Posted August 13, 2012 by Matthew A. Ramirez in Books & Comics

X-Men Comics: Where Do I Begin?

X-Men Comics: Where Do I Begin?

I’ve asked myself this exact question for every Marvel series. I’ve recently gotten into comics and where-to guides can be life saving. So since I’m jumping into X-Men, tag along with me.

The 1960s marked the human’s exposure to mutants and their powers. Given that the world had many mutants and abilities to explore, many comic writers took this opportunity to get under the spotlight. We’ve got 50 years worth of X-Men material, and an overwhelming number of story lines.


X-Men Masterworks

If you’re uninterested in the history, skip the first suggestion. As I have done with every other super-hero I’ve started (Captain America, Spider-man), the best place to start is the Marvel Masterworks. Volumes range from one to seven, and you’re starting at the beginning. These are written by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and it tells the story of Professor X and the fabulous five fighting against Magneto. It also shows the struggle mutant teenagers had fitting in, since humans quickly dismissed mutants as freaks. Since you’re going to be flipping through Masterworks, also take a look at The Giant X-Men. That’s where we get our headlining mutants.


The Dark Phoenix Saga

Any true X-Men fan will tell you how essential it is to read The Dark Phoenix Saga. X-Men: The Last Stand was loosely based on this story line. Jean Grey gets overpowered by her Phoenix counterpart and begins annihilating planets. In this chapter of the X-Men series, we get introduced to Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde. Centering on Jean Grey, Chris Claremont and John Byrne do an outstanding job demonstrating how even the most selfless soul can be seduced by power.


Days of Future Past

Machines have taken over the world and no X-Men has lived to tell the tale. Days of Future Past, written also by Claremont and Byrne, tells the story of one mutant who decides to go back in time to warn her fellow mutants of the future that is to come: war. You will see all of our favorite mutants in action, but above all you will see death. You can’t set this story arc aside.


God Loves, Man Kills

The second X-Men film was inspired by this story arc. Racism and discrimination has always been an undertone in this comic series, but this is where it truly shows itself. I won’t reveal the plot for you, but this is the first graphic novel to take a group of people as a racial target in the Marvel Universe. Kudos to that Claremont.


New X-Men: E For Extinction

Grant Morrison. A name that revolutionized the X-Men’s look, and pushed them onto uncharted territory. He created love triangles, redesigned suits, even brought on a long-lost twin onto the series. I’ll leave you with that much

Well, if this isn’t enough to push you closer to being an X-Men fanboy, I don’t know what it is. I was just as lost as you are until I made this guide for myself. Enjoy!


– Matthew A. Ramirez

Matthew A. Ramirez

Matthew is a Star Wars fanatic first, human second. He lives and breathes for video games, books, and anything out of this world. His life is heavily influenced by his Peter Pan Syndrome. He's a Slytherin and a Lannister. He currently studies at Florida International University as an elementary education major and pursues web design & development during his free time. He lives in Miami, FL with his girlfriend, Ana and their cat, Khaleesi.