These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Arc Fatigue: A common complaint. Every time the X-Men seem to be getting close to having mutants and humans coexisting the Reset Button gets smashed so the anti-bigotry Aesop can continue being bashed into the readers skulls.
Base Breaker: Two main ones, on opposing sides. You either think Wolverine's the most badass and complex creation to come out of comics and Cyclops is a douchebag boring whiner who would be better suited as a villain, or that Wolverine is overhyped, over powered, and a real dick, and Cyclops is mishandled, considerably badass, and one of the most complex characters in the comics. Now, combine that with Running the Asylum, and we get some truly Epic Fail stories and Out-of-Character Moment stories. Wolverine is actually listed as both an Ensemble Darkhorseand a Creator's Pet on This Very Wiki.
Take a Third Option: Or you think both characters are annoying and wish they would just go away.
Nurse Annie Ghazikhanian in Uncanny X-Men. Universally maligned "writer" Chuck Austen introduced the single mother/apparent expert in mutant physiology shortly into his equally despised run on X-Men. Word of God stated she was based on Austen's real-life wife, never a good start. He quickly made her the inane central character in many of his story lines. This usually included:
Vapidly gossiping about sexy men with once-intelligent characters Husk and Northstar.
Throwing tantrums/acting holier than thou during battles and various X-Men crises.
Dispensing shallow advice to other characters on their "romantic woes."
Wrapping bandages around injured characters' heads (regardless of their actual injury)
Apparently boning Iceman for no apparent reason.
Annie is mostly remembered for her creepy relationship with Havok, which started as a crush when she was caring for the longtime X-Man whilst he was in a comatose state. Once revived, Alex showed an immediate and unfounded attraction for Annie also. It was eventually revealed Annie's equally creepy mutant son Carter had been setting the two up on 'psychic dates' for months, allowing Austen to place the two characters in a relationship without needing to bother about annoying things such as context or developing a rapport between the characters. To further infuriate and confound readers, Austen also depicted Havok's longtime partner Polaris as an insane, homicidal, bitchy ex to further drive home the point that Annie was The Virgin Mary and Gandhi rolled into one.
Fan reaction to Annie (and Austen's run in general) was overwhelmingly negative, a fact that the writer dismissed as unreasonable "trolls". With his final story arc with the X-Men franchise, Austen wrote Annie and Carter out of the X-Men books. The pre-Austen Polaris/Havok relationship was restored in time and Annie only made a single cameo nearly ten years ago.
Quentin Quire started off as a minor character, basically the super-powered mutant equivalent of a school shooter and a teenaged sociopath who manipulated others into joining a small cult of wannabe Magnetos, before dying of a drug overdose of sorts. He was revived a few times, before finally returning during Schism, serving as one source of the conflict between Wolverine and Cyclops to push them apart further, before joining Wolverine's school. He's continued to be written by Jason Aaron, who's since then made him one of the main characters, including being the main student, of his run, with him being at the front of every big event he writes, including his future self being the Phoenix in Battle Of The Atom. All of this, despite being largely loathed by vocal aspects of fandom. Every writer tends to have one kid they push, and usually it works. This case, however, it most certainly has not, and isn't helped by his continued use.
It's a trend which no adaptation of the X-Men has escaped. Any issue with the lineup of them, and Wolverine will be front and center. There was even a cartoon series called Wolverine and the X-Men, where the X-Men got second billing. The first three X-Men films (especially the third one) are arguably more like Wolverine films than X-Men films.
Another card-related one was the tie-in Top Trumps-like card game for the third film (one which arguably solidifies Logan as the Creator's Pet). Each card had four traits, Speed, Strength, Fighting Ability, and Intelligence, each ranking one to seven. Most characters had about two for two of the traits, a four for one more, and six or seven (e.g., Angel had lower traits for the latter three, but a six in speed, while Mystique had low for all but fighting skills and intelligence, and Colossus excelled at strength). Logan had six or seven for every trait. He's apparently a better fighter than Mystique (which as the first X-Men movie showed was not the case), faster than Angel, stronger than Colossus, and smarter than Doctor Doom.
Part of what went wrong with Logan is simply that he has been so overused that he has no character core anymore. So many writers have used him, and played mainly on his appeal to the fantasies of young teen males who think the caricature version is kewl, and his healing factor and other powers so used and misused, that there's nothing much left.
After the events of Schism, he got his own team of X-Men separate from Cyclops' group (though he did lose his solo title around then as well). He's been set up as the successor to Professor X, establishing a new school and everything. Some fans love seeing him taking this role and find the book a delight. Others feel very differently.
X-23 gets hate for this too. Being a teenage Opposite-Sex Clone of Wolverine, she is everything everyone hates about him, with very few of his redeeming qualities like wisdom and compassion. Instead, she comes across as an antisocial jerk, and yet the writers fight themselves over who puts her in what. Her role in New X-Men in particular, once her creators Craig Kyle and Chris Yost took over the title, you could be forgiven for thinking was written by a thirteen-year-old girl. She's portrayed as having New Powers as the Plot Demands, usually something related to animalistic senses, that enable her to figure things out before anyone else, as well as ten times the competence of the other kids with none of their charm coming with the territory of being inexperienced teenage superheroes. As the final punch to the gut, she hooks up with the hot bad boy character after his original love interest is clumsily written out. And it didn't do her any favors that the original main characters of the series were either unceremoniously killed off, written out or demoted to extra to make room for X-23 being the primary focus. This is ironic, given that she was initially an Ensemble Darkhorse when she originated on X-Men: Evolution. Perhaps it's the fact she has poor characterization these days while being a regular (always a failure of a combination for any character).
For reference, any time Craig Kyle (one of her creators) has done writing for comic books, she is a main character.
Cyclops manages to be both this and an inversion at the same time. In recent years he's been given considerable focus in order to flesh him out as a character, putting him in a position where his actions control the fate of the rest of the mutant population, and thus, a lot of focus is on him, with Uncanny X-Men essentially becoming "Cyclops and the X-Men" in recent years, so for fans who don't like him, or don't like what he's become, this is not a pleasant thing for them to read. Meanwhile, some writers have tried to spin this in a way to give him moral ambiguity with grey morality, which includes a lot of characters calling him out onwhat they want, or expect, people to feel is wrong with him, with some writers, Craig Kyle and Jason Aaron in particular, going too far to the point of seemingly inventing reasons for why we should think he's an asshole, leading one to suspect they really don't like his character. For those who like him, and don't have a problem with the way he's running things, this gets annoying.
Designated Hero: In the early comics, Xavier could give this impression, with his habit of keeping secrets and insisting others do the same painting him as a far more morally-ambiguous figure than Lee and Kirby intended him to be. Later writers made this an actual character trait of his, and one that he is called out on and has to atone for.
In recent years, either (or both) Cyclops and Wolverine have became this, depending on your opinion. Either, Cyclops has became an extremist who refuses to accept responsibility and justifies his actions with weak excuses, or Wolverine has became a hypocrite who would rather pick a fight with his allies then actually deal with the bad guy, and often wastes time doing so and get incredibly douchey in his arguments despite supposedly being who we're supposed to side with. That's all that should or needs to be said.
Die for Our Ship: Every corner of the Emma Frost/Scott Summers/Jean Grey/Logan love square has its shippers and detractors. Same for Rogue/Gambit and every relationship here.
Jason Aaron, the writer of Wolverine and the X-Men, has been accused of doing this recently. After turning Colossus into the Juggernaut, resulting in Kitty breaking up with him... for some reason, he had Kitty, when she joined Wolverine, get together with Iceman, despite them never being depicted that close in the main comics. Likewise, when he broke up Black Panther and Storm in Avengers vs. X-Men, he had Storm migrate to his book and recently had her get together with Logan (though, at least this one made some sense).
Dork Age: The X-Men have run for over fifty years, meaning everyone will have at least one period they consider an irredeemable Dork Age (except maybe the Claremont/Byrne run).
The most commonly regarded nadir for the X-Men titles is everything from the end of Operation Zero Tolerance, to the start of the Morrison/Claremont/Casey era.
For some people, Morrison's run. This is a veryBroken Base though, with many others regarding it as one of the best, so we'll just leave it at that.
Draco in Leather Pants: Magneto. There's many times where fans declare him to be right over the X-Men even when he's trying to genocide humanity. Not helped by the fact that Magneto has currently pulled a Heel-Face Turn and is trying to redeem himself.
In recent years, the writers have a tendency to take a shine to a particular X-Kid and promote them to the main cast or recurring character status. For Mike Carey, it's Trance. Warren Ellis has Armor. Craig Kyle and Chris Yost have Elixir and Loa. Because she was Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction's pick, Pixie ended up not only on the Uncanny X-Men, but with her own miniseries.
Doop was a fan-favorite in X-Force and X-Statix, and his return in Wolverine and the X-Men was much-appreciated.
Ethnic Scrappy: Grant Morrison during his tenure writing created Angel Salvadore, as some sort of vaguely Latina, foul-mouthed 14 year-old who was kicked out of her house by her step-father when her mutant powers developed. Some Unfortunate Implications come into play when Angel later is impregnated (by Beak, the chicken-man during a field trip with Xorneto) and suddenly lays half-a-dozen mutant children in large eggs. Though justified by the fact that her mutant powers make her very fly-like, and her name is doubly ironic because of how unpleasant she can be and X-Men already have the more experienced Archangel.
Thunderbird plays with this. Many fans wonder what it would be like if he had not died, but he clearly would've fallen into this trope.
Well, he'd probably be a lot like his Backup Twin, Warpath.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Frequently, Rogue gets forced into keeping her powers despite how mind-numbingly horrible they are.
Fanon: Many fans prefer to consider Chris Claremont's original plan for the identity of Nightcrawler's parents—that Mystique used her powers to temporarily become male and impregnate her lover Destiny—to be official canon, largely because Chuck Austen's decision to make Azazel his father (thus making Nightcrawler half-demon) was met with such lukewarm reception.
Fanon Discontinuity: A lot of stuff is contested by fans but if there's one thing fans can agree on, it's Chuck Austen's entire run.
Fan-Preferred Couple: In terms of sheer fan works, there's no more popular of a couple than Gambit and Rogue, but they currently are together. There's a fairly large, vocal fanbase for current couple Magneto and Rogue, as well as a Hatedom for both pairings with ample Die for Our Ship.
Genius Bonus: The word "sinister" comes from the Latin word for "left". When Sinister first appears (as a shadowy figure in Sabertooth's memories) he has his left hand upraised.
Hilarious in Hindsight: 1968 saw issue #48 and an encounter with Computo, an artificial intelligence that could create his own cybernetic mooks. They were called Cybertrons — a term put to more extensive use in a different franchise, one that included a Marvel comic.
In the 1960s, several stories had Scott Summers reject offers by Magneto to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants citing his preference for Xavier's coexistence beliefs and even foiled a plot by Magneto to create a new generation of artificially made mutants. Present day, Cyclops is now, constantly, being compared to Magneto due to his more extreme methods of protecting mutants.
The original X-Men stories in the 60s featured a pretty clear power ranking for the team members by continually referring to individual members as "the strongest X-Man", "the weakest member", "the second weakest member" and so on. The members seemed to be ranked as such (from strongest to weakest): Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey). Fast forward to modern day: guess which two members of the original team are now Omega-level mutants?
Jerkass Woobie: Wolverine and Magneto are two of the most famous examples in the Marvel Universe. Wolverine is more Woobie than Jerkass but Magneto fits perfectly.
Jerk Sue: In the hands of some writers, Kitty Pryde, Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Wolverine. Logan especially, considering that he's been used for Jerkass Has a Point moments too many times that whenever he criticizes anyone for their behavior, he's almost undoubtedly done the exact thing he's condemning. At this point, being a giant hypocrite is slowly becoming a character trait for Logan.
Les Yay: Anything by Chris Claremont. Try to deny the subtext between Storm and Yukio, Mirage and Wolfsbane, or Selene with Rachel Summers and Magma.
Magnificent Bastard: Sebastian Shaw; a would-be usurper comments at one point that trying to outplan him is likely a more difficult task than conquering a country.
Cyclops during the Utopia period of X-Men history. Not everyone can con an entire army of vampires, but Cyke sure can.
Magneto has his moments, too.
Marty Stu: Wolverine can easily fall here if he's given the wrong writer. One time he regenerated from a few single cells. This is due to his older fans Running the Asylum; chances are, if a writer tries to scale him back, this will be immediately ignored by the next one.
Mary Sue: Kitty Pryde. Began as a pretty obvious self-insert for the readers, and grew up to be a sexy super genius ninja professor.
Wither, whose purpose seems to be to explore how a villain becomes a villain, probably crossed this with his recent double-murder.
Mystique crossed it in Dream's End (murdered Moira McTaggart and stabbed Rogue), then double downed after Xavier and Rogue forgave her during Blinded by the Light and Messiah Complex.
Bishop killed innocent government soldiers, destroyed the X-Mansion, and tried to kill a baby. When Cable saved the kid, Bishop shot at Cable and mortally wounded Xavier instead; then stole a time machine and did even worse to try and kill Cable and the kid until he wiped out all life on Earth.
Magneto killing Jean Grey. Later retconned. He still has ripping out Logan's skeleton though and his general mistreatment of his kids.
Cassandra Nova sending the Sentinels to destroy Genosha.
It's hard to tell just WHERE Sabretooth crossed it, but his most heinous act involved taking in Daken and playing the role of the father that Daken (who has MAJOR daddy issues, to put it mildly) never had, all the while slowly grooming him for a confrontation with his father, resulting in his death at Wolverine's hands. Why did Sabretooth do this? Simple. He just wanted to hurt Logan at a far deeper level than he could ever manage on his own.
Louis Simonson gets some credit, for writing definitive versions of Archangel. Grant Morrison for Emma Frost, though that one is a case of this being used in a bad way. There's a reason this is YMMV.
Narm Charm: The existence of Master Mold, a giant Sentinel who spits out smaller Sentinels.
Never Live It Down: Jean doesn't actually come Back from the Dead that much. It only truly happened once (other times were fakeouts or resurrecting instantly, which applies to half the other characters as well). She was known for lots of crazy things happening to her, but it got recently morphed into solely coming back from the dead, when that isn't true. Probably people seeing the word "Phoenix", and not bothering to actually do research.
Scott Summers had his squeaky clean image tarnished forever by his shabby treatment of Madelyne Pryor, abandoning her and their son Nathan * (Note that he didn't so much as abandon her as she kicked him out of the house and he didn't return in time to fix their relationship before she was apparently killed and her existence was erased, something many forget). A tarnished image that was then irreversibly destroyed when Scott cheated on Jean Grey with Emma Frost * (something that happened while he was in the middle of a massive psychological breakdown after a terrible case of Mind Rape crossed with Demonic Possession, and basically amounted to her convincing him that mind sex would help him with his issues). And now, everything that happened during AvX* (Which is down to a mix of Demonic Possession and Designated Villain).
Gambit, while he was always an Anti-Hero, actually only betrayed the X-Men once, when he decided to go and join Apocalypse thinking that it could help mutants and that he could retain his personality after becoming a Horseman. He was wrong. When he returned to normal, he returned to the good side as well. Yet people seem to think that he betrayed everyone and their mother more times than you can count.
He also covered up his involvement in the massacre of the Morlocks; he was tricked into that and had no idea it would happen, but it's easy to see why he wouldn't exactly be trusted.
It might be surprising to a lot of people only familiar with the adaptations that Magneto hasn't actually been a villain in over a decade, unless you count his turn in Morrison's run, in which he was either a victim of Demonic Possession, an impostor, or both, depending on which retcon you believe.
Nightcrawler's faith. It was never intended as a major aspect of his character, in fact most of the time he wasn't even all that religious* (He is, after all, a Memetic Sex God), but in the hands of some less-than-talented writers * (*cough*Chuck Austin*cough*), it's like he exists to be the token Christian, only for a change of writers to result in this being ignored or downplayed again. Similarly, Northstar's sexuality. Him being gay, other than making him one of the most well known gay superheroes, isn't really that big of a deal to his character at large. His personality doesn't hinder on the fact he's gay. Yet, in the hands of some people* (*cough*Chuck Austin*cough*), its like all that matters is that he's gay.
Nightmare Fuel / Nausea Fuel: Ichisumi◊ the Pestilence, a.k.a. one of Apocalypse's Horsemen. Her mutant power is to release an infestation of near omnivorous yume beetles stored within her own body by dislodging her jaw, spawning from her mouth in massive swarms either devouring or disfiguring her intended mark. She is also able to mentally link with them when they return to her as each and every individual being her colony consumes also imparts unto them; and subsequently upon their habitat/queen, much of the victims memories. You think the power to control insects like Ant-Man's power is lame? Think again!
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Ironically, Wolverine was widely hated when he first debuted, so much that the creative team seriously considered killing him off. (He was spared in favor of Thunderbird since a Healing Factor and Wolverine Claws powerset was very unique at the time). After some character expansion and a Moment Of Awesome, Wolverine became so popular that he's now the face of the X-Men. Though he's become a Base Breaker since then, partly because his popularity got taken a bit too far.
Romantic Plot Tumour: The Wolverine/Jean/Cyclops love triangle. While fans tend to ship anycombination ofthe three, many dislike the way that the triangle essentially just makes Wolverine and Cyclops act like dicks to each other while Jean condescends them for fighting while actively fueling said fighting. Even worse given the fact that, despite Jean being dead, the two boys are still fighting over her.
Sacred Cow: Chris Claremont himself is this on various forums (like Comic Book Resources), where so much as saying that Claremont isn't all he's cracked up to be, or that he's past his prime, or anything of the sort can be akin to facing an angry mob. This mainly comes up in regards to his original 16+year X-Men run, but you can still get similar responses to just about anything the man's wrote. (Or theoretically could write, such as an Avengers run, for example...)
The Scrappy: Very few people seem to like Ink. Even fewer like the new Hellfire Club made up of 12-year-olds. Then there's Maggot, though most prefer to forget about him.
Any mutant willing to work with the government can get this, too, the most prominent in recent years being Wolverine and Havok. In the characters' defense, this is less about them and more due to the fact that the government's position on mutants varies from morally-ambiguous but fair to Final Solution-crazy dictatorship Depending on the Writer.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: Fandom is divided into those who think Rogue must be with Gambit and those who think that no matter who they themselves favor, anyone is preferable to Remy as Rogue's love interest.
Interestingly, Remy/Rogue wasn't even the original endgame. Chris Claremont created Gambit as STORM'S love interest and planned on having a shock reveal where Storm would ultimately find out that Gambit was really arch-villain Mr. Sinister, in a new body designed to further torment the X-Men.
Take that and toss in Scott/Jean/Wolverine and Scott/Jean/Emma Frost; the former (Jean and Wolverine hooking up) was teased at the start of the Casey/Morrison run but fans were so overwhelmingly negative that Morrison ended up going with Emma/Scott, which did not go over well and led to later writers going with Cyclops/Emma Frost/Namor, as far as retconning a relationship with Namor into Emma's past to pander to fans who HATE the Scott/Emma pairing.
Some fans think this way about Scott dating Emma Frost. Some even like to believe that Joe Quesada (well-known for his dislike of characters being married) forced Grant Morrison to drop a bridge on Jean Grey, because they don't want to believe that Morrison came up with something like this on his own. (As a matter of fact, no X-Men writer ever had a freer hand what to do with them.) What's really bad is the excuse given for why they're dating so soon after that is "not" a rebound relationship (Morrison had them have an adulterous psychic affair before Jean's death, but realistically that was Emma — his supposed therapist — unethically taking advantage of him when he was vulnerable.) As proof it was contrived, there is this Bad Future that Jean needed to avert. Going back in time, like every other such future, somehow wasn't an option. Instead the only options were: 1. Scott and Emma didn't get together, the X-Men would fall apart and things go all to holy hell. 2. Jean brainwashes her husband into forgetting his feelings for Jean and giving in to his attraction to Emma.
Most fans regard Black Panther and Storm's marriage as something akin to this. Many of those who were interested in the idea were annoyed at Reginald Hudlin's hamfisted railroading of the relationship from casual acquaintance to "Wedding of Perfect Couple" as soon as possible, especially since they were made out as some kind of "First Couple of Black Superheroes." Subsequent writers were not subtle about their distaste for the pairing, and found any possible reason to have Storm go on missions with the X-Men or for T'Challa to have solo adventures. After the events of the X-Men vs. Avengers, where the two fought, their marriage has been annulled.
Bobby Drake/Iceman and Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat seem to be falling into this trope. As of the seventh issue of the Wolverine and the X-Men comic, Bobby and Kitty have shared two kisses, despite the fact that they've spent years as distant acquaintances at best. They had a decent relationship arc in the Ultimate Marvel universe, and writers have been known to mix the two up before. It comes completely out of nowhere in the main Marvel Universe.
Strawman Has a Point: Very often it seems like is Magneto was right arguing that peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants is impossible, considering that no matter what the X-Men do, the plot never seems to get any closer to reaching that, particularly because people in the Marvel Universe are Too Dumb to Live and suffer from Aesop Amnesia regarding that theme. It gets even worse that in a lot stories throughout the Marvel Universe, especially in recent years, they seem willing to easily sacrifice any and all of their freedoms at a moment's notice, so quite often it would seem like the world would be better if the X-Men let Magneto Take Over the World, since at least he doesn't go making the Green Goblin the most powerful man in America.
Robert Kelly's arguments (such as comparing mutant registration to gun control) actually made sense to some readers and viewers. Then they turned an otherwise logical argument into an anvilicious allegory to McCarthyism when they had the senator hold up a "list of names of identified mutants", shifting the argument from "Some mutants are dangerous" to "All mutants are dangerous." Of course, once the killer mutant-seeking robots come in (and they always do), it seems clear that Kelly is Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, even if his arguments do have a grain of truth to them.
Vindicated by History: The original series was never a top-seller, but sales had declined so much by the end of the 1960s that the book was cancelled. A little bit later, the series (with its original numbering) returned, but only as a reprint title. A number at Marvel did like the book and the characters, but they couldn't figure out how to bring them back until 1975s Giant-Sized X-Men #1. After that was published and received strong response, Marvel has kept the X-Men in regular publication ever since — adding many spin-offs and mini-series to the archive (and many hours of outside, successful media).
The Woobie: The Morlocks after having been massacred by the Marauders.
Awesome Ego: Apocalypse has a massive god-complex, views all life as beneath him, that only his vision of reality has an right to exist and scoffs and at morality outside of his own, and looks awesome doing all of it.
Base Breaker: Jubilee is either hated by fans (see "The Scrappy" below) that find her increasingly annoying and her powers to be stupid, or loved by fans that enjoy her spunkiness as well as her playful and innocent attitude. It's a similar case for her in the comic books as well.
Apocalypse is a would-be mutant conqueror who despises everything that isn't him and fancies himself a God. In his first appearance he builds a machine designed to take away people's free will and make them his slaves. He tricks four self loathing mutants, including Warren "Angel" Worthington, into believing this machine will cure them of being mutants, preying on their feelings of inadequacy to subject to them to a painful process of transformation them into his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Apocalypse then orders his Horsemen to go on a rampage across the globe. Rogue was able to free Angel from Apocalypse's control with her Power Absorption abilities, but Angel was a mentally unstable wreck after that experience. In his next appearance, Apocalypse creates a plague designed to wipe out most humans and mutants, this plague furthers tensions between humans and mutants, with some humans blaming mutants for it and creates a Bad Future, where several mutants are dying from this plague. Later Apocalypse manages to get hold of some time travel technology and uses it to travel to the Axis of Time, a interdenominational area that controls time itself and plans on destroying the time stream and reality itself, so he can recreated it in his own image.
Graydon Creed is the leader of the anti-Mutant group, the Friends of Humanity. Under Creed's orders, the Friends of Humanity attack half-way houses and other businesses and non profit organizations that are sympathetic to mutants. Creed even organizes an attack on a hospital for the blind, because the gentle, intelligent mutant Hank "Beast" McCoy works there to treat to blind patients. Creed later admits he plans to commit genocide against mutants amongst his most loyal followers. It is revealed Creed is actually the son of Mystique and Sabretooth, two prominent mutants. After the Friends of Humanity find out that Creed has mutant parents and siblings, he is kicked out of the group, breaking down at an image of Sabretooth and screaming I'm not one of you! I'm normal! You are not my father! In order to get back into the Friends of Humanity's good graces, Creed devises a plan to murder his mother and his mutant siblings, viciously rejecting he has any connection to them while trying to murder them. Even the X-Men saving his life as opposed to leave him to die after he's double-crossed by Apocalypse does nothing to change his view.
Victor "Sabretooth" Creed is a cruel Psycho for Hire and Blood Knight with a obsessive hatred of Wolverine. Magneto uses Sabretooth to infiltrate Xavier's school where Sabretooth is injured after a confrontation with the police while he is pretending to be protesting at Beast's trial. The X-Men rescue Sabretooth and nurse him back to health and Xavier even attempts to help Sabretooth deal with his inner demons. Sabretooth repays this kindness with spite and cruelty as soon as he is able, tricking the young mutant Jubilee into loosening his restraints and then attempting to murder her. After being driven away by the X-Men, Sabretooth later returns when Wolverine is in Northern Canada, having left the X-Men due to his conflicted feelings over Jean Grey. Wolverine later befriends the population of a small Inuit Village, who help him discover feelings of inner peace. Sabretooth kidnaps several members of Inuit Village while Wolverine is out fishing and straps bombs to them in order to draw Wolverine out and force him to fight. It is later shown in flashbacks that Wolverine and Sabretooth were partners in special forces. Sabretooth abandoned their entire unit to die against the monstrous cyborg Omega Red and scoffs "so what?" when Wolverine confronts him over this. After Graydon Creed uses up his final chance with the Friends of Humanity, they parachute him out of a plane to Sabretooth's cabin. The last we ever seen of Graydon Creed is screaming in terror, lifted up by his father with Sabretooth looking murderously thrilled at getting his claws on his son at last.
Critical Research Failure: In one episode, Gambit travels to Washington, D.C., which apparently is located in the state of Washington.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Beast. Eric Lewald states that the writers considered him a guest character in Season 1, which is why he was largely sidelined. Fans and writers alike took to the character, leading to his increased prominence for the remainder of the series.
Morph was in the first episodes entirely for the purpose of being killed off so the writers could show how serious the series would be. However, his unexpected popularity led to him being revived in the second season.]
Nightcrawler's episode was so well-received they wrote a second one just to bring him back and the writers seriously considered having him join the X-Men after "Bloodlines."
Which would have been quite appropriate, seeing as how Nightcrawler was part of the original New X-Men lineup from the 70s — alongside Wolverine and Colossus.
Foe Yay: In the final episode of the series, Magneto, upon hearing that he may be the only one able to save the dying Xavier, abandons the army he had gathered and goes to save his arch-enemy. It is possible that they're just really good friends,but...
Jean Grey: "How much do you love Charles Xavier?"
The number of these moments between Magneto and Xavier is somewhat Hilarious in Hindsight seeing as several years on, openly gay actor Ian McKellen was cast as Magneto in the live-action films.
Fridge Logic: The Sentinels, which are government made and run, wind up being a much greater threat to the public then mutants even if they worked as intended.
Genius Bonus: Magneto once said to Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm "Oh, brave new world that has such people in it!" That quote is taken from the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which in turn cites William Shakespeare in-story for that quote. Or it may be directly a quote to Shakespeare; but in any case the words do not belong to Magneto.
Hilarious in Hindsight: In "The Phalanx Covenant" two-parter: While taking over the Earth, the Phalanx intend to assimilate mutant powers to further their goals. Beast shudders at the thought of (essentially) one being having every mutant power on Earth. Flash forward a decade later to the New Avengers arc, "The Collective"...
Wolverine's threat to Cyclops after he marries Jean, warning him "If she's not happy, make sure I don't find out." Considering what Cyclops does with Emma Frost, with Jean finding out...
In the alternate timeline where the X-Men never were, due to Xavier's death, the familiar heroes are battling the human forces, leading to the eventual deployment of "the first wave of superhumans" against the mutants, which are cameos of The Avengers. A decade and a half later, a Crisis Crossover takes place titled, ''Avengers vs. X-Men...
The Storm-focused "Storm Front" two-parter has Storm become engaged to Arkon, a seemingly affable alien ruler, but Wolverine and Beast consider Storm's acceptance to be too quick; when Storm refers to Arkon as the man she loves, Wolverine quips, "who you just met." The series' DVD releases were licensed by Disney, who later released a movie with a very similar line and theme, and which similarly focused on a main character with Elemental Powers.
Ho Yay: Wolverine noticeably takes Morph's death harder than anyone else (after being perfectly willing to risk his own life to try and save him), and later makes sure to avenge him. When Morph comes back from the dead Wolverine is quite emotional (for him), and is far more determined than anyone else to bring him back home, even chasing him to South America before reluctantly accepting that he needed time alone. He was also quite happy to have him back in "Courage" and volunteers the two of them for a mission together as soon as one comes up. For his part, Morph "dies" trying to save him and specifically calls out to him when he calls for help in "Reunion." At one point he also, while declaring he'll kill all the X-Men, thinks of killing Wolverine and suddenly snaps back to his "good" personality.
Never Live It Down: Angel/Archangel's appearances entirely revolved around Apocalypse's turning him into a Horseman, and his vengeful streak afterward, apart from the very last example when he abandoned his obsession with revenge just in time for Apocalypse to try to remake time and space into his own image.
A montage was put together of what would happen if Phoenix/Dark Phoenix were allowed to run amok. The results were fire covering the entire Earth. Sleep tight, kiddies.
The effects of the Legacy Virus. It makes circuits appear all over your skin.
The first episode of the Phoenix Saga ends with Jean Grey essentially being burned alive; the scene cuts out on her agonized screaming, and then the screen fills with a particularly scary-looking version of the Phoenix...
One-Scene Wonder: Apocalypse making such an impression whenever he shows up can make it easy to forget that he only appears once a season.
Periphery Demographic: Despite running as a Saturday Morning kids show, the material did not shy away from the darker content of the comics and thus continued to appeal to older comics fans as well.
The Scrappy: Jubilee, who seemed to exist solely to give it a "teen" viewpoint.
Warlock from the "Phalanx Covenant" story arc. He was just an annoying voice attached to a silly alien belief structure that was reminiscent of nothing more so than Rolf from Ed, Edd n Eddy.
The Bad Future montage stands out as it depicts something fans aren't used to: the X-Men losing. Bishop narrates events from his perspective of the 1990s forward to his time (2050s), in which Senator Kelly is assassinated, the Mutant Registration Act passes and Sentinels are deployed to "enforce" the Act. Then the Sentinels decide they could take over, and smash into the White House. The scenes of Bishop's future show captured X-Men being herded into concentration-style camps and end with a cemetery of dead X-Men. Probably the most evocative image was the close-up of Jubilee's grave, which is the last to be shown, and reveals that she, the youngest member of the team, would be the first to die... if they don't stop Senator Kelly's assassination in the first place.
"Beauty and the Beast."
The episode "Repo Man" counts once you realize the whole episode was about a couple who in the past helped a traumatized man (Wolverine) rebuild his life, have him join a government-sponsored superhero group that they just happened to work for to give him a sense of purpose, with said man having forged a deep friendship with the team, only for their relationship to somehow go sour just before he left Canada to join the X-Men. It got to a point where they tricked him into returning to Canada, just so that they can work together again, despite the fact that Wolverine left on his own volition and Wolverine finding out the one he apparently liked the most (Heather) arranged the trap. After the team realise that Wolverine was not captured to rejoin the team, but to build another Weapon X, they work to free him, save for Vindicator, the very man who first helped him in the beginning, refusing to let Wolverine leave them again. When Wolverine defeats him, Heather begs him to spare his life, and while Wolverine accepts he makes it clear to them he's never coming back. As he escapes the facility, Heather stares on, realising that it may be the last time she ever sees Wolverine again, and perhaps wondering if he'll ever forgive her for taking advantage of his trust.
"Phoenix Rises", which plays during the bombastic death scene of Charles Xavier and the final showdown with the Phoenix in The Last Stand.
The spectacular end credits piece "Checkmate" at the close of the first film, and the title piece for the second, which makes a Triumphant Reprise for Days of Future Past.
Complete Monster: X-Men: First Class has Klaus Schmidt, aka Sebastian Shaw, a Mutant supremacist who believes humans to be inferior to mutants. As a Nazi Mad Scientist, he used his position to try to find "gifted" mutants, and upon finding a younger Erik Lensherr, he killed his mother after Erik failed to impress him with his powers, solely to motivate him, before subjecting Erik to horrible experiments. After the War, he adopts the Shaw identity and ingratiates himself to high-ranking members of the government with his Hellfire Club, manipulating Russia and America alike. Shaw assaults a CIA facility, murdering every agent within, and when one of the young mutants stands up to him, Shaw, despite his creed of 'not harming his own kind,' murders him without hesitation and barely concealed enjoyment. Shaw's ultimate goal was to push Russia and America into nuclear war, allowing mutantkind to thrive in the aftermath and creating a kingdom of mutants that he himself would rule. Even when thwarted, Shaw planned to absorb all the nuclear radiation in his atomic sub and unleash it upon Cuba to destroy it personally and trigger atomic war.
Think all the normal humans turned out fine because Cerebro was turned off before it could kill them all in X2? Then think of what happened to all those people who were piloting aircraft, performing surgery, etc. during that time.
From the above, imagine any mutants who wanted to keep their powers secret but had it blown because of the above event. Most people were likely unaware of what exactly going on, but a good deal will use the basis that some guy got hit first, but was fine while he and the other non-mutants were having issues. Afterward, they may use that as a basis to assume someone as a mutant.
Think of how Raven went from just wanting to be accepted and live a happy life with Charles, to killing without remorse, even nearly killing her first and oldest friend.
And think of how Erik who truly seemed to grow to love Raven in X-Men: First Class and who spent decades with her at his side, casually kicked her to the curb in X3 after she was hit with the mutant cure.
On the subject of the cure, it is very likely people will still be ostracized because they were mutants at some point. Imagine someone being seen to get it and get attacked later without being able to protect themselves.
The cure as a whole becomes horrifying when you consider the whole "mutants as metaphor" aspect of the films and comics — it can be compared to the concept of "curing" different minority groups, most obviously LGBT and disabled people. This can make it really horrifying for people in those groups when the cure is actively forced on some, and many others are pressured into taking it when they don't want to...
In the first film, Mystique sabotages Cerebro to put Xavier into a coma, possibly with the intent of killing him. Since X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past part of the same continuity, this means Mystique tried to kill a man whom she grew up with and loved as a brother and did not part with on hateful terms — and she did it all just to further an agenda.
Fridge Brilliance: As Xavier recovers on his own terms, Mystique may have specially designed the green stuff she injected into Cerebro to incapacitate him for a while and not kill him.
Now that we know from First Class how Erik's mother died and how Charles became a paraplegic, Magneto's contempt towards guns in X-Men makes perfect sense.
In First Class, it initially seems odd that Charles wouldn't encourage Raven to pursue a formal education (she sardonically responds to Amy's "What do you study?" with "Waitressing"), but when you recall what Mystique had said to Senator Kelly in the first movie ("People like you were the reason I was afraid to go to school as a child"), then it becomes very clear that she and Charles were extremely fearful about the possibility that she might lose control of her power while in class.
Professor X's line "Experimentation on mutants—it's not unheard of" in X-Men becomes more chilling when you take into account Bolivar Trask's examination and dissection of mutants in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Xavier would be thinking more specifically of Banshee's death and the torture Mystique endured before she managed to escape Trask Industries in the original timeline.
When Bobby informs Logan in X2: X-Men United that there is no beer at the school, it's obviously because Professor X doesn't want to encourage underage drinking, but there is an additional reason for the alcohol-free environment. X-Men: Days of Future Past reveals that Charles Xavier was a drunkard in between 1963 and 1973, so naturally his older, wiser self doesn't want to be tempted by drink and risk a relapse.
Heartwarming In Hindsight: In X2: X-Men United, an imprisoned Magneto warmly greets Professor X with, "Charles Xavier, have you come to rescue me?" As it turns out, Charles did indeed rescue Erik Lehnsherr from drowning in X-Men: First Class, and this is how their friendship began. Despite the danger Erik was in 1962, both men still look back on the memory with some fondness. Days of Future Past adds to this when Xavier, with the help of Wolverine and Quicksilver, bust out Magneto from an impenetrable Pentagon prison, although Xavier is understandably a little more reluctant this time around.
Magneto asks Wolverine "Once again, you think it's all about you." Who's the main figure on all of the movie posters besides X-Men: First Class?
Back when Magneto and Professor X meet again for the first time in the first movie, Erik says "I can feel you in here" while invoking the Pstandard Psychic Pstance that Charles isn't even known for using... until First Class.
Erik playing with a bullet he's pushing into a policeman's forehead is a very similar to how he killed Shaw with a coin back in 1962...
Magneto's comment in the aforementioned scene that he doesn't think he can stop all of the bullets. Becomes incredibly amusing given how many missiles he managed to catch in First Class, suspend in mid-air, then return back on their original trajectory.
Beast throwing down the mutant cure in disgust in X-Men: The Last Stand, in regards to his experience with another serum in First Class.
The odd pairing of Azazel and Riptide as Co-Dragons, considering the Ship Tease between the similarly-powered Nightcrawler and Storm in X2.
Similarly, as Marsden's later roles tend to be more comedic and, at times, Crazy Awesome, its quite amusing to find him in later roles and know that he got started playing The Stoic Cyclops. Of course, his take on Cyclops does have more of a sense of humor then most versions.
One of the guards present during Magneto's breakout in X2 looks a lot like Michael Fassbender.
Memetic Mutation: Thanks to the release of Frozen, now fans like to say this to Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman regarding his interaction with his parents whom rather shocked and neglectful about having a mutant son in X2: X-Men United: "Well now they know, Bobby, just let it go."
Stryker's plan to wipe out all mutants on the planet qualifies. For that matter, Magneto crosses the line when he is trusted with stopping this by the X-Men and does.... by reversing it to wipe out all humans on the planet, leaving his old friend Xavier to die in the process.
In First Class, Shaw killing Erik's mother to get him to unlock his mutant potential. It really colors his efforts to put mutants in charge in a very different light when you consider that he is willing to torment other mutants in order to achieve that end. He is also willing to kill mutants who stand in his way, despite saying that he won't harm his own kind.
Which translates to Fridge Brilliance in hindsight in the first X-Men film when Erik/Magneto uses the exact same methods by sacrificing Rogue for the greater good of all mutants. (Or, if you count the original script, sacrificing Wolverine instead of Rogue for the same reasons.)
Only The Creator Does It Right: The Brett Ratner-directed X3 is generally considered a step down from the first two movies, directed by Bryan Singer. Amplified when Singer returned for Days of Future Past, which was not only a critical and commercial smash, but also undid all the plot damage done by X3 via the plot's Set Right What Once Went WrongAlternate Timeline, including reviving Cyclops and Jean from the dead.
In X-Men, Kelly specifically mentions a girl who canwalk through walls, and asks "What's to stop her from walking right into a bank vault — or the White House?" In the very next movie, a Brainwashed and Crazy Nightcrawler is able to teleport into the White House and kick the Secret Service's collective ass, proving Kelly right. In Days of Future Past, Bolivar Trask tells Nixon that Mystique can impersonate anyone, and could use her power to turn into him, walk into the White House and order a nuclear strike. Once again, he's absolutely right.
The villain in X2 is so extremely anti-mutant that he would experiment on and enslave his own son to exterminate them all. In the process he enslaves another mutant to attack the president of the U.S., just so he can offer a target for the president to authorize an attack on. Before the strike, though, an objection is made that the target is a school. The villain responds sarcastically, "sure it is," showing x-ray imagery of a secret jet underneath the school's basketball court. A dispassionate observer should note, actually, that that is actually extremely suspicious. Normally schools don't have military-grade equipment hidden in their facility, and after all "schools" in some parts of the world have been used as recruiting centers/supply bases/et cetera by terrorist organizations before—both for the purpose of camouflage, and making attacks on them politically troublesome. The president then orders a non-lethal infiltration and capture mission, which from his position is entirely reasonable.
Also, while Stryker lobotomizing his son is reprehensible, from his point of view — can you blame him? While he might not have meant to go that far, Jason still drove his mother to kill herself in an extremely gruesome manner. While it's sickening the Stryker kept him alive to use as a lab rat, you can still sympathize with his mutant hatred after hearing this story.
Throughout the franchise, everything that Magneto warns Xavier about comes true. In Days of Future Past the Bad Future has gotten to the point of mutants and mutant sympathizers and potentials being rounded up and herded into internment camps in a scene very obviously based on the Holocaust, exactly the type of thing Magneto believed would happen. In The Last Stand, the mutant cure is weaponized in guns that shoot syringes of the cure and these guns are used to combat them, and in First Class the US and Soviets launch a barrage of missiles at the mutants, not caring that half of the ones present just stopped World War III. Most of Magneto's actions in the series after the first film are about launching counter-attacks after the humans make the first move against mutants.
Tear Jerker: The death of Lady Deathstrike in X2. When Wolverine starts pumping her full of adamantium we're cheering — and then her eyes turn back to brown as she stares at him sadly, and we're reminded that she wasn't really a villain at all, she didn't deserve any of this. She's just a (probably) innocent woman who Stryker kidnapped, brainwashed and used to hurt people, and Wolverine clearly regrets having to kill her. There's a glimpse of her slowly coming to her senses earlier in the film and looking dazed before Stryker gives another dose of his controlling serum and back under his command.
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but only to those who grew up on the comics and animated series. He's famous for being a 5'2" Pint-Sized Powerhouse, while Jackman is a 6'2" Mr. Fanservice. He made up for it by totally owning the role.
The latest victim of this seems to be the role of Gambit, having been Darrin'd from Taylor Kitsch, who previously portrayed the character in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, to Channing Tatum. A common complaint is that, aside of Tatum's questionable acting chops note as opposed to just being eye candy for the ladies, he looks and sounds nothing like the character in question. And even if the role was going to go to another actor, fans seem to prefer a more convincing one for the part like Josh Holloway. Probably one of the most negatively preemptive examples of this trope for the series so far, as all that we know is that Tatum will play the character in future movies.
YMMVs for the 1992 X-Men arcade game:
Adaptation Displacement: The video game is much better known the one-episode pilot "Pryde of the X-Men" it was spun off from.
Ham and Cheese: While the dialogue is cheesy, the actors seem to be hamming it up, especially since the remake required all voices to be re-recorded, so the new actors had to be made aware of what they were doing and be told that the cheesy dialog was kept on purpose.
I Liked It Better When It Sucked: It was announced that the dialogue would be re-recorded and the cheesy lines would be removed and replaced with more natural dialogue. As it was, the dialogue had to be re-recorded anyway due to legal issues with the original voices, but upon hearing the fans' complaints, the company making the port decided to keep all the cheese on purpose so the game would avert this.
Memetic Mutation: "Welcome to DIE!" and the myriad other dialogue voices by our favorite "Master of Magnet."
So Bad, It's Good: The cutscenes and dialogue, and possibly the simple gameplay. According to IGN's video review: "Sometimes something is so terrible that it's fantastic, and that's more or less the case here."
YMMVs for the X-Men anime series:
Ho Yay: Between Cyclops and Wolverine. You'd have to be blind not to at least once think "will they just get a room already?"
Moral Event Horizon: When the U-Men try targeting kids just to improve their power, you know they've gone too far.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While the entire thing being better than the last X-Men show overall would be a bold claim, the handling of Cyclops in comparison has unarguably been greatly improved. Both have Cyclops at roughly the same stage in his life: He lost Jean and is still grieving. But, in WATXM, Cyclops was largely just a moody loner who didn't deal with it properly. Here, however, he starts with minor Death Seeker tendencies, but evolves to the point where he overcomes his despair. Largely, people prefer the way he's written here compared to the previous show (and compared to the films).
alternative title(s): X Men1; X 2 X Men United; X-Men