You saw “X-Men: First Class” and liked it. So, now what? Where do you start? Fear not, I’m here to help. This post may contain movie and comic book spoilers, so be warned!
X-Men First Class (Vol. 1 – 8 issues, Vol. 2 – 16 issues, Finals – 4 issues) The name of these limited series are the same as the film, but the stories are different. It is a modern take on the early days of the X-Men. The role call is different from the film: Cyclops (Scott Summers), Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Iceman (Bobby Drake), and Angel (Warren Worthington III) who should not to be confused with the Angel that appears in the film. Only Beast (Hank McCoy) was in the original line up of X-Men and is both in the film and this series. Written by Jeff Parker, with art by Roger Cruz.
X-Men #20 An early story of the X-Men, in which they battle the evil alien Lucifer. During the course of the story, Professor Xavier reveals that it is Lucifer that is responsible for his paralysis. The Professor and Lucifer fought years before in Tibet, where Lucifer crushed the Professors legs with a boulder. Written by Roy Thomas with art by Werner Roth.
X-Men #129 There are many firsts in this Marvel Milestone. It contains the first appearance of Sebastian Shaw, Emma Frost and the Hellfire Club. The story, however, has nothing to do with the movie. Which is good, because you don’t want to just re-read the movie. The down side is none of the X-Men you saw in the movie are in this issue, with the exception of Banshee and Havok who are only on one page. It is written and drawn by the classic X-Men team of Chris Claremont and John Byrne, who dominated the 1980’s and set the bar for which all X-titles will be judged. This first storyline featuring the Hellfire Club runs through issue #134, but continues without Shaw and company through issue #137.
X-Men #150The are elements in this issue that we see in the film, with Magneto being the central focus. The Russians attack Magneto’s island with a submarine, the X-Men arrive in the Blackbird and Magneto talking about his past are all pieces that inspired the film. Again, another Chris Claremont story, with art by Dave Cockrum.
X-Men #161 A flashback issue that tells the story of Charles Xavier first met Magnus, a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto. The surrounding story is that of Professor Xavier unconscious after an encounter with the Brood (a hostile extraterrestrial life form that are not unlike alien from the movie ‘Alien’). Their meeting is different than in the film, but it does involve fighting Nazis and discussing their philosophical differences. Story by Chris Claremont and art by Dave Cockrum. There are, of course, 46 years of other X-Men exploits to read, with many, many other titles and limited series.