The X-Men are a group created by Professor Charles Xavier as a response to the emergence of naturally occurring superhumans known as mutants among the baseline human society. Dedicated to promote a dream of peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans, Xavier trained his X-Men in the use of their mutant powers at the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, forging them into defenders of a world that hates and fears them. Over the years, the heroes of mutantkind found their mission constantly endangered by both reactionary humans and fanatic mutants. Currently, the X-Men have rebranded themselves as a superhero team who act for the people of Krakoa.
A Dream is Born
The result of a leap in natural evolution, mutants, or Homo superior, are born with superhuman abilities which generally manifest themselves at puberty. Often seen as a threat, mutants are often hated and feared by other humans. Spending most of his early adult years studying mutation at Oxford University, Professor Charles Xavier, who himself was secretly a mutant telepath, envisioned mutants and humans coexisting peacefully. During his time at Oxford, Xavier met the brilliant geneticist Moira Kinross. Moira revealed that she too was a mutant, with the ability to be reborn and reset her own personal timeline upon death. Having lived many lives, many of which had ended in mutantkind's destruction, Moira opened her mind to Xavier and showed him that thus far, mutantkind had always lost. The two would become close allies, as they sought to find a way to avert mutantkind's destruction.
Over the years, Xavier realized that other mutants had alternative plans for mutantkind's future. In Israel, he met a mutant named Magnus. Radically opposing to Xavier's dream, Magnus believed that a species war between mutants and humans for dominance of the Earth was inevitable, and that mutants must take their rightful place as the supreme species. Additionally, in Egypt, after an encounter with an unscrupulous mutant telepath known as the Shadow King, Xavier vowed to protect the world from the threat of evil mutants, endeavoring to foster peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans.
Ultimately, with Moira's support, Xavier decided to set up a school to secretly train mutants to protect a world that hates and fears their kind, dubbing them his X-Men. To accomplish his goal, Xavier transformed his father's estate into the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. In this "X-Mansion", he constructed the Danger Room to test and train mutants and developed Cerebro, a powerful mutant detector.
After years of preparation, Xavier decided it was the time to recruit the young mutants he had been keeping track of, as anti-mutant hysteria hit its peak. With reports about a young mutant accidentally endangering and then saving a crowd of people with an optic blast, Xavier traveled to Washington D.C., seeking out FBI agent Fred Duncan, who was assigned to investigate reports of mutants. Xavier convinced Duncan to allow him to enroll young mutants in his school and prepare them to battle evil mutants.
In the following days, Xavier, as Professor X, recruited Scott Summers, the young mutant from the news story. Rescued from the clutches of evil mutant Jack Winters, Summers became the first of the X-Men, codenamed Cyclops. Later on, Cyclops and Professor X saved young Bobby Drake, a mutant commanding extreme cold and moisture, from an angry lynch mob. Drake joined the group as Iceman. Xavier's next recruit was the winged Warren Worthington III, who had already embarked on a solo super-hero career as the high-flying Angel. After a brief battle, Angel agreed to join the group. Their next recruit was the dexterous and intelligent Hank McCoy, who was rescued from a would-be conqueror, the Conquistador. McCoy joined Xavier under the codename Beast. Rounding out the group, Xavier had Jean Grey join them as Marvel Girl. Jean Grey had been mentored by Xavier since childhood, after her mental powers manifested.
As the uncanny X-Men were formed, their first mission led them to a direct confrontation with Xavier's old friend, Magnus, now the self-styled "Master of Magnetism" Magneto, who would become their most frequent adversary. The conflict took place in Cape Citadel, in a military base Magneto had claimed. This was the first clash of Magneto and Xavier's rivalling ideologies. Although the X-Men acted as super-heroes, growing anti-mutant sentiment eventually marred their reputation.
In their next mission, the X-Men defended Washington, D.C., from the thief and mutant teleporter known as the Vanisher with Duncan's support. They also found that not all mutants were interested in joining their mission, when the immovable Blob rejected an invitation to their ranks. Moreover, the X-Men soon had interactions with the super-hero community: clashing with Iron Man, aiding the Sentry against the General, and clashing with the Fantastic Four when Professor X was enslaved by the Puppet Master, among many other adventures.
Magneto eventually returned to plague the X-Men, this time with his own group, the so-called Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, consisting of Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, the Toad and Mastermind. They first confronted with the X-Men when trying to take over the nation of Santo Marco, followed by an attempted full-on capture of the X-Men. The X-Men had subsequent disputes with the Brotherhood due to failed attempts by the Brotherhood to recruit Namor, the Sub-Mariner, the Blob, and the thunder god, Thor.
Following the X-Men's graduation, the group experienced a rising and fanatical anti-mutant movement. Just as the X-Men were being torn apart, a future version of Beast transported Xavier's students to the future. The young X-Men spent much time in the future, but returned with their memories of this experience blocked. Upon their return, they faced Unus the Untouchable. Afterwards, Professor X briefly left Cyclops in charge of the school to impede the alien Lucifer from conquering the world, a plot foiled thanks to the assistance of the X-Men and the Avengers, beginning the two groups' long-standing association and rivalry. The X-Men gained another ally in Ka-Zar, when an investigation about his existence at the South Pole led to the discovery of a tropical hidden paradise, the Savage Land.
The X-Men finally witnessed the apparent end of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants during an encounter with the alien Stranger. This battle ended with the Stranger taking Magneto and the Toad to his space station for study and transforming Mastermind into dense matter. New threats arose however, such as Professor X's stepbrother, Cain Marko, who terrorized the X-Men as the mystically-empowered Juggernaut. Juggernaut was defeated with the aid of the Human Torch.
With anti-mutant hysteria again on the rise, scientist Bolivar Trask engineered the Sentinels, giant mutant-hunting robots, to apprehend mutants. However, the robots revolted against their own master, taking Trask and Professor X to their new robotic leader, the Master Mold. The Master Mold planned to enslave the entire human race, but the X-Men saved Xavier and found a way to destroy the Sentinels. The encounter came to an end with Trask's death. Trask's legacy would haunt mutantkind for years to come as his machines became one of the greatest menaces against mutants.
Still recovering from their battle against the Sentinels, the X-Men were once more targeted by a returned Magneto, who was defeated and recaptured by the Stranger. The X-Men then battled the mysterious Mimic, a bitter young man who had the ability to replicate other superhumans' superpowers and unraveled the X-Men's secret identities. The battle ended with Mimic stripped of his powers and with no memory of the X-Men's true identities. Meanwhile, Lucifer resurfaced to finalize his master's alien invasion, ordering the Blob and Unus to pose as X-Men to besmirch the team's standing with the public and otherwise occupy them. Although the Blob and Unus escaped, the X-Men succeeded in foiling Lucifer's plot. Non-mutant threats were also faced by the X-Men, such as combating Count Nefaria's attempt to ransom Washington, D.C., and battling the peculiar Locust. When Jean Grey was forced by her parents to leave Xavier's for Metro College, she remained part of the group, although with less regularity. During this period, the team battled El Tigre, preventing him from taking over the world with the power of the Mayan God, Kukulcan.
Fearing an imminent threat, Professor X pressed the group to find new recruits. They unsuccessfully pursued Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch and Spider-Man, though managed to recruit Mimic, who had just regained his memories and powers following a lab explosion at Metro College. He joined the X-Men despite the Puppet Master using him as his pawn to destroy the group. Soon after, the X-Men learned of Factor Three, an organization that sent agents Ogre and the enslaved Banshee after them in an attempt to kidnap Professor X. Freeing Banshee from Factor Three's control, the X-Men easily defeated Ogre.
Mimic left the team after he lost his powers when battling the Super-Adaptoid. This was followed by the X-Men stopping the Warlock's world domination plot, and halting Cobalt Man's rampage at Stark Industries. Some time later, Cobalt Man's human brother and Jean Grey's friend Ted Roberts asked for the X-Men's help in rescuing his brother, landing them in a conflict between the Mole Man and Tyrannus.
Factor Three struck again when Professor X attempted to free his step-brother from the powers of the Juggernaut. The resulting experiment of both science and sorcery ended with the Juggernaut's revival and Xavier on the brink of death. Factor Three mentally contacted the Juggernaut and tried to recruit him. The X-Men ultimately stopped the Juggernaut with the aid of Doctor Strange, who banished Marko to the Crimson Cosmos. However, during the process, Factor Three managed to kidnap Professor X.
When Banshee attempted to contact the X-Men after locating Factor Three's European headquarters, his message was interrupted, leading the X-Men to briefly fight Spider-Man, mistakenly believing the wall-crawler to be a member of Factor Three. Not being able to afford the airfare to Europe, the X-Men tried to raise money and ended up taking a loan from the wealthy philanthropist father of Tom Regal after the X-Men aided in stopping Tom's rampage as the armored Mekano.
Arriving in Europe, the X-Men were captured by Factor Three, whose membership included the Vanisher, the Blob, Unus and Mastermind as well as two unknown villains: the Changeling and the Mutant Master. The group found the X-Men "guilty" of betraying mutantkind and sentenced them to death. Before executing the X-Men, Factor Three revealed their intentions of sparking a nuclear World War III by attacking both the United States and the Soviet Union. The X-Men split into two groups, ruining both plots and coming face-to-face with the Mutant Master at his headquarters in the United States. There, with the aid of the Changeling, they freed Professor X. The Mutant Master was revealed to be a member of the Siris, an alien race. The X-Men and Factor Three then worked together to stop Mutant Master, parting peacefully though vowing to meet again as enemies. Upon returning to the X-Mansion, the X-Men were rewarded with new individual costumes designed by Jean Grey.
The Death of Professor X
When Professor Xavier learned of an impending invasion from the alien Z'nox race, he decided to place himself in seclusion in order to prepare a counterattack. Approached by a terminally ill Changeling, Professor X made a deal with the dying mutant, who aided him in his plan by posing as Professor X for the X-Men, while the real Xavier secretly expected for the invasion. Jean Grey was the only member of the X-Men who was made aware of Xavier's plan, having her telepathic powers unlocked by her mentor as Changeling took his place. When the subterranean Grotesk, mutated by the underground nuclear testing that destroyed his people, threatened the Earth, Changeling (posing as Professor X) sacrificed his life to stop the threat.
After the funeral, the X-Men were captured and imprisoned by Magneto, who had just reformed the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Also wishing to get revenge against the Avengers, Magneto allowed Angel to escape in order to lure the other team to his hideout. Although Magneto pitted the X-Men and the Avengers against each other, the two groups succeeded in defeating him, who in turn seemingly perished in an explosion.
Returning to the X-Mansion and still mourning the loss of their mentor, the X-Men were visited by Agent Duncan, who read the X-Men Xavier's final will, bequeathing his possessions to them. Meanwhile, Juggernaut had been temporarily returned to Earth before being shunted off to the Crimson Cosmos once more after battling the X-Men. Agent Duncan then informed the X-Men that they were ordered by the government to disband for their own safety. This split proved to be short-lived however. After Beast and Iceman battled the Warlock (now calling himself the Maha Yogi), and Cyclops and Marvel Girl confronted Quasimodo, the group was drawn back together when Cerebro detected a large concentration of mutants in the San Francisco area.
While investigating, the X-Men met a mutant named Lorna Dane and learned that Mesmero, a mutant hypnotist, was amassing an army of mutants in the name of Magneto to enslave humanity. Believing Dane to be the daughter of Magneto, Mesmero took her and Iceman to his Mutant City, outside of San Francisco, where her latent mutant magnetic powers were activated. As the X-Men came to their rescue, Dane stayed behind during their escape, deciding to remain loyal to her supposed father (actually an android). The X-Men returned to destroy the Mutant City, having Cyclops posing as an evil mutant named Erik the Red in order to infiltrate their militia. During the ensuing battle, Iceman provided Dane with evidence that she was not Magneto's daughter. She helped the X-Men defeat “Magneto” and Mesmero, leading to the Mutant City's detonation. Lorna Dane then returned with the X-Men to New York City.
Later, an accident during a test of one of the Xavier's inventions led to the X-Men accidentally teleporting Blastaar from the Negative Zone to Earth. During the confrontation, Blastaar was seemingly killed when the machine to which he was linked short-circuited.
Cyclops reentered the life of his younger brother, Alex, who had just graduated from university. Bizarrely, Alex was captured by the Living Pharaoh, a mutant who found that his and Alex's mutant powers were linked. Tracking the Pharaoh to Egypt, the X-Men battled him there and learned that Alex was a mutant who could emit plasma energy. With full access to Alex's powers, the Pharaoh was transformed into the Living Monolith. Alex managed to break free, cutting off the source to Living Monolith's powers, but was left horrified when realizing he did not have control over his new-found chaotic powers.
Before Alex could be helped by the X-Men, he was captured by Sentinels, that had been rebuilt by Larry Trask with the aid of Judge Robert Chalmers. Trask revived the Sentinels to get revenge against mutants in general, and the X-Men in particular, for the death of his father, Bolivar Trask. Giving Alex a uniform to regulate his powers and naming him Havok, Trask had the confused mutant aid him in capturing all known mutants, including Iceman, Lorna Dane, and various enemies of the X-Men. Havok aided the X-Men in defeating the Sentinels and learned that Trask was actually a mutant himself. Cyclops ultimately managed to convince the Sentinels to destroy the source of mutations, causing the Sentinels to destroy themselves when attempting to obliterate the sun.
The X-Men put a heavily injured Havok into the care of Dr. Karl Lykos, who secretly required the energies of other people to survive. However, the life energies of mutants caused Lykos to mutate into the powerful pterodactyl-like humanoid called Sauron. Sauron fled to Tierra del Fuego and reverted back to Lykos, being tracked by the X-Men, who were unable to stop him from seemingly committing suicide to avoid draining the energy of his lover, Tanya. From there, the X-Men traveled into the Savage Land, reuniting with Ka-Zar and agreeing to aid him against the Savage Land Mutates. Meanwhile, Angel was duped into joining the Mutates by their leader, the Creator (secretly Magneto). As Angel learned the truth, he assisted the X-Men in defeating Magneto and destroying his citadel.
Returning to the United States, the X-Men went to Washington D.C. to stop Sunfire, a fire-wielding mutant from Japan, from interrupting an important conference between US and Japanese officials. Back to the X-Mansion, the X-Men were shocked when Professor X turned up alive and well, revealing the coming Z'Nox invasion. With the help of Cyclops' and Havok's powers, Professor X linked every mind on Earth in order to drive the Z'Nox invasion away. The victory left the Professor on the brink of death, requiring the X-Men to seek out the Hulk, whose human persona had the knowledge to cure Xavier.
As Professor X returned, Iceman decided to leave the team over feeling betrayed over Xavier's secrets. Learning about what transpired in his absence, Professor X sent the remaining X-Men back to the Savage Land to recover the body of Magneto. The X-Men were soon embroiled in stopping the Nhu’Ghari race from enslaving other Savage Land natives, while Marvel Girl learned that Magneto was actually alive. The X-Men found and defeated Magneto, capturing him. When a storm hit their craft, Magneto escaped, while Angel and his Nhu’Ghari ally named Avia were lost at sea. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, and the Beast were whisked away to Kenya where they met the young Ororo, a mutant who could control the weather, and helped her defeat the villain Deluge.
The remaining X-Men returned home only to be met by the Fantastic Four, who were assisting Professor X with the Z'Nox crisis. Though the X-Men stopped an invasion on Earth, they did not prevent the Z'Nox from turning their invasion fleet on another world. Teamed up with the Fantastic Four, the X-Men went to space, where Jean Grey's mind was briefly contacted by the Phoenix. The X-Men and the Fantastic Four worked together to shunt the Z'Nox home-world into the Negative Zone where it could not harm anyone.
Professor X and Beast temporarily left the X-Mansion to monitor a new mutant detected by Cerebro, a little girl named Ashley Martin, who had mental control over one of Trask's damaged Sentinels. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Marvel Girl searched for a missing Angel, assisted by Candy Southern, Angel's girlfriend. Captured by a man named Stefan Krueger, Angel and the X-Men were sold to the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but managed to defeat the villains. On the Savage Land, Havok, Lorna Dane and an amnesiac Iceman got caught up in a battle between Sauron and Magneto. The battle ended with Magneto's defeat and Iceman regaining his memories.
While Professor X chose to stay with the Martins for a while, all the X-Men returned to the X-Mansion, where Candy warned Angel that his uncle, the villain known as Dazzler, had plans to marry Angel's widowed mother. The X-Men stopped the wedding, but were too late to prevent Angel's mother from dying of the poison Dazzler had administered to her. Finding Havok and Lorna Dane gone after Cerebro signaled mutant presence in the Himalayas, the X-Men went after them and realized Cerebro's initial signal picked up the hidden realm of the Inhumans. Returning home, the X-Men found their friend Avia poisoned by Kraven the Hunter, who challenged one of the X-Men to beat him in combat for the cure. The Beast accepted, winning the duel.
Dane vanished soon after, after put under the mental control of Tad Carter. The X-Men found that Carter was a member of a group called the Promise, mutants who intended to shape human and mutantkind. Following a brief confrontation, some of the X-Men were sent to their doom, ending up unconscious in the realm of the Mole Man. Meanwhile, Magneto and the Sub-Mariner carried on an attack on Earth, which was being opposed by the Fantastic Four. Ultimately, the rest of the X-Men escaped from the Mole Man's clutches and were reunited with Angel, while Havok managed to free Dane from the Promise, who parted company when their leader Tobias Messenger was secretly killed by one of their own. After these events, Professor X returned to his X-Men at the X-Mansion.
Beast left the team for a position at the Brand Corporation where he further mutated while battling the Secret Empire. Soon after, the X-Men and other mutants were targeted by the Secret Empire, seen as a valuable power source, which led the X-Men to team up with Captain America the Falcon to defeat the Secret Empire and free the captured mutants.
When Cerebro registered a large mutant energy signature on the island Krakoa, the X-Men went to investigate. They learned to their horror that the entire island was one single mutant environment, which captured the X-Men in order to feed on their life-force. To save his students, Xavier gathered a group of mutants who were mentored by Moira to form a new team of X-Men. These X-Men included Petra, Sway, Darwin, and Kid Vulcan, the last one being Cyclops' long lost youngest brother. The inexperienced group went to Krakoa and was rapidly overpowered by the island: Petra and Sway were killed by the island while Darwin and Kid Vulcan, unbeknownst to everyone, were saved by forcing themselves to a dormant state. Through their sacrifice, Cyclops was freed and managed to return to Professor X, believing everyone to be dead, in shock over the ordeal. Professor X telepathically wiped out all memory of Moira's ill-fated group of X-Men from Cyclops' mind, leading him to believe he had escaped on his own and decided to recruit another new team to face Krakoa.
This new group of X-Men consisted of German demon-looking teleporter Nightcrawler, Canadian berserker Wolverine, Irish former member of Factor Three Banshee, African wind rider Ororo, now known as Storm, Japanese son of the atom Sunfire, Russian strongman Colossus, and Native American stubborn Thunderbird. This group succeeded in freeing the original X-Men and, as both groups combined their powers to send Krakoa into Earth orbit, its threat ended.
All-New, All-Different X-Men
After their return, Sunfire and all of the previous X-Men left the group, except for Cyclops, who was in charge of leading the new team. Cyclops had to adjust to new dynamics, such as once again receiving orders from Professor X and also leading a group of older and more experienced X-Men who were not used to teamwork. During the new team's second mission against Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men, Thunderbird was tragically killed. As the X-Men coped with his death, Moira moved to the X-Mansion, assisting Xavier in his work and also proving her worth as a combatant as she helped the X-Men battle the demonic N'Garai.
Meanwhile, two new threats came to light: the Shi'ar mercenary Eric the Red, who kidnapped Havok and Lorna Dane (now adopting the codename Polaris), and mutant-hater Stephen Lang, who reactivated the Sentinels. Upon reentry to Earth after a mission in space against Lang's Sentinels, Jean Grey pushed her powers to the limit, holding their spacecraft together and shielding her team members from intense radiation. Believed dead upon their crash landing in New York's Jamaica Bay, Jean Grey suddenly arose from the ocean calling herself Phoenix, wielding more power than ever before.
Soon after confronting Banshee's cousin, Black Tom Cassidy, who had allied himself with the Juggernaut at Cassidy Keep, the X-Men returned to space to aid Lilandra Neramani of the Shi'ar stop her mad brother D'ken, who controlled the powerful Imperial Guard, from using the power of the M'kraan Crystal to take over the universe. With the crystal about to shatter and destroy reality itself, Phoenix used her awesome power to fuse it back together. During this adventure, the X-Men met the Starjammers, a revolutionary crew of space pirates led by Cyclops' and Havok's father, Corsair. As the X-Men returned to Earth, Lilandra returned with them.
At the X-Mansion, the X-Men were attacked by the Canadian military super-hero known as Weapon Alpha, who intended to retrieve Wolverine back to Department H. However, Weapon Alpha was heavily outnumbered and had no choice but to flee as he confronted the X-Men. The X-Men were once again attacked at their own home by the mercenary Warhawk, who had trapped the X-Men in the Danger Room. The group broke free and managed to defeat the villain.
Following a conflict with Mesmero and a fierce battle with Magneto inside an Antarctic volcano, most of the X-Men found themselves in the Savage Land and separated from Phoenix and the Avenger Beast, with each group presuming the other dead. Phoenix and Beast returned to the school to give Xavier the tragic news. Believing his X-Men to be dead and having nothing to keep him on Earth, Xavier chose to accompany Lilandra back to Shi'ar space as her consort.
The X-Men slowly made their way home after adventures in the Savage Land, and in Japan, where Banshee injured his vocal cords during a battle with Moses Magnum, leaving him powerless. The X-Men were then ambushed by Weapon Alpha (now rebranded as Vindicator) and his new team, Alpha Flight, on the way back to the United States, as they intended to take Wolverine back into the Canadian government's custody. Wolverine escaped by successfully tricking Alpha Flight into believing he wished to return to Department H. When they finally returned home, they found Professor X gone and the X-Mansion uninhabited. As soon as the X-Men returned, they were ambushed by Arcade, being briefly trapped in his Murderworld. Phoenix was reunited with the X-Men at Moira's headquarters on Muir Island, where they battled Proteus, Moira's reality-altering mutant son. Vulnerable to metal, Proteus stood no chance against Colossus' steel fists. Despite his injuries, Banshee still accompanied the X-Men for the mission. However, realizing he wanted to stay by Moira's side, he left the X-Men to be with her on Muir Island.
The Fate of the Phoenix
Professor X returned to Earth to find his X-Men alive and in time to recruit new mutants for his school. The first candidates were Kitty Pryde, a teenage girl with intangibility powers, and Dazzler, a performer with light-based abilities. These two mutants were also the interest of the macabre mutant secret society known as the Hellfire Club. This led the X-Men to directly confront one of the Hellfire Club's high ranked members, Emma Frost, the White Queen, who was overpowered by Phoenix after having captured half the team.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Mastermind, who wished to join the Hellfire Club under his alter-ego “Jason Wyngarde”, had been casting illusionary fantasies in Phoenix's mind for months, awakening the darkest parts of her soul. Ultimately, he seduced her into becoming the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club during the X-Men's battle against their inner circle, namely Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, and Harry Leland. Phoenix broke free from Wyngarde's control by unleashing her darkest persona: the vile Dark Phoenix. She used her powers to drive Mastermind insane, destroyed the X-Men's Blackbird, and abruptly departed from Earth. Starving for the same sense of power she had felt inside the M'Kraan Crystal, Phoenix traveled to a distant star and absorbed its energy, destroying a nearby planet inhabited by five billion aliens.
Upon her return to Earth, Beast had designed a neutralizer to subdue the all-powerful entity, and Xavier, assisted by the Angel, placed mental blocks in her mind to reduce Dark Phoenix's powers and allow Jean Grey to regain control. Aware of the massacre in their Empire, the Shi'ar arrived on Earth demanding the execution of Dark Phoenix. Xavier invoked Arin'nn Haelar, an irrefutable Shi'ar duel of honor. Knowing her team would win, Majestrix Lilandra agreed to allow the Imperial Guard to battle the X-Men. Putting up a valiant fight, the mutants fell one-by-one during a long battle on the Blue Area of the Moon. With only Cyclops and Phoenix left standing, Summers was hit by a stray energy bolt. Set into a panic, Jean Grey was able to utilize her full power as Dark Phoenix. To avert the loss of the entire solar system, as it had been ordered by Lilandra, Xavier ordered the X-Men to defeat Phoenix. As Jean Grey regained control once more, she activated a weapon, committing suicide to prevent another disaster. After Jean Grey's funeral, Kitty Pryde came to live at the school as the newest X-Man, Sprite. Another addition was Angel, who decided to return to the X-Men. On the other hand, Cyclops left the team to grieve the loss of his lover.
From the Ashes
Storm was appointed as the leader of the X-Men in Cyclops's absence. As she helped Pryde adjust to her new life at Xavier's, Wolverine and Nightcrawler assisted Alpha Flight in arresting the cannibal monster Wendigo in Canada. Storm's leadership underwent a trial-by-fire when Pryde's consciousness was replaced by a future version of herself called Kate. Kate claimed she was sent back to the past to prevent a dystopic future, result of mutants being the target of immense fear and hatred following the assassination of Senator Kelly by the hands of a new formation of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, led by the shape-shifter Mystique and formed by Destiny, Pyro, Avalanche and the Blob. Following a desperate conflict, Kelly's life was saved and the Brotherhood was arrested, preventing an immediately catastrophic future for mutants. Notable foes from this period also included Doctor Doom and Arcade. Angel, seeing Wolverine as a dangerous man, decided to leave the team as it no longer represented Xavier's original views.
Meanwhile, Cyclops unexpectedly found Magneto's Island M in the Bermuda Triangle. Magneto threatened humanity with an ultimatum: accept mutant supremacy and give up armed conflict forever, attacking a soviet military submarine in the process. The X-Men infiltrated his base and, as Pryde destroyed the central computer of his super-weapon, Magneto lashed out and almost killed her. Horrified at his actions against a child, Magneto ceased fighting and contemplated how he had become no better than the humans who had massacred his family. This battle reunited Cyclops with the team. Around this period, Xavier and Moira formed a secret alliance with Magneto, as both parts agreed that mutantkind was probably fated to lose and uniting all mutants was the only way to thrive.
Following another confrontation between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club, who had capture Storm and Pryde, attacking the X-Men with Sentinels, Corsair and the Starjammers visited Earth seeking the X-Men's aid in stopping a rebellion against Majestrix Lilandra. The Starjammers were framed for kidnapping Lilandra while the one responsible was really Deathbird, the Majestrix' sister, in league with the vicious Brood. The X-Men discovered the truth, stopped the rebellion against the Shi'ar Empire, and reunited Xavier with Lilandra, though Xavier was severely wounded by the Brood. Also, Cyclops finally discovered that Corsair was actually his father, who had been abducted by the Shi'ar decades earlier.
Shortly thereafter a television interview with Senator Robert Kelly worried the X-Men, since they had FBI connections in their early years, which consequently led the FBI to own files on many of them. Carol Danvers, Wolverine, Storm, and Nightcrawler infiltrated the Pentagon and uploaded an open-ended virus that erased all references to the X-Men or members of the team. While in the Pentagon, they also encountered and fought Mystique and Rogue of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Soon after, the X-Men had two life deciding encounters with beings of extreme evil. First, Storm became a victim of Dracula, the lord of vampires. Then, Illyana, Colossus' younger sister, was kidnapped by the demon-lord Belasco, spending years of her life in his unstable demonic realm, Limbo. Both Storm and Illyana were saved by the X-Men, but left forever marked by these encounters.
Meanwhile, as Xavier's condition worsened, Deathbird and the Brood resurfaced, abducting the X-Men, Lilandra, and Carol Danvers to their home planet, where a Brood Queen implanted embryos within them. Interested in Danvers' unique genetic code, the Brood experimented upon he and she was transformed into the all-powerful Binary. Although the X-Men escaped from "Sleazeworld", all seemed lost, as once the embryos matured their hosts would undergo a metamorphosis and become a warrior Brood. Storm was saved by a young Acanti, a large space-faring creature that had been enslaved by the Brood and used as living starships. With nothing left to lose, the X-Men vowed to save the Acanti. After freeing the Acanti "prophet-singer" soul from the Brood homeworld, the X-Men were healed from the Brood infection. Before killing the Brood Queen, Kitty Pryde found the friendly alien dragon Lockheed, who followed her back to Earth.
The X-Family Grows
During the prolonged period when the X-Men were abducted by the Brood, Xavier believed they had been killed. Moira convinced him to form a new team of adolescent mutants who were in need of help in controlling their powers. Unwilling to see more of his students perish, Professor X was only willing to train them in the use of their special abilities rather than sending them out into combat as he had done with the X-Men. These New Mutants ended up in many battles regardless, and occasionally aided the X-Men.
As the X-Men returned to Earth, they learned there was one Brood Queen embryo that had not been eliminated, being implanted in Professor Xavier during their first contact with the evil aliens. Racing home, they found Xavier had already been transformed into one of the Brood while battling the startled New Mutants. Defeated and taken onboard the Starjammer, Xavier's mind was placed in a cloned body, which with time allowed him to regain use of his legs.
Anti-mutant hysteria paved the way to the establishment of one of the most horrendous enemies of mutantkind, Reverend William Stryker and his Purifiers, mutant hater fundamentalists who had an agenda of murdering defenseless mutants. The X-Men were targeted by the Purifiers with mediatic and physical attacks, leading to the capture of Professor X, Cyclops, and Storm. In an unexpected team-up with Magneto, the X-Men saved their teammates. During the final confrontation, Stryker threatened Kitty Pryde with death but was a victim of his own hate as he was shot dead by a human policeman.
The X-Men found conflict with mutant adversaries, the Morlocks, deformed outcasts who lived underground led by Callisto. Angel was captured by Callisto and taken down into their tunnels to be her groom. Meanwhile, Pryde was found by another Morlock, Caliban, who she had met months earlier. As the X-Men went to rescue their allies, a violent combat between Storm and Callisto ensued, with no powers and to the death. Victorious, Storm took the leadership of the Morlocks and Angel's freedom.
Extra dilemmas with other sections of mutantkind came upon the X-Men when Rogue asked them for asylum and help after finding herself unable of controlling her powers and her fractured psyche. Though the X-Men refused to accept Rogue as a member of the team, Professor X insisted on taking her on as a student, vowing never to bail on a mutant in need of help. Rogue soon proved her worth to the X-Men when she put herself at risk to save Wolverine and his fiancée, Mariko, from Viper and the Silver Samurai. However, Mystique was not content with Rogue's dismissal from the Brotherhood, ordering her team to attack the X-Men, while she captured Professor X, demanding Rogue's return. She was eventually talked out of her insane ploy by Rogue herself and ultimately released Xavier.
The X-Men's personal lives also intertwined with their adventures. After returning from space, Cyclops took an absence from the X-Men and met Madelyne Pryor during a trip to meet his grandparents in Anchorage. Rapidly, they started a relationship. Though Mastermind attempted to foil their romance, he was defeated by the X-Men, who celebrated Cyclops' and Madelyne's wedding. Where Mastermind failed in destroying Cyclops' marriage, he succeeded in ruining Wolverine's. As members of the X-Men, Storm and Kitty Pryde experience drastic changes in their lives. Storm realized she had succumbed to more violent aspects of her personality, especially after meeting the assassin known as Yukio in Japan. Pryde, after having an experience also in Japan in which she was brainwashed by Ogun, took up the mantle of Shadowcat, a reflection of her darker attitude.
Due to her past as a mutant terrorist and her recent infiltration on a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Rogue was targeted as a public menace. On Henry Gyrich's request and Val Cooper's approval, mutant inventor Forge created a dampening weapon to nullify Rogue's powers. Gyrich erroneously shot Storm instead, who was left powerless in Forge's care.
Meanwhile, Rachel Summers, a time-traveler from Kate Pryde's alternate future and daughter of Cyclops and Phoenix, arrived in the present, bringing the attention of mutant succubus Selene, who desired her immense life force. Rachel was rescued by the X-Men and joined their ranks. However, she was unknowingly followed by super-advanced sentinel Nimrod. The X-Men learned of Nimrod's existence, as he went public during a mission to capture Juggernaut. The robot successfully manipulated public opinion to see him as a paragon against the mutant threat. Simultaneously, the death of Thunderbird haunted Xavier when he was kidnapped by James Proudstar, Thunderbird's younger brother, who sought revenge against the X-Men for his brother's death. Following a confrontation between the X-Men and Emma Frost's students, the Hellions, Proudstar released Xavier.
Following an adventure against the omnipotent Beyonder, the X-Men ironically had Magneto joining their ranks. While attending a Holocaust memorial gathering, Magneto was captured by Freedom Force, Mystique's new mutant team sanctioned by Val Cooper. Put on trial in Paris, Magneto was mostly exonerated of charges, but the trial was interrupted by the Fenris twins, who sent Magneto and Professor X for a dangerous ride in the Parisian sewers. Half-drowned and in a near-death state from other medical conditions, Xavier convinced his old friend to take his place as headmaster of the school. Lilandra took Xavier to the Shi'ar Galaxy to recuperate from his injuries. Using the alias of Michael Xavier, Charles Xavier's alleged cousin, Magneto became the headmaster of Xavier's for a long tenure.
When Cyclops' and Madelyne's son was born, Cyclops left the X-Men, now truly passing their leadership to Storm. With Xavier on space, Magneto as the school's headmaster and Jean Grey returned from the dead, the original members of the X-Men could not recognize their former team anymore and decided to found their own independent mutant initiative, known as X-Factor.
Meanwhile, Rachel claimed the Phoenix power for herself, starting to be seen as a danger by her fellow X-Men. When she infiltrated the Hellfire Club mansion, with the aim of murdering Selene, she was stopped by Wolverine, who mortally wounded her. Teamed up with the Morlocks, the X-Men went to the Hellfire Club to retrieve Rachel and put an end at Selene's maleficent deeds. Such a high agglomeration of mutants caught the attention of Nimrod. The mutants joined their forces to successfully destroy Nimrod. However, Rachel vanished, being captured by the mysterious Spiral and the dreadful Mojo.
Mojo and Spiral also took interest in other mutants, such as British telepath Psylocke and New Mutants Wolfsbane and Sunspot, who were enslaved in the wicked Mojoverse, but saved by the New Mutants. Soon after, Mojo sent the hero Longshot to the X-Men's Danger Room and captured Magneto, Shadowcat, Wolverine, Rogue, Colossus, Psylocke, Nightcrawler, Storm and Longshot themselves, de-aging them into children. Once again, the New Mutants saved the day. After these events, Psylocke and a comatose Longshot stayed at the X-Mansion.
The deadly Marauders, secretly commanded by Mister Sinister, made a substantial impact on the X-Men with their callous murder of most of the Morlocks living in the Alley. In their first battle with the X-Men, the Marauders took a gruesome toll, paralyzing Colossus, putting Nightcrawler in a coma, and trapping Shadowcat in an intangible state such that she was slowly discorporating. Magneto succeeded in healing Colossus, who rejoined the team, but Shadowcat and Nightcrawler were beyond the X-Men's help, being sent to the Muir Island to be treated by Moira.
After the massacre of the Morlocks, the Marauders kept harassing the X-Men. One of their members, Sabretooth, attacked them at home, in a brawl throughout the X-Mansion, rendering Cerebro destroyed, but granting Psylocke a place on the team. Another member, Malice, tried to possess Dazzler, who was saved by and joined the ranks of the X-Men though. Upon arriving at Muir Island, these new recruits, including a recovered Longshot, had their baptism of fire as X-Men by facing off Juggernaut. As they returned to the X-Men, they were met by Havok, who was also targeted by the Marauders, but ultimately escaped rejoining the X-Men. However, where Dazzler escaped Malice, Polaris did not, becoming the Marauders' new leader. Another prey for the Marauders was Madelyne Pryor and her son, who were brutally stalked by them. As she tried to escape her harassers, she was rescued by the X-Men, who for this time decided to be the hunters. Overpowered, the Marauders escaped. Unfortunately, Madelyne's baby went missing during the pursuit.
When Storm went missing, on a journey to recover her powers, the X-Men searched for her at Forge's Eagle Plaza, in Dallas, Texas, where they were intercepted by Freedom Force. During the fight, a rift opened in the sky of Dallas and a maelstrom of bizarre events ensued. The X-Men and Freedom Force formed a temporary alliance to save the citizens of Dallas. As Storm regained her powers with the help of Forge and Eagle Plaza was destroyed, it was revealed that the entity known as the Adversary was behind the events. The X-Men battled the Adversary and sacrificed their lives to imprison him with a spell cast by Forge. These events had been broadcast on TV, and the world believed the heroes to be dead. Meanwhile, Roma recovered the X-Men's souls, granting them access into the Starlight Citadel and restoring them to life. While improving public opinion on the heroism of mutants, the X-Men's friends and family believed them to be dead. Exhausted from being constantly targeted by villains such as the Marauders, the X-Men decided to use the story as a cover to go underground. Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, and Phoenix, as a consequence of the “death” of the X-Men, formed the mutant group Excalibur to keep Xavier's dream alive somehow.
Though the X-Men evaded their former enemies, they soon made new ones. Relocated to the Australian Outback, they confronted the deadly mercenaries known as the Reavers, whose base they claimed, liberating Gateway and Jessán Hoan from the villains' clutches in the process. With the Reavers thrown out, Roma greeted the X-Men making them undetectable by electronics and presenting them with the Siege Perilous, a gem that casts a portal which grants any person who walked through it judgment and a new chance at life. During this period, the X-Men also battled mutants infected by the Brood in Denver and made enemies of the Genoshan government and its mutant oppressing regime after rescuing Jenny Ransome and Madelyne Pryor in a covert ops mission on the island.
When the X-Men performed missions, Pryor assisted them as their tech support. Little by little, she was corrupted by the demon from Limbo N'astirh, ultimately making a deal with him to find her son, becoming the Goblin Queen.  Meanwhile, the X-Men tracked the Marauders down, finding them in Manhattan. While the X-Men battled the Marauders, N'astirh took Madelyne to Mister Sinister's orphanage, where she found her son and learned about her origin as Jean Grey's clone. Her corruption as the Goblin Queen unleashed a hellish Inferno in New York in the form of a demonic invasion. As X-Factor also looked for the missing baby, they eventually met and teamed up with the X-Men for the first time, defeating N'astirh. In an insane outburst, Pryor put the life of her own son at risk, being opposed by the X-Men and X-Factor. She was ultimately killed in an attempt to take down Jean Grey with her. With Madelyne dead, the X-Men traveled to the ruins of the X-Mansion, to confront Mister Sinister, who was telepathically attacking Jean Grey. After a long fight, Cyclops managed to blast Sinister with a full power optic blast, seemingly destroying him.
Though the X-Men survived the Inferno, they soon found their end. First, Nimrod was revealed to be functional and, merging itself with the Master Mold, attacked Rogue and Psylocke in New York City. The X-Men went to help their teammates but were overpowered. With only Dazzler and Rogue left standing, Dazzler cast the Siege Perilous hoping her enemy would be sucked into the portal. While the portal appeared, the Sentinel anchored itself to the ground and grabbed Rogue as she tried to push it through. With no other choice, Dazzler blasted both of them into the gateway. Rogue was lost. Suffering from an existential crisis, Longshot left the X-Men as well. Soon after, the psychotic super-villain known as Nanny attacked the X-Men at their base, in a confrontation where Havok accidentally killed Storm. The X-Men were then down to only Havok, Dazzler, Colossus, and Psylocke.
Next, Havok received a distress call from Polaris, seemingly free from Malice. Under the leadership of Psylocke, they went to the Savage Land to retrieve her. There, they were attacked by Magneto's former mutates, now led by Zaladane. For the moment, the X-Men managed to evade Zaladane and save Polaris. During their period on the Savage Land, Psylocke telepathically discovered that the Reavers had planned for revenge for months. Now commanded by Donald Pierce and having Lady Deathstrike joined to their ranks, if they battled the X-Men again, they would be successful in murdering them. To save the remaining X-Men from certain death, Psylocke convinced her teammates to pass through the Siege Perilous, even having to telepathically force Havok in doing so. Though the Reavers managed to capture was Wolverine, the X-Men were lost to the world, effectively finished.
Dissolution & Rebirth
Meanwhile, Polaris boarded a freighter to travel back home after being stripped of her powers by Zaladane. She managed to contact Muir Island for help, leading Banshee to rescue her. Banshee was then joined by Amanda Sefton and Brigadier Alysande Stuart, who at the time were looking for Excalibur. Though the Reavers had lost track of the X-Men, they still were eager for revenge, directing their rage towards the Muir Island's residents. Their first victim was Banshee, who was shot and incapacitated. Moira haphazardly assembled an interim group of X-Men was formed to protect the mutants living on Muir Island from the Reavers, composed of Polaris, Sefton, Stuart, Sharon Friedlander and Tom Corsi. Val Cooper dispatched Forge and Mystique's Freedom Force to assist Moira in deflecting Pierce's attack. During the conflict and through the undermining of an insane Legion, Morlock Sunder and Freedom Force agents Stonewall and Destiny were killed. The surviving heroes managed to overpower the Reavers. Following the end of the conflict and Polaris' claims the X-Men were alive, Banshee recruited Forge to find and reform the former X-Men.
Wolverine was tortured by the Reavers for days, until being freed by Jubilee, a mutant kid with fireworks powers who had been secretly living at the X-Men's base for weeks. Together, Wolverine and Jubilee escaped the Reavers. In Hong Kong, Wolverine and Jubilee learned that the Mandarin consolidated his control over Hong Kong's criminal scene by allying himself with the Hand. As they went to investigate, they were ambushed and captured by Mandarin's prime assassin, Lady Mandarin. It was then revealed that Lady Mandarin was actually Psylocke, brainwashed mind and soul and transferred into an Asian body by Matsu'o Tsurayaba. After Psylocke established a mental link with Wolverine upon attacking him with her psychic knife, the backlash of memories of the X-Men broke her free, leading to the Mandarin's defeat.
Forge and Banshee arrived at the X-Mansion ruins while looking for clues about the X-Men whereabouts, where they found Jean Grey, who was attacked by a new group of villainous Morlocks led by Masque. One of the Morlocks' targets was Callisto, who at the time was involved with an amnesiac Colossus. Forge, Banshee and Jean Grey teamed up with Callisto and Colossus to put an end to Masque's jests. The group, now joined by the Beast, was then drawn into a conflict against the Genoshan Press Gang. They attempted to recapture Jenny Ransome, who lived with Colossus' flat in New York City after he became "Peter Nicholas", a popular artist in Soho. With the Press Gang defeated, Colossus' former teammates decided to leave him alone after realizing he was happy in his new life.
Surprisingly, Storm had survived, being permanently de-aged by Nanny and living on the streets of Cairo as a teenage thief with no recollection of her prior life, where she was recognized by the Shadow King, who sent his “Hounds” after her. Storm was saved from the Shadow King's clutches by the mysterious mutant thief known as Gambit. For weeks, the two mutant thieves maintained a partnership, until being eventually found by Nanny. As they defeated her, Storm's memories were returned and she decided to rejoin the X-Men, taking Gambit with her to the X-Mansion.
The partially regrouped team at the X-Mansion's ruins were soon thrown another hurdle; Genoshan Magistrates captured Storm and some of the New Mutants for crimes committed on the island by the X-Men. One of the attackers was Havok, who had re-emerged from the Siege Perilous on Genosha. Transported to Genosha by Pipeline, the captives were brought before their true captor: Cameron Hodge. Once an X-Factor ally, Hodge actually despised mutants and made a deal with the demon N'astirh to become immortal, and came to take control of the nation, carrying out an X-Tinction Agenda against mutants. Learning of the kidnapping, X-Factor joined forces with the X-Men and the remaining New Mutants to rescue the hostages. Meanwhile, Wolverine, Jubilee and Psylocke heard of their friends' fates and traveled to Genosha. Jubilee took care of the rescued New Mutants, while Wolverine and Psylocke infiltrated Hodge's Citadel, only to be discovered by Havok. The X-Men and X-Factor fared no better, with both squads becoming captives. Meanwhile, Storm had taken Genegineer David Moreau, creator of the mutate process, hostage but was subdued by Hodge and forced to become a mutate, a process which returned her to adulthood. When Havok witnessed Hodge torturing his brother Cyclops, his memories were returned, undoing his brainwashing as a magistrate.
A mock trial judged the captured mutants to be guilty, and all were given the choice of being transformed into a mutate or be executed. They chose death, but Hodge first had to deal with the insurrection of the Genegineer, aware Hodge's actions were insane. Hodge killed the magistrate Wipeout to force the mutant heroes to become powerless. Unbeknownst to Hodge, Moreau had given Storm the ability to return the mutants their gifts rather than turning them into mutates. Storm restored her teammates' abilities, and all escaped. Concurrently, Moreau planted a bomb to destroy all laboratories within the citadel. Furious, Hodge killed the traitor, though the Genegineer was able to weaken him considerably. The X-Men eventually found Hodge and destroyed him and his Citadel. The reunited mutants returned to Salem Center and began to rebuild the team that had been splintered for months. As a result of the tragic and violent conflict, New Mutants' leader, Cable, revamped the team as the more aggressive X-Force.
During the Genoshan incident, Rogue was sent to the Reavers' Australian base with her memory intact weeks after entering Siege Perilous. She soon realized she lacked the memories and the powers of Carol Danvers. Attacked by the Reavers, she was able to flee to the Savage Land using Gateway's powers. There, she was attacked by Ms. Marvel, and discovered the Siege Perilous had given both personalities within Rogue a body connected to a single lifeforce. Rogue was prepared to die, but Magneto intervened and killed Danvers, saving Rogue's life. The two spent time in the Savage Land, allying themselves with Ka-Zar and S.H.I.E.L.D. against Zaladane. Though Magneto and Rogue became attracted to one another, their relationship ended before it had a chance to blossom once Magneto killed Zaladane in cold blood, something Rogue opposed to.
Fully reformed, the X-Men unfortunately had no rest. As a result of Deathbird's machinations, the group was recruited by teleporter Lila Cheney, who claimed Xavier's life was at risk in outer space. The X-Men reunited with the Starjammers and Professor X in Chandilar, soon learning Xavier was replaced by a War Skrull, as part of a Skrull scheme to control the Shi'ar throne, which explained Deathbird's call for help. After the X-Men defeated the Skrulls and liberated Xavier and the Shi'ar throne, Xavier learned of the Shadow King's recent schemes by accessing Storm's memories. He then decided to return to Earth as his old enemy had returned.
While the X-Men were in their adventures, the Shadow King concentrated his efforts on Moira, assembling mutants to her Muir Island team, building an army, consisting of Multiple Man, Siryn, Guido, and even Rogue and Colossus. The Shadow King had been spreading waves of hate around the globe, and used Polaris to absorb the negative emotional energy to empower himself to unthinkable levels. Professor X returned from his sojourn in space and sent to Muir Island to confront their oddly acting allies, where they were surprised and defeated by the Shadow King-controlled island residents. Meanwhile, in Westchester, Professor X and Stevie Hunter were attacked by a possessed Colossus. Xavier found no way to break Shadow King's control over him other than erasing the Peter Nicholas personality completely.
Professor X then asked his original students, X-Factor, to rescue the current X-Men and stop Shadow King's hate wave. On Muir Island, Shadow King used Legion as his human host while Forge eluded possession and even freed some of his friends. The remaining heroes in good mind were divided into three teams, focusing on an astral plane attack on Farouk, with a second team defending Xavier from physical attacks, and a third one freeing Polaris and disrupting their enemies' nexus. Professor X was badly wounded during the battle, as his legs broken and he became again confined to a wheelchair. As the Shadow King disappeared, all five X-Factor members returned to the X-Men along with Rogue and Colossus; after many years the X-Men finally reunited as one team. The name X-Factor was appropriated by Val Cooper as a revamped mutant organization sanctioned by the U.S. government.
Mutant Genesis: Blue and Gold
Professor X rebuilt the X-Mansion and the X-Men, with the team larger than ever before now moved back to their former home. To remain effective as a group, the X-Men were divided into two squads: Blue, led by Cyclops, consisting of Beast, Wolverine, Rogue, Psylocke, and Gambit; and Gold, led by Storm, consisting of Jean Grey, Iceman, Archangel, and Colossus. Following the return of Magneto's activities, S.H.I.E.L.D. requested the X-Men to investigate. The Blue Squad battled Magneto and his new team, the Acolytes, in Genosha. Discovering Moira had altered his DNA years ago, Magneto questioned if his recent turn to heroics was a result of Moira's tampering or his own free will. He then forced Moira to brainwash the X-Men Blue Squad into joining his Acolytes on Asteroid M, a space station that served as a haven for mutants. To make matters worse, the American and Russian governments decided to use a plasma cannon on the space station to end the threat of Magneto once and for all. Worried about their friends, the Gold Squad sneaked on board and rescued their teammates, while a traitorous Fabian Cortez abandoned Asteroid M and planned to sacrifice Magneto as a martyr, so mutants around the world would join him. Xavier tried to talk the Acolytes into escaping the doomed base with the X-Men, but Magneto and his followers chose to stay and die instead.
The Blue Squad then was put into another conflict after Omega Red, a member of the Soviet Super Soldier program, attacked the X-Mansion to capture Wolverine. Following his kidnapping, Jubilee joined the Blue Squad. Omega Red had been sent by Matsu'o Tsurayaba, who also planned to regain his control over Psylocke, who in turn took the opportunity to pretend to be still under the Hand's brainwashing. Wolverine's former teammates from Team X, Maverick and Sabretooth, also joined the conflict. With the help of Omega Red, the X-Men successfully defeated their enemies after Psylocke revealed her true allegiances and saved Wolverine.
Their next adventure ensued after Gambit's wife, Belladonna, demanded his help with a conflict between the Thieves Guild and the Assassins Guild in New Orleans. Belladonna's arrival shoke off Gambit's recent relationship with his teammate, Rogue. As the X-Men investigated the matter, they learned that the Brood was behind the war between the Guilds. With the help of the Ghost Rider, the problem was solved.
Following a rebellion on Mojoworld, Dazzler, Longshot, and Lila Cheney contacted the X-Men Blue Team to assist them in dethroning Mojo. Captured, the X-Men were forced to be actors in Mojo's television system as Professor X was tortured by the mad tyrant. With the combined efforts of the X-Men and the rebels of the Mojoworld, Longshot "canceled" Mojo. Soon after, the X-Men helped Professor X deal with a friend from his infancy, the mutant known as Hazard.
Meanwhile, the Gold Squad began their tenure attending a party at the Hellfire Club thrown by Emma Frost, who had asked for their help after an attempt on her life and other assaults against members of the Club. Before long, Trevor Fitzroy, a mutant from the future, personally attacked Frost and her Hellions and sent Sentinels to kill Donald Pierce in Australia. Pierce forced Gateway to teleport him out of harm's way to Fitzroy's location, but the Sentinels managed to folllow them through the portal, resulting in them seemingly killing Frost, Pierce, and Jean Grey. Back at the X-Mansion, Xavier realized Jean Grey's consciousness had been relocated to Emma Frost's body. Fitzroy, alongside with Shinobi Shaw, were revealed to be members of the Upstarts, who competed in a contest of murder run by the Gamesmaster. Jean Grey surprised her captors and escaped with the X-Men. As Fitzroy tried to bring allies from the future, Bishop, his archnemesis, arrived instead. Though the Upstarts escaped, the X-Men survived. As Jean Grey's mind returned to her body, a comatose Emma Frost was left in the care of the X-Men, and Bishop was on the loose.
On their way home, the Gold team received a distress call from Sunfire, concerning a bizarre extra-dimensional rift in the North Pacific. While investigating the rift, the X-Men were dragged to another dimension, where they found Colossus' older brother, Mikhail, who had disappeared years before when he was a Soviet cosmonaut. With Mikhail's and Sunfire's help, the X-Men sealed the portal and returned to the X-Mansion. The Gold squad then turned their attentions back to Bishop, who had been responsible for a destruction path as he tried to locate Fitzroy. The X-Men captured Bishop after a chaotic battle and, to their surprise, Professor X made Bishop an X-Man. As an X-Man and a time-traveler from the future, Bishop revealed the X-Men would soon be betrayed by one of their own.
Following Masque's recent apparent death, the Morlocks attempted to force Callisto to lead them again. Heavily injured, she sought refuge at the X-Mansion. As the Gold team covered the Morlock Tunnels, Mikhail deceivingly joined forces with Callisto, gravely injuring Iceman and claiming the Morlocks' leadership for himself. In a violent conflict with the X-Men, Mikhail decided to flood the tunnels, taking the Morlocks to another dimension in the process, much to Colossus' disappointment.
When giving a speech about mutant-human coexistence during a Lila Cheney peace concert, Professor X was shot by X-Force's leader, Cable, being infected with a techno-organic virus. Simultaneously, Cyclops and Jean Grey were abducted by the Horsemen of Apocalypse. They were delivered to Mister Sinister, who was disguised as Apocalypse unbeknownst to the Horsemen and handed the couple over to the MLF in exchange for a mysterious container. The X-Men Blue Team joined X-Factor in arresting X-Force for information on Cable's whereabouts. Meanwhile, MLF's leader Stryfe was revealed to be behind the attacks on Xavier and on Cyclops and Jean Grey as he had impersonated Cable.
The real Cable convinced Wolverine and Bishop it was Stryfe who had shot Xavier, revealing both were from the future and had long been enemies. Searching for Cyclops and Jean Grey, the X-Men Gold Team confronted Apocalypse. Apocalypse, in a weakened state, was then defeated by Stryfe. This led to an unexpected team-up between the X-Men and Apocalypse, with the aim of defeating Stryfe and saving Xavier's life, as Apocalypse was the original creator of the techno-organic virus.
Wolverine received a subconscious telepathic message from Jean Grey, hinting that she was being held captive on the Moon. The X-Men found Stryfe's Moon base and launched an attack. Summers and Grey were rescued, though Cable disappeared with Stryfe into the time-stream, after the revelation that Cable was Cyclops' and Madelyne Pryor's lost son. After the battle, Sinister opened the container unleashing Stryfe's final revenge on the X-Men: the mutant infecting Legacy Virus.
Following Stryfe's defeat, Colossus' family was targeted by the Russian government, who wanted to recruit Illyana to destroy the menacing Soul Skinner. With the efforts of the X-Men Blue Team, Illyana was rescued, though they could not save Colossus' parents. Though orphaned, Illyana was apparently safe at the X-Mansion, until it was revealed she was one of the first mutants to contract the terminal Legacy Virus, severely affecting the X-Men.
Next, the X-Men were confronted by the mysterious Revanche, who accused Psylocke of being an impostor, claiming to be the real Betsy Braddock prior to her entrance in the Siege Perilous. The X-Men Blue Team went to Japan to verify Revanche's claims. After battling the Silver Samurai, Lord Nyoirin, and Matsu'o Tsurayaba, they returned with few answers and with Revanche joined to the team. Revanche came to be the first X-Men to fell ill to the Legacy Virus. Before succumbing to the disease, she discovered her body had been swiped with Psylocke in a bizarre plot by Spiral. As Revanche died, Psylocke claimed the rights over her identity back.
Meanwhile, the X-Men Gold team was trapped by a set of illusions cast by Mastermind, who was on the verge of death for being afflicted by the Legacy Virus. At the same time, they were attacked by the X-Cutioner, an anti-mutant FBI agent who had access to equipment that the X-Men confiscated from alien races inherited from Fred Duncan and acted as a vigilante, having Wyngarde as his target. As Wyngarde died in the arms of Jean Grey, his illusions faded, and X-Cutioner managed to escape the X-Men.
Obsessed with Magneto's teachings, the Acolytes, under Cortez's rule, were more aggressive than before, being responsible for terrorist attacks against humanity. The X-Men were surprised to see the Acolytes active and tried to stop their harmful activities. However, the fight between the two groups only incited more fear towards mutants. Unbeknownst to the Acolytes, Cortez was secretly colluding with the Upstarts. After the Acolytes captured Moira, the X-Men decided to attack their castle in order to save her. A physical, but also ideological, battle ensued, resulting in Moira being rescued and Cortez unmasked as a false prophet.
Soon after, during a trip to the Savage Land, Professor X, Cyclops, and Storm were attacked by the Upstart Siena Blaze. Their lives were saved by a mysterious benefactor with magnetic powers. It turned out Magneto resurfaced very much alive and with a new lead Acolyte, Exodus, the self-proclaimed voice of Magneto who gathered mutants to Magneto's new haven, Avalon. Magneto met the X-Men during Illyana's funeral, offering them a place by his side. Devastated by his family's death, Colossus expressed he had lost faith in Xavier's dream, deciding to join Magneto.
Magneto then prepared an all-out war on humanity upon learning about the Magneto Protocols, a plan to alter the Earth's electromagnetic field to inhibit his powers, had been activated. The rest of the X-Men stood by their mentor and attacked Magneto on his new space base when he began sending massive E.M.P. waves around the globe. During the fight, Magneto ripped the adamantium laced onto Wolverine's skeleton out of his body leaving him near death. Unable to deal with his old friend's violence any longer, Xavier shut down Magneto's mind, leaving him catatonic. Colossus stayed with his leader, vowing to care for him until he was fully healed.
Cortez, desperate after losing the power he once had as the leader of the Acolytes, brought chaos to Genosha, inciting a mutant revolution by kidnapping Magneto's granddaughter, Luna. Quicksilver asked for the X-Men's help in rescuing his daughter. The X-Men teamed up with the Avengers to defeat Cortez, but were interrupted by Exodus, who wished to execute Cortez for his blasphemy. Unfortunately, Exodus also intended to claim Luna and purge Genosha from its human population. With the efforts of the X-Men and the Avengers, he was ultimately defeated.
Gravely wounded by Magneto's attack, Wolverine chose to leave the X-Men. Ironically, he was somehow replaced by his archnemesis Sabretooth, who was a hostage of his own savage powers, leading him to ask for the X-Men's help to control his bestial tendencies. Xavier took Sabretooth to the mansion, keeping him locked in the Danger Room. Sabretooth's presence in the school caused much distress to the X-Men, especially Gambit, whom Sabretooth claimed to had a common past with. Meanwhile, among so much conflict in their lives, the X-Men had a moment of joy at the wedding of Cyclops and Jean Grey.
Around this period, the X-Men experienced several encounters with the mysterious Phalanx, a techno-organic race bent on ruling the world, who consumed organic matter, incorporating it to its collective consciousness. In one of their attacks to the X-Men, Emma Frost inadvertently woke up from her coma in Iceman's body. Confused and believing herself to be a prisoner of the X-Men, she tried to escape, using Iceman's powers in unprecedented ways. When she discovered the tragic fate of her Hellions, she broke down and began to realize that her training had been insufficient and that her students would likely have been better off with the Xavier.
Not long after, the Phalanx took over the X-Mansion and assumed the form of various X-Men. Banshee managed to escape along with the captive Sabretooth, a recovering Emma Frost, and the youngest X-Man, Jubilee. They learned the Phalanx were after the next generation of mutants, hoping to experiment and eventually absorb the young mutants into their collective. Joined by the young Everett Thomas, they saved the targeted young mutants, but only with the sacrifice of the young Blink. The surviving teenage mutants became Generation X, being taught by Banshee and Frost at the Massachusetts Academy. With the young mutants gone, the Xavier's School was reformulated as the “Xavier Institute for Higher Learning”.
When Legion woke up from his coma with his fragmented mind healed, he planned to travel back in time to kill Magneto, his father's greatest enemy. The X-Men Bishop, Storm, Iceman, and Psylocke traveled back in time to stop him, but were unsuccessful. As Legion fired a powerful psi-blast at Magneto, Charles Xavier sacrificed himself to save his friend. With Xavier dead, reality was rewritten. Only Bishop, a temporal anomaly, remained unaffected. Legion's actions were devastating. Noticing the mutant energies during Xavier's murder, Apocalypse carried on his world domination years earlier than he would have otherwise, conquering most of a world known as the Age of Apocalypse. In this dystopian reality, the X-Men were founded by Magneto and acted as freedom fighters. Although they suffered many casualties, the X-Men were able to send Bishop back in time to stop Legion and restore reality to normal. However, the crisis had many consequences since some individuals crossed over to the regular timeline.
During the reality altering crisis, the conflicting couple Rogue and Gambit had additional problems after they shared their first kiss, since Rogue absorbed some of Gambit's darkest memories. Meanwhile, Cable had his X-Force relocated to the X-Mansion, promoting his field leader Cannonball to the X-Men. On Avalon, the Acolytes made contact with Holocaust, one of the escapees from the Age of Apocalypse. Holocaust ravaged Avalon slaying many of the Acolytes, who were assisted by Cyclops and Jean Grey (who had adopted the codename Phoenix). Following the fall of Avalon, the past came to haunt the X-Men in the form of the mutant terrorist group known as Gene Nation, led by the ruthless Marrow. The Gene Nation members were descendants of the Morlocks who Mikhail had transported from Earth. Now returned, they orchestrated a massive terrorist attack in retaliation for the Morlock Massacre. The X-Men were alerted by Colossus and Callisto and were able to stop the Gene Nation after Storm was forced to murder Marrow, by ripping her heart out.
Other two interlopers from the Age of Apocalypse, namely Dark Beast and Sugar Man, were afraid that Bishop might recognize and expose their existence, especially to Mister Sinister, who they feared the most. To eliminate him, they had hired the assassin Fatale to seduce and kill Bishop. As Bishop noticed Fatale was a threat, she engaged in a fight with the X-Men. During this fight, Dark Beast realized the best way to hide was simply assimilating his counterpart's identity as a member of the X-Men. Dark Beast kept the real Beast captive secretly, while acting as a member of the X-Men. During a mission, Dark Beast, Bishop, and Gambit were captured by Mister Sinister, much to Dark Beast's despair. However, he manipulated Gambit into destroying Sinister's lab and preventing him from learning about the Age of Apocalypse.
Meanwhile, Sabretooth's permanence at the X-Mansion would end tragically when he tricked X-Force member Boomer into believing he had reformed. As he revealed his true intentions and put Boomer at risk, Psylocke went to her rescue, being savagely brutalized by Sabretooth. To save Psylocke's life, the X-Men Archangel and Wolverine went on an adventure to retrieve the mystical Crimson Dawn elixir. Around this period, the X-Men, while helping Wolverine to cope with the loss of his adamantium, also met one of Apocalypse's servants, the scribe known as Ozymandias, who warned them about the imminent return of Apocalypse.
The X-Men received hints about a malicious named Onslaught for days. First, they found Juggernaut severely beaten in New Jersey. As Juggernaut came to his senses, he was terrified of the mysterious Onslaught. Next, one of Onslaught's minions, Post, attacked some of the X-Men so he could test them for his master. Onslaught first direct strike to the X-Men happened when he psychically attacked Phoenix, in an failed attempt to recruit her to his cause. Following the attack, Juggernaut went to the X-Mansion to offer his help against the villain. Suspicious of her own teammates, Phoenix worked alone with Juggernaut, probing into his memories. Horrified, she discovered Onslaught's true identity: Charles Xavier. Onslaught was the result of Professor X shutting Magneto's mind down months earlier; Magneto's anger combined with Xavier's repressed negativity resulted in his birth. Knocking the X-Men out at the X-Mansion, Onslaught turned his attentions to two powerful mutants he had interest in, Franklin Richards from the Fantastic Four, and Nate Grey, another traveler from the Age of Apocalypse who had alerted the Avengers about Onslaught.
Onslaught intended to unleash his fury over the human race, ordering Dark Beast to find him lackeys to achieve his goals. Dark Beast and his Dark Descendants hacked an army of Sentinels, setting them loose on New York City, to capture mutants and other superhumans. Soon after, the real Beast was found and freed by X-Factor. Meanwhile, Onslaught succeeded in kidnapping Frankling Richards, using his powers to create a citadel on Central Park, causing the most prominent superheroes of the world to unite against him. Concurrently, Rogue discovered the enigmatic Joseph, an amnesiac and rejuvenated Magneto, bringing him to the Avengers and ultimately to join the X-Men.
A first strike by the combined might of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the X-Men allowed Thor to free Xavier from Onslaught, who was left as pure psionic energy contained within special armor. No longer restricted by Xavier, Onslaught captured Nate Grey. As he assessed Grey's memories about the Age of Apocalypse, Onslaught realized that neither humans nor mutants deserved to rule the world, choosing to obliterate both races instead. Jean Grey telepathically aided the Hulk in destroying Onslaught's armor. Thor then proceeded to slash at the now unprotected psionic energy being and managed to damage him. Surmising mutants would only empower Onslaught, the non-mutant members of the Avengers and Fantastic Four successfully destroyed Onslaught by sacrificing their own lives. In actuality, Franklin Richards had used his reality-warping powers to transport them to a pocket universe. No one discovered the true fate of the heroes for a while, and in the meantime anti-mutant hysteria erupted into chaos as most of the Earth's super-heroes perished when battling a mutant menace. Professor Xavier chose to leave his X-Men, being taken into federal custody.
The mysterious Bastion took advantage of the Onslaught crisis to push his militant anti-mutant agenda to the United States government. His plans were so extreme that, surprisingly, Senator Kelly warned the X-Men about them. Bastion supported the presidential campaign of Graydon Creed, a mutant hater politician and founder of the Friends of Humanity. The X-Men Iceman and Cannonball infiltrated Creed's campaign staff to investigate Bastion's intentions. Unfortunately, Creed learned of their plan and had Iceman's father brutally beaten as a message. Iceman temporarily left the X-Men to take care of his father. Following Creed's murder, with the nations' approval, Prime Sentinels hunted down and eliminated mutants across the country under Operation: Zero Tolerance.
Meanwhile, the X-Men dealt with inner issues. First, they had to accept Joseph on the team, something difficult especially for Gambit, as Joseph and Rogue became close during the Onslaught crisis. Unfortunately, they also had to deal with their former teammate Havok, who had become a mutant terrorist and leader of a new iteration of the Brotherhood, executing actions that boosted anti-mutant sentiments even further.
On a Christmas night, some of the X-Men were inadvertently teleported by Gladiator to Shi'ar space. Assisted by Deathbird, the X-Men were successful in eliminating the Phalanx from the Shi'ar throne, but they had a long way back home. The remaining X-Men also had their share of missions, as they battled Candra to help Storm escape her rage, and allied themselves with Shang-Chi and Sebastian Shaw in hopes of retrieving a cure for the Legacy Virus in Hong Kong. As they returned home from Hong Kong with no success, they were imprisoned by Bastion's forces.
Iceman was the only active X-Man left free during the climax of Bastion's operation. In New York City, he managed to rescue Dr. Cecilia Reyes from termination by Prime Sentinels. Marrow and Israeli mutant Sabra joined the duo and took the confrontation to Bastion himself. Before the matter could worsen, Senator Kelly was brave enough to put an end to Bastion's insanity and S.H.I.E.L.D. arrested him.
The X-Men who were in space ended up prisoners of Nanny, except for Bishop, who was lost in space with Deathbird. Meanwhile, Psylocke and Archangel faced off the mysterious Maggott in New York. Nanny eventually brought Gambit before “Erik the Red”, who put Gambit on trial for past crimes. Erik revealed Gambit led the Marauders to the Morlocks during the massacre in the Alley. Repulsed, Gambit's teammates, Rogue included, abandoned him to die in Antarctica. Unbeknownst to the X-Men, Erik the Red was actually Magneto in disguise.
The captive X-Men also found their freedom, though Cyclops had a bomb planted in his chest as Bastion's last laugh. Fortunately, when returning home, Dr. Reyes helped save his life. Dr. Reyes, Marrow, and Maggott stayed at the X-Mansion and joined the X-Men. Cyclops and Phoenix left for Alaska so he could recover from his wounds. The new team faced adversities such as Sauron, the new Alpha Flight, and the Ru'Tai. Answering a distress call from Storm's village in Kenya, the X-Men were tricked by the Shadow King, who had Psylocke give him control over the astral plane, causing a telepathy “blackout”. Psylocke managed to trap him in her mind with the Crimson Dawn, though she could no longer use her telepathy in order to keep him prisoner.
Xavier mysteriously vanished from his imprisonment. Following the disbanding of Excalibur, X-Men former members Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, and Colossus were kidnapped by an all-new formation of X-Men. Soon, the trio rejoined the real X-Men and identified the brand new X-Men had an impostor as their leader, who impersonated Professor Xavier. By this time, a new addition to the X-Men was Gambit, who was forgiven by his teammates and returned to the group.
With Xavier still missing, the X-Men tried to locate him, learning that his impersonator was the artificial intelligence Cerebro. Eventually, the X-Men found Professor X with the Brotherhood. Following a confrontation against Cerebro, the X-Men discovered that Xavier had joined forces with the Brotherhood after Cerebro hunted them. Cerebro also revealed it was conceived after Bastion cleansed the X-Mansion using nano-technology, providing the mutant locator with artificial intelligence. With the help of the Mannite Nina, Cerebro ceased to be.
Professor Xavier returned to his X-Men, believing his dream of peaceful coexistence was still worth the fight. Meanwhile, Magneto resurfaced once more, certain that mutants deserved to rule the world. He held the Earth hostage with the planet's electromagnetic field in his control, and the X-Men traveled to his base in Antarctica. Meanwhile, Joseph was revealed to be a clone created by Astra, being originally designed to kill his genetic template, Magneto. As the X-Men battled Magneto and his Acolytes, only with Joseph's sacrifice the world was saved from Magneto. Yet, the United Nations, acting preventively, granted Magneto the control of the island of Genosha.
The X-Men were unintentionally transported to another dimension when Black Tom summoned them to help a possessed Juggernaut. Though they managed to free Juggernaut, they were left in outer space far away from home. The X-Men eventually found their way home after an adventure in the past, on Tarnax IV. Suspicious his X-Men might have been compromised for their contact with Skrulls, Xavier ultimately decided to disband the group.
Cyclops and Phoenix, however, returned to the X-Mansion and formed an unofficial group of X-Men to help the Mannites. During the mission, Wolverine was killed by a new mysterious Horseman of Death. As the X-Men gathered at the X-Mansion, Professor X investigated the body and realized “Wolverine” was the traitor he had been suspicious of, actually a Skrull who had replaced the real Wolverine. Other Skrulls were tricked by the X-Men, who learned about the secret of the " Twelve", a dozen mutants prophesied to defeat Apocalypse. Before the X-Men could learn more, the Horseman of Death interrupted them, revealing his real identity: Wolverine.
The X-Men tried to round up the mutants listed as the Twelve according to one of Destiny's Diaries. However, with the help of Skrulls and his new Horseman, Apocalypse managed to capture the Twelve. He revealed his plan for ensuring the ascension of an Age of Apocalypse by absorbing the Twelve's powers, using Nate Grey as his new vessel for such an intense energy. However, Magneto's weakened powers broke the machine Apocalypse used for the power transfer, freeing the Twelve. Unfortunately, as Nate Grey was still in danger of being possessed by Apocalypse, Cyclops sacrificed himself to save Grey. With Cyclops presumed dead and Apocalypse defeated, Cable decided to join the X-Men as his father's replacement. At the same time, Professor X left the X-Men to space in order to mentor Cadre K, a group of mutant Skrulls.
Following Apocalypse's defeat, the High Evolutionary, believing mutants to be a threat and being manipulated by Mister Sinister, extirped all mutants from their powers. His actions had a considerable impact on the Neo, a recluse clan of mutants who suffered major casualties. Eventually, the X-Men destroyed the Evolutionary's device and mutants had their powers returned. Six months later, after recruiting a new Thunderbird, the X-Men were attacked by the Neo, who wished for revenge. The Neo battled the X-Men in several different occasions. Around this time, both Professor X and Bishop rejoined the X-Men following a calamity when Earth was briefly an intergalactic prison.
Amidst Senator Kelly's presidential campaign, Prosh sent Phoenix, Iceman, Juggernaut, Toad an Mystique on a journey through time for a better enlightenment on mutant evolution. In the process, the group learned several secrets behind the past of the X-Men. At the end of their adventure, they had to battle the Stranger. As a consequence of this experience, Mystique decided to assassinate Kelly once again. Mystique had her new Brotherhood to directly attack Senator Kelly, something that was prevented by a dying Pyro, who begged the Senator to stop the circle of violence.
However, Mystique's real intentions were more sinister; she had tampered with the Legacy Virus to release a strain that would only infect regular humans. On Muir Island, Moira had finally discovered a cure of the virus, but Mystique mortally wounded her. Mystique even stabbed Rogue to keep the cure hidden, yet Rogue recovered quickly enough and subdued her. Professor Xavier was able to transfer Moira's knowledge of the virus to his mind before she seemingly died. While Cable aided his mentor, a human angry at Senator Kelly's change of stance on mutants shot and killed him, ironically executing Mystique's plans. Using Moira's data, Beast created the Legacy Virus cure. Unfortunately, a mutant power signature had to be activated for the cure to disperse around the world. Colossus secretly injected himself with the cure, sacrificing his life to save countless mutants.
Not accepting Cyclops had died, Jean Grey went on a journey with Cable to search for the truth. Cyclops was eventually found in the Middle East. As Jean Grey exorcised Apocalypse from his mind, Cable used his Psimitar to cleave Apocalypse's final hold on his father. Cyclops returned to his friends more distant and self-conscious due to insecurities from being possessed.
Meanwhile, fearful for the fate of Destiny's Diaries, Storm founded her own globetrotting squad of X-Treme X-Men no longer linked to Xavier's. As one of her recruits, she had Sage, the former secretary of the Hellfire Club. Tragically, this team soon suffered major losses, since their quest led them to cross paths with the superhuman Vargas, who killed Psylocke and left Beast critically injured.
With the Legacy Virus cured, the Genoshan Mutates were healthy enough for Magneto to amass a superpowered army. Without enough X-Men around to stop him, Magneto was successful in capturing Xavier, who he brought to Genosha on the eve of his invasion. Cyclops and Wolverine infiltrated the island nation as Jean Grey recruited a team of X-Men formed by ex-Alpha Flight member Northstar, Wraith, Paulie Provenzano, Sunfire's sister Sunpyre, and mentally controlled Acolyte Joanna Cargill a.k.a. Frenzy. They were unexpectedly joined by Dazzler who had showed up seeking help with a crisis on Mojoworld. On Genosha, the team managed to free Xavier, who mentally stopped Magneto from ripping out Wolverine's adamantium a second time. Convinced there was no other way, Wolverine ultimately impaled Magneto with his claws, incapacitating him for good.
A new nemesis for the X-Men arrived in the form of Cassandra Nova, Xavier's personal "mummudrai". In a factory in Ecuador, Nova activated a forgotten Master Mold using the Trask DNA, manufacturing immense wild Sentinels to attack Genosha. Magneto, incapacitated from Wolverine's attack, could do nothing but watch as the entire mutant nation along and its sixteen million mutants were exterminated. One of the few survivors from the massacre found by the X-Men was Emma Frost, due to her sudden new diamond form powers. Nova was brought into custody by Cyclops and Wolverine, but managed to break free, secretly switching bodies with Xavier. Pretending to be Xavier, she shot her previous body, where the real Xavier was trapped, to near-death. Nova's first action when posing as Xavier was to expose the residents at his institute as mutants on live television, revealing the X-Men's best-kept secret to the public.
As the X-Men went public, several mutant offices were opened all over the world as an extension of the X-Men, the X-Corporation. When one of its operatives, Risque, was killed in Hong Kong, the X-Men teamed up with her partner, Domino, to investigate. There, they learned of the existence of John Sublime's mutant organ harvesters, the U-Men. During the investigation, the X-Men freed a Chinese imprisoned mutant named Xorn, who Cyclops invited to join the X-Men.
The Xavier Institute hosted a much larger student body and started to have classes taught by X-Men. Meanwhile, Nova, in Xavier's body, left Earth to the Shi'ar Empire, not before beating Beast into a coma after he learned her true identity and infecting the X-Men with nano-sentinels. Soon after Nova's departure, the X-Men were targeted by Sublime's U-Men at different locations. At the X-Mansion, they were fended off by Phoenix. Following the attack, Beast woke up from his coma, revealing Xavier's fate to his comrades. As the X-Men assessed Cassandra Nova's body, they learned her true origins and intentions.
On the Shi'ar Empire, Nova managed to wreak havoc, seizing control of the powerful Imperial Guard. She then led her army to destroy the X-Men, who became severely debilitated by the nano-sentinel infection. During the conflict, Phoenix managed to save Xavier's consciousness, uploading it on Cerebra. Nova planned to use Cerebra do eliminate all mutants on the world, as a way to hurt Xavier. Her plans were foiled when, as soon as she accessed Cerebra, Xavier claimed his body back. Without a body, Nova was tricked by Emma Frost into being trapped inside the alien Stuff. Meanwhile, Xorn cured the X-Men of the nano-sentinel infection, effectively joining the Xavier's School staff. With the efforts of the X-Men, mutantkind was safe.
Meanwhile, the X-Treme X-Men kept having their fates directed by Destiny's Diaries. When Gambit was framed for having murdered Viceroy, an Australian crime-lord, the X-Men went to Sydney to investigate. They were assisted by Red Lotus and Teri Baltimore in clearing Gambit's name. Concurrently, Sage was attacked by Sebastian Shaw, who wished to have her back under his control being assisted by his illusionist partner, Lady Mastermind. Viceroy's children, the mutants Lifeguard and Slipstream joined the X-Men, helping them to fend Shaw and Lady Mastermind off.
Subsequently, the group was attacked by Shaitan in Madripoor, who used Gambit to erect a giant interdimensional tower as a beacon for his lord Khan to invade Earth. The X-Men managed to undermine Khan's plot by invading his tower and defeating him. Simultaneously, Rogue avenged Psylocke by slaying Vargas. Storm and her X-Men were left dreadfully injured from these events.
A squad of X-Men led by Nightcrawler dealt with mutant-related affairs all over the globe under Xavier's name. On one of their assignments, they saved a group of mutant outcasts in London attacked by human supremacist Mister Clean. Following this incident, ex-Generation X student Chamber joined the X-Men. Mister Clean was part of an extremist anti-mutant cult known as the Church of Humanity, whose next target was the X-Ranch, a mutant brothel. The only survivor of the attack, the prostitute Stacy X was rescued by and joined the X-Men. The X-Men then made their move against the church's Supreme Pontiff, but, before they could end the threat, the churchgoers escaped.
When Banshee formed X-Corps, a violent mutant police force in Europe, Nightcrawler's team decided to investigate his new initiative, since many of its operatives were former members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Banshee also was unscrupulous in using Martinique Wyngarde's mental powers to brainwash his prisoners and operatives. The matters escalated when Mystique was found to be behind the scenes, manipulating Banshee to her purposes with the Brotherhood's help, including Wyngarde. Ultimately, as the X-Men defeated her minions, Mystique slit Cassidy's throat and left him to bleed to death. Luckily, he managed to capture Mystique by releasing Abyss, a mutant who could open an other-dimensional portal, and was then taken to the hospital by his former Generation X students. The X-Men proceeded to take down Vanisher's mutant drug business using Worthington Industries.
Some of Banshee's X-Corps previous operatives joined X-Corporation Europe, headquartered in Paris. When Professor X received a tip about a “genetic emergency” in Paris Métro, he requested X-Corporation to investigate, as he examined Jean Grey to assess her growing power levels, a manifestation of the Phoenix Force. They were interrupted by Fantomex, who demanded asylum, claiming to be a mutant on the run with information about the Weapon Plus Project. In the tunnels, the X-Corporation team was massacred by Weapon XII. Professor X, Phoenix and Fantomex went to stop Weapon XII, who was killed by Fantomex. Jean Grey let Fantomex escape after she learned he was in fact “Weapon XIII”, one of Weapon Plus subjects, who manipulated the X-Men into helping him break free.
At the X-Mansion, Cyclops and Emma Frost engaged in a psychic affair as a reaction to his matrimonial issues with Jean Grey, who kept assisting X-Corporation all over the world. Following the murder of mutant stylist Jumbo Carnation, one of Xavier's students, Quentin Quire, formed an mutant extremist gang, whose unscrupulous members made use of the power-enhancing drug Kick. The gang broke out a riot at the institute, detaining the X-Men. Quire was ultimately stopped by the Stepford sisters, at the cost of one of their own's life. Meanwhile, Xorn's Special Class, when camping, were attacked by the U-Men, who were violently killed by Xorn.
The Stepford sisters, disillusioned by the death of one of their own, told Jean Grey about her husband's affair with Frost. After being telepathically turmoiled by Grey, Frost was found dead in her diamond form, splintered into thousands of pieces, followed by Cyclops running away from the institute. As Bishop and Sage investigated Frost's murder, Beast and Phoenix were able to revive her. The culprit was found, Esme, one of the Stepfords, who also had killed her sister Sophie. It was also revealed that a traitor inside the institute supplied the students with the Kick.
After Nova's attack, Nightcrawler's team investigated a mutant signal at the Cassidy Keep. There, they were attacked by Black Tom, who was not in control of his mutation. The X-Men put him down with the help of Tom's partner, the Juggernaut, who joined the team by Xavier's invitation after being saved by Xavier's newest student, Sammy Paré. Meanwhile, a catatonic Havok, missing for months, was found by nurse Anne Ghazikhanian, who contacted the X-Men to meet him. Ghazikhanian moved to the X-Mansion with her son to care for Havok, befriending Generation X former member Husk, who had also joined the X-Men. Around this period, Northstar also joined the team and the school's staff.
Now based at the X-Mansion, Nightcrawler's group battled the ferocious Maximus Lobo and his hordes. Around this period, Polaris, rescued by X-Corporation in Genoshan ruins, returned to the X-Men. With Havok's recovery and an unfortunate possession by an alternate version of him, the X-Men were assisted by the dimension-hopping Exiles in defeating Lobo for good. Following threats included the Alpha Flight, the destruction of the Church of Humanity, Nightcrawler's father, Azazel, and his minions, and the Guthries' rival family, the Cabots.
After Storm and what was left of the X-Treme X-Men recovered, they got into a conflict with Xavier's School over the fate of an accused mutant killer, Jeffrey Garrett, who was granted asylum. As Storm's X-Men investigated the murders, they learned about the existence of mutant psychic predator, Elias Bogan, who possessed Emma Frost. With Bogan's disappearance, Storm was still left at odds with Xavier. The group faced a surprisingly live Reverend Stryker and his new bodyguard, Lady Deathstrike, who had kidnapped Kitty Pryde. As the X-Men and Stryker discovered Mount Haven's bizarre origin as a mutant-exclusive city, Stryker realized the consequences of his destructive actions and was buried with the city.
The X-Treme X-Men then investigated mutant-related incidents against mutants in Valle Soleada, a mutant-friendly neighborhood where Rogue and Gambit lived. The incidents were discovered to be funded by X-Corporation's Los Angeles branch, run by Sunspot. As the X-Men confronted Sunspot, they learn Elias Bogan had schemed the situation. Bogan made his first direct strike at the X-Men after Sage and Bishop orchestrated a plan to force him out of the shadows. Though Bogan escaped, the X-Men destroyed his base and resources, freeing Rachel Summers in the process, who had been his slave for a long period and rejoined the X-Men as the new Marvel Girl.
Meanwhile, Wolverine and Fantomex were joined by Cyclops to infiltrate the World, the Weapon Plus' ultimate facility. From there, the trio followed Weapon XV to a station on Earth Orbit, where Wolverine chose to destroy the station upon learning about his own past as Weapon X, John Sublime's plans for mutant extermination, and the fact that there was a traitor at the X-Mansion. As Cyclops and Fantomex escaped to Earth, Jean Grey went to space to rescue Wolverine. Meanwhile, Xorn pushed Magneto's theories on his Special Class, leading his student Dust to destroy Cerebra. Trapping Wolverine and Jean Grey on the remnants of Asteroid M and incapacitating the other X-Men, Xorn was revealed to be Magneto in disguise as he captured Xavier.
Xorn destroyed the Institute and took over Manhattan with his new Brotherhood, leading to the death of thousands of humans. Moving closer to the Sun, Jean Grey was killed by Wolverine so she could unlock the power of Phoenix. Cyclops led a last-ditch assault on Magneto and his allies, while Phoenix returned in time with Wolverine, Frost and Beast to defeat the mad mutant. During the confrontation, the X-Men questioned Xorn's identity as Magneto, which infuriated him. Knowing he was defeated, a desperate Xorn used his stored energy to give Phoenix a stroke on the planetary level. Wolverine decapitated Xorn in a berserker rage as Jean Grey died in the arms of her husband. Decades in the future, Jean Grey was reborn as the Phoenix and used her powers to push Cyclops to embrace Emma Frost's proposal of re-opening the Xavier Institute, ensuring the survival of the X-Men.
As Cyclops and Frost ran a reformed Xavier Institute as their headmasters, Xavier left to Genosha to help mutants who still lived on the hazarded island, including the real Magneto. Meanwhile, Storm's team was sanctioned by the United Nations as a peaceful force responsible for policing relations between humans and mutants, the X.S.E., headquartered at the X-Mansion.
Cyclops, seeking to improve the public perception of mutants, decided to revamp the X-Men as a group of astonishing superheroes. Their first mission put them in conflict with the extraterrestrial threat of Ord. Concurrently, Genetech's lead researcher, Dr. Kavita Rao, publicly announced a mutant cure, secretly financed by Ord. As Beast investigated the efficacy of the cure, the X-Men learned Genetech used the body of an X-Man in their tests. This led Kitty Pryde to find Colossus alive within Genetech's Research Facility. With Colossus back to the team, the X-Men defeated Ord and destroyed Genetech's laboratories and their cure.
Then, the X-Men were attacked from within when the Danger Room's artificial intelligence broke free from her restraints, in an attempt to murder the X-Men and their students. The X-Men were tricked into freeing the A.I. from its command core, allowing her to take a new physical form as Danger. Danger, having years of experience in battling the X-Men as the Danger Room, easily outpowered them, deciding to go to Genosha to assassinate her former captor, Professor Charles Xavier. Though her plans were foiled by the X-Men, they were deeply disappointed in their mentor, who kept Danger, a sentient being, captive for years.
Though Jean Grey was dead, the same could not be said about the Phoenix. Without a host, the cosmic entity became a target for the Shi'ar, being shattered and driven insane by the attack. Weakened, it reanimated Jean Grey's deceased body at the X-Mansion. The X-Men, upon learning about the Phoenix's return, attempted to stop her mad quest for power. With Wolverine's help, Jean Grey managed to regain control over her body, while Emma Frost tricked the Phoenix into possessing her. Jean Grey was then allowed to successfully merge the Phoenix within her own self, ascending as the White Phoenix and permanently departing to the White Hot Room.
When Cerebra registered a mysterious mutant manifestation in China, Havok was assigned a team to investigate. The dysfunctional team found a different Xorn, with no control over his powers. Following some brief conflicts with Chinese super heroes, the X-Men managed to save Xorn, who joined the team. Upon their return, the X-Men battled Exodus and his incarnation of the Brotherhood. Juggernaut and Exiles' former member Nocturne pretended to be members of the villainous team, secretly assisting the X-Men. The Brotherhood brutally ravaged the Xavier School, leading to the death of Sammy Paré. Xorn was crucial to fend them off, sucking them into the black hole within his helmet. Unfortunately, a trapped Nocturne also entered the void, followed by Juggernaut who attempted to rescue her. Feeling guilty on his actions, Xorn decided to leave the X-Men.
The X.S.E. investigated the Weaponeers of Al-Khalad as their first assignment. Simultaneously, when visiting the Braddock Manor, the group was targeted by the powerful superhero hunter known as the Fury. With much effort, the X-Men managed to combine their abilities and put the Fury down for good. However, the X.S.E. was soon ambushed by Viper, who was in seek of revenge for the X-Men's intervention on Khan's invasion months prior on Madripoor. As the X-Men broke free from Viper, Sage became aware that Sebastian Shaw and Courtney Ross had been assembling a new Hellfire Club.
Following a series of mutant-related murders in District X, the X.S.E. went to investigate, finding the young X-23 apparently guilty for the crimes. After X-23 was found innocent, she was taken to the Xavier Institute as a protégée of the X.S.E. Emma Frost, as a former member of the Hellfire Club, assisted the X.S.E. in uncovering the club's recent revival. The X-Men shockingly learned the club was acting as a beneficial organization, since Sage had secretly managed to place one of their own, Sunspot, as the club's new Lord Imperial, dismissing both Sebastian Shaw and Donald Pierce in the process. Sage left the X-Men to serve as Sunspot's assistant, hoping to prevent him from being corrupted by power.
Unexpectedly, Psylocke was resurrected in the exact spot where she was murdered. After the X.S.E. retrieved her, they were suddenly trapped and kidnapped by the Hauk'ka when investigating a distress call by Wolverine. Psylocke and X-23 joined forces to rescue the X-Men, who had been taken to the Savage Land. Having Marvel Girl under their control, the Hauk'ka forced Storm to cast an insanely powerful ice age upon the world. The X-Men teamed up with the Savage Land Mutates and the Hauk'ka, regretful for their actions, and liberated Storm. As soon as they returned to the X-Mansion, the X.S.E. members were attacked by Mojo and Spiral, but managed to defeat them with the help of Juggernaut and Nocturne, who had actually been sent to the Mojoverse. Around this period, Angel founded the Mutantes Sans Frontières, an international humanitarian organization that sought to improve living conditions of needy mutants.
Meanwhile, Havok's maladjusted team had to deal with the hallucinating attacks of the Golgotha. The group, left debilitated, was further undermined when Mystique infiltrated Gambit's student squad as the mysterious Foxx. For days, Mystique played with the X-Men's lives, especially Rogue's, as she attempted to seduce Gambit. Shockingly, when her identity became known, Mystique was offered to join the X-Men. However, Nightcrawler begged Mystique to refuse such an offer, helping her to escape instead. Soon next, when Havok's group went to investigate the emergence of non-human mutants in Niganda, they were joined by Storm and the Black Panther in foiling the Red Ghost's activities.
Following a psychotic breakdown, the Scarlet Witch attacked and nearly destroyed the Avengers. Magneto intervened and took her to Genosha, hoping to find help for her. Neither Professor Xavier nor Doctor Strange were successful in getting through to her however, prompting the Avengers and the X-Men to travel to Genosha to discuss the fate of the increasingly unstable Scarlet Witch, afraid that her vast powers might break reality. Worried that the heroes would decide to euthanize her, Quicksilver convinced her to use her powers to create a world where everyone present would have their deepest wishes fulfilled. Tapping into Xavier's telepathy, the Scarlet Witch altered reality, creating a world ruled by her family, where mutants were the dominant species.
While her alteration of reality appeared perfect, there were flaws in the Scarlet Witch's creation. Wolverine's deepest wish was to have his memories of his past restored, but this would mean that he also remembered the world as it had been before the alteration. Additionally, the young mutant Layla Miller also found herself remembering the real world, and had the ability to remind others. With her help, the X-Men and the other heroes remembered their past lives. The enlightened heroes commenced an assault on Magneto's Genoshan headquarters, believing him responsible, and tried to find the missing Professor Xavier. Quicksilver's involvement was revealed, leading Magneto to nearly kill him. Angry at how her mutant heritage and her father placing his species before his children continually ruined their family, the Scarlet Witch uttered three words as she restored the reality to what it used to be: "No More Mutants."
The world seemingly returned to what it was, with those awakened by Miller still remembering the Scarlet Witch's twisted reality. However, the mutant population was drastically reduced from millions down to approximately two hundred, an event that became known as the M-Day. Students at the Xavier Institute, inhabitants of District X, X-Corporation operatives and major mutant figures such as Iceman, Polaris, Magneto, Quicksilver, the Blob, Danielle Moonstar, Jubilee and many others were depowered. Tragically, there were several other consequences. Professor Xavier's whereabouts were unknown and the crisis led to X-Corporation being shut down following a bombing in Paris. Meanwhile, the Xavier Institute became a sanctuary to surviving powered mutants, who became known as the 198. At a time when the X-Men were needed the most, Storm decided to stay in Africa to aid mutants in need of help and the X.S.E. ceased to be. The M-Day also was the catalyst for the reformulation of X-Factor Investigations and the return of the British mutant group Excalibur. The Scarlet Witch's spell not only deactivated thousands, but also completely blocked the emergence of new mutants, leaving mutantkind hurtling towards extinction.
With mutantkind severely compromised and weakened, mutant-hating groups saw an opportunity to eradicate mutants for good. Afraid of violence breaking out, Val Cooper dispatched Sentinel Squad O*N*E to protect the swelling population at the X-Mansion. The X-Men found themselves under the constant surveillance of sentinels. A group of rabid mutant haters, the Sapien League, were the first to attack the Xavier Institute, intending to kill the remaining mutants. When their leader, the Leper Queen, attempted to murder Iceman, he managed to counter her attack, learning in the process he had not truly been depowered. A depowered Polaris then decided to leave the X-Men, accompanied by Havok, who wished to look after her. Unbeknownst to them, Apocalypse had been awakened from his slumber after M-Day and captured Polaris.
Apocalypse transformed Polaris, Sunfire and Gazer into his new horsemen, respectively Pestilence, Famine and War. His first move was to land his sphynx ship on the X-Mansion, offering salvation to the mutants succumbed to misery due to the M-Day. Apocalypse planned to proportionally reduce the human population in order to even out the effects of M-Day on mutantkind by unleashing a deadly plague. Many of the 198 sided with Apocalypse, attacking the O*N*E Sentinels. The X-Men, heavily outnumbered, were surprisingly assisted by Ozymandias, who decided to betray his own master. During the battle, Apocalypse revealed his last horseman, Death, to be Gambit, who had sought out Apocalypse under Mystique's machinations following his recent relationship problems with Rogue. With the X-Men temporarily subdued, Apocalypse announced his objectives at the United Nations Headquarters. Eventually, the X-Men, assisted by the O*N*E and Sunfire, defeated Apocalypse, who managed to escape. Though Polaris, now repowered, was rehabilitated and rejoined the X-Men, Gambit and Sunfire abandoned their former friends, allying themselves with Mister Sinister.
When the X-Men started being haunted at the X-Mansion with visions of their pasts, Cyclops and Marvel Girl were kidnapped by a mysterious attacker. During the investigation, the X-Men witnessed the tragic death of Banshee and were led to unravel the truth behind Moira's secret X-Men, who had perished on Krakoa years before. The assailant was revealed to be Vulcan, who had been revived by the energies unleashed on M-Day and returned to seek revenge. Professor Xavier intervened, and revealed that he too had lost his powers after M-Day. After Professor X shared Vulcan's true origins as Cyclops' lost brother, who had his life ruined by Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken, Vulcan departed to space aiming at destroying the Shi'ar Empire. On Earth, Professor X's already eroded relationship with his X-Men became irreperably damaged.
Since M-Day had a massive impact on the Xavier Institute student body, lowering their numbers from hundreds to around two dozen mutants, Emma Frost formed a group of New X-Men as a response. This coincided with the return of Reverend Stryker and his Purifiers. Receiving intel from Nimrod, the Purifiers attacked the Xavier Institute, murdering several teenagers, both mutants and those recently de-powered. The New X-Man Elixir killed Stryker with his newly developed death-touch. As the New X-Men learned about Nimrod's involvement, they joined forces with Forge to destroy him. They were partially successful as they managed to send Nimrod back to the past.
The X-Men also struggled with other threats unrelated to M-Day. With the X.S.E. disbanded, its former members remained at the X-Mansion. Soon after M-Day, Marvel Girl and her teammates found themselves battling the Shi'ar Death Commandos, sent to Earth to eradicate the Grey family and prevent the ascension of the Phoenix within their bloodline. As Marvel Girl mourned the death of her family, the mysterious conditions behind Psylocke's resurrection were revealed. She was returned by her brother, Jamie Braddock, to battle a cosmic threat known as the First Fallen. The X-Men were whisked away to the First Fallen's reality to combat him, returning victorious, though at the apparent cost of Jamie's life. Soon after, the X-Men went to Kenya to assist Storm in overpowering the vicious Colonel Shetani. Following his defeat, Storm decided to stay in Africa, traveling to Wakanda to meet the Black Panther. Meanwhile, the X-Men suffered another loss when Psylocke, while confronting the Shadow King – recently imprisoned by the new Excalibur – was forcedly ripped from the timestream, covertly joining the Exiles.
As the Superhuman Registration Act passed, Iron Man attempted to recruit the X-Men to his side in the emerging super-hero civil war. The X-Men turned him down, preferring to remain neutral. The registration act would affect the 198, nevertheless. As O*N*E, being aligned with Iron Man, kept the 198 prisoners, X-Force, having sided with Captain America, decided to liberate them. While Bishop worked with O*N*E in recapturing the fugitive 198, Cyclops and the X-Men opted to defend them. When all parts realized they faced a common enemy in General Lazer, they joined forces to defeat him. As a consequence, the 198 were freed and Bishop left the X-Men. Amidst many recent conflicts, the wedding of Storm and the Black Panther represented a brief moment of truce and peace.
Blinded by the Light
Fearing for the fate of the Shi'ar Empire and his beloved Lilandra, Professor X recruited a team of X-Men to stop Vulcan's quest for vengeance. For his team, he chose James Proudstar, now going by Warpath, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Havok, Polaris, and a recently returned Darwin. During the journey, the Shi'ar sent the slave warrior Korvus, who wielded the Blade of the Phoenix, to assassinate Marvel Girl. Though Korvus defected and joined the X-Men in their mission, Xavier was captured. As the X-Men were found by the Starjammers, Darwin learned not only that Vulcan had resurrected Emperor D'Ken, but also had arranged to marry D'Ken's sister, Deathbird. During the wedding, Vulcan killed D'Ken and proclaimed himself the new emperor of the Shi'ar Empire, murdered his own father, Corsair, and also threw Xavier into the M'Krann Crystal, unintentionally restoring his telepathic powers. As Lilandra sent most of the X-Men back to Earth, Havok, Polaris, and Marvel Girl stayed in space, joining the Starjammers to lead a resistance against emperor Vulcan and his wife.
On Earth, the New X-Men were attacked by X-23's former oppressors, the Facility, who tortured and captured Mercury to create mutant-hunting monsters known as Predators X. Soon after that, the X-Men and the New X-Men were imprisoned in Limbo by Belasco, who desired to have Illyana Rasputin back. Illyana, resurrected as the soulless Darkchylde by Belasco, led the remaining students at Xavier's to destroy her former abuser. With Belasco dead, Illyana sent her former friends back to Earth, choosing to remain in Limbo as its new ruler.
Unexpectedly, long-time foe Sabretooth arrived at the Xavier Institute asking for sanctuary, on the run from the deadly Children of the Vault, artificially evolved post-humans who became active after M-Day. The Children of the Vault, aiming to eliminate Sabretooth to keep their existence secret, sent Northstar and Aurora to ambush the Xavier Institute, though they were fended off with the help of Cable. Rogue was then assigned a team to stop the Children of the Vault, recruiting Mystique, Iceman, Cannonball, and Cable for her mission. Lady Mastermind and Karima Shapandar, an Omega Sentinel, who had been recently rescued by Rogue from an illegal mental institution, also joined the group. The last member was Sabretooth himself. Rogue's team was successful in destroying the Children of the Vault before they could reach the Xavier's. The new X-Men group then decided to leave the institute and follow their own agenda. Their first course of action was to rehabilitate Northstar and Aurora from their brainwashing in a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. There, the X-Men were confronted by Exodus' new Acolytes. As Exodus realized the enormous consequences of the M-Day, he ceased his attack against other mutants and retreated.
Rogue's next objective was to track Lady Mastermind's and Omega Sentinel's captor, a man known as Pandemic, who had a special interest in Rogue's replicating powers. Left powerless by Sabretooth, he still managed to infect Rogue with a viral agent that rendered her powers more lethal than ever, leaving her on the brink of death. Cable sought to treat Rogue on his island nation Providence. Unfortunately, the island was attacked by the Hecatomb, a Shi'ar mind devouring bomb that followed Urizen, a mummudrai who had possessed Lady Mastermind. The Hecatomb annihilated Providence, but was ultimately deactivated by Rogue, who absorbed all of its minds. The attack allowed Sabretooth to furtively escape, and Rogue was left in critical condition, both physically and mentally.
At Mystique's house, other X-Men were assembled to stabilize Rogue's condition. There, they were ambushed by Mister Sinister's Marauders, who had been targeting any being with knowledge about the future, including Rogue, who had read Destiny's Diaries. Mystique, Lady Mastermind and Omega Sentinel (recently possessed by Malice) revealed themselves to be Marauders, who now heavily outnumbered the X-Men. With the X-Men defeated, Rogue was kidnapped. On Providence, Cable was targeted by the Marauders Gambit and Sunfire. Moreover, the Acolytes, now working under Mister Sinister, attacked the X-Mansion to collect Destiny's Diaries and kill the precognitive mutant Blindfold, but failed in their mission. The X-Men, though massively fractured by the attacks, were able to survive and re-group, thirsty for revenge against the Marauders.
When Caliban was brutally assaulted by Masque and his Morlocks, he asked for help at the X-Mansion, leading Storm to rejoin the X-Men. Leading a team comprising Warpath, ex-Starjammer Hepzibah and Caliban, Storm infiltrated the sewers of Manhattan to stop Masque's extremist terrorist attacks. The mission led them to learn about the visions of the late Morlock Qwerty. Concurrently, Xavier and Nightcrawler learned that Magneto, de-powered believed dead after being caught in an exploding S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter, was alive and had a role to play in the upcoming future of mutantkind.
Meanwhile, Emma Frost's trick on Cassandra Nova years before proved to have nefarious consequences. Nova had planted a suggestion on Frost's mind that grew to a more robust mind control. Under Nova's influence, Frost telepathically tormented the X-Men with a series of illusions related to the Hellfire Club, ultimately turning Cyclops' powers off. Kitty Pryde was the most affected victim, since Frost forced her to believe the alien Stuff, where Nova was trapped, was actually a child she had had with Colossus. Before Nova could achieve her goal of breaking free from Stuff's body, S.W.O.R.D.'s director Abigail Brand abducted the X-Men, Danger and Ord to her spaceship, where Frost was out of Nova's reach.
Brand, in need of superheroes, explained that Ord's leader, Lord Kruun of the Breakworld, intended to eliminate Earth due to a prophecy that claimed Colossus would destroy the Breakworld, justifying Ord's former involvement with Genetech. Upon reaching the Breakworld, the X-Men were relentlessly attacked, being scattered all over the alien planet. Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Wolverine and new recruit Armor were the most afflicted by the attacks. Pryde and Colossus were met and helped by Aghanne, the leader of the Breakworlder revolution. Meanwhile, Cyclops and Frost were ambushed by Danger. Frost managed to convince Danger to aid the X-Men, while Beast and Brand learned Kruun had a gigantic missile aimed at Earth. Cyclops, Wolverine and Armor deceived Kruun's forces, by being intentionally captured. Another deception involved Cyclops pretending to have lost his powers, which guaranteed him the opportunity to incapacitate Kruun. With Kruun accounted for, Pryde phased into the missile in order to disable it, only to discover it was actually a giant bullet. The bullet was ultimately fired at Earth with Pryde trapped inside it. On the Breakworld, the X-Men learned Aghanne had fabricated the prophecy in order to destroy the Breakworld. She was ultimately killed by her own rage, failing to destroy her home. Meanwhile, the X-Men and Earth's other heroes were not able to detain the bullet. In the last moment, Kitty Pryde used her powers to phase the bullet through Earth, effectively preventing the planet's destruction. However, the bullet kept moving in a straight line; Kitty Pryde was lost in outer space.
When the first mutant birth since M-Day occurred, Cerebra registered a powerful spike in Cooperstown, Alaska. The X-Men rushed to the location, only to find that the Marauders and the Purifiers had beaten them to the punch, and that the child was nowhere to be found. As the X-Men tracked the Acolytes to learn the location of Mister Sinister and the Marauders hideout, Rictor from X-Factor Investigations infiltrated the Purifiers. The birth of the mutant child had spawned two alternate futures that contained mutants. Jaime Madrox sent two dupes to investigate, one of whom was accompanied by Layla Miller. The X-Men arrived at Mister Sinister's facility on Antarctica, while Rictor, aided by the New X-Men, discovered the Purifiers were working with Lady Deathstrike and her Reavers. Neither the Marauders, the Acolytes, the Purifiers nor the Reavers had the baby. The X-Men and the New X-Men were defeatead by their enemies, partially because, during their missions, the O*N*E Sentinels were hijacked by an unknown assailant, destroying the X-Mansion and cutting off telepathic communication. However, before the X-Men escaped from the Marauders, Gambit revealed to Wolverine the messiah baby's whereabouts: she was in Cable's possession.
In order to retrieve the baby from Cable, Cyclops assigned to Wolverine the command of a new X-Force, a strike force team composed of tracker-killers. The Reavers managed to find Cable before the X-Men could, and attempted to eliminate him and the baby. The conflict was interrupted by X-Force, who rescued Cable and the baby, at the cost of Caliban's life. Distrustful, Cable stole X-Force's Blackbird, once again running loose with the baby by himself. In one of the spawned futures, Madrox and Miller found a world where mutants had been saved by the messiah child, but had been outlawed by the government and confined to interment camps. In a camp, they met a young Bishop, who informed them the messiah child had killed a million humans, causing mutantkind to be outlawed. The young Bishop ultimately revealed that his deepest wish was to kill the messiah to prevent the suffering he and his family had endured. Bishop was revealed to be the traitor that had destroyed the X-Mansion, all in his quest to kill the child. Bishop found Cable in Forge's Eagle Plaza, easily subduing him and having the baby at his mercy.
Before Bishop could take any action, he was ambushed by the Marauders, who rescued the baby and took her back to their hideout on Muir Island. The X-Men pursued them, unaware of Bishop's betrayal. At the same time, Cable sought help from Professor Xavier, and the duo also went to Muir Island. As a deadly fight ensued, Mystique and Gambit revealed their true colors. Mystique had only joined the Marauders to rescue Rogue, and had brought Gambit over to her side. After assassinating Mister Sinister and forcing the baby to touch Rogue, Mystique restored her daughter's mind and body, as Destiny had predicted. Meanwhile, a Predator X attacked Xavier's School, but before it could claim any kill, it was teleported to Muir Island by the New X-Man Pixie. The Predator surprised the Marauders enough to allow the X-Men to turn the tide and win the battle. Despite being torn over whether or not to trust his son, Cyclops decided to hand the child over to him, so that Cable could raise her in the future, where she would be safe from all those who would seek to use or eliminate her. As Cable departed, Bishop attempted a last shot against the child, accidentally hitting Xavier in the head. With Xavier dead and the X-Mansion destroyed, Cyclops disbanded the X-Men.
Professor Xavier's lifeless body was claimed by the Acolytes, who managed to revive him with the help of Magneto. Having his memories severely affected by his condition, Xavier went on a journey of self-discovery, keeping his revival a secret from the other X-Men. Though the X-Men were disbanded, Cyclops kept protecting what was left of mutantkind by secretly carrying on with the X-Force initiative, targeting members of the mutant-hating Human Council, formed by Bastion, for assassination. He also tasked Wolverine with putting Mystique down for her betrayal. Meanwhile, Donald Pierce saw the X-Men's withdrawal as an opportunity to impersonate Cyclops and create his own team of X-Men. Pierce manipulated his team into attacking the former New Mutants, but was ultimately unmasked and arrested for his crimes, unfortunately at the cost of Wolf Cub's life.
Dispersed all over the world, the former X-Men enjoyed their precious moments of calm after the storm. When Cyclops and Emma Frost, after a period of vacation in the Savage Land, went to San Francisco to meet other X-Men who had suddenly fallen out of contact, they witnessed odd events happening there. Eventually, they learned Martinique Wyngarde was behind a mental trap that deceived people into thinking they lived in a hippie community. When Cyclops and Frost confronted Wyngarde, they were forced to fight their fellow X-Men, brainwashed by her powers. As the X-Men subdued the villainess, they coincidentally rescued the mayor of the city, Sadie Sinclair, who offered the X-Men a safe haven in San Francisco. Cyclops then contacted Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus, who had just fought Omega Red and the Red Room in Russia, to join them.
On the outskirts of the city, the X-Men reestablished and built the X-Center, funded by Angel's Mutantes Sans Frontières and politically promoted by Mayor Sinclair. In San Francisco, the X-Men experienced far greater local acceptance and veneration than they were used to. Under this new status quo, the team investigated an art installation where Sentinels were exhibited for mutant affectionate admirers. Unexpectedly, the X-Men were intercepted by an artificially repowered Magneto, a mere distraction to allow the High Evolutionary to access the Dreaming Celestial without the X-Men's interference. After Magneto and the Evolutionary vanished, Emma Frost helped Cyclops sent a telepathic message to all mutants around the world stating that they now had a place they could call home in San Francisco, reviving the X-Men and Xavier's dream once again.
Collaborating with the SFPD and with Abigail Brand, the X-Men investigated bizarre mutant-related murders. Their inspection led them to places such as Chaparanga Beach and the Chinese hidden mutant city of Tian, where they learned both about the existence of inter-dimensional portals known as Ghost Boxes and of fabricated artificial mutants. The X-Men found out Forge, left insane after Bishop's attack and now based at Wundagore Mountain, was behind the bizarre series of events. With S.W.O.R.D.'s assistance, the X-Men defeated Forge, his artificial mutants and his dangerous Ghost Boxes. Next, the X-Men teamed up with Brand's S.W.O.R.D. again to ward off a deformed madman known as Kaga, who made attacks on the X-Men weaponizing deceased mutants and the Brood as organic Sentinels. Later on, the X-Men traveled to the village of Karere in Mbangawi, where mutant births were reported. The children were revealed to actually be Warpies, who emerged due to the presence of an alternate Jim Jaspers. Jaspers was followed by Furies from his reality. Helped by Doctor Crocodile, the X-Men expelled the Furies back to their realities, while Jaspers was murdered by Doctor Crocodile, ceasing his warping effects on the newborns.
Though the X-Men benefited from the public acceptance in general – something exemplified by their efforts to save San Francisco from the Skrull invasion –, they still struggled with anti-mutant hate. After Pixie was brutalized by the Hellfire Cult, the X-Men, having Karma as their latest addition, fought back. They learned that former Hellion Empath led the Hellfire Cult, detaining him after Pixie dealt the ultimate blow against her aggressor. With the threat averted, Pixie joined the X-Men.
After the Skrull invasion of Earth, Norman Osborn was granted full control over S.H.I.E.L.D. and the government's [[Avengers Initiative]|superhuman programmes]]. He invited Emma Frost to join his Cabal and represent mutants in his dark schemes. Frost found in Namor, the Sub-Mariner, an ally inside Osborn's Cabal. With his help, she captured Sebastian Shaw, although Namor believed Shaw to have perished, actually a ruse orchestrated by Frost. Cyclops' and Frost's secrets, about the X-Force and the Cabal, proved to damage their relationship. In San Francisco, Frost assisted Colossus in battling a ghost from his past, the Tattooed Man. Meanwhile, Beast followed his own agenda, recruiting Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi, and Dr. Kavita Rao for his own X-Men science team, the X-Club, to research ways of reverting M-Day.
Meanwhile, the X-Men were unexpectedly attacked by Madelyne Pryor and her Sisterhood. Pryor was behind the Hellfire Cult and targeted the X-Men both in seek of revenge for being abandoned and of being completely resurrected in a physical body. She retrieved Psylocke from the multiverse, resurrecting her as a test for Pryor's own resurrection ritual. Brainwashed by Pryor, Psylocke assisted the Sisterhood in infiltrating the X-Center and retrieving a beacon for Jean Grey's body. On the ruins of the X-Mansion, with the help of Domino, the X-Men tricked Pryor into being disincorporated. In San Francisco, Psylocke overcame her brainwashing and rejoined the X-Men.
Feeling the presence of her Soulsword within the X-Man Nightcrawler, Illyana Rasputin invaded the X-Center from Limbo with hopes of recovering part of her soul. While Illyana was successful in retrieving her Soulsword from the X-Men, Belasco's daughter, Witchfire, seized control of Limbo intending to liberate the Elder Gods from their enclosure. Cyclops dispatched an X-Men team led by Colossus to bring Illyana back. On Limbo, most of the X-Men were controlled by Witchfire. Joining forces with the X-Men, Illyana reconquered her rule over Limbo as Witchfire escaped. As Magik, Illyana assembled her former teammates from the New Mutants, Cannonball, Sunspot and Magma as a new group of X-Men to save Karma and Dani Moonstar, who also joined the team. Karma and Moonstar had been subdued by a recently resurrected Legion, who was ultimately defeated and captured by the X-Men.
Utopia, the Mutant Nation
Simon Trask, leader of the Humanity Now! coalition, leaked to the press the involvement of mutants in the Cooperstown massacre, inciting an anti-mutant sentiment against the X-Men. With the Proposition X act, he tried regulate mutant births in San Francisco. When Humanity Now! went on a march for their proposition, they were met by the mutant community led by Beast in San Francisco. The city erupted into a riot, and some mutants, including Beast, were arrested by the SFPD. Cyclops' X-Men and Norman Osborn's Avengers intervened in the violent protests. As the two groups clashed, Osborn revealed to the media he was backed by Professor Charles Xavier, who was secretly Mystique in disguise. Cyclops and his X-Men retreated back to the X-Center, while, on the Alcatraz Prison, Beast learned Xavier’s true condition as Osborn's prisoner. Amidst this incident, Cyclops welcomed Rogue back to the X-Men, though she had the suspicious company of Gambit and Danger. Rogue and her allies were tasked to protect civilian lives in San Francisco, being assisted by Ariel under Cyclops' orders to fight Osborn's Avengers. Osborn dispatched an apparently traitorous Frost, now in charge of his own team of X-Men, to control the mutant rioters, now led by Frost's former student, Hellion.
With the rioters arrested, Frost learned that Beast and Xavier were being tortured by Dark Beast, who, under Osborn's order, used the Omega Machine to boost Omega's powers. In addition to this, another threat came in the form of Trask, who had infected the Humanity Now! coalition members, transforming them into biomechanical sentinels. Trask's human sentinels found themselves in direct conflict with Osborn's X-Men. Meanwhile, Cyclops sent the X-Club to assess the remains of Asteroid M, which had crashed in the San Francisco Bay. As Wolverine and his X-Force freed the prisoners on Alcatraz, Frost revealed her true allegiances to Cyclops' X-Men, bringing Namor with her. With the ruins of Asteroid M revitalized by the X-Club, Cyclops relocated the X-Men to the newly christened Utopia, declaring it sovereign territory outside of Osborn's jurisdiction Betrayed by Frost and Namor, Osborn led his Avengers to Utopia. Cyclops, backed by the largest group of X-Men ever, was successful in fending Osborn off, though at the cost of Frost's mind being infected by the Void after she mentally attacked the Avenger Sentry, permanently trapping her in her diamond form.
Though free from Osborn, the X-Men immediately faced unfortunate surprises, such as the sudden death of Dr. Takiguchi and the arrival of Magneto to his former base. Praising Cyclops for reuniting the mutant race on Utopia following their tragic decimation, Magneto revealed his mutant powers had been restored with the help of the High Evolutionary and offered his assistance to the X-Men. Though suspicious, the X-Men had no choice but to accept Magneto back into their ranks when the ex-Marauder Scalphunter, blackmailed by the villain Lobe, unleashed from a plane a macabre cargo: a bunch Predators X. With Magneto's help, the X-Men destroyed the Predators X and incarcerated Scalphunter on Utopia. Meanwhile, one of the X-Men's young protégés, Bling!, was kidnapped from Utopia by Emplate. Rogue, after defeating the villain and recuing Bling!, decided to act as a guide for the youngest generation of X-Men.
Utopia was suddenly attacked by a horde of undead brainwashed mutants, many of them being former allies or foes of the X-Men. Selene was behind the bizarre resurrections using the Transmode Virus, as part of a ritual to channel the souls of deceased mutants to empower her to godhood. She led her Inner Circle to Genosha in order to raise millions of mutants from dead. On Utopia, the deceased member of the New Mutants, Cypher, alongside the original Hellions, managed to break the island's defenses and allow the invasion of Selene's lackeys. Meanwhile, Blindfold was alerted by a resurrected Destiny about a dire situation on Muir Island. Cyclops dispatched a team led by Nightcrawler to Muir Island, comprising Rogue, Magneto, Psylocke, Colossus, Husk, Trance and Blindfold. When Destiny was finally found, the X-Men learned she had been tricked by a resurrected Proteus, who was hidden inside her body. Since most of the X-Men were possessed by Proteus, Rogue and Magneto had to combat their own teammates. As Rogue freed her friends from Proteus' control, Magneto ultimately destroyed him.
On Utopia, Cypher personally attacked his former teammates, brutally maiming Magma. Unexpectedly, however, he came into contact with Warlock, who disrupted Selene's influence. Before Cypher could totally break free from his brainwashing, the Hellions captured him. With the Hellions defeated, Magik purged Cypher from his infection using her Soulsword. Both Cypher and Warlock joined Cannonball's X-Men squad. As soon as the X-Men realized millions of Genoshan mutants had been resurrected, Selene and her Inner Circle attacked Utopia personally, killing some of its residents and capturing Warpath. X-Force followed Selene to Genosha, now renamed “Necrosha”, where she completed her ritual and ascended as a goddess. Utilizing an Apache ritual to allow X-Force to strike at the all-powerful Selene, Warpath managed to deal the killing blow, saving the world from Selene's evil.
Following this series of conflicts, the X-Men could finally attend to the Void fragment trapped inside Frost's mind. With Professor X's and Psylocke's help, Cyclops and Frost destroyed the fragment. Meanwhile, Magneto made a deal with Namor to build a new Atlantean city underneath Utopia, providing it support in order to prevent it from sinking, as well as securing a mutually beneficial alliance with Atlantis. Unable to adjust to life on Utopia under Cyclops' command after being tortured, and realizing Magneto was gaining influence on the island, Beast decided to leave the X-Men.
As Cyclops learned about the existence of a surviving Predator X in New York City, a team went to investigate. Joined by Fantomex and his partner E.V.A., the X-Men found out Lobe and his New U-Men were the schemers behind the Predator X attack on Utopia. Though Lobe escaped, the X-Men learned of his ties with John Sublime. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Magneto realized Cyclops and the X-Men still did not trust him. To remedy that, he used his magnetic powers to rescue Kitty Pryde from the Breakworld's giant bullet, dragging it back to Eart, leaving Magneto comatose from the effort. However, as she returned, Pryde was trapped in her intangible form and was kept in a containment cell.
Cable and the first mutant born after M-Day, now a teenage girl called Hope, finally managed to return to the present. As they arrived at the ruins of the X-Mansion, they were immediately attacked by the Right, under orders of Bastion's Human Council. As Cerebra registered Cable's signature, Cyclops led his alpha team of X-Men to assist him. The X-Men arrived just in time to confront the Sapien League, who were also after Cable and Hope under Bastion's orders. The brutality shown by Wolverine, X-23 and Archangel when dealing with the Sapiens League compromised X-Force's secret existence to the other X-Men.
Even with the X-Men's trust of Cyclops shaken by this revelation, he managed to get them to agree to table their anger and coordinated several missions to ensure Hope's survival. He sent Cannonball's team to deal with Cameron Hodge. Meanwhile, the alpha team of X-Men found Cable and Hope hiding in a motel, now the target of William Stryker's Purifiers. Once again, Cable and Hope managed to escape their assailants. The X-Men lost their teleporter Magik when the Purifiers successfully banished her to Limbo. The Purifiers were then obliterated by Archangel. Meanwhile, Cannonball's team were dealt a brutal defeat by Hodge. Their survival was only possible due to Warlock killing Hodge and several members of the Right. To pursue Cable, the X-Men alpha team was joined by Rogue and Ariel. At the cost of Ariel's life, Cable and Hope met the X-Men. Escorted by Rogue and Nightcrawler, Hope started a journey across the country to reach Utopia as the rest of the X-Men and Cable fought the Human Council forces. In Las Vegas, the trio of runaways were met by Bastion himself, who knocked Rogue out and fatally wounded Nightcrawler. Just before succumbing to his injuries, Nighcrawler teleported Hope to Utopia.
In order to rescue Magik, Cannonball led a team to Limbo, transported by Pixie. On Utopia, the X-Men mourned Nightcrawler while preparing to face Bastion. The X-Men's last teleporter, Vanisher, was unexpectedly assassinated by Stephen Lang. Meanwhile, Donald Pierce, who had infiltrated Utopia, destroyed the X-Men's Blackbirds. With no teleporters or vehicles, the X-Men were trapped on Utopia. Using a series of towers around Utopia, Bastion cast an energy dome to prevent the X-Men from leaving the San Francisco Bay. On the Golden Gate, Bastion opened a dimensional portal from the future, allowing Nimrod Sentinels access to the present. Thousands of Nimrods coming out of the portal proved to be unbeatable adversaries. Using Cable's time-travel technology, Cyclops decided to send X-Force to the future to destroy the Nimrod factory, knowing this would be a one-way trip.
As the X-Men struggled to contain the Nimrods, Cyclops asked Professor X to work with Legion to help. As Legion kept the Nimrods at bay with his vast powers, X-Force reached the Master Mold responsible for creating the Nimrods in the future. The X-Men were then joined by a recovered Magneto in fending the Nimrods off. As Cypher deactivated the Master Mold, the Nimrods stopped their invasion. However, X-Force had no way back to the present. As Cable allowed his body to be taken by the Techno-Organic Virus, he was able to transport X-Force through Bastion's portal. At the cost of his own life, Cable saved X-Force. Tragically, the X-Men still had to fight a final foe, Bastion himself. Tormented by the death of the man who raised her, Hope's mutant gift finally activated in earnest, allowing her to mimic the powers of all the X-Men present which she used to disintegrate Bastion and his dome. In Limbo, Cannonball's team rescued Magik, having to oppose N'astirh and a corrupted Gambit in the process. Following Cable's funeral, the world would change drastically for the X-Men. Wolverine decided to keep X-Force operating secretly, despite Cyclops' orders to cease operations. X-23 left the X-Men and Utopia, being mentored by Gambit in her solo adventures. Beast also left again after briefly returning due to Nightcrawler's funeral. And, most crucially, with the return of Hope, five new mutants were registered on Cerebra. With the help of the X-Men, Hope raced around the world to recruit the recently emerged mutants. Under her direction, the new group trained as a rescue team for eventual new mutant manifestations.
Experiencing hope for the future of their race, the X-Men embarked on different superhero activities. One of their missions involved Dracula's son, Xarus, who aimed to use the mutants of Utopia as an asset to seize control of all vampires of the world. Intending to subvert Wolverine to his cause, Xarus infected Jubilee. When Wolverine went to her rescue, he was also transformed into a vampire. Wolverine's transformation was ultimately proven to be a ruse planned by Cyclops, who also had resurrected Dracula to act as extra insurance. With Blade's assistance and having Dracula as a tentative ally, the X-Men dethroned Xarus and freed San Francisco from the vampires. Though free from his brainwashing, Jubilee remained a vampire, and receieved aid from the X-Men in controlling her hunger. Soon after, following the reports of several missing teenagers in New York City, Cyclops sent a team to investigate. In the sewers, the group found many lizard-like creatures. Teaming up with Spider-Man, they learned Dark Beast was behind the kidnappings by manipulating the Lizard's DNA. With Emma Frost and Spider-Man immune from the effect of his experiments, Dark Beast was defeated.
After Emma Frost, Kitty Pryde and Fantomex left Utopia to dispose of Sebastian Shaw in order to prevent Namor from learning about him being alive, Utopia suffered from an HX-N1 epidemy, a virus targeting only mutants, orchestrated by Lobe. Angel gathered a team to publicly act in San Francisco and improve mutant popularity, while most of the X-Men were quarantined in Utopia. Meanwhile, Lobe dispatched his own fabricated team of X-Men, empowered by the Xperience drug. Angel's group, assisted by Kate Kildare as their public relations representative, performed heroic activities in San Francisco, battling the Collective Man, who attempted to seize control of San Francisco's crime scene. Angel's team ultimately got into direct conflict with Lobe's X-Men during a fight against the Collective Man and easily managed to defeat and capture the impostors. Realizing Lobe was trying to capitalize on the X-Men's public image, Cyclops decided to break the quarantine. When the X-Men infected Lobe and his partners with HX-N1, he had no option but to deactivate the artificial virus. Meanwhile, as Frost, Pryde and Fantomex battled Sebastian Shaw, Frost decided to erase his memory and set him loose instead of killing him.
On Utopia, the X-Men learned more about their past after being attacked by the Evolutionaries, who wished to test mutankind as a species. On Mumbai, when visiting Indra's family, Rogue, accompanied by Magneto and a small band of young X-Men, once again crossed paths with the Children of the Vault, who put her on trial for Sangre's death during their original encounter. The X-Men were successful in defeating both of these threats. Unfortunately, when they turned their attention to rebuild San Francisco after Bastion's attack, Karima Shapandar's original Omega Sentinel programming was reactivated in the presence of Hope. Involuntarily, Shapandar attacked the X-Men, but was put out of action by Hellion.
Legion, the God-Mutant
When Pixie was kidnapped by Project Purgatory operatives Magik led Cannonball's X-Men team to Limbo to prevent them from releasing Limbo's Elder Gods. There, the group was attacked and defeated by the Inferno Babies they had rescued from S'ym years before. Magik and Karma were able to escape from Limbo, leading Magik to explain why she returned to the X-Men and formed her new group. It was revealed that Magik had orchestrated Legion's return and the release of the Elder Gods, which would allow her to recover her soul and eliminate her oppressors. Magik led an army of X-Men to Limbo to combat the Elder Gods, secretly setting Legion free, in his “God-Mutant” personality, amidst the fight. Legion erased the Elder Gods from existence, and Magik recovered her soul. As a consequence of her dangerous behavior, Magik was incarcerated by the X-Men.
In an attempt to gain control over his fractured psyche, Legion submitted to a radical new treatment devised by Doctor Nemesis; direct erasure of his alternate personalities. While seemingly working at first, the treatment proved subconciously traumatic and Legion's mind unconsciously created a new personality to act as a sort of "anti-body". When confronted by Xavier, this personality masqueraded as Moira and created a new reality re-creating Utopia as Fortress X, where the Mutant Resistance, under Magneto's rule, constantly under siege by the forces of the Human Coalition. In this pocket reality, Legion was a renowned super-hero, part of the Force Warriors, responsible for keeping the Fortress X's telekinetic barriers up. However, when Kitty Pryde was found trying to cross the barrier, Legacy (Fortress X's version of Rogue) started to question the integrity of Fortress X. With Gambit's help, Legacy escaped from Moonstar Cadre and Magneto, after being accused of treason. Legacy's and Gambit's investigation led them to free Professor Xavier from the Fortress Brig, allowing him to reveal the true origin of that world to all mutants, who ultimately joined forces to defeat Legion's rogue personality. Legion managed to reabsorb his Moira personality and returned Utopia to its former form. However, many of its residents were permanently scarred by their experience on Fortress X.
Legion's fake reality had several consequences on the X-Men. Though Emma Frost and the Stepford sisters offered to suppress the Utopians' memories of Fortress X in the aftermath of the crisis, some mutants, such as Frenzy, refused the offer. Having been a hero and married to Cyclops in this new reality, Frenzy did not wish to return to her old life, and decided to join the X-Men. Another consequence was the escape of some of Legion's personalities to the real world. Legion joined the X-Men and the group managed to recapture the errant personalities. Another consequence was a telepathic call for help sent by Rachel Grey that got distorted in the Fortress X as Revenant. Rogue, using one of Legion's powers, teleported a small group of X-Men across the galaxy in order to rescue Rachel Grey and the other Starjammers. After a conflict with the Grad Nan Holt, the X-Men successfully returned home with Polaris, Rachel Grey and Havok.
Prelude to Schism
After Mentallo manipulated Roxxon to seize control of the monster population from the Monster Island, the X-Men had to unexpectedly defend Tokyo from monsters during Armor's mother's and brother's funeral. The X-Men followed Mentallo's trail to the Monster Island, where he was defeated. Concurrently, Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Storm were recruited by her friends from S.W.O.R.D. – Beast and Lockheed, led by Abigail Brand – to rescue them from a spatial research center invaded by the Brood. During the mission, the X-Men learned about the existence of a benevolent Broodling, who was fundamental to help the X-Men save themselves and their allies.
With Kate Kildare officially invited by Cyclops to act as the X-Men's superhuman public relations, her first task, among many, was to take care about Magneto's recent return to the team. Soon after, the X-Men were contacted by Abigail Brand concerning the arrival of a fleet of refugees from the Breakworld to Earth led by Krunn, who asked Colossus for asylum. The X-Men welcomed the aliens to Utopia, where Kruun revealed his actual intentions on the first night. Using a temporary version of Kavita Rao's mutant cure, he incapacitated some of the X-Men. Kruun's beloved, Haleena, in order to stop him, sacrificed and resurrected Kitty Pryde, performing the same ritual that brought Colossus back to life in the past. No longer trapped in her intangible state, Pryde managed to recruit other X-Men to defeat Kruun. Realizing the tragedy he caused to Haleena, Kruun surrendered. The refugees from the Breakworld were reallocated to San Francisco.
When the God of Fear sought revenge against his brother, the All-Father Odin, some superhumans were, against their wills, recruited to his cause. Among his minions was Juggernaut, now possessed by Kuurth, the Breaker of Stone. More unstoppable than ever, Juggernaut marched to San Francisco, leaving a destructive path as he walked, leading the X-Men to respond to Mayor Sinclair's request for help. As the X-Men failed in her first attempt to stop the unstoppable, Juggernaut's herald proposed an ultimatum to Cyclops and Sinclair: to destroy each other in order to save themselves. Meanwhile, Emma Frost, was telepathically infected by Juggernaut's rage on Utopia. Cyclops deployed his X-Men in numerous different plans. All of them failed but one, involving Magik, who teleported herself, Colossus and Kitty Pryde to the Crimson Cosmos and told Cyttorak that his avatar started to venerate a different god. Enraged, Cyttorak offered Magik to be his new Juggernaut, but Colossus took the offer instead. Imbued with the Juggernaut's powers, Colossus defeated Kuurth and saved both Utopia and San Francisco. However, Cyclops' relationship with Mayor Sinclair was damaged as both sides considered the possibility of destroying each other. On Utopia, Emma Frost was released from the Juggernaut's influence by Namor before she could harm Hope Summers, which fragilized her relationship with Cyclops.
The future of the X-Men was tragically altered when they found an unexpected enemy in the form of Kade Kilgore, the 12-year-old heir of Kilgore Arms, a billionaire weapon manufacturer empire. Kilgore regarded the business of hunting and killing mutants as a very lucrative activity. To increase anti-mutant sentiment, Kilgore recovered Quentin Quire's from his stasis and set him free upon the world. When Cyclops and Wolverine attended an international arms conference, speaking in the name of Utopia in order to prevent mutants from being persecuted, Quire committed a psychic terrorist attack, causing several nations all over the world to activate their Sentinels. Successful in his plan, Kade Kilgore was crowned the new Black King of the Hellfire Club.
Following this simultaneous activation of several sentinels, Cyclops dispatched several teams to protect humans from being harmed by malfunctioning machines. Meanwhile, Mayor Sinclair expedited the grand opening of the Mutant History Museum to improve the X-Men's reputation. While Cyclops kept coordinating his missions on Utopia, Emma Frost was sent with the most powerful X-Men to the opening alongside some students. Kilgore's Hellfire Club took this opportunity to set a bomb during the opening. Despite Wolverine's objections, Cyclops ordered one of the youngest X-Men students, Idie Okonkwo, to stop the Hellfire Club henchmen by any means, which led to their deaths.
As the bomb went off, a gigantic Sentinel was created and marched to a defenseless Utopia. As Utopia counted only with the power of teenagers, Cyclops decided to stay and protect the island, while Wolverine wished to evacuate it. The debate escalated into a brutal fight between the two X-Men. Ultimately, as the Sentinel arrived at Utopia, the students chose to stay and managed to destroy it. Their difference, however, ended up being more than could be reconciled. Wolverine decided to leave with other X-Men and students to resettle the institute in Westchester. Because of the schism, each resident on Utopia was forced to choose to remain with Cyclops or go back to the mutant school with Wolverine.
With Utopia relatively more vulnerable after the schism, the recently self-resurrected Mister Sinister turned his attentions to Cyclops' faction of X-Men. Cyclops reformulated his division of the X-Men as the radical Extinction Team, comprising the most powerful mutants in the world. Mister Sinister tampered with the powers of the Dreaming Celestial to generate a “sinister” fair made up of copies of himself. With the Dreaming Celestial harmed, the X-Men had to deal not only with Sinister's clones but also with the upcoming arrival of Celestials to Earth. The Extinction Team was successful in defeating Sinister, which led the Dreaming Celestial to vouch for them due to their help. The Celestials left the planet and the X-Men's might was proved to the public.
The Extinction Team was then alerted by Psylocke about the existence of the Tabula Rasa, a land that had been progressed millennia in a short time span, effectively becoming alien as a consequence of the actions of the secret X-Force squad. The Tabula Rasa environment was under threat after its exposition. After allying themselves with the Savage to defeat the Immortal Man, the X-Men guaranteed that both Tabula Rasa and the adjacent areas were secure.
After the alien prisoners kept by S.W.O.R.D. broke free on Earth, Abigail Brand enlisted the Extinction Team to recapture the most dangerous criminals in the universe. During their mission, the X-Men teamed up with the Avengers. Among the adversaries was the robot known as Unit, who directly approached Hope. Cyclops decided to abandon his main mission in order to save Hope. Though successful in saving Hope, the X-Men were criticized by Captain America for their desertion, a disagreement that would escalate in the near future. After the conflict, Unit was locked on Utopia by Brand's, something that allowed him to manipulate the Extinction Team from within, especially Danger and Hope.
Meanwhile, Cyclops tasked Psylocke to be in charge of a reconnaissance squad, a security group actually led by Storm. The team dismantled a Sentinel operation in Puternicstan with the help of War Machine, rescued Jubilee and the Forgiven from bounty hunters, and confronted a faction of Skrulls alongside Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Storm started to guide her team outside Cyclops' authority, especially after learning about the existence of the Proto-Mutants, an ancient race of super-humans who had been cloned and manipulated by David Gray. With Sabra's help, Storm's team located the last proto-human alive, but Storm's independent actions caused Colossus to disapprove her methods, leading to a fight between the two long-time friends.
In Westchester, Wolverine founded the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, that was built and managed with the help of Kitty Pryde, Beast, Iceman, Rachel Grey, Husk and even Toad (as a janitor). The school also had massive technological support from the Shi'ar Majestor Kallark, under the condition that Prince Kubark enrolled at the school. Kubark was accompanied by a Shi'ar Warbird. On their school's first day, when being evaluated by the New York State Department of Education, they were attacked by the Kilgore's Hellfire Club, since the school represented an unexpected factor in Kilgore's plans. The school was attacked in a variety of ways: a Krakoa (which the school had been built upon) tried to demolish the estate; an army of Frankenstein monsters invaded the school; and the state inspectors were transformed into a Wendigo and a Sauron. They were saved by none other than Quentin Quire, who, being kept in the school against his will, telepathically accessed the Krakoa's mind. Having been tortured his whole life by the Hellfire Club, Krakoa had his first friendly interaction with Quire's telepathic contact. Revealing to be a mutant, Krakoa let his guard down, apologizing and hoping to become an X-Man, effectively becoming the school's grounds. With their plans ruined, the Hellfire Club fled. Kade Kilgore was later served papers by Matt Murdock, having been sued by Wolverine for the damage he caused.
However, the school still faced financial problems. In order to solve them, Wolverine and Quire traveled to Planet Sin, using Quire's telepathy to gamble. At the school, Kitty Pryde experienced an apparent pregnancy. Soon, Beast discovered she had been infected by microscopic Brood, a ploy orchestrated by xenobiologist Dr. Xanto Starblood to approach the benevolent Broo, who had enrolled in the Jean Grey School. The X-Men destroyed the Brood, while Broo himself knocked Starblood out. On Planet Sin, Wolverine and Quire failed in their attempt of cheating, which costed Wolverine's legs, that were deformed by a matter transmuter. Wolverine's legs were cured after some of his students, guided by Angel's and Genesis' intentions, traveled to Planet Sin and retrieved the matter transmuter to Earth in order to help their teacher. Meanwhile, on the S.W.O.R.D. space station, Beast fought Sabretooth, the newest employee of the Hellfire Club.
Other X-Men, who acted as teachers at the Jean Grey School, faced parallel problems. Rogue joined other teachers and some students to confront Exodus, who believed the X-Men schism to be a mistake and attempted to rejoin the X-Men factions using his force. Later, Rogue also helped the former members of Osborn's X-Men, Mimic and Omega, when Omega's powers went out of control.
Meanwhile, some of the X-Men also had problems apart from the Jean Grey School. When a new group of Marauders, controlled by the mysterious Susan Hatchi, made their move against the X-Men, a new unexpected group was assembled, formed by Northstar, Wolverine, Iceman, Gambit, Cecilia Reyes, Karma, and Warbird. Hatchi was revealed to be Karma's missing half-sister and, in seek of revenge and power, planned to take control of Madripoor by manipulating her sister and her friends. The X-Men eventually defeated her. Around this period, the X-Men were present during Northstar's wedding with Kyle Jinadu. This group of X-Men stuck together in different adventures, such as helping Warbird investigate the past of an alien race known as the Fianden and preventing Iceman from being corrupted by a Death Seed and freezing the whole world.
When a new Nova crashed in New York, he alerted the Avengers with a cryptic warning: "it's coming". His uniform carried the energy signature of the Phoenix. Simultaneously, the X-Men noticed flaring up with the power of the Phoenix during a training session, which the Avengers also detected. Supported by Wolverine and knowing about Hope, Captain America arrived on Utopia with the intent of taking Hope into protective custody. Cyclops, convinced that the coming of the Phoenix could herald the rebirth of mutantkind as a species, refused Captain America, who feared the possibility of Earth's destruction. As Cyclops struck the first blast at Captain America, the Avengers assembled and began an invasion of Utopia. Amidst the combat between Avengers and the X-Men, Hope fled from Utopia. Cyclops feigned a surrender to the Avengers, teleporting out of Utopia with several powerful X-Men and gaining a head start in the search for Hope. During the quest for Hope, Wolverine and Captain America had a violent conflict, which forced Wolverine to search her by himself.
Many members of the Jean Grey School joined the X-Men in their war against the Avengers. Since Hope had scattered her signal to several places at once, several teams of X-Men traveled around the world to find her, facing Avengers on Wakanda, Tabula Rasa, Latveria, the Wundagore Mountain, and the Savage Land. On the South Pole, Wolverine was ultimately contacted by Hope herself, who asked him a chance to control the Phoenix. Meanwhile, the Phoenix situation caught the attention of the Shi'ar Majestor, who, fearing for the safety of his heir, sent the Shi'ar Death Commandos to target Hope, who in turn managed to overpower the mercenaries thanks to her new power levels. Hope and Wolverine invaded an A.I.M. facility and flew to the Blue Area of the Moon, in order to prevent the Phoenix from reaching Earth. There, it was revealed Wolverine had announced their location to the Avengers, who waited for them on their destination. Almost immediately, the group was intercepted by the X-Men. As the Avengers' attempt at destroying the Phoenix on space failed, a badly injured Thor crashed onto the Moon, followed by the Phoenix. The Avengers and X-Men descended into a brawl as the power of the Phoenix increased within Hope and she found herself unable to control it. Desperate, she asked Wolverine to kill her, although Cyclops prevented him from doing so. Iron Man used a special suit to try to destroy the Phoenix, but he only managed to splinter it, causing it to took the five X-Men present as hosts: Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik.
The five Phoenixes returned to Utopia, reuniting mutantkind and providing resources to improve the world by stopping wars, destroying weapons and providing free food, water, and energy around the globe. Unsatisfied with the potential of the Phoenix for evil, the Avengers continued to be an opposing force, attempting to kidnap Hope from Utopia. The Avengers were successful in their mission due to the Scarlet Witch's intervention. Around this period, the X-Men successfully defeated the Shi'ar army and Majestor Kallark and obliterated the Hellfire Club's Sentinel factories, forcing their members to be arrested. At the same time, the X-Men decided to put the Phoenix's power to destroy Mister Sinister for good. Arriving at Sinister London, the X-Men made their move. Sinister had predicted their actions and planned to siphon the Phoenix Force into some Madelyne Pryor's clones he had manufactured to remodel the world under his image. Though the villain was apparently successful at first, the Phoenix Force proved to be too unpredictable for his calculations and obliterated his plans and his life.
The X-Men then turned their attention into incapacitating the Avengers, shutting down their operations and capturing their members. When the Avengers kidnapped the mutant Transonic during a conflict between the X-Men and the Scarlet Witch, Namor was convinced by Emma Frost to attack the Avengers in their current base, Wakanda. Namor and his Atlantean army flooded Wakanda, as some Avengers escaped to K'un-Lun with Hope. The Avengers narrowly managed to defeat Namor, at the cost of great damage to themselves and Wakanda. With Namor defeated, his portion of the Phoenix Force was bequeathed to the other four hosts. Having even more power to control, the Phoenixes acted erratically and showed signs of losing control. Moreover, with the fall of Wakanda, Storm's marriage to Black Panther was annulled. These events led the X-Men to question the integrity of the Phoenix and many of their members abandoned Utopia. As the Avengers staged a prison breakout for their fellows, Colossus and Magik lost their portions of the Phoenix after being manipulated by Spider-Man.
In K'un-Lun, Cyclops tried to recapture Hope, but was fended off by Shou-Lao and Hope herself, who managed to nullify his powers and teleport him away to the Moon. On Utopia, Emma Frost ruled the X-Men with an iron fist, threatening those whose thoughts displeased her, prompting more mutants to leave Utopia. Several X-Men then teamed up with the Avengers after realizing that Cyclops and Frost had completely lost control. Together they attacked Cyclops and Frost and gained the upper hand until Cyclops was forced to take the final piece of the Phoenix from Frost, making him the sole host. The complete Phoenix proved too much and finally turned him into Dark Phoenix upon which he killed Professor X, who had attempted to stop him.
The X-Men and the Avengers combated the destruction the Phoenix produced around Earth. Cyclops, after a brief moment of composure, got rid of the Phoenix with the help of Hope and the Scarlet Witch. Using the Phoenix's powers, Hope restored the devastation caused by Cyclops. Alongside the Scarlet Witch, she decided to dissipate the Phoenix Force, which caused new mutants to manifest all over the world since the M-Day.
Cyclops was brought into custody accepting full responsibility for the tragedy. As he learned that mutantkind had been reborn, he declared that, while he regretted the destruction he caused and the death of Professor Xavier, he would do it all again to save mutantkind. On the other side of the story, Captain America acknowledged the Avengers should have done more to help mutants instead of standing by while the world hated them. This led Captain America to form the Avengers Unity Squad, a team of Avengers led by Cyclops' brother, Havok, in hopes of keeping Charles Xavier's dream of coexistence between mutants and humans alive.
After the war, Storm joined the Jean Grey School staff, right after the Hellfire Club secretly settled in Salem Center and gravely wounded the student Broo. One of the Hellfire Club's members, as the last survivor of the Frankenstein family, attracted the attention of the Frankenstein's Monster's Murder Circus of zombies. The Murder Circus brainwashed all adults in Salem Center, including the X-Men, into serving his hunt for the last Frankenstein. Eventually, with the help of their students, the X-Men broke free from the manipulation and foiled the Murder Circus' plans.
While Cyclops was initially content to stay in prison fulfilling his intent to become either a martyr or a political prisoner, his opinions soon changed after receiving a visit from a very much alive Mister Sinister and after his fellow mutant inmate Jake was murdered in jail. Cyclops sent a message to Magneto, who executed a prison breakout. Now leading Magneto and Magik, Cyclops vowed to continue fighting to protect mutantkind. In different operations to rescue new mutants in trouble with the authorities -- such as Eva Bell, Christopher Muse and Benjamin Deeds, Cyclops' X-Men offered training and cause, recruiting them to a mutant rebellion, headquartered at the redesigned Weapon X Facility. Unexpectedly, while rescuing Emma Frost, the X-Men learned their powers were malfunctioning.
Meanwhile, X-Men at the Jean Grey School foresaw problems in Cyclops' movement. At the same time, Beast began suffering from a further mutation, which could mean his end. Also distressed by Cyclops' extreme stance against anti-mutantism, which could antagonize humanity and threaten the future of mutantkind, Beast traveled back to the time of the original X-Men. He brought the young versions of the X-Men the present after informing them Cyclops had killed Professor Xavier. The time-displaced original X-Men were detained by the present X-Men at the school, but ran away to meet the present Cyclops and Magneto.
Following a brief conflict, Cyclops and Magneto were extracted by Magik. Back to the Jean Grey School, the young Beast stabilized his present version's mutation. While many present X-Men, chiefly Wolverine wanted to send the original X-Men back to their time, the group voted on whether to remain or not. With only Angel intending to return, the original X-Men were granted stay in the present under the watchful tutelage of Kitty Pryde. The arrival of the time-displaced X-Men caught the attention and the interest of Mystique, who secretly approached young Cyclops, and of the Avengers, who witnessed Angel in fieldwork.
Cyclops kept his revolutionary agenda, inspiring popular risings and worrying S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director, Maria Hill. His actions were also seemingly tracked by new Sentinels, under unrevealed orders. After rescuing and recruiting Fabio Medina and combating the Avengers, Cyclops' X-Men visited the Jean Grey School to offer their point of view. Following a conflict between the different factions of the X-Men, the Stepford sisters and the time-displaced Angel decided to follow Cyclops.
Concurrently, Mystique made her move to manipulate the future of mutantkind, by reforming a new Brotherhood, with Sabretooth and Lady Mastermind, who assisted her in collecting assets to acquire Madripoor from Hydra leader, the Viper. Mystique's plans were revealed and intercepted by Wolverine and the original X-Men, who had support from the Avengers Unity Squad, though Mystique managed to run free. Cyclops' X-Men had problems of their own when Dormammu attempted to usurp Magik's position as the regent of Limbo. With Dormammu defeated by the X-Men, Magik became Doctor Strange's apprentice. Soon after welcoming David Bond to their initiative, the X-Men entered in direct conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D. and their new liaison, Dazzler, who had captured Fabio Medina. The X-Men were successful to rescue their student but failed in recruiting Dazzler to their cause, which allowed Mystique to kidnap her and replace her as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. As Cyclops' revolutionary ideas became more popular, the X-Men confirmed that a hidden enemy tracked their actions, trying to intercept them with state-of-the-art Sentinels.
When Wolverine led a field trip to the Savage Land with his most problematic students, the adventure unfortunately became tragic due to the intervention of Wolverine's time-traveling brother, Dog. The X-Men students proved their worth by defeating Dog and his forces. The X-Men realized that their recent adversaries, such as Mystique, Dr. Starblood and Dog, had been following a common enemy, the Hellfire Club, who were also assisted by a mole. When Husk and Toad were outed as the traitors, they left with Quentin Quire, Idie Okonkwo and Broo. Idie wished revenge against the Hellfire Club for having hurt Broo, and Quire wanted to guarantee her safety.
The Hellfire Club had built a school run by their lackeys, the Hellfire Academy, in an attempt to form mutant supervillains, undermine the human-mutant relations and capitalize on selling Sentinels. With the help of both the Bamfs and Krakoa, the X-Men pinpointed the Hellfire Academy's location to save their missing students, easily overpowering the Hellfire Club, who was already compromised as most of their super-villain staff members abandoned them during the fight.
Around this period, the X-Men also had to fight a new enemy in the form of Arkea, John Sublime's “sister”, who had possessed Karima Shapandar's inactive robotic body. Arkea became a problem to the X-Men after the return of Jubilee, who had run away around the world after saving a baby from a bomb incident and adopting him. In order to expurgate Arkea from Karima's system, Storm formed an all-female squad of X-Men.
When time-displaced Cyclops was gravely injured by a Sentinel in a fight against Animax, the X-Men decided that sending the original X-Men back to the past was an urgent matter. Unexpectedly, when activating the time machine, the X-Men were met by a group of mutants from the future. Claiming to be the X-Men, these time travellers convinced most of the X-Men that bringing the original X-Men to the present had had terrible repercussions to mutant history. However, young Jean Grey, frightened by the mysterious team blocking of her telepathic powers, especially by her future self Xorn, convinced teenage Cyclops to run away with her in order to not be unwillingly sent back to the past. The duo asked Cyclops' outlaw X-Men for help, leading to another confrontation between the two factions of X-Men. Meanwhile, Magik teleported the past versions of Beast and Iceman to the future in order to meet the real X-Men and unmask the interlopers' real identities as the Brotherhood.
Reluctantly, the future X-Men went to the present, with the intentions of stopping their time's Brotherhood from causing any more fractures in the space-time continuum. As the future X-Men found assistance in Cyclops' X-Men, the future Brotherhood seized control of the Jean Grey School, incapacitating Wolverine's team. As the Brotherhood attacked the remaining X-Men, they realized the past X-Men could not be sent back to the past for unknown restraints and decided to kidnap the original X-Men and attack Cape Citadel, in order to attract S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attention to mutantkind and cause chaos. In a dramatic battle between mutants from the past, the present and the future, many members of the future X-Men and the future Brotherhood were slain, including Xorn, who lost control of her mutant powers and gave both X-Men teams a chance to evacuate. The surviving future X-Men returned to their time, except for Kymera, Storm's daughter, who decided to stay and keep a look out for the Brotherhood in this timeline. Meanwhile, Kitty Pryde, alongside all of the past X-Men, was disappointed in how Wolverine's X-Men reacted to the crisis and departed from the Jean Grey School to join Cyclop's New Charles Xavier School.
Around this period, Wolverine and his X-Men tracked an alternate version of Nightcrawler from the Age of Apocalypse, who had betrayed Wolverine and the X-Force. Nightcrawler, in an attempt to find his way back to his home reality, tampered with the Dreaming Celestial's energies and tore a rift in the very fabric of reality, allowing it to be invaded by the powerful Exterminators. Wolverine's X-Men teamed up with the human X-Terminated and Dazzler's interdimensional X-Men to fend off the Exterminators and the groups found victory after the immense tragedy when Nightcrawler sacrificed himself to seal off the portal and stop the invasion.
The mystery behind the Bamf infestation at the Jean Grey School turned out to be unexpectedly dangerous after the little creatures built a portal that allowed other Bamfs to kidnap the X-Men, including their new addition Firestar, to an unknown realm. As the X-Men fought demonic pirates in this unknown place, they were assisted by their deceased friend Nightcrawler. It was revealed that Nightcrawler's father, Azazel, had been stealing innocent souls from the afterlife. As Nightcrawler gathered the X-Men, they faced down Azazel and defeated him, allowing Nightcrawler to return to the land of the living with them.
After Wolverine went missing, following a distress call sent by Heather Hudson of the Alpha Flight, the X-Men went to Canada to rescue him. There, they witnessed a Wendigo epidemic, with Wolverine being one of its victims. Teaming up with Alpha Flight, the X-Men found a solution by making contact with the Great Beasts in order to restore the balance between the physical and the spiritual world. Using the energies from the Realm of the Beasts, the X-Men ascended to godhood and facilitated Guardian to destroy of the beast Tanaraq, who had caused the problems. With Tanaraq dead, the Wendigo infection was over and Wolverine was able to return home.
As the Sentinel assaults against the X-Men escalated, Cyclops was forced to declare war against S.H.I.E.L.D. Around this period, he joined forces with Wolverine to deactivate S.H.I.E.L.D. At the same time, while investigating the technology behind the new Sentinels, Cyclops and his X-Men concluded that Beast was probably behind the attacks. Arriving at the Jean Grey School, Cyclops completely lost control over his powers, an extreme symptom of his broken powers, which alerted S.H.I.E.L.D. to his location. After a brief conflict, the two factions of X-Men and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director, Maria Hill, decided to work together to find the real conspirator. However, Hill's helicarrier was hacked by the secret villain, putting the X-Men in danger. The Helicarrier was ultimately freed by Cyclops' student, Hijack, allowing the X-Men to find and defeat the villain behind the new Sentinels and the X-Men's malfunctioning powers, the Dark Beast, who perished during the battle. Tragically, soon after, Wolverine, who had lost his healing factor, died, making Storm the sole headmistress of the Jean Grey School and leader of the X-Men.
When the Red Skull, who had been empowered by the telepathic brain of Charles Xavier, established mutant concentration camps on Genosha, he found resistance in the Avengers Unity Squad and in Magneto. However, the confrontation led the nazi villain to ascend as the Red Onslaught and to spread a telepathic hate wave across the globe. The X-Men joined forces with the Avengers to take the Red Onslaught down, but the two teams failed. However, after Magneto assembled a team of supervillains to stop the Red Onslaught, the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom were able to cast an inversion spell to strengthen Charles Xavier's consciousness. As a collateral result, the moral axis of those present in the island was inverted, including the X-Men.
The X-Men were led by an inverted Genesis, who adopted Apocalypse as his name, and prepared mutantkind to wage a war against humanity and the Avengers. Apocalypse landed his Ship on Manhattan once again, claiming it as the first prize of his mutant uprising after the X-Men violently defeated the Avengers. The villainous X-Men planned on detonating a gene bomb, developed by the Akkaba Clan, to kill everyone on the Earth who did not carry a mutant gene. However, Magneto's team of villains, who had been turned heroic and were led by Steve Rogers, tried to stop Apocalypse and his X-Men. Though defeated in combat, they managed to prevent the bomb from fulfilling its purpose with Carnage's apparent sacrifice. With humanity safe, the inverted Avengers battled the X-Men. During the fight, a reinversion spell was cast by the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom, with the help of the inverted Red Skull, which restored almost everybody back to normal.
Soon after, the X-Men were caught up in a dispute for the legacy of Juggernaut, as a series of super-villains were determined to claim the power of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak for their own use. Guided by Colossus, the X-Men tried to prevent the rise of a new villainous Juggernaut. As they failed in their attempt, the Living Monolith managed to become the new Juggernaut. Colossus tried to commune with Cyttorak to become his avatar again, but was rejected as the Juggernaut's unstoppable power returned to Cain Marko. Although significantly weaker than the Juggernaut, Colossus managed to defeat him by being elusive, thus saving the X-Men.
At the reading of Charles Xavier's will, the X-Men learned that Cyclops had inherited the Jean Grey School. At the same time, Cyclops also discovered about a nefarious legacy of Xavier's past, the insane and omnipotent mutant named Matthew Mallow, who had been erased from existence by Eva Bell, now going by Tempus. Tempus accused Cyclops' revolutionary discourse of bringing the chaos behind Malloy's destructive actions. The two consecutive revelations represented an epiphany for Cyclops, who declared the Jean Grey School should still be run by Storm and decided to terminate the New Charles Xavier School.
At the former Weapon X facility, Cyclops was met by his brother Havok, still affected by the inversion of his moral axis. Despite not always having agreed with Cyclops' ideals, Havok decided to support his brother's revolution. Cyclops was also joined by the Utopians, a group of renegade mutants found and rescued by the time-displaced X-Men. Managing to assemble the entire mutantkind at Washington, D.C., Cyclops proclaimed that his revolutionary agenda consisted of uniting mutants and proving they are not intrinsically dangerous. After exposing to the world there is nothing to fear from mutants, Cyclops was praised by Magneto, who shared that Charles Xavier would have been proud of him. Concurrently, the X-Men organized an intervention for Beast due to his reckless actions against Cyclops.
Following this reunion of mutantkind, Cyclops was able to establish a new mutant sovereign state known as "Nation X", granting protection for the X-Men in the former Weapon X Facility. At a moment when the world was struggling with the world ending multiversal incursions, Cyclops decided to make his move to save the planet, a mission that caused him to have Beast as an ally once again. As part of his plan, Cyclops managed to acquire a Phoenix Egg and, because of it, he was teleported by Manifold to a small life raft meant to survive the end of the Universe. Once they got to Battleworld, however, Cyclops was murdered by Doctor Doom.
After the restoration of the Multiverse and all its inhabitants, the mutants found yet another threat in the form of the previously harmless Inhuman Terrigen Mists. After the detonation of the Terrigen Bomb by Inhuman king Black Bolt, it was discovered that the mists composition had changed and they were now hazardous to mutants, afflicting any mutant that entered in contact with them with an illness known as M-Pox. When Muir Island was swept by a toxic terrigen cloud, a moribund Jamie Madrox called the X-Men for help. As soon as Cyclops entered in contact with the mists he fell ill and died of M-Pox. Fueled by rage and unwilling to let Cyclops' legacy end, Emma Frost revealed to the world the hazard of Terrigen to mutants, destroying one of the two clouds that roamed the world with the help of Alchemy, at the cost of his own life. With the cloud destroyed, the Inhumans confronted the X-Men, while Frost kept projecting a mental image of Cyclops to keep his death a secret. When Black Bolt killed "Cyclops", Frost's wish to see him die for his cause and transcend his mortality to become an idea was fulfilled.
Frost's actions in the name of Cyclops were not well received by the world, leading mutants to become prosecuted and hated once again, and prompting the X-Men to disband. The manipulations also raised tensions between inhumans and mutants. With her people in constant danger, Storm started working on a sanctuary called X-Haven, which consisted of the entirety of the Jean Grey School being moved to the realm of Limbo. Magneto also made his move by assembling a group of X-Men who, unlike Storm's, took a harsher stance to ensure the survival of the mutant species. Meanwhile, the time-displaced original X-Men decided to deal with the crisis by themselves on a road trip.
Realizing that mutants had a place in the world, Storm rebuilt the X-Men with Iceman, Magik, Colossus and Forge (with his pet Sentinel, Cerebra) at her side. When recruiting time-displaced Jean Grey, the group discovered that an aged version of Wolverine was active in Canada. Concurrently, as Magik and Colossus attempted to rescue Nightcrawler in the Morlock Tunnels, they were kidnapped by Mister Sinister. With Magik out of commission, X-Haven lost her protection and was vulnerable to the demonic forces of Limbo. The attack convinced Jean Grey and the Old Man Logan to join Storm's X-Men. The X-Men decided to take the fight to Sinister, in hopes of saving Magik and restoring Limbo. There, they learned Mister Sinister took interest in experimenting with the inhuman DNA, creating an inhuman clone of Cyclops. The insane clone ravaged the streets of New York City, but was destroyed by the X-Men, who publicly announced their return and declared they would fight for mutantkind.
After rescuing a group of mutant refugees guarded by Sunfire in the Weirdworld, the X-Men went to Japan to secure the manifestation of six hundred new mutants. They learned the signal corresponded to embryos engineered by the Sugar Man. During the fight, Colossus and his students were sent to the future and the other X-Men followed them to the Omega World. The group was attacked by the Horsemen of Apocalypse, who had Colossus added to their ranks as War. After the X-Men confronted Apocalypse himself, the Omega World collapsed. Magik managed to teleport the team back to X-Haven with Colossus and Apocalypse as their prisoners. Other prisoners the X-Men made during this period were the Nasty Boys, whom they had rescued from a prison contaminated with terrigen.
The X-Men's next crisis concerned Magik's pupil, the girl named Sapna, who had been possessed by the entity known as the World-Eater and managed to steal Magik's Soulsword. As Sapna attempted to destroy X-Haven, Magik found support with the Magical Resistance, a group made with survivors of the World-Eater's destruction. Ultimately, Magik had no choice but to put Sapna down, protecting X-Haven from the World-Eater. During the conflict, Apocalypse was slain by Nightcrawler, ensuring Colossus' freedom.
When Beast, who had been working with the Inhumans to find a cure to M-Pox, discovered that the remaining cloud was weeks from reaching a saturation point, which would've caused it to become fully assimilated into the atmosphere, rendering the Earth completely uninhabitable for mutants, he shared this information first with the X-Men. Believing that the Inhumans would refuse to destroy the cloud even at this moment, the different factions of the X-Men were united by Emma Frost and launched a coordinated attack on Inhuman key players in order to neutralize them long enough, trapping most of them in Limbo, to use a machine created by Forge to absorb and destroy the Terrigen.
Two of the newest Inhumans, Iso and Inferno, managed to escape the assault on New Attilan and destroyed Forge's machine, taking him hostage. The two young Inhumans then called reinforcements in the form of other NuHumans, including Mosaic, who used his powers to infiltrate Muir Island and learn the X-Men's reason behind their attack, later reporting that to his peers, which prompted the NuHumans to join forces with Forge to come up with a new solution.
The NuHumans then traveled to Iceland, the latest location of the Terrigen Cloud, but were soon confronted by the X-Men, who had no idea of their plans. The royal Inhumans joined the brawl, having escaped from Limbo and regrouped. The battle was interrupted when Ennilux arrived, having provided Forge and Moon Girl with the resources to build the machine necessary to eliminate the Terrigen Cloud. Medusa was notified of what was at stake and given the trigger to activate the device. In spite of what the destruction of the Terrigen Cloud meant for Inhumans, Medusa activated the machine, destroying the Cloud and ending the threat of the M-Pox. However, Cyclops' time-displaced younger self exposed Emma Frost's lies regarding the events surrounding his older self's death. Furious at Cyclops' death at the hands of the Inhuman Mists, Frost insisted on fighting the Inhumans, employing reprogrammed Sentinels to massacre the Inhumans from Ennilux. The X-Men joined forces with the Inhumans and eventually managed to take Frost and her Sentinels down, although she managed to escape.
In the wake of the war, Storm considered her performance during the conflict catastrophic and chose to pass the reins of leadership to Kitty Pryde, who had recently returned to Earth after working with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Pryde decided to take advantage of the doors to the future opened for mutantkind to build on Xavier's dream once again, creating a legacy of mutant heroes and protectors of the world. As part of this plan, Pryde had the X-Mansion moved from Limbo to the middle of Central Park as the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach, in order to boost the exposure of the X-Men as a superheroic group. Meanwhile, the time-displaced original X-Men made a dark alliance with Magneto, being based in Madripoor.
Back to the basics, the main team of X-Men protected New York City from threats such as Terrax the Tamer. However, they still faced adversities for their status in the form of anti-mutant activist Lydia Nance and a new Brotherhood led by Mesmero, who attacked the United Nations Headquarters and kidnapped the Mayor of New York City. Upon defeating Mesmero and saving the day, the X-Men discovered the terrorist attacks' agenda was planned by Nance, who hoped to damage the public opinion on mutants, forging an explicitly hostile relationship between the X-Men and Nance's organization. Soon after, when Gambit accidentally created a new form of nanite-based Sentinels while being manipulated by Olivia Trask, the X-Men intervened and destroyed the Sentinels with the help of several other superheroes.
When Captain America was turned into a Hydra Agent by Kobik and took over the entire country, he trapped New York City within a Darkforce dome cast by Blackout. With the X-Mansion vulnerable with the Darkforce attack, an anti-mutant assassin took the opportunity to assault the X-Men and their students in retaliation for Xorn's attacks that had killed his family in the past. The killer was ultimately contained by the X-Men before causing major harm.
Meanwhile, out of the dome, Captain America had planned to control and neutralize mutant interference to his plans by secretly offering a portion of the western United States as the mutant sovereign state of New Tian. Xorn was appointed as the leader of New Tian and the remaining X-Men joined him. With the tension rising between New Tian and Hydra Nation, causing confrontations between X-Men and Hydra's Avengers, it was revealed that real liege behind Xorn was Emma Frost, who controlled him psychically. Ultimately, interrupting the amicable diplomatic relations with Hydra, Frost joined forces with Magneto as the X-Men from Manhattan and New Tian entered the final battle against Captain America and his fascist regime after the Darkforce dome was deactivated.
With the Hydra over, a congressional bill was proposed to deport mutants from the U.S. Kitty Pryde and Colossus tried to testify against it with the help of Congresswoman Stevie Hunter, when unexpectedly confronting the terrorist Whiplash. Soon after, the X-Men also had to deal with the return of Omega Red by the Russian Mafia since they had captured Magik to force her to restore him to his full strength. After this, the two factions of X-Men were briefly reunited when Mojo captured them to serve as attractions to his television shows, replicating several of the X-Men's classic battles.
With bizarre psychic events started to manifest all over the globe, accompanied by sightings of previously deceased mutants, the different factions of past and present X-Men decided to investigate as they linked the events to the coming of the Phoenix. After finding Jean Grey's coffin empty, the X-Men traveled to New Mexico, by Emma Frost's advice, and found the illusory psychic reality that the Phoenix had created for Jean Grey, responsible for the unusual psychic phenomena. As the X-Men battled several of their former teammates who had been reanimated by the Phoenix, they reached Jean Grey, who decided to reject the Phoenix Force for good and returned to her former life. Jean Grey, determined to change a world she did not recognize anymore, formed her own team of X-Men, who fought for a peaceful future.
As the issues with the mutant deportation bill turned more complex, the X-Men Kitty Pryde and Nightcrawler were kidnapped to the Negative Zone by the army of Kologoth, who rescued their leader who had been defeated and incarcerated by the X-Men for his actions as a member of Mesmero's Brotherhood. The remaining X-Men assembled a special squadron with Armor and Ink to retrieve their teammates. As Kologoth awakened the destructive god named Scythian, the X-Men had no choice but to kill Kologoth and trap Scythian inside the void of the Negative Zone. With Storm's powers, the X-Men managed to return home.
Meanwhile, Mesmero reassembled his Brotherhood and performed an attack against his former employer Lydia Nance after breaking out of prison. As the X-Men intervened, Mesmero managed to manipulate them into attack a NYPD team, which was part of Nance's plan since the beginning. With the X-Men incarcerated at the mutant prison known as the Box, Iceman and Rogue formed a replacement squad made up of Magma, Magik, Armor, Ink and the new Pyro, who faced threats such as the Shredded Man and the return of Scythian in Paris, which guaranteed the X-Men's freedom as they had defeated him in the past. With Scythian destroyed by the heroic actions of X-Men, the Mutant Deportation Bill was dropped.
Nance tried to eliminate the X-Men by other means by aligning herself with the nanite-based Sentinel known as Alpha. They developed a mutant-killing virus based on remnants of the Legacy Virus in Colossus' body, whom had been kidnapped to this end, leading the X-Men to tracked him down to Nance's Savage Land base. Nance was knocked out cold by Kitty Pryde while Alpha escaped to space in order to release the virus. With the help of Alpha Flight, the X-Men stopped him. With Nance's plan thwarted, she was sent to the Triskelion by the X-Men, while Alpha was presumably put out of commission by Iceman. With Colossus rescued and safe, the X-Men prepared to attend his wedding to Kitty Pryde. Although she had a change of heart at the last moment and interrupted the wedding, the X-Men still celebrated the union of Rogue and Gambit. Following the wedding, the X-Men were a target for Mesmero one more time, who cast an illusion to control Rachel Grey. After defeating him, they helped Storm defeat Uovu, a god who tormented her former village.
When Ahab started to hunt the time-displaced original X-Men, all factions of the X-Men reunited at the X-Mansion to protect themselves. The teenage Iceman was kidnapped by a younger version of Cable, who has executed his older self. Cable also retrieved the time-displaced Angel, an event that was followed by Ahab invading the X-Mansion with his Hounds. While Ahab infected and brainwashed some X-Men, Cable claimed young Beast, but was intercepted by time-displaced Jean Grey and the X-Force.
Cable revealed his intention of sending the original X-Men back to the past in order to prevent dystopic consequences to the timestream. With Jean Grey and the X-Force as his allies, he traveled to X-Lantis to recover Cyclops before Ahab could harm him. Cable sent the original X-Men back to the past, and Jean Grey locked their memories to be reawakened in their future selves' minds. As she completed the process, the original adult X-Men recollected their past versions' memories, managing to defeat Ahab. With the threat over, it was revealed that the kid Cable was also responsible for resurrecting Cyclops using a caged portion of the Phoenix Force, though his return was still kept secret to his friends.
With the return of the original X-Men to the past, Kitty Pryde was joined by Jean Grey and her X-Men to keep Xavier's ideals alive. However, they had no tranquility since a series of weird phenomena caught their attention, leading Pryde to go missing. At the same time, Senator Ashton Allen divulged the proposition of a new anti-mutant vaccine. Similarly to Pryde, Allen and the X-Man Angel also vanished with no explanations during a raid carried out by the Multiple Man. Amidst catastrophes and hysteria, Legion approached the X-Mansion, offering help to the X-Men's students in ceasing the conflicts. Learning Legion was behind the attack performed by the Multiple Man, the X-Men confronted him at the X-Mansion, only to be interrupted by the arrival of the so-called Horsemen of Salvation who obliterated the Xavier Institute alleging the X-Men had to end. The master of the Horsemen was revealed to be Nate Grey, who, after having an immense power boost by a Life Seed, was behind the kidnappings of Pryde, Allen, Angel and also Apocalypse.
The X-Men uselessly tried to defeat the Horsemen. Meanwhile, Legion found support with the X-Men's students and attempted to imprison the unwell Nate Grey in his home reality, the "Age of Apocalypse", but also trapped the students in there. Unable to finish Nate Grey, the students were rescued by Bishop, which caused Nate Grey to take control over Legion's body and powers. In the main reality, the X-Men found an unexpected ally in Apocalypse when battling X-Man and his Horsemen. Meanwhile, Jean Grey assembled a distress call to several current and former X-Men and allies, gathering an army to stop Nate Grey. However, the X-Men failed and Nate Grey used the Life Seed to erase their existence. The X-Men were declared dead.
Nate Grey had actually transported the X-Men to a pocket reality he had created, a perfect world where the dream of mutants living with no strife, oppression or dependence was achieved. In this reality, the X-Men had their existences rewritten and served as the world's most adored heroes. However, this world lacked interpersonal intimate relationships, as a way for Nate Grey to prevent communion and rebellion. Apocalypse served as a revolutionary leader for the Resistance, which caused the X-Men to start questioning their place in this world.
Meanwhile, on the real Earth, a mournful Cyclops reconnected with a recently resurrected Wolverine in order to protect victims of the rising anti-mutant sentiment. Based in Harry's Hideaway, Cyclops and Wolverine decided to track and recruit the remaining X-Men as a new threat emerged in the form of O*N*E's new director, General Callahan. The X-Men were reformed after Havok and the technarchy-infected New Mutants were rescued from one of O*N*E installations, victims of procedures that weaponized them as sentinels.
The new group of X-Men targeted potential threats to mutantkind or from dangerous mutants, starting with the Dark Beast. During the fight, they recruited Multiple Man, who had been a subject of Dark Beast's experiments. The captured Dark Beast was forced to work for the X-Men. Meanwhile, the X-Men found an ally in Val Cooper, who informed them about the Mutant Liberation Front activities. At the same time, Dark Beast provided the X-Men with information about the Marauders, who had been slaughtering the Morlocks. As the X-Men helped the Morlocks to evacuate to Chernaya, after liberating a region of the country from extremist militants at Cooper's request. Their action caused Chamber to be their new member. In their next intervention, the X-Men tracked the Mutant Liberation Front, now led by Hope Summers and having Banshee in their ranks. The X-Men defeated and captured Banshee and Hope, but not before she managed to assassinate an anti-mutant politician and cost Cyclops his right eye. At Harry's, Dark Beast cleaned the New Mutants from the technarchy, restoring Warlock in the body of one of Multiple Man's duplicates.
When the King of the Dark Elves Malekith led an invasion to Earth, Dani Moonstar, as a Valkyrie, was summoned to the battle. The X-Men followed her, and Magik included Hope and Banshee on the team. The X-Men established a fortress in the Queens to resist Malekith's forces, where they were attacked by Sabretooth, who had joined Malekith's wild hunt. Sabretooth was defeated and executed by Wolfsbane and Magik after Sunspot perished in battle. Days later, after the war, the X-Men returned home and mourned their losses.
Cyclops decided to hand the Mutant Liberation Front members to the government but kept Dark Beast, as he considered him to be a useful asset, something that caused distress with Havok concerning the X-Men's leadership. This led the group to be rebranded as a leaderless initiative, with decisions being taken collectively. The X-Men then hunted the Brotherhood down in Transia, defeating them with the help of Juggernaut, who asked to rejoin the team after learning the Brotherhood's leader was not Magneto, but his clone, Joseph. Unexpectedly, Joseph was swiftly slain by Kwannon, who was arrested by the X-Men as they learned Wolfsbane had been murdered. With Kwannon's help, Wolverine avenged Wolfsbane by killing her aggressors. Meanwhile, Juggernaut questioned the X-Men about the whereabouts of Emma Frost, only to learn the group could recognize one of its most prominent former members.
The X-Men turned their attention to the Marauders, who were destroyed by Chamber at the cost of his own life. Back home, the X-Men learned Harry's Hideaway was burned to the ground by Mister Sinister. The X-Men imprisoned Sinister as he unexpectedly surrendered and relocated to one of Karma's buildings. Mister Sinister was handed to Captain America, who was revealed to be secretly Mystique in disguise and working for Emma Frost's new Hellfire Club, who in turn was being blackmailed by Callahan. However, Wolverine and Kwannon managed to uncover the façade and directly confronted Frost and O*N*E, being defeated. Meanwhile, the rest of the X-Men confronted and fended the Upstarts off after finding the lifeless bodies of the Nasty Boys. Later, under Cyclops' orders, Dark Beast developed an antidote to the anti-mutant vaccine announced weeks earlier. However, when meeting with Doctor Nemesis and the real Captain America, Cyclops not only discovered the existence of an impostor but also learned Dark Beast's cure caused extremely dangerous collateral reactions. The X-Men escaped with Nemesis and put Dark Beast down, being summoned by Emma Frost to help her defeat O*N*E moments later.
At the Hellfire Club Mansion, Emma Frost revealed to the X-Men that she had been blackmailed by Callahan. Callahan stroke back, causing Magik and Juggernaut to be lost. The X-Men escaped his attacks and learned that Emma Frost, with the assistance of Doctor Nemesis, Fabian Cortez and Mister Sinister, had erased the concept of mutantkind from all the minds on the planet, in a desperate attempt to end anti-mutant sentiment. Frost's forced pacifism proved to be a bizarrely unnatural new situation to the X-Men. However, the X-Men were still targets of Callahan's Technarchy-based Sentinels, as he was proven to be immune to the telepathic erasure performed by Frost. Havok, Warlock and Multiple Man perished in a combat against Callahan's Sentinels, and the X-Men believed they faced a hopeless fight. Meanwhile, on Nate Grey's dimension, the X-Men were able to see through his imposed illusion of peace, ripping apart the society he had created. The mutants on his Utopia, by uniting themselves, overcame his manipulations and convinced him to set them free. The X-Men abandoned Nate Grey's dream and returned to their cruel reality just in time to assist the X-Men in destroying Callahan and his Sentinels. Together, the X-Men decided to deactivate Frost's device and restore the world's memories about mutants. The X-Men were back to fight the war for Xavier's dream once again.
Heroes of Krakoa
When Professor X, with the assistance of Magneto and Moira, established a mutant nation on Krakoa, the X-Men disbanded, as they were believed to no longer be needed. However, they ultimately reformed when Cyclops and Jean Grey gathered an army of mutants to rescue the Swordbearers of Krakoa during the Krakoa-Arakko War in Otherworld. After this event, Cyclops and Jean Grey decided to permanently recreate the team going as opposed to accepting positions on the Quiet Council of Krakoa, since they felt that Krakoa needed heroes working in their best interests, representing and fighting for mutantkind. To recreate the X-Men, they decided to call for elections.
At the Hellfire Gala, Cyclops and Jean Grey announced the members of the Krakoan X-Men. Adopting a telepathic voting system, the new X-Men line-up elected by mutantkind, and led by the pair, was revealed to the world: Rogue, Sunfire, Wolverine, Synch and Polaris. Emma Frost purchased and ceded an estate in Central Park 86th Street Transverse to serve as the X-Men's new headquarters, which was redesigned as the Seneca Gardens public park to celebrate and remember mutant accomplishments and losses. In the middle of it, Krakoa, Forge, Tempo and Cypher created a techno-organic Treehouse as the main private base for the team to operate in. Unlike other Krakoan habitats, the Seneca Gardens area was open to humans.
The new team intercepted and fought off two alien attacks: one by the Mind Reaver in Manhattan and the other by the Annihilation Wave in Kansas. After combating an attack by the High Evolutionary in Vietnam, the X-Men learned that the alien attacks were the work of the intergalactic crime-lord Cordyceps Jones, who had been running bets on who could destroy the Earth first on his casino, Gameworld. The attacks of both Cordyceps Jones and the High Evolutionary were a response to mutantkind terraforming Mars during the Hellfire Gala, reforming it as Planet Arakko. After Synch provided the High Evolutionary with a drop of his blood in exchange for calling off his attack, Cyclops and Jean Grey planned an attack on Gameworld. Rogue and her husband Gambit travelled to the gambling planet to investigate only to be met by Destiny, who alerted them the X-Men would find no answers there.
The birth of Planet Arakko also enraged the human wealthy genius Feilong, who joined and started funding the anti-mutant organization known as Orchis, since he had invested his resources to terraform Mars and adapt his body to it but was outperformed by the mutant activities. After colonizing Phobos for Orchis, Feilong was welcomed by the X-Man Sunfire, who asked him to leave the Arakki territory. Feilong refused and managed to consolidate his control, attracting the attention of Isca the Unbeaten of the Great Ring of Arakko. Later, on Planet Arakko, Sunfire was contacted by Great Ring member Storm, who asked for his help to retrieve Redroot from Otherworld.
The X-Men also dealt with humans interested not only in Planet Arakko, but also in the Krakoan Resurrection Protocols, namely Daily Bugler reporter Ben Urich and a mad scientist associated with Orchis Doctor Stasis. With many well-known deceased mutants being seen alive and well, Urich approached and investigated the X-Men for explanations. Meanwhile, when Doctor Strange was put out of commission, his enemy Nightmare took advantage of the situation to attack the city by tormenting their dreams. By attacking the X-Men, Nightmare was counter-attacked by Jean Grey, who efficiently stopped him and freed many New Yorkers from his influence.
In their activities, the X-Men went on missions all over the world to help fight criminals, such as preventing the Reavers from influencing Mexican politics. They attracked the attention of Doctor Stasis, who directly attacked the group with his bizarre chimeric creations. Doctor Stasis managed to assassinate Cyclops in a very public ordeal in one of his attacks, forcing Cyclops to adopt the identity of Captain Krakoa after being resurrected. This decision was made by the Quiet Council as a way not to reveal the secrets of the Krakoan resurrections, much to Cyclops' discontentment which disrupted the X-Men's relationship with the Quiet Council even further. Later, when secretly contacting Urich, Cyclops learned the reporter had his memories about his investigations erased. After the X-Men saved a cruising ship from being hijacked by M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M., Cyclops learned that Synch was responsible for tampering with Urich's memories with the intention of protecting mutants.
When the former Kingpin of crime and mayor of New York City Wilson Fisk ruled that independent costumed vigilantes should cease their operations, his Thunderbolts sieged Seneca Gardens. The X-Men resisted, leading to a brief conflict with the Thunderbolts. However, as an effect of legal actions carried out by Emma Frost and Krakoan Ambassador Harry Leland, the Treehouse officially became a consulate of Krakoa for the United Nations.
No standard weaponry. Some members have at times carried weapons as suited their tastes.
Thunderbird, Gateways; formerly X-Men Blackbird. The original is still in use and Forge has constructed additional models for each team. An earlier version was the X-Men Stratojet and before that the X-Copter.
- The name "X-Men" was trademarked by Charles Xavier, and inherited by Kitty Pryde upon Charles' death.
- It should be noted that bigotry toward Mutants in the world of the X-Men has long been seen as a metaphor for all kinds of prejudice towards others occurring in the real world. Professor Xavier has been equated to peaceful civil rights activists like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Conversely, Magneto could be compared to more violent activists like Malcolm X. Recently, Storm has been forming her own perspective that acts as a middle ground and is analogous to opinions of moderate progressive activists.
- According to the Angel, the founding X-Men took an oath to help anyone who was in trouble. He invoked the oath to convince his teammates to help out a mysterious mutant who was under attack by an angry mob. The Angel was unaware that the attack victim was the Toad in disguise.
- X-Men co-creator Stan Lee originally intended for the team to be called "The Mutants." Publisher Martin Goodman shot down the idea, allegedly arguing readers wouldn't know what a mutant was.
- The X-Men celebrated their 1st anniversary since classes began with a birthday cake.
- The X in the X-Men name might have deviated from the Three X-es.
- 2743 appearance(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 34 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 237 minor appearance(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 793 mention(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 28 mention(s) in handbook(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 2527 image(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 185 member(s) of X-Men (Earth-616)
- 16 item(s) used/owned by X-Men (Earth-616)