Marvel’s X-Men is without question one of the most successful comic book properties in history. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, by the ‘80s, the X-Men rose to the top of the sales charts and ignited into a full fledged franchise. From “The X-Men” spawned such successful titles as “Uncanny X-Men,” “X-Factor,” “New Mutants,” “X-Force,” “Excalibur,” “Alpha Flight,” “Astonishing X-Men,” “Ultimate X-Men” and many more. Beyond comic books, the X-Men have expanded into animated series, toy lines, a plethora of other merchandise and a film franchise earning a climbing total of over $1.85 billion dollars at the box office, worldwide.
As one may have ascertained from that list above, the “X-Men” franchise found a majority of its success in team books, rather than series starring solo characters. As a result, out of hundreds of characters affiliated with the franchise, only a few handfuls have been given an opportunity to find individual success, let alone actually achieving it.
Examining those characters, some statistics about the three most successful solo X-Men characters may surprise you. None of them were original members of the X-Men, nor were their first appearances in the lead “X-Men” or “Uncanny X-Men” comic book series. In fact, the most successful solo character was not even first introduced in an X-Men-related series. Only one of the three is an American (according to current continuity). And only one of them is a longstanding member of an X-Men proper team.
Factors used to determine success are number of solo starring comic books, box office receipts and variety and reach of merchandise.
Box office figures courtesy of Box Office Mojo.