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The X-Men are a team of comic book superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they debuted in X-Men #1 from September 1963, the same month as the premiere of The Avengers.
The X-Men franchise, with its original stories of youthful alienation in which teens literally are the freaks they often figuratively feel like, has grown to become one of the most popular comic books producing dozens of spin-off series over the years and turning some of its writers and artists into industry stars. Since the 1980s, the X-Men universe has branched into both television and film including one of the most successful Saturday morning programs, X-Men: The Animated Series. The year 2000 saw the debut of following series X-Men: Evolution and the long-awaited X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer. Its sequel X2 was released in 2003 and became the sixth highest grossing film of the year. A third X-Men movie is scheduled for release in May 2006. The X-Men are mutants, who in the Marvel universe are humans who, through a sudden leap in evolution, are born with latent superhuman abilities which generally manifest themselves at puberty. Ordinary humans, Homo sapiens, often hate mutants, who were dubbed Homo sapiens superior. Many humans fear that mutants will replace them, or that they will use their power to conquer humanity.
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One problem that exacerbates tensions between mutants and the rest of humanity is the fact that literally hundreds of mutants have used their powers in criminal or violent acts against society. A number of archnemeses of the X-Men, such as Magneto and Apocalypse, have been mutants who have tried to dominate human society. The X-Men were gathered by the benevolent Professor Charles Xavier, a.k.a. Professor X, a wealthy mutant who founded an academy to train young mutants to protect themselves and the world from Magneto and other mutant threats.
The X-Men franchise contains a richly diverse cast that is among comicdom's most multicultural. The stories touch upon a wide number of themes relating to the status of minorities, including assimilation, tolerance, and beliefs regarding a superior race (real or perceived). The philosophies of Professor X and Magneto would be compared to those of Martin Luther King and Malcom X respectively. During the 1970s, the roster was changed to further reflect this multiculturalism, adding characters from Germany, Ireland, the Soviet Union, Africa and Japan. This multicultural theme has persisted over the years with more and more characters of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds constantly being added to the mythos.
The team's name is widely said to be derived from the fact that mutants are "extra" powered due to their "X-Factor gene", a word which was coined by Professor X. Co-creator Stan Lee recalled in his book Son of Origins of Marvel Comics and elsewhere that he devised the series title after Marvel publisher Martin Goodman turned down the initial name, "The Mutants." In addition to this "official" explanation, the X-Men are widely regarded (both within the Marvel Universe as well as by the readers of the series) to have been named after Xavier himself. The members of the team have always been followers of Charles Xavier, hence, "X-Men."
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X-MenX-Men is a United States action movie, first released in Australia on 13 July 2000. The film features a group of comic book superheroes called the X-Men. It formed a major part of the current revival in comic-book adaptation movies.
The movie was directed by Bryan Singer and explores the ideas of prejudice and discrimination in the United States. The screenplay was co-written by David Hayter (who has a cameo appearance in the film as a police officer), and Joss Whedon also made uncredited contributions.
X2X2 (promoted in some markets as X2: X-Men United, X-Men 2: X-Men United, or X-Men 2) is an American movie, first released in the United Kingdom on April 24, 2003, and in the United States on May 2. The film is a sequel to X-Men. It was directed by Bryan Singer, and starred an ensemble cast including Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, and Alan Cumming.
The film is loosely based on the 1982 X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills. In the film, William Stryker is a high-ranking army colonel who leads an assault into Professor Xavier's school to build his own version of Xavier's mutant-tracking computer Cerebro in order to destroy every mutant on Earth. The X-Men are forced to ally with Magneto and Mystique to defeat Stryker. X2 introduced Nightcrawler to film-goers, and was an even greater success than the original film, earning approx. $215 million in North America alone, making it one of the top ten movies of 2003. It was also proclaimed by many fans and critics a superior film than its predecessor.
X-Men: The Last StandX-Men: The Last Stand (also known as X-Men 3) is the third film adaptation of the X-Men superhero comic books. The previous two movies were X-Men and X2. X-Men: The Last Stand is scheduled to be released May 26, 2006. The film was directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour and Rush Hour 2, Red Dragon, After the Sunset). It was officially confirmed by a 20th Century Fox publicist that the film will be called X-Men: The Last Stand, though they did the same to its predecessor insisting it be called X2: X-Men United while its director Bryan Singer insisted it was simply X2.
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