The X-Men's Wildest Costumes
Read the comics behind these kooky looks, all on Marvel Unlimited!
Over the years, the X-Men have displayed some impeccable fashion sense, as well as some of the most memorable costumes in comics. But the Children of the Atom have also occasionally used one-off outfits to reflect internal and external developments. From temporary heel turns to moments of self-discovery, an ever-changing wardrobe makes the X-Men even more fun to follow.
To celebrate the X-Men’s wildest costumes, digital comics mega-library Marvel Unlimited is taking a look back at ten of the very best (or worst, depending on your viewpoint). Read the comic stories behind these alternate looks, outfits that have become iconic in their own right.
FANG WOLVERINE: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #107-108
During the PHOENIX SAGA, Wolverine’s original costume was almost completely shredded while fighting the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. However, Logan’s solution was simply to knock out the Imperial Guard’s Fang, and steal an outfit right off his back! It was a good look for Wolverine, but he immediately went back to his old costume when he returned to Earth.
[RELATED: Top 10 Wolverine Costumes]
Although the X-Men’s flagship title was published in 1963, it didn’t embrace the fashion of the era. That changed when the second Mastermind, Martinique Wyngarde, used her powers to make San Francisco’s residents believe that the Summer of Love was back and here to stay.
Warpath and Iceman became “Running Sun and Frosty,” respectively. Hepzibah was also rechristened “Lady Kitten,” but hippie Angel got to keep his codename. Once Mastermind’s illusion was broken, the Groovy X-Men reverted back to normal, but their psychedelic makeovers were still top of mind.
SAVAGE LAND ROGUE: UNCANNY X-MEN #269-274
Back in UNCANNY X-MEN #247, Rogue was sucked into the Siege Perilous and was believed to be lost forever. But in issue #269, she re-emerged alongside a physical manifestation of Ms. Marvel that was created from Carol Danvers’ stolen memories. Rogue soon found herself bereft of her abilities and trapped in the prehistoric Savage Land.
Regardless of the circumstances, Rogue embraced her new life. She even made an emotional connection with Magneto while opposing Zaladane and the Savage Land Mutates. Rogue’s jungle costume also became a fan-favorite, inspiring cosplayers, fan art, and even official statues. Even subsequent X-Men artists have revisited Rogue’s unexpectedly iconic look.
Colossus embraced his destiny when he joined the team in GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1. But the Russian struggled with doubts about his membership. Arcade took full advantage of Colossus’ uncertainty, brainwashing him into becoming an enemy of the X-Men. In this confused state, Colossus took on a new identity as a Soviet super-soldier: The Proletarian.
Arcade tricked The Proletarian into attacking his friends and allies to prove his loyalty to the state. Fortunately, Storm and Cyclops were able to reach Colossus before he could do serious harm.
THUNDER GODDESS STORM: X-MEN ANNUAL (1970) #9
After Storm lost her powers, Loki saw an opportunity to strike at his brother Thor by transforming Storm into a new Goddess of Thunder. Loki was also seeking payback after the events of X-MEN/ALPHA FLIGHT (1985) #1-2, so it suited his agenda to kidnap Storm and the New Mutants, forcing the X-Men to follow them to Asgard for yet another showdown with Loki.
To comfort Colossus’ sister Magik, Kitty Pryde improvised a bedtime story that cast the X-Men as fairy-tale-like characters. Nightcrawler became a mischievous imp called Bamf, while Wolverine was simply “Mean.” Kitty and Colossus were swashbuckling pirates, while Cyclops and Jean Grey’s tragic love story was given a happy ending.
Years later, NIGHTCRAWLER (1985) revealed that Kitty’s fairy tale X-Men actually existed in an alternate universe. Nightcrawler was particularly annoyed at discovering that multiple Bamfs now considered him their father.
XAVIER/CALIBAN: UNCANNY X-MEN #190-191
The sorcerer Kulan Gath cast a spell on New York that turned the city into a new Hyborian Age. Because Charles Xavier was a threat to his power, Kulan Gath enslaved the X-Men’s mentor by fusing him with Caliban. This Xavier/Caliban was a grotesque creation who was reluctantly loyal to his new master.
All of the X-Men, Avengers, and New Mutants were also given barbarian makeovers. But once Kulan Gath was defeated, all of his changes faded away as if they had never happened.
ATLANTEAN JEAN GREY: X-FACTOR ANNUAL (1986) #4
In BIZARRE ADVENTURES (1981) #27, Atlantis’ warlord Attuma attempted to make Jean Grey and her sister, Sara, his new queens. To his horror, Attuma greatly underestimated the Phoenix’s power as she easily saved herself and Sara. Years later, during the events of ATLANTIS ATTACKS, Attuma encountered the real Jean Grey and once again tried to claim her as his own.
Jean was given a new outfit worthy of a queen of Atlantis. But if Attuma expected Jean to simply give into his desire, he had another thing coming. Even severely weakened, Jean was able to hold Attuma at bay until help arrived.
Alex Summers fell for his brother’s estranged wife while the X-Men were living in Australia. That’s why he refused to believe that Madelyne had gone bad despite all evidence to the contrary.
While the X-Men and X-Factor fought each other, Alex held on to the demonic chariot that whisked Madelyne away. Alex felt pieces of himself fall aside, much like his costume. Following Madelyne’s demise, he slowly reclaimed himself, but the Goblin Prince look will live on in infamy.
[RELATED: A Quick History of the Goblin Queen]
LADY MANDARIN: UNCANNY X-MEN #256-258
Rogue wasn’t the only member of the X-Men to have a transformative experience in the Siege Perilous. In UNCANNY X-MEN #251, Psylocke used her powers to convince the remaining members of the team to step into the chasm in order to save themselves from the cyborg Reavers. When Psylocke emerged, she was brainwashed by the Hand into becoming Lady Mandarin, the Mandarin’s top assassin.
The Mandarin’s faith in Psylocke was so complete that he actually lent her his power rings. She also received a very stylish suit of armor to go along with her new codename. Lady Mandarin successfully defeated Wolverine, nearly turning him into the Hand’s pawn as well. Fortunately, Logan’s fractured psyche helped Psylocke break the Hand’s conditioning, and she joined Wolverine and Jubilee on a quest to find the missing X-Men.
There you have it! Tell us which whacky costume is your favorite, and join Marvel Unlimited to read these comics—and choose from over 27,000 more—right now! What will you be reading this week? Join the conversation at @MarvelUnlimited, and stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook channels for more weekly announcements and updates.
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