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Friday, January 6, 2023

60 Years of X - 1963

As an addendum/archive of my "60 Years of X" social media project, I will post the collective results of each year here upon its completion as a standalone post, and add the results to the running "60 Years of X" page (linked on the top of the left column on the home page) which will, by year's end, feature the entirety of the project and my favorite bits from each of the X-Men's sixty years of existence. 

Year 1: 1963

1963 Comics: X-Men #1-3, Tales of Suspense #49

001 - Year 1 Cover: X-Men #1

The pickings are slimmer in Year 1, of course, but it's hard not to go w/the iconic cover to the series' first issue, especially since I've had an Alex Ross recreation of it in poster form hanging on my wall for decades.

002 - Year 1 Creator: Steve Ditko

Stan & Jack will get their due, but when else will we be able to celebrate Steve Ditko drawing the first ever X-Men guest appearance in Tales of Suspense #49, in which radiation somehow turns Angel briefly evil?

003 - Year 1 Character: Professor X

Xavier is the dominant personality in the X-Men's short first year, using his mental powers to save the day/violate minds in 2 out of 3 regular issues, creepily crushing on Jean, and barking orders left & right.

004 - Year 1 Issue: X-Men #3

While #1 has all the notable firsts, #3 is the first truly bonkers & fun issue of the series, as Blob & his fellow carnies attack the X-Men after they're all jerks to Blob. The giraffe alone put it over the top.

005 - Year 1 X-Men Fun Fact

Stan Lee (rarely one to not take credit for something himself) credits Jack Kirby with the creation of the Danger Room, saying it was all Jack's idea.

006 - Year 1 X-Men Moment of the Year

While that giraffe stealing Iceman's ice cream in issue #3 is tough to beat, I gotta go with the debut of, you know, the X-Men, the moment without which none of the other X-Men moments would exist!


  1. "006 - Year 1 X-Men Moment of the Year"

    That way that scene is drawn, it's almost like Bobby is (ice) pole dancing...

  2. Kirby drew his X-Men issues like he was double-parked.

  3. Slim pickings for sure that first year. Still, fun issues if not technically "good." That #1 cover is fairly iconic though and we have a fairly solid foundation for the premise of the book. Obviously not a civil rights metaphor just yet (the distrust here is pretty much par for the course in early Marvel stories) but the seeds are there.

    And, to give Stan Lee some credit, he drops Xavier's crush on Jean pretty much immediately. I have a feeling he was leaning into the same thing here that he did with Reed and Sue and realized it wasn't a good idea. I could be wrong. Maybe he got letters about it?

    It's hard to believe that what we see here will be the basis for the most popular franchise at Marvel within 30 years of its debut. These early issues always felt like they existed to get a book on the shelf rather than because Lee or Kirby had any real interest in the concept.

  4. Every damn time I see #1’s splash panel, I’m driven to distraction wondering where the hell Iceman’s coming from


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