12. “X-Men” No. 137 (1980)

Aug. 28, 2013 | 3:11 p.m.

12. “X-Men” No. 137 (1980)  “The Dark Phoenix Saga” from writer Chris Claremont and co-plotter / artist John Byrne reaches its climax. The Phoenix that Jean Grey emerged as back in No. 101 is now responsible for 5 billion deaths in a distant star system, and the Shi’ar have decided she must be destroyed. The X-Men fight to save her, but in the end Jean sacrifices herself. “Jean Grey could have lived to become a god,”  the Watcher  says. “But it was more important to her that she die … a human.” The classic story line also introduced the  Hellfire Club . Cyclops subsequently leaves the team, and Storm becomes its first female leader. (John Byrne / Marvel)

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