto and the X-Men to restore the original timeline and he helped them defeat Apocalypse as well. However, the X-Men’s problems escalated in the restored reality, as Xavier’s Onslaught persona grew more powerful and deadly, it seized control of Professor X’s body and very nearly killed the team before Bishop was once again able to save the day.

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In the end, the combined forces of the X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four proved to be insufficient to stop Onslaught even after he was physically separated from Xavier. The non-mutant heroes discovered that they could disrupt Onslaught’s energy form by jumping inside of him, and called upon the X-Men to finish the job. Franklin Richards was able to save the heroes by transporting them to an alternate universe, but the X-Men believed their colleagues were killed in action.

Xavier willingly allowed himself to be taken into custody despite the loss of his powers. Bastion and other anti-mutant figures manipulated the public’s mass hysteria over the loss of the heroes and unleashed Operation: Zero Tolerance against the X-Men and their allies. When Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, Cannonball, and Storm were captured by Bastion, Iceman recruited Marrow and Dr. Cecilia Reyes as emergency members of the team to help him rescue his friends. Meanwhile, out in space, Rogue, Joseph (a young clone of Magneto), Gambit, Beast, and Bishop faced a Phalanx incursion on behalf of the Shi’ar. Bishop was kidnapped by Deathbird before the team could return, and the rest of the X-Men were forced by the real Magneto to place Gambit on trial for his crimes against mutants.

The returning X-Men were joined by Maggot, a South African mutant who was searching for Magneto. During the mock trial, the X-Men learned Gambit had led the Mauraders to the Morlocks before the Mutant Massacre, even though he wasn’t aware of their murderous intentions. Distraught, Rogue abandoned Gambit and he was left stranded in Antarctica. The X-Men reunited in time to save Cyclops from a bomb implanted in his chest by Bastion. Soon after, Cyclops and Phoenix left the team while Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and Nightcrawler returned to help rescue Xavier and bring him home. Gambit showed up soon after, and he was provisionally welcomed back to the fold.

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While the X-Men regrouped, Magneto came up with an idea to force humanity to create a homeland for mutants by seizing control of Earth’s magnetic field. The subsequent battle cost Joseph his life and Magneto most of his powers, but it gave the latter what he wanted: Genosha as a country for mutants that was under his complete control. Yet soon enough, Magneto once again fought side-by-side with the X-Men when Apocalypse returned. In that battle, Apocalypse’s body was mortally wounded, and he physically bonded with Cyclops to save his own life. Unwilling to believe that her husband was gone, Jean recruited Cable, and the two searched for Cyclops, eventually exorcising Apocalypse from his mind and body.

Cyclops’ reunion with the X-Men soon exposed him as a changed man. During a mission to stop Magneto’s plans of conquest in Genosha, Summers demonstrated a reckless streak that alarmed even Wolverine. Xavier’s evil twin, Cassandra Nova, quickly capitalized on Magneto’s latest defeat by destroying Genosha with Sentinels and killing millions of mutants who lived there. Emma Frost emerged as one of the few survivors, thanks to a secondary mutation which transformed her flesh into diamond. She subsequently joined the New X-Men alongside Cyclops, Wolverine, Phoenix, Beast, and Kuan-Yin Xorn.

Xavier was extremely dispirited by Cassandra’s actions and a subsequent riot at the school. He expressed his desire to step down and name Jean Grey as his successor. At the same time, Jean discovered that her husband was having a psychic affair with Emma Frost, which appeared to make the beleaguered psychic even more susceptible to the Phoenix Force’s returning influence. Xorn seemingly revealed himself to be Magneto—later in turn outed as an imposter—and he brutally took control of Manhattan and nearly killed the X-Men in the process. When he was defeated, the faux Magneto killed Jean Grey with a massive magnetic stroke, and Wolverine quickly decapitated him.

Over a century in the future, Jean was reborn as the White Phoenix of the Crown. To prevent a dark timeline from playing out, Jean telepathically encouraged Cyclops to pursue a real relationship with Frost as the new co-headmasters of the Xavier Institute. Meanwhile, Xavier discovered that Xorn was not Magneto, and the real Master of Magnetism was still alive in Genosha. Professor X and Magneto worked closely together to rebuild the island nation until they learned that Magnus’ supposed daughter, the Scarlet Witch, had gone mad and lost control of her reality altering powers.

Afraid that Magneto would allow Earth’s heroes to harm his sister, Quicksilver convinced Scarlet Witch to change the world in their favor. Their House of M timeline was a place where mutants controlled everything and humanity was a quickly fading species. Slowly, the heroes, and even Magneto himself, became aware of the lie that their world had become. After Magneto attempted to kill his own son in revenge, the Scarlet Witch declared “No More Mutants” and depowered 98% of the world’s mutant population.

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This had the unintended effect of awakening Vulcan from his death-like state in a portion of Krakoa that remained in orbit of Earth. Angered by Xavier’s actions and eager for vengeance, Vulcan lashed out and killed Banshee while exposing the truth to the rest of the X-Men. With Xavier now powerless and disgraced, Cyclops told his one-time teacher that he was no longer welcome among the team. Although Rachel managed to separate Darwin from Vulcan before he fled, the X-Men weren’t able to prevent Gabriel Summers from heading into space to attack the Shi’ar.

Xavier, Havok, Polaris, Warpath, Darwin, Nightcrawler, and Rachel Grey went on an unsanctioned mission to retrieve Vulcan, which ended in disaster. While Xavier’s powers were restored, Vulcan seized control of the Shi’ar empire and murdered his own father, Corsair. Havok, Polaris, and Rachel remained in space with the Starjammers, while Xavier, Warpath, Darwin, and Hepzibah returned to Earth against their will.

Hope Summers became the first mutant birth since Scarlet Witch’s actions on M Day. Subsequently, the X-Men and Mister Sinister’s Marauders engaged in deadly race to find Hope, who was protected by Cable. However, Bishop believed that Hope would be personally responsible for countless deaths in his future, so he betrayed the team and attempted to assassinate her before she could fulfill that destiny. In his anger, Bishop accidentally shot Xavier in the head as Cable and baby Hope escaped into the future.

Xavier’s life was saved by Exodus and the Acolytes, who deemed him too important to die given the circ*mstances. After he was healed, Professor X went on a journey of self-discovery while coming to terms with his past misdeeds. Xavier even helped Rogue finally gain control of her powers. The X-Men relocated to San Francisco, and found themselves welcomed by the people who lived there. That honeymoon period ended quickly, when Norman Osborn attempted to bring down the team and create his own Dark X-Men.

In response, Cyclops raised a portion of Magneto’s former satellite headquarters and dubbed it Utopia, a new sovereign nation for mutants located just off the coast of California. In the name of mutant unity, Magneto even acknowledged Cyclops as the leader of the nation and submitted to his authority. Months later, Cable returned from the future with Hope fully grown and on the cusp of her mutant powers. Bastion and his followers did everything they could to take out the “Mutant Messiah,” but she proved to be too powerful for them when fighting alongside the X-Men.

Cyclops’ stint as the unchallenged leader of mutants came to an end when a much younger incarnation of the Hellfire Club struck at the team. With the adult members of the X-Men incapacitated during an attack, Cyclops gave Oya his tacit permission to kill their enemies even though she was a child. Enraged, Wolverine fought Cyclops even during an assault from an advanced Sentinel. Disgusted by the turn of events. Wolverine elected to leave the team and reopen the newly renamed Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Many prominent X-Men joined Wolverine, effectively splitting Utopia’s residents in two.

The tensions between the two X-Men teams were inflamed by the Phoenix Force’s return to Earth. The Avengers wanted to isolate Hope with the belief that the Phoenix was coming for her. Cyclops believed the Phoenix’s return was potentially good for the mutants, so he violently disagreed with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. In the subsequent war between the teams, the Phoenix was split between five hosts: Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik. While the Phoenix-empowered mutants were able to defeat their teammates and begin remaking the world, the rest of the X-Men grew afraid of their powers and actions.

Charles Xavier made a direct appeal to Cyclops, but was murdered by the Phoenix. Cyclops became the new Dark Phoenix and was nearly unstoppable until Hope and the Scarlet Witch were able to coax the Phoenix Force away. Using their combined powers, Hope and Scarlet Witch undid the effects of M Day by making the Phoenix restore the potential for more mutants. Cyclops was imprisoned, but unrepentant about securing a future for his people. Scott Summers’ loyalists helped him escape from captivity, and he became an even bigger rebel figure.

Fearing a mutant civil war, Beast brought the five original X-Men forward in time to confront the older Cyclops and convince him to change his ways. This move completely backfired, and stranded the first X-Men team in the present with seemingly no way to return without altering the timeline even further. The rise of the Inhumans also complicated matters when the Terrigen mists in the atmosphere proved to be lethal to mutants. The elder Cyclops was among the first to perish from the mists’ affects.

X-Men In Comics Members, Enemies, Powers | Marvel (15)

The White Queen refused to let Cyclops’ legacy end so easily, and she faked his survival while goading the mutants and the Inhumans into a war. She even tricked the opposing armies to believe that Black Bolt murdered Cyclops. When the conflict inevitably escalated, the truth was exposed and the Inhuman queen, Medusa, willingly destroyed the remaining Terrigen to save the mutants from extinction.

Ashamed by her role in the war, Storm announced her intent to leave the X-Men behind. However, Kitty Pryde refused to accept her friends resignation. Instead, Kitty assumed control of the newly renamed Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, which she relocated to Central Park. The original five X-Men remain in the present and have aligned with Magneto in Madripoor. Recently, the Phoenix Force resurrected Jean Grey and attempted to bond with her again. Jean rejected the Phoenix, and formed her own team of X-Men, which is currently operating out of Wakanda.

X-Men In Comics Members, Enemies, Powers | Marvel (16)

Essential Reading

Uncanny X-Men Must-Reads

The X-Men are the Children of the Atom-young men and women with extraordinary abilities led by the mutant telepath Charles Xavier. Even in a world where hom*o Sapiens hate and fear them, the X-Men stand together as protectors of humanity and mutantkind alike. Check out these great entry points into one of comics' most celebrated series - Uncanny X-Men!


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