Nearly five decades have passed since “Giant X-Men” #1 changed the mutant landscape. Much is different since then.
By Richard Keller
Published 9 hours ago
In February of 1975, the Marvel Comics landscape shifted.?Giant-Size X-Men?#1 was distributed to newsstands. Written by Len Wein and drawn by Dave Cockrum, it featured a new generation of Merry Mutants in the first original story in five years.
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Soon enough, those creators were replaced by the legendary team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne, and the series took off. In the nearly four decades since, the X-Men have changed considerably. Not only in the structure of the team but the Mutant universe as a whole.
The reason why Professor X needed to create a new team of X-Men was due to the capture of the original group. It wasn’t by Magneto or another arch-villain. They were taken by the living island of Krakoa.
When?Jonathan Hickman decided to reboot the mutant franchise in 2019, he made Krakoa a new mutant nation. Thus, Xavier and the other leaders created a tenuous truce between them and the island. It?continues to be fed in exchange for its amazing holistic cures.
Charles Xavier wanted nothing more than for humans and mutants to live in harmony. Regardless of how many times they were shunned, Professor X was stalwart in his beliefs. Then, he wasn’t.
Due to some changes in the X-Men timeline, Xavier’s desire for co-existence shrunk. In its place was an urge to create an environment where mutants could live and work together. As a result, instead of?pledging a melting pot of homo sapien and?superior sapien, Xavier now?deals with the rest of the world as one of the leaders of an independent nation.
Being an X-Man no longer means a person born with inherent abilities is part of a superhero team. On the contrary, to be an X-Man means they are welcomed into a society that doesn’t treat them as a pariah. It means acceptance.
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Of course, that doesn’t mean a core X-Men team doesn’t exist. In fact, they are Krakoa’s resident superhero group. Nevertheless, members can join or leave the core?team and remain important members of mutant society. They may do something else on Krakoa while they bide their time.
As Xavier and Magneto developed their plan to unite the world’s mutants they also spoke to their former enemy,?Mr. Sinister, on another plan. The goal was to collect the DNA of the mutants in a databank. Then, when?they perished due to attack or illness, their bodies could be cloned.
However, what about their memories? That comes from the synchronized powers of a quintet of Omega-level mutants known as The Five. As their cloned bodies grow, this group helps to restore their memories. Thus, as long as the process works, the mutants are practically immortal.
The list of mutant teams that came after the X-Men’s 1975 rebirth could take up an entire list. Suffice it to say, there are several mutant-based teams in the human world. It started in the early 1980s when Marvel’s editor-in-chief at the time, Jim Shooter, asked for a new group. The result was?The New Mutants?by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod.
Then came the British team Excalibur. Not long after, the original X-Men got together again to become X-Factor. The New Mutants became X-Force, the X-Men split into two teams, then three … and so on. There are so many mutant teams currently active it’s hard to tell who belongs to what.
In the 2019 mini-series?House of X?and?Power of X, writer Jonathan Hickman tweaked the origins of the X-Men as well as powerhouses like Xavier and Magneto. He did this through the time-traveling abilities of Moira McTaggart. In part three of the linked series, “The Uncanny Life of Moira X,” readers learned the former romantic partner to Professor X had the mutant ability of reincarnation.
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Not only that, but she retains the memories from each past life. Thus, she was able to recall all of Xavier’s attempts. In her last life, Moira asked him to read her mind to learn everything she knew. Therefore, previous events were changed.
Since their 1975 rebirth, the X-Men and corresponding mutant teams have gone through a lot. People have died, come back to life, then died again. Jean Grey has been resurrected at least a half-dozen times since her first death in “The Dark Phoenix Saga.”
Among some of the most important events are “The Fall of the Mutants,” where the X-Men were allegedly slain, the “X-Tinction Agenda,” where the X-Men are kidnapped and taken to Genosha, and “Age of Apocalypse,” where time is changed around mutants after Professor X’s death. Among the most devastating has been “House of M.” Here, an unstable Scarlet Witch decimates the global mutant population with three words: “No more mutants.”
During the original?X-Men?run the only member to perish was Professor X. However, even he wasn’t really dead as a doppelganger had taken his place. However, a good many X-Men have?died since their mid-70s reboot.
Professor X and Jean Grey are at the head of this list. Both have?lost their lives in various ways. Sometimes they were killed by other X-Men. Others that have perished include Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Cypher. Even the seemingly unkillable Wolverine temporarily died.
Throughout their history, the X-Men have had a diverse rouges gallery. Villains like Magneto, Apocolypse, and Mr. Sinister wanted to take over the world to make it a home for mutants.
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However, that changed when Charles Xavier and Magneto learned about all of their mistakes by reading Moira McTaggart’s mind. That moment alone shifted Magneto’s urge to destroy mankind. In turn, the duo ended up recruiting Mr. Sinister and Apocolypse into their plan for a mutant nation. Thus, their evil intentions were quashed.
The X-Men are no longer a mechanism used to unite mutants and humans. They are a small component of a larger concept.
It wouldn’t have happened if Jonathan Hickman hadn’t decided to revamp the comic line. It’s a logical move toward fulfilling Xavier’s dreams. How long Krakoa?remains a peaceful nation welcoming all mutants is left to history and the whims of the next creative team.
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About The Author
(212 Articles Published)
Rich Keller is a 30-year freelance veteran. He began his career as a stringer, covering school board meetings for a local paper. Since then, Rich has written millions of words for both online and print publications. He is the author of “Coffee Cup Tales” and “Thinking Outside My Box.” Rich was also a podcaster, hosting “The Daily Author” for nearly 300 episodes. Rich is an avid comic book fan who once braved the world of San Diego Comic-Con.
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