Earth's Mightiest Annotations
Supplemental:  The X-Men
by Sean McQuaid

The X-MEN are a controversial outlaw band of heroic mutant adventurers
founded by Professor Charles Xavier to offer sanctuary and education to
mutants while protecting the world from the threat of evil mutants and other
paranormal menaces. The X-Men were founded around the same time as the
Avengers and the two groups are longtime allies, though the X-MenĘs dubious
reputation and outlaw methods have occasionally made the two groups
adversaries as well. The Beast, a founding member of the X-Men, also served
as a member of the Avengers for quite some time. The X-Men (including Xavier
and all five founding members seen here) first appeared in X-Men [v1] # 1,
which was published in the same month as Avengers [v1] # 1. The X-Men
currently appear in two ongoing series of their own (Uncanny X-Men [formerly
X-Men (v1)] and X-Men [v2]) as well as numerous spinoff comics.

     The current X-Men roster includes Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm,
Colossus, Shadowcat, Rogue, Gambit and Marrow. Past members of the X-Men
include Professor Xavier, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel [III] (also known as
Archangel), Beast, Phoenix [IV] (formerly Marvel Girl), Mimic, Changeling,
Polaris, Havok, Banshee, Sunfire, Thunderbird, Phoenix [II], Phoenix [III],
Magneto, Psylocke, Dazzler, Longshot, Forge, Jubilee, Gambit, Bishop,
Revanche, Cannonball, Joseph, Maggott & Doctor Cecilia Reyes. During an
extended disbanding of the team, X-Men associate Moira MacTaggart organized
and led an alternate X-Men group that included Tom Corsi, Daytripper, Sharon
Friedlander, Legion, Alysande Stuart, Sunder and several past and future
members of the official X-Men. There are also several active and inactive
mutant groups that have splintered off from the X-Men over the years,
including X-Force (a team of young mutant adventurers who started out as an
X-Men apprentice team called the New Warriors), X-Factor (originally a
rival mutant super-team formed by the estranged X-Men founders and later a
government-sanctioned group that included some former X-Men and occasional
Avengers member Quicksilver), Excalibur (an X-Men faction based in Great
Britain), the X-Terminators (an X-Factor trainee group later absorbed into
the New Mutants) and Generation X (the students of a new X-Men youth
education program mentored by X-Men veteran Banshee and former X-Men foe
the White Queen).

The X-Men's Avengers appearances include:

Avengers [v1] # 3 (Xavier and founding members questioned by Iron Man
     regarding the whereabouts of Hulk [II])

Avengers [v1] # 16 (flashback to Quicksilver's and Scarlet Witch's conflicts
     with the founding X-Men as members of Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

Avengers [v1] # 53 (Angel [III] recruited Avengers to aid the X-Men against
     Magneto; remaining X-Men battled Avengers as mind-controlled pawns
     of Magneto until freed by Avengers; Angel [III] battled Magneto &
     Toad alongside Avengers; Avengers and X-Men escape destruction of
     Magneto's headquarters together; X-Men allowed to keep one of the
     Avengers' aero-cars for their own use following this adventure)

Avengers Annual # 2 (alternate timeline X-Men defeated by Avengers of that
     timeline on behalf of the Scarlet Centurion);

Avengers [v1] # 60 (founding X-Men attend wedding of Wasp & Yellowjacket)

Avengers [v1] # 110-111 (Xavier, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl & Angel [III]
     defeated and subdued by Magneto; Cyclops, Iceman & Marvel Girl
     are mentally enslaved by Magneto but freed by the Avengers &
     Daredevil, who defeat Magneto and his minion Piper; in the
     aftermath of the battle, Angel [III] is missing)

Giant-Size Avengers # 1 (flashback to Quicksilver's and Scarlet Witch's
     conflicts with X-Men as members of Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

Avengers Annual # 10 (offered sanctuary to estranged Avengers member Carol
     Danvers [now Warbird] while she was recovering from mental and
     physical trauma suffered at the hands of Rogue; X-Men members
     appearing in this story include Kitty Pryde [later Shadowcat],
     Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Storm, Wolverine & Colossus]

Avengers [v1] # 234 (flashback to Quicksilver's and Scarlet Witch's
     conflicts with X-Men as members of Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

X-Men vs. Avengers # 1-4 (X-Men battle Avengers and Soviet Super-Soldiers to
     protect fugitive Magneto [who had joined the X-Men in an attempt to
     reform] until all three groups unite to save a sinking ship
     endangered by ruthless Soviet agent Crimson Dynamo [V]; SSS make
     peace with Avengers & X-Men and depart; Magneto surrenders to the
     Avengers to face the judgment of the authorities, but uses a mind
     control device to influence the judge presiding over his case and is
     released unpunished after the world court declares him to be outside
     their jurisdiction as the self-appointed represntative of a mutant
     people otherwise unrepresented in world politics; X-Men involved in
     the conflict with the Avengers and the SSS included Havok,
     Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Magneto & Dazzler, though X-Men members
     Longshot & Psylocke were also seen as observers of Magneto's trial)

Avengers [v1] # 350-351 (Cyclops and Professor Xavier visited Avengers to
     brief them on forces that might menace Luna Maximoff due to her
     grandfather being Magneto; witnesses conflict between Starjammers
     and Avengers)

Avengers [v1] # 368/Avengers West Coast # 101/Avengers [v1] # 369
     (Avengers and X-Men interfered in Genoshan civil conflict against
     United Nations orders, battling provocateurs Exodus and Fabian
     Cortez in a joint effort to end the bloodshed and rescue Luna
     Maximoff [daughter of Avengers members Crystal and Quicksilver],
     whom Cortez had used as a hostage; Exodus was routed, Luna was
     rescued, Cortez was seemingly slain, and peace was restored to
     the island of Genosha; X-Men involved in the conflict included
     Angel [III], Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean Grey
     (also known as Marvel Girl or Phoenix IV), Revanche, Rogue & Storm)

Avengers [v1] # 401 (alongside Avengers, confronted Onslaught threat;
     X-Men who appear include Iceman, Rogue, Gambit, Bishop & Joseph)

Onslaught: Marvel Universe (X-Men defeated by Onslaught, witnessed Avengers
     and other heroes seemingly sacrifice their lives to destroy
     Onslaught; X-Men present included Angel [III], Bishop, Gambit,
     Iceman,     Jean Grey, Joseph, Rogue, Storm & Wolverine)

Avengers [v3] # 10 (X-Men watched Avengers Day parade on television,
     commenting on how the Avengers are so much more beloved than
     the X-Men and joking that longtime Avengers member Beast, as a
     founding member of the X-Men, belongs to the X-Men; X-Men present
     include Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Shadowcat, Rogue,
     Gambit & Marrow)

     The X-Men are wearing their original costumes in panel 5, formerly
the standard uniform for all X-Men members (assorted X-Men sometimes employ
variations on this outfit even today, but most of the X-Men have long since
adopted unique costumes distinct from the team uniform).

ICEMAN (Robert L. "Bobby" Drake) is a founding member of the X-Men. Like
most of the founders, he served without interruption until the team greatly
expanded its membership following the Krakoa mission. At that point, Iceman
and most of the other early members decided to retire from the X-Men and
pursue individual goals. Drake studied to become an accountant (eventually
securing his accounting credentials) but continued to fight crime in his
spare time as Iceman, either alone or in partnership with recurring allies
such as the second Human Torch and his old X-Men teammate Angel. Iceman and
Angel were founding members of a California-based superhero team called
the Champions, a group that also included Darkstar, Ghost Rider [IV] and
sometime Avengers members Black Widow [II] & Hercules. Iceman was smitten
with Darkstar and tried to establish a romantic relationship with her,
but Darkstar was less interested and no lasting bond developed. The
Champions soon disbanded due to personality conflicts, and Iceman
went back to strictly occasional superheroics until he became affiliated
with the informal super-team known as the Defenders, whose core members
then included Iceman's old X-Men teammate, Beast. When Beast proposed the
reorganization of the Defenders into a more official group, Iceman and
fellow X-Men alumnus Angel both joined Beast's new version of the team.
Unfortunately, Beast's new Defenders soon disbanded after most of the
other Defenders were seemingly killed in battle with the Dragon of the Moon.

     Shortly after the Defenders broke up, Angel, Beast and Iceman all
joined fellow X-Men founders Cyclops and Marvel Girl in founding a new
group, X-Factor, an alternate X-Men team that initially masqueraded as a
company of human mutant hunters; however, they soon decided that the
mutant-hunting pose was doing mutant-human relations more harm than good,
so they became an openly active mutant hero group like the X-Men (Iceman
and the other founders did not rejoin the actual X-Men since they
distrusted the then-current X-Men roster due to its alliance with their old
foe Magneto and the absence of their old mentor Professor Xavier). When
Professor Xavier returned from an extended sojourn in outer space and
resumed his duties as leader of the X-Men, Iceman and the other founders
rejoined the X-Men, dissolving their X-Factor team. After a long active
membership stint, Iceman and the other founders have again taken leaves of
absence from the team while newer members maintain the team.

     Iceman's mutant physilogy enables him to drain heat from his
surroundings with incredible speed, creating freezing temperatures
instantly. In this environment, he can freeze available water vapor into
ice and snow, the shape and quantity of which he mentally controls. He
often forms ice into simple weapons or tools such as clubs, shields,
platforms, ramps and so on. More recently, Iceman learned that he can
actually convert his physical body to pure ice and reshape it at will,
an ability that has made him a more aggressive and more physical combatant.

     Iceman appears as a member of the X-Men in Avengers [v1] # 3, 53,
60 & 110-111; Avengers West Coast # 101; Avengers [v1] # 368-369 & 401; and
Onslaught: Marvel Universe. His other Avengers appearances include...

Avengers [v1] # 151 (alongside Champions, followed news reports of Avengers
     roster reshuffling)
Avengers [v1] # 163 (alongside Champions, battled mind-controlled Iron Man;
     alongside Champions and Avengers, battled Typhon)
Avengers [v1] # 211 (attended impromptu Avengers membership drive staged by
     Moondragon but declined membership)

ANGEL (Warren Kenneth Worthington III) is a founding member of the X-Men.
Like most of the founders, he served without interruption until the team
greatly expanded its membership following the Krakoa mission. At that point,
Angel and most of the other early members decided to retire from the X-Men
and pursue individual goals. Shortly after leaving the X-Men, Angel's
parents died and he inherited the vast Worthington family fortune. Apart
from half-hearted attention to his family's business interests and
occasional action as a solo superhero, Angel occupied his time by financing
super-teams such as the Champions and a new incarnation of the Defenders
organized by his old teammate Beast. Both of those groups disbanded, and a
return stint with the X-Men didn't last any longer since Angel felt out of
place on the new roster, but the undaunted Angel became the financial and
organizational force behind a fourth team, X-Factor, which was really the
founding X-Men reassembled under a new name.

     During his time with X-Factor, Angel was critically injured in a
battle with the Marauders and had his wings amputated, thanks in part to the
machinations of his lawyer and supposed friend Cameron Hodge, a closet
mutant-hater who had always secretly resented Warren. Angel was devastated
by the loss of his wings, and seemingly died in a plane explosion that
looked like a suicide attempt but was actually engineered by Hodge. Warren
was rescued and nursed back to health by the mutant would-be world-conqueror
Apocalypse, who physically and mentally twisted Angel into his blue-skinned,
metal-winged servant, Death. As Death, Angel fought for Apocalypse until
X-Factor shocked him back to his senses, and since then Angel has gradually
regained his mental and emotional health. He has also regained a semblance
of his original physiology after his metal wings splintered away to reveal
that his original feathered wings had regrown inside them, though he still
has the blue skin Apocalypse's mutations left him with. Hodge had illegally
funneled a great deal of Warren's wealth into anti-mutant causes such as the
terrorist group called the Right, but Angel has since rebuilt his fortune
to some extent and has long since defeated and destroyed Hodge, though not
before Hodge killed Angel's longtime girlfriend, Candy Southern. Since then,
Angel has become romantically involved with his X-Men teammate Psylocke.
When Professor Xavier returned to his role as X-Men leader after a long
absence, Angel and the other X-Men founders dissolved their X-Factor group;
however, they have again taken leaves of absence from the team after a
lengthy active membership stint. Of late, Angel has been concentrating on
his relationship with Psylocke and rebuilding the Worthington fortune.

     Angel's mutant physiology is entirely adapted to flight, including
lightweight bones, enhanced senses and an augmented respiratory system. The
most visible aspects of his flight-oriented physique are the natural
feathered wings growing from his back, which allow him to fly with
phenomenal speed, agility and stamina. Though lacking in raw power, Angel
is an accomplished and surprisingly formidable aerial combatant after his
years of fighting and flying.

     Warren Kenneth Worthington III is the third Marvel hero known as
the Angel, but he is unrelated to the previous two Angels. The original
Angel was Tom Hallaway, a wealthy and ruthless 1940s vigilante crimefighter
who retired after an innocent bystander was killed by a criminal during one
of his cases (the second Angel was the original's brother, and merely acted
as an occasional stand-in for his sibling). In recent years, the original
Angel became the secret financier and organizer of the Scourges of the
Underworld, a group of masked vigilantes dedicated to stalking and killing
super-criminals. Angel's Scourge operation was ultimately exposed and
crippled by former Avengers member USAgent, but there was insufficient
evidence to imprison the Angel himself. The second Angel, the original's
brother, wanders the streets of New York City as an elderly, penniless
drunk. The modern-day Angel of the X-Men has never met either of his older

     After his transformation by Apocalypse, the current Angel
rechristened himself Archangel to reflect his new form; however, he has
recently begun referring to himself simply as Angel again, perhaps in
recognition of the gradually returning pre-Archangel aspects of his
physiology and personality.

     Angel [III] appears as a member of the X-Men in Avengers [v1] # 3,
53, 60 & 111; Avengers West Coast # 101; Avengers [v1] # 369; and Onslaught:
Marvel Universe. His other Avengers appearances include...

Avengers [v1] # 151 (alongside Champions, followed news reports of Avengers
     roster reshuffling)
Avengers [v1] # 211 (attended impromptu Avengers membership drive staged by
     Moondragon; considered joining but departed)
Avengers [v1] # 214 (aided Avengers in subduing renegade Ghost Rider [IV])

BEAST is examined in the notes pertaining to page five of this issue. He
appears here in his original costume, looking as he did before further
mutations gave him his current furry physique in Amazing Adventures [v2] #
11, the same issue in which Beast first retired from the X-Men to pursue
his scientific career. Years later, after stints with the Avengers, the
Defenders and X-Factor, Beast rejoined the X-Men alongside the other
founders of that group when Professor Xavier resumed his management of
the team. More recently, Beast and the other founders again resigned from
the active X-Men roster after a long tour of duty with the group, and
Beast is slated to appear in upcoming issues of Avengers.

CYCLOPS (Scott "Slim" Summers) was the only founding member of the X-Men
to remain with the group after the team took on many new recruits in the
wake of the Krakoa mission. As the longtime field leader of the team, he
was more devoted to the group than anyone else and the least prepared to
seek a life for himself outside the group. He continued to serve with
the X-Men for years, though his participation in the group became more
irregular following the death of Phoenix, an all-powerful energy being
who had imitated Scott's longtime love Jean Grey and replaced her in the
X-Men's ranks without the team's knowledge. Mourning what he thought to be
the death of the real Jean Grey, Cyclops scaled back his involvement with
the X-Men. He drifted even further away from the team after romancing and
marrying Madelyne Pryor, a pilot who bore an eerily close resemblance to
Jean Grey (Pryor was later revealed to be a clone of Grey, something even
Pryor herself was initially unaware of).

     Settling down with Pryor and producing a son, Nathan, Scott was
relatively content with civilian life until he was invited to join X-Factor,
a new group organized by the founders of the X-Men. Cyclops might have
refused despite the temptation to return to action, but he was unable to
resist the offer when he learned that the real Jean Grey had turned up alive
and joined this new team. Abandoning his wife and child, Cyclops joined
X-Factor as its leader. At first, Grey was horrified to learn that Cyclops
had gotten married while she was presumed dead, and disgusted that he had
left his new family to be with her; however, after the embittered Pryor
became a mad menace as the Goblin Queen and seemingly died, Scott and Jean
renewed their romance and adopted Scott's baby Nathan as their own. Later,
a life-threatening illness forced them to send baby Nathan into the far
future for treatment. In this alternate future, Nathan grew up to be the
mutant cyborg warrior Cable and has since traveled back in time to the
present on a mission to destroy the tyrant Apocalypse. In the process, he
has met his father and "mother" Scott and Jean, who have since rejoined
the X-Men and gotten married. Shortly after their wedding, Scott and Jean
were transported to the alternate future where Cable grew up, and secretly
served as his foster parents before returning to their own time, unaged
by the experience since they'd been spirits inhabiting native host bodies
during their time in the future. More recently, Scott and Jean have taken
another leave of absence from the X-Men to concentrate on their private life
together as man and wife.

     Cyclops can fire crimson force beams from his eyes, and is able to
control the size, intensity and direction of his eyebeams with great
accuracy; however, a childhood injury has left him unable to completely
discontinue his optic beams, which constantly project from his eyes unless
he somehow contains the energy. He usually does this by wearing glasses or
visors composed of ruby quartz, which absorbs his optic energy. In battle,
he wears a ruby quartz visor that he can open and close at a moment's notice
using triggers located in his gloves and the visor itself. The power source
for his optic blasts is solar energy, which his body constantly absorbs and
stores for this purpose. He very seldom expends enough energy to exhaust
his power, and even then it usually regenerates within minutes. Cyclops is
an excellent fighter with a strong tactical mind and a great deal of
leadership experience after years of directing the X-Men in battle.

     Cyclops appears as a member of the X-Men in Avengers [v1] # 3, 53,
60, 110-111 & 350-351; Avengers West Coast # 101; Avengers [v1] # 369; and
Onslaught: Marvel Universe.

The fourth and current PHOENIX (Jean Grey) was a founding member of the
X-Men in her previous guise as Marvel Girl. Like most of the founders, she
served without interruption until the team greatly expanded its membership
following the Krakoa mission. At that point, Grey and most of the other
early members decided to retire from the X-Men and pursue individual goals.
Grey, specifically, pursued further education. Unlike most of the other
founders, though, she remained a recurring participant in the X-Men's
cases almost from the start of her retirement, due largely to her longtime
romance with Cyclops (Scott Summers), the only founding member who had
stayed on with the X-Men full-time after the Krakoa mission. During one of
her adventures with the new X-Men, Grey apparently died while flying a
space shuttle back to Earth through intense radiation, and was then
seemingly reborn as the immensely powerful Phoenix; however, this Phoenix
was actually a nearly omnipotent energy being who had taken Grey's form as
a means to experience humanity, leaving Grey herself in suspended animation
at the crash site. The X-Men didn't realize the switch, and mourned Grey's
"death" after the Phoenix committed suicide to protect humanity from its
out-of-control powers.

     Years later, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four discovered the real
Grey and freed her from suspended animation. At first, the revived Grey
joined the other X-Men founders in forming a new team called X-Factor.
Later, she and the other founders rejoined the X-Men when their old mentor,
Professor Xavier, resumed command of the organization. Jean eventually
renewed her romance with Cyclops despite the face that he had married
another woman and had a child during the time when Jean was believed dead.
After his estranged wife Madelyne Pryor (who was revealed to be a mad clone
of Grey) died, Jean finally married Scott at last. The baby from Scott's
first marriage, Nathan, was sent into a distant alternate future to save
his life when he contracted an exotic life-threatening ailment, but Scott
and Jean later visited that future in astral form, inhabiting bodies in
which they secretly served as step-parents to Nathan before returning to
their own bodies in the present. Nathan grew into the mutant cyborg warrior
known as Cable, and later traveled back in time to the present day in a
quest to destroy the tyrant Apocalypse. Since coming to the present, Cable
has met his father Cyclops and adoptive mother Jean on several occasions.

     Jean Grey has no connection to Helmut Zemo, the infamous
super-criminal who first assumed the alias Phoenix before adopting his
late father's title and becoming the new Baron Zemo. The second Phoenix
was the energy being who impersonated Grey and replaced her in the X-Men
for some time. A third Phoenix, Rachel Summers, is actually the daughter of
the Cyclops and Phoenix (II) of an alternate timeline, but has visited the
mainstream timeline for extended periods, serving as a member of the X-Men
and Excalibur. She was eventually stranded in the same alternate future
as her pseudo-brother Nathan (Cable), and became the noble matriarch
Mother Askani. Before dying there, she encountered mainstream reality's
Cyclops and Jean Grey once more, and Grey adopted the Phoenix identity as
her own in honor of the woman who might have been her daughter. Grey has
also taken to wearing the costume originally worn by the second Phoenix,
one of the last steps in confronting and reclaiming the aspects of her
life stolen from her by the Phoenix being years earlier.

     Phoenix is one of the most mentally powerful superhumans on Earth,
and has near-limitless telepathic & telekinetic abilities.

     Jean Grey appears as a member of the X-Men in Avengers [v1] # 3,
53, 60, 110-111 & 350-351; Avengers [v1] # 368; Avengers West Coast # 101;
Avengers [v1] # 369; and Onslaught: Marvel Universe. Her other Avengers
appearances include...

Avengers [v1] # 263 (discovered alive in suspended animation and retrieved
     from Jamaica Bay resting place by Avengers)
Avengers West Coast Annual # 4 (among the female superhumans abducted by
     forces of Ghaur & Llyra and brainwashed into serving the demon Set)

PROFESSOR CHARLES XAVIER is the founder, teacher and mentor of the X-Men,
and is one of the most powerful telepaths on Earth. He has spent much of
his life in a wheelchair due to crippling injuries suffered in battle
with the hostile alien Lucifer, and is unable to use his legs. The damage
to his spine has been fixed once before, but that healing has since been
undone by injuries suffered in battle with the Shadow King, crippling
Xavier's lower body once more. Despite his loyalty to the X-Men and his
importance to the group, Xavier has been forced to take several extended
leaves of absence from the X-Men for various reasons over the years. Most
recently, a seemingly powerless Xavier was in government custody following
his involvement in the disastrous Onslaught affair, Onslaught being a
destructive psychic entity produced by Xavier's own unwitting mind.

     Professor X has appeared as a member of the X-Men in Avengers
[v1] # 3 & 110-111; Avengers Annual # 10; Avengers [v1] # 350-351 & 368;
Avengers West Coast # 101; Avengers [v1] # 369; and Onslaught: Marvel
Universe. He also appears in Avengers [v1] # 88, in which he helped Mister
Fantastic and Tony Stark invent and build a device that subdued the Hulk
and was designed to possibly cure the Hulk of his monstrous condition;
however, before they could continue the treatments, Hulk was teleported
away by the villain Psyklop.