Texas Tech Pop-culture Expert Looks Back on the Origin of X-Men

'X-Men: Days of Future Past' storyline was in comic issues #141-142, and featured in the 1990s animated series.

The movie “X-Men – Days of Future Past” will make its present-day debut this Friday.  

Texas Tech pop-culture expert Rob Weiner says that with Bryan Singer returning as director, anticipation is high for this film to become a summer blockbuster.


Rob Weiner, associate librarian and pop culture expert, Texas Tech University Library, (806) 834-5126 office, (806) 780-8775 mobile, or rob.weiner@ttu.edu.

Talking Points

  • X-Men was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963. Lee originally wanted to call the comic “The Mutants,” but changed it to X-Men, which stands for “extra power.”
  • X-Men is one of the most racially diverse teams in all of comics especially in the 1970s.
  • The X-Men movie series in 2000 launched the wave of superhero movies that we currently see today.
  • X-Men have been sometimes been called “children of the atom.”


  • “Unlike other superheroes, the characters of the X-Men universe are born with their powers and have often been used a metaphor for civil rights, race, gender and discrimination of all kinds.”
  • “The original 1960s X-Men comic was one of the worst selling books, but when the series was re-launched in the 1970s, it became one of the most popular comics in history.”
  • “The original ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’storyline was only in comic issues #141-142, published in 1981 by Chris Claremont and John Bryne. The original story took place in the then-future of 2013, and featured mutants in internment camps put there by mutant hunting Sentinels. The storyline also was featured in the 1990s animated series.”
  • “The partnership of writer Chris Claremont and artist John Bryne is legendary.  However, it was writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum who wrote the ‘Giant-Size X-Men #1’ featuring Wolverine, that launched the 1970s X-Men.”