When Martin Goodman asked Stan Lee to deliver another new team book for his line of comics, he had no idea he'd be getting something like The X-Men. What they started out as was a charming, ragtag team of misfits, devised by Lee and Kirby to be mutants-youngsters born with "X-tra" powers thrust upon them not by accidentally crossing paths with cosmic rays or a nuclear blast, but by the fate of birth, led by a no-nonsense professor who trained them to become heroes that could protect the world from menaces, mutant and otherwise. The first years of storytelling laid the foundation for much of what has put the X-Men at the crossroads of comics and popular culture: Hounded by a public that fears and misunderstands them, mutantkind find themselves at the heart of their own civil rights struggle; Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast, and Iceman found safety amongst themselves despite the challenges that set them apart from others in society; and Professor Xavier lined up against his ideological foe, Magneto, who had assembled a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to take the fight directly to humankind. Close in size to the original artworks, this XXL-sized edition features the first 21 stories of our favorite oddball super heroes from 1963-1966. In addition to these seminal tales are an original foreword by modern X-Men mastermind Chris Claremont, reliving the heyday of Lee and Kirby's foundational years, and an in-depth essay by X-Men writer Fabian Nicieza alongside original art, photographs, and memorabilia from the early years of X.