X-Men: 10 Most Iconic Issue Covers Of The 1980s | Screen Rant

In the 1980s, there wasn't a comic book on the market that could hold a candle to the success of Uncanny X-Men. Throughout almost the entire decade, Chris Claremont held the reigns of the comic book characters and presented some of the most exciting, groundbreaking, and in some cases, outlandish stories in Marvel Comics. The covers were also top-notch, many of them as memorable as the stories they told.

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These covers often bring back memories for fans who lived through these storylines. There are some that touch certain spots in a reader's fandom, reminding them of character deaths, turning points, incredible villains, or groundbreaking stories that changed Marvel Comics forever.

For most of the first two decades of the X-Men's existence, the X-Men consisted of the original members, which included one female hero in Jean Grey. Known as Marvel Girl, Jean was never the most powerful member of the team but that changed when the All-New X-Men arrived.

Jean got a power boost and became Phoenix. On the cover of Uncanny X-Men #135 in 1980, that entire boost was explained, and the evil Dark Phoenix was born. The cover showed Dark Phoenix in action with the fallen X-Men behind her, foreshadowing what could have been.

One of the most iconic covers in Marvel Comics history arrived in the September 1980 issue of Uncanny X-Men. This was the final issue of the Dark Phoenix Saga and it featured the death of Jean Grey, one of the first heroic deaths in comic books, and a shocking moment for readers.

The cover showed Cyclops and Marvel Girl, holding each other as they fought an unseen force, which turned out to be the Imperial Guard. Things on the cover looked bleak and the issue paid that off with Jean dying to save her teammates and stop the Dark Phoenix.

In 1981, Chris Claremont created a story that forever changed Marvel Comics. This was the first issue of the Days of Future Past storyline. In it, a horrific apocalyptic future showed the Sentinels taking control and killing all mutants, as well as most heroes and many regular humans.

The cover of the book showed Wolverine standing in front of an older Kitty Pride and behind them was a wanted poster with a list of all the dead mutants, including Iceman, Angel, and more. It was a shocking cover that had people buying it just to see what happened to their favorite heroes.

The second part of the Days of Future Past storyline had just as iconic a cover. On this cover, a Sentinel held Storm in one hand while incinerating Wolverine with a blast from his other hand. This was almost more shocking than the wanted poster from the first issue.

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It seems hard to believe that this story only took place in two issues, yet both of the covers remain iconic. That shot of Wolverine dying at the Sentinel's hand was recreated in the future, and it remains synonymous with the entire time travel storyline that set up the multiverse.

In 1983, Wolverine had moved to Japan and gotten involved in battles with the Yakuza and ninjas. It was one of the most beloved Wolverine stories of all time, and when it tied back into Uncanny X-Men, it brought about what should have been Wolverine's greatest moment.

However, his marriage to Lady Mariko never happened and the cover perfectly symbolized that. In the image, Wolverine and Mariko's marriage invitation was on the cover with a knife jammed through Wolverine's half of the photo.

A second marriage adorned the cover of Uncanny X-Men one year later, and this one was even more harrowing. In this case, the X-Men had discovered the Morlocks, a group of misfit mutants who knew they couldn't pass for normal people in the real world.

The X-Men needed their help and Kitty Pride agreed to marry one of the Morlocks if they helped them. The Morlocks came through on their end, and they forced Kitty to uphold her end. The cover showed the teenage Kitty crying in her bridal gown with Caliban standing next to her.

One of the best one-shot stories in Uncanny X-Men history took place in 1984. This issue showed Colossus fighting Juggernaut. What made the cover so memorable was that while the two fought in a bar, Wolverine and Nightcrawler just stood by the wall in the background and watched them.

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The story was great, as the X-Men had returned to Earth after Secret Wars, and Colossus told Kitty he fell in love with a woman on Battleworld and he could no longer date her. Since he broke her heart, Wolverine let Juggernaut beat Colossus up to teach him a lesson.

Uncanny X-Men #200 was always going to be a big issue, celebrating the landmark issue. What resulted was the X-Men's greatest villain, Magneto, agreeing to go on trial for his past crimes. Magneto had taken over the role as an X-Men leader and needed to prove he was worthy.

The cover was a great look at this theme, with Magneto standing with his hands bound together, his head lowered, as the X-Men battled villains behind him. Magneto was exonerated for his crimes and he went on to remain a leader for many more years.

The X-Men had several battles with the parasitic aliens known as The Brood in the 1980s. However, the best battle with these aliens came in 1988 when they arrived on Earth to take over and actually took over the bodies of several X-Men members.

The storyline stretched across several issues before the X-Men finally beat The Brood, and the one Uncanny X-Men cover that defined the story was in issue #234. On this cover. Wolverine sat horrifically in the spotlight, with a Brood member possessing him.

One of the last Uncanny X-Men issues of the 1980s remains highly memorable and signified what the mutants went through during their existence in Marvel Comics. The cover simply showed Wolverine hanging on an X, in a symbolic gesture to a man hanging on a cross.

It was a striking image that brought a lot of emotions to X-Men readers at the time. It was also around this time that Marvel rebooted the mutant team, breaking them up and sending them on different paths before finally bringing them all back together for a major new arc in the 1990s.

NEXT: X-Men - Ranking All The Team Leaders By Leadership

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