X-Men Comics Price Guide
Kicking-off the "Mutant" craze, when X-MEN premiered in 1963, it was so different from any other team book on the market. It's consistent originality has made it one of the most important comics, spawning off-shoots. Key issues fetch big bucks!
|Publication Dates||September 1963 - January 1981|
A truly revolutionary idea for a superhero team at the time, in 1963 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby gave us the first incarnation of the X-MEN!
A subspecies of humans with extraordinary “abilities,” of which a handful are chosen as teenagers to attend Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Xavier himself is aware that there is a proliferation of evil “mutants” that never learned to control their powers, and are now running amok in the general population using their abilities for criminal gain, or, in the more psychotic of their rank, just to generally destroy humanity - it may be too late for some of these baddies, but Xavier figures he must take action and provide a moral compass and learning environment for the younger mutants if there will be any hope of stopping those who have gone to the dark side (eventually collectively known as The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)…
Thus, in X-Men #1, we meet Xavier’s inaugural freshman class of teenagers : Scott Summers, “Cyclops”- who, if not wearing special protective eyewear, will shoot a red-hot uncontrollable laser beam from his eyes; Jean Grey, “Marvel Girl” - who has the ability to move objects and create force fields with her mind; Warren Worthington III, “Angel” - who actually has a set of wings sprouting from his back, which of course allows him the ability to fly; Bobby Drake, “Iceman” - who can turn the outer part of his body into ice, freeze things, and construct large objects and structures out of ice; Hank McCoy, “Beast” - a very large - and eventually hairy and blue - young man with super strength and agility in all of his limbs.
While still in “training,” the team, now dubbed The X-Men, for the first time come up against some of the most recognizable and recurring villains in the X-Universe : Magneto (their arch nemesis), The Blob, Quicksilver and his sister, The Scarlet Witch (yup - they were evil mutants to begin with), The Juggernaut, The Sentinels… and we met a few future X-Men along the way : Banshee, Sunfire, Havoc…
In the late 60’s, fortunes changed for the X-Men sales-wise, and a last effort was made to resurrect interest in the title by bringing in some heavy hitters - critic’s darling artists Jim Steranko and Neal Adams both had a stab at it, along with more contemporary scripting from Denny O’Neil, but, despite being great stuff, the plug was pulled on new material, and beginning with issue #67, the title went into reprint limbo…
But the story would have an epic second act.
With Giant-Size X-Men #1 from 1975, writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum introduced a new team that starred in a revival of The X-Men (continuing the numbering from the older series, resuming with issue #94).
This new team replaced the previous members with the exception of Cyclops, who remained. This team differed greatly from the original. Unlike in the early issues of the original series, the new team was not made up of teenagers. Each new member was from a different country with varying cultural and philosophical beliefs, and all were already well-versed in using their mutant powers, several being experienced in combat.
Another major difference is that unlike the original X-Men, The "All-New, All-Different" X-Men team was composed of a Soviet/Russian atheist, a German blue demon-like creature, a female African Kenyan-American woman, an Irish Catholic, an Apache Native American, a Japanese male and a Canadian agent as its members.
This re-boot, starring Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Banshee, Thunderbird, Sunfire, and Wolverine proved to be one of the biggest phenomenons to happen in comics (and cinema, as it turns out!) - prompting almost too many offshoots to count - up until present day.
But Giant-Size X-men #1 is the book that started it all, and new stories continued in the regular title starting with issue #94.
Of note in this second series is the long, critically acclaimed run by writer/artist team Chris Claremont and John Byrne, within which is the oft-referred-to “Dark Phoenix Saga.”
The rest is history still being written!
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