X-Men: The Offshoots

by GregFahlgren

Examining the Various Offshoot teams that have formed out of the Strangest Heroes of All, The X-MEN!!!

Greetings all! As some of you have likely seen, weeks ago I published a blog about the history of the X-Men, both on the page and behind the scenes. In that blog, I detailed how the X-Men grew from obscurity to becoming one of the popular and profitable comic book teams in history. Both sides of that coin is not only because of the X-Men themselves however. A good deal of both the X-Men’s popularity and commercial success comes from the various offshoot teams that the X-Men have spawned over the last fifty years. Each of these teams have their history, their own adventures, and their own readership, expanding the X-Men’s influence on Marvel Comics exponentially.

Today, I’m going to talk about those teams, how they came to be, and their importance on the history of both the X-Men themselves, and Marvel Comics as a whole. Some of these teams are famous, and have their own fan followings whose popularity goes hand in hand with the X-Men’s. Others are more obscure, and only lasted a short while, becoming cult favourites or footnotes in the grand history of the mutant team. No matter the circumstance though, they all came from the X-Men, and are thus part of the rich tapestry of history that team has laid down over the last fifty years.

New Mutants

A New Class

The first true offshoot of the X-Men came in 1982 with the debut of the New Mutants. First featured in the graphic novel of the same name, the New Mutants were formed as the next generation of X-Men, students of the Xavier Institute learning how to use their mutant powers, just like the original X-Men 20 years prior. Key members of this group were Cannonball, Cipher, alien techno-contruct Warlock, Wolfsbane, Moonstar, Colossus’s younger sister Magick, Karma, and Sunspot. Later, members Boom-Boom, Rictor, Skids, Warpath, and a host of others would join the team as time went along.

The New Mutants, originally taught Professor X himself, eventually found themselves under the tutelage of long time X-Men nemesis Magneto when the Professor was forced to go with the Shi’ar following a near death experience. This move caused no small amount of controversy both on the page and with fans, as many long time X-Men readers didn’t want to think of Magneto as anything other than a villain. They would leave his guidance after the Fall of the Mutants storyline, during which Cipher was killed, and Magneto began to turn into a villain once again.

Cipher’s death should be noted as being one of the few instances where readers of a popular book actually wanted a main character to die. Because of the nature of his powers Cipher was never much use in a fight, and would often hold the rest of the team back as they would be forced to protect him constantly. After the book left Chris Claremont’s care, writing duties were given to Louise Simonson, would immediately killed the character off at the climax of Fall of the Mutants as I mentioned earlier. Afterwards, the New Mutants would join up with former X-Factor wards the X-Terminators, and go on their own adventures outside of the guidance of the old X-Teams. This would eventually lead many members to join with Cable’s X-Force team, the New Mutants dissolving as they were now members left to carry the torch.

In 2002, a new book was launched featuring old members of the team, but only lasted 13 issues before being replaced by New X-Men: Academy X. This book would also be cancelled within a few years, leaving the New Mutants out of the game. In 2009, another new book was released, this time reuniting the old team completely with the intention of showing their growth as adults. It didn’t work too well, and the book didn’t last overly long.

Today, the New Mutants are getting their own film, and many of their old members are active members of the X-Men and Avengers, some even become leaders with their respective teams. Marvel has tried to repeat the New Mutant formula of having a class of young mutants learning from the X-Men, but it never worked quite the same as the first time around, the New Mutants’ legacy setting the bar too high for any new team to reach.


Branded Heroes

The second and longest enduring of the offshoot X-Teams, X-Factor was originally conceived as a way of bringing the original five X-Men back together. The problem with this was that none of the 05 were with the X-Men anymore. Iceman, Beast, and Angel had all migrated to other teams across Marvel, while Cyclops had married Madelyn Pryor and moved to Alaska to raise his son Nathan, and to cap it off, Jean Grey had died during the famed Dark Phoenix Saga. That last part was the real linchpin of the whole idea, and the people at Marvel didn’t really have any way to solve the problem.

That was until a loyal comic book fan named Kurt Busiek came along. Busiek, who would become a world-renowned writer later on, theorized that the Phoenix had never taken over Jean, and had only taken Jean’s form during the Dark Phoenix Saga. The real Jean was still alive in a cocoon under Jamaica. Busiek, who I will reiterate was only a fan at the time, relayed the idea to Roger Stern, who then told John Byrne, who was writing Fantastic Four at the time and used the idea in Fantastic Four #286, bringing Jean back in the biggest retcon Marvel had even done. As a result, Cylcops left Madelyn and his son to join Jean and the other original X-Men, another plot turn that is even to this day one of the most controversial and widely debated event in the history of comics.

However, the five mutants did not rejoin the X-Men, distancing themselves from Professor Xavier after he made former enemy Magneto the head of the Xavier Institute. This rift would last for nearly a decade, the O5 X-Men staying away from the main team as much as they could. Thus, the team became X-Factor, a private organization that would “hunt” down mutants and bring them under control. In reality, they used this mission statement as a cover to save the young mutants they would find and begin teaching them to use their powers.

The book was headed by the husband and wife team of Louise and Walt Simonson. They famously created the villains Apocalypse, along with his Horsemen, and anti-mutant(and future cyborg) Cameron Hodge, who came to work for X-Factor as their Public Relations Liason as part of a plan to destroy the mutant race forever.

The team continue their mission for several years until the events of Mutant Massacre, where Angel was crippled by the Marauders, his wings rendered flightless. In desperation, he accepts an offer from Apocalypse, becoming his Horsemen Death during Fall of the Mutants. It was also during this storyline that Cameron Hodge also turned on them, but was defeated by the X-Terminators, the young wards X-Factor had taken in. In addition to that X-Factor’s true identity was revealed to the public when they stopped Apocalypse from destroying New York.

During the Inferno storyline, Madelyn Pryor was revealed to a clone of Jean Grey created by Mr Sinister. The revelation drove her mad (long story), and by the end of Inferno the X-Teams were forced to kill her. In the wake of that storyline the rift between X-Factor and the X-Men began to shrink, the two teams working together more and more often. Over the next few years, more and more incidents forced X-Factor and the X-Men to team up, until finally at the conclusion of the Muir Island Saga, X-Factor rejoined the Xavier Institute, effectively merging the two teams.

This event occurred at the very end of Chris Claremont’s run on the X-Books, but Marvel did not want to simply abandon the X-Factor name given had successful the book had been. Thus, a new team was founded, this time a government funded agency with a mandate to find and detain dangerous mutants. The team was comprised of various X-Men allies and former team members and lead by Havok and Polaris under the supervision of Valerie Cooper. Also joining the team was former New Mutants member Wolfsbane, along with Mutliple Man, Strong Guy and Quicksilver. The team was under the direction of the Pentagon, replacing the villainous Freedom Force, but their relationship was often strained, as their loyalty to the mutant race would often come into conflict with their orders. The balancing act became a key feature of the book, as writer Peter David and artist Larry Stroman navigating the tricky waters that had launched themselves into.

The book did alright at first, but after Peter David left the book, things started to take a downturn. Despite adding Forge to the team, the book failed to truly distinguish itself from the rest of the X-Books, leading to more creative changes both behind the scenes and on the page. Eventually, writer Howard Mackie was brought in, injecting a more political element into the stories. It may have helped a little, but as sales continued to drop, Marvel cancelled the book. They tried to revive the team over the next few years, but nothing ever stuck, the sad state of the comic book industry at the time not helping.

Years later, after a mini-series failed to revive interest, a new book was released entitled X-Factor Investigations, Founded by Multiple Man, the team featured Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, M, Siryn, and Layla Miller, Madrox privately funding the team out of his own pocket after winning a game show. Once again written by Peter David, he put a crime noir spin on the book, and focusing on Multiple Man as the main character. With a somewhat rotating cast, the book lasted for several years, and is famous for featuring a male homosexual relationship between Shatterstar and Rictor, one of the first of its kind in modern comics. This action earned the book a GLAAD Award, and is used as a perfect example of why LBGT characters should be featured more in comic books.

The series ended in 2013, leading to a relaunch with a new team under the title All New X-Factor. Peter David was again the lead writer, focusing the story on Gambit, who had become somewhat estranged from the X-Men at the time. Lead by Polaris and funded now by the mysterious Serval Industries, Gambit and Polaris would be joined by Quicksilver, Warlock, Cipher, and Danger. The book did relatively well, earning major critical acclaim, but over time the sales began to drop, leading the book’s cancellation. Since then, there has been no talk of reviving the team, but given X-Factor’s history, it would be a surprise to see the team return in one form or another.


Europe's Best Mutants

Another creation of Chris Claremont (this time teaming up with brilliant artist Alan Davis), Excalibur was a UK based team spinning out of the X-Books. Found in 1987, the team was lead by Psylocke’s brother Captain Britain and his lover Meagan, and comprised of former X-Men Nightcrawler, Rachel Summers, and Kitty Pryde. The three mutants founded the team with Captain Britain shortly after the storyline Fall of the Mutants, the rest of the X-Men assumed dead.

The series was relatively successful until Davis and Claremont left the book within a year of each other (1990 and 91 respectively), leaving many plot points unresolved. Sales sharply declined until Davis came back, rejuvenating the book and expanding the roster. The light-hearted tone of the series attracted a legion of readers, but that swiftly changed with Davis’s second departure. Then-current Uncanny scribe Scott Lobdell was brought in, stating his (and the editing staff’s) intention was to distinguish the book from the rest of the X-Line. The tone turned quite dark, and the leaders Captain Britain and Meagan were sidelined. Lobdell also used the book introduce the character Douglock, a combination of the techno-organic former New Mutant Warlock and his friend Cipher, who up until this point had been assumed dead.

Things didn’t go as planned, sales dropping once again, leading Marvel to replace Lobdell with Warren Ellis. Ellis, using his trademark dark sense of humour, breathed new life into the book, bringing back Captain Britain in his original form as well as adding former New Mutants and X-Men alumni to the team. Ellis would leave the book in 1996, and unfortunately his replacement, Ben Raab, could not find the proper voice for the series, and the book was cancelled in 1998.

After a brief return with a limited series, Excalibur returned in 2002 with a new book, but it was a very different enterprise than the original. The book centred around Magneto and Charles Xavier attempting to rebuild the island nation of Genosha. It didn’t last long, being cancelled shortly after House of M.

Another new series entitled New Excalibur was launched in 2005, once again written by Chris Claremont. Bringing back Captain Britain and adding reformed villain Juggernaught, Peter Wisdom, Sage, Dazzler, Nocturne, and eventually Psylocke, the book was a return to the series original form. This new team would form after the events of House of M, and would go on to have conflicts with Dark Professor X, Shadow King, and others. The series did well enough, but sales dropped after a year or so, ending with issue #24, the storylines passing over the miniseries X-Men: Die by the Sword. After that storyline, the team would disband again, and Excalibur has never since reformed.

Excalibur was not the most important team to spin out of the X-Men, but it was one of the most popular for some time. That popularity however was unfortunately inconsistent, the constant creative changes hurting the book time and time again, leaving any revival a tough hill to climb. Will Excalibur return? Maybe, but as with all things in comic books, there needs to be the right time and place, and right now just isn’t it.


The Dark Side of X

Born out of the New Mutants, X-Force was a new idea for the mutant teams, one that has generated some of the greatest stories of that world, and the most controversial. The series went through multiple ups and downs, as well as numerous creative changes, but have since become one of the X-Books’ most enduring titles.

Created by illustrator Rob Liefield during his time on New Mutants, he and writer Fabian Nicienza converted the New Mutants team into X-Force with Issue #100, the final issue of that book under the New Mutants title. Now relaunched as X-Force, the first issue still the second highest selling comic book of all time.

With Liefield’s art and Nicienza’s scripts, the book became incredibly popular, topping the sales charts across the industry. The book did so well that a toy-line, as well as numerous other merchandize, was released, as well as other merchandising avenues which was not a common occurrence for comic books at that time. This lead to a great deal of frustration for Liefield, who after issue #12 removed himself as plotter, angered by the fact that since he didn’t own the characters he had created he received little to no royalties from said merchandise. In fact, Liefield would eventually leave Marvel (along with six other artists) in 1992.

Following Liefield’s exit, Greg Capullo was hired as illustrator. X-Force soon became involved in its first crossover with X-Cutioner’s Song, Nicienza helping plot the storyline with X-Men writer Scott Lobdell. Afterwards, X-Force was joined and subsequently lead by Cable, who had become increasingly popular in recent years. The book took a different turn after a while, becoming a sort of soap opera, romantic issues taking centre stage while also taking a more violent tone than the rest of the X-Books. More former New Mutants would join the team, and the book continued to do well with fans until going on hiatus for the Age of Apocalypse event in 1995. Sales fell significantly after that, leading to writer Jeph Loeb and artist Adam Pollina being brought in as the new creative team. The move was successful, Loeb creating more character driven stories and less fight scenes. The team even moved back into the X-Mansion, bringing them closer to their older counterparts for the first time in a decade.

In 1997, John Francis Moore became the lead writer, and took the team in another new direction. Separating them from Cable and the X-Men, he moved the team to San Francisco, envisioning them as carefree travellers exploring the world. This change of direction drastically hurt the sales of the book, leading to Warren Ellis being brought aboard as part of the Revolution revamp of the X-Books. Ellis introduced his trademark dark comedy to the book, changing the tone and undoing some of the damage, but sales remained about the same nonetheless.

The book was reimagined in 2001 by writer Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred, who replaced the entire team with a new group of mutants. With the old team assumed dead, these new mutants would use the X-Force name to become celebrities. The idea didn’t resonate with fans, and the book was replaced with X-Statix in 2002. Liefield and Nicienza would return in 2004 with a new mini-series, but the sales were not enough to bring back the book full time, and was critically panned. X-Force disappeared for a while after that, until once again the team was reimagined in 2007.

With the X-Men’s status quo changed irrevocably by M-Day, Cyclops was taking a more hard line approach to the X-Men’s missions. Secretly, he forms a black ops team, naming them X-Force and giving them a mandate to eliminate threats to mutantkind, permanently. Lead by Wolverine and comprised of X-23, Warpath, and Wolfsbane, the team would become Cyclops’s secret weapon. Written by Craig Kyle and drawn by Christopher Yost, the book took an extremely dark turn, becoming the most violent and controversial of the X-Books. Eventually, the team’s existence was made known to the rest of the X-Men, prompting Beast to leave the X-Men in disgust, and also laying significant groundwork for the Schism storyline.

By 2010, the book’s popularity had risen significantly before being relaunched as Uncanny X-Force. Written by Rick Remender and drawn by Jerome Opena, the book added Psylocke, Fantomex and Deadpool to the team. The book took an even darker tone that before, characters dying nearly every issue, most of which were from the Age of Apocalypse timeline. Remender’s run is widely considered to be the best in X-Force history, ending at 34 issues, and finishing the decades long storyline between Apocalypse and Archangel, both dying by the end of the series.

After Remender wrapped up his run, X-Force was split into two new series: Uncanny X-Force and Cable and X-Force. Written by Sam Humphries and Dennis Hopeless respectively, the new Uncanny book would feature Psylocke leading Storm, Puck and Cluster, while Cable and X-Force would follow an outlaw team lead by Cable, and featuring Domino, Colossus, Forge, Doctor Nemesis and Boom-Boom. The latter team would undertake missions to stop massive tragedies before they happened, while the former would continue X-Force’s original concept and eventually be joined by Bishop. Both books would do well sales-wise, leading to the first X-Force only crossover, Vendetta, where the two teams would come into conflict over the fate of Hope Summers, leading to the death of Bishop.

After this, only one X-Force team would remain in a new book entitled X-Force, continuing Cable’s missions and adding Marrow to the team. This book would also controversially put Hope Summers into a coma, her only means of communication mimicking another mutant’s (Meme) computer based powers. The series did decent sales at first, but as they began to drop, and with Secret Wars looming, the book was cancelled.

Since then, there has been no indication that X-Force will return any time soon, though since a feature film is currently in development, that will likely change. No matter the form or the purpose however, X-Force has been a constant presence in the X-Books, and will likely continue to be for many years to come. 

Generation X

Next Gen Mutants

When the New Mutants became X-Force, there was a need for a new teenage mutant team to carry on the tradition the original X-Men had started. Thus, in the wake of the Phalanx Convenant event, Generation X was formed (the name an obvious reference to the slang term the early 90s generation had earned). Lead by Forge and former Hellfire Club White Queen Emma Frost, the team consisted of young mutants the two had rescued from the Phalanx. Members included Cannonball’s sister Husk, Chamber, Gaia, M, Penance, Skin, Synch, and X-Woman Jubilee.

Created by X-Men writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo, the team started out much like the New Mutants did. They were, in essence, a training team for potential new X-Men, with Emma and Forge serving as instructors, and Jubilee acting as a senior member. The book immediately took off, Bachalo’s quirky artwork combining with Lobdell’s realistic teenage characters to produce a book that was the perfect fit for young readers in the 1990s. Soon, it became one of the most popular books in the X-Line, and was accepted by fans as a worthy successor to New Mutants.

However, Lobdell and Bachalo would leave the book in 1997, writer Larry Hama and artist Terry Dobson taking over. They revealed the true background of M, Penance, and enemy Emplate (which is a little too complicated for me to get into here), a storyline that was met with harsh criticism from readers. As a result, sales dropped, and Hama was replaced by Jay Faerber. That didn’t go well either, and the book soon found itself on the chopping block.

Thankfully, Warren Ellis was hired to take on a few of the X-Books to try and revive the titles. Brian Wood would script the books under Ellis’s plotting, and for a while, the book returned to being a fan favourite. The key to this was that unlike a lot of writers, Ellis and Wood did not resort to teenage clichés, and wrote the characters realistically. This would last until Editor in Chief Joe Queseda announced that several of the X-Books would be cancelled, thinking there were too many in circulation for fans to keep up with. In addition, Grant Morrison wanted to add a new group of teenage mutants for New X-Men, and there just wasn’t room for Generation X anymore. Thus, Generation X was cancelled, and has not been seen since. The characters have since joined the X-Men at various stages, M in particular becoming a key member in recent years, but with the direction of Marvel changing like it has, Generation X will likely never reform, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


Others World, Other Heroes

In comic books, especially of the more science fiction side like X-Men, alternate realities are fairly commonplace. Whether created by a change in the timeline (Days of Future Past, Age of Apocalypse), or there to begin with, the multiverse is shaped by decisions made in each and every one of those realities. Physicists and the like will go into grand detail about the possibility or lack thereof of these realities, and that is a much grander debate for people smarter than I to have. But for the purposes of Marvel Comics, they do exist, and sometimes in the conflicts that rage across the multiverse, there are those from the various realities that are left as sole survivors, cast-outs, or lost wanderers. The Exiles were a team formed out of said wanderers, heroes that had lost their reality in one form or another.

The idea for the Exiles first came up when a group of creators (Mike Marts, Mike Raicht, Judd Winick, Mike McKone and Jim Calafiore) were working on a new What If story for Marvel. Racht explains the team’s origins, “We were eventually going to visit some alternate realities and flesh out some stories. We were attempting to give the readers a What If? X-Men book. Eventually that idea shifted into a Quantum Leap type thing where Blink, Morph, and maybe Sabretooth from the Age of Apocalypse would join some other heroes, most likely from the Millennial Visions books, to form a reality-hopping super team that righted wrongs.”

The team consisted of various characters from different realities, including Blink of AOA, Mimic, Magnus Lensherr (son of Magneto and Rogue from AOA), Thunderbird, Nocturne (daughter of Scarlet Witch and Nightcrawler from an alternate reality), and Morph. All these characters were assumed dead at the series’ start, but came together to form the team that would be the core of the Exiles roster.

The book did relatively well, especially so when you consider the roster and creative shifts throughout its initial run. The uniqueness of the team and its characters, characters that in the main Marvel Universe were dead or assumed dead, was a big part of the book’s success. More than that, Exiles was special, going places that other books couldn’t and telling stories that would have been impossible otherwise.

Chris Claremont would come onboard with issue #90 as a part of a crossover with New Excalibur entitled, X-Men: Die by the Sword. By the end of this story arc, the team would be effectively disbanded only to be reformed under a new title, New Exiles. However, the series was not as successful and only lasted 18 issues. There was an attempt at a revival, but that series was cancelled as well.

Since then, the Exiles have not been heard or seen off, even though some of their characters are still kicking around the Marvel Multiverse. It is likely the team will not been seen again, but with comics nothing is ever for certain.

Ultimate X-Men

New Universe, New Team

Not truly an offshoot team, the Ultimate X-Men were a part of the Ultimate Marvel imprint, a new universe created in an attempt to revive the then-struggling comic book publisher. Pretty well starting from scratch, writer Mark Millar (along with artists Andy and Adam Kubert) were selected by Marvel boss Joe Queseda to head the project, entrusted to take the X-Men and tell their story from the beginning in a new and exciting way.

In contrast to Lee and Kirby’s more light-hearted, easy going book, Millar and the Kuberts took a darker approach, immediately creating a very different feel for the team to contrast the Marvel U X-Men. He also did not go with the original team from Lee and Kirby’s incarnation, instead going with the recently released X-Men film’s cast (Iceman, Storm, Cyclops, Professor X), and added in Colossus and Beast, with other members joining at later dates. The book drew some criticism for how dark and violent it became, but Millar responded by stating, “You're not competing with Cartoon Network on these books; you're competing with 'Buffy'...Superhero comics aren't adult, but they shouldn't be written for five-year-olds either.”

Millar’s approach worked however, Ultimate X-Men outselling all other X-Titles (save for New X-Men by Grant Morrison), becoming a major success. After Millar wrapped up his run, Brian Bendis came in for a year, shifting the stories to become more character driven. He also killed Beast, making Hank the first Ult X-Man to die in the new universe.

Following Bendis was Brian Vaughn, who again took a different approach. Wolverine was removed from the stories for the most part, a break from common convention at the time. He would also introduce many secondary X-Men, and brought back Magneto and Emma Frost after a few years of silence. Villain Lady Deathstryke was also introduced, but she was not a cyborg as in the main Marvel Universe, but more closely resembled her movie appearance from X2: X-Men United, keeping with the Ultimate X-Men’s original conception. The biggest plot point of his run was revealing Ultimate Colossus was gay, a major source of controversy from the more traditional comic book fans.

Following Vaughn was Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead), whose run was marked by adaptations of the classic X-Men stories such as The Dark Phoenix Saga. Nightcrawler and Colossus would also leave the team during his run, while 80s and 90s X characters Cable, Bishop and Apocalypse were introduced. Again borrowing from the films, Wolverine began to take a more leadership role on the team, something that would not happen in the main Marvel Universe for a few more years. Near the end, Cyclops would disband the team and change Xavier’s school into a more traditional educational facility. The team would be reformed to fight Apocalypse however, Bishop taking the lead. After the storyline Ultimatum however, most of the X-Men were killed, and team disbanded for good. The book ended with its hundredth issue, followed up by the one-shot Requiem. There was a small follow up book entitled Ultimate Comics: X, but it only featured Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, and Wolverine’s son Jimmy Hudson, and was not truly considered to be an X-Men title. Years later, Nick Spencer and Paco Medina relaunched the series under a new name, but that book has since been cancelled as well.

With Ultimate Line officially done with Ultimate’s End and Secret Wars, the Ultimate X-Men have been scarcely noticed recently, their last appearance meeting Old Man Logan during the book’s Secret Wars tie-in. Will those characters return? Who knows, but the impact they had cannot be denied, Ultimate X-Men helping Marvel turn the corner at a time when they were in desperate straits.

Avengers Unity Squad

Something... Uncanny

In the wake of Avengers vs X-Men, Marvel founded a new team that would feature characters from both mega-teams in a new book entitled Uncanny Avengers. Named the Avengers Unity Squad and written by Rick Remender, this new team would deal with the fallout of the conflict between the Avengers and X-Men, deal with the personal and public trials facing the mutants and humans of the world, and try to bring the two teams together in a way that had never been done before. Lead by Havok and featuring X-Men Rogue and Wolverine, the three mutants were joined by Avengers Wasp, Wonder Man, Captain America and Scarlet Witch.

The book was a major success commercially, Remender’s writing creating intricate and personal stories where the line between what is right and wrong being blurred constantly. In the first issue, Havok made a famous speech declaring that he no longer wanted to be called a mutant after what his brother Cyclops did, a speech that has garnered harsh backlash and criticism from X-Men readers, and is still one of the most talked about monologues in modern comic books. The book also featured the return of the Red Skull, the debut of the Apocalypse Twins, and another return in the form of Kang the Conquerer. The event AXIS was based around the book, where the heroes and villains of Marvel would switch places, creating a new concept that shook the company to its core. The fallout out from that event would reveal that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were not the children of Magneto as had long been assumed, and were actually children that had been genetically modified by the High Evolutionary. This retcon was met with harsh criticism from readers, but it helped redefine those characters and along with the Age of Ultron film, renewed the popular of the twins.

Remender’s run would end after Secret Wars, passing over the writing duties to Gerry Duggan. Gerry would pick up where Rick left off, continuing the story of Red Skull with Xavier’s powers, but also adding the Inhumans to the mix as the group was becoming more high profile with Marvel in recent years. Human Torch would join the team, as would Deadpool, with the Inhuman Synapse representing his people. The book so far has gotten rave reviews, and looks to stay that way for a long time.

Though not a true X-Team, the Uncanny Avengers do represent a piece of the X-Men’s legacy, finding a new way to feature the mutant heroes and bring them more into the limelight of the Marvel Universe.


A Part of a Legacy

The X-Men have been a mega-force in the comic book world for over fifty years, and a large part of that success is how many great characters (which we will get to in my next post on the subject), and teams came out of the X-Men. The offshoot teams I’ve talked about here no matter what their origin or concept CAME from the X-Men in some form or fashion. In addition, each of them have all enjoyed varying degrees of success and have garnered substantial fanbases of their own. In the cases of X-Force, the New Mutants and X-Factor, those teams managed to forge their own legacy away from the X-Men, at times without even interacting with the original team.

Will there be more teams like the ones I’ve talked about today? Probably. The comic book world is always changing, always evolving, and sooner rather than later a new team will emerge from the legacy of the X-Men. Their success or failure depends on the readers of course, but at the end of the day, it’s all a part of the legacy of the X-Men, a legacy that will live in the hearts and minds of comic book readers everywhere.

Looking at the long and stories history of comic books most popular team.
Updated: 06/30/2016, GregFahlgren
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