7 X-Men Deaths That Matter

With an X-Man and  Avenger dying in the pages of Uncanny Avengers # 14 , POP GOES MANILA takes a look at some of the more pertinent and important deaths of other X-Men characters through the franchise’s long history.

7. Colossus

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Colossus (Peter Rasputin) died in order to facilitate the release of the cure for mutant killing “Legacy Virus”, Piotr injected Beast’s cure which automatically goes airborne and cures mutants afflicted with the disease. He died a hero’s death and was mourned.

RETURN: Joss Whedon brings him back in Astonishing X-Men and it’s revealed that his body was stolen.

6. Cable in Second Coming

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Bastion has trapped the X-Men and San Francisco in a bubble then had Sentinels kill off the mutants thanks to a portal to the future. Cyclops calls in his kill team, X-Force to deal with the problem adding his son to the roster. The team is successful in halting the deployment of Sentinels but they cant go back because the portal does not allow organics. Cable literally holds the portal (as he’s part techno-organic) to let his teammates get back to their time and in the final moments gets obliterated.

RETURN: Cable is sent to the far-flung future where the world is in ruins thanks to the Avengers and the X-Men (more on the Avengers though). Blaquesmith sends Nate back to the past where he almost successfully takes down the Avengers using future tech. Nobody dies but Cable is left in a coma.

5. Kitty Pryde in Astonishing X-Men

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Whedon was a terrible, terrible man for making us love Kitty Pryde only to see her ‘die’ at the end of his run. The Breakworld has launched a bullet aimed for Earth. When it hits the core, everybody dies. Cue the X-Men and Abigail Brand of SWORD. They try to sabotage the launch but miss. Luckily Kitty is already on the scene and ready to take down the bullet. Problem is, the alien properties of the metal bullet makes it impossible for Miss Pryde to ‘phase’ out of the bullet. The result, Kitty is stuck inside a hollow space bullet, we assumed that this was forever but it was only a short while.

RETURN: Under Matt Fraction’s guidance, Magneto joins the ranks of the X-Men and to prove his loyalty, he brings back the bullet AND manages to yank Kitty Pryde out of it.

4. Charles Xavier in AVX

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Charles Xavier died at the hands of Cyclops towards the end of AVX, Avengers vs X-Men. There were huge ramifications here but it looks like this is going to be a permanent thing. His death mattered because it opened new story lines and changed the status quo for Scott Summers.

RETURN: N/A

3. Nightcrawler in Second Coming

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In order to get Hope Summers to Utopia, Rogue and Kurt Wagner go on a different route with the hopes of teleporting directly to San Francisco from the East Coast. Unfortunately for them, they get ambushed by Bastion who was waiting for them to pop out somewhere in the midwest. In the ensuing fight, Hope was about to get killed but Nightcrawler teleports in between leaving him critically wounded (and with a sentinal forearm in his fricking chest). The team reaches Utopia where Kurt dies.

RETURNS: Kurt’s resurrection is currently being chronicled in Jason Aaron’s AMAZING X-MEN

2. Cyclops

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For a brief period of time, Scott Summers aka Cyclops was believed ‘dead’. The death occurred in “The Twelve” storyline where Apocalypse gathered 12 omega level mutants with the hopes of absorbing them to become omnipotent. When that failed, he resorted to absorbing the most powerful mutant in the premises, Nate Grey aka X-Man. Before the merge was complete Cyclops jumped between them. Apocalypse ends up bonded with Scott instead of his ‘son’.

Scott’s ‘death’ mattered as it opened a new era for the X-Men. Two different teams of X-Men were conceived post-The Twelve. Chris Claremont also returned working together with Leinil Francis Yu. On Uncanny Cable and Jean continue Charles Xavier’s dream with Beast, Gambit and Storm.

RETURN: Cyclops was later rescued from his bond with Apocalypse in “Search for Cyclops”. Free from the evil influence, Cyke returned to his duties as overall field leader of the X-Men.

1. Jean Grey

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Face it Jean’s death mattered for a fledgling title back in the day. Killing her off really didn’t make much sense but it did develop a lot of interesting new stories for the X-Men (Cyclops in particular). This also established Jean Grey’s ‘real’ power which is to come back again and again only to be killed off. There’s poignancy and sadness in this one which really makes it a beautiful read.

RETURN: MANY! Take your pick. While she’s currently dead again, the teenage Jean is currently running in the present together with the rest of the Original Five X-Men. See All New X-Men for more adventures.

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