The X-Men are a superhero team in the . 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, Professor X created a haven at his Westchester mansion to train young mutants to use their powers for the benefit of humanity, and to prove mutants can be heroes. Xavier recruited Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast and Jean Grey, calling them "X-Men" because they possess special powers due to their possession of the "X-Gene", a gene normal humans lack but which gives Mutants their abilities. Early on, however, the "X" in X-Men stood for "extra" power which normal humans lacked. It was alluded that the mutations were incurred as a result of radiation exposure.
The first issue also introduced the team's arch enemy, Magneto, who would continue to battle the X-Men for decades throughout the comic's history, both on his own and with his Brotherhood of Mutants (introduced in issue #4). The X-Men universe also includes such notable heroes as Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Rogue, Gambit, Emma Frost, Jubilee and Psylocke. Besides the Brotherhood of Mutants, other villains that the X-Men have fought include Apocalypse, Mister Sinister, Juggernaut, Sabretooth, and the Hellfire Club.
The X-Men comics have been adapted into other media, including animated television series, video game, and a successful series of films.
Creator Stan Lee devised the series title after Marvel publisher Martin Goodman turned down the initial name, "The Merry Mutants", stating that readers wouldn't know what a "mutant" was. Within the Marvel Universe, the X-Men are widely regarded to have been named after Professor X himself. Xavier however claims that the name "X-Men" was never chosen to be a self-tribute. The name is also linked to the "X Gene", an unknown gene that causes the mutant evolution.
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Official Site: Marvel Entertainment
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