|Creator:||Stan Lee and Jack Kirby|
|Date(s):||September 1963 - Present|
|Medium:||Comic books, later adapted into TV series and various films|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||Marvel Directory|
Official Marvel Wiki
Uncanny X-Men.Net (fan-built site for reference and news)
Subpages for X-Men:
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The X-Men are the heroes in a Marvel Comics franchise of the same name.
Protecting a world that hates and fears them
The X-Men are a superhero group formed by Charles Xavier in order to a) teach mutants how to use their abilities, b) protect humans from evil mutants, c) protect mutants from evil humans. In practice, they mostly end up just doing b), protecting a world that fears and hates them.
Mutants are people with an x-factor, a gene that gives them special powers. Useful mutations include: psionic powers (telepathy, telekinesis, etc), change-forms (turning into something else – an animal, a really hard metal, etc), 'blow-stuff-up' powers, shape-shifting, teleporting, elemental powers (manipulation of things like magnetism, temperature, the weather, etc), super-strength, flying. Many mutants are also funny looking.
Stan Lee initially hit on "mutation" as a solution to the problems of providing heroes with individual origin stories, so while the X-Men started off as just five mutant teenagers (Cyclops, Marvel Girl (later Phoenix), Beast, Iceman, Angel), the cast grew. And then grew some more. "Cast of thousands" now accurately describes the franchise. The glossary at the fansite, Uncanny X-Men.net is currently at close to two thousand mutants.
The X-Men universe spans several media. Some fans are primarily focused on the X-Men Movieverse, while others found a fannish home with the animated X-Men: Evolution (2000-2003) or Wolverine and the X-Men (2008) TV series. In 2011 the prequel film X-Men: First Class took off in a big way.
While movieverse fanac tends to be more typical of media fandom, fanac for the comics, a traditionally male-dominated sci-fi fandom, has often focused on collection, canon discussions (consider the No-Prize offered for the best explanation of canon discrepancies), conventions, cosplay, and roleplay. There are also fans producing fanfiction, fanart and other types of fanworks.
- sections about non-fic fanac.
-something about pre-internet fanfic.
Although the fandom is now much reduced in size, X-Men had a large and active fic writing community during the 1990s/early 00s, primarily active on usenet (alt.comics.fan-fiction), message boards, and mailing lists.
- something about current fanfic
Themes and Trends
As with the source canon, X-Men fanwriters write crossovers with other Marvel teams. Because of the great number of characters, some fans specialize in certain X-teams. There are specific archives and communities for Excalibur, Generation X, and X-Force.
While there were certainly one-shots and short fics, many authors favoured multi-chapter, plot-driven fics. As fanwriter Alicia McKenzie recalls, "Back in the fall of 1997, when I first began writing fan fiction, the standard 'format', as least as far as I saw, seemed to be the multi-part epic." 
X-Men fandom was very accepting of original characters, many of whom gained their own fan followings and were rarely accused of being Mary Sues. The CBFFA had an award for best original character, which may give some indication of how widely accepted OCs were in the fandom. Original characters were also widely seen in Subreality Cafe, where they rubbed elbows with their writers and their canonical counterparts. While they rarely interacted directly with canonical characters, The Common People Project was devoted to writing about the "regular" citizens of the Marvel Universe; stories written for the project were almost always original characters. The wide acceptance of original characters may in part be explained by the nature of the canon: when canon itself regularly introduces beautiful new characters with superpowers and a tragic past, how could fan writers be criticized for doing the same?
Original characters were most often introduced as a new member of the team (or one of the X-Men's various spinoff teams). While an OC might find a lover among the X-Men, original characters weren't always written into a romance. Sometimes an OC was a child or another relative of one of the X-Men. Children could be introduced through means of an alternate universe, time travel, cloning, or other plot devices.
Relatively large number of male fanfic writers, compared to many other fandoms.
Mostly gen, some het; early slash pairings (Iceman/Gambit, Remy/Logan is big) GLAMBeau/Devo - influential early slash writer, first Iceman/Gambit story (pretty sure). Mooks also made slash (Remy/Bobby) more popular? Northstar/Iceman more popular now (thank you, Austin). X-Men Slash Central gives a fairly comprehensive picture of slash fandom at the time. Bobby Drake fairly commonly thought of as closeted. Very little femslash, despite the possibilities (Tilmen Stieve). There was a femslash archive, which must now be hunted down. . . and here; affiliated with revolution-f mailing list on Yahoo!Groups.
- There were dedicated slash spaces, just like there were dedicated NC-17 spaces. By the late 90s this was changing, though - writers like Kaylee who wrote gennish slash did a lot to blur the boundaries. 
Writing out accents phonetically, sugah (canon is not blameless on this front!)
Does anyone remember some comments on OTL along the lines of "girls and their romance stories"?
Find meta or timeline on decline of the fandom.)
Mailing Lists & Usenet
In the '90s/early 00s the two primary mailing lists were Untold-l and Outside The Lines. Untold-l died an inglorious death in an avalanche of bouncing emails shortly after the owner and listserve changed. Susan "Neon Nurse" Crites established Outside The Lines (OTL) as an alternative to the dying Untold mailing list.  Outside the Lines was open to all comic-based fanfic, although X-titles dominated, much as they had on Untold. Various character and pairing specific lists also existed. Southern Comfort, Gambit Guild, and Blue Believers were early character focused mailing lists. The number of mailing lists grew when Yahoo!Groups made creating and maintaining mailing lists easier.
As with many other fandoms, much of X-Men fandom moved to Livejournal in the early to mid '00s.
- Monitor Duty comics newsletter (includes DC Comics)
- Comic Store News comics newsletter (includes DC Comics)
- X-Fiction (fanfiction & fanart, all genres)
- X-Men general community (announcements, discussions, etc)
- comics genfic (gen fanfiction, all comics; initially focused on X-Men, now more batfic)
- x-slash (slash, all universes)
- comicslash (all comics)
- X-Men Femslash
- X-Men Unconventional Ships (all universes, no canon pairings)
One of the earliest X-Men archives belonged to Hawk, who archived every fic posted to the usenet group, regardless of quality. A handful of large archives were established after Hawk's archive went down. While these archives may have been the biggest and most recognizable, many fans maintained smaller archives of their own fanfic, or fics by authors they enjoyed on sites such as Geocities, Angelfire, Tripod, and Fortunecity. Kielle's Comic Fan-Fiction Authors' Network (CFAN), was a hub of activity for comics fans of all titles and companies. CFAN Full (If Brief) Page Listing demonstrates the breadth of fannish activity surrounding comics fandom at that time.
- The alt.comics.fan-fiction Archives (aka Hawk's Archive)
- DXEA (The Definitive X-Men Erotica Archive)
- Fonts of Wisdom
- Gen X Fanfic Archive
- Generation NeXt (Generation X archive active between 1996-2003)
- Haven-of-Fic (X Men movie fiction)
- Lori's X-Men Archive
- Shifting Sands
- X-Men Fiction (Fic from comic and movie universes)
- X-Men: The Movie Fan Fiction Central (Fiction from the first X Men film)
- X-Men Slash Central original version, slightly later version on Wayback
- XMMFF (X-Men Movieverse Fan Fiction)
- X-Men Comicverse archive at fanfiction.net
- X-Men Comicverse stories on AO3
- The Wonderful World of Makebelieve; New archive; old archive gen; old archive slash
Pairings & Individual Characters
- Bamfies_X-Men_Slash (focus on Wolverine, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Iceman & Beast)
- Crimson's Guild (Gambitcentric fic)
- The Itty Bitty Cyke and Logan Archive (part of ComicFic.Net)
- LeBeauLibrary (Gambit fic indexed by author)
- KindredSouls (Wolverine/Storm FanFiction)
- Logan_Remy Archive (The Logan/Remy Slash Archive)
- Property Damage: X-Force Fan Fiction (X Force stories indexed by character/title)
- Pryde & Prejudice (Kitty Pryde (Shawdowcat) & Lance Alvers (Avalanche))
- Red Shades (Cyclops fanfic)
- Secret World (Ororo/Logan romance fiction)
- The Storm Archive (Ororo Munroe stories)
- Unrequited Love (A Wolverine and Jean Grey Fan-Fiction Site)
- Will Bite When Provoked (NSFW Wolverine stories)
- Wolverine & Jean Grey Website's FanFiction Page (Logan/Jean fiction)
- Wolverine and Rogue Fanfiction Archive (A version of The WRFA)
- Wolverine X-Fiction (Wolverine adult fan fiction)
- Wolvie Fanfic Menu (fic archive of the fansite Wolverine's REALM)
- X-Archive (Mostly slash and focused on Gambit)
- X-Men Hero: Cyclops (Scott Summers fiction)
The CBFFAs were an annual fanfic award; while there were categories for DC and Wildstorm/Image fics, the primary focus was on the various X-titles. The CBFFAs were hosted by CFAN, and ran from 1998 to 2002.
The Prosh Awards were focused on X-Force fanfic.
Crafting: BAMF! doll
Fan Pages & Resources
Fan pages were an important part of the X-Men fandom. Various websites devoted to collecting information about specific teams and characters existed on sites such as Geocities. With the number of alternate universes and retcons that X-Men fans had to contend with, such sources of information could be quite valuable.
Uncanny X-Men dot Net The definitive X-Men website, now running for eight years. They cover upcoming, current and back issue titles with a smart and thorough style. Their "Spotlight On" posts cover characters, their backstories, significant issues, and costume.
Scot Tiptan's Comics 101 Essay A great primer introducing the X Men and the respective comic counterparts of the X Men movies.
X-Page Hotlist (on Wayback) The archived version of the Hotlist has 174 links to X-Men related pages.