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The X-Men are a fictional Marvel Comics superhero team. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they debuted in The X-Men #1, published in September 1963. The X-Men are fictitious mutants who, as a result of a sudden leap in evolution, are born with latent superhuman abilities, which generally manifest themselves at puberty. In the stories, many ordinary humans harbor an intense fear and/or distrust of mutants (often referred to as Homo superior), who are regarded by a number of scientists as the next step in human evolution and are thus widely viewed as a threat to human civilizations; mutants who use their powers for criminal ends exacerbate the tensions. The X-Men were formed 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, the Brotherhood of Mutants and other mutant threats.

The X-Men comic book series was one of comicdom’s earliest and most influential trendsetters in adopting a multicultural central cast; during the 1970s, the roster was diversified, adding characters from Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, and the Soviet Union. Characters representing many other ethnicities and cultural backgrounds have subsequently been added. The stories themselves have often included themes relating to the status of minorities, including assimilation, tolerance, and beliefs regarding a "superior race".

The X-Men have been adapated into films and television shows. The television shows have included one of the most successful weekend morning programs, X-Men: The Animated Series and the hit Kids WB! animated series X-Men: Evolution. In 2000, the X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer was released and featured Patrick Stewart (as Professor Charles Xavier), James Marsden (as Scott Summers / Cyclops), Halle Berry (as Storm), Hugh Jackman (as Wolverine), Famke Janssen (as Jean Grey) and Anna Paquin (as Rogue). Its sequel X2: X-Men United was released in 2003, again directed by Singer. A third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, directed by Brett Ratner, was released May 26, 2006. By 2008, two more films were in development, one featuring the origin of Wolverine and the other featuring the origins of Magneto.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "X-Men" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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