The X-Men are fantastic but they are also deeply overcomplicated and confusing. There are far too many and half of them are just alternate reality versions of the other half. It's a mess. But, as someone who loves them, I wanted to give a little brief crash course in understanding the team one by one. If you want an in depth look at the history of the team, I can heartily recommend Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men as much as possible. One of my all time favorite podcasts and just a delightful listen. They really helped me get into the X-Men and now, hopefully I'll help some others as well. So we're going to go through every member of the classic X-Men team in chronological order.
In this first chapter, we will cover the initial team and all of their recruits throughout the 1960s, including origins, history, and current status.
1. Professor X
AKA "X" AKA Charles Xavier
Joined: X-Men (1963) # 1
Charles Xavier is the founder and originator of the X-Men. Born to two parents who were involved with nuclear testing, Charles lost his father at an early age and was adopted into the Marko family, an abusive home where he would eventually harness his telepathic powers. After coming of age, he left to search the world for mutants like him, eventually coming into contact with Erik "Magnus" Lensherr. The two of them became close friends but eventually diverged after it became clear that they had very different interpretations of how to help mutant kind.
Then Xavier got his spine snapped by Lucifer. No, not THAT Lucifer, the alien one. No seriously, look it up. Comics are weird. Wanting to help other young mutants, he founded the Xavier School and welcomed his first five students as a trial program. As the school blossomed, HE WOULD DIE AND COME BACK AND WALK AND GET RE-PARALYZED and you know, other normal stuff. Also, he loves his space-bird girlfriend. He was burninated by Cyclops and the Phoenix force some years ago, but now he's back and kicking amongst the Astonishing team.