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Comic Book / Uncanny X-Men

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Uncanny X-Men is a comic book series starring the Marvel Comics superhero team, the X-Men. It is the longest running X-Men comic book series, and by far the most prominent. The title was first published in 1963 and is almost always considered the flagship X-Men comic. Although originally simply titled The X-Men, the entire series is often referred to as Uncanny X-Men for convenience's sake.

The X-Men was the original title for the X-Men launched by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Under growing anti-mutant sentiment, Professor Charles Xavier creates a safe haven for the growing mutant population and he recruits five young adults for a super-hero team, named the X-Men (for "extra power" or the X-Gene, which causes mutant evolution). The first volume of the book featured the five mutant heroes Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman, and Jean Grey (originally Marvel Girl) as they battled not only villains, but increasing prejudice against mutants. This also marked the first appearance of longtime X-Men foe Magneto and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The title never caught on with readers at the time; most readers thought the book was a poor Fantastic Four knockoff. Despite bringing in new characters such as Cyclops's brother Havok and Polaris (another of Magneto's children) and crossovers with The Avengers, sales still slumped. The title ran until issue #66 before being effectively canceled; the title continued on, publishing reprints of old stories.


In 1975, the series was uncancelled after Giant-Size X-Men #1 introduced a new and more diverse team: now billing itself as All-New All-Different X-Men, new stories resumed with issue #94 featuring the new characters Storm, Colossus, Banshee, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird (briefly) and Wolverine, retaining only Professor X and Cyclops (and later Jean Grey, who would become Phoenix). Chris Claremont took over writing duties, with Dave Cockrum and later John Byrne as artists/co-plotters. This was when X-Men finally hit its stride and became a bonafide smash, with credit due to the new creative team and a number of memorable storylines such as the "The Dark Phoenix Saga" and "Days of Future Past". From issue #114 the series billed itself as Uncanny X-Men, though the official title wouldn't add the adjective until issue #142.


Claremont had an extremely long run as writer, lasting until 1991, and codified much of what defines the X-Men in the modern age. After Byrne left the book Claremont worked with a succession of regular artists including Cockrum again, Paul Smith, John Romita Jr., Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee (who would become co-plotter). The team would continue to evolve as well, as some characters left and new characters were introduced, including Kitty Pryde, Rogue and Rachel Summers; Magneto also made a Heel–Face Turn and took over leadership of the X-Men. The Mutant Massacre story prompted a huge shift in the team lineup with only Storm, Wolverine and Rogue remaining, while bringing in new members Psylocke, Longshot, Dazzler and a returning Havok. Later additions to the team included Jubilee (Marvel Comics), Gambit and long-time recurring character Forge.

After Claremont left, around the same time as the launch of the companion series X-Men vol. 2 (nicknamed "Adjectiveless X-Men"), Jim Lee continued as co-plotter along with new artist Whilce Portacio until both departed to co-found Image Comics. Afterwards, writing duties passed to Scott Lobdell, who would become arguably the most prominent creative force on the X-Men books for much of the 1990s. During this period, the X-Men were split into two field teams with Uncanny X-Men featuring the "Gold Team" (while X-Men featured the "Blue Team") – this lasted until the Age of Apocalypse event in 1995, after which the two titles began blending together. After Lobdell's departure he was followed as writer by Steve Skeates, and then by Alan Davis with Terry Kavanagh. In 2000 the X-Men: Revolution relaunch saw Claremont briefly return as writer.

In 2001, Uncanny X-Men became a secondary X-Men title as Grant Morrison's New X-Men replaced it as the flagship, written by Joe Casey and then Chuck Austen. The X-Men: ReLoad relaunch in 2004 then saw Austen shifted over to the adjectiveless title while Claremont once again returned as the writer of Uncanny X-Men, carrying over stories and characters from his X-Treme X-Men title.

Ed Brubaker became the new writer of Uncanny X-Men in 2008. After the Messiah CompleX crossover event he was succeeded by Matt Fraction who in turn was eventually succeeded by Kieron Gillen. The original volume of Uncanny X-Men was ended with issue #544 in 2011 after the crossover event Schism – it was immediately relaunched as Uncanny X-Men (2011), also written by Gillen. The series has been relaunched from #1 a number of times since; the third volume brought back original numbering for its final issue, ending at #600.

    Major Storylines in Volume One: 
  • The Silver Age, or "First Class" Era (Issues #1 - 66)
    • A critical and commercial also-ran compared to Lee and Kirby's other works, the series was cancelled at issue #66 and ran in reprints until issue #93.
  • Second Genesis (Giant-Size X-Men #1)
    • This issue introduces readers to Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird and brings back minor Marvel Universe characters such as Banshee, Sunfire and some Canadian guy with claws. The issue famously ends with Angel asking "What are we going to do with thirteen X-Men?" A critical and commercial hit, this one-shot (written by Len Wein and penciled by Dave Cockrum) would set the status quo for the X-Men for many decades to come.
  • The Beginning of the "All-New, All-Different" Era (Issues #94 - 101)
    • Angel's question is almost immediately answered in the issue following Giant-Size X-Men #1 as he, Jean, Bobby, Alex and Lorna (and Sunfire) all quit, leaving Scott as the sole remaining member of the original squad. The team lineup is shaken up even further with the death of Thunderbird at the hands of Count Nefaria and subsequent fallout of Scott letting a teammate die (#94 - 95) with the latter unwittingly unleashing a demon on the school in a fit of rage (#96), introduction of Arc Villain Eric the Red, who manipulates Havok and Polaris into attacking the new team (#97), capture of several X-Men by new and improved Sentinels and battle with Stephen Lang's X-Sentinels on a S.H.I.E.L.D. space-station, leading to Jean having to save the group by piloting a damaged shuttle on her own and dying, only to be reborn as the Phoenix (#98 - 101). Notable for introducing Chris Claremont to the series, beginning a fifteen-year run on the characters.
  • Further Adventures and Emergence of the Phoenix (Issues #102 - 110)
    • Notable for featuring the first work of John Byrne on the series.
  • "Death" of the X-Men" and First World Tour (Issues #111 - 124)
    • This run of issues is notable for Byrne taking over as penciller from Cockrum full-time and puts an emphasis on building the characters of the All-New, All-Different team members.
  • The Proteus Saga (Issues #125 - 128)
    • This arc sees Banshee leaving the team to recuperate from his injuries and has the All-New, All-Different team, Jean and Xavier return to New York.
  • The Dark Phoenix Saga (Issues #129 - 138)
    • Considered maybe the most iconic storyline in X-Men history and introduced characters and concepts (The Dark Phoenix, Kitty Pryde, the Hellfire Club, etc.) that would define X-Men comics for decades. This story has been adapted in nearly every form of X-Men media, with X-Men: The Last Stand and Dark Phoenix taking cues from it directly.
  • Welcome to the X-Men Kitty Pryde, Hope You Survive The Experience! (Issues #139 - 140)
    • A short bridging gap between the two most infamous Wham Episodes in Claremont's run, the issues are mostly notable for a short scene of Colossus uprooting a tree stump causing a dispute between Claremont and Byrne (Byrne drew it as Colossus easily tearing the stump free with Claremont deciding to write his inner monologue as struggling with the task) that led to the latter leaving the series after a landmark run.
  • Days of Future Past (Issues #141 - 142)
    • Often considered a contender for "most iconic X-Men storyline" alongside The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past has been referenced in several X-Men media and was the basis for the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past. The idea of the X-Men fighting a dark future would come up time and time again in storylines over the years and the covers of both issues (#141 moreso than 142), would become homaged and parodied numerous times over the years due to Byrne's iconic visuals of Logan and Kate Pryde backed up against against a wall featuring all of the members of the X-Men labeled either "slain" or "apprehended" and a Sentinel frying a lunging Wolverine to a crisp with his hand cannon, respectively.
  • Doom, D'Spayre and the Return of Magneto (Issues #143 - 150)
    • #143 serves as the last issue pencilled by John Byrne, with the artist's swansong being a giant homage to Alien, which is fitting considering he designed Kitty to look like a young Sigourney Weaver. This run is also notable for seeing Cockrum return to pencils and Claremont beginning his redemption tour for the X-Men's greatest enemy: Magneto.
  • Prelude to the Brood Saga (Issues #151 - 160)
    • The events of Illyana's time in Limbo are later explored in the pages of New Mutants and her own limited series Magik. See that series page for more details. Issue #159 is notable not only for being the first of many "Storm becomes a vampire" stories that will appear over the years, but featuring the first X-book work of Bill Sienkiewicz, who would go on to be the definitive artist of Claremont's second X-Men series: New Mutants.
  • The Brood Saga (#161 - 167)
    • The Brood Saga is notable for featuring the last art by Dave Cockrum (who revolutionized the series in Giant-Size X-Men #1) and the first by longtime artist Paul Smith. Major concepts such as the introduction of Lockheed the Dragon, Kitty and Colossus’ First Kiss after several issues of teasing, Carol Danvers return to a powered state after losing her abilities and, most importantly, leads to Xavier forming his third class of students: The New Mutants. See that team’s page for more on the first X-Men spin-off running concurrently with Uncanny.
  • God Loves, Man Kills (Marvel Graphic Novel #5)
    • Written by Claremont and pencilled by Brent Anderson. Technically a one-shot outside of the main Uncanny X-Men title, God Loves, Man Kills is one of the most influential storylines in the team’s history and sets a Darker and Edgier precedent for the mutant heroes directly confronting a world that hates and fears them. Stryker would go on to be one of the series’ most iconic villains without possessing any super-powers. The story was so influential that it would serve as inspiration for X2: X-Men United, the second film in the franchise.
  • The Morlocks, Wolverine in Japan and Madelyne Pryor (#168 - 175)
    • These issues were yet another turning point in the series, with Rogue joining the team, Kitty adopting Lockheed as her constant companion, Storm adopting her iconic punk look, introducing the Morlocks and Madelyne Pryor (setting up future crossover events The Mutant Massacre and Inferno, respectively) and serving as a follow-up to Wolverine’s seminal solo limited series. In addition, #171 featured artwork by Walter Simonson, who would go on to serve as regular series artist on the book’s second spin-off X-Factor.
    • The events of Logan’s solo adventure in Japan prior to #172 are detailed on its own trope page.

The first volume provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: During Brubaker's run, it's implied Magneto hasn't actually lost his powers after M-Day. When he reappears in X-Men: Legacy, a few years later, and following on from that in Uncanny issue #500, he is confirmed to still be depowered.
  • Academy of Adventure:
    • Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
    • An Evil Counterpart called the Massachusetts Academy was run by Emma Frost and essentially served as a recruiting tool for the Hellfire Club. Kitty Pryde’s first issue sees Emma offering a (failed) counteroffer to her parents to join her school.
  • Action Dress Rip: Jean has to do one of these in issue 98. Dresses designed for formal dinners are not designed for running from killer robots. She proves unable to do it, so Logan does it for her.
  • Affably Evil:
    • As always, Doctor Doom. He and Storm have dinner while the other X-Men sneak through Doom's dungeons to free Arcade. Storm actually regrets that she's a distraction, because she's enjoying herself. Hell, Doom secretly knows what she's doing and carries on anyway!
    • Dracula appears, transforming Storm into a vampire in #159. Though he fully intends to make the transformation permanent he changes his mind and allows Storm to regain her humanity when she proves to be such an impressive figure that he can't bring himself to strip her of what makes her unique.
    • Part of Magneto’s characterization involves him becoming this, with his tragic past being revealed in #150 and all further dealings with the X-Men up until the 90s involving him treating the heroes with utmost respect and eventually making a Heel–Face Turn to join them.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Stephen Lang begs Scott and Jean to save him not even seconds after he'd tried to kill them, and after having monologued about how he wants to exterminate all mutantkind.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Invoked, and blatantly lampshaded when the X-Men first meet the Starjammers.
    Nightcrawler: You speak English?
    Ch'od: Doesn't everyone?
    • The style of English they speak varies. Ch'od speaks normally. Hepzibah speak in broken English, and Raza uses mangled Elizabethan English.
  • The Alleged Car: On their first visit to Cassidy Keep, the X-Men are forced to endure a mix of Banshee's driving, Irish back-country roads, and a car with awful suspension. Everyone rags on Sean and the car the whole journey.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: The Morlocks abduct Kitty to try and force her to marry Caliban. It's called off when Caliban realizes Kitty doesn't love him.
  • Anti-Hero: Numerous over the years:
    • During Claremont's first run, Wolverine made no secret of the fact that he didn't abide by the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule.
    • Thunderbird was also this to his detriment, as the writers didn’t know what to do with the similarly grizzled hero with Wolverine on the squad and deciding it was easiest just to kill him off.
    • Warpath in Brubaker's run. A nice, genial guy all around, but he also has two very big Vibranium knives which he can and will use on folk.
    • One of the biggest would be Emma Frost during Fraction's run, who was part of Norman Osborn's Cabal.
    • Doubly so for Namor, who was part of both the Illuminati and the Cabal during both the Fraction and Gillen runs.
    • The Utopia era sees Cyclops progress further and further into Anti-Hero status before undergoing a full-on Face–Heel Turn (unless one was Rooting for the Empire against the Avengers) during Avengers vs. X-Men.
  • Arc Villain:
    • Lucifer, the alien responsible for paralyzing Xavier, is the first in the series, serving as an overarching villain across the first several issues.
    • The mysterious organization Factor Three, led by the Mutant Master, serves as this during Roy Thomas's run.
    • Erik the Red from issue 97 to issue 105 (barring a few issues off to let Steven Lang - no relation - take center stage). He turns out to be The Heavy for the Mad Emperor D'Ken.
    • The Hellfire Club begin twisting things in their favor in 110, when they hire Warhawk to plant surveillance devices throughout the mansion. Their agent Mastermind spends the next few dozen issues psychically guiding Jean Grey towards becoming Black Queen of their organization and they eventually make their full presence known at the beginning of the Dark Phoenix Saga before being supplanted by the titular figure as the story's Big Bad.
    • The Brood make their appearance known upon Corsair's return to Earth and continue as antagonists in the Brood Saga that lasts until issue 167.
    • Mastermind returns to manipulate events between 168 and 175, striking out for revenge against the X-Men in plots that range from the petty (like convincing Mariko that Logan is unworthy so that she’ll call off his wedding) to the petty, but more dramatic (like tricking the team into thinking that Madelyne Pryor is the Dark Phoenix reborn and launching yet another attack on humanity).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In issue 500, when an "artist" decides that setting up a display involving Sentinels in the city where mutants have made their home is a good idea, we get a nice one.
    Angel: Sadie, come on! Twenty-foot-tall death machines—
    Beast: Genocidal robots no more artful than an A-Bomb—
    Emma Frost: Banal, predictable "shock schlock" that was passé in New York ten years ago—
    Wolverine: Hell with this.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Nightcrawler's (later-retconned) priesthood falls under this. While his being a mutant would be no impediment under canon law (to be fair, canon law has never had to talk in favor of or against blue-furred, three-toed teleporting mutants), the fact is that ordination as a Catholic priest is not a part-time job. A seminarian goes through four to eight years of college-level studies and then completes an internship at a parish before ordination begins, not a lifestyle conducive to being a swashbuckling superhero.
    • Holy War takes this to an even more ludicrous level, as the villains' plot is to make Nightcrawler The Pope. There are a number of problems with this, from least problematic to most:
      • Nightcrawler, according to the story was at best a laicized priest, though the story more or less states he was never validly ordained in the first place (more on this below)
      • While in theory any baptized and confirmed Catholic male who fits the requirements for ordination can be elected Pope, in practice you need to be a Cardinal to have any realistic chance at being elected. Unless the villain was planning on getting Nightcrawler a cardinal's hat in short order, her plan was going to come to naught.
      • The group involved, the "Church of Humanity", is pretty clearly schismatic, taking orders from their own "Pope". How they thought they would even rate a seat in the Sistine Chapel at a conclave beggars belief. This also means that Nightcrawler's ordination was likely invalid, as it would have needed the consent of the local Bishop (not that one) or Archbishop as well as the Vatican. In Real Life, Archbishop Le Febre was excommunicated for performing ordinations without Vatican approval, so consider this Serious Business.
      • The rest of the plot involved placing nanobots in Communion hosts that would dissolve those who consumed them, and unveiling Nightcrawler as a "demon" and "Antichrist", thereby making Catholics believe that the Rapture had come. Catholics do not believe in the Rapture. That was a belief that only became current in Evangelical circles at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Author Appeal: Things Chris Claremont likes to use in his stories; Brainwashing, Body Horror, women in skimpy outfits inflicting brainwashing and / or Body Horror, Storm being courted by Affably Evil villains (and Storm in general), women trying to corrupt younger female characters, and any combination of the above.
    • Also, Purple Prose. Sometimes this is either through villains monologuing or heroes retorting with monologues of their own or even the narration going on tangents to monologue about the characters' foibles. Jay & Miles X-Plain The X-Men even has the "Angry Claremontian Narrator" as a side character (and a rather dickish one at that) due to its prominence during the Bronze Age.
  • Author Catchphrase: Chris Claremont has a few. Such as Psylocke talking about "the focused totality of [her] psychic powers!"
  • Avengers, Assemble!: Giant-Size X-Men #1 (the first new issue after the series was cancelled) features Charles Xavier recruiting Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Banshee, Storm, Sunfire, Colossus and Thunderbird in a series of brief introductions. It’s not until after they’re all assembled that we find out why Xavier has brought them together.
  • Back for the Dead: After being in a coma for three decades, D'ken finally returns in Brubaker's run. Then, after a few issues, Vulcan fries him to a crisp.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Peter Corbeau, an old friend of Charles', has no problem (or difficulty) acquiring a space shuttle for the X-Men to fly into space, then pilots it while under attack from Sentinels.
    • Honorable mention to Moira MacTaggert, who in her first appearance witnesses a demon smash through the wall of the mansion... and instantly grabs an assault rifle.
    • Carol Danvers becomes an honorary member of the team for several issues after losing her powers at the hands of Rogue before gaining her Binary abilities during the Brood Saga and flying off to space to join the Starjammers.
  • Bad Boss: The Brood Queen, who seemingly couldn't go a single scene without threatening her own soldiers.
  • Bad Future: Days of Future Past, the quintessential X-Men example, debuted in issue 141.
  • Bash Brothers:
    • Hank and Bobby were commonly this while Scott, Jean and Warren angsted over their love triangle incidents during the Silver Age.
    • Logan has moments with both Nightcrawler and Colossus and later on with Psylocke after her body swap.
    • Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy form a villainous variant.
  • Bat Family Crossover: Became more prominent during the 80s when series such as the New Mutants and X-Factor began to expand the Marvel Universe. This was kept pretty mild with stories such as The Mutant Massacre and Inferno until the 90s when the myriad books basically became small pieces of a larger whole leading to the next major crossover.
  • Battle Couple: Due to the heavy soap opera elements, a number of these exist throughout the series’ history:
    • Scott and Jean finally admit their feelings for each other during the Silver Age issues and remain a couple up through The Dark Phoenix Saga where they make their last stand together on the Moon.
    • Colossus and Kitty strike up a flirtation early on that blossoms into full-blown romance during The Brood Saga. Though they do break up after Secret Wars the Kitty/Colossus relationship is a well many authors would return to over the years.
    • Havok and Polaris try to avert this by leaving heroics and attending college but they are inevitably pulled back into the X-Men’s circle against their protests.
    • Scott and Alex’s dad Corsair shares this trait with his sons, forming a long-lasting relationship with his fellow Space Pirate (and snarky alien skunk/cat lady) Hepzibah as members of the Starjammers.
    • Though it would only be confirmed after a retcon years later — plus decades and decades of not-so-subtle hints — Mystique and Destiny form this as members of the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Issue #117 details Charles' first meeting with Amahl Farouk, where they have one of these. To the people in the café they're in, the two stare at one another for several minutes, then Farouk slumps over dead.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: When in the Savage Land, no matter how long they're there or how rough the conditions, no X-Woman will ever get scratched or dirty or dishevelled in the way the men do. Case in point, the first time the All-New team stay there, Scott gets scruffy enough to start looking like Corsair. Storm... looks like she just stepped out of the shower.
  • Berserk Button:
    • An early one of Logan's was hurting women.
    • Don't hurt Moira Mactaggert around Banshee.
    • Racism of any sort — though primarily anti-mutant or antisemitic — is a quick way to get Kitty Pryde unleashing hell on you.
  • Big Bad: Magneto held this title for about the first 150 issues, until he started making his Heel–Face Turn and eventually joined the team outright. If it wasn't him, then the Hellfire Club or the Shadow King were top contenders for the X-Men's biggest nuisance.
    • While Magneto remains the Arch-Enemy in the early issues of Claremont's run, his appearances are considerably less frequent than in the pre-Claremont era, with Sebastian Shaw and Mastermind serving as the more overarching Big Bad Ensemble for several dozen issues starting with 110.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Colossus' powers first manifest when he sees a tractor bearing down on his little sister, and he thoughtlessly rushes into its path to save her (neatly helping to establish that Piotr loves his sister, but has a tendency to not think about anything else when she's in danger).
  • The Big Guy: Due to the series being a Long Runner, there have been a few through the years:
    • Beast started out this way in the first few issues until his characterization as a Genius Bruiser set in and he took his permanent role as the Smart Guy of the X-Men.
    • Colossus for the All-New, All-Different team. Thunderbird was this for a couple of issues before being Killed Off for Real and Rogue would later join to help Colossus fill this role after permanently gaining the powers of Carol Danvers.
    • Bishop, in Claremont's second run.
    • Warpath, during Brubaker's run.
    • Namor and Colossus during Matt Fraction's run.
  • Blessed with Suck: On occasion, a mutant comes along who doesn't get eye-beams, weather control or fantastic mind control powers, but something just kind of "eh", or worse. Rogue is a famous example, being unable to touch anyone without draining the life out of them, but a lot of the Morlocks have it almost as bad.
  • Body Horror: During Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire, the team finds some bodyguards of an abandoned Shi'ar facility who were once human, until the Shi'ar turned them into cyborgs via horrific invasive surgery. Warpath considers killing them via knife to the brain a Mercy Kill.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens a lot (see Author Appeal).
    • Havok and Polaris spend a good dozen issues brainwashed by Erik the Red, then the entire team gets brainwashed by Mesmero.
    • Jean's brainwashing at the hands of Mastermind during The Dark Phoenix Saga is what leads her to join the Hellfire Club as the Black Queen and go full on Dark Phoenix and become a threat to the cosmos at large.
    • The Muir Island Saga has a lot of the team brainwashed by the Shadow King, using Polaris and Legion.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During the early days of Claremont's run, Scott and Jean have finally gotten over their unrequited crush, and make out. A passing man named Jack talks to his friend Stan about how "they never used to do that when we had the book."
  • Breakout Character: Wolverine is probably the biggest example, but Storm could also count.
    • Judging by her prominent status as leader of the X-Men after years of being the Tagalong Kid, Kitty Pryde is this for many people.
  • Break the Badass: Proteus manages to destroy Wolverine. Cyclops has to taunt and enrage him in order to rekindle Logan's fighting spirit.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Brubaker's run had Deathbird return after last being seen getting tossed out of an airlock. She'd been imprisoned by the Shi'ar some time afterward.
    • Matt Fraction's run has Magneto recover Kitty from space, after she'd gotten stranded out there at the end of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.
  • Cain and Abel:
    • Juggernaunt (Cain... Marko) to Charles (Abel).
    • D'Ken (Cain) to his little sister Lilandra (Abel). And then their sister Deathbird(Cain), who murdered another sister of theirs.
    • Havok (Cain) to Cyclops (Abel) any time he's brainwashed. Which is a surprising amount. Then, during Brubaker's run, Havok is the Abel to Vulcan's Cain.
    • Colossus (Abel) and Magik (Cain) can have this from time-to-time when Illyana gives in to her Darkchylde persona. Their older brother Mikhail similarly jumps back and forth between Cain and Abel status when he shows up in the 90s run; typically settling on the former as an antagonist.
  • The Caligula: D'Ken of the Shi'ar Empire, often referred to as “The Mad Emperor”. His madness and quest for power lead him to nearly destroy the entire universe. He gets driven completely insane for his troubles, and disappears from the title for three decades.
  • Captain Ethnic: Though every new recruit for the All-New, All-Different was defined in their introduction by their country (or culture) of origin, some were far more defined by their nationality than others:
    • Sunfire (a member for all of one issue, in which he quit roughly three times) wore the Japanese Rising Sun on his uniform, constantly declared allegiance to his homeland and gained his powers from his mother being exposed to radiation from the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima (this was an example of Early Installment Weirdness when mutants got their powers from radiation, instead of mutation).
    • Thunderbird (who similarly only lasted a few issues before being killed off) was defined completely by his Apache heritage and hatred of the “white man” for what they did to his people. His costume consisting of Braids, Beads and Buckskins and codename being taken from a Native American spirit helped heighten the ensemble.
    • Banshee was similarly defined by his Irish heritage more than anything else early on thanks to his red hair, Funetik Aksent and codename and power being taken from the classical Irish wailing spirit. Due to sticking around for far longer than the previous two members he was able to gain a number of shades to his personality that had nothing to do with his heritage and become far more well-rounded (an incident with Leprechauns, notwithstanding).
    • Colossus was similarly defined by his Russian heritage a great deal early on. His status as a “Man of Steel” (which was the literal translation of Joseph Stalin’s name), last name of Rasputin and early explanations of his atheist upbringing marked him as a child of the USSR. The X-Men’s first encounter with Arcade had the villain Gaslighting him into thinking that he had betrayed his homeland and he became this trope Up to Eleven by becoming “The Proletariate”, a defender of the working man intent on crushing Western civilization. Luckily, he snapped out of it the next issue and returned to his previous ideology.
    • Nightcrawler largely avoided this aside from his use of Gratuitous German. Seeing as Dave Cockrum initially designed him as an alien character for DC Comics before applying the German nationality to him when he recycled him for the X-Men, it makes sense that little of the country’s national stereotypes inhabited his character.
    • Storm and Wolverine were the least defined by their nationality, with the former’s pan-African upbringing (she was born in Harlem, spent her early years in Cairo after her parents deaths as a pickpocket before traveling to her mother’s homeland in Kenya) and latter’s Canadian nationality only coming up as plotpoints and not character markers. Of course, whenever Logan does end up in Canada he typically runs into Alpha Flight, a team of nothing but Captain Ethnic representatives of Canada, Eh?.
  • Category Traitor: Sebastian Shaw, Black King of the Hellfire Club is a mutant. He’s also the head of Shaw Industries, a corporation manufacturing Sentinels built solely to hunt down and kill mutants. It’s implied at the end of Days of Future Past that Shaw’s dealings with Project Wideawake helps set the bad future in motion by turning on his own kind to make a profit.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Sunfire quits the rescue mission to Krakoa before the team can even board the jet and rejoins later on the same page. He quits for good in the following issue, making it a strange kind of character tic.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Through issues 98, 99 and 100, mention is repeatedly made of an incoming solar flare. This is the reason the Sentinels don't catch all the X-Men, and is responsible for the birth of The Phoenix.
    • During their first encounter with the Brood (who have been hired by Deathbird to kidnap her sister Lilandra) Xavier begins experience psychic attacks involving a disturbing alien face. This is setting up the fact that he has been implanted with a Brood Queen egg, which comes into play during the Brood Saga about a dozen issues later.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Xavier keeps seeing psychic flashes of a bug-eyed alien approaching Earth throughout early issues featuring the All-New, All-Different team. This figure is later revealed to be Lilandra, the escaped princess of the Shi'ar Empire.
    • After the All-New team's first encounter with Magneto, as they flee Wolverine notes one of the cells on Muir Island has been damaged, but doesn't mention it. Several issues later, the occupant of that cell gets out.
    • Amahl Farouk, shown in a flashback to be Charles's Starter Villain in his past, and who is apparently killed in their first encounter. He later turns out to be not so dead after all.
  • Chick Magnet: Cyclops. Jean Grey, Coleen Wing, Aleytis Forrester, Madelyne Pryor and Emma Frost all want him.
  • Cliffhanger Copout:
    • The end of issue 100 ends with Jean flying a space shuttle, as horrifically deadly amounts of radiation get in. And the cover, the very cover of issue 101 reveals that, yeah, she's fine. Better than fine, actually.
    • Halfway through The Dark Phoenix Saga Cyclops seemingly dies during a psychic duel with Mastermind, leading Nightcrawler to exclaim "Cyclops is dead!" The next issue presumably takes place no less than ten seconds later with Cyclops being shaken, but ultimately fine.
    • One issue ends with Bishop suddenly turning around and shooting the entire team. The next issue begins with it turning out they're all fine - he'd noticed they'd been doused with killer nanobots and was getting rid of them, but he didn't have time to warn everyone.
  • Colony Drop:
    • In their fight with Jahf, Jean tries grabbing a passing asteroid and dropping it on his head. It doesn't do anything.
    • Moses Magnum attempts to do this with the entire island of Japan. Luckily, Banshee disrupts his plan with a massive sonic scream that blows out his powers for quite some time, forcing him to quit the team.
  • Comic Book Death: On occasion.
    • Professor X supposedly dies battling an angry member of a subterranean species with a grudge against mankind. It soon turns out he'd faked his death, and the person who'd died was the shapeshifter Changeling imitating him.
    • The entire team dies fighting The Adversary. The goddess Roma brings them back to life.
    • Donald Pierce gets his head punched off by Sebastian Shaw. It didn't take.
  • Comic-Book Time: Wasn't too much of an issue early on, with the X-Men following most of the same rules as the rest of the Marvel Universe. As established historical events become more dated such as Xavier fighting in Korea it became more difficult for writers to consolidate the events and a more broad strokes approach was taken, much like with Tony Stark's original Vietnam origin being updated to the modern era.
    • Averted with Magneto, however, as his origin — much like Captain America's — has become inextricably linked to WWII and the Holocaust. Writers have gotten around this due to a rather goofy plotline from the Silver Age of Magneto being de-aged and re-aged to the prime of his life, making it less outlandish that the X-Men would be fighting a centenarian in the modern age.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: During the Second Coming crossover, a big one was that the Nimrod sentinels were being taken down remarkably easily, to the point where two X-Men could take one down together, and Namor could take three at a time. One Nimrod used to be able to take an entire X-Men team.
  • Covers Always Lie: In that bombastic Silver Age style, the cover of issue 100 proclaims it's the Original X-Men versus the All-New team. This is not really true.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Stan Lee and Jack Kirby make an appearance in an issue of Claremont's run.
    • When Jean faces Firelord, he is sent flying, and a man tells his friend Dave that "he hits the ground with this incredible sound effect" just as Firelord hits the ground. While running away, he asks if Dave is still listening, to which Dave says "Chris, do us all a favor -- shut up and run!!" Dave is clearly supposed to be Dave Cockrum, the artist on The X-Men at the time, and the man is Chris Claremont himself.
  • Crossover: A few, here and there.
    • X-Men and the Micronauts, where among other things, Kitty's mind gets swapped with that series' Big Bad, Baron Karza, and Professor X's Superpowered Evil Side does some really disturbing stuff.
    • The X-Tinction Agenda, which crossed between this title and New Mutants, focusing on the revenge of the evil Genoshan government on the X-Men.
    • In the mid-500s, there's a crossover with Fear Itself, featuring the team trying to stop an even more unstoppable than usual Juggernaut.
  • Cross Through: Early on in Claremont's run, just after Jean becomes Phoenix, she starts rooming with Misty Knight, who by mysterious coincidence was created and written by Chris Claremont. Fancy that. During the X-Men's visit to Japan, they run into her friend / partner Colleen Wing, also created by Chris Claremont. And the introduction of Stephen Lang has a brief appearance by Michael Rossi, a supporting character in the contemporary Ms. Marvel, which was written by... Chris Claremont again.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The all new, all different team's first encounter with Juggernaut, due to a combination of lack of experience and his sheer ability.
    • Likewise, their first encounter with a rejuvenated Magneto, who lacks the insanity that characterized him prior, and mops the floor with them. Only Cyclops manages to save them, and the team makes a break for it.
    • Any fight with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard was characterized as this, with the X-Men’s inability to quit against the overwhelming force of the alien super-beings always earning their respect.
  • Cutting the Knot: Faced with an out-of-control Danger Room, and a big control panel of indecipherable switches, and a little groggy from getting teleported, Wolverine decides the best way to fix the problem is scratch it up. That works.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: Wolverine seriously speculates letting this happen to Cyclops at one point (in the middle of mellowing out from "total asshole" to "mild asshole"). He decides that shooting Scott in the back isn't his way, and if it ever comes to it, he'll do it face to face, and shoves Scott out of the way of the incoming razor-blades.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Storm, in her early days, what with having first grown up as a thief in Cairo, then spent some time being worshipped as a god in Kenya. An unseen incident involved her swimming naked in the mansion pool, and not understanding everyone else's reaction.
  • Disney Death:
    • Two-ways. The entire All-New, All-Different team save for Jean and Beast after their second fight with Magneto leaves the groups separated by a wall of magma. Jean and Hank go home to inform Xavier that Scott, Ororo, Piotr, Kurt, Logan and Sean have died when they're actually safe and sound in the Savage Land thinking that Jean and Hank were the ones who died.
    • The entire team during "Fall of the Mutants", with, for a while, the entire world thinking the X-Men were dead. It also led to Nightcrawler and Shadowcat moving to England and forming Excalibur.
  • Disney Villain Death: Happens from time to time.
    • Sauron's second appearance has Karl Lykos plunge over the edge of a cliff face. It took a few years before he reappeared, having survived and made his way into the Savage Land.
    • Juggernaut and Black Tom's fight with the All-New X-Men ends with Tom falling into the storm-tossed sea around Cassidy Keep, and Juggernaut leaping after him. They turn up again.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In a training exercise, Logan tries to kill Colossus because he pushed him out of the way of a falling pillar, thus "cramping his style"... Douche.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading: Subverted, when Rachel infiltrates the Hellfire Club. She picks up some of the thoughts of a few members, and the minute she's alone has to keep from doubling over with laughter at whatever it is she's read.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: When the All-New X-Men (and Jean) play baseball, Jean catches a hit of Piotr's, informing him the last time he sent a ball flying, he broke a window. Of an airplane in flight.
  • Dragon Lady: Miss Locke for Arcade. She literally used the codename Dragon Lady.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: An issue of Austen's run begins with the team finding Skin of Generation X dead on the mansion's front lawn (don't ask how the X-Men never noticed a group of maniacs setting up a bunch of large crosses on their property...). Even Angel's healing blood is unable to resurrect him.
  • Dying as Yourself:
    • Jean kills herself to stop Dark Phoenix from getting out of control.
    • Xavier attempts to commit psychic-assisted suicide when he's infected with a Brood Queen egg.
    • When she's infected with a Brood egg, Storm tries to commit suicide in the vacuum of space.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: See the separate trope page for details.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Magneto has one early in the Claremont run, built underneath a volcano. Man's got style. It gets destroyed thanks to the X-Men breaking free. That, and the lava everywhere.
  • End of an Era: "The Muir Island Saga" ended Claremont's first, seventeen year run on the title (he left before it actually finished, due to behind-the-scenes stuff), crossing over with X-Factor.
  • Enemy Mine: Averted. Magneto almost kills Mesmero for daring to defeat the X-Men.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Giant-Size X-Men #1 shows off the All-New, All-Different team’s membership in a series of brief scenes as they are recruited to the Xavier Institute.
  • Evil Counterpart: Claremont's absolute last issue of Uncanny, in the mid-00s, introduces the First Forsaken, a sort-of-counterpart to the Phoenix. "Sort-of" because literally everything Phoenix related afterward has ignored its existence entirely.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: During the first fight with Jahf, Banshee catches note of him mentioning circuits, and figures the little guy is a robot, which gives him the inspiration to defeat him.
  • Eye Scream: During his fight with the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Vulcan gets his left eye punched out by an angry Gladiator. It remains punched out for the rest of Vulcan's life, despite his ability to regenerate from anything.
  • Facial Horror: Masque of the Morlocks likes using his powers to inflict this on folk, mainly because he's a dick.
  • Fad Super:
    • Dazzler, the disco-themed signer, debuts in Issue 130, right in the middle of the Dark Phoenix Saga.
    • Pipeline, evil minion of the Genoshan government, teleports people via the internet, which was new when he was introduced in the late 80s.
  • Faint in Shock:
    • Played painfully straight in issue 148, when Kitty Pryde (thirteen years old if even that at the time) faints when kidnapped by Caliban in his first appearance. He's much creepier than his later appearances would make him, but still...
    • Even more painful in issue 11, where after The Stranger walks on air and through a wall, someone utters these gentlemanish words:
      "Someone get a doctor! Women are faintin' like flies over here!!"
  • Fast Ball Special: This series is the Trope Namer. The main combination is Colossus throwing Wolverine, though there are more.
    • Beast throws Nightcrawler so he can use the momentum after teleporting to quickly steal Magneto's helmet.
    • On the moon during the Dark Phoenix Saga, they take advantage of the lesser gravity, and Wolvie tosses Colossus at Jean, since he knows he'll hesitate when trying to kill her (Colossus ends up hesitating too, pulling his punch).
  • Fate Worse than Death: To get back at the X-Men for his being turned into an infant, which wasn't their doing anyway, Magneto abducts the X-Men and sticks them in chairs which leave them fully cognizant, but only able to express themselves in baby noises. If Storm hadn't been an incredibly precocious child and a damn good lockpicker, they'd have been stuck that way.
  • Filler: issue 106. Quick, Erik the Red has abducted Lilanda, and D'Ken is about to cause the end of all reality! Time for... a flashback about Professor X's Superpowered Evil Side trying to kill the X-Men? Probably caused because issue 107 is largely comprised of a big fight scene. And it does provide a conclusion to the long-running thread of Charles having bad dreams at the end.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Issue 106 has Erik the Red make the brainwashed Polaris and Havok attack the passing Fire Lord, ex-herald of Galactus, in order to frame the X-Men, knowing the Hot-Blooded Xandarian won't bother to check. Cue the X-Men receiving a painful beat-down, until Jean Grey gets mad.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Early on in Claremont's run, hints are dropped as to Storm's claustrophobia (her fondness for being out in the open sky, rather than indoors), but it's not until the All-New X-Men's trip to Ireland that we get the full story on that.
    • During the newly minted Phoenix's powers with Fire-Lord, Jean notes she's feeling unusually aggressive, even wanting to kill the guy when called away. It's the first hint that her power-up is going to lead to Bad Things. Come issue 110, Jean starts ruminating on her increasing powers, and wonders whether it will eventually corrupt her.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Emma Frost swaps bodies with Storm in #151 in order to take the X-Men unawares after a Sentinel attack orchestrated by Sebastian Shaw. With the change in bodies comes a change in powers, as Emma lets lose with destructive weather patterns and Storm struggles to drown out the voices that bombard her newly telepathic mind.
  • Freak Out:
    • Colossus completely loses it when the team goes into space for the first time, turning into metal and shredding his suit. He's thinking of his brother Mikhail, who supposedly died in a shuttle disaster ("supposedly" because many, many years later, Mikhail would turn up very much alive).
    • Storm’s claustrophobia causes her to lose control at several points, with the most dramatic being when she is encased in solid chrome by Doctor Doom and immobilized, leading to her creating a super-storm over the Western Hemisphere in an attempt to free herself. Her appearance after breaking free is so terrifying to behold the X-Men can’t help but compare her to Jean as the Dark Phoenix.
  • Fragile Speedster: Nightcrawler, while being the most agile member thanks to his Teleport Spam, is not particularly durable.
  • Genius Loci: Krakoa, the Living Island. Professor X sends the original team to investigate a newly emerged mutant on a remote island only for them to learn that the island itself was the mutant.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The team fights these on Krakoa. Since the Living Island seems to have some level of reality warping abilities within its personal biome it’s more than likely that it’s the one creating them.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Cyclops, although by no means fragile, is not particularly durable either. But his beams pack quite a punch.
    • Similarly, Jean, whose telekinesis and telepathy are incredibly powerful, but she's even less durable than Scott.
    • As is the case with Jean, Storm, who can shoot friggin lightning at her enemies and create hurricanes, but is pretty vulnerable otherwise.
    • When you get right down to it, pretty much any X-Man whose power doesn't involve some kind of super-toughness or shielding is this, being ordinary humans other than the specifics of their power.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: In case her general attitude, smugness, sinister grinning and total lack of empathy wasn't kind of a hint already, Emma Frost tended to smoke in her villain days, out of an evil cigarette holder, including when she'd hijacked Ororo's body.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In "Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire", the anti-Lilandra faction of the Shi'ar manipulate things so Vulcan will free Deathbird, hoping to have her supplant her sister. Events change so that Vulcan revives D'Ken from his years-long coma, which they regard as even better. Then Vulcan kills D'Ken and, having married Deathbird, makes himself emperor. He proves to be not much saner than D'Ken, management wise.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • During an argument, Wolverine clobbers Juggernaut with Colossus.
    • During the first fight with the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, a just-singed Logan grabs Oracle as she's laughing at him, and batters Starbolt with her.
    • Colossus and Wolverene's trademark Fastball Special move is a ranged version of this.
  • Guest-Star Party Member:
    • Sunfire and the previous X-Men team barring Cyclops in Giant Sized X-Men #1.
    • Spider-Man in Issue 123.
    • Doctor Strange accompanies the team on a journey to “Hell” to save Nightcrawler’s soul (later revealed to be an illusion created by Margali Szardos) in Annual #4.
    • The Invisible Woman joins the team to help save the rest of the Fantastic Four when they are kidnapped by the Badoon in Annual #5.
    • Carol Danvers accompanies the team for so long following her de-powering that she practically becomes a member through The Brood Saga and fully intends to join the team as Binary follow the events of that story. If it weren’t for Xavier allowing her earlier attacker Rogue to join the team as well Carol might have stuck around for a long time.
  • Guile Hero: Cyclops largely grows from the straight-laced “Execute Attack Pattern Alpha!” style leader of the Lee-Kirby years into a Magnificent Bastard capable of thinking out dozens of plans simultaneously while on the run in the Claremont era. Probably best exemplified during the team’s second fight with Dark Phoenix actually one of Mastermind’s illusions mapping the Dark Phoenix’ form onto Scott’s body. With his teammates fighting against him Scott tricks Kitty into phasing him into the Danger Room where he’s programmed a Savage Land scenario on the fly to keep them all off balance and give him time to find the perpetrator of the attack.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Wolverine and Cyclops are a pretty well-known example, with Wolvie hating Cyke for his cautiousness and Cyclops hating Wolverine for not following orders and his lone wolf tendencies. They got better, but it never really faded completely.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In the early 90s, after a long while of being good-ish, and trying to atone for his past deeds, Magneto comes to the conclusion that he's not Xavier and never will be, and decides to prove it by killing Zaladane. The out-of-universe reason is that artists started having more clout than the writers, and the artist on X-Men wanted Magneto as a bad guy again. Of course, it turned out that door was a little jammed...
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Rogue, who started out as a member of The Brotherhood before joining the X-Men to help with her powers.
    • Magneto becomes a full-fledged member of the team during Claremont’s run, with Xavier even appointing him as head of the school.
    • Juggernaut, during Chuck Austen's run.
  • Heroic BSoD: Storm, following her Depowering. Forge helped her get through it... though she did not take it well when she found out he was responsible for it in the first place.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jean thought she was pulling one when she decides that, with her TK, she can keep out lethal radiation long enough to pilot a shuttle containing the X-Men. However, the Phoenix decided differently.
    • The Phoenix itself (still masquerading as Jean) does this on the Moon when it realizes that the Dark Phoenix will come back eventually no matter what. Its death (albeit temporary) leads to the real Jean's eventual resurrection.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Right there in the opening titles, "sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them." Most of the X-Men's major victories tend to be things where there are no witnesses, while their public fights tend to be destructive. Not helping is the time one of their fights accidentally killed Senator Robert Kelly's wife.
  • Hide Your Gays: Due to the time they were written in, Claremont issues could never say that Mystique and Destiny were lovers. But there were the occasional great big flashing signs hinting at it.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: The first time Xavier's evil side appears, it attacks the All-New team with simulations of the Original Five. When Xavier shows up to end things, he has the 05 projections beat up his evil side.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Early on, Colossus has a massive boy-crush on Storm, who is very much aware but doesn't reciprocate.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: The first hint that Wolverine is not 100% a dick is during the team's first fight with a demon, and it hurts Kurt, prompting Logan to declare no-one hurts the elf. This would be the same Nightcrawler Logan tried to murder for laughing at him earlier that very day.
  • I Am the Noun: Lilandra tries to stop a fight between the Shi'ar Imperial Guard and the X-Men by declaring "I am the Empire!" Then Chancellor Araki steps in to inform her that, what with that whole "treason" thing, she isn't.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: When Rachel van Helsing is turned into a vampire by Dracula in Uncanny X-Men Annual #6, she asks Wolverine to kill her with a wooden stake.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Kitty to Storm when Storm was bitten by Dracula.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Early on, the explanation for the sudden appearance of mutants was the development of the atomic bomb, hence the team's nickname "Children of the Atom". Despite this, most of them do not owe their powers to exposure to nuclear radiation. Sunfire does, because his family were at Hiroshima.
  • Improvised Cross:
    • In one eighties issue, Nightcrawler and Wolverine are fighting Dracula. Wolverine crosses his claws to make a cross and Dracula tells him that in order for that to work on him you have to believe. Nightcrawler holds up two pieces of wood in a cross-shape and tells Dracula "I believe!" and Dracula recoils. Look at it here.
    • In Uncanny X-Men Annual #6, which is a continuation to the events above, Rachel Van Helsing keeps Dracula at bay with two candlesticks forming a cross. Since she has been recently turned into a vampire, it burns her as well.
  • Inner Monologue: During Chris Claremont's run, characters had a tendency to do this.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Storm, before she got the hang of American sensitivities.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Hijack pretty much ran on this when it came to using his phone.
  • Interactive Narrator: The narrator, who is kind of a condescending dick, sometimes taunts the characters.
    Omniscient Narrator: You and the X-Men had saved the world from a nuclear holocaust, but you lost a man to do it... and try as you might, you can't balance those scales in your mind or in your heart... can you, Cyclops?
    Cyclops: No.
    Narrator: Can you?
    Cyclops: No!
    Narrator: CAN YOU?
    Cyclops: NO!!
  • Is That What They're Calling It Now?: Under attack by some brainwashed hippies (it's a whole thing), Scott warns Emma about her flank. Emma tells him that'd better not mean what she thinks it means, or he's not getting any "flank" that evening.
  • I Owe You My Life: Magneto strong-arms Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch into joining the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants after saving them from an angry mob. They leave the first chance they get.
  • Jerkass: Angus McWhirter, a temperamental Scottish boat owner the All-New team tries to procure transport to Muir Island from. He refuses to give them a boat, paid for in Moira's name, and refuses to give the money back. So Colossus hangs him from a pipe and the X-Men take his boat anyway. Then, when Magneto destroys it, Mr McWhirter decides the best response is to go to Muir Island and blow it up, not caring whether anyone innocent will be hurt (in fact thinking "so much the better").
  • Jerkass Ball: Professor X had the occasional tendency to cling to it. The infamous "Professor X is a JERK!" incident being a stand-out example.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The beginning of issue 106 has Wolverine, pre-Character Development, telling Cyclops to lay off on unfairly comparing the new team to the original X-Men. Banshee points out that as unpleasant as Wolverine is, he's right, a fact Scott concedes.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Early Wolverine was, put succinctly, a raging asshole, often drawing his claws on his teammates for minor offences (he once tried to kill Colossus for saving his life for God's sake). It takes some time (in and out of universe) for him to lighten up.
    • Sunfire, being a proud, racist nationalist, started off as an antagonist to the X-Men. He was later persuaded to join briefly by Charles, then almost immediately quit, then came back. Then he quit again once everything was over. However, when Logan first meets his cousin Mariko, she notes he often spoke of the X-Men with respect.
  • Kid from the Future: Rachel Summers/Grey debuted here.
  • Kid Hero: The original team were all teenagers when Professor Xavier recruited them. Even among the All-New, All-Different team Colossus was 17 when he joined and Kitty was thirteen-and-a-half. It is with the creation of the first spin-off title New Mutants that Xavier starts separating recruits between the adult and teenage team, though there would be exceptions such as the later introduction of Jubilee.
  • Killer Robot: The Sentinels, not to mention the much more advanced model Nimrod.
  • Large Ham: Even in a World of Ham, Storm stands out for being the hammiest. Especially during Claremont's run.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • In the Lee / Kirby days, Professor X tended to throw this around willy-nilly. Villain with a dangerous power? Zap! Hero summoned to your secret base who can't keep a secret? Zap! Loved ones who might ask where you've gone? Sorry, Beast, Zap!
    • It turns out that, when Emma and Namor confronted Sebastian Shaw about his building Sentinels, Selene made sure Emma forgot about the entire event. She remembered when she pieced her memory back together after fighting the Phoenix.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • The team's attempts to stop Lucifer (the alien warlord) aren't helped by the Avengers getting involved.
    • The X-Men return to Earth to stop the Brood embryo near-to-term within Xavier and run into the (from their perspective) previously unseen New Mutants living at the mansion. Both groups immediately devolve into a fight, with the New Mutants putting up a bit of a fight before being overwhelmed by the much more experienced X-Men.
  • Little Black Dress: Storm dons one for a formal do at Cassidy Keep. Nightcrawler is understandably awed.
  • Love Triangle:
    • When Jean shows up for the first time all of the other guys — except for Bobby, in a bit of unintentional foreshadowing about his later coming out — immediately start drooling over her. Hank settles into an easy friendship with her soon after leaving Scott and Warren to vie for Jean's affections for a good part of the Silver Age. Warren eventually realizes that he and Jean are Better as Friends and Scott and Jean become the one true X-couple from thereon out with no one ever showing up to try and split them up.
    • Iceman, Havok and Lorna Dane, which eventually seemed to conclude with Havok ending up with Lorna. Skip forward a few decades, and Chuck Austen decided to revive it as a love square, with the new-comer of Annie Ghazikhian, who had a mutually reciprocated crush on Alex. That ended when Austen left, and Annie was promptly bundled onto a bus.
    • The famous Cyclops-Jean-Wolverine triangle. Jean generally prefers good-if-utterly-crap at expressing his feelings Scott, but there's some attraction to Logan in there.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Corsair reveals to Scott that he's his father on their second meeting.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: The M'Kraan Crystal is guarded by the tiny but powerful Jahf. Should anyone somehow defeat him, he's replaced by the much larger and every bit as hard to kill Modt, who assures the X-Men that if he goes down, someone even more powerful will replace him, and so on until their opponent dies (or flees).
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: During the fight with Kierrok the Damned, Professor X tries reading his mind. This very quickly turns out to be a mistake.
  • Missing Dad: Cyclops' dad, Corsair, shows up when the X-Men first encounter the Shi'ar, and after a quick mind-scan, Jean reveals she knows who he is.
  • The Mole: Cyclops during the X-Men's first conflict with the Brood, as it's revealed that under his visor, his transformation was happening.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Gladiator of the Imperial Guard operates on this, and Just Following Orders.
  • Narrating the Obvious: One of Claremont's failings is that he cannot let a scene stand on its own, the characters have to narrate their every action, no matter how freaking obvious it is.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • Magneto. Ye Gods, Magneto. Magnetism apparently allows him to fly, mind-control people, knock folk unconscious, protect himself from convection, predict where Nightcrawler will teleport... and, on occasion, he'll use it to manipulate metal.
    • Jean's transformation into the Phoenix is all over this. Previously limited to telekinesis and telepathy, Jean suddenly has the power to; transform her clothing, fly, shoot fire, throw down with Heralds of Galactus, open stargates... oh, and surviving being killed by unfiltered and ludicrously lethal levels of radiation. A little beyond your average telekinetic, that.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Emperor D'Ken, as part of Deathbird's wedding, has Charles thrown into the M'Krann Crystal, to drive him mad the same way it did D'Ken. All it does is restore Charles' telepathy, which he'd lost after M-Day.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Emma Frost deals out two brutal ones to Lady Mastermind during the "Sisterhood" story arc. In consecutive issues, no less.
  • No, Mister Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Doom invites Storm into his castle for dinner after she threatens him... and continues the dinner even though he knows she's distracting him.
  • Nom de Mom: Rachel Summers, after her return, changes her name to Rachel Grey thanks to Scott going out with Emma Frost at the time.
  • Off-Model: During the Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen runs, but what do you expect with Greg Land on art? Watch as Emma Frost inexplicably changes hairstyles between panels.
  • Oh, Crap!: One issue ends with Kitty's "muggle" best friend Doug Ramsay telling her, shortly after he helped her hack some Hellfire Club stuff, that he's just gotten an offer to join this exclusive school... in Massachusetts. Kitty is appropriately terrified for her oblivious friend (and yes, it's an Emma Frost plot).
  • Only Friend: Black Tom Cassidy is this to Juggernaut.
    • Also, Unus the Untouchable to Blob.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Cyclops grew up in one, which was run by a crazed Victorian scientist who did everything he could to make sure it was one for Scott, including brainwashing (or just flat-out killing) anyone who showed him a moment's kindness.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Jahf, First Guardian of the M'Kraan Crystal. He's barely three feet tall, and can hit hard enough to send a man with an adamantium skeleton into orbit with just one punch.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Xavier Institute is supposed to be a school, but an awful lot of the time you won't see the X-Men doing any schoolwork, or teaching anyone. Of course, the fact the school was a cover for teaching them to learn how to protect a world that hates and fears them has something to do with this. It wasn't up until Grant Morrison's New X-Men that the school had a population large enough for them to have to teach.
  • Poirot Speak: Claremont loved him some accents. Naturally, this came up a lot with Nightcrawler (German), Colossus (Russian), and Gambit (French-Cajun) as just some examples.
  • Progressively Prettier:
    • Rachel Grey, what with having grown up in a dystopian internment camp. Logan at one point compares her to a Holocaust survivor (Logan knowing whereof he speaks). After she got put on a bus and reappeared in Excalibur, she's suddenly filled out, gained a few feet, and developed a fondness for leather.
    • Rogue started off as a skinny teenager. Mysteriously, she starts looking like a supermodel around the time Jim Lee started working on the title.
    • When he first appeared, Banshee was drawn as looking like an offensive 19th century Irish stereotype. When he reappears in Giant-Sized X-Men, he suddenly looks a lot hunkier.
    • Nightcrawler. In his earliest appearances, he has harsh facial features, mixed with the blue fur, yellow eyes and pointed teeth. After a while, his features started developing so he looked... well, hot.
  • Psycho Rangers: The X-Sentinels to the original X-Men. They're Sentinels with the same powers and abilities.
  • Purple Prose: Since the series debuted in the Silver Age, this is to be expected, but Chris Claremont's run was infamous for this, describing even the most simple actions with narration boxes, even through into the beginning of the Dark Age.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Magneto makes his reappearance with a suitably dramatic entrance.
  • The Purge:
    • The Mutant Massacre, where the Marauders exterminate a whole heck of a lot of the Morlocks.
    • Shortly after House of M, the Shi'ar wipe out all of Jean Grey's family, out of manic fear of the Phoenix.
  • Put on a Bus: Quite a few characters over the years, especially during Chris Claremont's long run.
    • Beast left the team first, graduating from the school, and going off to his own adventures in other titles, before a decades long sting with some guys called "the Avengers".
    • The entire original group of X-Men, save Cyclops, leave after Giant-Sized X-Men. Jean, Havok and Lorna Dane return soon after, but Iceman and Angel take a while longer.
    • Banshee, who left after losing his powers after straining them to save all of Japan from sinking into the ocean.
    • Cyclops leaves in #138 (the issue following the Dark Phoenix Saga) and returns after helping the team defeat Magneto in #150.
    • Wolverine, during his mini-series and engagement to Mariko. After Mastermind caused her to break said engagment off, he rejoined the team.
    • Cyclops, who lost leadership to Storm, despite her being without powers at the time, and decided to leave again to spend more time with his family.
    • Nightcrawler and Shadowcat, both of whom were horribly injured during the Mutant Massacre, and woke to find the X-Men apparently dead, leading to them founding Excalibur.
    • Sage leaves after Decimation, getting transferred over to New Excalibur.
    • Havok, Polaris, and Rachel remain in Shi'ar space at the end of Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire, to try and stop Vulcan. They remain up there until 2011.
  • Rapid Aging: Magneto was de-aged to a baby before being aged back up into his regular age by Eric the Red.
  • Reality Ensues: Plays a part in Jean becoming the Phoenix. In order to get into Stephen Lang's base, Peter Corbeau rams a space shuttle into it. Problem is, this damages the ship. Space shuttles aren't designed to ram things.
  • Really Gets Around: Funny enough, Charles becomes this during the Bronze Age. We're introduced to two major flames of his from the past in the form of Moira Mactaggert and Gabrielle Haller, mother of Xavier's son David, aka Legion. And then there's Shi'ar Empress Lilandra, who becomes his recurring flame for over a decade after a brief courtship at the beginning of The Dark Phoenix Saga.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Early Magneto is a bona-fide genius who makes Reed look like a chump. He's able to do things like turn a school into a genetics laboratory far beyond the reach of '60s science, make underground bases with shielding able to keep out lava, and advanced robotics, and a freaking asteroid base. He never once uses this for anything over than his own petty drives (the whole "protecting mutantkind" thing came later).
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Wolverine is convinced to join the X-Men by Professor X, and tells Department H where they can stick it. A few years later, his old buddy Jim Hudson (later known as Guardian) comes to bring him back by force. When that doesn't work, he returns with Alpha Flight.
  • Resurrected for a Job: Betsy Braddock's revival after her bout of death in X-Treme X-Men, as her brother Jamie reveals. He did so that she could defeat the First Forsaken.
  • Retcon:
    • The story of Charles' encounter with the Shadow King is an example of a seamless retcon, fitting in neatly to established continuity and building on previous stories.
    • Magneto turning out to having once been friends with Charles, meanwhile, not quite so much, coming after several decades of stories with the two characters. But it does put their fight, and Magneto's beef with the X-Men in a different and more complex light, so no-one's about to complain.
    • Almost everything involving Jean and her connection to the Phoenix Force, including whether it was her or the Phoenix itself that interacted with the X-Men during The Dark Phoenix Saga. This retcon was a major cause behind the splintering relationship between Claremont and Marvel execs during the late 80s and early 90s.
    • Deadly Genesis retcons Giant-Sized X-Men, claiming there was another team Charles sent to the island between the original team and the All-New X-Men, and that Krakoa wasn't actually sentient at all.
  • Ridiculously Mutant Robot: Stephen Lang (no relation) managed to build X-Sentinels, who managed to imitate the powers of the original seven X-Men expertly, include Jean and the Professor's telepathy. Somehow. It took Logan's nose to figure them out.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The first time we learn Logan's name, it's from a leprechaun. Yes. A leprechaun. How exactly a leprechaun knows Logan's name goes entirely unrevealed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Cyke, when he thought Jean was killed by Stephen Lang. She just manages to stop him from killing the guy.
  • Running Gag:
    • In the early Claremont issues, every time the X-Men go near a vehicle, it gets trashed, be it car, jet, space shuttle, hovercraft. They set foot in it, it goes "boom". Eventually, Nightcrawler starts cracking wise about it.
    • As seen above in Early Installment Weirdness, Claremont would come up with new wrinkles to Wolverine’s character that he would casually drop in conversation such as his adamantium skeleton, healing factor powers and even his real name. Naturally, one of his teammates would ask why he never told them about (insert new revelation here), with this always being the response: "You never asked, bub."
  • Sacrificial Lion: Thunderbird for the All New, All Different X-Men, dying on their second mission. Unfortunately, it's also a...
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Thunderbird's death is not only early, it was also largely pointless and downright idotic. He kills himself by crashing the jet villian Count Nefaria is trying to escape in while ranting about his Apache pride — ignoring the constant warnings from Xavier to stop before he kills himself, or the pleading from Banshee, who not only could have carried him away to safety but easily stopped the jet with little trouble.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In the classic "Days of Future Past" storyline, Kitty Pryde travels back into her old body to prevent the Sentinels' rise to power.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: An early issue of had Storm Skinny Dipping at the mansion pool when the rest of team catches her as she's coming out of the pool, innocently asking why are they are all staring.
  • Shaming the Mob: When Rogue tries to join the X-Men, they swear then and there to quit. Professor X promptly reminds Storm that she once stood by Wolverine when he was at his worst, so why should Rogue not be given a chance? This more or less convinces them.
  • Sherlock Scan: Taken to the point of parody with Spider-Man, when he guest stars. He's able to recognize a brainwashed Cannonball, in the middle of a pitched fight where everyone else is looking different thanks to a spot of magic-induced reality-warping (long story), after a second's glimpse by... Sam's distinctive ears.
  • Ship Tease:
  • Shout-Out:
    • Nightcrawler receives an image inducer to hide his appearance in public and remain anonymous, which he tends to render useless by choosing some A-List Hollywood celebrity. At one point he shifts through several appearances such as Clark Gable and Groucho Marx before settling on his usual form of Errol Flynn.
    • Our first look at the Shi'ar is one great big Star Trek: The Original Series homage, right down to the ship's bridge layout, the crew's uniforms... they even have a Prime Directive.
    • Kitty Pryde uses a Shi'ar clothing machine to first give herself a version of Mary Marvel's outfit, then... Darth Vader. Another issue shows her reading an issue of Marvel's contemporary Star Wars comic.
    • Watching the wedding of Vulcan and Deathbird, Warpath compares it to the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana (presumably in terms of pomp and circumstances, not in terms of how the couple feel about one another).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Jean tells Wolverine to shut up when he acts like a dick to try to stop her from piloting a shuttle through a solar flare (she says her TK will protect her).
  • Signature Line:
    Charles Xavier: To me, my X-Men!
    Wolverine: I'm the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn't very nice.
    The Dark Phoenix: I am fire! And life incarnate! Now and forever! I! Am! PHOENIX!!
    Wolverine: Okay, suckers—you've taken yer best shot! Now It's My Turn!
    Welcome to the X-Men (insert new member of the team here), hope you survive the experience!
    • For Kitty:
    Kitty: Professor Xavier is a jerk!
  • Signature Move: The Fastball Special.
  • Signature Scent: Characters always state that the remnants of Nightcrawler's teleportation cloud smells strongly of brimstone. Meanwhile, up until the first X-Men movie came out, Wolverine was mentioned to smell bad.
  • Signature Sound Effect:
    • "SNIKT!" for Wolverine popping his adamantium claws.
    • "BAMF!" for Nightcrawler teleporting in a cloud of smoke.
    • The lesser-used "ZARK!" whenever Cyclops fires his optic blast.
  • Skewed Priorities: During the X-Men's first encounter with D'Ken, the scene briefly cuts back to Earth, where Dr. Corbeau is bickering with President Jimmy Carter (whose focus groups don't believe Corbeau), and Reed Richards, who chides Peter for being "flippant" when he yells at everyone that reality is breaking down. He is not being flippant in the slightest.
  • The Smurfette Principle: With all the lineup changes over the years, there were a few rosters with only one female member:
    • Jean Grey was the only female member from issues #1 to #59 (September, 1963-August, 1969). Then supporting character Lorna Dane (Polaris) joined the team.
    • Storm was the only female member in issues #95 to #96 (October-December, 1975), after the resignations of both Jean Grey and Polaris. Then Jean rejoined the team.
    • The X-Men disbanded in 1989. The issues continued following former X-Men and their associates.
      • Jubilee was the only female protagonist in issue #252 (November, 1989).
      • Psylocke was the only female protagonist in issue #256 (December, 1989).
      • Dazzler was the only female protagonist in issue #260 (April, 1990).
      • Storm was the only female protagonist in issues #265 to #267 (August-September, 1990). She is also the only female protagonist in issue #270 (November, 1990).
    • Rogue was the only female member in issues #343 to #349 (April-November, 1997). She does not appear in issue #346 (August, 1997). Psylocke appears in her own subplot in issues #348-349 (October-November, 1997) but does not interact with the team. Then Psylocke rejoins the team.
    • The X-Men briefly disbanded in 1999. The issues continued following a duo of former X-Men. Marrow was the only female protagonist in issues #373 to #374(October-November, 1999). Then the team reformed with Rogue, Shadowcat, and Storm joining the ranks.
    • Jean Grey was the only female member in issue #394 (July, 2001). Then the title started featuring an all-male roster.
    • Stacy X was the only female member in issues #399 to #409 (December, 2001- September, 2002). Then M joined the team. Stacy was also the only female member in issues #414 (December, 2002) and #416 (February, 2003), following the departure of M. Then supporting character Husk joined the team.
    • Husk was the only female member in issue #435 (February, 2004). Followed by a spotlight episode for a male member of the team.
    • Polaris was the only female member in issue #443 (June, 2004). Then title then started featuring a new roster, with Marvel Girl/Rachel Grey, Sage, and Storm.
    • Emma Frost was the only female member in issue #492 (January, 2008). Then Storm returned. Emma was also the only female member in issues #494 to #495 (March-April, 2008) and #497 (June, 2008). Hepzibah appeared in #496 (May, 2008) and in subsequent issues.
  • Soaperizing: Exemplified during Claremont's run.
  • Spanner in the Works: During the House of M crossover, Roma and Saturyne prepare to nuke the main reality to stop Wanda's reality warping spreading. Up pops Jamie Braddock to stop them, before disappearing again.
  • Spin-Off: As Claremont added more and more characters (and the franchise exploded in popularity) a number of these popped up:
    • New Mutants, detailing the adventures of Xavier’s second group of students (the All-New, All-Different team were adults when they joined and didn’t fit the “teen superhero” aesthetic of the first team). This series would eventually be rebooted as X-Force.
    • X-Factor, which saw the original five X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel) forming a new team that pretended to be mutant hunters so they could rescue young mutants on the run. The original members would all rejoin the team after the Muir Island Saga with Havok, Polaris, Multiple Man and others forming a new X-Factor as a group of government sponsored superheroes.
    • Excalibur, a combination of X-characters (Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers) and Marvel UK characters (Captain Britain and Meggan) going on wacky adventures across the Multiverse.
    • Dazzler would spin-off into her own series instead of joining the team after The Dark Phoenix Saga. Due to the deal worked out by Marvel editorial her first appearances in Uncanny X-Men were more of a Backdoor Pilot than anything. She would join the X-Men proper after the cancellation of her series.
    • Wolverine, being the Breakout Character would receive his own limited series in 1982 written by Claremont with art by Frank Miller and later star in a Long Runner solo series as he continued to eclipse every other mutant in the Marvel Universe.
  • Spotting the Thread: An issue begins with some punk kids in New York getting sliced up by someone with adamantium claws. While in the morgue, the coroner notes to Logan that he can't have done it - for one, there's only two claw marks, and second, they're closer together than Logan's. The culprit is X-23.
  • Storyboarding the Apocalypse: Jean takes a peak inside the collapsing M'Kraan Crystal, and sees what would happen if it breaks - the universe gets destroyed and reborn in a new Big Bang.
  • Tagalong Kid: Kitty Pryde joins the team after The Dark Phoenix Saga and immediately starts accompanying them on missions despite only being thirteen-and-a-half years old. Xavier attempts to avert this when he establishes the New Mutants and immediately demotes Kitty to that team but she’s too stubborn to go along with it and remains on the X-Men regardless.
    • Kitty would later be succeeded by another tough young mutant training under Wolverine by the name of Jubilee.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Taken Up to Eleven during the Claremont and Lobdell runs. Especially noticeable with Banshee, who really shouldn't be able to talk while using his powers.
  • Teleport Spam: Trope Codifier Nightcrawler was introduced in this series. Early on, Kurt would have difficulty with this, since using his powers wore him out just as much as it did anyone riding with him.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Professor X mentions Moira Mactaggert will be looking after the mansion while he's away, Banshee assumes she'll be some manner of old hag. He is naturally speechless when he opens the door for her, and pretty much falls for her then and there.
    • During a fight with a Brainwashed and Crazy Havok and Polaris, Storm confidently states that Polaris can't fly. Unfortunately, Shi'ar brainwashing comes with taking a level in badass, and so Polaris can fly.
    • The X-Men's first encounter with Jahf. Cyclops tells Wolverine to be careful, since they've no idea what he can do.
    Wolverine: You be careful, bub. That's your bag, ain't it? 'sides, I ain't gonna hurt the little fella much.
    Jahf: (smirking as he draws back a fist) That's for sure...
    Next panel: *POW*
  • That Woman Is Dead: Phoenix's introduction.
    Phoenix: Hear me, X-Men! No longer am I the woman you once knew! I am fire! And life incarnate! Now and forever — I am PHOENIX!
  • Third-Person Person: Early on, Wolverine had a tendency to refer to himself as "the Wolverine" or "Wolverine" when angry or annoyed. Sometimes the other X-Men would get in on this.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Like most superheroes, the X-Men (usually) hold themselves to this. Logan at one point goes as far as to stab Rachel (non-fatally) to stop her killing Selene.
  • Token Evil Teammate: During Matt Fraction's run, Emma and Namor, as both were already pretty dark and were secretly part of the Cabal.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: In #177, a powerless Storm grabs a length of pipe to defend herself when attacked during a blizzard, only to have her hands freeze to to the metal.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Jean, when she becomes Phoenix, which Scott lampshades.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The first Sentinels abduct Bolivar Trask and demand he make more of them, threatening to kill him if he doesn't. The mark .ii Sentinels also turn on Larry Trask, his son, when they realise he's a Mutant, and kill him. The later Sentinels do not have this problem though, doing exactly what they were programmed for.
  • Undressing the Unconscious: In #144, Doctor Doom captures Storm and turns her into an organic steel statue. In the next issue, we see that Storm is not wearing the same clothes when Doom first turned her into steel, meaning he must have somehow changed her clothes while she was in her statue form, putting her into a much more revealing dress.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Magneto's reappearance in Brubaker's run, since the last time he'd shown up was over in New Avengers, where he'd apparently been blown up. This goes unaddressed, because hey, it's Magneto. He's had worse.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The X-Men's run in with Kierrok the Damned, the All-New team's first encounter with the supernatural. Precise time they spend asking what the hell (hee-hee) a demon is doing smashing through the living room wall? None. In fairness, Kierrok is kind enough to outline what he is as he's trying to kill them.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Cyclops and Wolverine became this over time, most notable in the few years before Schism, in which they were actually pretty tight, where Jean wasn't concerned. After Schism...
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Thunderbird, introduced in Giant-Sized X-Men and then killed off in the very next story arc, and not in a very flattering manner, either.
  • Wham Episode: Being a Long Runner, there are several throughout the series:
    • Giant-Size X-Men #1: Professor Xavier recruits a second team of mutants to save the first group, bringing in future mainstays Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Breakout Character Wolverine. The following issues sees all of the original members except for Cyclops leave, shifting the status quo in the title for good.
    • Issue 95 sees Thunderbird sacrificing himself to stop Count Nefaria’s plot, marking him as the first X-Man to die in battle and showing that as far as the All-New, All-Different era is concerned, Anyone Can Die.
    • Issue 101 features Jean sacrificing herself to pilot the X-Men back to Earth and being reborn as the Phoenix, sparking a 36-issue Myth Arc that culminates in the most iconic storyline in X-Men history.
    • The Dark Phoenix Saga (#129 - 137) features a Wham Episode every issue, bringing in major characters (Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Dazzler, the Hellfire Club), revealing Jean’s mysterious paramour as Silver Age villain Mastermind, featuring Jean’s transformation into the Dark Phoenix and destruction of a star system, the X-Men’s climactic duel on the Moon with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and Jean’s Heroic Suicide to prevent the Dark Phoenix from emerging once more. The follow-up issue 138, sees Cyclops quit the team, leaving the X-Men without their leader.
    • Days of Future Past (#141 - 142) features Kate Pryde of 2013 shifting into her younger body to warn the X-Men of the dark future ruled by Sentinels. Though the X-Men save Senator Kelly from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants the dark future is not necessarily prevented as Kelly recruits Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club to enact Project Wideawake to unleash Sentinels on the mutant race.
    • Issue 160 has the team go to Limbo to save Illyana Rasputin, facing twisted alternate future versions of themselves to save Colossus’ little sister. Though they escape Illyana is aged seven years in the process and irrevocably changed due to her ordeal with Belasco, leading to years of stories throughout Uncanny X-Men and New Mutants that culminate in the Inferno crossover.
    • The Brood Saga (#161 - 167) features the X-Men getting kidnapped by the Brood and implanted with queen embryos, leading the team to launch a final attack against the aliens in a Dying Moment of Awesome. Though the X-Men survive and return home Professor Xavier has been so shaken by the temporary loss of his students that he forms the New Mutants. After Xavier nearly succumbs to his Brood embryo and has his consciousness placed in a clone body, allowing him to walk for the first time in fifteen years. And worst of all, Kitty has to leave the X-Men to join the New Mutants!
  • Wham Line: Jean, who had previously read Corsair's mind, addresses him as "Major Summers". Just to make it clear what she's talking about, she then tells him Scott's his son.
  • Wham Shot: A cross-title one during the 80s. Over in Avengers, it had been mentioned that Wanda and Pietro Maximoff's dead mother was named Magda. In Uncanny X-Men, one issue has Magneto going across his old records, and finds one of his old love... Magda.
  • When the Planets Align: When a set of nine "death stars" (not that kind of death star) align over the M'Kraan Crystal, once every million years, the power of the M'kraan Crystal can be accessed.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • #117 sees Xavier’s first meeting with the mutant telepathy who would go on to become his personal arch-nemesis: The Shadow King, as he narrates to Lilandra.
    • #161 sees Xavier’s first meeting with Magneto and their battle against HYDRA to save a Holocaust survivor named Gabrielle Haller, who would go on to be the mother of Xavier’s son: Legion.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Storm’s claustrophobia comes up shortly after her introduction (the result of her being trapped under rubble after being the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her parents dead) and comes up several times throughout the years.
  • Woman Scorned: During Chuck Austen's run, Alex Summers has to learn the hard way it's a profoundly stupid move to dump a traumatised woman on her wedding day, at the altar. Especially when that woman has magnetic powers.
  • The Worf Effect: A thing in early Claremont issues involved Colossus getting beaten up by the bad guys. Eventually, even he got sick of being everyone's punching bag.
  • World of Ham: Bronze Age Chris Claremont, so yeah. Lots of monologuing and shouting to yourself.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • James Proudstar comes after Xavier, blaming him for his brother John's death. He doesn't kill Charles, however, and moves on from this, eventually going on to join X-Force, and the X-Men themselves.
    • Vulcan starts off determined to kill D'Ken for murdering his mother. When he finds out D'Ken might as well be dead anyhow, he changes tack to revenge on the Shi'ar in general. Then he revives D'Ken anyway... and kills him at the first opportunity.
  • You Are Fat: During a psychic duel, Rachel tries suggesting this about Emma, who shrugs it off with a "so what if I was? Scott still loves me."
  • You're Insane!: Darwin, to Vulcan, in "Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire", after he explains what's going on to him. Amazingly for Vulcan, his only response is to calmly threaten Darwin's life, rather than just skip to trying to murder him.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: During a fight with Xavier's evil side, it creates an apparent chasm in the floor. The X-Men know it's an illusion, but they note falling into it would still kill them all the same because of this trope.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: After catching his little sister, D'Ken plans to feed Lilandra to a Soul Drinker. Fortunately, Nightcrawler teleports her away.


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