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Alpha Flight Reading Order, Canada’s premier team of superheroes

A lot of Marvel’s superheroes are based in New York, but you can’t find more all around the world, including Canada! That’s where you’ll meet the members of Alpha Flight, a team often described as the Canadian’s Avengers.

From time to time, Wolverine’s back story was evoked and, in The Uncanny X-Men #120-121 by John Byrne, a new element was introduced, the Alpha Flight team. Their first on-page action was to try to abduct Wolverine to get him back to his home country as the Canadian government had invested in his training and wanted to have him rejoin his original team.

That’s how James MacDonald Hudson (Vindicator, later Guardian), Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar), Jeanne-Marie Beaubier (Aurora), Corporal Anne McKenzie (Snowbird),  Walter Langowski (Sasquatch), and Michael Twoyoungmen (Shaman) were first introduced to the readers.

John Byrne thought this was a one-off, but Canadian readers and X-Men fans alike loved the concept, and the Alpha Flight team quickly got its own ongoing series that ran from 1983 to 1994. Throughout the year, the team evolved by adding new characters.

After the first volume concluded, the series would come back multiple times and, to this day, is still active.

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The Best of Magik Comics, Our Illyana Rasputin Recommended Reading Order (X-Men)!

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While it’s obvious to think about Scarlet Witch or Clea and Stephen Strange when talking about magic users in the Marvel Universe, it would be a great mistake to disregard Magik, also known as Illyana Rasputina.

Created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, Illyana made her first appearance in the comic book Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975), like many other X-Men characters such as Nightcrawler, Storm, Thunderbird, and her brother Colossus! For a long time, she was only known as Colossus’ little sister until Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema sent her to the magical realm of Limbo. In her time there, Illyana aged seven years,  developed her teleportation abilities and became a sorceress later known as Magik.

Since her debut, Illyana has been abused by demons during her formative years, de-aged, exploited by her government, killed by a Virus, resurrected, turned on the Dark Side and more! With those many traumatic experiences, Magik became one of the most fascinating and ambiguous X-Men and well deserving of her own reading order! 

So today, let’s explore Magik’s history with her best comics to understand her character and motivations, learn more about her place among the X-Men, her relationship with her brother, Shadowcat and more!

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Storm Reading Order, Your Ororo Munroe Comic Book Guide!

One of the first black comic book characters, Storm is also one of the most important female superheroes in the Marvel Universe. She is a member of the X-Men, a descendant of African witch-priestesses with the ability to control the weather and atmosphere, who uses her powers to fight for peace and equal rights.

Created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum, she made her first appearance in the classic Giant-Size X-Men #1, the famous issue introducing several new X-Men such as Wolverine (who already made his first appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181), Colossus, Thunderbird, and Nightcrawler.

Born Ororo Munroe, Storm is a powerful and strong superheroine with a love of nature. Noticeable for her striking blue eyes and silver-white hair, she is warm, generous, and protective of her friends and family but cold, frightening, and dangerous to her enemies. Recognized as an Omega Level Mutant, she has served multiple times as the leader of the X-Men. Storm has also been worshipped as a Goddess, was Queen of Wakanda, and briefly a member of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.

Discover now our Storm reading order, guiding you through the essential comics and story arcs featuring Marvel’s iconic weather-controlling mutant!

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Gambit Comics Reading Order, Your Favourite Cajun (X-Men)

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He’s a cajun, a professional thief, and one of the X-Men’s most charming members. A master of kinetic energy from New Orleans, he has been called Le Diable Blanc but he is known as Gambit alias Remy LeBeau!

Gambit was created in 1990 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. Initially, the writer had planned for him to be, at first, an adversary or traitor to the X-Men. Following Claremont’s departure from the X-Men, the writers altered the original plan to better fit the readers’ expectations of the character. Our charming thief had indeed quickly conquered the hearts of the readers and became one of the most popular X-Men characters of the 90s.

Gambit made his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #266. In the story, he helped a de-aged Storm with amnesia and they formed a partnership as thieves. When Storm returned to her true self, she invited Remy to join the X-Men. The secretive Gambit accepted the proposition to redeem himself of past actions. While Gambit’s past will eventually catch up with him, he quickly integrated into the team and formed close relationships with several members, including Rogue – with the two starting a turbulent romance and becoming one of the most iconic X-Men relationships.

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Last Updated on May 20, 2024.

Nightcrawler Reading Order, Your Kurt Wagner Comic Book Guide!

In another Earth, Nightcrawler is part of the DC Universe, as creator Dave Cockrum first submitted the character to the competitor of Marvel. But in our reality, DC rejected him, and Cockrum used him when he started working in the X-Men in 1975. Nightcrawler then became German as editor Roy Thomas wanted the new X-Men to be an international team.

The character made his debut in the now classic Giant-Size X-Men #1, an issue written by Len Wein and penciled by Dave Cockrum. The first X-Men story in five years, it also serves as a bridge between the original X-Men and the New Team, introducing several new X-Men such as Wolverine (who already made his first appearance in The Incredible Hulk #181), Storm, Colossus, Thunderbird, and as already said, Nightcrawler.

Nicknamed ‘Elf’ by Wolvie, Nightcrawler would go on to become one of the most well-liked and respected members of the X-Men. Born Kurt Wagner, Nightcrawler is a former circus acrobat and skilled swordsman fan of Errol Flynn! His physical mutation made it impossible for him to go unnoticed in a crowd, with his dark blue fur, two-toed feet and three-fingered hands, yellow eyes, pointed ears, long sharp canines, and a prehensile tail. His demonic look contrasts with his Catholic faith. He also possesses superhuman strength, the capacity to teleport and to wall climb.

Since his introduction almost 50 years ago, Nightcrawler has lived many adventures with the X-Men but also as a founding member of Excalibur, in solo, and more recently as Spinnenmann. Following is a reading order to help you learn more about the character, or rediscover his rich history!

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The Best Kitty Pryde Comics, the Essential Reading Order

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At the beginning of the eighties, a 13-year-old girl named Kitty Pryde was introduced to the X-Men Universe. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Katherine “Kate” Pryde is a mutant with phasing abilities that allow her to move through solid matter. Following the manifestation of her powers, she was approached by Emma Frost and Charles Xavier, respectively, to invite her to join their school.

Kitty chose to go with Xavier and became the youngest to join the X-Men, at first under the codename Sprite. She would also use the alias Ariel, but would become more associated with the name Shadowcat. She was at first portrayed as the “kid sister” for the other members of the group – and developed a strong friendship with Storm while living big and dangerous adventures

And with more than 40 years of history, Kitty Pryde has seen a lot, from the young kid recruited by Xavier to a founding member of the Excalibur team, adventurer in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as Captain Kate Pryde of the Marauders and more. She would grow up, be de-aged, become a young adult, and finally recently abandon her nickname in favor of “Kate”.

One of the most popular characters in Marvel Comics, Kate is today in the spotlight with this essential reading order, listing the best comics to read to understand her character, motivations, and transformations. Beware! We try to deliver a mix of best and essential order to retrace the history of the character, and it means sometimes that the story can be a mediocre or okay story with great characterization or simply offers information about the character’s evolution.

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Last Updated on May 27, 2024.

The Origins of Wolverine, Before he joined the X-Men!

Created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr.–but first drawn for publication by Herb Trimpe–in the pages of The Incredible Hulk #180-181 in 1974, Wolverine is not your typical Canadian of small stature, he is a fierce character with retractable claws, a mysterious past, an iconic design, and a popularity that surpassed most of the other Marvel superheroes.

After being introduced as an agent of the Canadian government, Wolverine made a quick comeback. In his second appearance, in the classic Giant-Size X-Men #1, he joined the new team of X-Men but stayed a mystery for a long time. In fact, the mystery past is a big part of the character as it offers a lot of space for the writers to build stories full of twists–and not told in chronological order.

Who was Wolverine before being transformed by the mysterious Weapon X program? How many lives did he have as his healing factor keeps him young and healthy?

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The Best of Emma Frost Comics, our Recommended Reading Order for the White Queen

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She started as a foe of the X-Men before becoming a superhero and one of the most important members and leaders of the team. She is one of the strongest telepaths out there and has the power to transform her body into an unbreakable diamond. Today, we’re talking about Emma Frost, a.k.a. The White Queen.

Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne in 1979, Emma Frost is one of the most striking X-Men who found her way to the hearts of readers thanks to great character developments throughout the years. She has evolved to become more heroic without betraying who she is at her core. Importantly, Emma is devoted to her students, and the children she helps, and tries to give them all they need to survive in this cruel world.

Labeled as a femme fatale, Emma Frost is undoubtedly a complex and strong character. She never shies away from her past, but also has to endure many traumatic experiences and losses since her first appearance, more than 40 years ago!

Emma Frost finds herself right now in the spotlight with this essential reading order, listing the best White Queen comics to read to understand her character, motivations, and transformations. Beware! A Best/Essential Comic for a character can be a mediocre or okay story with great characterization or important for the character’s evolution.

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Last Updated on May 27, 2024.

The Best of Cyclops Comics, Your Essential Scott Summers Reading Order

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He is an X-Men founding member. He stands out among many mutants due to his unique eyewear and deadly optic rays. Yes, we’re talking about Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops.

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963, Cyclops is a polarising X-Man who is as much loved as he is hated, and who is frequently misunderstood. Scott Summers, who was first regarded as the archetypical hero, has never been without flaws or weaknesses. This resilient but very effective leader suffered from poor self-esteem and a tendency to dwell on his mistakes. He was also not the type of man to express his feelings and had difficulties verbalizing his problems. You guessed it, Cyclops has had to make some difficult decisions, make sacrifices, put his life in peril several times, and live in some crazy situations in the sixty years since his initial appearance!

His love life is also complicated, as he has been married to Jean Grey and her clone Madelyne Pryor, as well as being in a long-term committed relationship with our favorite White Queen, Emma Frost.

As the character celebrates the sixty anniversary of his first appearance, Scott Summers/Cyclops finds himself right now in the spotlight with this essential reading order, listing the best Cyclops comics to read to understand his character, motivations, and transformations. Beware! A Best/Essential Comic for a character can be a mediocre or okay story with great characterization or important for the character’s evolution.

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Last Updated on April 22, 2024.

Revenge of the Brood Reading Order, The X-Men and Captain Marvel Crossover

Back in the Chris Claremont days, Carol Danvers and the X-Men fought alongside each other in the original Brood Saga, a famous story that ended with Carol becoming Binary, and the X-Men making sacrifices.

The Broods are back for a double-story arc, “Revenge of the Brood” and “Lord of the Brood.” Captain Marvel is joined once again by the X-Men to fight the parasitic predators known as the Brood. They plan to infect the cosmos and the heroes must stop them.

Here is how Marvel officially introduces the stories:

In “Lord of the Brood,” the X-Men get a distress call from deep space and find that the galaxy’s Brood problem is not as solved as they’d thought! When the X-Men’s close friend Broo became the Brood King, he gained the ability to control the savage alien race he was both a part of and so different from. Now he is experiencing his own nightmare scenario—the Brood are killing his friends, and there is nothing he can do to stop it! Rogue Brood factions have begun running wild, and it’s up to the X-Men to get to the bottom of why!

In “Revenge of the Brood,” Carol Danvers is on an X-press elevator to her own personal hell! And the Brood Empress is determined to ensure the Captain and all of her friends make it to their destination. Rescuing their team and getting out alive has always been the goal, but the odds are more deeply stacked against her team than Carol can even imagine. Overwhelmed and trapped in the Brood’s backyard, Captain Marvel and her team are forced to sacrifice one of their own. But the Brood let Carol through their clutches once before, and in so doing, created one of their worst enemies. They won’t make that mistake again. 

This Captain Marvel/X-Men epic cosmic story is coming from Kelly Thompson, writer of Captain Marvel, with art by Juan Frigeri, and Gerry Duggan, writer of X-Men, with art by Stefano Caselli.

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