The X-Men and the Avengers both debuted on spinner racks on the very same day: September 10th, 1963. Although eclipsed in popularity in their early years by the Fantastic Four, both teams went on to become the two biggest brands for Marvel. For decades, there was little overlap on who was a member of the Avengers and who was also an X-Man. But eventually that changed, and many heroes found themselves serving on both teams. And we’re going to list each member who has worn both the iconic “A” and “X” symbol on their belt buckles.
Note: This listing only applies to characters that have been both members of the prime Avengers and the main X-Men teams. So no Quicksilver for example. He was a longtime Avenger, but was a member of X-Factor and not the X-Men. We’re also not counting characters who served on spin-off teams like X-Force or A-Force, like Dazzler. Also, just going through Avengers Academy and not joining the Avengers is a disqualification. X-23 went through the training, but never became an actual Avenger. The team books they appeared in had to officially be part of the Avengers or X-Men organizations.
Oh, and joining a group for one mission? That doesn’t count either. So sorry, Sabretooth. The one mission with the Avengers doesn’t cut it. You’re benched.
Joined: X-Men #1 (1963) / Avengers #151 (1976)
Believe it or not, back in 1970 the X-Men were Marvel’s least popular franchise. Their comic got cancelled, and the main characters were without a home. But Hank McCoy, aka Beast, got a blue and furry makeover soon after the X-Men disbanded. He quickly joined the Avengers, and for the better part of the next decade was a key member. He’s still the most prominent hero with an allegiance to both teams.
Namor, the Sub-Mariner
Joined: Avengers #262 (1985) / Uncanny X-Men #515 (2009)
The Prince of Atlantis is Marvel’s first superhero, and also technically a mutant. This is due to his ability to fly, something not found in other Atlanteans. He became a member of the Avengers in the mid ’80s after a long stint as a Defender. But during the Nation X storyline a decade or so ago, he joined the X-Men as well. Ultimately however, Namor’s allegiances are to Atlantis before any surface dwelling hero team.
Joined: Avengers #329 (1991) / Spider-Man and the X-Men #1 (2014)
He’s Marvel’s most iconic character, and although it took him years, he did finally qualify as being worthy of Avenger status. And even though he’s not a mutant, Spider-Man was also very briefly an X-Man. After spending decades being a loner hero, Peter Parker took a job from Tony Stark and became an Avenger. Not too long after that, Peter was asked to become a teacher at the Jean Grey School, instructing a group of kids with the potential to become villains. Because who knows that “with great power comes with great responsibility” more than Mr. Parker?
Joined: Avengers #4 (1998) / Amazing X-Men #1 (2014)
Although created for the animated series Spider-Man and this Amazing Friends, flame-powered mutant Angelica Jones eventually found her way into the Marvel Comics universe proper. The cartoon gave her a backstory as one of the X-Men, but her comic book counterpart didn’t have the same origins. She joined the Avengers after a time on the New Warriors. Eventually though, she did join the X-Men alongside her old TV “amazing friend” Iceman, and was even a teacher at the Xavier Institute.
Joined: Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975) / New Avengers #1 (2005)
In the early 2000s, the X-Men dominated the comic book sales charts, and the Avengers were at an all time low popularity wise. (Oh, how times have changed.) Marvel decided to relaunch with a New Avengers series, with two of their biggest marquee characters who had never been part of the team before: Spider-Man and Wolverine. Logan split his time between both teams for years, before realizing his true home was with his fellow mutants. But he still carries that Avengers ID card. That bad boy comes in handy.
Joined: Giant Size X-Men#1 (1975) / Avengers #19 (2011)
Wolverine’s longtime X-Men comrade was the next member to switch teams. This came during the era when Ororo Munroe was married to the Black Panther, and was the queen of Wakanda. Since Panther couldn’t serve as an Avenger at the time, he sent his wife to serve in his place. Her tenure was short-lived, and she only went on a few missions. But between her and Wolverine joining, it opened the floodgates for X-Men joining the Avengers.
Joined: X-Force #44 (1995) / Avengers #1 (2012)
Kentucky native Sam Guthrie was a founding member of the New Mutants, and later became a prominent member of X-Force. However, he did finally graduate to full time X-Man status during the 90s, if only briefly. Years later, he and his best friend Sunspot became Avengers in one of the team’s most powerful line-ups. The ultimate glow-up.
Joined: Young X-Men #6 (2008) / Avengers #1 (2012)
The solar powered Roberto da Costa was another founding member of the New Mutants, but he never really got to be a fully fledged X-Men for very long. However, he did become a primary Avenger along with his BFF Cannonball during the Avengers’ big 2012 relaunch under writer Jonathan Hickman. He eventually became a primary member (and main source of money) of the spin-off team the U.S.Avengers.
Joined: Uncanny X-Men #58 (1969) / Uncanny Avengers #1 (2012)
Although he’s often been in the shadow of his older brother Cyclops, Alex Summers did something that his arguably more famous sibling never did: he became an Avenger. After the fallout of the Avengers vs. X-men crossover, Captain America realized that mutants and humans needed to work together better, and that the Avengers didn’t do enough for their mutant friends. When making this new “unity squad,” he placed the energy-wielding Havok front and center.
Joined: Uncanny X-Men #171 (1983) / Uncanny Avengers #4 (2013)
Although she first appeared in Avengers Annual #10 back in 1981, the power-absorbing Rogue was a villain in that issue and not a hero. After years spent with the X-Men, much like her teammate Havok, she became a member of the Avengers Unity Squad. And eventually, she became their team leader. She mostly got along with her teammates, all except for her fellow mutant the Scarlet Witch. She blamed Wanda for the de-powering of millions of mutants in House of M.
Joined: Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975) / Uncanny Avengers #5 (2013)
The Japanese national Shiro Yashida had intense flame powers, but he was only an X-Man for a hot minute (sorry for the dad joke). He joined in Giant Size X-Men #1, and then promptly quit. But he was made a member of the Avengers Unity Squad decades later, and somehow managed to be an Avenger longer than he was an X-Man. But not by much, as he jumped ship pretty fast with the Avengers too. Some folks just aren’t team players.
Joined: Deadpool #16 (2012) / Avengers #0 (2015)
Wade Wilson isn’t technically a mutant, yet after many years fighting various mutant teams and sometimes teaming up with them, he finally became an X-Man in an issue of his own ongoing series. Although much like in Deadpool 2, that partnership didn’t last very long. Somehow despite being a disaster of an X-Man, Captain America decided to put the Merc with the Mouth on the Avengers. That at least lasted a couple of years, until the events of Secret Empire.
Joined: X-Men #100 (2000) / Uncanny Avengers #3 (2016)
Where Deadpool goes, Cable usually follows. The soldier from the from the future originally formed the paramilitary mutant group X-Force, but became a proper X-Man in 2000 when his father Cyclops died (he got better). But he then joined the Avengers as part of the Unity Squad, in Uncanny Avengers’ second volume. While it’s a bit unusual to see an Avenger carry a giant honkin’ gun, the team made an exception for Nathan Summers. Besides, when you’re that intimidating, no one is going to say no to you.
Joined: Wolverine and the X-Men #1 (2011) / West Coast Avengers #1 (2019)
Also known as Kid Omega, this bad boy upstart telepath was introduced in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run in the early 2000s. And he has been a pain in the back for all the teachers at Xavier’s School ever since, even after finally being admitted onto the team properly. But recently, he joined up with the newly formed West Coast Avengers, after a stint as a reality TV star.
Images: Marvel Comics