Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. But you know what? Here at AiPT!, we’ve got nothing but love for Marvel’s mighty mutants! To celebrate the long-awaited return of Uncanny X-Men, AiPT! Brings you UNCANNY X-MONTH: 30 days of original X-Men content. Hope you survive the experience…Most comic book fans have a pretty good idea what they’re going to buy every week when they visit their local comic shop. With that said, there’s still a lot of fun to be had just glancing at the week’s new releases and taking a chance on a book that looks promising. That’s where covers come in–a fantastic image can make the difference between trying something new or saying, “Nah, not this week.”
Throughout Uncanny X-Month, we’ll be publishing special editions of Judging by the Cover. This week, we asked our contributors to share their favorite X-Men event covers of all time. Here’s what Media and Content Manager David Brooke, Uncanny X-Month Curator Chris Hassan and Manga Editor Eric Cline picked out:
Uncanny X-Men #494
Event: Messiah Complex
Cover art by David Finch
This cover has a movie poster-style to it that I adore. The way the characters are positioned isn’t realistic in a normal scene since they’re all posing. There’s even a subtle cross in the top left corner of the cover. The dark tone is ever present and there’s a sense of apocalyptic chaos afoot.
Uncanny X-Men #467
Cover art by Chris Bachalo
Spinning out of “House of M,” “Decimation” was an event that spread out across multiple titles. I dig this cover as it captures the sorry state the X-Men are in (Wolverine is downtrodden and Storm seems so unsure). The use of light on Psylocke’s blade is hella cool too.
Age of Apocalypse #1-5 gatefold cover
Events: Secret Wars: Warzones
Cover art by Gerardo Sandoval and David Curiel
I’m a big fan of this iteration of the X-Men and Sandoval outdid himself with this extra-wide five-issue cover extravaganza. It captures all the heavy hitters in that universe in dramatic poses with an impressive use of color by Curiel. I also love how stupidly huge Wolverine’s stubby arm is and who doesn’t love that fierce pose by Emma?
Event: X-Cutioner’s Song
Cover art by Andy Kubert
While “X-Cutioner’s Song” was far from my favorite X-Men event of all time, it was one of the first (very confusing) storylines I read as a new X-Men fan. As a young reader who gravitated toward Cyclops and Jean Grey, I, of course, had to own this issue once I saw its cover in my comic shop’s X-Men longbox. Also, Stryfe and his massive cape on a golden skull throne–’nuff said.
Uncanny X-Force #10
Event: The Dark Angel Saga
Cover artist: Esad Ribic
Without a doubt, one of the best, most emotional recent X-Men events took place in the pages of Rick Remender’s beloved Uncanny X-Force series. No cover better represents the tragedy of “The Dark Angel Saga” than this terrifying Esad Ribic cover, which features Warren Worthington III’s savage Archangel persona besting Angel.
Cover art by Adam Kubert
This is a fun one, courtesy of Adam Kubert. While Cyclops and Wolverine clearly respect one another very much, there’s that part of them that wishes the other never existed. Schism allowed these two to almost battle to the death once and for all–if only Jean Grey had been alive to see it! This cover perfectly captures how Scott and Logan are so driven to best one another they don’t even notice the threat looming overhead.
Uncanny X-Men #241
Cover art by Marc Silvestri and Dan Green
X-Men events don’t get much more notable than “Inferno,” and X-Men covers don’t get much more striking than this one. Madelyne’s cape is wonderfully dramatic, as are the demons beneath it. The danger is clear as the bottom demon holds on to baby Cable, and the captions are fantastic as well. All in all, this is a wickedly wacky image.
Astonishing X-Men #1
Event: The Age of Apocalypse
Cover art by Joe Madureira, Dan Green, & Tim Townsend
No other X-Men event has ever had the gravitas of “The Age of Apocalypse.” This cover presents the reader with new, unknown versions of tons of beloved characters, as well as some figures who were virtually unidentifiable at the time (like Morph). There are so many cool designs on display here, and Magneto’s importance as the X-Men’s leader in this timeline is reflected by his placement front and center. Madureira’s art is also bursting with energy as always, and Townsend’s colors pop well.
X-Men Alpha #1
Event: The Age of Apocalypse
Cover art by Joe Madureira and Tim Townsend
Yet another “AoA” cover that’s bursting with energy and tons of characters running toward the reader. And to make it all better: a chromium cover! That trend got old in the ’90s, but in this case it’s still just plain cool. The whole thing just screams fun, and I love it.
What are your favorite X-Men event covers of all time? Let us know in the comment space below!