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THE X-MEN

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The X-Men are a team of science fictional comic book characters, superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they debuted in The X-Men #1, published in September 1963. The X-Men are fictitious mutants who, as a result of a sudden leap in evolution, are born with latent superhuman abilities which generally manifest themselves at puberty. In the stories, many ordinary humans harbor an intense fear and/or distrust of mutants (often referred to as Homo superior), who are regarded by a number of scientists as the next step in human evolution and are thus widely viewed as a threat to human society. The tensions are exacerbated by mutants who use their powers for criminal ends. The X-Men alliance is formed by the benevolent Professor Charles Xavier, a.k.a. Professor X, a wealthy mutant who founds an academy to train young mutants to protect themselves and the world from Magneto, the Brotherhood of Mutants and other mutant threats.

The X-Men comic book series was one of comicdom's earliest and most influential trendsetters in adopting a multicultural central cast; during the 1970s, the roster was diversified, adding characters from Germany, Ireland, Canada, the Soviet Union, Kenya and Japan. Characters representing many other ethnicities and cultural backgrounds have subsequently been added. The stories themselves often touch upon themes relating to the status of minorities, including assimilation, tolerance, and beliefs regarding a "superior race."

The X-Men have expanded into film and television, including one of the most successful Saturday morning programs, X-Men: The Animated Series and the hit Kids WB! animated series X-Men Evolution. The year 2000 saw the successful debut of the X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer. Its sequel X2: X-Men United was released in 2003, again directed by Singer, and a third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, this time directed by Brett Ratner, was released May 26, 2006.

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