The X-Men are in an better place than ever. In the comics, the end of the Krakoa Era of books is leading to a raft of new titles. However, more importantly to pop culture at large is the premiere of X-Men ’97, a sequel to the early ’90s animated series that a generation of X-Men fans grew up with. The show had always dug into X-Men history, mostly the 1980s heyday of writer Chris Claremont’s epic run, but did it with a distinctively ’90s flair. The look and feel of the show fits the X-Men comics of the decade of extreme, and may drive fans to the comics of those days to capture some of that flavor.

The ’90s were the X-Men’s victory lap, but they are also considered one of the more convoluted periods of X-Men history. This can make this period extremely difficult to get into for new readers, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are several stories from that bygone decade that a fan of X-Men ’97 could easily pick up and understand without doing years of reading, stories that will give them the same feel as Marvel Studios’ newest animated series.

Important Developments:

This was the last story of writer Chris Claremont’s seventeen-year run It began a cycle of Magneto stories that would last til the end of the decade The story introduced the incredibly popular Blue and Gold Teams Jim Lee’s designs inspired X-Men: The Animated Series and X-Nen ’97.


10 Most Powerful Female X-Men

Marvel’s X-Men team is packed with strong and fearsome female mutants, some with incredible powers and leadership qualities to match.

In 1991, Uncanny X-Men was the biggest book in the land, and Marvel decided to capitalize on that. They announced the release of a second X-Men title, X-Men (Vol. 2), with writer Chris Claremont writing both books. However, Claremont’s plans for the two books were scrapped to give artists like Jim Lee and Whilce Potracio more power over the future of the X-Men. Claremont decided it was time to go, but not before one last hurrah. He would stay on as writer of X-Men (Vol. 2) #1-3,along with Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Joe Rosas, and Tom Orzechowski, and give readers a story that has gone down in the pantheon of greatest Magneto stories of all time.

X-Men (Vol. 2) #1-3were built for new readers and have been collected as X-Men: Mutant Genesis. Claremont was an expert at writing stories for new fans, setting the stage and giving a new reader everything they needed. Claremont does an excellent job condensing years and years of Magneto’s plots into entertaining lore dumps. The action in the issues is phenomenal. Claremont always worked very well with artists, allowing them to shine, and Lee is at the height of his powers for these three issues. The story keeps stringing readers along, dropping more and more on them until a shocking ending sets up the next phase of Magneto’s story in the ’90s.

In many ways, Mutant Genesis was the peak of the X-Men in the 1990s. It combines the best X-Men writer ever with an artist that many consider the greatest X-Men artist and tells the ultimate story about the team’s most storied adversary. Some good stories come later in the decade, but few can match this one. Uncanny X-Men got a similar reboot around this time. While it’s pretty good, it also has a very different tone from X-Men (Vol. 2), and there isn’t any one story from that book for a new reader to pick up; instead, each issue follows from the one before it. This makes it rather difficult to recommend to a new reader. There are still some excellent issues, but it’s a bit more complicated than X-Men (Vol. 2).

An honorable mention goes to X-Men (Vol. 2) #4-7, by Scott Lobdell, Jim Lee, Art Thibert, Joe Rosas, and Tom Orzechowski, which shines a light on some of Wolverine’s mysterious past and pits the X-Men against Matsuo Tsurayaba and the Hand, as well as Omega Red. Lee’s run as co-writer/artist would last until issue eleven and each issue is worth checking out. The writing doesn’t always rise to the level of Claremont, but the stories are exciting and Lee’s pencils are a treat.

Fatal Attractions Sees The X-Men Pay A Grievous Price For Defeating Magneto




Release Date

“The Man Who Wasn’t There”

X-Factor #92

Scott Lobdell, Joe Quesada, J.M. DeMatteis, Joe Quesada, Al Milgrom, Cliff van Meter, Glynis Oliver and Richard Starkings

July, 1993

“Back to Front”

X-Force #25

Fabian Nicieza, Greg Capullo, Bob Wiacek, Daniel Green, Paul Ryan, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Hanna, Kevin Conrad, Al Milgrom, George Roussos and Chris Eliopoulos

August, 1993

“…For What I Have Done”

Uncanny X-Men #304

Scott Lobdell, Jae Lee, Chris Sprouse, Brandon Peterson, Paul Smith, John Romita, Jr., Terry Austin, Dan Green, Dan Panosian, Tom Palmer, Keith Williams, Mike Thomas and Chris Eliopoulos

September, 1993

“Dreams Fade”

X-Men (Vol. 2) #25

Fabian Nicieza, Andy Kubert, Matt Ryan, Joe Rosas, and Bill Oakley

October, 1993

“Nightmares Persist”

Wolverine (Vol. 2) #75

Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Dan Green, Mark Pennington, Steve Buccellato and Pat Brosseau

November, 1993

“Crossing Swords”

Excalibur #71

Scott Lobdell, Ken Lashley, Darick Robertson, Matthew Ryan, Cam Smith, Randy Elliott, Randy Emberlin, Mark Nelson, Joe Rosas, Bill Oakley, Pat Brosseau and Dave Sharpe

November, 1993


X-Men Killed an Iconic Mutant, But Marvel Already Destroyed Its Impact

Marvel’s publicity department ruined the impact of a major Marvel mutant’s death during the X-Men’s Fall of X crossover event

The departure of Jim Lee and Whilce Potracio from X-Men and Uncanny X-Men to found Image Comics would be a blow for the X-Men titles. Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza, who had been scripting the two books with the artists, would take over as the primary writers, with Lobdell going to Uncanny and Nicieza to X-Men. They’re immediately thrown into the Cable-centric crossover X-Cutioner’s Song, which crossed through almost all of the X-Men team books. This story is extremely important to characters like Cable and Stryfe, but it’s difficult for a new reader to pick up.

However, the next big X-Men crossover is extremely important to X-Men history. Fatal Attractions ran through X-Factor, X-Force, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men (Vol. 2), and Wolverine (Vol. 2)and would have massive consequences for the X-Men books in the years to come. The story featured the return of Magneto, thought dead since the events of X-Men (Vol. 2). He would send his servant Exodus to bring worthy mutants to his new base Avalon. Once Magneto had gathered his flock, he detonated a massive EMP, crippling the world and forcing the X-Men into action.

Important Developments

Colossus leaves the X-Men and joins Magneto’s Acolytes Magneto removes the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton, nearly killing him Professor X mindwipes Magneto, setting up the forthcoming Onslaught storyline Wolverine’s claws are revealed to be bone and not implants put in him by Weapon X

Fatal Attractions took readers across the gamut of the X-Men side of the Marvel Universe and showed just how important of a foe Magneto is. It’s a story with major consequences and sets in motion multiple storylines. It’s another story that new readers don’t need too much understanding of prior events to enjoy. Fatal Attractions also leads to some excellent Wolverine stories and lays the seed for Onslaught.

Onslaught is pretty advanced X-Men, and it isn’t something any new fan should try without lots of context. A big reason is that it’s a crossover with the entire Marvel Universe and depends on the reader understanding multiple Marvel comics from the ’90s. It’s better than it gets credit for, but it is the kind of story that readers need a lot of knowledge to understand truly.

The Age Of Apocalypse Is An Undisputed Classic

Revamped Series



Astonishing X-Men

Scott Lobdell, Joe Madureira, Tim Townsend, Dan Green, Steve Buccellato, Digital Chameleon and Chris Eliopoulos

Rogue’s team of X-Men fight to save humanity from Apocalypse by taking down his Horsemen.

Amazing X-Men

Fabian Nicieza, Greg Capullo, Bob Wiacek, Daniel Green, Paul Ryan, Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Hanna, Kevin Conrad, Al Milgrom, George Roussos and Chris Eliopoulos

Quicksilver’s team of X-Men works to help humanity evacuate the US while protecting Bishop from Apocalypse’s Horsemen.

Weapon X

Larry Hama, Adam Kubert, Karl Kesel, Dan Green, Chris Warner, Mike Thomas and Pat Brosseau

It follows Logan and Jean Grey’s work for the High Human Council as humans prepare for a nuclear strike against the US.

Generation Next

Scott Lobdell, Chris Bachalo, Mark Buckingham, Steve Buccellato, Electric Crayon, Richard Starkings and Comicraft

It follows the trainee team led by Colossus and Shadowcat as they break into the Seattle Core to find Illyana Rasputin.


Jeph Loeb, Steve Skroce, Mike Sellers, Cam Smith, Bud Larosa, Will Conrad, Mike Thomas and Comicraft

Nate Grey, a spawn of Cyclops and Jean Grey’s DNA created by Sinister to kill Apocalypse, goes into hiding with Forge.

Factor X

John Francis Moore, Steve Epting, Al Milgrom, Glynis Oliver, Richard Starkings and Comicraft

It follows Cyclops, Havok, Dark Beast, Northstar, Aurora, Cannonball and his sister Elizabeth, and the Bedlam Twins as they work for Apocalypse.


Warren Ellis, Ken Lashley, Phil Moy, Bud LaRosa, Tom Wegrzyn, Joe Rosas, Digital Chameleon, Richard Starkings and Comicraft

Nightcrawler embarks on a secret mission to find Mystique and Destiny for Magneto.

Gambit And The X-ternals

Fabian Nicieza, Tony Daniel, Kevin Conrad, Marie Javins and Chris Eliopoulos

Gambit’s team—Jubilee, Strong Guy, Lila Cheney, and Sunspot—is sent after the M’Kraan Crystal.

X-Men Chronicles

Howard Mackie, Terry Dodson, Ian Churchill, Klaus Janson, Scott Hanna, Al Vey, Bob Wiacek, Steve Moncuse, Matt Webb, Digital Chameleon, Richard Starkings and Comicraft

It features two stories from the X-Men’s past that explain the new team’s history before the main AoA timeline


Scott Lobdell, Terry Kavanagh, Carlos Pacheco, Cam Smith, Kevin Somers, Richard Starkings and Comicraft

The two-issue series explored Marvel’s non-mutant heroes like Gwen Stacy, Ben Grimm, Matthew Murdock, and members of the Human High Council.


How To Start Reading Wolverine Comics

From Chris Claremont’s character-defining runs with Wolverine to Mark Millar’s exploratory stories, X-Men fans have a few fantastic jumping-on points.

The Age Of Apocalypse spun out of Legion Quest, a story that crossed between Uncanny X-Men and X-Men (Vol. 2), with a prelude in X-Factor. This story follows Legion going back in time, followed by a group of X-Men. He planned to kill Magneto so that Xavier would have a better life and not abandon Legion as a child because of his dream. However, Xavier takes the shot meant to kill Magneto, which completely changes the world, with only Bishop, a chronal anomaly, remembering the old world.

Apocalypse decides to reveal himself much earlier because there are no X-Men, and he is able to take over the US. Magneto takes up Xavier’s dream and forms his own X-Men, eventually moving the team to the wreckage of the X-Mansion and acting as the resistance against Apocalypse’s mutant empire. The X-Men find Bishop, who tells them about the old world, and a plan is formed to go back in time and stop Legion.

Important Developments:

It takes place entirely in an alternate universe Each X-Men book was canceled and replaced by an AoA book – The story is bookended by X-Men: Alpha and X-Men: Omega X-Man, Dark Beast, Sugar Man, and Holocaust all crossed over into the 616 Universe

The Age Of Apocalypse is an X-Men classic, and it’s perfect for new readers. It doesn’t need prior knowledge and the entire story fits in the books. Now, not every book is good or even integral to the story. A new reader’s best bet is to read Astonishing, Amazing, Weapon X, Generation Next, and Factor X. However, Marvel has put out the story in massive omnibus editions that collect the whole thing. It’s a lot of fun and great to see all kinds of characters in new ways. It’s earned its reputation as one of the best X-Men stories of the ’90s and every new reader who wants to experience ’90s X-Men needs to check it out.

Operation: Zero Tolerance Is A Great X-Men Crossover That Doesn’t Get The Credit It Deserves

Important Developments:

The story introduces readers to Bastion, who was once a Nimrod unit that walked through the Siege Perilous A new type of Sentinel is unveiled in the story – the Prime Sentinels, who are humans dosed with nanites that transform them into mutant-hunting cyborgs Three new members join the team – Marrow, Maggot, and Cecelia Reyes The story ends with the X-Mansion completely stripped and Cyclops and Jean Grey leave the X-Men


The 15 Strongest Omega-Level X-Men, Ranked

The X-Men have no shortage of omega-level mutants whose nearly limitless abilities continue to shape the world for better or worse.

The legacy of Onslaught ultimately leads to an attack on mutants in the excellent Operation: Zero Tolerance. The story crosses through Uncanny X-Men, X-Force, X-Men (Vol. 2), Wolverine, Generation X, and Cable. Each comic deals with a different aspect of the conflict – Uncanny has one issue in the story with Marrow in New York City teaming up with Spider-Man. X-Men (Vol. 2)has Iceman recruit mutants to fight the Prime Sentinels. Wolverine has Wolverine, Storm, Cannonball, Cyclops, and Jean Grey trying to escape OZT custody. Generation X has Jubilee try to escape her own captivity by Bastion while the rest of her team battles Prime Sentinels. Cable and X-Force have their respective casts battling Prime Sentinels.

The two most integral parts of the story to read are X-Men (Vol. 2) #66-70, by Scott Lobdell, Carlos Pacheco, Art Thibert, Liquid!, and Comicraft, and Wolverine (Vol. 2) #115-118, by Larry Hama, Leinil Yu, Edgar Tadeo, Joe Rosas, and Emerson Miranda. Generation X #29-31, by James Robinson, Chris Bachalo, Al Vey, Marie Javins, Richard Starkings, and Emerson Miranda, is kind of important to the story but should be read mostly because they’re just really good comics. Cable and X-Force can be skipped entirely, as they are just crossover issues for the sake of being crossovers and have nothing in them that makes them integral. This story is difficult to find in collected editions, which is a shame. This excellent piece of X-Men history also sets the stage for the next change in X-Men comics.

Hunt For Xavier Sees The X-Men Out To Find Their Lost Mentor

“Hunt For Xavier”


Uncanny X-Men #362-364

Steve Seagle, Chris Bachalo, Leinil Francis Yu, Art Thibert, Tim Townsend, Liquid!, Richard Starkings and Comicraft

X-Men (Vol. 2) #82-84

Joe Kelly, Adam Kubert, Pasqual Ferry, John Dell, Jesse Delperdang, John Livesay, Bob Wiacek, Victor Llamas, Monica Kubina, Richard Isanove, EM, Comicraft and Richard Starkings


X-Men ’97 Gives One Hero Much Deserved Closure

Episode 3 of X-Men ’97 has a fan-favorite hero in the X-Mansion getting an emotional win but there could be residual problems in due time.

Operation: Zero Tolerance ended Scott Lobdell’s tenure as the head writer of the X-Men. Lobdell was replaced by Steve Seagle, who had made a name for himself at DC on The Sandman Mystery Theater, and Joe Kelly, who had been doing a bang-up job on Deadpool (Vol. 3). Their run is amazing, but it also can be quite hard to get into for new readers, even if they’ve finished OZT. Most of the early issues of their run are one-and-done stories and haven’t really been collected. This would mean reading them digitally on Marvel Unlimited or hunting them down in back issue bins.

Uncanny X-Men #353-355is worth hunting down, as they contain some of the best art of Chris Bachalo’s career, and X-Men (Vol. 2) #77-78features the two-part “Psi-War” story, which pits the team against Anansi. Uncanny X-Men #360and X-Men (Vol. 2) #80 see the team pared down to seven members – Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, Marrow, and Rogue – battling against a new team of X-Men that are seemingly brought together by Xavier. Gambit would rejoin the team and that would eventually lead to Hunt For Xavier,

Important Developments:

This story closes out the tale of Cerebro as a sentient villain that began in Uncanny X-Men #360and X-Men (Vol. 2) #80 It introduces the Maninites, who will appear again in 1999’s Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 2) It’s the last major story of the excellent Steve Seagle/Joe Kelly run, a gem of late ’90s X-Men The story reunites the X-Men with Professor X for the first time since 1996’s Onslaught: X-Men

Even though they were on the way out, Seagle and Kelly did an amazing job with the team and wrapped most of their plots very well. Bachalo, Kubert, Yu, and Ferry give readers breathtaking art and exciting action scenes. This story wraps Xavier’s plot of the last few years and sets things up for the last big Magneto story of the ’90s, finishing off a plot thread begun in 1991.

Magneto War Sees Magneto Triumphant

Important Developments

This story reveals the truth behind Joseph, who many thought was Magneto It brings back Magneto, which was teased in Uncanny X-Men #350 It introduces Astra, an unknown until then enemy of Magneto Magneto is able to take control of Genosha at the end of the story


Fall of X Is About to Be Undone by Professor X

The Fall of X is approaching its end, and it all hinges on Charles Xavier’s last encounter with one of the most important mutants of all time.

After Seagle and Kelly left, writer/artist Alan Davis came onto the X-Men books. Davis would write the X-Men until 2000, but his first story is widely agreed upon as the best. Magneto War ran through X-Men: Magneto War #1, Uncanny X-Men #366-367, and X-Men (Vol. 2) #85-87. There’s a prelude in X-Men (Vol. 2) #85, which is Kelly’s last issue on the book and first drawn by Davis. The X-Men spring into action to stop Magneto while Astra recruits the mysterious X-Men member Joseph. These three factions all come together in the Arctic for an epic battle.

Magneto’s arc throughout the ’90s found him trying to create a home for mutants who believed the same way he did. In Mutant Genesis, he brought together the Acolytes and made them a home in Asteroid M. Fatal Attractions saw him try again, except this time in Avalon, a space station he created from Asteroid M and Cable’s Graymalkin station. Magneto War sees him try a final time, taking a country he attacked once before and trying to make it into a mutant homeland. A reader who follows this guide will get an entire story about Magneto, as most of the best stories of the ’90s revolve around Magneto in a variety of ways.

Even OZT plays into this, as it shows how far humanity will go to destroy mutants, proving Magneto right. The only confusing thing about this story is Joseph, but even then, the story gives new readers everything they need to understand the character. It’s a concise story and is better for it. The rest of Alan’s run is mostly considered a mixed bag and hinges on knowing some rather esoteric X-Men concepts and the history of Marvel’s Skrulls. It all ends in The Twelve, a story with a rather mixed reception that is worth checking out for seasoned X-Men fans eventually.


Since their debut in 1963, Marvel’s X-Men have been more than just another superhero team. While the team really hit its stride as the All New, All Different X-Men in 1975, Marvel’s heroic mutants have always operated as super-outcasts, protecting a world that hates and fears them for their powers.

Key members of the X-Men include Professor X, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, Iceman, Beast, Rogue, and Storm. Often framed as the world’s second strongest superheroes, after the Avengers, they are nonetheless one of Marvel’s most popular and important franchises.

“}]] From best-selling starting points like X-Men #1 to epic events like the Age of Apocalypse, the ’90s were a great place for new and old readers alike.  Read More