One of Marvel Comics' most famous superhero teams, the X-Men are a group of mutants who are fighting to protect a world that hates and persecutes them. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the pages of X-Men #1 (1963), the team was organized by Professor X and includes various youths who were born as mutants with superpowers. The original lineup of the X-Men included Cyclops (Scott Summers, originally named Slim), the Angel (Warren Worthington III), the Beast (Hank McCoy), and Iceman (Bobby Drake), with Marvel Girl (Jean Grey) joining in the first issue. Other popular additions to the roster at various points in time have included Wolverine (James Logan Howlett), Rogue (whose real name is unknown), Storm (Ororo Munroe), Gambit (Remy LeBleau), Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Shadowcat (Katherine "Kitty" Pryde) and even their arch-nemesis Magneto (Eric Magnus Lehnsherr).
The book was a victim of poor sales despite groundbreaking artwork by Neal Adams and began printing reprints with issue #66 in 1970. The book was revived by Len Wein, Chris Claremont and John Byrne in 1975. The book quickly became popular with the fans and a sales hit; Claremont and Byrne became superstars of the comic industry and other comicbook titles imitated the superheroic team formula of the book.
Claremont remained with the book for over a decade until differences with the editorial regime in 1991 caused him to leave. The book has spawned a number of spinoff titles and mutants have become both prevalent and popular within the comic world. Marvel has continued to produce the book under a number of creative teams but due to its popularity and status as a sales leader is the subject of strident editorial control and obligatory crossovers.
Despite their popularity as a comic book, it was years before they got their own TV show (an animated cartoon on Fox and a second one called X-Men: Evolution on WB Network), and years after that until they got their own live action movie (2000, directed by Bryan Singer for 20th Century Fox.) In 2003, a massively hyped sequel came to theaters. The movie grossed the 4th highest weekend gross of all time and the largest world gross of all time.