The X-Men are one of the most storied franchises in Marvel history. For years, the books starring the team were the biggest in the comic book industry, with some of the best talents telling stories that broadened fans’ understanding of the team. In fact, when it comes down to it, the X-Men have been a part of some of the best stories in comic book history, the ones that all fans should read.

RELATED: 10 Times Cyclops Let The X-Men Down

With that said, X-Men stories can often be quite dark, as they deal with many serious real-world issues. On top of that, there are some short stories that are sad because they have disappointed readers for multiple reasons. That doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t read them though, either because they’re worth looking at or marveling at how bad things can get.

10 House of M set a terrible precedent for the future of the X-Men

House of M Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel is a sad story for the X-Men in several ways. While the quality of the story is all over the place, it produced one of the biggest changes to the X-Men in years: the massive elimination of the mutant race of Scarlet Witch. This completely changed the X-Men, as the once ascendant mutant race was reduced to a pittance, one that their racist enemies could easily eliminate.

It made the X-Men weaker than they had been in years and prepared the X-Men for a very dark time in their existence. It’s also tough on fans because it foreshadowed Marvel’s treatment of mutants for years to come, marginalizing and dividing them in their own corner of the rapidly diminishing Marvel Universe.

9 Scott Lobdell and Richard Bennett’s Uncanny X-Men # 303 delivered a heartbreaking death

Uncanny X-Mn 303 cropped

Magik has become one of the most powerful and important X-Men in recent years, but he also gets credit for one of the saddest X-Men stories of all time. By the 1990s, he had lost his preteen age and tragically contracted the Legacy virus, a disease that only affects mutants. The X-Men did their best, but in the end, Illyana would lose her fight against the virus.

Death was no stranger to the X-Men, but Illyana was just a child at the time and her dying from a terrible disease the team could do nothing about was a shocking moment, one that would have huge repercussions for the team.

8 X-Men # 25 ended in tragedy for everyone involved

X-Men # 25 by Fabian Nicieza & Andy Kubert showed one of the definitive confrontations between the X-Men and Magneto. After Magneto detonated a massive electromagnetic pulse that paralyzed Earth, the X-Men decided it was time to take drastic measures to stop the evil mutant. The battle between the team and Magneto heated up, with Magneto ripping the adamantium from Wolverine’s bones, nearly killing him, and Xavier clearing his old friend’s mind.

RELATED: X-Men: 10 Times Magneto Cheated Death

Xavier and Magneto always had a complicated relationship, and this one sees both of them do everything they can to completely destroy the other. The complete and total dissolution of their friendship and the consequences of that are very sad.

7 The Next Generation is the saddest part of Age Of Apocalypse and that’s saying something

Generation Next Bachalo

Era of apocalypse It’s one of the most beloved X-Men stories of the ’90s, but there’s no denying that it’s also one of the most heartbreaking. This is something by design, a world where Apocalypse has taken over America and enslaved and slaughtered most of the humans in the country as the people of Europe prepare a nuclear war, it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

The hardest part is Next generation by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo, featuring Colossus, Kitty Pryde, and the teenage X-Men breaking into the Seattle Core to win back Colossus’s sister, Illyana, whose powers can help prevent this terrible world from coming into existence. However, it is a basically desperate mission and the book becomes very, very dark. It’s a great read that will ruin a reader’s day.

6 House Of X / Powers Of X mixes hope and despair

Writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Pepe Larraz and RB Silva’s House of X / Powers of X is the biggest X-Men story of the 2010s, introducing all sorts of new concepts and bringing the X-Men back to prominence after years of publisher-imposed stalemate. While this was a good thing, it colored all the hope it brought to the X-Men with a great deal of despair.

Throughout Moira MacTaggert’s many lives, it was revealed that the mutant race is almost always doomed no matter what they do, as the evolutionary arms race between mutants and humanity has humans exterminate them with the help of machines. This took all the hope of the new beginning that the mutant race had earned and tinged it with darkness.

5 Operation: Zero Tolerance Shows How Far Humans Will Go To Racism

Humans have been trying to destroy the X-Men for a long time and Operation: zero tolerance Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo shows just how deep humanity’s racism runs. The titular Operation: Zero Tolerance is a government agency dedicated to controlling mutants and destroying them if necessary. Agents go so far as to inject themselves – and test subjects unknowingly – with nanotechnology that transforms them into Sentinels.

The X-Men books have long been about fighting racism and Operation: zero tolerance It shows how far racists will go to achieve their goals. It is a reminder of how it reflects racists in the real world.

4 Inhumans Vs X-Men was the height of Marvel’s hatred in the X-Men

Inhumans Vs X-Men by Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Leimil Francis Yu is heartbreaking primarily because of what it represented to X-Men fans and how badly Marvel was treating them at the time. Due to various real world problems, Marvel had decided to push the Inhumans instead of the X-Men. They did so by revealing that the Terrigen Mists that the Inhumans had released into the atmosphere were lethal to mutants.

RELATED: 10 X-Men Stories That Have Aged Surprisingly Well

While this was bad enough, Marvel actually made the X-Men the aggressors against the Inhumans because fighting genocide was wrong in some way. It was all so terrible, and it put off readers of Endless X-Men, seeing how their favorite heroes were treated because of movie rights.

3 Days of the future, the past was the original dystopian future

X Men

Days of future past is a classic X-Men story from Chris Claremont, John Byrne, and Terry Austin, one that would open up a new avenue of storytelling for mainstream superhero comics: the dystopian future. In the future of Days of the future past, Man’s war against mutants had been successful, and the Sentinels had destroyed most of the mutant race.

The surviving X-Men came up with a desperate plan to stop it all from happening and fans had to watch their favorite X-Men die to make sure the horrors of this timeline never took place. This dark future was a depressing glimpse of what could be.

two The Dark Phoenix Saga showed the falls of power and heroism

Death of Jean Gray Dark Phoenix Saga X-Men Marvel

Chris Claremont and John Byrne The saga of the dark phoenix It is widely considered one of the greatest stories in the history of the medium. However, it’s sad on several levels as well, from the way Mastermind used his mental powers on Jean Gray to basically change who she was and start the whole process to her iconic ending, where Jean chose death over horror in which. his life had become.

It also showed the X-Men’s despair when their friend, someone they loved, changed before their eyes and transformed into a monster. The story took a familiar narrative, a hero’s fall from grace, and changed the normal ending of his eventual return and created something powerful and memorable.

1 God loves, man kills shows the dark side of religion

Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson God loves, man kills is one of the most powerful X-Men tales of all time. With the mutants gone, the X-Men are forced to team up with their arch nemesis Magneto to find out exactly what’s going on. At the center of it all is the Reverend William Stryker, a man who twists and perverts religion for his own filthy ends.

This story is more important than ever as it shows how something that can be beneficial to so many, religion, can be taken over by evil men and transformed into a tool of racism and oppression.

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