X-Men’s diverse, ever-changing roster and themes make them popular.
DC lacks unique team-ups and fresh faces compared to X-Men.
X-Men excel at romance and intrigue, adding depth to characters.

Marvel’s X-Men have thrilled readers since their debut in 1963 with Uncanny X-Men #1 (by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.) The stories of mutankind – humans born with the volatile X Gene that transforms them into sometimes superhuman, sometimes monstrous individuals – have always acted as metaphors for the world around us. Beset upon from all sides, from non-mutants that hate and fear them to evil mutants who wish to rule the world and everything in between, the X-Men have proven to be one of Marvel’s most popular and successful series. With countless core series, spin-offs, side-stories, and cross-over events, the X-Men have maintained a constant state of star power throughout the Marvel universe.

DC Comics, home to such tremendous superheroes as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, has long since told stories that have shaped, destroyed, and reshaped the entire fabric of its multiverse. Through the solo stories of its most vaunted heroes and the incredibly large cross-over events that have brought them all together, DC has cemented itself as one of the pillars of the comic industry. But for all its amazing characters and stories, there has always been a notable mutant-sized gap in DC’s pantheon of heroes.

There have been many different incarnations of DC’s primary team-up, the Justice League, with many different compositions of characters and agendas. Still, none have ever quite matched the style and theme of the X-Men (sorry, Extreme Justice.) Rather than trying to emulate the X-Men, there are a few things DC could do well if it were to step back and evaluate what makes Marvel’s famous mutants work.

The X-Men’s Diverse and Always-Changing Roster of Characters is What Makes Them a Perennial Team


Birdy, Sabretooth’s Closest and Dearest Frenemy, Explained

A mysterious ally to one of the world’s most dangerous mutants, Birdy was a mutant who deserved far better than she got in the X-Men comics.

Superhero team-ups are the name of the game in comics. From the Justice League to the Avengers, the Teen Titans to the Defenders, grouping a colorful assortment of characters together for a common cause has proven to be an immensely effective means of crafting engaging stories. The X-Men are a prime example of this construct: a team of teenagers, mutants each, are brought together and trained to harness their wondrous powers to keep the world safe from evil.

Straight to the point, with plenty of room to breathe, the X-Men’s formula remains largely the same today as it was when it was first created. What makes the X-Men’s formula particularly effective lies in two major points: the members are primarily teenagers and not adults, and their battle can never be truly won. As younger people, the members of the X-Men often find themselves at odds with their burgeoning emotions and feelings as much as they do with their foes. With bigotry and persecution the driving force that propels them, the X-Men’s battles will never end as there will always be hatred in the hearts of men.

Maintaining those two core themes, the X-Men found their footing with 1975’s Giant-Size X-Men #1 (by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum.) With a brand-new team of mutant heroes exploding onto the scene, the X-Men proved that injecting radical change into its storytelling not only worked but was the key to keeping them fresh. No longer constrained to fighting fellow mutants, the X-Men battled aliens, inter-dimensional demons, killer robots, and other horrific entities.

As more and more mutants were introduced, new teams were formed, like The New Mutants, X-Force, and X-Factor. The X-Men began to rise not just in scope throughout the comics but also in popularity with readers due to their ever-growing ranks. Characters such as Wolverine, Cable, and Gambit began to give new styles and attitudes to mutantkind. The X-Men weren’t just one of Marvel’s leading titles; they became pop culture icons.

DC Has a Certain Lack of Unique Team-Ups, Especially Those With Younger and Fresher Faces


Superman’s Alter-Ego Saves the Day in DC’s New Comics This Week

Superman must drop his cape and use his civilian identity, Clark Kent, to his advantage in DC’s new comics this week.

Comparatively, DC has only a few of its own characters that could match the X-Men for tone and style. Batman has always been a fluid and perpetually popular entity, becoming as dark and grim or bright and hopeful as needed. Lobo, Kyle Rayner, and Superboy helped bring a necessary breath of fresh air into DC’s line-up during the ’90s. But if there was a particular weak spot in DC’s series repertoire, it’s the lack of a solid team-up outside the Justice League.

DC’s primary teams typically consist of various incarnations of the Justice League and Teen Titans. A few odd teams have formed over the years, with the likes of Birds of Prey and the Outsiders, but many of DC’s other teams find themselves in strange positions. The Legion of Superheroes exists in the 30th/31st centuries and other teams like the Metal Men exist on different Earths. DC has an amazing roster of characters and heroes, but many of them don’t exist within the same world and/or time. This presents the issue of having amazing characters rarely joining forces or meeting up, multiverse-wide reboots notwithstanding.

Some fans may argue that there were simply too many Marvel mutant teams and series throughout the ’80s and ’90s, but the fact remains that they were all on the same page. Cross-overs and guest star appearances were very common between series. Whether this practice was done with finesse can be disputed, but there were always new stories developing throughout the pages of the X-Men. There were always new characters teaming up together, villains joining forces, and teams buckled down and got to business.

DC, especially throughout the ’80s and ’90s, focused on solo-led series rather than sprawling team-ups. Had DC diversified the makeup of its existing teams and involved a few of its major characters in those respective teams, it may have seen content similar to that of Marvel’s X-Men.

For All Their Action, the X-Men Have Always Excelled at Romance and Intrigue


An Underrated Supervillain Brought a DC Icon Back from the Dead

One of the most popular Batman villains of all time has just been resurrected by the undying menace who knows it better than anyone.

Large numbers of characters don’t always equate to quality storytelling, though, and no amount of style can compensate for poor writing. The X-Men have always excelled in balancing both hefty amounts of style and heartfelt characterization, which has been a crucial component in their success. With so many people from so many different walks of life coming together under a common banner, it would be impossible for the sparks of love not to fly between the many different mutants.

The classic romance between Cyclops and Jean Grey, the difficult love between Gambit and Rogue, the fleeting fling between Beast and Dazzler, and Wolverine’s chaotic life are all prime examples of how the X-Men have injected romance and intrigue into the lives of their members. Watching cool-looking heroes beat the tar out of superpowered bad guys is great, but knowing they’re breathing and feeling people behind the masks adds much more weight to their battles.

DC has its fair share of classic power couples: Superman and Lois Lane, Batman and Catwoman, and Green Arrow and Black Canary. But beyond the core couples, DC’s romantic side has largely remained the same over the years. Expanding their teams’ rosters could allow DC to introduce more romantic options for its characters, which in turn creates new possibilities for drama and suspense. It’s nice when two people are in love, but it’s even better when something dastardly pops up to throw a wrench in the spokes.

New DC Characters

Place of Debut

Beast Girl II

Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 (2023)

Circuit Breaker

Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1 (2023)

Green Beetle

Young Justice “True Colors” (2013)


Lazarus Planet: Dark Fate #1 (2023)


Lazarus Planet: Legends Reborn #1 (2023)


Batman’s Dangerous Creation Cost the DC Universe One of its Most Powerful Heroes

One of the most powerful heroes in the entire DC Universe has just been lost to the deadliest creation of Batman’s entire career.

The X-Men defined an era for Marvel. They brought action and style in spades to the party. They introduced wild new villains such as Mojo, Apocalypse, Exodus, and Onslaught. They forged several new teams that broadened the scope of the core series by miles. The X-Men were serious, funny, edgy, heartfelt, young, and older all at once. Their stories took place across time and space, but also in shopping malls and high schools. The X-Men have remained one of the pillars of Marvel Comics due not only to all of these factors but also because they have consistently grown and expanded over the years.

DC has some of the greatest characters and stories in the industry, but they could certainly learn to broaden their horizons like the X-Men. This has happened by degrees in recent years, with new members like Damian Wayne and Blue Beetle joining the Teen Titans and brand-new characters such as Green Beetle, Beast Girl, and Xanthe making their debut. Embracing young, new faces across the many teams in the DC Multiverse and also bringing them closer together would be a fantastic means for DC to emulate the X-Men healthily. Superman is the one and only, and no one will ever top Wonder Woman, but fresh starts are always a solid idea. DC doesn’t need its own roster of mutants; it just needs to inject some of that mutant vitality into its teams.

“}]] Marvel’s merry mutants have always pushed boundaries and introduced new characters, things DC could do well to pay attention to.  Read More