The Uncanny X-men are some of Marvel’s greatest superheroes of all time, and thus aside from some truly terrible stories most comics are utterly brilliant. Here I read through my massive collection to decide mpicks for the top 5 stories of all time. This article does contain spoilers for all of the stories mentioned.
5: The Wedding of Wolverine (Uncanny X-men #172-173)
Wolverine has had a long and complicated life when it comes to romance, but no lover has ever come close to comparing to Lady Mariko. This story took place just after the events of the iconic Wolverine limited series by Chris Claremont, where Logan travelled to Japan and fought the sinister Lord Shingen. During this time he discovered Shingen wanted to kill his beautiful daughter Mariko, so Wolverine killed the old man to save her. Not long after, the pair decided to marry. All of Logan’s friends attended the wedding but the villain Mastermind mind controlled Mariko into leaving Logan at the alter, breaking his heart and making this one of the most surprisingly sad stories in X-men history.
#4: The Return of Nightcrawler (Amazing X-men #1-5)
Mostly when a superhero returns from the grave people sigh, it is a marketing tactic that is so overused and parodied that barely anyone can take it seriously. Yet after the character of Nightcrawler was announced to be returning fans rejoiced, and the story itself did not disappoint. It dealt with themes of religion and betrayal as the evil Azazel fought to take control of Heaven and Hell, Nightcrawler managed to get help from the X-men and they ultimately triumphed. Yet their victory cost Nightcrawler his soul, but he returned to the land of the living safely nonetheless.
#3: The Dark Phoenix Saga (Uncanny X-men #129-138)
This epic 9 issue saga is regarded by many fans to be one of the most iconic events in X-men history, it deals with themes of corruption and having to do something terrible to save others. A long while before this Jean Grey became a host for the mystical phoenix force, it made her vastly more powerful. Yet during this storyline the power took a much darker turn as it led to Jean becoming the Dark Phoenix, in this form she went as far as to destroy an entire planet. The race known as the Shi’ar decided that she needed to be stopped and thus took her into custody, the X-men tried to fight to free her but ultimately Jean realized she had to die. So her lover Cyclops killed her for the good of the universe, making this maybe the most shocking story on this list.
#2: Avengers VS X-men (Avengers VS X-men #0-12 + Various Tie In Comics)
In this utter behemoth event the Avengers and X-men end up in a full scale war after it is revealed that Cyclops’ granddaughter Hope could be the new host for the deadly Phoenix Force, the Avengers try to take her into protective custody. Whilst the two teams are fighting the force draws ever closer to earth and so Iron Man trys to destroy it, his actions ultimately lead to the Phoenix splitting into 5 fragments. Each of the fragments takes control over one of the X-men and so Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus and Magik all gaining the powers of the Phoenix. They transform the world into a utopia but the Avengers continue to oppose them, so in a final battle Cyclops takes on the entire Phoenix and becomes Dark Phoenix and kills Charles Xavier. Hope and the Scarlet Witch combine their strength and ultimately destroy the Phoenix for good.
#1: Gifted (Astonishing X-men #1-6)
Nowadays Joss Whedon is more famous for his work in movies and TV than for his career writing comics, yet one of the greatest on going X-men series was written by him. This iconic series kicked off with what I think is the greatest comic storyline ever, it shows what happens when a scientist develops a cure for the mutant gene that gives the X-men their power. It followed a rebooted team consisting of fan favourite characters Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Cyclops, Beast and later Colossus. In addition to having to deal with the cure a new threat arrives in the form of Ord, a villain who brought immense destruction to the lives of the team. The art in this comic is truly stunning and it was made even better when an animated version was released. This series perfectly re-introduced fans to the team they loved in a perfect way, making it my pick for the best X-men story of all time.
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