10 Essential X-Men Stories For New Readers

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Marvel ComicsSo you just came out of X-Men: Days of Future Past and now you’re interested in checking out the comics. After all, we’re going to have to wait a bit for X-Men: Apocalypse and it doesn’t look like there are any animated shows on the horizon. This means the only way to get your mutant fix is through the funny-books. The problem, of course, is that the X-Men have traditionally been one of the least-friendly books for new readers. And it’s not hard to see why. The X-Men have been around for fifty years and in that time, they’ve gone from a book consisting of five teenagers with special abilities to encompassing hundreds of characters spanning dozens of different teams and titles, with a revolving door of creators. Even if you were a fan of the X-Men comics in the past, if you tried to jump in now, you might find yourself completely confused. So for this article, we’re going to tell you what stories you should read in order to be brought up to speed on the current state of affairs for Marvel’s mutants. Please note that this isn’t a list of the best stories, but rather the ones you should read if you want to understand the current status quo. We’ll go through this list in chronological order, starting with

10. Gifted

Marvel ComicsIf you’ve read any X-Men comics in the past decade or so, there are two things that might have taken you by surprise: 1) Jean Grey is nowhere to be seen (at least in adult form) and 2) since when have Cyclops and Emma Frost been a couple? In the early 2000s, Grant Morrison was given the task of revitalizing the X-Men by Marvel’s editors. Whether he was successful or not continues to be a subject of much debate in the fandom. And though there were many things he introduced that were retconned or ignored, two changes have continued to have a lasting impact. One of these was the death of Jean Grey at the hands of  well that depends who you ask. The other is laying the seeds for a relationship between Cyclops and Emma Frost, beginning with a psychic affair and culminating with the two of them getting together on the last page of Morrison’s final issue. But really, the place to pick up here is Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men, which began with the Gifted storyline. In this story, we see Scott and Emma taking control of the Xavier School following the death of Jean and the departure of Professor X. As a bonus, you also get the resurrection of Colossus and the return of Kitty Pryde, both of whom had been absent from the main X-books for a few years.

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