The X-Men are a superhero team in the Marvel Comics Universe. They were created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963). The basic concept of the X-Men is that under a cloud of increasing anti-mutant sentiment. Xavier recruited Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, and Marvel Girl, calling them “X-Men” because they possess special powers due to their possession of the “X-gene,” a gene which normal humans lack and which gives mutants their abilities. The “X” in X-Men stood for “extra” power which normal humans lacked. It was also alluded to that mutations occurred as a result of radiation exposure.
The X-Men universe also includes such notable heroes as Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Night crawler, Rogue, Shadow cat, Dazzler, Emma Frost, Cable, and Gambit. Besides the Brotherhood of Mutants, other villains that the X-Men have fought include the Sentinels, Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, and the Hellfire Club. The X-Men comics have been adapted into other media, including animated television series, video games, and a commercially successful series of films.
The X-Men exist in the Marvel Universe with other characters portrayed in Marvel Comics series. As such, it is unsurprising that they often meet characters from other series, and the global nature of the mutant concept means the scale of stories can be highly varied.
The X-Men fight everything ranging from mutant thieves to galactic threats. Historically, the X-Men have been based in the Xavier Institute, near Salem Center, in north-east Westchester County, NY, and are often depicted as a family. The X-Mansion is often depicted with three floors and two underground levels. To the outside world, it had acted as a higher learning institute until the 2000s, when Xavier was publicly exposed as a mutant at which point it became a full mutant boarding school. Xavier funds a corporation aimed at reaching mutants worldwide, though it ceased to exist following the “Decimation.”
The X-Men benefit greatly from state-of-the-art technology. For example, Xavier is depicted tracking down mutants with a device called Cerebro which amplifies his powers; the X-Men train within the Danger Room, first depicted as a room full of weapons and booby traps, now as generating holographic simulations; and the X-Men travel in their widely recognized and iconic Blackbird jet.
When the sentient island Krakoa captured most of his students, Xavier hastily assembled a second squad of X-Men. Traveling the world, he recruited Nightcrawler in Germany, Wolverine in Canada, Banshee in Ireland, Storm in Kenya, Sunfire in Japan, Colossus in Russia, and Thunderbird in America. Led by Cyclops, these all-new, all-different X-Men were able to rescue their predecessors. Except for Cyclops, the previous members all quit the expanded team. Sunfire also left the group, and Thunderbird died battling Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men during an attempted takeover of the N.O.R.A.D. facility in Cheyenne Mountain.
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