The 25 Most Important KEY ISSUES in X-MEN History!

This is a list of the 25 Most Important KEY ISSUE in Uncanny X-MEN History. As always, these are just my opinion. If you feel I missed a book, let me know. I love talking about comics so all conversations are welcomed. (Except if you’re a creep.)

And if you like what you see, check out other stuff I write and create at my blog, the Strange Tales of a Comic Book Nerd or my Facebook Group, WE LOVE COMICS!

25 – Uncanny X-Men #137

UXM 137

“The Death of Jean Grey.”

This issue, the finale of the Dark Phoenix story line, changed the X-Men for years to come. After Jeans death, Cyclops left the very next issue and all of the original X-Men would be gone (Save for a few sporadic appearance) until they reunited years later as the X-Factor team soon after Jean Grey’s cocoon was discovered in the bottom of the ocean by the first mutant ever, Namor. (Avengers #263 and Fantastic Four #286)

Also, there are rumors that Dazzler was the first choice to join the original X-Men as X-Factor, but once Jean Grey returned, Dazzler was shifted to the Uncanny X-Men and Jean was cemented as the fifth X-Factor member.

24 -Uncanny X-Men #120/121

First Alpha Flight

The first appearance of Canada’s greatest super team makes their debut here. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, this team was extremely popular right out the gates.

Also one of the main characters, Northstar, has a huge following in the LGBTQ community, making this a very sought after KEY ISSUE.

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23 – Uncanny X-Men #97

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This book is a KEY ISSUE for many reasons.

First, it’s the first appearance of Eric the Red. Second, it’s the first appearance of Lorna Dane as Polaris. And 3rd, it’s the first appearance of Lilandra Neramani and the Shi’ar Empire; who if I’m not mistaken, are scheduled to have a huge role in the upcoming X-Men movie.

Yeah, this is a KEY ISSUE.

22 – Uncanny X-Men #282 

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First Appearance of Bishop.

When Bishop arrived, he arrived with news from the future. An X-Men will betray the team and lead to the death of everyone. Now while that mystery was a huge let down, Bishop was not. He’s one of the most popular X-Men ever and his first appearance is one of the best.

21 – NYX #3

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First Laura Kinney.

Call her Laura Kinney. Call Her X-23. Or call her the new Wolverine. But by what ever name, this X-Woman is super popular and her first appearance is through the roof, price wise. Her first appearance is possibly the most important modern X-Men key.

Also, if you’re a fan of the test tube thingy well…

20 – Uncanny X-Men #28

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The first appearance of Banshee has cooled off in years, but it still grabs quite a price on EBay or at your local comic book shops. Also, am I the only one who feels that Banshee needs a retooling or sorts?

19 – Amazing Adventures #11

Amazing_Adventures_Vol_2_11.jpg

First Blue Fur Beast.

Way back when, Hank McCoy was an original member of the X-Men and fans… well fans really didn’t care. But then one day, writer Gerry Conway had a great idea. Turn the Beast into an actual, blue/grey furry beast. And it worked! The new version of the Beast was born and fans embraced it like never before. Good call, Gerry. Good call.

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18 – Uncanny X-Men #58

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First Havok.

Scott Summer’s little brother (Or big brother if you prefer the movies) Alex Summers first donned his iconic costume in this little issue right here, becoming Havok. Throw in the fact that this is a Neal Adams X-Men issue and you start to understand why collector’s love this book.

Little known fact. If Joss Whedon had his way, the Summers brothers would have been related to Buffy Summers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. True fact.

Read it here.

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17 – X-Factor #6

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The first appearance of Apocalypse.

This book has dropped significantly, probably due to the poor representation of the character on X-men: Age of Apocalypse. Ivan Ooze, anyone?

But let’s not forget how much of a bad ass Apocalypse is. He’s the X-Men’s most dangerous enemy and most powerful mutant they’ve ever faced. Probably explains why fans are still shelling out around 50 bucks to own this issue.

And if you need proof pertaining as to how much of a bad ass that Apocalypse is…. remember this world?

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16 – X-Factor #24

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Angel becomes ArchAngel.

Like his fellow original X-Men member, Angel Warren Worthington III was really nothing to write home about. His powers were that he had wings that helped him to fly. But that’s it. Yeah. He was pretty much as boring as watching paint dry. (FYI, he did have some cool costumes though.)

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But then Apocalypse got a hold of him in the pages of X-Factor a like that, Archangel was born! And boy was he a fucken bad ass! Wings of Metal Death that flung razors and a cool new look that just looked — Archangel-like. Yeah, Simonson did good with that revamp.

15 – Uncanny X-Men #213/257

First Betsy Braddock as Psylocke and as Lady Mandarin.

Once upon a time, Betsy Braddock was a beautiful young English model and sister of Captain Britain.  Her powers were precognition, telepathy, mental bolts, mind control, and generating illusion. Not bad. Not bad at all.

But then crime lord Mats’uo Tsurayaba captured her and switched bodies with his lover Kwannon, an Asian woman and Psylocke was turned into an invincible assassin who still had all her mutant powers. And history was made.

U go, Psylocke!

14 – Ms. Marvel #18

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First Full Appearance of Mystique.

Now forget the hate of Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Mystique in the X-Men movies (Or the forgettable version by Rebecca Romijn Stamos). In the comics, Mystique’s first appearance is a highly sought after and respected issue. Try getting a NM copy of this issue for under a 100 bucks. So hard.

Now Mystique has mostly been a villain, but she does blur the lines. She’s the mother of Nightcrawler, adopted mother of Rogue, and first appeared in an Uncanny X-Men issue in issue #141 as a huge part of the Days of Future Past story.

And in case you’re a purist, yes, she did have a cameo in Ms. Marvel #16 and as Nick Fury in issue # 17 as well, but issue #18 is the more sought after issue.

13 – New Mutants 87

New_Mutants_Vol_1_87

1st Nathan Summers (Cable)

When Cable first appeared in the pages of the New Mutants (By Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson) he was an instant sensation, sending the New Mutants from the lower tier of Marvel books into the top 5 almost over night. (And making Liefeld into a household name.) Yeah, people. It wasn’t Deadpool who made Liefeld famous. No. It was Cable.

As the son of Scott Summers and Madelyn Pryor, Cable hails from an apocalyptic future and aside from carrying a huge ass gun, he posses the mutant powers of telepathy, telekinesis, and technopathy.

Also, back during the heyday of Wizard Comics Price Guide, a little rumor of a certain baby named Nathan sparked a frenzy and led to this certain issue being the number one comic book for a few months. Anyone remember this?

12 – Uncanny X-Men #266

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First appearance of Gambit.

Way back in the early 90’s, there were three popular guys who fans could not get enough of. The first was Dylan McKay from the FOX hit show, Beverly Hills 90210.  The second was Kevin Costner, who seemed to star in every hit movie of the time, and the third was Remy Etienne LeBeau, aka Gambit!

Like Cable before him, Gambit was an over night sensation. His first appearance was selling for more than a hundred bucks at a time when a hundred bucks was like a million dollars to collectors and it even dominated the holy Wizard Price Guide for a time period. Basically, this book was hot!

Also, I wonder if the horrible, X-Men traitor story line had to do with this book not making the top 10?

11 – Iron Fist #14

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First appearance of Sabretooth.

Man, it’s a miracle that this guy is still as popular as he is considering how badly FOX has fucked up his character. And Marvel Comics, you’re not so innocent yourself.

At one time, Victor Creed was the most bad ass comic book villain out there. Any appearance was a sought after appearance.  From the Spectacular Spider-Man to Power Pack to Power Man and Iron Fist, if Creed was there, so was the fans. But lately… Marvel… what the hell are you guys doing?

Never the less, despite many dropped balls, Sabretooth’s first appearance continues to be a huge moment in X-Men history.

10 – Uncanny X-Men #129

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First Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost

How can a book containing the first appearances of Emma Frost (The White Queen) and Kitty Pryde not be a huge KEY ISSUE?

9 – Avengers Annual #10

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First appearance of Rogue.

An Avengers book in an Uncanny X-Men list? WTF?! Well if that book just happen to be the first appearance of the most popular female X-Man of all time then why not? And let me tell you, folks — Rogue is super popular… still.

Now if Marvel can just turn her character back into the Rogue we all know and love then that would be just fine.

8 – Uncanny X-Men #12

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Enter the Juggernaut.

Brother of Professor X and one of the X-Men’s greatest foes (And sometimes Ally) is Cain Marko, aka the Juggernaut. Now forget about that dumbass X-Men movie version. THe comic book version is the unstopable bad ass that can go toe to toe with even the Hulk. Yeah, the Juggernaut is that FN awesome.

Oh. And in case you want this book in high grade, get a second job!

7 – Uncanny X-Men #101

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First Jean Grey as the Phoenix.

Another original X-Men member getting a make over seems to equal a hot KEY ISSUE! But there’s a twist. It wasn’t really Jean Grey as the Phoenix so basically, you can say this is the first appearance of the Phoenix Force.

Confused? So am I. —- Or am I?

6 – Uncanny X-Men #14

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First Sentinels.

The mutant killers known as the Sentinels first debut in this issue and as you know, they’ve been a staple of doom for the X-Men ever since. And if you’ve ever read or seen Days of Future Past then well… you know why.

And like most silver age X-Men books, good luck finding this in high grade for allowance type money.

5 – Uncanny X-Men #4

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First Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Quicksilver. Scarlet Witch.

So many first appearances and so many reasons why this book is a key issue. You got the Brotherhood, you got the Maximoff twins in Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and oh yeah… this is the fourth issue of the Uncanny X-Men.

Basically, a key by any other name.

4 – Uncanny X-Men #141

X-Men_Vol_1_141

Probably the most popular and well know story in X-Men lore is the Days of Future Past story line than took place in Uncanny X-Men issues #141 and #142 as well as several other X-related titles years after.

Basically the quintessential book about the fall of the X-Men. It’s a must have KEY for every X-Men collection.

3 – Incredible Hulk #181

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The first appearance of Wolverine. Do we really need to say much other than, if you’re searching for this book, just make sure the Marvel Value Stamp is inside intact.

2 – Uncanny X-Men #1

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The One That Started It All.

The most expensive issue on this list and a HOLY GRAIL for many, many collectors, the first appearance of the original X-men is not only a classic for comic collectors, but for fans of the X-men in all shapes and form.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly (First Mutant, Namor the Submariner)

Wolverine #1 (First successful solo X-Men limited Series)

Uncanny X-men #94 (First New X-men in title)

Uncanny X-men#49 (First Polaris)

 

AND NUMBER ONE!

1 – Giant Sized X-Men #1

GS X-Men 1.jpg

The most popular version of the X-men began here with Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Thunderbird joining Cyclops, Sun-fire, and Banshee. Formed by Prof. X to save the original X-Men members (Jean Grey, Ice-Man, and Angel along with Polaris and Havok) from the clutches of the giant mutant Island, Krakoa.

And an epic sensation began that lasts till this day.

Price for a Near Mint copy: Nearly 3,000 bucks! Or you can get the Special Edition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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