I love my comics. I try to read everything I can get my hands on, from Marvel and DC to Image and indie books, nothing is out of bounds. Because of this I naturally have many favourite characters, stories, artists and writers. Out of everything if I had to choose what series is closest to my heart it is, without a shadow of a doubt, the X-Men.
Ever since I first saw the animated series back when I was 10, I have devoured everything I can that involves the X-Men. With the huge 2012 company wise crossover Avengers Vs X-Men changing the landscape for X-Men comics, I wanted to look back on what I think are the definitive X-Men stories that deserve to be read and experienced.
Dark Phoenix Saga
The essential X-Men story and for many a good reason, the Dark Phoenix saga changed the way comic book stories were written forever and its influence on comics is still being felt today. Seemingly possessed by the entity known as the Phoenix, Jean Grey saves the universe only to give in to her primal emotions and turn on her friends. It’s rich, dark and often heart breaking and is a prime example of just how deep and complex comics can be.
House of M:
With Avengers Vs X-Men being mentioned up top it seems only fair I include the crossover that affects many peoples stance regarding the all-powerful Phoenix Force. After losing her children and turning on the Avengers, The Scarlet Witch reshapes reality to reclaim her children whilst also creating a world where mutants are the dominate species. After coming to her senses and realising that she or more so her father was wrong, she utters 3 small words that have huge consequences: no more mutants. This story is a good starting point for many readers and is a fantastic tale that is very well told. The way things are resolved is a bit naff but the huge pay off is worth it!
God Loves Man Kills:
The first graphic novel to ever feature the X-Men, God Loves, Man Kills is a story about acceptance and how it feels to live in a world where people seemingly hate and fear you. It is the story that had the most effect on the second X-Men film, namely the alliance with Magneto, bad guy William Stryker and the mutants vs humans theme. It’s a strong story that still holds up and goes along way to answer just what the X-Men are fighting for.
Age of Apocalypse:
Now this huge company wide crossover holds a dear place in my heart. As I recall it was the first huge comic story I ever read and it is bloody amazing! From the first issue this story just screams read me. It has everything from betrayal death and loss to love, humour and hope. Yes it may well look VERY 90’s now but hey, that was the style back then alright 😉