Not everyone is born a hero. In the case of superheroes, it’s a singular moment that typically sets the individual on the path to becoming a force for good. That’s what is known as the origin story. Whether it’s an alien with unbelievable powers or a regular Earthling who’s just trying to do the best with their natural talents, each comic book protagonist has an experience that leads them on their heroic path. And boy, have there been a lot of these told for both classic and modern heroes.

The comic book medium has been going strong for more 75 years, and over those decades hundreds, if not thousands, of superheroes have been introduced. Typically these origin stories have been seen across a variety of media by both passionate comic book fans and people who are just looking for a good tale. And just because a hero is successful doesn’t mean that they got off to the best start with their origin stories, but when these tales are told right, they’re the stuff of legend. Here are some of the most famous superheroes of all time ranked by how great and epic their origin stories are.

X-Men
10. The X-Men
Of course, each individual X-Men has their own unique stories, but together the team’s origin tale is a classic. As mutants, they were all born with their abilities rather than imbued with them by science, magic or aliens. Consequently, many of these people face mistrust and bigotry from the general population who view them as freaks of nature. However, despite their persecution, they still use their powers to protect the innocent. Brought together by Charles Xavier, the X-Men not only combat threats ranging from fanatical humans to fellow mutants, but their overall mission is to fight for the rights of their fellow mutants and usher in a world of acceptance and peace. So even though their overall story is based in a superhero world, it’s memorable because their goals are similar to what many of us want to achieve in real life.

Seen On Screen: In Bryan Singer’s initial X-Men foray, back in 2000.

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