The popularity of the X-Men
and all of the various permutations of this group that are published by Marvel Comics
have always resided with some of the underlying themes that these stories present and how the core audience for these titles (usually younger teenage boys and girls) relate to those themes. In a time when their voices are changing and they are battling hormonal changes, the stories of people whose bodies are radically changing and how they are considered outcasts and freaks because of these changes often appeal to younger teens. Add to this, stories about prejudice, hatred, and ethics in which the underdogs are painted as heroes and you have the makings of successful comics franchise.
But what happens when the teenager with the bad case of acne and the uncontrolled erections in English class grows up, gets a job, a wife, two kids, and a mortgage? How can the comics franchise continue to relate to the self-imagined social outcast when he becomes part of the rank and file?
Marvel Comics has of late been making such an attempt with mixed results. The writers and editors have begun to move beyond the tried and true formula of people in spandex fighting other people in spandex while the normal people look on in awe to addressing what would happen if those people in spandex started living next door to you and shopping at the Piggly Wiggly with you. This has included "outing" the X-Men to the world, a marked increase of the number of mutants and the severity of their mutations. And as a result of these editorial and storyline changes, a new group has been introduced to the "X" line-up, the X-Corporation.
The X-Corporation had its beginning with a failed experiment by longtime X-Man Banshee. Distraught at the loss of his lover Moira MacTaggert, who died as the result of an explosion caused by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Mystique, Banshee began to attempt to drown his sorrow in alcohol. Eventually, realizing that this would solve nothing and tired of seeing innocents hurt by what he perceived to be the inaction of some of his fellow mutants, Banshee set about to create a group to police the actions of mutants. Calling the group X-Corps and using the daughter of the mutant villain Mastermind, who possesses the ability to control other mutants through illusion, Banshee "recruited" mutant villains like the Blob, Avalanche and others to work with his X-Corps. Other mutants, many of whom had past association with Banshee, like M, Husk, and the Multiple Man worked within his organization.
Unfortunately, Banshee was betrayed from within by the mutant shapechanger Mystique, who had infiltrated the group disguised as one of the Multiple Man's duplicates, recruiting some of her old allies to help to use the resources for her own ends. She ultimately injured Banshee stabbing him in the throat and taking over some of the group's assets.
Seemingly this would have been the end of this experiment but like a phoenix from the ashes, Xavier stepped in and used the framework created by Banshee to create the X-Corporation. Set-up to aid mutants worldwide, the X-Corporation has offices in many major cities manned by mutants loyal to Xavier. Using the Cerebra technology to monitor mutants minds, X-Corporation is set up as a sort of mutant 911 hotline. Should a mutant be in danger, he or she has but to think 'X' and the Cerebra unit of the closest X-Corporation office will be alerted and a team will be dispatched to aid the mutant.
The X-Corporation is rife with second-string mutants who seemingly would have nothing else to do in Marvel's brave new world. Former members of the New Mutants, Hellions, X-Force, and others are scattered around the world in X-Corporation offices.