They are the children of the atom protecting a world that fears them. The X-Men are a team of mutants born with unique abilities that make them some of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe. But, of course, their capabilities allow any form of adventure to happen, and many of them enter uncanny territory.
From characters performing epic feats for childish reasons, relationships that require a severe double-take, to bizarre supervillains putting the team through the oddest possible scenarios. The X-Men have faced all-comers throughout their almost 60-year history, but not all are the most dramatic: some are just strange.
Emma Frost Saves… … her handbag (New X-Men # 116)
What makes this specific issue so weird isn’t so much its content, being the conclusion of a massive storyline involving Cassandra Nova attempting to wipe out Mutant-kind. But what makes it so odd is the motivation behind one specific character.
Emma Frost is an icy person, pun intended. Even when she performs super-heroics, she does not necessarily do it for her allies. After abruptly killing the villain, Emma reveals the reason she returned was far more straightforward: her handbag was still there.
The Most Damaging Bar Fight Ever (Uncanny X-Men # 183)
When most guys go to the bar, there’s bound to be good times, if sometimes a scuffle or two. But very rarely does a brawl destroy the entire bar when they do. Colossus, distraught after being dumped by his girlfriend, is confronted by Juggernaut. What follows can only be described as the most violent pub brawl in all fiction.
The two super-strong men throw around support beams, crash through walls and throw the bar itself at each other. While Juggernaut wins, he at least kind enough to pay for the damages.
X-Men Origin (Uncanny X-Men # 1)
The origins of the Marvel heroes often cement their character’s legacy, ethos, and heroism. Unfortunately, the origin issue of the X-Men is a shocking exercise in sexism, bratty behavior, and surprisingly little of the struggle between humans and mutants. Instead, the story begins with the team fully formed, albeit with Jean Gray as Marvel Girl joining the team for the first time.
We see the X-Men bickering with each other, acting like children in training, and expressing dismay at the idea of a girl joining their ranks. While infighting and conflicts between team members have made for more excellent stories down the line, it’s a surprisingly dated and mean-spirited story for their first-ever appearance.
Wolverine and Peter Parker Switch Bodies (Ultimate Spider-Man # 67)
This one came in Ultimate Spider-Man, but it definitely qualifies as an odd outing for the children of the atom. The comic starts with writer Brian Michael Bendis apologizing for what will follow and promises it will never happen again. Wolverine and Peter Parker have switched bodies. The classic body-switching hijinks ensue, including a questionable moment when Wolverine in Peter’s body hits on Mary Jane.
The ending reveals that Jean Gray is causing the switch as payback for Wolverine constantly hitting on her. Peter leaves, but not before delivering a heavily censored piece of his mind against the entire group. After everything he’s been through, who can blame him?
Mojo as a character is definitely one of the more unique villains in the Marvel universe. He is a disgusting, literally spineless creature from an alternate world where he creates mandatory television and deadly challenges for all his residents. He has battled many heroes over the years, but the X-Men are perhaps his most prevalent enemies.
Mojo Worldwide spanned six issues, pitting him against two separate teams of X-Men to defeat him and stop his plan to destroy the Earth. But, of course, while Mojo is bizarre and can be funny, he is also one of their most dangerous villains, able to recreate enemies such as the Brood and Sentinels.
Ka-Zar and the Savage Land (Uncanny X-Men # 10)
The X-Men have many allies, from the likes of Black Panther to Spider-Man. But some are just plain silly. Take Ka-Zar and his pet Sabretooth Tiger Zabu, the self-proclaimed lord of the Savage Land.
Something of Jack Kirby‘s answer to Tarzan, he lives in a land underneath Antarctica populated by dinosaurs, giant birds, mastodons, and Neanderthals. His crossover with the children of the atom is a delightful piece of 1960’s comic camp, taking this team to a savage and strange world of extinct creatures and monsters.
Professor X Marries Mystique (Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3)
Let’s face it. Superhero couples range from being the perfect matches to being downright ridiculous. And then some come out of nowhere, existing almost solely to give the reader a good laugh before being banished to retcon limbo. Professor X reveals his bride: Mystique.
While Xavier and Mystique have something of a history in the movies, seeing these two prepare to tie the knot was a sight nearly everyone hated – even Emma Frost could not hold back her laughter at the idea. The stranger thing is that it never led to any significant developments, as the union was completely forgotten in the more substantial continuity.
Deadpool vs. Deadpool Gambit
The Merc with a Mouth teamed up with many heroes back in 2016, but it was with Gambit that he came into an actual odd couple situation. So, of course, it’s a crossover that makes the perfect amount of sense; Both are renegades that do not have the most significant respect for authority.
Still, that does not mean they get along quickly with each other, but for the sake of one last job, they’re willing to put their differences aside. So instead, they engage in what could be described as the comic book equivalent of a Shane Black film, crossing paths with everyone from Wolverine to Man-Thing to Iron Fist.
Storm Becomes A Thrall for Dracula (X-Men Annual # 6)
As strange as this idea for a story is, it’s also one of the coolest. The Marvel universe has many vampires, from Morbius to Blade. But Dracula himself? That’s when things get truly dangerous.
After learning her parents are getting divorced, Kitty Pryde confides in Storm, who reveals she has turned into a vampire and drinks the blood of everyone in the mansion as you do. It’s revealed that she’s under the control of the lord of the vampires, intending for her to obtain a book that could be the key to destroying him once and for all.
Attack of the Leprechauns (X-Men # 103)
The X-Men have faced some of the world’s most powerful creatures and creations, from Sentinels to the Dark Phoenix. They have grappled with world-ending threats that affect their lives physically and mentally. And then there are these little buggers.
These creatures attack the team after they investigate an old ancestral castle. If that weren’t enough, these little leprechauns revealed Wolverine’s actual name as Logan for the first time. Would this have been anyone’s first guess of all the possible places it could have come from?
KEEP READING: ‘Logan’ 5 Years Later: Why It Remains the Best X-Men Movie