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Essential Issue

81: X-Men #1 (v1)

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X-Men #1 (v1)
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Editor-in-Chief: Stan Lee
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky
Writers: Stan Lee
Pencilers: Jack Kirby
Inkers: Paul Reinman
Letterers: Sam Rosen
Editors: Stan Lee
Cover Date: September 1963
Release Date: July 1963
Story Arc: -
Pages: 23
Cover Price: $0.12
Times Read: 973                Times Rated: 454
Plot Flags:  
Universes:   Earth-616  
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Fantastic Four #18 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #4 (v1)
X-Men #1 (v1)
Amazing Spider-Man #5 (v1)
Strange Tales #112 (v1)
79: Fantastic Fou...
#18 (v1)
80: Amazing Spide...
#4 (v1)
82: Amazing Spide...
#5 (v1)
83: Strange Tales
#112 (v1)
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Issue Blurb
The master of magnetism has taken over a missile base, and only the strangest teens of all time stand between him and victory! It’s the X-Men’s first day of class, and Magneto wants to make it a memorable one — and their last!
Issue Detail Divider
Character Appearances
Main Characters
  Professor X
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Professor X in the mainstream continuity. Professor X next appears in X-Men #2 (v1).
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Cyclops in the mainstream continuity. Cyclops next appears in X-Men #2 (v1).
  Marvel Girl
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Marvel Girl in the mainstream continuity. Marvel Girl next appears in X-Men #2 (v1).
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Angel in the mainstream continuity. Angel next appears in X-Men #2 (v1).
  The Beast
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Beast in the mainstream continuity. The Beast next appears in X-Men #2 (v1).
  The Iceman
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by The Iceman in the mainstream continuity. The Iceman next appears in X-Men #2 (v1).
First Appearance
This is the first appearance by Magneto in the mainstream continuity. Magneto next appears in X-Men #4 (v1).
Group Appearances
United States Military
United States Military last appeared in Fantastic Four #17 (v1). United States Military next appear in X-Men #2 (v1).
The X-Men (Roster I)
This is the first appearance by The X-Men in the mainstream continuity. The X-Men next appear in X-Men #2 (v1).
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Notes
  There are no notes for this issue.

Issue Detail Divider
Issue Review
by bastos: How many times have I read this book? A hundred? Told a hundred different ways? I don’t know. It’s a fun read – and as someone pointed out. Sucks. Yeah, that X-Men. Started a million years ago, and gone through a SEVERE change – line-up to everything else. Just sucked. Frankly, I agree with the critics. The re-telling of the X-Men story in First Class – excellent. This one? Kinda pathetic.

Now – there is no part of the scan that is anything of a real comic being scanned – at least this time. My guess is that the last vestiges of X-Men 1 are stored behind bullet-proof glass like the bibles in the DaVinci Code.

The splash page – and Iceman. Oh, God. No wonder it took so long to go monthly. The costumes are wretched. I was so glad when I was reading the summaries when I finally saw the updated costumes – in the forties? But oh… Scott – uh SLIM still had no personality – way back then. Why did Jean ever fall for him, I will never know. Perhaps because Bobby is a dork, Warren is arrogant, and Hank is a bit of a tool. GEEZ! Those LIPS! Ugh. Scary!

I can just imagine the missile silos being attacked, and Scott walks in spouting, “SIR! I represent the X-Men. Can we work for fifteen minutes?” “Well, certainly. We’ve been attacked by some spouting idiot. You PROBABLY are a good guy. No problem. We’ll turn the tanks around for fifteen. GOOD LUCK!” (Slaps head in annoyance…)

Magneto… OH, no. I’m being held back by a man with laser eyes, a telekinetic who still calls it teleportation… a strong guy, a dude with wings, and a SNOWMAN? Really? I’m losing to THIS guy? Maybe I’ll give up villainy and become a shoe shine salesman. Oh, God.
by rikerdonegal: Dull stuff. Cranky overlord puts team members through their paces, for far too long, at the start. By the time an actual story starts, the reader has stopped caring. Even then, the bad guy’s plan is yawn-inducing. It doesn't help that they guys’ sexist reaction to meeting Jean Grey for the first time has dated so badly. 5/10
by etragedy: Good Start But Needs Some Fine Tuning

Of all the long running series Marvel has ever produced, my favorite, by far, would have to be the X-Men. I was always attracted to the misfit/outsider type books like this and D.C.'s Doom Patrol. And while much has been made of the X-Men's resemblance to that team, I won't go into that here as I think that can most likely be chalked up to an 'uncanny' coincidence.

More likely, Stan Lee read the 1953 science fiction novel 'Children of the Atom' (a term he even uses for the X-Men in future issues), and decided to make a comic version of Wilmar Shiras' concept of gifted, 'different' teens. But, being different and unusual for a superhero team was really the only thing going for the X-Men at this time, as it would be many years before it achieved the true greatness that was to follow Giant Size X-Men #1.

For one thing the team starts as four: Beast, Iceman, Cyclops and Angel (guided by Professor X), with the fifth member introduced partway through this issue: Marvel Girl. The appearance of Marvel Girl has the guys falling all over each other in the most buffoonish manner which only serves to make the comic seem more trivial than it ought, especially given that Beast and Iceman's clownish antics already seemed like a low-rent version of the Thing and the Human Torch's standard prattle and pranks.

The powers are really off here too - Jean Grey claims she can 'teleport' (she's actually referring to telekinesis), and Magneto... well, let's just say that Stan Lee continues to have a very loose definition of what constitutes 'magnetism'.

In the end they are applauded and respected by the military for their actions in this issue - a long way from the fearing and shunning that will come to drive so much of the best X-Men story lines in years to come. But at least the rough draft for the team, the school, their mission, and the contrast with Magneto, one of their own kind with a radically different agenda.

A good introduction to the X-Men, now the series just needs some fine tuning.
by chrys: The first issue of X-Men is, in some ways, not quite what modern readers would expect. It is the original team’s first appearance, as well as that of Magneto, but someone seeking a better understanding of the X-Men would find this issue unsatisfying — mainly because, looks and rough powers aside, the characters are barely recognizable. Those traits and events that significantly shaped the X-Men aren’t to be found here.

When the issue starts, four of the five team members are already in the school mansion and a class session under Professor X’s orders is about to start. This class introduces us to the boys’ powers, as well as a large amount of typical Silver Age dialog and its friend, spoken description. The characterization is both generic and heavy-handed. It is immediately clear that the Beast and Iceman are too similar to the Thing and Human Torch in behavior and dynamics. That aside, the both of them as well as Cyclops and the Angel read as very generic, overconfident, and eager teenagers you couldn’t tell apart.
  Read Full Review ...
Issue Detail Divider
Issue Synopsis
So here is where it all starts. We begin at a private school in New York, run by Professor Charles Xavier, where we are introduced to the X-Men team. At that point consists four boys, Angel, Iceman, Beast and the leader, Cyclops. We meet them at the Danger Room, where they their super-human abilities are put throgh various training. Beast is tested for his agility and strength, the winged Angel for flight skills, Iceman for his ability to create ice structures, and Cyclops for his optic blasts. After training they are introduced to their newest member Jean Grey who will become known as the telekinetic Marvel Girl. There Professsor X then explains that the purpose of the group is to oppose evil mutants and defend humanity.

We quickly find out that not all humans are good and willing to protect mankind, but there also are some other mutants who seek to gain control of the world. The following day, the X-Men's first test comes when they must face Magneto, an evil mutant, who has taken control of the U.S. missile base Cape Citadel where he successfully destroys a rocket launch test. With the guidance from Professor X, the X-Men are able to drive off the Master of Magnetism to the delight of the base commander.
Issue Detail Divider
  thomassp74 Says:    
  2011-11-22 14:11:03  
  Slim Summers? haha  

  Webslinger Says:    
  2012-04-13 01:22:28  
  Not a perfect story, but an amazing start up, the first half seems as this was really new stuff back then.  

  Trebek Says:    
  2012-05-09 23:32:13  
  Apparently teleportation makes you able to lift stuff with your mind.  

  Safis Says:    
  2012-05-16 22:20:28  
  I can't help but feel Beast and Iceman are just the Thing and the Human Torch with a new paint job. Hopefully they're given their own unique personalities soon.  

  Dark_Knight93 Says:    
  2012-07-03 23:55:49  
  A good first issue and surprising they introduced the X-Men's archenemy in the very first story. That rarely ever happens. I'm also glad to see Stan Lee's obsession with magnetic energy finally pay off.  

  Agrippina Says:    
  2012-07-20 21:03:15  
  This isn't the greatest beginning for the X-Men, although it's exciting to finally have some proper mutants in the mix. It's interesting to see what personalities change over the years, with Hank in particular coming as a surprise to me here.  

  chrisWhite Says:    
  2012-08-01 11:58:47  
  What a fantastic start!

Great observation Safis, I didn't catch that but you're exactly right. Still, I think we can overlook that for now, especially knowing how much Hank will change in time.

  specialque Says:    
  2012-09-16 12:57:17  
  I read this issue so many times as a kid. It still holds up. This is probably the second best first appearance I've read, after Spider-Man.  

  sputnix Says:    
  2012-09-24 00:08:24  
  Good start it will be interesting to see were they go from here, also magneto is Stan's magnatism wet dream  

  Loki120 Says:    
  2012-10-10 00:16:53  
  First appearance of the X-Men, it gets five stars just on general principle. Good characters, though its a change to see Magneto as nothing more than being Evil just for evil's sake.  

  Phantasmagoria Says:    
  2012-10-28 13:55:49  
  I do quite like this one, though it has MAJOR flaws, though I suppose that my affection is more earned because of what The X-Men eventually become rather than what they are in this issue.

I really enjoyed Warren, Scott, and Hank all slobbering over Jean. It really struck me as true to what teenagers who are cooped up in what was until that point an all-boys school might really do.

Also, seeing Magneto debut in their first issue is awesome, even though he is a far cry from the character he eventually becomes.

That said, man is the "X-tra power" explanation lame.

Overall though, this is an enjoyable issue. I can't wait for these characters to develop into their more recognizable states, particularly Bobby and Hank, who really strike me as in dire need of developing their own personalities at this stage in this issue.

  chrys Says:    
  2012-12-06 18:27:29  
  If I were Jean, I would have run out of there really fast. And what's up with people exclaiming their every sentence? It did get a lot better after Magneto showed up, though. Also, Professor X is a bit of a jerk here.  

  Maidel Says:    
  2012-12-09 18:49:28  
  SLIM Summers????  

  Robareid Says:    
  2013-01-09 02:12:52  
  I didn't really think this was too good. The X-Men just came off as jerks, and Magneto could make ultimate force fields with magnetism (?) which can then be broke Cyclopses ray... Weird  

  Dopey Says:    
  2013-01-22 05:26:40  
  I can't lie, I've been waiting for this comic since FF#1. The X-Men have probably been the most influential team in comics for me, personally. To say that I was underwhelmed would be most accurate.

Seeing Magneto as the first villain to appear in this mag was pretty cool, and I like how they used most of his powers, barring only the magnetic force field.

The X-Men themselves are nowhere near the team that I know and love though. I look forward to watching then develop and learn.

This being my favourite comic book team, I feel that I'm reserving a lot of my normally cynical criticism for the next Thor piece. Sorry for the biased opinion.

Bobby Drake is homosexual. I've felt this way for many years. It is good to see that it all started in the first issue. Examine his pole work on the first page. Also note how he is the only one not interested in Jean.

Kirby is terribad drawing profiles. Marvel Girl should give boners, not look like a Rorschach.

One star for the first issue and all of its first appearances. One star for the Rolls Royce. One star for the Danger Room.

  Spider-Borg Says:    
  2013-02-06 11:58:38  
  Thought this was a good first issue. Professor x sure seems to be a jerk-hole though  

  Bruce Banner Says:    
  2013-02-15 15:07:04  
  First issue i was actually looking forward to in the order... not too shabby either.  

  rebelmswar Says:    
  2013-03-10 15:40:54  
  What the hell is with Icemans' boots? He looks like how Frosty the Snowman would look if he were a flasher that lost his raincoat.  

  leisch Says:    
  2013-07-21 21:47:28  
  This was a good beginning, but the X-Men have much better stories ahead of them. Stan will get plenty of chances to impart bad science with Magneto.
I remember back in the day waiting for this and Avengers to make their debuts after seeing the ads. I wasn't disappointed.

  At The Gates of Dawn Says:    
  2013-08-03 16:11:21  
  X-Men first day of school! (or was it Jean Grey's?) I've always enjoyed this debut even though the origin of each character has not been established yet. Stan Lee sets the premise of the entire series here, however the characters are not well developed; Beast feels like a complete copy of the Thing, and Ice Man I cannot stand! Anyway a great issue to start one of the most complex franchises in comics! I would have rated it a 5/5 but just the characters are not developed.  

  wedgeskywalker9 Says:    
  2013-09-06 20:14:25  
  As I'm not a big X-Men fan, I wasn't looking forward to this issue more than I have been other big debuts, but nevertheless it really blew me away. The characters powers here are all unique and engaging, but the best part about them is the way that they really go into battle as a team, something that the FF only managed to pull off last issue. The characters all also have great banter with each other, making the dialogue scenes as engaging as the action. Due to those reasons and the strength of the overarching ideas present in this issue, I'm going to award it the much sought after 5/5 rating. Good job X-Men!  

  dpaone Says:    
  2013-09-15 22:04:11  
  You have exactly 1.5 seconds to read this comment.  

  Psychopat Says:    
  2013-09-21 08:42:03  
  I was really looking forward this issue the one I wanted to read the most besides Amazing Fantasy 15... I really loved the way the basic principles of the team are already set... the fact that they are mutants from the starts, that they do not know how to fully master their powers, the school, the danger room, Magneto, bad mutants, the next step of evolution all complex topics compared to the other series!  

  Tarquinnff3 Says:    
  2013-10-14 08:50:34  
  That was a great first issue. I have been looking forward to X-Men #1 since I started the CMRO and I was not disappointed. There were a few missteps here and there so I only gave it a 4, but it was close to a 5. I highly recommend this issue.  

  marvelcomicslover Says:    
  2013-11-15 13:13:07  
  Yay the X-Men are here!!! Not a bad issue. Professor X is really aggressive and I'm not too fond of how Beast and Iceman are drawn. The teamwork was very good.  

  Locust75 Says:    
  2014-02-02 09:01:33  
  5 stars for the 1st app of the X-Men and Magneto!!!

Cover Me - Such an iconic cover that has been homaged a lot. I think Angel should use that bazooka more often. That random trapeze sure came in handy for the Beast. Also, Marvel Girl plays it cool by Go-Go Dancing!

Splash Page - What happened to the top of Iceman's ice pole? Did it stop in Angel's wing?

Snowman - I always liked Iceman's transition from Frosty to a true man of ice.

Class Act - You know Magneto's got pizazz when he left his signature in the sky like that.

Retcon - On page 16, panel 4 Marvel Girl is thinking about never seeing the Proffesor so grim before, after only just meeting him for the first time! I know years later it is changed that they known each other for a long time. Hmmm....

Skunkworks - Pro. X uses an thought controlled plane! Take that Area 51!!!

'Nuff Said - "You're speaking aloud! That means it's important!"-Angel

  opusaug Says:    
  2014-02-13 17:58:10  
  Good start for the mutants. The intro was a little forced, and Magneto's force shield seemed to be working on a little more than just metal, but otherwise a solid beginning.  

  GroovyGolem Says:    
  2014-03-02 05:16:03  
  Some interesting tidbits in this issue:

1) What's with Iceman's pole dancing on the first page? From the motion lines he's just been twirling around on it.

2) The Beast goes through such a change in personality in just a few issues. Kudos to Stan for realizing the need.

3) Slim Summers.

4) Page 9, Panel 1 - Nice job drawing Bobby younger than the others, but the others look like they're in their 40s!

5) Xavier says he was born of parents who worked on the first A-Bomb project, indicating that perhaps their exposure to radiation is what caused his particular mutation? That would mean he's only in his twenties in this story.

6) "Due to a childhood accident, I must remain in this chair."

7) I like how Jack nailed Magneto's costume on the first try (like Dr. Doom) and the costume has stood the test of time decades later.

8) I love how Magneto signs his name in the air with his "Surrender" message.

9) Page 15, Panel 4... what happened there? Bad planning to have to completely cover Magneto's top half with a word bubble. Oops!

10) Page 17, Panel 6 - the military base is in the middle of an international crisis, and Cyclops just walks right in and says "Hi!"

11) Page 20, Panel 4 - Iceman's ice grenades are attracted to velocity? Huh wha?!? If nothing else, Stan's utter lack of science can encourage kids to stay in school.

Overall, a good start, introducing some elements which would be part of the X-Men mythology for years to come, including Magneto's ruthlessness when he feels justified in his cause.

  Bramwell Says:    
  2014-03-08 14:20:26  
  1. I've been looking forward to this one. X-men was always one of my favorites.
2. Right from the splash page it has a more serious vibe, and the danger room is already working
3. Slim Summers makes me laugh
4. Magneto is one of the best villains ever. Its kind of amazing to see the term homo superior appear in this book and know that the theme is still running after 50+ years.
5. Page 12 panel 1 is epic
6. Prof X is already a jerk with everything timed in seconds
Not a perfect issue but pretty darn sweet....4 stars

  rainbowsad Says:    
  2014-07-09 21:43:02  
  I'll admit my undying love for the X-Men might affect my opinion on this issue, but I really really enjoyed it. That said, I've got a few complaints: firstly, what is with the Beast? He is so far from the version we know and love, and it's very hard to read. The Beast and Iceman are almost carbon copies of Thing and the Human Torch, it's almost eerie. Secondly, what is with Professor Xavier's teaching methods? Honestly... And finally, it's a shame to see they still haven't figured out how magnetism works yet. Oh well. I'll give them time.  

  Firebathero Says:    
  2015-03-05 10:48:11  
  Well since I embarked on reading "the order" starting with Fantastic Four #1, I feel as though I'm reading the comics as they are coming out. So I will comment on them as such.

As Rainbowsad said, Iceman and Beast do seem like Human Torch and Thing. Even their banter. Since there are Human Torch solo comics I wonder if we'll see Iceman and Human Torch teamups.

I'm looking forward to further X-Men comics and to see how each character will develop. Of course the addition of more X-Men to the team and their collective interaction with already established characters like Spider-Man, The Hulk, and Fantastic Four will be a treat.

  Naethen Says:    
  2015-03-21 15:45:42  
  Pretty good origin story. But you can see why the earliest stories have been filled in or retconned over the years.  

  gonzo Says:    
  2015-05-01 19:54:09  
  Given recent developments in the Marvel Universe, I find Iceman's lack of interest in the arrival of Jean Grey to be quite amusing.  

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Date User Name Update
   November 29, 2014 Neskit Added United States Military to the issue.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   June 18, 2014 TStarnes Changed comic details.
   March 14, 2014 TStarnes Updated the listing for The X-Men.
   February 28, 2014 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for The X-Men.
   February 2, 2014 Drax Updated the listing for Professor X.
   December 6, 2013 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for Professor X.
   December 6, 2013 Raistlin903 Updated the listing for Professor X.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for The Iceman.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for The Beast.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Angel.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Jean Grey.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Cyclops.
   July 5, 2013 TStarnes Updated the listing for Professor X.
   June 23, 2013 sewixo Updated the listing for The Beast.
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