Is what someone who’s new to X-Men would ask. This is one of those questions that doesn’t have a definitive answer.
X-Men is notorious for having a very steep entry level. The X-Men continuity is one of the most convoluted, biggest clusterfuck of the Marvel IP’s. With elements of time travel, cosmic adventures, demons, characters dying and resurrecting constantly it no wonder the X-Men are so hard to jump in.
Granted this isn’t a problem specifically to X-Men. This is a problem that plagues all of comics. But i’m talking about X-Men because its my favorite Marvel IP.
If you ask me the best starting point for X-Men would be the beginning of Chris Claremont’s legendary run starting with Giant Size X-Men #1
This was return of X-Men after its cancellation for 3 years and introduces the now iconic characters Storm, Collossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Thunderbird being the new X-Men members. Claremont’s 16 year long run is my favorite comic run from Marvel and is in my top 3 favorite comics ever. Its not just legendary its essential, its a requirement to read his run if your interested in X-Men.
However the problem for newcomers is that Claremont’s run is pretty old. Beginning from the late 70s through the 80s with some art looking very rough. Most newcomers to comics are very unlikely to read old comics at first and is best to recommend stuff that more modern.
and thats were it gets difficult.
The only other starting point i would recommend as a starting point would be Morrison’s New X-Men.
Its my second favorite X-Men run and other than having inconsistent art (some artists are amazing, others not so much) is in my opinion a masterpiece. However again as a newcomer you’ll be missing a shit ton of context. YOu’ll be wondering what happened to Magneto or any of the other X-Men and Morrison’s writing style is definitely not suited for new readers.
In fact some people recommend Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men over Morrison’s New X-Men for newcomers.
Which is easier to read and more cinematic and thus more suited for newcomers, but i don’t recommend it. Astonishing X-Men is an amazing run, but it comes directly after Morrison’s X-men and just makes more sense to read New X-Men first.
Out of everything Claremont’s X-Men and Morrison’s New X-Men are in my opinion are the best starting points for new readers. However with New X-Men you would need to know what comes after. Which i’ll talk about another time.