The Avengers and the X-Men are Marvel’s two biggest team franchises. Though the two crossover, they have decidedly different themes and purposes. X-Men stories are stories of intolerance, survival, and triumphing in a world that fears oneself, while Avengers stories are big, universe-busting epics featuring Marvel’s best heroes.
The X-Men are great at a lot of things, but there are some things the Avengers just do better. From large-scale concepts like saving the world to smaller things like the way individualism exists in the group, the Avengers prove themselves stronger than the X-Men on a number of fronts.
10 The Public Trusts The Avengers More
The X-Men are defined by being hated and feared. That theme drives dozens of stories and character backstories. Conversely, the public of the Marvel Universe loves the Avengers. As Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers are beloved by citizens around the world.
When the Avengers operated out of Avengers Mansion, they gave the public a symbol of their humanity. Many of the team’s members, like Captain America and Black Panther, also serve as representations of the peoples of whole nations. Compared to the X-Men (who are often chased by angry mobs), the Avengers are far more trusted by the public.
9 The Avengers Are More Trusted By Governments
In a modern society, the government generally functions as an extension of the public. In the Marvel Universe, the public’s respective attitudes towards the Avengers and the X-Men is often replicated by the government. The Avengers have often operated as an extension of groups like S.H.I.E.L.D. and the United Nations.
Governments often actively try to destroy the X-Men, such as through the use of Sentinels. While the Avengers have been targeted by governments before, they are always able to get back on the side of the law. Oftentimes, the Avengers are able to use the trust granted to them by governments to help other super groups.
8 The Avengers Work Well With Others
The Marvel Universe features plenty of teams aside from the Avengers and the X-Men. Groups like the Fantastic Four and Defenders help make up Marvel’s publication list, while groups like the Winter Guard and Alpha Flight fill out Marvel’s Earth.
The Avengers’ take-all-comers nature means many members of these groups (including the X-Men) have been Avengers before. For example, the entirety of the Fantastic Four have been Avengers! Because of their many superheroic contacts, the Avengers usually have an easy time teaming with other super groups.
7 The Avengers Are Better At Reforming Villains
Both the Avengers and X-Men have had plenty of former villains join their teams. However, the Avengers are far better at retaining those villains on the side of good. Team stalwarts like Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver, as well as lesser-known ones like the Swordsman, have largely stayed benevolent since joining the team.
The X-Men have a more mixed track record. While some characters like Rogue have been able to stay good-aligned, other former team members like Mystique, Sabretooth, and Juggernaut more often than not return to their old ways of villainy. While both teams try to redeem their antagonists, the Avengers succeed far more often.
6 The Avengers Are Better At Stopping Villains
Both the Avengers and the X-Men have plenty of recurring villains. However, the Avengers are better at stopping them. Because of their close ties to the government, it is easier for the Avengers to drop off supervillains into custody than it is for the X-Men.
Some Avengers, like Hank Pym, have taken serious interest in rehabilitating villains. This, combined with the use of the Avengers’ technology, means that it is harder for Avengers foes to escape prison. X-Men villains are often members of the government, meaning it is harder for the mutant team to put their enemies into custody.
5 The Avengers Get Mind Controlled Less
Brainwashing is a superhero rite of passage. However, happening multiple times is a bad sign. While most Avengers have been brainwashed at some point, the X-Men are far more susceptible to influence from outside forces.
Given the amount of telepaths on the team, it is surprising that the X-Men get brainwashed so often. However, villains like the Phoenix Force, the Shadow King, Empath, and Malice have all possessed numerous heroes, including Jean Grey, Professor X, members of the New Mutants, and Polaris. While Avengers like Iron Man have been brainwashed by villains like Kang, it happens far less regularly with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
4 The Avengers Are Better At Protecting Earth
The Avengers’ smaller susceptibility to mind control is part of what makes the team better at protecting Earth. While both the X-Men and Avengers have successfully protected Earth from giant threats, the Avengers have a greater pattern of stopping world-ending threats.
As a large team supported by multiple governments, the Avengers are supported by many institutions in fighting evil. However, the X-Men are often perceived as threats like the ones they are trying to save the Earth from. Additionally, while both teams have cosmic connections, the X-Men’s (like the Phoenix Force and the Shi’ar) are as likely to attack the Earth as they are to save it.
3 The Avengers Have Greater Team Unity
If there is one thing in which the X-Men have the Avengers definitively beat, it’s matching uniforms. However, the Avengers have stronger team unity than the X-Men. Over the years, the X-Men have morphed more into a loose collection of mutants, while the Avengers identity has brought many heroes together.
Because of the massive nature of the group, mutants tend to coalesce around a variety of leaders: Professor X, Cyclops, Wolverine, Magneto. This causes intra-team conflict. However, most Avengers generally recognize Captain America and Iron Man as definitive team leaders and get into less ideological battles than the X-Men.
2 The Avengers Are Better At Doing Their Own Thing
While the Avengers might be more unified in thought than the X-Men, the members of the Avengers are also better at leading individual lives. Heroes like Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America all regularly have their own adventures, while other, less famous heroes like Wonder Man and Ant-Man still have their own rogues galleries.
Aside from Wolverine and Cable, most of the X-Men don’t regularly have their own adventures. The X-Men generally all live in the same place and fight the same people. While some X-Men might have rivalries with other heroes or villains, they don’t regularly embark on the same solo adventures most Avengers do.
1 The Avengers Make Beast A Better Person
Hank McCoy is the furry blue mutant known as the Beast. Beginning as a founder of the X-Men, Beast has spent substantial time with both the Avengers and the X-Men. However, Beast tends to act far more morally when he is with the Avengers.
On Krakoa, Beast has become the head of X-Force, where he has murdered innocent civilians as well as his own teammates. Previously, Beast engaged in unethical genetic science as a member of the X-Men. As an Avenger, Beast instead focuses on being silly and telling jokes, something decidedly less sinister than his X-activities.
NEXT: 10 Best X-Men With The Worst First Impressions