9.5 out of 10 - salloria
Born as mutants, five students attend a special school overseen by Professor Xavier to not only help them to control their powers, but to help both Homo Sapien and Homo Superior alike. But when an evil mutant by the name of Magneto sets into motion his own plans for domination, it's those same five students that meet the threat head-on. Sworn to protect a world that fears them, they are The X-Men!
Stan Lee, in another stellar launch from the 60's that catapulted Marvel Comics into the forefront, uses characters that are slightly "different" as a means to communicate that people come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. As such, when Angel removes the straps that keep his wings hidden and laments that he finally feels like himself, the real message is that no one should be ashamed of who they are. Is it a wonder that this one issue would eventually spin into the largest and most popular franchise of the 90's?
Jack Kirby equally shows why he's one of the true greats, with his distinctive style and energy, as various powers are paraded for the reader. Another significant point are the character designs themselves. While the X-Men's uniforms have changed more times than I care to count, other notables are unchanged; from Cyclops' visor to Angel's wings to even Magneto's costume… it's hard to believe that these first emerged over 40 years ago.
Mutants, as characters, are the cornerstone of the Marvel Universe, and I'd be hard pressed to think of another type of character that has appeared in more singular issues than the various X-Men that have graced innumerable pages over the years. Treat yourself to this gem, it still stands the test of time.