The X-Men franchise is celebrating its 60th anniversary and Royal Mail will mark the occasion by launching a special stamp collection.

The set will have 17 stamps which will feature some of the most popular characters from the Marvel comic book series, which was first published in 1963.

The main set of 12 stamps have been created by British comic book artist Mike McKone and it includes the group’s founder Professor X as well as original members Cyclops, Angel, Iceman and Beast.

Central Fife Times: Professor X stampProfessor X stamp (Image: Royal Mail/PA)

Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Jubilee, Jean Grey, Storm and Rogue are other popular characters that feature in the stamp collection.

Comic book artist Lee Garbett has designed an additional set of five stamps in the form of a miniature sheet and it will feature some of the mutant enemies faced by the X-Men – Juggernaut, Mystique, Magneto, Emma Frost and Sabretooth.

The stamp for Professor X, otherwise known as Charles Francis Xavier, depicts the founder of the superhero team in a blue suit with one hand to his temple and the other outstretched, demonstrating his telepathic powers.

Central Fife Times: Magneto stampMagneto stamp (Image: Royal Mail/PA)

Sir Patrick Stewart portrayed the character in the first three films of the 20th Century Fox X-Men film series as well as in a number of spin-off movies, while James McAvoy has played a younger version of the character in a series of X-Men films after first debuting in 2011’s X-Men: First Class.

The stamp of Wolverine, who was played by Hugh Jackman in the film adaptations, shows the character wearing a yellow-and-black superhero suit with his signature metal claws on show.

Central Fife Times: Wolverine stampWolverine stamp (Image: Royal Mail/PA)

The stamp for Magneto, who has been portrayed by both Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender in the films, sees the character don his classic red superhero suit and purple cape.

All 17 of the stamps will be available to buy in a presentation pack for £16.35 and it will go on general sale on February 16.

Central Fife Times: Storm stampStorm stamp (Image: Royal Mail/PA)

David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said: “Generations have grown up, enamoured by the adventures and the personalities of the X-Men and their enemies.

“We celebrate the X-Men Universe with these stylish new stamps featuring some of its iconic characters.”

Late writer Stan Lee alongside artist and co-writer Jack Kirby created the X-Men superheroes.

They depicted the group as being founded by mutant telepath Professor X, with his original team consisting of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast and Iceman.

Central Fife Times: An additional set of five stamps in the form of a miniature sheet has also been designed by comic book artist Lee GarbettAn additional set of five stamps in the form of a miniature sheet has also been designed by comic book artist Lee Garbett (Image: Royal Mail/PA)

They were based in the professor’s home, which was transformed into the School for Gifted Youngsters and dubbed the X-Mansion.

After many of the original X-Men were captured by the mutant island of Krakoa, Professor X formed a new squad to rescue them, bringing heroes such as Wolverine and Storm into a new international team.

The professor’s school later became a refuge for mutants from all over the world, forming teams such as the New Mutants, Excalibur and Generation X.

The first film adaptation, X-Men, was released in 2000 and since then we’ve seen the release of a host of movies and spin-offs.

The stamps can be pre-ordered via the Royal Mail website.