Marvel’s most famous mutants have been around for nearly fifty years and in that half-century a lot of great, not so great, and just bad stories have been told. Below we’ve collected what we think are the ten best X stories ever told across all of the Marvel “X” titles. This includes everything from X-Men to Wolverine stories. If it’s mutant, it was considered.
#1 Days of Future Past (Uncanny X-Men #141-142)
This was a tough one to put above Dark Phoenix as they can both be considered the best of the best. But Claremont and Byrne’s original story that saw Wolverine and Kitty in a future ruled by Sentinels and all of the X-Men dead has never been topped. Even nearly thirty years after it was originally published, it’s still one of the two definitive X-stories ever told.
#2 Dark Phoenix Saga (Uncanny X-Men #129-138)
It’s a shame we’ll likely never see a movie with the real Dark Phoenix story, and it’s sad that kids today are growing up with X-Men The Last Stand as their introduction to what is one of the most epic stories Marvel ever put in print. While the more recent Phoenix stories in the X-books have spiraled into utmost stupidity, Claremont’s original fall of Jean Grey is still unbelievably amazing to this day. She eats suns. C’mon. That’s awesome.
#3 God Loves, Man Kills (Marvel Graphic Novel #5)
This is what X2 was loosely based on, and is yet another amazing storyline by Claremont. While some fans may feel the enemies were a little over the top, it’s one of those classic X-Men stories that’s become really part of the backbone of the mythos.
#4 Gifted (Astonishing X-Men 1-6)
It doesn’t matter what your opinion on Joss Whedon is, some hate him and a lot more worship him, but his run on Astonishing is really what nailed him the job of directing The Avengers. His first six issues on that book were easily the best. He brought back Colossus and introduced the mutant cure that would late be used in the third movie. For a little while it was almost like he was channeling Claremont.
#5 Weapon X (Marvel Comics Presents #72-84)
This is the original “origin” of Wolverine explaining how he got that Adamantium skeleton as well as his claws. In this story, the claws were the result of too much Adamantium being bonded to his arms. Years later that would be retconned out for bone claws.
#6 X-Men 1-3 (X-Men, Vol 2 #1-3)
This was the launch of the new X-Men series with Jim Lee and Chris Claremont. It was also the end of Claremont’s initial 17-year run of steward of the X-Men. And it was a classic, and epic, send off for him. The teams face off against Magneto on Asteroid M in a story that wouldn’t really be continued the way Claremont wanted until X-Men Forever.
#7 House of M
You can get on Quesada’s case for his bonehead decisions regarding Spider-Man, and some fans may not like what happened to the mutants in this crossover, but it was excellent. Scarlet Witch’s breakdown and the resulting alternate reality was even better than the Age of Apocalypse timeline Marvel did a decade before.
This immediately followed House of M and detailed the massive de-powering of the majority of the world’s mutants. It’s a story where the repercussions are still being felt in the X-books.
#9 Fatal Attractions
Why is the story that retconned Weapon X included on this list? Because, like some of the recent crossovers, this was a story that had major ripples through the X-books. Magneto ripping the Adamantium off Wolverine’s bones was a shocker and changed the course of the books for quite a while.
#10 Age of Apocalypse
A really good alternate universe tale that did affect the main Marvel timeline in some ways. Xavier dead, Magneto the good guy, and a world ruled by Apocalypse.