X-Men Vs. Avengers: Who Really Wins?

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It’s a question that’s been asked regularly since 1963 – who wins, the Avengers or the X-Men? Both teams debuted in the same month, September 1963, and have been pitted against each other in a number of crossover issues and big event limited series. Fifty years into their career and the rivalry still remains, except now the hypothetical battlefield is often the big screen instead of the printed page. MTV asked James McAvoy, who reprises his role as Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days of Future Past which super team would win in a big screen brawl. McAvoy’s answer should surprise no one.

“There’s like 40 of us, and like five of them,” he said. “And one of them’s a half-man, half-robot: You just turn off the power and he’s done.” Young Professor X seemed pretty confident that his mutant team could trounce Marvel’s mightiest, concluding that any fight “would be a disaster” for the Avengers. But is that opinion supported by the comics? We looked at some classic Avengers and X-Men throw downs to find out.

UNCANNY X-MEN #9 (1965)

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The two teams first crossed paths when they simultaneously tried to confront the villain called Lucifer. The X-Men were told to distract the Avengers while Professor X confronted the bad guy himself, and the teen mutants actually held their own! Cyclops knocked Mjolnir out of Thor’s hands and Beast deftly caught Captain America’s shield with his feet. For a team of youngsters, the X-Men really kept the Avengers on the ropes. But whatever edge the X-Men had was not allowed to play out, since Xavier chimed in to clear matters up once he had dealt with Lucifer.
WINNER: DRAW

AVENGERS #53 (1968)

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The teams next clashed a few years later, but this time the X-Men weren’t acting of their own free will. Magneto brainwashed the teens into tangoing with the Avengers, a team that had since added both Hawkeye and Black Panther to their ranks. After losing the advantage of surprise, the X-Men fell one-by-one; Black Panther bested Beast, Hawkeye used a trick arrow to stifle Iceman’s powers, and Giant-Man used his enormous fist to put the squeeze on Cyclops. By the time Angel freed his team from Magneto’s thrall, they were already defeated.
WINNER: AVENGERS

X-MEN VS. AVENGERS #1-4 (1987)

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When the Avengers sought to arrest Magneto for his past crimes against humanity, they immediately clashed with the master of magnetism’s new-found allies – the X-Men. The two teams traded blows in an evenly matched battle, one that tested Black Knight’s blade against Wolverine’s claws. But the real victory was determined in a courtroom, where Magneto was acquitted of his crimes after turning himself in. The ex-super villain’s free pass may have enraged humans all over the world, but Magneto still managed to beat the Avengers at their own game.
WINNER: X-MEN

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012)

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It wasn’t so long ago that Marvel Comics built up a whole big event around the two teams’ rivalry, an event that ended up being the biggest battle these heroes have ever fought. Whereas the previous entries on this conflict countdown involved just a handful of heroes fighting, this one involved pretty much every member of every one of both teams many factions. The war started because of the fast approaching Phoenix Force, a cosmic entity that the Avengers sought to avoid, fearing its reputation as a destructive being, while the X-Men welcomed it with open arms, wishing for it to jump start the dying mutant race. Things went from bad to apocalyptic once the Phoenix Force merged with five big time X-Men, forcing all the heroes to put their differences aside in an effort to control the overwhelming power. The Avengers’ Scarlet Witch and X-Men’s Hope Summers came together to eradicate the Phoenix Force.
WINNER: DRAW

But in the event’s tie-in mini-series called Avengers vs. X-Men: Versus, which focused in on specific one-on-one skirmishes, X-Men like Colossus, Magik and Domino soundly defeated their target Avengers, walking away victorious from eight of the 15 battles.
WINNER: X-MEN

BOX OFFICE (2000-CURRENT)

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In addition to the comic book battles, these two teams have also been duking it out for control of the box office. Yeah, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is riding high right now, and the films’ success has elevated previously lesser-known characters like Iron Man and Thor firmly into Spider-Man fame territory, but none of that would have been possible without the success of the first blockbuster Marvel franchise – the X-Men. The mutants picked up the baton first carried by the Blade film and took it all the way to continued box office domination; adjusted for inflation, the second and third installments in the original X-Men trilogy blow away every non-Iron Man MCU movie. But as big of hits as the X-Men films are, the Marvel movies perform much more consistently; MCU movies average $290 million while X-movies haul in a respectable $212 million.
WINNER: AVENGERS

With each team claiming two victories and two battles ending in draws, it looks like McAvoy’s red carpet bluster has been tempered with a little it of truth. There’s no clear winner right now, although the Avengers’ surge in popularity feels like it surpasses the wild success the X-Men enjoyed 20 years ago. The real tiebreaker could very well come with X-Men: Days of Future Past, a film that could push the X-Men’s film franchise average up to Marvel Cinematic Universe levels. Until then, this is anyone’s fight.

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Comments

  • Charles Veiman

    The reason why Avengers is dominating at the Box Office is because Disney has been far more loyal to its source material in both the individual films and their big get-toghether also when it came to the final Avengers, it wasnt all about one single character but rather all the members were shown good and propper respect.

    Fox however has continuously distorted the Xmen characters and altered storylines such as the latest Days of Future past in which the actual lead character Kitty Pride was bumped for Hugh Jackman’s wolverine. This added to the fact that many consider these to be Wolverine movies passed off as Xmen movies, due to the stories being focused mostly on Wolverine and givin little to no value to iconic characters such as Storm or Cyclops.

  • ToneCatastrophe

    I can only hope that they use the First Class time travelling/Apocalypse story to reboot the franchise as a few critics/reviewers have claimed will most likely happen.. they need proper footing to keep fans happy and interested.

  • Fury

    McAvoy’s biased. Thor could take out Storm and then fry another dozen or more of the X-Men in one swoop. Unless the Hulk and he could break many more. His regenerative abilities and tough skin stood up to dozens of Chitauri firing on him at the same time, damn sure he could take being hit by for example, Sunspot, Cyclops, Bishop and Iceman. The team’s biggest down fall, is admittedly the lack of a telepath, but I’m sure Hawkeye could take Xavier out at range.

  • RAGGEDT

    The switching of Woverine for Kitty Pryde in DOFP is no more (or less) a distortion than AVENGERS writing out Hank and Jan Pym as founding members in favor of Hawkeye and Black Widow. The movies make certain judgment calls in the name of either story or commerce and we fanboys have to deal with it. At the same time, those little quirks are minor compared to bigger FAILs such as the respective non-depictions of Galactus and Phoenix in RISE OF THE SILVER SURVER AND X-MEN UNITED.

  • MegaGearMax

    I think the X-Men’s telepaths would eat the Avengers for breakfast, even before the Avengers left the Quinjet. Physical power means nothing if you can’t reach the enemy to use it.

  • MegaGearMax

    To casual people, Wolverine damn near IS the X-Men. But that’s what you get when you hype up Logan for years, but marginalize everyone else.

  • http://ambaryerno.wordpress.com ambaryerno

    There’s also been NINE MCU movies to have been released, compared to the six X-films that have been released (excluding DoFP). The X-films were also released into a MUCH different environment, in which comic book movies weren’t nearly the big business they are now (which owes as much to the Dark Knight).

  • ItsAnt

    You really use box office ticket sales to conclude that?! That’s a load of crap. X-Men will clearly win, but if Avengers have Hulk it would be a harder battle. Part of me still thinks that The X-Men can beat Hulk too. Mystique or Shadowcat would kick black Widows butt. Nightcrawler has Hawkeye. Cyclops and Cap going toe to toe would be Epic but part of me thinks Cyclops would lose because of Cap’s super strength and vibranium shield. Magneto would take out Iron Man, War Machine and Falcon in seconds leaving them powerless or Professor X would just probe their minds and make them turn against their teams. or Angel and Falcon can go toe to toe, Angel would clearly win. Thor and Storm would be a great match to see, Thor would whoop Storm’s ass but in the end Storm would win. I mean she can manipulate the air a someone’s lungs and kill suffocate them to death. Beast and Black Panther would be a great match but Beast would win. Am I missing anyone? LOL

  • demoncat_4

    the reason avengers took the box office like those numbers is its kind of the first team book of marvels version of their big guns under marvel film control. and even if x-men days of future past manage to help the x-men gain another victory in the upmanship with the avengers among fans there is still avengers two age of ultron to catch up plus x-men aoa.

  • Tommy Rankin

    Sigh… Who really cares who would win in a fictional battle. There wasn’t always this big of a rivalry between these two teams, look, they faced each other three times in the old days and all of them were a draw or at least not an all out war. Marvel only started this damn rivalry in order to get people talking about Avengers comics because they are so big at the box office and merchandising. Avengers were depicted as the morally right faction in the AvX and won because X-Men had to admit it and go grovel at the Avengers’ feet in the end.

    I would just like to read good stories but it’s pretty hard when comics center on X-Men having to fight Avengers instead of both teams being allowed to co-exist. I don’t get why Marvel has such an obsession to make Avengers succeed over X-Men, you’d think that as a company they’d want as many successful franchises as possible and not try to sabotage one in favor of the other. It has made me dislike Avengers enough not to pick up any of their books and it has also made me tired of reading X-Men either. So in the end readers are the only losers in this conflict.

  • greyexile

    Thor can wipe out planets and his power over storms and earth trump storm, she wouldn’t be able to damage him. Black panther is smarter, stronger, and more skilled than beast. Also hulk and Thor have resistance to telepathy.

  • Juan Alejos

    cough cough mandarin

  • Juan Alejos

    if your hatred towards fox didnt cloud your judgment you would realize that they cant send kitty pride towards the 70′s because she wasnt alive yet

  • Juan Alejos

    Xavier itself immobilized almost the entire human population in x2

  • Juan Alejos

    not from cyclops that has been shown that when he uses his full force nothing can stop his beam

  • Juan Alejos

    if he decides to use cerebro say bye bye to the avengers

  • icantstandthisindecision

    Hulk and the X-Men has happened, many times. Hulk loses. Black Panther is NOT smarter than Beast, or physically stronger, but he might be more skilled. As for Thor and Storm, the difference is that Thor doesn’t have power over storms. He has power over lightning and Thunder– as opposed to Storm, whose power rivals the dark Phoenix’s at it’s max, and who controls ALL storms, and air, and weather. the telepathy resistance be damned.

  • Braze

    About Black Panther and Beast. Beast is smart but only top tier in his particular field. Black Panther has been referenced as one of the smartest Characters in the Marvel world time and time again. Reed Richards and Cho are the only non villians that you can say are smarter then him. Stark, Pym are on the same level but cant really say one way or another. Xavier, Beast, Banner etc… The list goes on are all Brilliant but mostly in there respective field are they top tier. Black Panther also has access to knowledge and tech that no one else on earth outside Wakanda does. I mean the guy took down the entire Avengers alone by out smarting them. He is easily the Batman of the Marvel world. You give T’challa some time to research and Plan and he can even take down those way more powerfull then him like Thor and Hulk. Dude is just that smart, plus hes starting at a tech level higher then someone like Tony.

  • Braze

    Oh and ppl making it seem Like Hulk doesn’t have much of a factor on the fight is ridiculous IMO. hes become way overpowered in the last Decade just look at what he did to them during WWHulk. Yes the X-men were run down and had a lot of Kids taking on Hulk but I belive Colossus,Beast,Juggernaut were atleast three older members there plus Xavier. If Hulk wouldn’t of walked away looked like he could kept going through whoever they sent out. I mean he bent Colossus’s arm back into his chest. Now in older comics Hulk hasn’t had much luck I mean Wolverine has given him all he can handle by himself. But this overpowered Hulk can take on anyone pretty much. I mean even Thor has to take him out early. The longer a fight goes the better it is for Hulk. You tire, while he becomes more mad and stronger. So it would be tough but Thor and Hulk alone would be tough for the X-men. I mean if they have Magneto the improves there Odds by a lot but Xavier is worthless against them. I mean if someone can Knock Thors hammer out his hands Storm can probably pick it up again. That would be there only chance. Magneto and Wolverine are the only ppl who seem to become more powerfull in the comics as time goes on. but its still not as drastic as Hulk, and Thor has always been overpowered because he was made to be more powerfull the Hulk that was his purpose originaly.

  • x-menfan

    Very true. It is unfair and wolverine is not everyone’s favorite mutant. He also has two movies soon to be three. I want more storm, jean, cott and the others. Its not wolverine and the x-men its X-men. Storm needs more of a voice and Bryan Singer needs to be yelled at. Ill still go see the movie though.

  • xmenfan

    That is true kitty wasn’t born yet. However in the comics Rachel grey send her consciousness back and kitty was already supposed to be there. Aw well the movies were altered since the first 1. The first 2 x-men films were done nicely. The third kinda sucked and so on it kinda went downhill for me. First Class was alright.

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  • IAMwhoIAM

    EVERYBODY LOVES WOLVERINE! I LOVE WOLVERINE! and X-MEN FILM without WOLVERINE is DISCUSTING! did you see what happen to X-Men first class! its the lowest grossing moving of X-MEN film its just because NO WOLVERINE! NO! 24 secs.. WOLVERINE scene! and that 24secs… is the only time ive watch in X-men First class! and everything happen for a reason!

  • IAMwhoIAM

    EVERYBODY LOVES WOLVERINE! I LOVE WOLVERINE! and X-MEN FILM without WOLVERINE is DISCUSTING! did you see what happen to X-Men first class! its the lowest grossing movie of X-MEN film its just because NO WOLVERINE! NO! 24 secs.. WOLVERINE scene! and that 24secs… is the only time ive watch in X-men First class! and everything happen for a reason!

  • IAMwhoIAM

    EVERYBODY LOVES WOLVERINE! I LOVE WOLVERINE! and X-MEN FILM without WOLVERINE is DISCUSTING! did you see what happen to X-Men first class! its the lowest grossing moving of X-MEN film its just because NO WOLVERINE! NO! 24 secs.. WOLVERINE scene! and that 24secs… is the only time ive watch in X-men First class!

  • IAMwhoIAM

    WHATEVER THEY SAID! “I LOVE WOLVERINE!” AND THATS THE ONLY THING I SEE!

    57

  • scragglycraggly

    The best artist always wins.

  • Peter Parker

    Thor has power over storms… He just displays his control over lightning more. His strength level is at the level of somebody like the Hulk and Silver Surfer. She could throw all the wind, ice and hail at him that she wants but it won’t slow him down. He could kill her in one hit if he wanted to.

  • ben

    That last one doesn’t matter to real comic fans, especially considering the acting and production. So we are still giving Xmen the lead. Nice try but in the story lies the winner. XMEN #1

  • benny

    Totally agreed!!! They need to give xmen a better production. Tell the producers to stop watching the cartoon and read the orginal comics. Its like they are using the TV series as a foundation. That’s why it is so fake unlike the Avengers. They fixed the Hulk and Godzilla now they need to fix the Xmen. Fix not destroy.

  • Charles Veiman

    So why couldnt they date the events in the 90′s or early 2000 then? its not as if that would have been the hardest part of the storyline to modify. and its not hatred towards fox, its annoyance at their devotion to a single character. they could have also sent back storm since they were intent on changing the main character.

  • Juan Alejos

    because then they cant use the cast from the first class…x men one is set in 2000… they would have to use the same cast and make them look like 10 years younger

  • Charles Veiman

    as opposed to Hugh Jackman who hasnt aged since birth?

  • Juan Alejos

    no they could not because xavier and magneto are essential in the future as the leaders while they can live without wolverine…and it has been stated by the 25moments.com that beast is dead by 2015…i can see bishop going back in time…and kitty pride is like 16 in x3 meaning that she probabloy was born on 1990 meaning that not even her parents where alive in 1973…and i want to see this movie to beat avengers in the box office so wolverine makes the most sense to me

  • Charles Veiman

    True, but they changed the storyline when they made Wolverine the lead character, why couldnt they have changed the storyline so that the main character was someone other than Wolverine. Havock wasnt even supposed to be in Xmen First class as the original team was composed of Scott, Beast, Jean and Iceman, yet they changed that. Would it have been so ludicrous to have another Xmen or mutant be the lead of an Xmen (not Wolverine and the Xmen) film? Why couldnt They have said Beast wasnt killed and send him instead or just about any other or the dozens of hundreds of popular mutants in the Xmen franchise.

  • Charles Veiman

    Personally I liked the first Xmen movie because I felt it was an introduction, but when X2 continued to focus on wolverine I pretty much knew the way they were taking things and gave up.
    When First class came by I kinda livened hope, but then I saw that Havock, Scott’s younger brother, was part of the roster and that it was dated during the Cuban conflict. That pretty much killed it for me.

  • Charles Veiman

    It very much matters to real comic fans, due to the fact that we have yet to see a true Xmen film. Most of the Xmen films given to us thus far have been Wolverine films passed off as Xmen films giving little to no value to the other members of the team.

    The only exception was Xmen first class, but even on this one people saw tremendous inconsistencies such as Havock, the younger brother of Scott being a part ot the roster in a time when Scott himself would have been, at best, an infant.

    Avengers on the other hand were far more balanced ( though not perfectly balanced), and far more true to the storylines of the characters and gave each member of the team value and importance.

    With the future inclusion of Scarlet Witch an Disneys own version of Quicksilver in the Avengers 2, of whom weve gotten an intense glimpse, the Avenger’s box office supremacy may be further cemented.

  • Hitman Humperdinck

    Hank and Jan were written out because there was too much going on at once, not because they were more or less popular than the others. The X-Men movies are led by Xavier, Mystique, Wolverine, Magneto, and Storm. Oddly enough, those are the characters all played by celebrities America adores. They aren’t the only interesting characters. America just loves Hugh’s abs.

  • RAGGEDT

    “Too much going on at once”? That makes no sense. The canon origin of The Avengers had Hank and Jan as founding members. If Marvel wanted, they could have used them — and taken out Hawkeye and the Black Widow. The producers kept those two because they believed they fit the movie story — and the needs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe more than Ant-Man and the Wasp. In a similar way, X-Men decided Wolverine made a better story device to send back in time than Kitty Pryde. However, keep in mind, there’s far more deviation from the canon “Days of Future Past” than just who is sent back — the actual time in history the story takes place, for example (which also prevented Kitty going back to a time she didn’t exist); who the Brotherhood is targeting for death, for another.

  • Hitman Humperdinck

    Do some homework, man. Jan was definitely in the storyboards. Don’t know about Hank.

  • Mitz Villarmea

    The Avengers owes its box office success to X-Men, since it was Bryan Singer’s original X-Men who introduced the world to a more grounded style of modern comic book movies.

  • Zacho789

    Charles could just control all their minds and be done with it, not fun at all. Even with Charles out of the picture, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Captain America and Thor (is the hammer made of metal? Sounds like it) would be completely useless against Magneto. Beast could take care of Hulk because they’re matched in powers, but anyone with half a decent mutation could take Hulk on really.

  • leonard

    Supposedly (in the comic books) Thor’s helmet can protect his mind from telepathic attacks (similar to Magneto’s). Also, I can imagine the Hulk’s mind is too messed up (too much rage) for Xavier to get in there. Although I don’t see why not Charles couldn’t control Iron Man and turn him against the Avengers. Iron Man can keep Thor busy, while the rest of the X-Men focused on Hulk, Cap, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. Wolverine versus Cap would be a hell of a fight, but I’d put money on Wolvie at the end, because he fight’s too brutally, and it’s too hard to put him down with the healing factor and adamantium.

    The only way the remaining X-Men beats the Hulk is with either Magneto or Phoenix on their side. Now, if we’re talking about a different version of the Avengers (minus Hulk), X-Men has a much better chance.

  • leonard

    oh wait, never mind. I forgot about Rogue. Shadowcat can get Rogue close enough to Hulk, Rogue touches Hulk. Game over.

  • leonard

    yes, you’re missing what I just mentioned to someone else above. Shadowcat can phase Rogue close enough to either Hulk or Thor and steal their powers. Game over if she touches Hulk.

  • leonard

    Rogue touches Hulk. Steals his powers. Game over.

  • leonard

    the Hulk and Thor are impervious to telepathic attacks (according to the comics, I believe). But I don’t know if either one of them are impervious to Rogue’s power. Hulk is a lot stronger than you giving him credit for. I’d say Hulk is the strongest Avenger. If I were commanding the X-Men, I’d have Rogue steal his powers. Shadowcat can get her close enough and Prof X would formulate the plan and tell it to them telepathically.

  • Ahmed Albohamad

    The problem with you people is that you want them to be so faithful to the source material without presenting any good ideas of how to do that.
    Singer needed to reboot and revitalize the franchise and build a universe that allows for story telling on a bigger scope, so he needed this story, you can’t expect to bring a new main character and build her from the ground up.
    The movie had no more place for more character development, they already needed to develop magneto, Charles, and mystique. We already knew wolverine so he needed no development, that’s why he doesn’t do much.
    Also some of the emotional scenes like when Charles gets into his mind to see his future wouldn’t have worked with an unfamiliar character. The changes worked perfectly for the movie universe. Maybe in a later less complicated story they can set up a new character. I hope so.

  • Ultramind

    Well then we’re certain of the true winner are we?

  • Carson G

    Haha umm she wouldn’t be able to hold on the hulk long enough. His regeneration and lifeforce are much stronger than wolverines. I’d say Thor could take out the telepathy freeing up the others. Iron man also beat magneto in the comics. He’s too brilliant to lose almost

  • Carson G

    Storm absolutely would die. She wouldn’t have a prayer. In the time it would take her to suffocate him (assuming that’s even possible to do) I think he could easily knock her pansy ass out of the sky with mjolnir. Iron man beat magneto by himself in the comics. Thor helmet shields him from telepathy so he could take out Xavier easy. Mystique would lose to black widow but maybe shadowcat could take her. I dunno there. I think your hawkeye matchup is horrible. Nightcrawler? For hawkeye? That would just be too tough to call. Hawkeye is resourceful and deadly. Night crawler in the movies is sort of a wimp. Never really checked the comics on him. You think beast has a chance with tchalla?? Haha sorry but black panther can kick anyone in the avengers ass. Not to mention his genius intellect and fighting experience. And did I mention vibranium weapons yet? Yeah no beast would die brutally and fast. And um hulk. Yeah most overpowered superhero of our decade. He could step on 90 percent of the xmen. The only chance the xmen have is in numbers. Which if you count all the xmen you have to count all the avengers and there have been a LOT of them

  • Carson G

    Why do you people keep saying this. In the time it would possibly take rogue to drain hulk of his enormous regenerative power he could squish her

  • Hunter

    The xmen can just call in alpha flight if they need help

  • Charles Veiman

    Very well Ill agree that distortions in films are indeed an occurrence even in the avengers, but such distortions are not solely in order to favor one specific character, in this case and yet again being Wolverine which, of course, has been the protagonist of every Xmen movie, with the exception of Xmen First class.

    So whilst any one will agree that cutting out Wasp and Antman was a distortion, it was not in order to give Captain America the spotlight which he did not have since, as previously stated, The Avengers was an actual team movie giving all the characters equal importance.