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  • Accidental Aesop: Writers have generally treated the undue persecution given to mutants relative to other superpowered individuals as something of a plothole, with a number of explanations existing for why mutants in particular are seen as evil and not the Fantastic Four. However, an increasing number of fans have claimed that it actually provides one of the franchise's better morals on prejudice: that prejudice does not flow from consistent cause-and-effect, since it is by nature an immoral and illogical response. All throughout history, there have been cases of bigots that loved one group while hating another for completely arbitrary reasons.
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  • Accidental Innuendo: X-Men #35, which guest-starred Spider-Man, had Spider-Man fall in a stream while fighting the X-Men. Upon resurfacing, he declares, "Alright, you mutant misfits-- you've had it! One cataclysmic climax coming up-- in which a slightly soggy Spider-Man creams four X-Men!"
  • Adaptation Displacement: Azazel and Toad have both been largely displaced by their respective film adaptations, both of which are generally preferred over their original incarnations. William Stryker is a curious example in that his original incarnation wasn't bad, and is still regarded well as a villain, but has still been overshadowed by his film incarnation thanks to the latter being one of the most recurring villains across all the films (only Magneto and Mystique have made more appearances).
  • Adorkable:
    • In Mojo: Black, we see an exiled Mojo crushing on a human woman called Ann, and striking up a sincere friendship with Glob, and he is so uncharacteristically shy and visibly out of his depth that it's surprisingly endearing.
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    • Nightcrawler's original characterization was this just through his wacky antics; later interpretations and adaptations often have him as a huge fan of one fandom or another—see Ultimate X-Men.
      • In one issue's Danger Room Cold Open, he and Rachel argue over what the best pirate film is.
      • In Excalibur, he would flirt shamelessly with Meggan only to become embarrassed and befuddled if she turned the tables on him.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Turns out, the Phoenix Force wanted Teen Jean out of the way rather than wanting her as the latest host. To do so, the Phoenix kills Teen Jean so Adult Jean can claim it as the one true host. Many of her detractors, though they loved this twist, felt sorry for her.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Apocalypse. Is he a one-note madman whose entire raison d'être boils down to hypocrisy (i.e. is willing to apply his The Social Darwinist ideologies to others but not himself) or is he a meticulously calculating Hidden Agenda Villain whose devotion to his diktat is so absolute as to accept his own death? Even within the same work his characterization can swing between these extremes Depending on the Writer, let alone his various adaptations and whatnot.
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    • Due to her long time lack of romantic connections to any character, many fans assumed Magik to be Asexual, while others interpreted her friendship with Kitty as having Les Yay vibes. New Mutants suggests that she is pansexual, being into Anything That Moves (with the exception of humans).
    • Cyclops has been hit with a lot of this over the years, both by fans and by writers. Depending on the Writer he's either a kind, compassionate man who simply suffers from bad social skills or he's a stubborn Jerkass control freak who may or may not have developed some very bigoted disdain towards the humans who have persecuted him and his fellow mutants.
      • In particular, a strong argument can be made that Scott's deepest relationship was not with either Jean Grey or Emma Frost...but with the Phoenix Force. He and Jean dated in high school, but the deepest part of their early relationship was during a period when the real Jean was being impersonated by the Phoenix. Word of God is that that part of Jean was later reincarnated as Madelyne Pryor, which is something that Cyclops never quite put his finger on. This gives a tragic bent to his (arguably accidental) abandonment of Madelyne and return to a resurrected Jean — but, importantly, a Jean with no memory of how their relationship had evolved past "we were dating in high school". Notably, X-Men: The End, Chris Claremont had Scott explain that the reason his and Jean's subsequent relationship never quite seemed right was because the parts of Jean that he truly fell in love with were the parts that had been reincarnated as Madelyne. This theory also puts his actions in Avengers vs. X-Men and Brian Michael Bendis's Uncanny X-Men into a slightly different light.
    • Teen Jean Grey is a jerkass brat who abuses her newly-acquired telepathic powers or merely a flawed teenager reacting to an awful situation in believable ways?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Despite Jubilee's many, many, many traumatic experiences, she remains remarkably upbeat. She has strongly implied that this is just a front.
    "I'm just a kid — if I want to pretend like nothin' never bothers me, that's my right as an immature brat."
    • While Sabretooth's basic character and history remains the same from writer to writer, his competence and motivation swings wildly Depending on the Writer. More on that can be read on both below and back on his main page.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: Magneto: Testament is very popular amongst American readers for its realistic portrayal of the Holocaust among other things. However, in Poland, the nicest thing you will hear about it is that it's "the Holocaust made by Disney". It doesn't help that it alludes to a debunked story about Polish cavalry deliberately attacking German tanks, a myth that the Poles perhaps understandably don't take kindly to. It's to the point where they'll outright refuse to acknowledge any part of Magneto's life where he is named as Max Eisenhardt.
  • Anvilicious: The anti-bigotry message that has pervaded every fiber of X-Men ever since Chris Claremont's run is definitely a case of Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped, but under bad writers, it can be taken to laughable extremes. A recurring complaint is that the Muggles' hatred of mutants frequently gets exaggerated to ludicrous levels just so the message can be hammered further. The fact that these very same people are often shown to be perfectly fine with other superheroes in the Marvel Universe just makes it even sillier. Writers since 2017 have been adress
  • 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. This has led to Many Long Time Readers leaving the titles.
    • This is also largely the reason behind why the M-Pox storyline is so poorly received; not only does it essentially repeat the same beats as Decimation did (mutants are going extinct, no more new mutants, etc), but its also a repeat of the earlier and similar Legacy Virus arc (disease targeting mutants, characters struggle to find a cure).
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Deadpool: "I just beat Mag-freakin-neto! Where yo curly mustasche at?!"Explanation 
    • Deadpool: "HAHAHA! Magneto! Welcome TO DIE!!!"Explanation 
  • Audience-Alienating Premise:
    • The 2009 Alternate Continuity miniseries X-Men Noir suffered from this. Understandably, not many fans wanted to read a 1930s period piece where the X-Men were a gang of sociopathic criminals without superpowers, and where the protagonist was actually "The Angel" (an obscure superhero from Marvel Mystery Comics who most fans had never heard of). As a result, the miniseries isn't well-regarded by many fans today.
    • Similar to X-Men Noir above is the little-remembered X-Men: The Ravages of Apocalypse, a Quake I conversion that puts the player in the shoes of a cyborg soldier (possibly Cable?) in the service of Magneto and charges them with killing the X-Men. Okay, okay, evil clones of the X-Men. It's still Darker and Edgier personified and the players most likely to enjoy it are those least likely to be X-Men fans.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Fans have been nettling Marvel about the problematic elements of Kwannon's story (an Asian character has her body stolen by a Caucasian one, the Caucasian one keeps the stolen body permanently while the Asian one is conveniently killed off) for decades now, but escalating complaints in the 2010's finally forced their hand, leading them to undo the decades-old body swap and restoring Betsy to her original Caucasian body. As it's become long since clear that, for better or worse, the sexy ninja Psylocke is more popular than the Tamer and Chaster original Psylocke, Marvel decided to try and have their cake and eat it too by having Betsy take up the Captain Britain mantle for the first time since she was blinded by Slaymaster, while reintroducing Kwannon as the new Psylocke. Time will tell whether fans embrace this substitute, though initial reactions seem to be positive.
    • A lot of criticism came from teen Jean Grey outing Bobby against his will, with both teen Bobby and regular Bobby seemingly not too bothered by it. Uncanny X-Men: Winter's End has adult Bobby confront adult Jean about her outing him and elaborates on his feelings about the incident.
    • Jubilee's restored mutant powers and cured from her vampirism by Kid Omega's Phoenix Shard in Generation X (2017) was a complain ever since thirteen years since her mutant powers got removed in House of M and later the Curse of the Mutants storyline which turned her a vampire as a Dork Age of the character
    • While some people do question this, Betsy's return to her British Caucasian look in Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor is seen as this as current Marvel Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski did see her as appropriating something she shouldn't (especially since he did the same exact thing when pretending to be a Japanese man he himself hired).
    • For those don't like it, other writers would utilize Kwannon in the traditional Psylocke role, before outright making her the new Psylocke. All the while, Betsy becomes Captain Britain for the Dawn of X initiative, which addressed complaints of taking away Asian representation and desexualizing her, when being a Ms. Fanservice is a defining trait for the character. Both are even the lead of their own comics, Excalibur and Fallen Angels/Hellions. This was very clearly done as an even-sided compromise for everyone.
    • While Professor X's hands weren't perfectly clean from day one, increasingly unheroic acts had been retconned into his past until it was hard to see him as a good guy at all. Eventually, an arc showed him making amends with people's wronged while showing that we didn't know the whole story behind some of the things we thought he did.
  • Awesome Ego: Apocalypse. The most gloriously hammy and Shakespearian of all the X-Men villains. It's rare indeed for a story featuring the character to go by without him -rightly- bragging about his awesome power or invincibility, or references to notions like triumph or eternity in relation to himself.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Like many comics strongmen, Colossus has a distressing tendency to be used for The Worf Effect. His appearance in X-Men is a good example.
    • Juggernaut suffered from this in the early 2000s thanks to the poison pen of Chuck Austen. A timely Author's Saving Throw after Austen's departure gave a reason for it (the deity that empowered Cain was displeased with him going good and decided to weaken him as punishment).
    • Sabretooth has suffered this heavily within the last decade. Originally in the X-Franchise, Claremont wrote & showed him as Wolverine's superior, even stating that in all their lives, Logan has never defeated him in a straight up fight. He was a big enough threat to be locked up by the X-Men, while Xavier tried to rehab him. He becomes a Boxed Crook, and emotionally torments most who came to see him, even breaking Xavier and contributing to him becoming Onslaught. After escaping, he defeated everyone who confronted him — leaving them badly injured, in critical condition, or mentally scarred. Only Jean Grey was able to finally incapacitate him. He was sent to X-Factor and put in a restraining collar to keep him in line. He ends up escaping his confines once more & killing many X-Factor members, while critically injuring numerous others like Mystique & Wildchild. In recent years, Sabretooth loses every fight he's in and Took a Level in Dumbass. At one point, he's beaten up, having a black eye and swearing revenge. It's followed by everyone laughing at him, and Logan asking when he's ever been a threat. It's very evident in Weapon X (2017), where he's treated as the team Butt-Monkey, and does nothing but annoy everyone he interacts with, while being of little to no use for anything. The editor of the comic, Chris Robinson lists Sabretooth as the kind of villain who isn't a threat to anyone, except 1 particular hero (Wolverine)
  • Base-Breaking Character: This Way

  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • Emma Frost. There's a reason a lot of tropes listed on this page are about her outfit...
    • Psylocke. Even leaving aside her years in Marvel UK (pilot, secret agent, dead fiance, killed her brother's Evil Twin when he tried to rape her...), remember those years she spent as the team's primary telepath? How about those two times she took on Sabretooth with nothing but her psychic powers? Held off Mr. Sinister in the Inferno grand finale? Nothing? Okay, how about that time she got turned into a hot Asian babe and spent years posing in a thong?
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In the context of Dazzler's first appearance, in The Dark Phoenix Saga, she was very much this. However, she proved to be successful in the long run, though it wasn't until well after the story arc had wrapped up.
  • Broken Base: See Here
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Fans tend to hear Jim Ward or Patrick Stewart (along with Cedric Smith or James McAvoy) as Professor Xavier, Nolan North or Norm Spencer (or maybe Kirby Morrow) as Cyclops, Liam O'Brien as Angel, Steve Blum or Scott McNeil (or Cal Dodd) as Wolverine, Yuri Lowenthal as Iceman, Jennifer Hale (or maybe Catherine Disher or Venus Terzo) as Jean Grey, Fred Tatasciore, George Buza, Kelsey Grammer, or Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Liam O'Brien or Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler, Susan Dalian as Storm, Phil LaMarr (or maybe Chris Porter or Tony Daniels) as Gambit, Lenore Zann (or maybe Megan Black or Kieren van den Blink) as Rogue, Danielle Judovits (or maybe Kath Soucie or Maggie Blue O'Hara) as Kitty Pryde, and Kari Wahlgren as Emma Frost among the other members whenever they are reading their lines from just about anywhere.
  • Character Rerailment: From the late 2000s onwards, it's felt that Gambit's improved dramatically, starting with a major supporting role by Marjorie Liu in her X-23 series, where he served as a kind of mentor for Laura, which helped mature him as a character, taking him out of the edgy and irresponsible mould he'd previously occupied.
    • Additionally, his late 00s and New 10s appearances helped by having other characters point out his chronic history of irresponsibility, with the likes of Peter Wisdom (Director MI13) warning him that there's only so long he can dance on both sides of the line, while Rogue advised that he couldn't be a member of the 'Avengers Unity Squad' on the grounds that, "at heart, Remy LeBeau will always be a thief", which Gambit admitted was true. However, in at least one case, this came with a heartwarming coda - as Logan put it, he was given a fairly ridiculous teaching role at the Jean Grey School (Sex Ed, at a school where a significant proportion of the students didn't even have genitals) with the expectation that he wouldn't be around a lot... but also that he'd be around when he was needed. He's also acknowledged the habit himself, stepping up by becoming King of the Thieves Guild (to keep it out of worse hands, later giving his father his proxy), and finally proposing to and marrying Rogue.
  • Creator Worship: Chris Claremont is an odd case. As noted elsewhere on this page, there is a vocal contingent of diehard X-Men fans online that absolutely revere the man, elevating him into a Sacred Cow for his legendary 16-year run on the X-Men and brushing aside his more hit-or-miss work on the franchise afterwards. On the other hand, he's become almost infamous in the fandom for his love of fetishes and tendency to mire his works in Kudzu Plot. Perhaps most puzzling, though, is that his greatest contribution to X-Men as a whole, emphasizing the "mutants-as-minority" message that would go on to become a cornerstone of the entire franchise, is largely forgotten, with many fans assuming it has just always been part of the X-Men from day one. In fact, the original incarnation of the X-Men as imagined by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby was little more than an Alternate Company Equivalent take on DC Comics' Doom Patrol, and the very reason the mutant concept was originally created was as an easy Hand Wave to explain the source of the X-Men's superpowers (as opposed to the elaborate backstories that were then the norm for superheroes). While prejudice against the mutants was there almost from the get-go, it was not nearly as fundamental to the stories before Claremont.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • 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.
      • Saying she doesn't like Mutants (She has her reasons) over and over again.
      • 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.
    • X-23 enjoys her fair share of this too, particularly whenever Craig Kyle is around. 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 Jerkass, 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 Dark Horse 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).
    • Hope Summers at first. Many didn't really like her being Flat Character aside from being the Chosen One. Also her Harry Potter-esque "Chosen One proximity danger zone" status didn't help either. Yet for a few years she was the most important character in X-Men. She became much more popular post Avengers vs. X-Men when she took more of a back seat and was allowed to develop as a character in her own right.
    • Even taking into account Quentin Quire's characterization as an angsty disaffected teen not living up to his potential, so many advantages are dropped onto him that it really strains credulity. He's a genius level intellect with omega level powers destined to become a host to the Phoenix and nothing is done with it. Many of the students at the time (Rockslide, Anole, Armor, Pixie, Dust, Mercury and Hellion to name a few) had become quite popular. Quentin Quire's return was meant to capture that magic to mixed results. Mostly because he began taking the spotlight often at the expense of the aforementioned students. Recently, this has been lampshaded somewhat, with Quire being somewhat depressed about it. This is about the only explanation for all his Character Shilling.
    • In the 90s, Gambit was everywhere, whether he had a reason to be there or not.
    • Kitty Pryde for many fans of both Joss Whedon and Brian Michael Bendis.
      • She was the focus of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run.
      • Bendis had admitted he liked her since he was a kid and in Ultimate Spider-Man, he has the Ultimate versions of Kitty and Spider-Man start a relationship and she even became a transplant to Ultimate Spider-Man after they broke up, not helped by Bendis saying Peter was like him. Bendis's run on Guardians of the Galaxy also saw Kitty and Star-Lord start a relationship and even take over for Peter Quill.
  • 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 Cyclops and Wolverine have became this. Cyclops has became a violent extremist who refuses to accept responsibility and justifies his actions with weak excuses, whereas Wolverine has became a hypocrite who would rather waste time fighting with his allies than use it fighting their enemies, and gets incredibly douchey in his arguments despite supposedly being the one who we're supposed to side with.
    • As of the 2014 AXIS story arc Sabretooth has become literally one of these due to his inversion sticking after the story and his being positioned into heroic roles as a member of the Avengers Unity Squad and later Magneto's X-Men. While some readers have welcomed this take on the character, others have scorned it as it essentially asks readers to root for one of the X-Men's longest running and worst Complete Monster characters for no other reason than he's a good guy now because a A Wizard Did It.
    • A weirdly specific example is Magneto whenever he's persecuted by another non-mutant superhero (Secret wars has a good example). The story tends to say he's the way he is because of prejudice, usually ignoring his 60's period of utter terrorism.
      • Similar to her base-breaking status, many X-Men fans consider Wanda this, as she continues to operate as a heroic figure.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Cyclops is frequently blamed for everything that goes wrong simply because he's the only one to step up to the plate and accept responsibility. The fact that he and Emma kissed and made out on Jean's grave doesn't help his reputation amonst fans or amongst other heroes at all, although people tend to forget the context of that (to put it simply, they are reasons why he is listed among those male characters in comics where their own rape is not addressed.
    • Believe it or not, Cyclops became this in the time preceding the Inhumans vs X-Men event. After apparently doing something unforgivable, Cyclops is compared to hitler by more than one person, and similar comments are made. Everyone despises him for crossing the Moral Event Horizon. We then eventually learn what he did and-... turns out he destroyed a terrigen cloud belonging to the Inhumans because it would have gassed all mutants on the planet to death had he not. Oh, and he was immediately killed for it. Even the reveal that he was dead all along and Emma was actually to blame for most for this did nothing to change reader's opinions that "Cyclops" was completely in the right, no matter what literally everyone claimed.
      • He became this similarly in Avengers vs X-Men. Xavier and everyone else practically goads him into going Dark Phoenix and treats him as a terrorist for daring to stop the Avengers from kidnapping a mutant girl against her will. After the event, he's locked up with everyone ignoring the fact that Phoenix was possessing him the entire time he committed any kind of crime. Oh, and that's ignoring the Avengers trying their damndest to stop him from creating a Utopia for... everyone.
    • Similarly Emma Frost rapidly became this after it was revealed that Cyclops had been killed by the Terrigen cloud and "Cyclops" was a psychic illusion created by her. In fact, some view her as even more sympathetic to the point of being the Only Sane Man for seeing that Cyclops (Actually her, but-) saved all of mutant kind with his actions. Even going nuts and trying to kill all the Inhumans didn't hurt her sympathy much as the Inhumans had previously killed Cyclops and came very close to enabling the genocide of Mutantkind.
  • 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, was accused of doing this during his run. After Colossus turned into the Juggernaut, it resulted in Kitty breaking up with him... for some reason. Then 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 had her get together with Logan (though, at least this one made some sense).
    • A little-remembered X-Men from the 90s is Joseph, who was literally killed off by the writers in part for his interfering with the Gambit/Rogue ship (the other part was him having no more narrative purpose since it was decided that he wasn't Magneto after all).
    • Jean Grey is abruptly killed off by a single touch on the shoulder from Xorn/Magneto (just one issue after she survived being hurled into the sun, no less) to make room for the new Scott/Emma pairing in New X-Men. It's justified in-universe by the revelation that Scott and Emma not hooking up will lead to The End of the World as We Know It, and a ridiculously convoluted plot in which Jean's spirit psychically forces Scott accept the new relationship without complaint. Apparently, gradually easing them into the relationship wasn't an option—Jean had to die right then, and Emma had to make out with Scott the day after it happened. On top of Jean's grave. It should be noted that Morrison did not do this because he himself disliked Jean or preferred Scott with Emma (in fact, he expressed in interviews that he had several more stories planned for Jean had he stayed longer). Rather, it was because those higher on the totem pole than him felt Jean was too powerful and thus had to be removed.
  • 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/Milligan/Claremont/Casey era.
    • For some people, Morrison's run. This is a very Broken Base though, with many others regarding it as one of the best, so we'll just leave it at that.note 
    • Perhaps the one tenure that everybody regards as a Dork Age can be summed up with one name: Chuck Austen. Just see Creator's Pet above for an idea of how people felt about his time on Uncanny X-Men. (That said, it does have some good points - many people thought Juggernaut's Heel–Face Turn, which was later reversed, wasn't actively terrible, at least.)
    • The M-Day era, often regarded as heavy-handed Executive Meddling from editorial, and steadily undermined for years by writers before it was eventually properly reversed. It can be argued that this refers to the concept rather than the stories themselves — fan-favourite runs on all but the flagship title came from this period, as did the well-regarded Messiah Complex and Second Coming crossovers.
    • There is a overwhelming consensus that the period in which The Inhumans started to rise in prominence in the Marvel Universe is a Dork Age, as it had negative effect on the X-Men. The short version is that the cinematic rights of the X-Men franchise (along with the Fantastic Four) lay with 20th Century Fox as opposed to Disney/Marvel Studios. During this period there was as significant slowdown in X-Men related merchandise being made, the X-Men stopped appearing regularly in promotions for Marvel, and comics-wise their standing in the Marvel Universe plummeted, further cemented after Secret Wars (2015) in which mutantkind was under threat of extinction and mutants were hated and feared more than ever — again. The fans had enough and after a few noteworthy events; namely the split of Marvel Studios from Marvel Entertainment, the wild success of Deadpool (2016), the failure of the Inhumans push along with their planned Marvel Cinematic Universe movie being downgraded to a TV show, and Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Fox working together to make X-Men TV shows, the comics were relaunched in 2017 with a renewed focus on the team being heroes along with the eventual purchase of the majority of Fox’s entertainment assets which was finalized in March 2019.
    • Poor Kurt went through a massive one after his return from Excalibur in the late 90s. First, he got turned into a priest with basically no build-up. Fans found this pretty strange, but at least the ensuing miniseries was well received for the most part. But then he fell into the hands of "writer" Chuck Austen and was subjected to some really, REALLY unpopular retcons in regards to his heritage. After the infamous Draco storyline no one (except Chris Claremont who just flat out ignored everything written during Austen's run) really seemed to know what do with him. He was less frequently featured when Pixie (also a teleporter and supposedly much better at it than him) got introduced to the X-Men. Then he was outright killed during the Second Coming storyline and didn't return to the comics for almost five years (although his Darker and Edgier counterpart Kurt Darkhölme from Age of Apocalypse found his way to the 616 universe during that time). Thankfully when he finally did return in Amazing X-Men, Jason Aaron managed to turn Azazel into a character fans actually enjoyed (by making him a pretty cool hell pirate) as well as bringing Kurt's characterization back on track. He has been with the main X-Men team ever since.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Due to his Freudian Excuse and generous use of the Heel–Face Revolving Door, Magneto tends to get hit with Leather Pants, with fans declaring him to be in the right even in his most extreme moments. On the other hand, he also gets hit with Death Eater status by his anti-fans, who tend to ignore that he hasn't really been a villain since before Grant Morrison's run - which was back in 2001.
    • Many fans see Magneto's actions and view him as a liberator, ignoring many of his more questionable acts. It likely isn't aided that any time he commits an act that would make it impossible for him to continue skirting the line between hero and villain as the writers would like, the act is Retconed out of existence.
    • Sabretooth also gets his fair share of Leather Pants, especially post-X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The character is a cruel, psychotic serial killer, and probably one of the most loathsome Complete Monster villains the X-Men have ever faced, yet fans (and writers) bend over backwards to give him Freudian Excuse after Freudian Excuse.
    • Even some of the human villains (William Stryker, for example) have those willing to argue how they're not really that bad, even when they're advocating outright genocide, or are established child killers, or both.
    • Despite being one of the most sadistic and remorseless villains in the X-Men's rogues gallery (so much so that she has dated and a felt a kinship with Sabretooth), a good number of writers have tried redeeming Mystique, portraying her as redeemable, or just outright doing away with the need for redemption by granting her Adaptational Heroism over the years. As of 2020 she's in Nominal Hero territory as a member of the X-Men's Quiet Council, though with the X-Men themselves now in Graying Morality territory, that might say more about them than her.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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. Jason Aaron attempted this with Quentin Quire, but ended up creating a Scrappy instead.
    • Doop was a fan-favorite in X-Force and X-Statix, and his return in Wolverine and the X-Men was much-appreciated.
    • Dr. Nemesis is a minor one due to being a hilarious, daredevil-like mad scientist.
    • Of all the characters introduced in Grant Morrison's run, Fantomex was definitely the most popular. He's managed to last while most of the characters from Morrison's run were largely forgotten about, changing from a minor new guy into a series regular.
    • For being a Chuck Austen character, Mammomax the Elephant Man is surprisingly well-remembered by the fandom, probably due to his inherent Narm Charm.
    • Fan reaction to Brian Bendis worfing Exodus in his run on Uncanny revealed that character might well be one of the few villain dark horses out there.
    • Blink. Though she barely made an impression when she first appeared (and quickly died), her portrayal in the Age of Apocalypse storyline turned her into a massive fan favorite, making her return inevitable.
    • Gambit became very popular in the comics during the 90s, enough to have him show up everywhere and while he has detractors as this page shows, he also still has a legion of fans that justifies him still getting the spotlight in ongoing teams and having solos and mini series written for him deep in the 2010s. Even a solo movie was planned for him at some point with actor Channing Tatum hired for the role. There's also the fact many writers currently working at Marvel love to write him.
      • His status in the comics notwithstanding, Gambit is unmistakably this when it comes to Capcom's Vs. series, as explained here.
    • While Big Scott still counts as a Base-Breaking Character despite his large increase in popularity since AvX, Young Scott's status as The Cutie and a Badass Adorable has managed to win around a large number of people to his side, even, strangely, a contingent of people who hate on his older self. The fact that his solo is amazingly drawn and written possibly helps too.
    • Psylocke been one since her introduction in the comics.
    • Storm's one of the most prominent and popular black superheroes of all time, and Marvel's most prominent female superhero.
    • The X-Man series itself for the Age of Apocalypse crossover.
  • Epileptic Trees: Starting from 2019 onward, as a way out from the decades of shipping and triangles with Jean Grey, Wolverine, Cyclops, and Emma Frost, Marvel is resorting to implying that all of them are embracing a Polyamory lifestyle.
  • Escapist Character:
    • While many superheroes exist to serve as a power fantasy, Colossus's main purpose over the years has evolved into being a Romance fantasy. A Hunk with Chronic Hero Syndrome and Incorruptible Pure Pureness, Colossus could have stepped whole and breathing from the most wholesome books of the Romance Novel genre. Most of what he does and who he is is defined by his love relationships, another trademark of the romance novel love interest.
    • Kitty Pryde fits the premise. She started out as the team's Naïve Newcomer, and grew up to be a badass ninja genius with a pet space dragon and Chris Pratt as her boyfriend. The fandom rejoiced, for they watched every step of this journey from Everygirl to Super-Special Heroine and wished they could be her (or "be with her").
    • Psylocke is popular with many fans precisely because she's both sexy and has it all. Betsy is filthy rich, a literal supermodel, becomes increasingly powerful as time goes on, a master ninja, assassin, secret agent, adventurer and pilot, and of course, is quite possibly the most sexy woman in the Marvel Universe. Is it any wonder fans often want to be her, or rather, be with her?
    • Storm is one of the most overtly escapist in the entire X-Men mythos. She has won the Superpower Lottery; her powers over the weather make her easily one of the most powerful X-Men. She is also worshipped as a goddess, has incredible skills in both unarmed combat and thieving, led the team on several occasions, and is heart-stoppingly gorgeous. She keeps attracting lovers and admirers of both genders, and even some of her enemies want her.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Gambit beats off fangirls with that adamantium stick of his.
  • 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.
    • Maggott had an uphill climb with his bizarre power of two giant all-consuming pet slugs that act as his digestive system, but what really killed him as a character was his constant, exaggerated version of Afrikaans slang, which tended to focus on guava, biscuits, and sherbert. His dopey mohawak front-ponytail hair didn't help either.
    • Psylocke became this for some in the 90s after she body-swapped into a nubile Japanese ninja character. Twenty years later, Adaptation Displacement has kicked in so thoroughly that most X-Men fans don't even know that character wasn't originally a Japanese ninja at all.
    • 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.
  • Evil Is Cool: Many examples. Magneto and Juggernaut are the most well known.
    • Magneto is regarded by his fans as one of, if not the greatest villains in Marvel.
  • 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 not together. There's a fairly large, vocal fanbase for current couple Magneto and Rogue (though that ship certainly has its detractors too). As of 2018 Rogue and Gambit are back together, got married and even have their own ongoing monthly series.
    • As related on the X-Men Ho Yay page, a Comics Alliance poll asking readers to vote for who Magneto should be with wound up with a staggering 96% of voters preferring the Magneto and Professor X relationship. While the actual numbers of this poll are not visible and it only represents online comics readers (and then only online comics readers that read Comics Alliance), it's pretty hard not to call it compelling evidence for labeling the Magneto and Professor X couple as this.
    • As related on the X-Men Ho Yay page, a Comics Alliance poll asking readers to vote for who Magneto should be with wound up with a staggering 96% of voters preferring the Magneto and Professor X relationship. While the actual numbers of this poll are not visible and it only represents online comics readers (and then only online comics readers that read Comics Alliance), it's hard not to call it compelling evidence for labeling the Magneto and Professor X couple as this.
    • Storm and Logan. Fans of the pairing cite that Opposites Attract, and that her reserve and idealism would balance out his Anti-Hero tendencies, while his more earthy, passionate nature would keep her stable and grounded.
    • Ascended Fanon: One What If? issue had the X-Men long since trapped on another planet where Logan and she have a child. Likewise, X-Men: The Animated Series episode involved an alternate timeline, created by Xavier's assassination in college, where Storm and Logan were married. There was also Logan/Storm Ship Tease in the X-Men: Evolution cartoon series.
  • 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.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • A fierce one has brewed between X-Men fans and Avengers fans since the late 2000s thanks to the competition between their two individual cinematic adaptations. The Avengers vs. X-Men Crisis Crossover event and its perceived treatment of both teams added more fuel to the fire. X-Men fans have become increasingly resentful of the Avengers, accusing Marvel of playing favorites with the latter team due to Marvel Studios owning the film rights to the Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe being a massively successful Cash Cow Franchise, but a lot of the "evidence" of this apparent conspiracy to undermine the Fox-produced X-Men films (and to a lesser extent, the Fox-produced Fantastic Four film in 2015) is either questionable at best or outright fabrication at worst, or even things the X-Men fandom enjoy themselves now such as multiple books about their sub-teams, solo-books for their characters, and publicity towards their regular events. Conversely, a lot of the criticisms Avengers fans have thrown at the X-Men (being too dark, exaggerated depiction of incompetent or abusive government and law enforcement figures, frequently recruiting former villains, Loads and Loads of Characters, preachy anvilicious messages, etc.) are largely criticisms that equally fit the Avengers too, as well as other big superhero teams like DC's Justice League and Teen Titans. In general, the only thing that Marvel is doing for one that they're not doing for the other is producing a current animated show for X-Men, which is something they've done repeatedly in the past for the X-Men and only started doing for the Avengers once the MCU's success grew (X-Men have had three animated shows and an anime, while the Avengers have now had the same).
    • An increasingly harsh rivalry between fans of the X-Men and fans of the Inhumans developed during a period of Executive Meddling that saw Marvel attempt to push the Inhumans as replacements for the X-Men (due to Fox holding film rights to the mutants). This rivalry was mercifully put to rest by the Disney buyout of Fox, but let's just say that things got heated during that time.
    • Fans of Cyclops in particular dislike Wanda, or rather, how Wanda was forgiven for actions that amount to, at best, accidental genocide, while Cyclops was treated like he was a supervillain outside of the Bendis-written X-Books, despite doing far less damage in comparison.
    • Somewhat to be expected given the fact their canon-selves relationship, but Emma Frost fans and Jean Grey fans argue more than the women themselves do. This largely stems from Emma replacing Jean in all but name after Jean was killed off, combined with Jean's softer, more openly compassionate personality contrasting Emma's sourer, more Jerk with a Heart of Gold persona; for some fans, Jean is incredibly boring next to Emma, while others find Emma incredibly unlikeable.
    • For reasons stated above, there are times when fans of Jubilee can get into quarrels with Kitty Pryde fans.
    • Relating strongly to the above, its not uncommon for Emma Frost fans and Jean Grey fans to butt heads, in a way similar to Cyclops fans and Wolverine fans. Some of the reasons even mirror (Emma fans think Jean's too nice and soft, and prefer Emma's antihero traits, while Jean fans appreciate Jean's uncompromising compassion and heroics and dislike Emma's Jerkass nature and her Karma Houdini status, not unlike how Wolverine fans call Cyclops boring for being a more straight-laced hero and Cyclops fans call Wolverine an asshole hypocrite). Emma fans also frequently call Jean an Invincible Hero in the same vein as Superman due to her (perceived) OP nature (especially when the Phoenix is in-play, which they treat as being standard), while Jean fans call Emma a Creator's Pet due to how she was pushed into taking Jean's place as Cyclops' partner and headmistress of the school, despite the character's relatively controversial nature among fans. A lot ultimately comes down to shipping reasons, of course (see above for an example of that infecting canon).
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A lot of stuff is contested by fans, but if there's one thing fans can agree on, it's that Chuck Austen's entire run should be relegated to the wastebin of history.
    • That time John Byrne tried to turn Wanda evil.
    • To say that the revelation in AXIS that Wanda (and Quicksilver) no longer being related to Magneto, despite the fact that Pietro is pretty much identical to his father, was received poorly is an understatement. Since then, it has been largely ignored by the fandom.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain:
    • Changeling. Presumably the reason he's remained dead for so long is so no one will have to see that horrible headwear ever again.
    • A close second is Mesmero, who... well, just look at him.
  • Fountain of Memes: "Pimp smack yo' ass, bitch!", "Comb yo' beard, I don't wanna hear that shit", "You can't run from the Juggernaut."
  • Franchise Original Sin: Mutants are hated and feared because of their superhuman powers, by the same people that praise the Fantastic Four and the Avengers as celebrities. This wasn't much of an issue back in the day because the "shared universe" concept largely meant just that characters from one comic book may make cameos and guest appearances in another, and there wasn't much exploration on the specifics of the world itself. And, other than when those meetings took place, comics were still largely self-contained and developed their own characters, concepts and lore. By the time the Marvel Universe became more connected, the chasm in the in-universe popular reception of those groups of heroes was unavoidable.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With fans of X-23. While Jubilee and Kitty Pryde fans have a bit of a Fandom Rivalry, their fanbase gets along quite well because of Jubes' Cool Big Sis dynamic with Laura, along with a touch of Les Yay thanks to Sana Takeda.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The word "sinister" comes from the Latin word for "left". When X-villain Mr. Sinister first appears (as a shadowy figure in Sabertooth's memories) he has his left hand upraised.
    • Chris Claremont has something of a reputation for sneakily circumventing his editors in this way. For instance, when Marvel editorial nixed his plans to make Mystique and Destiny the biological parents of Nightcrawler he hinted at it by referring to Destiny as Mystique's leman, an archaic term for a lover that few children (or editors) would catch.
  • Growing the Beard: The original comic was considered one of the weakest and poorest-selling of the Lee-Kirby creations. In 1969 Neal Adams took over the art, and, in collaboration with writer Roy Thomas, turned it from one of Marvel's worst books to one of its best. It didn't save the title from cancellation, but gained it a cult following that helped lead to the more successful 1975 revamp.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • During the battle with Stryker's cult in Weapon X 24, Monet & Creed are about to be thrown into the blade pit as sacrifices as he apologizes to her for the mess. Monet tells him to stop apologizing & think of something or she'll shove him into the pit herself, which amuses Creed. Cue issue 27. which is the last time Monet saw him.
    • Prior to AvX, Cyclops and Captain America actually had quite a positive working relationship, which included at least one story where they teamed-up that was filled with Ho Yay due to their mutual respect for one-another. The fact the two are not that different actually makes this dynamic make a lot of sense, but sadly it's unlikely we'll ever see that shown again.
    • In an older characterization, Magneto once subjected the Scarlet Witch to what can only be called sexual abuse, using mind control to force her to dance suggestively for his pleasure. As later continuity reveals, this was his own daughter that he subjected to such degrading treatment, being unaware of their true relationship. Similarly, his massive psychological (and occasionally physical) abuse of the Witch in the early days of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants also looks worse for the same reason.
  • He's Just Hiding!: It has been noted by fans that not all of the Grey relatives from "The End of the Greys" story were killed onscreen or had their bodies shown and could have somehow survived without the X-Men realizing. Specifically, the Bailey twins (long-time characters with telekinetic powers which might have come in handy) and Bit Character's Derry Campbell, Kindra, Mary-Margaret and the unnamed brother of Terry Maguire.
    • Professor X's many cases of psychic Superdickery in the Silver Age can come off as this to modern viewers, particularly his brainwashing of the Vanisher since that character is a recurring one to this day and yet has never recovered. His Never Live It Down moment mentioned below also became this after the events of Onslaught.
  • 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. Magneto even tends to act as Scott's Lancer.
    • The original X-Men stories in the 1960s 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?
    • Giant-Size X-Men #1 ends with Angel asking "what are we going to do with thirteen X-Men?" Little did anyone guess how huge the group would get in subsequent decades.
    • In Uncanny X-Men #235 in 1988, a friend (Madelyne Pryor) of the X-Men radioed a call for help to them with the codename/callsign "Rogue one", which decades later became the coincidental film title with the franchise which Marvel Comics used to be part of, but wasn't any longer at that time, but which Marvel became part of all over again decades later.
    • In Uncanny X-Men #155, Kitty uses an alien machine that allowed her to instantly create any outfit she could imagine. One of those outfits was a Darth Vader costume. Both Marvel Comics and the Star Wars franchise are now owned by Disney.
    • A cross-media example: in 1993, SEGA released X-Men (1993), a game with a then-original plotline focused on what would happen if the Danger Room were to turn on the X-Men. Fast forward to 2005's Astonishing X-Men, which puts forth a very similar plot, only with the plot twist of the Danger Room itself turning evil rather than being corrupted by Magneto.
    • A 90s issue of What... Huh? had Iceman crushing on Angel (as a parody of Scott and Jean's early Cannot Spit It Out routine). And then in the 2010s...
    • A 1989 issue of Excalibur had Kitty Pryde mocking high-school cheerleaders as cowardly, worthless bimbos compared to a superhero teenager like her. Marvel Comics would be purchased and owned by the Disney corporation in 2009, and one of Disney's most popular animated television-series characters was a crime-fighting high-school cheerleader.
    • In the Rifftrax addition of X2: X-Men United, one of the jokes had Bobby's father accidentally call him gay and, when corrected as being a mutant, having it shrugged off as "same difference". A few years later...
    • In X-Men: The Last Stand he's involved in a Not What It Looks Like situation - where Rogue gets jealous of how much time he's spending with Kitty. Kitty's actor Elliot Page later came out as a lesbiannote , Rogue's Anna Paquin as bisexual, and the character himself has been retconned to be gay.
    • While playing chess in X-Factor in Issue #216, Monet says that she always plays with black pieces because she'd rather avoid the White Queen chess piece. In Uncanny X-Men (2015), Monet has joined the Hellfire Club as its new White Queen.
    • Monet's bond with Sabretooth causes a bit of this.
      • During Generation X, She & Jubilee had a contemptuous rivalry. Jubilee is the more openly heroic, sympathetic one and she's close with Wolverine. Monet is more of a provocative Jerkass and she became close with Sabretooth.
      • During Phalanx Covenant, Sabretooth saves Synch from the Phalanx. Which means, Monet's first love was rescued by the man who'd later become her second.
      • When the Phalanx is defeated, "M" goes back to rescue the unconscious Sabretooth from the impending explosion. So adding to the puzzle, Monet's first love was rescued by her second who was able to become her second due to her sisters, the M-twins, saving him.
    • As listed above, several fans have seen... subtext between Xavier and him in various media portrayals, including the '90s cartoon (especially in the series finale) and X-Men: First Class. Ian McKellen, who portrays him in the live-action films, is openly gay.
      • In the 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon episode The Menace Of Magneto, Magneto is depicted as an obnoxious but petty criminal of little regard. Reed Richards even claimed to have never heard of him, and as he didn't have an appointment, had the Baxter Building doorman tell Magneto to "get lost".
    • The joke about mistakenly calling a comic book X-Man instead of X-Men loses its meaning when there is a comic book called X-Man.
  • Hype Backlash: After years of being far and away the most prominent and promoted X-Man, it seems that Wolverine's hype has finally reached a ceiling as a 2014 storyline, The Death of Wolverine, was introduced just to kill him off (but not before letting longtime nemesis Sabretooth give him a long "The Reason You Suck" Speech). While the character only stayed dead for three years before the inevitable revival, he's largely been demoted as the spotlight hog du jour in favor of Deadpool, and even within his immediate character cast X-23 and Old Man Logan have been higher up in the Spotlight-Stealing Squad stack than the old Canucklehead.
  • Iconic Sequel Outfit: For some members, like Cyclops, Storm, Rogue, and Wolverine, their blue and yellow 90's outfits are the most recognizable.
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • Whenever Rogue considers having her powers removed — a storyline that often comes up in the comics, the cartoons and the movies — the moral is always "Be proud of the things that make you different." It's often stated or implied that a mutant neutralizing their X-gene would be akin to a black person bleaching their skin. However, the issues here are more than skin-deep: 1. Rogue's involuntary Power Copying creates a burden on her life by not allowing her physical contact without harming the other person. 2. Since she often struggles with the absorbed psyches in her head, her powers are a danger to herself as well. 3. It's her body. She shouldn't be shamed for what's essentially a medical decision. It also ignores the issue of the number of mutants who have such extreme physical changes that they're regarded as monsters and can't integrate with society even if their powers are harmless or at least controllable.
    • Jason Aaron loves to have characters hate on Cyclops. In Schism, Wolverine and mutants siding with him break off from Cyclops. Wolverine cites that children shouldn't be trained to fight... even though the X-Men have always trained kids to defend themselves, and that, at the time of Schism, mutants were near-extinct, and anti-mutant violence was at an all-time high. It doesn't help that Wolverine himself makes a point of taking a teenage girl under his wing every decade or so. Especially mind-numbing is the fact that Wolverine's plan is essentially to run way and hope they escape, and to encourage them to run he rigs the whole island to explode. In the end, the students start fighting off the Sentinel while the two fight, and when they realize this, Wolverine abandons his plan to help do the exact thing Cyclops said they should... and yet in the end, instead of admitting Scott was right, he leaves, because Scott is making the students fight their battles (despite the fact that, if he doesn't let them fight, them and everyone else will die).
    • In the aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men, Aaron makes it a point to have characters get angry at and insult Cyclops literally whenever they meet, even characters that don't hate him in other books, and regardless of the current situation. Characters have called out Cyclops for training his students to fight and taking them in his missions... Which the X-Men do fairly often. No matter what Cyclops' students are all college aged or older. Hell, after Cyclops shows concern for Wolverine and saves his life, Logan decides to be a dick to him.
    • In the All-New, All-Different Marvel, Cyclops is thought to be dead, but before that did something that has made people hate mutants again. For a long while it wasn't explained what exactly it is that he did, as writers constantly avoided details beyond it having something to do with the Inhumans and the Terrigen Mists killing mutants Finally it came to light that the horrible, nauseating, EVIL thing Cyclops did was trying to save mutants from extinction at the hands of the Terrigen mist clouds that the Inhumans let loose on the world to transform people into Inhumans, and it just so happened to be absolutely lethal to mutants. Cyclops heinous action was to modify one of the clouds to make it harmless, which was treated by everyone in-universe as tantamount to something Hitler himself would do (he literally gets called Hitler). The big reveal at the end of it all was that Cyclops in fact died shortly after the beginning of the series due to the cloud and all of his oh-so-evil actions were in fact a psychic projection Emma Frost created in order to make the world believe Black Bolt had executed him.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Honestly, Piotr's life wasn't great shakes even before the '90s, but the Trauma Conga Line he endured then (that killed off both his parents as well as (temporarily) his brother and sister) was so... well, traumatic, that it's really amazing that he's held onto his Incorruptible Pure Pureness. Of course he didn't at the time — in fact, he hit a Despair Event Horizon and pulled a Face–Heel Turn — but he's since recovered his firm moral principles and remains one of the strongest candidates for The Paragon out of all the X-Men.
    • Scott's gone through so much shit in his life its not a surprise he can come across as cold or uncaring sometimes. Still, his actions to protect what's left of the mutant race stem from the mutant race being the only thing he has left to fight for.
      • Both young and old Cyclops in All-New X-Men also become major woobies by the fifth issue. Old Cyclops has to deal with even his own team hating his guts, his former family hunting him, and the world at large wanting him dead, for actions he did while not in control of his own body, all the while he's trying to do good. Young Cyclops, however, has to deal with his friends giving him the cold shoulder, the fear that he's going to degenerate into a seemingly mess that killed his father figure, and all the present day X-Men looking at him with a contempt due to their hatred of his present self that he just does not understand. It does not help that as time goes on, he increasingly notes the glaring flaws in his detractor's philosophy, and the extenuating circumstances in his future counterpart.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: Part of why Schism and the subsequent X-Men civil war didn't particularly work was that the leaders of the two factions were Cyclops and Wolverine, i.e. the two grown men who have been bickering like teenagers since 1975. Disregarding the fact that it basically required each man to do a compete backflip on their established characterisation, as an interpersonal conflict it had been very much done to death. It came off less as a clash of ideologies like the Professor X/Magneto dynamic it was clearly trying to replicate, and more as two macho, alpha male idiots who lack the maturity to talk through their issues like rational adults escalating a petty personal rivalry and dragging everybody else into it. Hell, it even follows similar beats to their fights in the past: the breaking point which finally brings them to blows isn't an argument over high-minded ideals, it's just them fighting over Jean (again), who had been dead for years at that point (again).
  • It Was His Sled: Cyclop's involvement in some (if not all) of the most prominent, memorable, and/or classic X-Men stories means that any one familiar with comics in the least probably knows a lot about him.
  • 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.
      • Many people accuse Magneto of being a genocidal maniac, and hold the high number of casualties of his quest for mutant freedom against him. Nonetheless, they still pity him after all the ways in which he has been wronged by the worst of humanity.
    • Quicksilver is arrogant and hot-tempered (and has done some pretty downright stupid and horrible things), but his life has just been so darned painful that it's hard not to feel some pity for him.
    • Emma Frost's background makes her qualify for this, and in addition Emma lost all of her students three times, was the Sole Survivor of a massacre that killed more than 14 million people, and struggles with herself a lot for her past (and present) morally questionable acts. It's even exaggerated because it seems that after Emma's Heel–Face Turn, she decides that if she cannot Kick the Dog, she will Poke the Poodle, because she treats everyone as a Jerkass: Friend, foes, people she doesn't know, Celebrities, people she needs to ask a favor, people much more powerful than her... as a matter of fact, the only person Emma seems to have treated with respect was The Grotesque Toad, when she was still a villain at the Hellfire Club. And when the Phoenix Five storyline, she became not a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, but a Jerkass God.
    • Illyana Rasputin is a legitimate major case of woobie, but also a jerkass, hence a Jerkass Woobie per definition.
    • Yes, 05 Jean is immature and abuses her telepathy. But let's recap: She's a fifteen/sixteen-year-old child who has gotten a traumatic childhood and has just joined a super-team. Then she's all of sudden transported to an horrible future where mutants are ever-persecuted, the X-Men are divided, the love of her life/future two-timing husband has apparently become a lunatic terrorist and murderer (specifically, of their mentor) and she herself has gone crazy, killed billions and died twice, and her hypothetical children (all of whom are older than her) have led awful lives in awful futures. Oh, and her family, aside from said children? They're all dead. Also, her telepathic powers have blossomed before she was ready to control them , and they reveal - even if she isn't trying to mind-read - that most of people surrounding her are two-faced jerkasses or self-serving liars. And that's just the start. Understandably, she's developed an attitude issue.
    • A notable part of Jean's Character Development is moving past this. It partially resurfaces in her solo series, but that's mostly because a) the Phoenix is coming for her (if not for the reasons she suspects), b) she's being literally haunted by her older self.
    • Nate Grey progresses into this in Uncanny X-Men (2018), with his determination to save the world (and more specifically, the X-Men) whether it wants/they want to be saved or not. Progresses out of it again at the end of Age of X-Man when he ends things peacefully, letting everyone go, after explaining just why he'd done what he did, and beginning to reform the Age of X-Man with a copy of that world's version of Magneto.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Scarlet Witch has been the target of a lot of character's affections, including Angel, Toad, Mastermind, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Vision, Wonder Man, Nightcrawler, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, Arkon, Iron Man, Doctor Voodoo and some more. And those are only the canon ones.
    • Combined with his Flat Character, at times it feels like the sole reason Colossus is kept around is to be a Ship Magnet for other, more lively characters. He initially had a crush on Storm (as did almost everyone under Chris Claremont's pen), but it was his romance with Kitty Pryde that became his first true relationship, and to this day it is regarded as the One True Pairing of Colossus among X-Men fans. Undeterred, Ho Yay shippers delight in pairing him off Wolverine (with whom he is Heterosexual Life-Partners with), Exodus (who he followed during his brief Face–Heel Turn in the '90s) or Deadpool (mostly because of Deadpool (2016)). On the heterosexual end, he's paired with Callisto of the Morlocks, Meggan of Excalibur, and Domino of X-Force. Executive Meddling created a character just to be his love interest, but neither she nor the random Savage Land woman he had a child with (later established as not his) stuck in shipping circles like the above have.
    • For a long time (and probably to this day) Gambit has fulfilled this role in X-Men fandom, being paired with any and every character out there, regardless of whether he likes them, or whether he's even met them in the first place.
    • She may very well be the most (in)famous X-Men character in this regard. Due to her status as an escapist character, she's frequently been paired up with characters in different runs. There has been quite a few writers who have admitted that Kitty was their first comic crush so it's played a factor into her love-life. note 
    • While not to the extent of Gambit or Nightcrawler, most forum discussions of Cyclops derail within a few hours to which of the characters he's interacted with recently he should date. The commonly appearing ships seem to be Jean, Emma, Angel, Wolverine and (on Tumblr) Captain America. The expanded list could probably expand the entire Marvel Universe.
    • Teen-Scott even more so. An Adorkable, teenaged Woobie version of the guy already well know for having beautiful, talented women hanging off him, without any of Adult-Scott's baggage? You'd better believe every shipper was ready to pair him off with their current generation X-student of choice. The most popular ships appear to be Teen-Jean, Pixie, and X-23.
  • Les Yay:
    • Anything by Chris Claremont. Try to deny the subtext between Storm and Yukio, or Dani Moonstar and Wolfsbane, or Selene with Rachel Summers and Magma, or Kitty and Rachel, or Kitty and Illyana... Of course, he did it with guys and villains, too...
    • Scarlet Witch's interactions with Jean Grey in the X-Men: First Class series were filled with these. Mind, it didn't come entirely from nowhere - right in Wanda's first appearance Jean says "that witch is too pretty."
    • The looks Emma and Jean give each other in this scene from House of X issue 6 are rather... suggestive.
    • Her interactions with Kate Pryde in Marauders have been viewed this way.
    • Some of Illyana Rasputin's friendship moments with Kitty Pryde.
    • Domino is very close with teammates Diamondback and Outlaw, making a point of telling the reader how much she loves them.
    • Jubilee gets a bit of this with X-23, thanks primarily to Sana Takeda's artwork in Marjorie Liu's X-23 book. Noelle Stevenson confirmed her as gay in Runaways (2015), but that was an alternate universe.
    • Kitty Pryde's friendships with Illyana Rasputin and/or Rachel Summers could be interpreted this way.
      • Her and Storm are half this, half Mentor Ship.
      • Katherine and Emma Frost in Marauders. Read it without thinking "these two need to start banging already!". It's impossible.
    • Storm with Callisto, her rival for leadership of the Morlocks, and Yukio, a Japanese thief.
  • Love to Hate: As of Dawn of X, Sinister is now an ally of Xavier’s and even a member of the Quiet Council Of Krakoa. He’s still every bit as duplicitous, gene-greedy, and antagonistic as he always was, put on full display in Hellions. But damn if he isn’t funny while lying, scheming, stealing, and generally trolling everyone he can.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Magneto himself is a Holocaust survivor who is hellbent on seeing that no such evil ever befalls the mutants. Becoming a terrorist, Magneto manipulates his followers, allies and enemies alike, constantly waging war to better the lot of mutantkind, even against his best friend Charles Xavier. At one point Magneto even blackmails the world with nuclear weapons to set up a home for Mutants, and even foiled Doctor Doom's attempts at domination at another point. Deciding to protect the world and mutants in his own way, Magneto has returned countless times to commit acts he admits are unscrupulous, but necessary, constantly keeping himself from slipping too far into true evil while protecting his people from all threats.
  • Memetic Badass: Juggernaut is renowned by fans as one of the toughest customers in the MU, and not without reason. Even all the worfings he's had to put up with haven't diminished his badass cred.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • In both the comics and the animated series below, Sentinels have a reputation for yielding poor returns on investment. In the comics it got to the point where Sentinels were featured in a San Francisco "mutant museum" and treated as a quaint curiosity, while as for the animated series... well, this video sums it up.
    • Because he is his Alternate Company Equivalent, Quicksilver gets quite often compared to The Flash, against whom he is for the most part horribly outclassed. While there are versions of Quicksilver that are faster than some versions of the Flash and there have been times where Quicksilver has been powered up to Flash-like levels in the comics, for the most part Quicksilver on average tends to have very defined limits to his speed while the Flash is nigh-limitless in his potential for speed.
    • Apocalypse has been considered this in some circles due to how many times he gets beaten by weaker mutants such as Magneto, being manipulated by the Celestials and his reliance on their tech, and his relative unimportance in the grand scheme of things compared to other villains like Doctor Doom, Thanos or Ultron (for reference, those three tend to frequently menace the entire Marvel universe, while Apocalypse almost exclusively faces the X-Men and related characters). In the House of M continuity, he even cowers before Black Bolt and gets vaporized by a whisper from him. It doesn't help that he's easy to beat in X-Men vs. Street Fighter.
    • The films unfortunately don't give Cyclops much room to earn respect, and combined with the 90s cartoon and its overly dramatic characterization, there's a popular assumption that he's a whiny loser. Its almost Aquaman level bad.
  • Memetic Molester: FABIAN CORTEZ. The dude is basically the X-King of bad touch.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Thanks to Comic Book Resources, Beast is a war criminal, Iceman is gay, and Wolverine is Rachel Summers' real father.
    • A relatively complete list of the CBR X-Boards' inside jokes can be found here.
    • Days of Future Past may just have the most frequently parodied cover of all time.
    • Mr. Sinister's Ultimate counterpart infamously introduced Ultimate Professor X to the latter's "true enemy": Stairs.
    • "To me, my X-Men!" It's since been used by Cyclops, as well as an older Franklin Richards in FF as "To me, my Galactus." Kitty's now using it, too.
    • Magneto/Cyclops/Emma was right! note 
    • A very popular joke is that Jean brainwashed a young Iceman into being gay, due to his sudden sexuality change contradicting a lot of the character's past.
    • Kitty Pryde angrily pointing at the reader and crying that "Professor Xavier is a JERK!", especially since later writers fell over themselves to prove her correct.
    • "Emma was Right", used in the same vein as "Magneto/Cyclops was Right", was coined at the end of Inhumans vs. X-Men when a mind-controlled Magneto utters the phrase (likely to mock the fans who say "Cyclops was Right" to criticize Death of X) while using Sentinels to hunt and kill Inhumans.
    • From the 90's animated X-Men series: "Gambit does not make TV dinners!"
    • From the 2016 comic based on the animated series, Gambit's goodbye note for Belladonna when he slipped out on their wedding night.
      note: It not you. It Gambit.
    • Nearly every line from "The Juggernaut, Bitch!" by My Way Entertainment. Eventually became an Ascended Meme with X-Men: The Last Stand.
    • There are two (in)famous '80s panelsnote  where Kitty drops an n-bomb for the sake of making a point. This has turned into a running gag in some corners of the Internet about how Kitty is either secretly racist or just has a really filthy mouth.
    • Colossus's distinctive "WHOAAAAAARGH!" Battle Cry from the 1992 X-Men arcade game.
    • Flyclops and Cyclopalypse.
    • And more recently, "Cyclops was Right", notably since Cyclops, in the hands of Kieron Gillen, actually mentioned it in-story. It came back even stronger with Death of X and Inhumans vs. X-Men.
    • "Punches! From the Punch Dimension!"note 
    • JEAAN!!!
    • X Gon' Give It To Ya!
    • Scott's hatred of Captain America.
    • Teen Jean is best known for her reading Bobby's mind and telling him that he's gay, effectively outing him against his will. But due to the Ass Pull aspects of the situation, and the fact that Jean had abused her powers to mind control Angel earlier, this snowballed into a joke about Jean brainwashing Bobby into being gay. Now, nearly any Jean-related comic that has come out since then (with either Teen of Adult Jean) will invariably have an edit where Jean tells people that they're gay.
    • Xavier's "To me, my X-Men!" line has become this, as well as a tearful Kitty Pryde crying that "Professor Xavier is a JERK!" since later writers fell over themselves to prove her correct.
    • "Mag-Fuckin-Neto!"Explanation 
    • "X-Men! Welcome... TO DIE!!!"Explanation 
    • "I am Magneto, master of magnet!" Explanation 
  • Misblamed: The weird way Cyclops and Emma Frost were hooked up and Jean Grey dying were never Grant Morrison's intention. They had something entirely different planned out but an editorial proclamation forced them to change it at the last minute.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Arcade crossed this in Avengers Arena, which transformed him from an Affably Evil joke villain to an unrepentant child killer.
    • 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.
    • Cassandra Nova sending the Sentinels to destroy Genosha. This act instantly made Nova one of the most heinous mass murderers the X-universe has ever seen, with over 16 million mutants dying because of it.
    • Fabian Cortez drags his motley band of harried refugees onto Magneto's space rock doorstep, promptly pulls him out of his Heel–Face Turn and back into villainy, and then sets up a scheme to get rid of both the X-Men and Magneto himself all at once, leaving him free to claim the role of mutantkind's leader. The fact that this scheme will result in the death of his own sister doesn't bother him in the slightest, and he doesn't even spare a word for poor Anne-Marie as he flies away gloating. He'd do plenty of horrible stuff later too, but it was just gilding the lily: right here in his first story was when the dude crossed the Event Horizon, and he never once looked back.
    • Magneto killing Jean Grey. Later retconned. He still has ripping out Logan's skeleton in Fatal Attractions, crucifying Charles in Eve of Destruction, and his general mistreatment of his kids and followers.
    • 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. Really, she did it much earlier, brutally murdering Carol Danvers' boyfriend while impersonating her, but that was in a Miss Marvel story rather than an X-book.
    • 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.
    • Vulcan crossed it when he killed his own father, Corsair.
    • Wither, whose purpose seems to be to explore how a villain becomes a villain, crossed it gradually under the influence of Selene, first murdering two policemen in New X-Men and later going all the way when he became a member of her Inner Circle during Necrosha.
    • The 2005 story Deadly Genesis is infamous to this day for giving Professor X one of these. While he was already a pretty morally grey Manipulative Bastard, this story established that Xaviier was willing to and did in fact recruit three rookie mutants to clean up the mess he himself made by sending his original team to the mutant island Krakoa, put those three mutants through a psychic cram-session in lieu of giving them any formal training, send those mutants to what would ultimately be their deaths, and then erase all memories from the survivors that those three mutants ever existed. Cyclops's relationship with his mentor was forever shattered because of the events of this story and it reaches Fanon Discontinuity levels among the older fans just because it's impossible to have this story as canon and at the same time see Professor Xavier as anything but irredeemable. This article goes into greater detail on the matter.
  • My Real Daddy:
    • Despite being created and originally produced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the series suffered from low sales and never truly found its voice until Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum (and soon after, John Byrne) took over in the 1970s. It's to the point where X-Men provides the trope picture. While it's true that Claremont didn't create the X-Men themselves, it's also true that he created many, many characters and concepts associated with them such as Rogue, Psylocke, Shadowcat, Phoenix Force, the Brood, Lockheed, the Shi'ar, the New Mutants (Magik, Sunspot, Cannonball, Karma, Cypher, Warlock, Magma, Wolfsbane, Dani Moonstar), Excalibur, Madelyne Pryor, Mr. Sinister, Gambit, the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost, Strong Guy, Rachel Summers, Forge, Mystique... you get the idea. If that weren't enough, he also was the one who made the mutants an analogy for the Civil Rights movement and brought in the themes of equality in general. Can you imagine the X-Men without any of that?
      • Claremont, who created Madelyne Pryor, has been the only one at Marvel who has repeatedly tried to remind readers what Pryor was originally like before Inferno; i.e. in X-Men: The End (2004-2006), X-Men: Gold (2014), and X-Men: The Exterminated (2019).
    • Louis Simonson gets some credit for writing what's now considered the definitive version of Archangel. Similarly, Grant Morrison is considered this for Emma Frost.
    • Pre-Concrete, Paul Chadwick worked on the last few issues of Dazzler's solo book. His work on the character is well-regarded, and may have helped the character survive beyond the disco era.
    • Len Wein and Dave Cockrum created Storm, but it was Chris Claremont who developed the character.
    • Though Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first told his tale, it was Chris Claremont who first told Magento's side of the story, explaining his tragic childhood, his complex motivations, and his three-dimensional nature, rather than treating him as just another generic comic book villain.
      • Cullen Bunn has quickly entered this status for modern writers. His take on Magneto as a ruthlessly pragmatic anti-hero coming close at times to being a mutant version of The Punisher is seen as a great evolution for the character.
  • Narm:
  • Narm Charm:
    • The existence of Master Mold, a giant Sentinel who spawns 'smaller' Sentinels from his tummy. Yes, he has the power of robot pregnancy.
    • There's also Sauron, one of the X-Men's oldest villains and definitely their campiest. He's like a walking example of why people read comics — deep and complex stories are fine, but sometimes you just want to check your brain at the door and read about people in silly costumes being menaced by a hypnotic vampiric were-pterodactyl dinosaur man.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Canonically, thanks to the retcon that the "Jean Grey" of the Phoenix/Dark Phoenix Saga was actually the Phoenix Force itself (though the Teen Jean's comic has put that somewhat in doubt), she's only truly died once: near the end of New X-Men when Xorn kills her with a planetary-sized stroke. She came back very briefly in Phoenix - Endsong but by the end of that story she had essentially become one with the Phoenix Force. Doesn't stop most fans from assuming that her history is one long string of death and resurrection however. Maybe it's the name. Even Jean's not to keen on the whole death and resurrection thing if Uncanny X-Men #281 is taken into account.
    Jean: If I come back from the dead one more time, I'll seriously be in danger of turning into a walking cliche.
    • Fun fact - on This Very Wiki, the trope used to be named "Jean Grey Escalation", in reference to the above phenomenon. The trope was renamed because people kept misusing it as a synonym for Death Is Cheap, proving the point.
    • Scott can never take a break for his screw-ups that the writers had piled on him, which is the usual ammunition of his haters in favor of his clawed rival. Please note that most, if not all of these, are actually proven false or at least not as black and white by the context of the story.
    • Abandoning his wife Madelyne Pryor and son Nathan Summers to be with the resurrected Jean Grey. Fans ignore that: he never intended to leave to reunite with Jean, he only wanted to confirm whether she was alive and Madelyne - who didn't even know why Angel needed to see him urgently - told him it was over if he walked out of their home's door; after confirming Jean was alive he meant to go back, even though X-Factor needed his leadership, but Madelyne had disappeared for then; he only got back together with Jean several months later when he thought Maddie was dead, and it was Jean who started it. And regarding Nathan, Cyclops actually spent twelve years in a hellish future raising him, which proves how far he's willing to for his son.
    • Being in some kind of a psychic love affair with Emma while married to Jean, and later making out on her grave. Though opinions vary on how bad this is, since Emma claims it's therapy, and the two don't become actual lovers until after Jean's death (whose ghost pushed Scott and Emma together). Keep in mind that Emma being his therapist means that she takes advantage of Scott's vulnerable state and her own psychic powers to basically force him into the affair, that Jean herself was willing to have an affair with Logan shortly before Scott cheated on her, and finally, that Cyclops had to be psychically forced by Jean into starting a relationship with Emma after Jean died in order to prevent an apocalyptic future (which is what leads to the grave-makeout scene). In short, not only was he -nearly- cheated on, abused and brainwashed into a relationship with his abuser, he also gets all the bad rap for all that.
    • Killing Charles Xavier during a psychotic rampage... when he was possessed by the Dark Phoenix. Other characters like Jean Grey, Charles Xavier and Scarlet Witch get a free pass for their terrible actions committed whilst possessed, he doesn't get the same privilege.
    • 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, but in the hands of some less-than-talented writers like Chuck Austen, 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 Chuck Austen, it's like all that matters is that he's gay.
    • Emma Frost gets a buttload of this due to the fact that she manipulated and essentially raped Scott and got away with it by starting a relationship with him after Jean's death. The fact that she is his therapist just made her into more of a colossal bitch. This is somewhat in-universe at well: Rachel Summers never forgave her for having an affair with Scott, although thankfully she never learns of the whole story. It should be noted, however, that her actions were (possibly) influenced by Cassandra Nova at the time.
    • Scarlet Witch's actions in Disassembled and House of M. The popularity of those two storylines, along with her absence from the comics between 2005 to 2011, means that it's common for readers to think of her as an omnipotent Reality Warper, even though her powers don't work that way anywhere except Disassembled and House of M, and both those stories have since been explained away as the result of an outside source amping up her powers. It even affects writers at times—AXIS has her at reality warping status again.
    • In X-Men #3, Xavier infamously admits that Jean is “the one I love! But I can never tell her! I have no right! Not while I’m the leader of the X-Men, and confined to this wheelchair”. Stan Lee must have realized right away how controversial this plotline would have been, because he never referenced it again, but neither readers nor writers ever forgot, to the point of it being revisited three decades later during the Onslaught story.
    • The chances of people ever letting the "Wooden Gun" thing go for Magneto are pretty slim.
  • Newer Than They Think:
    • Magneto's tragic backstory as a Holocaust survivor is the character's defining aspect now, yet it was first established in 1981, eighteen years after he was introduced. In fact, the issue, "I, Magneto...." was a radical reinvention of the character, who had mostly been a one-note evil megalomaniac until that point. The new direction stuck so well that nearly every adaptation uses his revised backstory, and he's been portrayed as varying flavors of antihero since then.
    • Though they debuted as his henchmen, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch weren't revealed to be his children until 1987, over two decades after their first appearance. Before Chris Claremont's retcon, they were intended to be the children of the Whizzer and Miss America.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Read them here.
  • Older Than They Think: Blink has always been canonically Bahamian, but because of her pink skin (and portrayal by not one, but two Asian actresses in live-action) many have forgotten as much. So when Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez's Exiles run portrayed her with black features, a vocal minority of readers took issue with it, acting as though it were an act of political correctness gone mad when it really wasn't. Ahmed himself pointed this out on his Twitter feed.
  • One True Pairing: While Colossus is shipped with many characters, his relationship with Kitty Pryde is regarded as the OTP by a large segment of fans, particularlly those fans who grew up reading Uncanny X-Men in the '80s.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • For whatever reason, the half of X-Men fandom's Broken Base that favors Wolverine finds themselves buttered up a lot more than the side that wants him to go away. Any issue with a lineup of X-Men will usually feature Wolverine will be front and center. There was even a cartoon series called Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), 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 case was the tie-in Top Trumps-like card game for the third film. 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.
    • Storm's divorce from Black Panther following the end of the Avengers vs. X-Men event is widely seen as a present to the vocal detractors of the pairing.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: Originally Magneto was this to Doctor Doom:
    • He began as a Jack Kirby-fashioned Eurotrash Supervillain who dresses in an outfit that's a mix of The Dark Ages (that weird helmet with a horn sigil on top) and modern pulp (complete with a cape and what looks like underwear outside his leotard), who also has a rivalry with the main team leader (Doom and Richards/Magneto and Xavier). Of course where even the Kirby-Lee Doom had charisma, cool, guile and had legitimate Evil Virtues, Lee-Kirby Magneto was just an obnoxious asshole.
    • Chris Claremont's revisions of Magneto, have made him even more Doom-Like, such as also coming from a community targeted for genocide by the Nazis (Doom is Romani, while Magneto is Jewish), becoming a head of state (Latveria for Doom, Genosha for Magneto). John Byrne opposed Claremont's plans to turn Magneto sympathetic and described Claremont's retcons as turning Magneto into "a half-assed clone of Doom". Of course the differences are more pronounced in that Doom is scarred and ugly and has a face-mask while Magneto is a Pretty Boy and a ladies' man). Magneto has a much more romantic angle to him than Doom does.
    • In Ultimate Marvel, Magneto usurps Doom's function as the primary Marvel-wide villain and boasts most of the focus in cross-overs whereas Magneto in mainstream Marvel rarely plays a big role as compared to Doctor Doom, Ultron or Thanos.
  • 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 due to the fact that 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-Breaking Character since then, partly because his popularity got taken a bit too far...
    • Madelyne Pryor is an accidental example of this. Back in 1989, Marvel intentionally wanted readers to hate Pryor to make it easy to kill her off and Ret-Gone her into an Un-person, and so turned her into a thoroughly-psychotic Woman Scorned who attempted to sacrifice her own son to fuel a demon invasion. For several years, it all worked and Madelyne Pryor was thoroughly hated. Meta circumstances have since turned that around somewhat. With advent of the Information Age (such as websites, like this very one), and Marvel making it easy to read all of Madelyne's pre-1989 appearances via reprints and digital archives (when she was a spunky, independent pilot and a helpful ally to the X-Men), a large amount of the fandom reinterpreted Madelyne as someone who actually got a raw deal, and Cyclops as being entirely too callous towards his wife. And now over the years, Marvel's handling of Jean Grey and Cyclops constantly angers fans and shippers. So lately the hatedom towards Pryor seems mostly silent, while her advocates/apologists seem pretty vocal.
    • Prior to X-Men: First Class, Azazel was one of the most unpopular of all the X-Men villains. Now, he's... well, still unpopular, at least in his original incarnation, but his adaptation has fared rather a bit better in reception
    • Ironically in an attempt to make him The Scrappy, Cyclops became this. While never quite hated, he was often considered a generic leader and not as interesting as Wolverine with a handful of Never Live It Down moments but as he became more extreme in his actions, many began agreeing with him and considering the rest of the X-Men hypocritical for going against him. Now, even implying he's wrong is practically heresy and Marvel's continued attempts to paint him as a villain is met with bitter contention.
    • Apocalypse. For many who feel he was a Generic Doomsday Villain, Dawn of X and X of Swords gave him a more clear motivation and backstory that made his Social Darwinist status more sympathetic.
    • While Cyke was always more of a Base-Breaking Character than a Scrappy, after both Schism and AvX, he seems to have shot up in popularity, possibly usurping Wolverine (Going by recent sales, Uncanny, Scott's book, had nearly double the sales WATXM has, which is after having solidly lead it prior to AvX). Due to the Designated Villain treatment he got, combined with his genuine attempts at helping people, apparently being the only one bothering to reach out and help any of the newly awakened mutants, and the fact he's the only one who tries to suggest peace rather than tossing insults and fighting whenever he runs into the people who currently dislike him, despite it being them we're apparently supposed to root for. Notably, when Cyclops popped up in WATXM to help Wolverine fight off sentinels, fans actually cheered Cyclops on and called for him to Just Shoot Him now that Wolverine's without his Healing Factor since Wolverine was being such a huge dick to him (which he did literally the second after Scott saved his life).
  • Romantic Plot Tumour: The Wolverine/Jean/Cyclops love triangle. While fans tend to ship any combination of the 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.
  • Ron the Death Eater: While Cyclops may not be perfect and he makes his share of mistakes, but as an A-List superhero team leader, that's bound to happen. However, as far as some superheroes, Supervillains, writers, fans or professional alike, are concerned, he's the most despicable person on the planet. Despite being brainwashed at the time, people are blaming him and solely him for the state mutants are post-Avengers vs X-Men, despite mutants always being in this kind of situation. Then there's the fans who complain about the fact he blames Wolverine and the Avengers, or the dark Phoenix, instead of accepting blame himself... despite the fact that he still accepted responsibility, and is the only one in the mess who's accepted any blame in the whole mess (except for Captain America, who at least admits he hasn't done enough to help mutants), while the opposing side hasn't and continue to blame him for everything.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • A not-insignificant portion of the fandom reads entirely for the bad guys, even knowing Status Quo Is God in this medium. The fact that the X-Men seem to suffer from perpetual Genre Blindness, trucking on with their doomed mission despite very obviously living in a Crapsack World, makes it hard for some not to root for the more Visionary Villain antagonists like Magneto, Exodus or, in recent years, Cyclops/Emma. The general idea here is "they might bad guys, but at least their hands aren't permanently attached to the Idiot Ball."
    • The anti-mutant human villains also have their fans. Bolivar Trask, Stephen Lang, William Stryker and the Genoshans (among others) are certainly zealous in their anti-mutantism, but recalling how often mutant supervillains have nearly destroyed the world, and how woefully insufficient existing government efforts to police them always prove, it makes a certain amount of sense to at least some readers that non-powered humans who don't want to end up marginalized on their own planet should resort to extreme measures to curb them. It probably also helps that these guys tend to dress in cool military uniforms rather than garish superhero/supervillain suits, and further that they have to be pretty damn brave and competent to go up against major super-people armed only or mostly with largely mundane weapons, and still pose a threat to them.
    • Many have supported Magneto over the X-Men, seeing that no matter what they do, including saving all life on Earth on a number of occasions, mutants are still just as hated and oppressed with no signs of change. It doesn't hurt that he's often a charming, Affably Evil, and extremely sympathetic character.
  • Running the Asylum: Oh yeah. The X-Men were Marvel's headline property throughout The '80s and '90s, a significant portion of the writer's room grew up reading them during that time, and hoo boy does it show, through moves such as the original roster of X-Force reuniting and the Age of Apocalypse being dragged out of mothballs in 2012. Schism and the subsequent Cyclops/Wolverine conflict is probaly the apex of this, as writers who have hated Scotty since X-Factor got to have the entie world dump on him while elevating their favorite character to what they saw as his rightful place at the head of the X-Men.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Very few people seem to like Ink. Even fewer like the new Hellfire Club made up of 12-year-olds.
    • 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 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.
    • Flip-flopped with Madelyne Pryor, who seemed to have been the most vehemently hated character among X-Men fandom for many years after 1989. The attitude had already begun shifting before Morrison's run, when fans started to accept reinterpreting Cyclops as having more culpability than initial reactions suggested. And then after Cyclops and Jean Grey were broken up and Grey killed off again, and Emma Frost hooked up with Cyclops, the hatedom towards Pryor seemed to abruptly wither and then die with a whimper.
    • Azazel was this for a real long time, being featured in the infamous "The Draco" story which is widely considered to be one of the worst X-Men stories of all time. It took being adapted into X-Men: First Class in an almost completely-reimagined form for him to get some semblance of Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Matthew Malloy, a Generic Doomsday Villain created by... uh, let's go with polarizing writer Brian Bendis. It didn't help that he effortlessly killed the extremely powerful Exodus, one of the few well-regarded '90s X-villains.
    • Also the Apocalypse Twins, a pair of evil mutants introduced in Uncanny Avengers who look like dollar-bin refugees from Guilty Gear and narratively speaking, are the unholy fusion of Holocaust and the Fenris Twins.
  • Screwed by the Network / Writer on Board: Fans of Apocalypse often feel like his Memetic Loser status detailed above is deliberately caused and encouraged by Marvel, due to his being the most recently created of the true Big Bad characters, and thus having the least in-house fans. Compare Apocalypse's history to that of similarly corny but much longer-running villains like Dr. Doom (who was given a starring-role as the "God Emperor" of Secret Wars (2015) or Magneto (who has enjoyed many starring roles over the years and is almost an officially-sanctioned Draco in Leather Pants at this point). Notably, 2016's X Men 92, one of the few runs in modern history to use Apocalypse well (thanks to writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims being 90s kids who grew up on the character), was Screwed by the Network and given a 10-issue cap.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • When Black Tom Took a Level in Jerkass during the aforementioned Austin run and killed Juggernaut's Morality Pet Sammy the Squid Boy, it cooled the very close friendship/relationship between them forever after. Cain held a grudge for a good few years, and while Tom eventually found his way back to sanity and apologized, Juggernaut seems to have not forgotten even if he's forgiven Tom for it.
    • Grant Morrison tried to sink Scott/Jean (or Jott) first by getting Scott behaving unusually cold, then getting him saying he and Jean had been "going through the motions" since her death on the Moon, and then cheating on Jean with Emma. It didn't work very well, though, partially due to Teen Scott and Teen Jean's ongoing Will They or Won't They?. Or Phoenix Resurrection stating Scott never, ever, got over Jean.
    • Post-Morrison, other writers endeavored to sink Jott further and cement Scott/Emma (or Scemma). However, Avengers vs X-Men had Emma cheating on Scott with Namor of all people and Scott breaking up with her, and Phoenix resurrection confirmed he never got over Jean. Likewise, after the Inhumans vs X-Men crossover, Teen Scott declared Emma Frost "ruined his life and got away with it".
    • As mentioned below in Strangled by the Red String, Jim Shooter explicitly torpedoed the Kitty-Piotr relationship that had been brewing since Kitty was introduced in the pages of Secret Wars. This was due to the impropriety of depicting a romance between a 13-14 year-old girl and a 19-20-year-old man, and one that the younger of the two has hopes of turning "serious" (including an incident where Kitty pulls a "Must Not Die a Virgin" on Piotr when she she and the rest of the team are doomed to die due to Brood infestation — he, to his credit, rejects the request gently, and they get better later).
  • 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. The same goes for Magneto, who was Promoted to Love Interest for Rogue after the Rogue/Gambit ship hit a big rock (namely, Gambit's chicanery with the Marauders being revealed).
    • 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.
    • Don't forget that in addition to Wolverine/Jean, there are Wolverine/Mariko and Wolverine/Storm ships as well.
    • Where to even start? Cyke/Jean vs. Cyke/Emma is probably the biggest battle in the fan base, the former being iconic while the latter some fans find far more interesting, and still others remember him fondly with Madelyne Prior. That's not even getting into Ho Yay with Angel and, of course, Wolverine. Now there's also the fact that some writers have decided that the Phoenix Force itself wants him. Then of course is Mr. Sinister, who has long displayed an unhealthy obsession with Cyclops within the books leading to quite a bit of subtext among fans. More recently, Uncanny has seen Tempus, Maria Hill and even Magik enter the fray. And that's not even including Teen!Scott in All-New, who is popularly linked both with the obligatory Jean Grey (in this case time-displaced O5 Teen!Jeen) and, thanks to Rule 63 giving the fanbase an outlet for Adult!Scott's subtext with Logan, X23.
    • Jean/Scott Vs. Jean/Logan as well as Jean/Scott Vs. Emma/Scott. Also Teen!Jean/Teen!Scott vs. X-23/Teen!Scott.
  • Squick: In Wolverine and the X-Men (Marvel Comics), Kitty Pryde's somehow being impregnated by Brood eggs that infect her uterus. Just for the record, impregnating someone against their will? That sounds like a rape, and one cover showing them all swarming around her as she's pinned down by them does not help with that.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • 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.
    • Depending on who you ask, the Magneto/Rogue ship also falls into this trope. It's always been one of the weirder X-relationships, being pushed every couple of years by the Powers That Be despite it never really picking up steam until Gambit's popularity as a character waned, and it was also made canon in the Age of Apocalypse. Recent years have seen it cross into Unfortunate Implications territory (particularly in X-Men Legacy) as Magneto's appearance has been drawn as steadily older while Rogue's has been drawn as (for some reason) steadily younger. Add in one very revealing conversation between Rogue and Toad in X-Men Legacy #265 and you have the perfect red string storm.
    • Piotr's twice been strangled by this. During the Secret Wars (1984) event, Executive Meddling on the part of Jim Shooter (who wasn't comfortable with the jailbaity aspects of 19-20 year old Colossus romancing a 14 year old Kitty) forced Colossus to fall into instant love with Zsaji, a character specifically created for the event. While Zsaji succeeded in putting off the Colossus/Kitty relationship until both characters were of age, it was not received well by fans and Zsaji has barely appeared since the '80s. In a more recent case, he sparked a relationship with Domino out of nowhere in the pages of X-Force (2013), noteworthy for splitting both characters off from their usual OTPs. This one was a little more popular, resulting in a Broken Base, but it didn't last long and Colossus soon returned to romancing Kitty... only to be left at the altar.
    • Kitty Pryde With Piotr. If X-Men Gold was clumsy in its attempt to bring them together, it was vicious in how it tried to keep them apart. Kitty Pryde, after apparently having enough time to think about marrying Piotr that she proposed herself, completely falls apart after a few lines from the minister of the actual ceremony celebrating how much they've overcome, panics and calls the whole thing off.
    • Most fans seem to think that Nightcrawler's romance with Rachel Summers in X-Men: Gold comes out of nowhere. Not helped by the fact that they barely interact or spend any significant time together.
    • Psylocke with Fantomex in Uncanny X-Force. Later turns out to be invoked. Fantomex knew Psylocke didn't really have feelings for him, but he had to make her question her devotion to Warren in order to acquire the courage needed to kill him.
    • Storm's marriage to Black Panther was widely seen as this by the pair's detractors. Not helping was that writer Reginald Hudlin basically built the marriage out of a two-issue cameo from Christopher Priest's run where their "romance" was treated as an unrealistic-but-cathartic childhood fantasy that would never actually work in any real way, and included Storm explicitly comparing Panther to Magneto. This was either alleviated or exacerbated (depending on your point of view) by the Storm flashback miniseries which came out around the same time and retconned the aforementioned two-issue cameo crossover to establish that Storm and T'Challa did have an earlier romantic relationship when they were teenagers.
    • Sabretooth's two major love interests can be seen as this.
      • Mystique. They hated & did terrible things to each other throughout the 90's & early 2000's. Come Jason Aaron's 2010 X-run, they were an affectionate couple, captioned in Wolverine #300 as "Marvel's Hottest and Deadliest New Couple". Since then, Sabretooth has been depicted as loving her & anyone harming her instant presses his Berserk Button.
      • Monet. After Secret Wars, the books have an 8-month time-skip with many off-panel developments, which includes the start of this romance in Bunn's Uncanny X-Men. The Ship Tease is in full effect the first issue as they engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat. Psylocke reveals it's typical behavior by asking if they were still bickering, why they don't just Get a Room!, and thinking they may be flirting. The seeds of romance were planted asap. Bunn confirmed they had a torturous love & their feelings were so apparent, six characters could see it throughout the two books they shared. Yuriko has an exposition moment in Weapon X 22 when her elaboration on Monet was "as in Sabretooth ex girlfriend." Domino, Deadpool, and Omega Red shipped them. Domino gushes at them twice, Deadpool impatiently asks when they're gonna kiss, and Omega Red grins at them during a heartfelt convo. She & Creed never met prior to all this and we skipped straight to them already being in love with numerous sources pointing it out. note  note 
  • 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.
  • Theme Pairing: Thor/Storm has a substantial following due to the fact that both of them are associated with the weather, spurred on by the fact that they are a couple in the spin-off Marvel Adventures universe. Images like thisnote  just encourages comments like "Bring on the biracial thunder babies".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Killing off all of Rachel's relatives in The End of The Greys felt like a cop-out, given how it would have ben nice seeing survivors struggling to cope with the trauma and confusion with her. At the very least, it would have been satisfying to see the telepathic twins Joey and Gailyn survive to join their cousin on a quest for revenge.
    • Plenty of the characters wiped out in the aftermath of M-Day, but Wallflower and DJ are notable examples with fascinating powers and interesting personalities who feel like the writers gave up on them too fast and decided they should be Stuffed in the Fridge.
    • Angel's girlfriend Candy Southern is decently cute with him, and is even hinted to be a mutant (or at least descended from one) due to the first appearance of the Hellfire Club mentioning that Candy was a hereditary Hellfire Club member who was creeped out by them and didn't join. But any potential mutant heritage on her part is never explore and in about two decades of appearances she's little more than a Satellite Love Interest then is Stuffed in the Fridge.
    • Scaleface of the Tunnelers is popular for shapeshifting into a dragon, being her group's Only Sane Man, and forming a Battle Couple with her teammate Berzerker. She is killed in her debut issue and only returns as a resurrected minion for various villains.
    • Jean's death(s) have been to known to annoy fans. A lot. Especially those who don't like Emma Frost.
    • Jean herself has been subjected to this in many storylines where she is reduced to just the love interest of either Wolverine or Cyclops with no agency or development of her own. Looking at you, X-Men Film Series.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The 'Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier' story featured a brief, throwaway appearance by Exodus as an agent of SHIELD and the head of its psi division. Yes, Exodus. And the thing is, exploring how a character like Exodus would come to work for SHIELD at all, let alone go so far as to help an organization primarily made up of humans hunt down a dangerous mutant threat, would be a story seriously worth reading. Unfortunately, though, Bennet was just there to get worfed by Bendis's Generic Doomsday Villain Matthew Malloy and he played no further part in the rest of the story, which was so bad that it ended up being retconned.
    • The '90s are pretty much a landfill of these, thanks to the high creator turnover and endless backstage politics going on at the time. A lot of villains from the era (indeed, entire villain teams fall under this umbrella) had massive potential but thanks to poor writing are barely remembered today (The Acolytes, the Upstarts, the Externals, etc). There's also the characters that never even got a chance to show their stuff, like Adrienne Frost, Genesis and Haven. If you ever wondering why the segment of the fandom that's Nineties-centric just tunes out of the current Cyclops VS Wolverine rigmarole altogether, well, this is why.
    • The maligned 2012-2018 run, which follows Cyclops becoming gradually darker and more reactionary in his quest to protect mutantkind before Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and becoming the next Magneto, while Wolverine is forced to step up and leave his violent past behind to become a mentor figure and moral authority. That’s actually a pretty interesting story idea and not a bad way to take the characters given Cyclop’s reputation as a Jerkass and the disparity in popularity between them among fans and writers. However, the story was mishandled so badly that Cyclops came off as right and justified, with everyone choosing to persecute him because they don‘t like him, and Wolverine acted like a sanctimonious Hypocrite.
    • Jamie Mardox absorbing his and Siryn's son due to the son being the son of a clone was a horrifying scene that did have interesting story applications, but imagine if he had realized what might happen at the last moment, and Sean had survived, but been left with a father unable to touch him, and who felt conflicted about fatherhood due to the individualistic nature of the duplicates.
    • As a result of Jimmy Hudson's memory loss, he never remembered Ultimate Magneto during his stay in X-Men Blue, and then never confronted 616 Magneto with the actions of his interdimensional duplicate.
  • Ugly Cute: People in-universe generally react in horror to his demonic appearance. However, Kurt has more then his fair share of admirers due to his charming personality and art often making him look like a Cute Monster Boy rather than scary.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • In Wolverines #20, where Mystique is presented with the choice of resurrecting Wolverine in the place of her lover Destiny or seeing all existence destroyed and decides she would rather "let it burn" than bring Wolverine back. While this is presented as yet another example of Raven's self-centered egotism (she thinks to herself that this is her story, not his), it really does set her up as a sort of cosmic chew toy presented with the ultimate sadistic choice as even a hero as pure as Spider-Man would struggle to willingly resurrect their worst enemy (Wolverine had murdered Mystique by this time) in the place of the person they love most just Because Destiny Says So.
    • While Scott used to bounce back and forth between this and Unintentionally Unsympathetic Depending on the Writer, as of the new 10s, he is firmly stuck on this, mostly because certain writers (most prominently Jason Aaron) tried their utmost to vilify without bringing up any actual valid points against him. For example, they tried to portray him as bad for draging children into the conflict, when training mutant kids and preparing them for a world that hates them has been the X-Men's concept from the very beginning.
    • From 2006 onwards, Cyclops: learned that his father figure had lied to and betrayed him; was forced to fight a brother he never even knew he had; lost the love of his life; had his oldest and closest friends abandon him; killed said father figure while possessed and arguably in self-defense, and was treated as a cold blooded, remorseless murderer for it despite his obvious guilt; and essentially had his entire legacy stripped away and everything he ever worked for handed over on a silver platter to a guy whose only apparent qualification was being just so cool. Even fans who disliked the character started to feel sorry for him because Marvel had so systematically tried to destroy the poor bastard that it was basically impossible not to. It didn’t help that many of the people opposing him (Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Black Bolt, etc.) had previously done or were currently doing things as bad or worse than him and gotten a free pass, making it look like he was being singled out rather than getting what was coming to him.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • In rough order of severity and depending on the writer, Kitty Pryde, Cyclops, Professor X, Magneto, 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.
    • What makes Wolverine such a frustrating example of this trope is that the character is basically a Karma Houdini on wheels — other Marvel U Anti-Hero characters like The Punisher, Agent Venom, and in the X-Universe Magneto and most pointedly Cyclops, all suffer the consequences of their Jerkass behavior through generous doses of Can't Get Away with Nuthin', etc. Logan is a character with a body count behind him that would make most Serial Killer characters blush yet enjoys a consistent 100% Adoration Rating and is regarded as a trusted ally of characters like Captain America, Spider-Man, etc... you know, the same people who would be calling for him to stand trial if he were anyone else. In general, both the character and the narrative bend over backwards to handwave Wolverine's crimes. At one point Logan even says himself that he's only ever killed people who deserved it; as his victims mostly consist of various Mooks and Red Shirts, the narrative treats this as him telling it like it is rather than the What the Hell, Hero? moment it ought to be.
    • The mid-2000s revelation that Charles had in fact cheated his way to academic and athletic accolades in high school had this effect on Cain, just as it had the reverse effect on his brother. Granted, trying to kill the guy for decades was pure Disproportionate Retribution on his part, but anyone with an overachieving sibling knows the frustration Cain must have felt.
    • Mystique is ultimately this in the long run. While she does have a Dark and Troubled Past involving at least one abusive father, has aided the X-Men, has a loving relationship with her girlfriend (later retconned wife) Destiny and has a few Pet the Dog and redeeming moments concerning her children Nightcrawler and Rogue, none of that changes the fact that Mystique is a chronic backstabber, sadistic mass murderer who formed the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, is an insanely abusive mother to all children and has even sexually assaulted a minor in Worst X-Men Ever. It’s most glaring in House Of X where Sabretooth is subjected to a Fate Worse than Death for his crimes, whilst Mystique is part of the Krakoa Mutant high council even though her villain record is as bad as Creed’s and with the Council's refusal to resurrect Destiny, she might as well have a sign hung around her neck stating "WILL BETRAY THIS COUNCIL ANY DAY NOW" in neon letters.
    • In 1986, writers tried to make Scott look sympathetic by turning Madelyne into a Wet Blanket Wife who started disapproving of his involvement with the X-Men, hoping to give Scott an acceptable reason to walk out on his wife and son to join up with the rest of the original X-Men (including a resurrected Jean) in X-Factor. Instead, it looked like abandoning his family to shack up with his ex, especially since he initially kept Madelyne and his son a secret from Jean. Many readers at the time turned on Scott for good, including fans who later became X-writers (see above). Scott later angsted about Madelyne and the baby disappearing, but it came off disingenuous since he'd walked out on them in the first place.
    • Professor X's insanely privileged background, combined with the retcon that he was in fact using his mutant abilities to skate through all the troubles of adolescence and become a star student besides (something Juggernaut always accused him of, but was never confirmed or even validated before Chuck Austen's run which canonized it) robs Xavier of a large chunk of what made him sympathetic and made him relatable only to the most affluent of trust fund kids. He still has his idealism in bridging the divide between humans and mutants, but even that is tainted now by what a Manipulative Bastard he is when he feels like he needs to be.
  • Values Dissonance: The whole "Freaky Friday" Flip that turned Psylocke from a relatively wholesome Caucasian Brit to a very sexualized Japanese ninja. It was odd back then, but dismissed as just comic stuff that's par for the course. Today, it would've likely raised a vocal backlash. After so many years, people just accepted it, and that in itself created a multitude of hurdles.
    • It was done because Jim Lee wanted to draw her as a sexy ninja chick, and no attempt was ever made at hiding it. Though it was intended to be temporary, it ended up making Psylocke so popular that the upper management at Marvel forbade the writers from reverting it (this being a time where every sale counted in the Speculation Boom). This created some rather awkward situations. For one, Psylocke became by and far the most iconic Asian hero for Marvel (and maybe even comics in general), when the few they had before such as Shang-Chi, Jubilee (Marvel Comics), Sunfire and Faiza Hussain were nowhere near her level (Jubilee being the closest contender, but she was a Scrappy at the time and her appeal was very different), despite not having been born or culturally Asian. This especially came to head later, when Marvel made many legitimate attempts at authentic diversity, and yet Psylocke remained prominent and retained her odd backstory. Tellingly, while nearly all adaptations do retain her being an Asian ninja, they usually have the body swap aspect Adapted Out or simply gloss over it, to avoid opening that can of worms.
    • Even some of those who defend her as an Asian ninja will often admit the body swap was just weird, and say that they should just retcon her origins to always being Asian, and even in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot they could have them change the Braddocks from twins to adopted siblings to allow it or make her brother Asian as well.
    • Eventually, C.B. Cebulski put his foot down and in 2018 she reverted to her original body to put an end of Betsy appropriating something that isn't hers (which is ironic as, infamously, he once pretended to be a Japanese man named Akira Yoshida to draw attention to Marvel and gain sales). However, this itself created problems because after so many years, fans and readers were just accustomed to Psylocke being an Asian ninja, and white Psylocke just didn't take. Uncanny X-Men (2018) tried to please them by having Kwannon dress in a similar outfit and take on the traditional role associated with her, while the Dawn of X relaunch sees Betsy become the new Captain Britain, and Kwannon actually becomes the new Psylocke with the iconic bathing suit intact, with her becoming an Ascended Extra to match. Some admit it's a better development then simply reverting them, as the racial politics are completely sidestepped though others admit they like Betsy as a ninja.
  • 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).
  • What an Idiot!: It was foolish of Magneto to whine like a child instead of being enraged at being tricked by that "Wooden Gun."note 
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Asked by the fandom in the 90s of Gambit after he was outed for his role in the Mutant Massacre. He was eventually accepted back by the team, though his fandom never really recovered.
  • The Woobie:
    • The Morlocks after having been massacred by the Marauders.
    • To say that Lorna has not had it easy would be an understatement. She's been possessed by the psionic being Malice, had Alex dump her at the altar, was at ground zero for the Genosha attack, lost her powers on M-Day and she learned that she accidentally killed her parents when her powers first manifested.
    • Rachel Summers grew up in a Bad Future ruled by the Sentinels. From childhood to adolescence, she was made to hunt down Mutants for Ahab and after breaking free from his control was sent to a concentration camp. Then she ended up in a timeline where she was never born, her mother died and her father had a different child.
    • Nate Grey very much so. A Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb from a Bad Future who fell into a completely different universe where almost everyone fears him. And that's just the beginning.
      • Also the Parental Incest part. Madelyne (or 'Maddy' as he generally refers to her) is the only friend he has in the whole world. When she goes bad, it hurts him big time, though Jean does reach out to him.
      • It doesn't help that a whole bunch of 616 universe heroes were villains in the Age of Apocalypse, and vice versa.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Apocalypse. It’s revealed in X of Swords that he loved very much his very first family, his first wife and their four children, but he was separated from them in the War with Amenth. His whole Social Darwinist ideation comes from the last words his first wife said to him sending him down the road to becoming the ice-cold warrior he’s been known to be. Everything he’s done since his debut was so he can prepare Earth and more specifically Mutantkind for a war with Amenth so he can reunite with his family. And when he does they’ve turned on him and made an alliance with Amenth. Furthermore his wife has become one with its leader Annihilation.
  • Writer on Board: With a number of his former fans now writers at Marvel themselves, Wolverine is a frequent beneficiary of this, often being written as an unstoppable badass who is always right no matter what horrible thing he does or suggests doing. It's not usually so bad when the writers instead focus on other characters, but sometimes it can be quite extreme.
    • Wolverine went the other direction in Uncanny Avengers, where he was portrayed as a bloodthirsty idiot whose main role was being lectured at by the more "enlightened" members of the team. This, naturally, didn't satisfy many people either.
    • As Wolverine's Opposite-Sex Clone, it's perhaps not a surprise that X-23 gets slathered with this too. Run, don't walk, away from any issue her creator Craig Kyle has penned.
    • In the mainstream universe, Cyclops killed Professor X while possessed, as such, he instantly became one of the world's worst villains in the eyes of the X-Men, and essentially became the leader of a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants; meanwhile, Wolverine was depicted as being in the right for blaming Cyclops for the Professor's death despite the fact that Scott clearly wasn't in control of himself, and ended up as Xavier's rightful successor as leader of the X-Men school.
      However, in the home timeline of long-term Exiles member Nocturne, Wolverine killed Professor X while possessed, and subsequently ended up as Xavier's rightful successor as leader of the X-Men school; meanwhile, Cyclops was depicted as being in the wrong for blaming Wolverine for the Professor's death despite the fact that Logan clearly wasn't in control of himself, became Persona Non Grata in the eyes of the X-Men, went crazy and became the leader of a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
      In short, Wolverine is always right and Cyclops is always wrong, no matter which side either of them is on.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Some fans are divided on the casting of Channing Tatum for the upcoming Gambit film... which languishes in Development Hell in any case.


Alternative Title(s): Cyclops

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How well does it match the trope?

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