The forums at Comic Book Resources were closed recently, which is fair enough, but I thought it would be worthwhile to re-post a countdown I did back in 2010 based on votes by the CBR X-Men forum members of their favorite X-Men. This way I can save the list for posterity. I should perhaps update this list some day, as it is almost four years out of date at this point.
Anyhow, from 2010, here are CBR’s Top 50 X-Men…
50. Forge – 49 Points
Forge was being taught to be a medicine man when he was young, but he disappointed his tribe by being more interested in machinery (which was part of his mutant powers – he could pretty much invent anything he could think of). He went off to Vietnam and while there, his comrades were all killed (Forge’s first big failure).
Then Forge used their spirits to attack the other side, but in doing so, he brought the evil demon known as the Adversary to Earth (big failure #2). To stop the mess he created, he had the area bombed – he lost an arm and a leg in the bombing.
Years later, now decked out with a cybernetic arm and leg and working for the US Government, Forge created a device that could strip mutants of their powers (because, you know, obviously the US government would never use such a device poorly). He zapped the wrong mutant, though (failure #3?).
The mutant he DID zap, though, Storm, became his lover. When the Adversary came back, Storm and her fellow X-Men sacrificed themselves to clean up Forge’s mess once more.
Forge knew the X-Men were not dead, though, so he and the former X-Man Banshee became a sort of Starsky and Hutch-like team, traveling the globe finding the X-Men. Along the way, some old blind lady said that Forge would love the shapeshifting Mystique. He was all, “Shyeah right.” How foolish he was.
After thinking Storm would rebuff his marriage proposal (she wouldn’t, as he was the one true love of her life), Forge ended up hanging out with Mystique and the two did end up having an affair (never distrust old blind ladies – they know a lot).
Then he was in charge of X-Factor. Then that fell apart (major failure #4). Then he spent a lot of time as Mr. Hang-Out-in-the-Background-When-the-Main-People-Need-Help.
However, after the mutant Bishop smacked Forge around one time too many (Bishop used Forge as a sort of walking one-man Wal-Mart for Bishop’s time-traveling and arm-needing needs), Forge went nuts and he basically became a bad guy. Then he was seemingly killed (major failure #5)
Odds of him ACTUALLY being dead and never returning as a good guy under the reasoning “Bishop’s attacks gave him so much head trauma that he went crazy but now is okay” are somewhere around 0.05%.
49. Anole – 51 points
Victor Borkowski was originally going to kill himself because he was not accepted by either society (humans for being a mutant and mutants because he was gay). Writers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir wrote the story so that it would cure all intolerance in the world by people seeing the tragedy of what happened to this young gay mutant. Sadly, Marvel editorial felt that a lack of intolerance in the world would ruin their Spider-Man franchise, as part of his hook is that the world does not accept him as a hero. If DeFilippis and Weir’s story was published, all intolerance would end and Spidey would be accepted as a hero. This proved too scary for Marvel, so they made a deal with Mephisto to spike the story.
Now alive, Victor went on to become a valuable member of the New X-Men (well, not strictly worthless, at least) and he was especially useful for giving an almost meta-textual look at the adventures of the X-Men (you know, sort of like “Really, X-Men? You want us to trust you when you get bunches of us killed and once you’ve established we’re in danger, you then DISBAND the school and leave us to fend for ourselves? And we’re supposed to trust you?”
In one adventure, Anole had one of his arms torn off, but it grew back and, due to the ingestion of spinach at the time of his arm growing back, it grew back Popeye-sized.
He’s now among the mutants on the island called Utopia. He helps out when he can.
48. Elixir – 53 points (1 first place vote)
Back in the early 1980s, there was this big pop culture sensation called “Luke and Laura.” They were this “super couple” on the soap opera General Hospital. When they got married in the early 1980s, those episodes drew in 30 million viewers!!! However, there was a bit of a creepy undercurrent to their marriage as earlier in the series, Luke actually RAPED Laura!
I think of that with Josh Foley, who was once on an anti-mutant group called the Reavers before he discovered that he was a mutant himself. So even though Josh has gone on to have a distinguished career with the X-Men, that’s some messed up stuff right there.
Anyhow, he joined Xavier’s school with his healing powers. Eventually, his skin turned gold. A major turning point in his life happened when his girlfriend, Laurie, was stuffed inside of a refrigerator. Her death changed Josh, turning his healing powers and gold skins into death powers and black skin (everything about Josh has racist undertones). Eventually, the memory of his dead love helped him move past his death powers and become a healer once again.
After a period where the X-Men ignored the fact that they had a healer on their team, Josh soon became the go-to guy to heal people, to the point where a name change was proposed, going from Elixir to Deus Ex Machina.
He worked with X-Force for awhile, but after his death powers returned during a battle against the evil Selene and her disciple, Josh’s former fellow student, Wither, Josh wanted to take a break from X-Force because he was afraid of what he might turn into (he could easily become a super-powerful megalomaniac, like Magneto).
He’ll pop up again, though, most likely when someone conveniently needs to be healed at the last second.
47. Juggernaut – 56 points (2 first place votes)
Imagine if your older brother was Jonas Salk. Your whole life, whatever you did, you’d be the brother of the guy who cured POLIO! That was sort of the problem that Cain Marko had when his father married the mother of Charles Xavier. Charlie was the good apple while Cain was a bit of a rotten one. Then again, don’t get me wrong, Charles Xavier could have amounted to just, like, a vice president at the third-largest cracker factory in town and that likely would have been too much for Cain to live up to, as Cain is not the sharpest knife in the drawer (or pretty much anyone’s drawer).
So when they were both together in the war, Cain was stuck in a cave-in for a few years (Charles escaped and thought Cain dead). However, he actually had gained the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, which turned Marko into the unstoppable Juggernaut!
After a stint as a Man Mountain and as Sandman (seriously, what’s up with Stan Lee and the name “Marko”?), he finally got around to fighting the X-Men and his lame (literally) step-brother, Charles.
Juggernaut made friends with this weird Irish guy named Black Tom. You know how crocodiles let little birds hang around them and pick food from their teeth? That was the relationship between Juggernaut and Tom.
Juggernaut really wasn’t the most evil guy in the world, and as we all know by now, if you stick around long enough in a Chris Claremont comic, he’ll eventually think about making you a good guy, and we saw hints of Juggernaut not being such a bad guy when Colossus needed a good beating for his terrible treatment of Kitty Pryde during Secret Wars (“No, no Katya, it doesn’t count as cheating if we are on different planets. Did you seriously not know that?”).
Eventually, Juggernaut joined the X-Men but it did not go so well. Then he joined Excalibur, and he pretty much embarrassed himself there (Dazzler was worried when he began stroking her hair like she was a pet rabbit), so he became a sort-of bad guy again.
Currently, with his power greatly reduced, he is a member of the Thunderbolts.
46. Hope – 59 points (1 first place vote)
Hope is the first mutant born since M-Day, when the Scarlet Witch got rid of all mutants (what she actually said was “No more mutants except for those with speaking parts in X-Men films or for those that people want to still use or those that can have their powers returned through some other means”).
She was the cause of a major battle between different factions of mutants and anti-mutants. To protect her, the Road Runner, in the form of the mutant known as Cable, took her into the future and raised her from girlhood. They had to stay on the run constantly as Wile E. Coyote (AKA Bishop) was after them the entire time, and he had LOTS of neat ACME products that were bound to EVENTUALLY capture them!
Anyhow, now grown to young womanhood (likely too old to catch Colossus’ eye), Hope returned to the present (Cable AND Nightcrawler sacrificed themselves to protect her) and has now joined the X-Men with her powers to mimic other mutant powers (only THEN some). She also seems to have spurred the return of mutant birth to the world. So yay for her!
If only she could mimic her up a personality.
45. Warpath – 72 points (1 first place vote)
James Proudstar had one goal in his life – to honor his older brother John by killing the hell out of as many people as possible.
His goal got off to a slow start when, after attending Emma Frost’s School for Gifted Youngsters (or whatever it is called), James tried to take revenge on Charles Xavier and the X-Men because of what he viewed as their role in the death of his brother John (John was a member of the original All-New, All-Different X-Men, using the codename Thunderbird in honor of the legendary Indian mutant Neal Shaara). However, James was convinced to hold off on killing the hell out of the X-Men. No, his days of killing the hell out of people were still in the future.
Eventually, James quit Emma Frost’s school, which was lucky for him, as his fellow students were soon after killed all to hell by some bad guys. To balance the happy news of him not getting killed all to hell, James returned home to his tribe to learn that they, themselves, had been killed all to hell. This naturally made James quite upset, so he drowned his sorrows in the same thing all young mutants do when they have conflicted feelings – SHOULDER PADS, BABY!
So James soon joined Shoulder Pads ‘R’ Us (later re-named X-Force) where he served for a number of years. Around this time, he decided that his brother’s codename was not stereotypical enough for him, so after looking over some choices like Big Chief Wahoo he eventually settled on Warpath. However, after awhile, the shoulder pads went away, and James lost direction a bit. This was perfectly demonstrated by his out-of-nowhere ability to fly. That was his body’s way of saying, “yeah, WE don’t know what to do with you either.”
Luckily, after the events of M-Day (when Scarlet Witch said “No more mutants except for those with speaking parts in the X-Men films or those mutants who writers have any interest in doing stuff with”), James was one of the few mutants left with powers. He found his way to the X-Mansion where he joined the X-Men and met the love of his life – two vibranium knives Storm stole one day while Black Panther was in the bathroom.
After serving with the X-Men, James finally found his perfect calling – working as a member of Cyclops’ secret murder police, X-Force. As a member of X-Force, James killed the hell out of a ton of people. He and his darling knives eventually killed enough people to reach the 1,000 gold coins needed to free his brother John’s soul from Bowser’s Mushroom Kingdom.
Now finally at peace for the first time in ages, James is free to do whatever he wants. I’m sure we’ll see him as a member of the X-Men soon enough (he’s still on Utopia).
44. X-Man – 75 points (2 first place votes)
You know how there is that weird little leap of logic when it comes to the spelling of some characters? Like when a characters introduces herself. “Hi, I’m Magik.” “Hi, Magic.” No, not Magic, MagiK.” “That’s what I just said, ‘Magic.'” etc. Well that is silly, true, but Nate Grey, X-Man, goes one step further. His code name, at least if you followed his comic, was X-Man, but they never established WHY he was suddenly being called X-Man. It just started out of nowhere. Weird, right?
Then again, for a character with a history this weird, I suppose that’s just part for the course. Created to take the place of Cable for four issues, X-Man instead ended up running for over 70 issues, out of which an impressive 10 issues were good!
Like 3/4 of the Marvel Universe, X-Man is an alternate reality “son” of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. He has wicked powerful powers – almost as powerful as Dark Phoenix.
After a short stint as the “Shaman of the mutant race,” X-Man pulled the ultimate “I’m too cool for you peons” move by basically merging with the Earth. He was recently pulled back together and now he is a member of the new Nightstalkers (also known as the Dark X-Men).
Nate is enough of a blank slate that we might very well see some neat stories involving him!
43. Bishop – 77 points
It took Marvel 18 years or so, but they finally gave an answer to the cover of Uncanny X-Men #288 – the answer was “Madman.”
Anyhow, Lucas Bishop grew up in the future where the Buffy Summers Revolution has finally freed mutants from living in fear of Sentinels. Bishop and his sister Shard both became members of the XSE, an elite crime-fighting unit, similar to the cartoon show C.O.P.S. Sadly, his sister Shard was morally wounded and Bishop decided to “save” her by turning her into a hologram.
Anyhow, some time later, Scooby Doo and Shaggy accidentally open the Chest of Demons, which houses ninety-three of the worst criminals of Bishop’s time. Along with Trevor Fitzroy, they escape to the “present.” Bishop follows with two red-shirt security officers. Once there, Bishop meets the real life X-Men and after his men inevitably die, Bishop joins the X-Men.
Once on the team, Bishop proceeds with his life-long dream to bed his own grandmother, as he becomes the one true love of Storm’s life. While he is making good time with Storm, he was not doing so well with his X-Men duties. He personally assigned himself to be Professor Xavier’s bodyguard (guess who got shot right in front of Bishop?). Later on, he was part of a team of X-Men assigned to protect Magneto from Xavier’s crazy time-traveling son, Legion (Legion wasn’t even TRYING to kill Xavier, but Bishop managed to let Xavier get shot right in front of him AGAIN).
This led to the Age of Apocalypse, and Bishop actually did so something important and helped avoid the Age of Apocalypse by helping to stop Legion on his second go-around. Soon after, while in a mission in outer space, Bishop took one for the team and threw himself on the grenade known as Deathbird. So they were a couple for awhile. He came home to Earth only to be transported to an alternate reality – then back to life on Earth – then back to an alternate reality – then back to life on Earth (back to life, back to reality – isn’t that an En Vogue song?).
Upon his final return to Earth, Bishop decided it would be useful to pretend to be descended from Aboriginal Australian. He can be such a goofball sometimes. He also has the ability to “let his spirit go.” I am not sure, but I think that has something to do with C+C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now” and the line “let the music take your soul.”
Anyhow, after serving on a modern day version of the XSE, Bishop ended up working for the government, which we all know in comics means you are one step removed from either being unfairly targeted by the government or you, yourself, unfairly targeting OTHER people, and that’s what happened when Bishop’s group basically tries to capture all the remaining mutants during Civil War.
If that wasn’t bad enough, during Messiah Complex, Bishop decides that the first mutant born since M-Day (that’s when Scarlet Witch de-powered every mutant except 95% of the mutants anyone cares about) is going to screw up his future, so he basically snaps and decides to kill her. Along the way, he loses an arm and manages to shoot Professor Xavier in the head (man, some bodyguard, huh?) and is all together acting like quite an unpleasant guy. However, he sees himself like Parallax. Everyone he kills or hurts will not be killed or hurt because he’ll be changing the future, so the bad stuff won’t happen.
After following Cable and the baby Hope for years (as Hope ages into young adulthood), Bishop attacks them one final time, but his ACME products backfire and he is set into the faraway future.
He will definitely never ever ever never ever return at some other future point, as he is clearly totally stuck in the future. Anyone who says otherwise is foolish! There is a 100% chance he will never show up again.
42. Pixie – 77 points (2 first place votes)
In the world of the X-Men, being the “Friendliest Student” at Xavier’s often just means that you have not tried to kill or stab your fellow teammates at some point or another. With that being said, Megan Gwynn is still the friendliest student among the X-Men, even though now they’re not really students anymore (although Colossus keeps offering to teach the girls anatomy – so weird).
If you ever heard the story of how John Constantine came about, it was because Swamp Thing’s artists Stephen Bissette and John Toteleben just thought it would be fun to draw Sting from the Police in the comic. So Alan Moore created a character based on a guy who looks like Sting and this background character became one of the most popular Vertigo character ever (Constantine’s series, Hellblazer, has had more issues released than all of Swamp Thing’s various series combined!). That comes to my mind when I think about how Pixie went from being a cute background character into becoming one of the more notable members of the X-Men (even getting her own mini-series, something that characters like Cannonball and Sage have never had).
One of the major additions to her character is that she lost a little bit of her soul in exchange for creating a mini-soul sword. This aids her natural magical abilities, but at the cost of a little bit of her soul. It’s a good thing she’s so friendly, because that stuff could really creep up on you.
Oh, and she’s apparently the daughter of Mastermind for…some reason.
She was recently used as the POV character of the X-Men, but she seems to have moved past that a bit, really, so who knows how she’ll be used in the future! Hopefully well!
41. Dust – 78 points (1 first place vote)
Of the many cool concepts Grant Morrison introduced during his run on New X-Men, Dust is one of the few ideas that has been treated well since he left the titles (don’t even get me started on what happened to Beak and Angel).
Sooraya Qadir is able to turn her whole body into dust. We are introduced to her in an issue of New X-Men where Wolverine rescues her from a slave-trading ring. She had been separated from her mother back in Afghanistan, so she came to America with the X-Men until she could find her mother, and while she was in America, she might as well get training on her powers, right? A traditional Muslim, Sooraya follows the Islamic tradition of hijab in which she covers almost all of her body in an outfit called an abaya designed to prevent her body to be fully observed (no curves, etc.) Sooraya, though, often likes to wear a very rare variation of the abaya that is called “sexy abaya,” where her abaya grips her breasts and hips very tightly. I presume that’s what she’s doing, as it couldn’t be that the artists drawing her don’t understand the concept of an abaya, right?
In any event, Dust has been a valuable member of the New X-Men, the Young X-Men and even the regular ol’ X-Men (heck, in the future, she is even useful, although she got killed all to hell by Madelyne Pryor).
It’s hard really to discuss Dust much, as there is still soooo much to explore about her character, but as a background character in a book filled to the brim with background characters, the opportunities are not exactly plentiful. By the way, how the heck have the X-Men NOT been able to locate her mother yet? Who’d they send to get her mother – Bishop?!
40. Rictor – 81 points (1 first place vote)
Here’s the thing – mutants don’t know what powers they are going to have when they are born. I mean, sometimes it seems to help if your parent has a particular power (like Siryn and Banshee and Lorna Dane and Xorn) but really, even there there is no guarantee (like Quicksilver and Xorn). So it is pretty darn weird that Julio Richter, whose last name is, well, Richter, would go on to have earthquake powers. Of course, if that is your last name, you would figure Julio would just go with it, right? “I have earthquake powers and my name is Richter, well, that pretty much writes itself, no?” However, Julio decided that Richter was not, I dunno, extreme enough or whatever, so he decided to go with Rictor because, you know, that’s apparently a thing. Watch out, everyone! Here comes Sighclopz, Wolvereen and Eyesman!
So anyhow, Rictor was one of the first mutants to be taken in by X-Factor. These young mutants banded together to form their own little team. For some reason, they called themselves X-Terminators, which was the fake name X-Factor used when they were pretending to hunt down mutants. Then again, when the guy’s best idea for a name is a mis-spelling of his last name, perhaps we should not be so surprised that he joined a team with a nonsensical name.
He eventually joined the New Mutants because he hated handicapped kids and dyslexics, but when the New Mutants were taken over by Cable, Rictor balked. He thought Cable had shot his father (it was actually Stryfe – Rictor was confused because Stryfe did not have the customary black goatee to denote being an evil twin). Rictor eventually joined back up with X-Force after first hunting them down with Canada’s pre-eminent superhero team, Weapon Prime (all of Canada’s pre-eminent superhero teams are made up of washed up U.S. heroes – just look at Omega Flight).
Once joining X-Force, Rictor had some weird feelings for his teammate, Shatterstar, but he also had feelings for his former teammate, Wolfsbane. Luckily for him, we all know what young mutants need when they are dealing with conflicted feelings, right? SHOULDER PADS! But eventually, the shoulder pads went away and so did Rictor, leaving the team along with Shatterstar to “find themselves.”
He ended up on an M-Corporation during Grant Morrison’s X-Men Run. Rictor next showed up after M-Day, when the Scarlet Witch took the mutant abilities away from every mutant named Rictor, Jubilee and Moonstar (she was quite specific). He ended up joining Madrox’s X-Factor team as a non-powered member. In a lot of ways, Rictor is the heart of the team.
Recently, with Shatterstar’s return, he and Rictor have taken their relationship to the next level (level 7) but he also has to deal with the return of his former love, ex-teammate Wolfsbane. Who knows what will happen next, but I bet it’ll be interesting!
39. Boom Boom – 83 points
Some characters get introduced in places like X-Men #1, as the members of a special group of mutant heroes. Some characters get introduced in places like Giant-Sized X-Men #1, as replacements for the previous group of heroes. Some characters get introduced in places like Marvel Graphic Novel, as the next generation of mutant heroes.
And some heroes, like Tabitha Smith, get introduced in the pages of Secret Wars II as someone for the Beyonder to talk to.
Tabitha, a young mutant who could make little exploding “time bombs” of energy, was a companion to the Beyonder as he looked into what made yoo-mans tick. He would have been better off asking my cat.
Anyhow, once that was over with, Tabitha made her way to X-Factor as one of a group of young mutants who were taken in by the older heroes. Like a few of the other older mutants of the group, she eventually ended up on the New Mutants as Boom-Boom (clever name, huh?), where she met Cannonball, who she totally was into. So much so that when the New Mutants became X-Force, she was one of the only members of the team to stick around.
Now going by the much-classier “Boomer” (yes, Boomer – that was the name – Boomer – Boom-Boom was not working, so BOOMER was the next choice – yikes), Tabitha became a valuable member of the team. Well, I mean, she didn’t actively get anyone killed, at least. Eventually X-Force began living at the X-Mansion and her boyfriend, Cannonball, dropped her the instant he was offered a gig on the X-Men. Testing the limits of just how dumb she could get, Tabitha began to hang out with Sabretooth, who the X-Men were holding captive at the time (one of Professor Xavier’s best ideas). Eventually she led to him breaking out and nearly killing Psylocke.
She got all emo at this point and cut her hair and became known as Meltdown. She stuck around with X-Force for awhile after that, but really, it wasn’t until she recently became a member of Nextwave that she became cool again.
As a member of Nextwave, her mental abilities came in handy when the team was captured by a villain who manipulated their minds. In Tabitha’s case, though, her mind was non-existent, so she was able to “give him the explodo because she is clever.”
She has since left Nextwave and is just pretty much hanging around Utopia, hoping for a writer to make her cool once more. Where have you gone, Warren Ellis, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you!
38. Marrow – 88 points
Few characters in X-Men history have been as dependent on who was writing them at that particular point in time than Sarah Rushman, the mutant known as Marrow.
Sarah was one of the Morlocks who survived the Mutant Massacre. She was taken to another dimension by Colossus’ older brother, Mikhail Rasputin (who, despite being a sociopath, is actually the cooler of the Rasputin brothers) where she lived a life of “Survival of the fittest,” learning to despise mutants. Sarah survived nicely with her power to pull her own bones out and use them as knives. She eventually returned to Earth along with her comrades, now calling themselves Gene Nation. They were really nasty brutes and eventually, she forced the X-Men leader Storm to face her one-on-one, to the death! Storm complied by stabbing Sarah through the heart.
Of course, though, Sarah (sigh) had TWO hearts, so she lived. Her adopted maternal figure, Callisto, got her through the injury and the two lived underground. Eventually, Marrow joined the X-Men. It is not talked about often, but there are special pheremones in the air with the X-Men making everyone better looking, and these affected Sarah, making her basically a pretty girl, just with bones sticking out of her body in her forehead.
During this period, she flirted with Colossus (good luck there, Sarah, maybe in your Morlock days, but not so much now), but then Chris Claremont returned to the X-Titles and Sarah was off the team. She ended up showing up in Weapon X, where was now completely human-looking. At one point, she even dated Peter Parker, which is really messed up, as he was still married at the time (he just thought his wife was dead).
M-Day robbed Sarah of her powers. At first she seemed to be taking it well, giving reporter Sally Floyd more things she should yell at Captain America about not knowing (including Ke$ha, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry), but soon after, she showed up blaming the U.S. Government for M-Day.
She has not been seen since.
Domino has one of the oddest beginnings out of any mutant on the list – she first appeared in New Mutants #98, but as it turned out, that was a shape-shifter named Copycat who had taken her place (remember when Copycat was, like, a big character? She used to show up frequently. Her and Kane). It was not until X-Force #8 (in a FLASHBACK) that we met the real Domino. She did not show up in the actual comic until X-Force #11. Crazy, huh?
In any event, Neena Thurman was inspired by this guy named Domino who used to snitch for the villain-killer, The Scourge, so she took the name and became one of the most rootin’ tootin’ mercenaries out there.
Domino has luck powers and she has a cool dalmatian look going on with her patch over her eye (like a domino mask).
Really, Domino is one of the more straightforward characters around. She is a bad ass mercenary, and for awhile she served as the leader and maternal figure for X-Force (when Cable was not around). Once X-Force broke up, she showed up whenever a writer needed to have a mercenary around. Her, Silver Sable, Deadpool and, to a lesser extent, Solo, were the go-to mercenaries for other writers to use in their comics.
If you count the current Sex and Violence mini-series, did you know that Domino has had THREE mini-series? Colossus has only had ONE and Domino has had THREE! Crazy, huh?
Recently, she joined X-Force but is not currently a member of the re-launched Uncanny X-Force. So I guess she’ll have to settle for showing up whenever someone needs a mercenary. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it – Paladin has eked a living out of it for over 30 years!!
36. Cecilia Reyes – 91 points (1 first place vote)
Sadly, she sort of DIDN’T survive the experience, did she? By the way, you know your bits are getting old when you’re putting “you know the rest” on the covers of your comics. In the future, instead of resolving cliffhangers, the issues will end with, “they got out of it. You know, the way they always do. The End.”
Cecilia Reyes is a stand-out member of the X-Men if only for one reason – she actually has a job and marketable job skills. Seriously, for a school, Xavier’s has not exactly made the most of its educational capabilities. I’m not sure if Rogue even knows how to read.
Cecilia Reyes was a resident working in the Emergency Room (she chose to become a doctor when her father was killed in front of her and she was unable to save him – she should compares notes with Havok) when a bunch of Observational Meta-human Activity Constructs attacked her. She was saved by her force field powers and by Iceman and eventually ended up joining the X-Men, although unlike the other X-Men, who were fine with suckling off of the teat of Charles Xavier’s inheritance, she insisted on maintaining her job as a doctor. Her X-Men lifestyle conflicted with her job too much, so she eventually quit as an X-Man.
Of course, remember what I said about the other X-Men not exactly having a lot of skills useful for stuff other than beating people up? So Cecilia was roped into helping the X-Men again. Soon afterwards, Cecilia was taken captive and put into an internment camp for mutants where she later was apparently killed off off-panel. Luckily, this being comics, off-panel deaths are not death (ON-panel deaths are not deaths, either, often, but hey, they’re more likely to stick than off-panel deaths), so thankfully Cecilia showed up alive recently (then again, perhaps death was better than the fate she suffered in an alternate future in X-Men: The End – she ended up marrying BEAST!).
Even more recently, after the X-Men begged her to please come home (come on home), she came to live on Utopia and is currently an active member of the X-Men for the first time in years. Yay, Cecilia!
35. Husk – 97 points (1 first place vote)
Things were always somewhat awkward for Paige Guthrie, the mutant known as Husk. Like the aforementioned Cecilia Reyes, Paige could easily live a “normal” life, as she was a very smart girl. But, of course, she had to get caught up in the X-Men’s world due to her mutant power of being able to tear off her skin to reveal a new form beneath each time (initially, her new forms would only be basic solid combinations of her actual form – like her a concrete version of herself, or a stone version of herself, or a steel version of herself – but over time she seems to have learned to develop new stuff, like turning into fire, acid, etc.).
As a member of Generation X, Paige quickly became the team’s “computer expert.” This was because the other team members did not know how to even turn a computer on, so by default, Paige was the team’s “expert.”
After the break-up of Generation X, Paige eventually ended up on the main X-Men team. Once there she developed a completely normal and extremely romantic and not creepy at all relationship with Warren Worthington, the Angel.
In one especially tender moment of their relationship, they demonstrated their love for each other by having sex in the air above Paige’s mother. It was so adorable, and not at all unsettling.
She and Angel left the X-Men during one of the endless roster shake-ups. They eventually broke up and Husk has since been in the background of scenes for the past few years. At one point she actually moved back home, but then just showed up in a background scene in Utopia, so obviously she returned. She’s probably had about five lines of dialogue in the last three years. This makes her a prime candidate to be killed off in an upcoming crossover. So cross your fingers, person who had her #1 on your list!!
34. Hellion – 99 points (3 first place votes)
Julian Keller was born to rich parents who really just wanted their son not to be so darned obvious about his mutant powers (he has telekinetic powers). So his parent sent him to the Xavier Institute, where he quickly became a favorite student of Emma Frost’s (and not in the Paula Abdul/Corey Clark way, either), as he reminded her a lot of herself. Julian was touched by the personal interest, to the point where he actually named himself Hellion after the Hellions, Emma Frost’s students from her old days as the head of the non-Xavier-affiliated Massachusetts Academy.
The Hellions were all pretty much massacred, so perhaps this wasn’t the brightest idea of a codename. You don’t see many boats calling themselves Titanic II, ya know?
In any event, after the events of M-Day (when 99% of all mutants lost their powers, including 10% of all Xavier Students and 1% of all Xavier Students with lines of dialogue), Julian ended up as part of a condensed New X-Men team. Around this time, he began developing this strange relationship with X-23. It’s a good thing he didn’t know about her teen hooker days, or else things might have got even stranger!
Hellion was a stalwart member of the New X-Men, but eventually the bad karma around his name came back to haunt him when he was stabbed through the chest by Lady Deathstrike during the Messiah Complex. Luckily for him, Lady Deathstrike takes “chest stabbing” lessons from Wolverine, so it was not fatal for Julian.
He eventually ended up back on Utopia with everyone else, only to then have his hands blown off in battle. He’s still around, using his telekinetic powers to approximate hands, but he’s naturally feeling a bit bitter. He should give Husk a call – she was okay with a guy with a face that was blown off, maybe she’d be into a guy with blown off hands, too!
33. Siryn – 104 points (1 first place vote)
As we’ve seen already by now, the X-Men are not always exactly experts when it comes to coming up with codenames. Whether it is taking on a mis-spelling of their last name (while not even changing the pronunciation) or choosing a name that would get you protested if it was the name of an NFL team, the names chosen by a lot of X-Men are quite odd. Theresa Rourke Cassidy and her father Sean are no different. Her father took the name Banshee, which is an Irish creature of myth, but a FEMALE Irish creature of myth. Theresa named herself after the Greek creatures of myth, the Sirens. Of course, though, she couldn’t just call herself Siren. That would be too easy. No, she’s Siryn. How much time passed, do you think, before anyone else even knew how she was spelling it? Like, so you think she was a member of X-Force for a couple of years before they had to write their codenames down and everyone was like, “What? There’s a Y in your name?” (well, everyone except Cannonball, who would just pretend that he could read and then react a few seconds after everyone else, “Yeah! What’s with the Y?”).
Theresa has sonic powers like her father, although they are slightly different. This was because there used to be a “rule” in the Marvel Universe that mutants could not have the same powers as their parents, so Siryn had to have SLIGHTLY different powers than Banshee to count as a mutant. That “rule” has since been ignored on numerous occasions (like with Polaris and Xorn).
Anyhow, Siryn somehow managed to avoid actually joining any X-team for years before getting caught up in X-Force. Since she is Irish, the most stereotypical sub-plot you could think of for her was for her to be an alcoholic, so naturally that’s what happened. That and her strange relationship with Deadpool were the main plot points for Siryn over her extended stay as a member of X-Force.
She had a stint working for the M-Corporation during Grant Morrison’s X-Men run. More recently, she became involved with Jamie Madrox’s X-Factor investigation group, taking on a major leadership role in the group and even getting into a romantic relationship with Jamie, one that ended sadly when Theresa ended up acting out the Bizarro World version of Discovery Health’s series, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.
Theresa recently took on the name Banshee to honor her late father (who will clearly never return from the dead as that is impossible).
32. Sage – 119 points (5 first place votes)
When she was a teenager, the mutant known as Tessa was on a plane with four guys named Ace, Red, Rocky and Prof. The plane crashed, and the five survivors decided that since they were living on borrowed time, they should band together to help the world! Later on, only the four guys were known to be the original members of the team. Tessa’s involvement was kept hidden. A few years later, Tessa stowed away on an experimental rocket that had been stolen by the scientist who developed the rocket as he wanted to beat the Commies to the stars. The rocket also crashed, and all the members on the rocket were given fantastic powers. They all agreed to help the world, but only the other four people are known as the original members of the team. Tessa’s involvement was kept hidden. Awhile later, Tessa used her incredible mental processing powers to help seven other heroes to stop an invasion of an odd race of aliens known as the Appelaxians. After the crisis was over, the eight heroes decided to form a team. But only the other seven members were known as the original members of the team. Tessa’s involvement was kept hidden. Next, Tessa got involved in a plot by the evil Norse god Loki to get revenge on his brother, Thor. Tessa helped get together a band of heroes to stop Loki’s plan. However, when the heroes decided to stay together, Tessa wished to keep her involvement in the original team a secret.
All of this prepared her for when Professor Charles Xavier (who she had saved years earlier when he had been crippled by the evil alien known as Lucifer, who I am astounded has not been retconned to be, like, working for Apocalypse or something like that, because otherwise, just some dude named Lucifer is a pretty weird way for Professor X to lose the use of his legs) asked her to be the secret sixth original member of the X-Men. Instead of being on the team proper, Tessa would go undercover in the Hellfire Club.
She served as a member of the Hellfire Club for years. She did her job SO well that she never actually did anything to help the X-Men ever (except for some stuff we never knew about until later), In fact, when she and Xavier interacted with each other, Xavier cleverly pretended not to know she even WAS working for him – this was to disguise her work as a spy and not because the idea of her actually being a spy was thought up later on.
Eventually, Tessa stopped being a spy and went to work with the X-Men in the open. She took on the codename Sage and was a valuable member of the team. She basically was the lucky rabbit’s foot of writer Chris Claremont, as she traveled from the titles X-Treme X-Men to Uncanny X-Men to New Excalibur to New Exiles, all written by Claremont.
While a member of Excalibur, Sage went into deep cover, to the point where her new personality practically took over control of her mind! This was a problem when she was a member of the Exiles, as well.
She ended up merging with the Exiles’ Crystal Palace, but that seems to have been pretty much forgotten, so she is pretty much free to pop up on Utopia any time another writer feels like using her, which I hope is soon!
31. Mystique – 121 points (2 first place votes)
If you had a contest over which X-Men characters most sound like they belong in a Harry Potter book, I bet Raven Darkholme would be the winner. That’s quite a name. Then again, Mystique is quite a character.
A shapeshifter, Mystique has lived for a very long time, and as a result has gone through a WHOLE pile of crap over the years. She’s been an adventurer, she’s been a mercenary, she’s been a sociopath, she’s been all over the map. Pretty much every time she shows up, she has a different agenda.
Mystique’s ties to the X-Men world are most evident with her children. She is the biological mother of Nightcrawler and she was the adopted mother of Rogue.
She first encountered the X-Men while leading a new version of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Soon afterwards, her “daughter” Rogue debuted as a member of the team.
But Rogue eventually left her “mother,” and Mystique bounced around over the next few years taking on odd jobs here and there, including leading a re-vamped Brotherhood as a government sponsored team called Freedom Force.
Throughout a lot of her history, she got some sweet old lady loving with the mutant known as Destiny, who Mystique had known for decades.
More recently, Mystique has taken more of an interest in Rogue, and goes through all of these weird, convoluted plans to help Rogue out. Her plans are SO convoluted that you wonder if she even understands how silly they are (she DID go crazy at one point, so perhaps she actually doesn’t realize it). Her plans are the equivalent of pushing Rogue off of a cliff because she was about to step in dog crap. Or stabbing her in the eyes because a sad commercial was about come on the air. Stuff like that.
One such plan got her named to the X-Men. And later on, when Rogue was allowed to pick her own team of X-Men (provided that she chose only people that no one else wanted on their teams) she picked Mystique to keep an eye on her.
Still, Mystique still managed to cause trouble for Rogue and the X-Men (she also messed with Iceman’s head big time – and no, that was not a double entendre, but I suppose now that I mention it, let’s say it is). Rogue got really mad at her and tried to kill her by completely absorbing her – that did not work out so well.
Mystique recovered fine and was off doing her normal bad stuff when Wolverine hunted her down for her actions against the X-Men. He stabbed her in the chest, but as we all know by now, stabbing someone in the chest never kills them.
She recently showed up as the leader of the Dark X-Men. And even MORE recently, she began appearing in the pages of the new Wolverine series, seemingly getting past her problems with Wolverine. Also, with Rogue in X-Men Legacy, you have to figure Mystique will eventually pop up there.
30. Magik – 133 points (1 first place vote)
While, let’s face it, if you look closely enough at the lives of most of the X-Men, they sound pretty darn horrible, Illyana Rasputin has had a particularly difficult life.
First off, she had Colossus for an older brother – that couldn’t be fun. And it wasn’t like her other brother, Mikhail, was a barrel of laughs, either. Illyana actually debuted well before most of her contemporaries, showing up in the same issue that Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm and Thunderbird debuted in. In that issue, she was almost killed by a runaway tractor.
When next we see her, she’s being kidnapped by the villain Arcade. Soon after that, she gets kidnapped AGAIN (no wonder Xavier keeps getting shot in the head, the X-Men have really bad security). This time, however, she is kidnapped to a hell dimension, where she gets trained by this old British guy who traveled to the future to kidnap Illyana. She is trained to fight demons and she returns to the present a good deal older and much more bad-ass (she later travels to the early 1960s and works for an ad agency).
The now-teenaged Illyana serves as a member of the New Mutants, but is also friends with Kitty Pryde (because she remembers a version of Kitty from the hell dimension, not because hanging out with Kitty Pryde is actually any fun, as it mostly is not). She has teleportation powers but she also has magic powers she learned in limbo (the demons there gave her more powers as they corrupted her soul – luckily she got out of there before her soul was as dark and evil as Magneto’s soul). She also has a “Soulsword.”
In any event, eventually Illyana was transformed back to a young girl. You might think, “Oh man, an actual GOOD break for Illyana! She doesn’t remember any of the time she spent in the hell dimension, so she might grow up to have a healthy, normal life free of having to talk to Kitty Pryde a lot!” You would THINK that, but this being the X-Men comics (particularly the X-Men comics of the early 1990s), that was not to be. First her parents were murdered by a Russian group looking to use Illyana’s burgeoning powers. After the X-Men saved her from these bad guys, she came down with the Legacy virus, which was this awful disease which only affects background characters that no one was doing anything with anyways (and even there, if you’re even vaguely useful, like Pyro, the disease won’t kill you for, like, 8 years). So not only does she get the disease, but she dies of it pretty shortly after. Adding insult to injury, she has to spend the last of her remaining days with Jubilee, of all people!!
Illyana stayed dead for a long time, and the X-Books eventually decided to just wipe out the entire Rasputin clan. Then her brother came back to life and eventually a demon brought her demon body back using memories of her life. She still didn’t have a soul, but eventually she got her soul back (but not before totally messing up sweet young Pixie).
Now Illyana sort of has a soul back and is once again a member of the New Mutants.
29. Northstar – 138 points (4 first place votes)
Jean-Paul Beaubier had a weird beginning to his life. First, his parents die in a car accident. Then he is adopted, but his ADOPTED parents die, too! That’s some messed up stuff right there. He develops superpowers, which he uses as his version of PEDs to do really well in his sport of skiing. He grows bored of winning all the time and eventually joins a new Canadian superhero team. Once he joins the team, he is reunited with his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie, who he had been separated from when they were younger.
A recurring sub-plot of Alpha Flight was Northstar and his sister (codenamed Aurora) constantly bickering. Another sub-plot was the fact that Northstar was pretty clearly gay. This was something that Marvel was not ready to publicly acknowledge, so at one point, Northstar even became the one true love of Rogue’s life. The writer after John Byrne tried to give Northstar AIDS, but it did not stick (instead, Northstar was revealed to be a fairy – suffice it to say, no one talks about that anymore). Eventually, ten years into his life as a character, Northstar was finally able to say (well, scream, really) that he was gay. Even though he was now openly gay, he did not actually KISS a dude for nearly two decades! Pretty messed up, huh? We get Angel and Husk having sex in the air above her MOM, but Northstar can’t, like, KISS a dude?
In any event, Alpha Flight eventually collapsed out of sheer lameness and Northstar eventually joined the X-Men for a short period of time. He was later recruited by Professor Xavier to join the team and more specifically, the faculty of Xavier’s Institute, as Northstar’s basic level of intelligence automatically made him one of the most experienced teachers at Xavier’s (as you might imagine, the faculty choices Xavier had were not exactly the greatest to choose from – Storm only knows how to teach people to steal shit, Cyclops barely got his GED and Colossus is only interested in 51% of his students).
After one of the seemingly ceaseless re-shuffling of team lineups, Northstar ended up being just a teacher at the school. In this role, he was mortally wounded by Wolverine after Kitty Pryde cowardly let Northstar take a blow meant for her. Conveniently, Northstar was, like, the only person Wolverine ever stabbed in the chest to actually DIE from it (adding insult to injury, during a period of a couple of weeks, Northstar was killed in the regular Marvel Universe, the AoA Marvel Universe and seemingly in the Ultimate Marvel Universe!).
Northstar was revived by the evil group, HYDRA, only he was now evil. Luckily, his sister became good for SOMEthing when she cured him of the evil.
Northstar eventually joined back up with the X-Men (and finally kissed a guy!) and he’s likely somewhere on Utopia at this moment, waiting for some writer to give him a plotline again.
28. Banshee – 149 points (4 first place votes)
After Wolverine, Sean Cassidy (the sonic-powered mutant known as Banshee) probably is the #1 X-Men when it comes to revealing never-before-seen connections between he and various other characters. You know, stuff like, “Oh hey, did you not know about the time Banshee and Deadpool knew each other years ago?” This is because he was a good deal older than the other members of the X-Men, so there is a gap where writer can fill it in however they like. I’m sure if Banshee had stuck around, we would have seen him have adventures with, like, 100 different X-Men characters all in the past. “Remember that time I saved a young Bobby Drake from a bad guy?” “Remember that time Cable and I stopped Batroc the Leaper from stealing the Queen’s gold?” “Remember that time I cracked a young Scott Summers over the back of the head causing his mutant powers to manifest oddly (then got my old friend Charles Xavier to convince him that the injury happened when he was younger)?” Stuff like that.
By the way, while at least his name is not spelled Banshi, it is weird to name yourself after a female mythical feature when you’re a dude.
Banshee first met the original X-Men (not counting the sixth original X-Man, Sage, who was off doing undercover work at the time) when he was captured by the saddest supervillain team of all-time, Factor Three (Factor Three made the Justice League Antarctica look competent) and forced to work for them. The X-Men saved them and he helped them out a few times over the next few years. Do note that when Banshee was first introduced, his power level was comparable to MAGNETO!!! So either Magneto’s power levels are BS now, or Banshee was just really undersold over the years. Somehow I don’t see Magneto letting a slimy Creole break his jaw, ya know?
After thoughtfully choosing not to place Banshee as a member of the first team of mutants who tried to go save the original X-Men (that team was known as the All-New, All-Incompetent X-Men!), Xavier asked him to join his new team of All-New, Slightly More Competent X-Men. Banshee agreed and served for the team for quite awhile. While on the team, as one of the few intelligent X-Men, he taught Storm how to wear clothes and began to teach Colossus about the various ages of consent in the United States. Sadly, before he could finish explaining things to Colossus, Banshee lost the use of his powers. Luckily for him, he met up with Professor X’s ex-girlfriend, Moira MacTaggert, and the two began dating. Really, if you’re an X-Man, it’s probably BEST to lose your powers. You’re a lot less likely to die just to make a new villain look badass.
Around this time, Sean discovered he had a teenaged daughter. He made sure to keep her far away from the X-Mansion and Colossus, so he bonded with his daughter on Muir Isle, and he had a good little life. Of course, as soon as the X-Men lost a patriarchal figure like Xavier or Banshee (or hell, even that nutjob Magneto), they quickly fell apart. I mean, for crying out loud, at one point they were kinda/sorta led by Havok and Psylocke! How could they help BUT fall apart? I’d be impressed if Havok and Psylocke could keep the team together while going on a trip to the grocery store, let alone permanently!
So Sean and his new best buddy, Forge, set out to put the X-Men together (by this time, Banshee’s powers had returned). On this second stint as an X-Man, however, Banshee lost his powers again when that dirtbag Gambit broke his jaw (how come Cyclops never gets anything done to his eyes but Banshee’s throat and jaw get attacked every other issue?).
Again, though, he was probably better off, as he would have been a juicy candidate to kill during the X-Men’s 30th Anniversary. Instead, he was given control of a new school for mutants along with Emma Frost. The idea was that Sean’s ability to not let young teens get killed would counter-act Frost’s ability TO get young teens killed. The balance worked for a little while, but then Synch was killed (who was apparently an actual character – huh, you learn new things all the time) and eventually the general apathetic approach to “book learning” led to this new school closing down (seriously, have any mutants actually GRADUATED since the original team? And even then it was just because Jean Grey used her powers to let everyone else cheat off of Beast’s answers).
Moira MacTaggert was killed and this deeply affected Sean, who seemingly hadn’t even SEEN her in, like, 7 years, but whatever. It affected him enough that Mystique and yet another daughter of Mastermind (that dude must have had a secondary mutation of having potent sperm) manipulated him into creating a para-military group of mutants. When he realized that things were going wrong, he tried to stop everything but Mystique cut his throat.
He was on the road to recovery when he discovered the truth of the All-New, All-Incomptent X-Men. He was on the way to warn the X-Men when Vulcan (a surviving member of that team) attacked the commercial plane Banshee was traveling on. Banshee tried to stop Vulcan’s attack, but his powers were too weak, so the Blackbird Vulcan sent after the plane crushed through Banshee and destroyed the plane, killing all of the passengers within.
Sadly, with Bishop and Forge’s respective exits on the books, this is not even in the Top 2 Most Pathetic X-Men Deaths.
BRING BANSHEE BACK, MARVEL!!!
27. X-23/Talon/Claws/Knives Chau/Stabby McGee/Blades McStabberson/Captain Universe – 152 points (3 first place votes)
There are a lot of messed up things about Laura Kinney, the clone of Wolverine who is named X-23 (because of her love for Michael Jordan), including her time as a teen prostitute (if Colossus had known that that was going on at that time, there’s no way he would have sacrificed himself to cure the Legacy Virus).
However, I think X-23’s time with the X-Men can be pretty much succinctly summarized as: the X-Men took in X-23 because she was horribly manipulated both genetically and psychologically into becoming a killing machine. The X-Men harbored her so that they could help her with her murderous urges. They then used her as part of their own personal death squad.
That’s “Dr. Doom raising a kid so he can have someone to imprint his mind on in case he should ever find the need to do so” levels of messed up.
26. Dani Moonstar – 153 points
You ever see the movie Harvey? Where Jimmy Stewart is hounded by a giant bunny rabbit? Now, imagine if that bunny rabbit wiped out your parents. That’s what Danielle Moonstar had to deal with when she was a kid and her parents were killed by a Rogue Care Bear (who cared SO much that his caring burst past the traditional caring spectrum into the rage spectrum). Her grandfather took her in and raised her, but he, too, was killed by soldiers sent by the Hellfire Club who wanted Danielle to work for them.
She was saved by Professor Charles Xavier, who wanted Danielle to join his new class of mutants to replace his dead (or so he thought) former students. Professor X is really quick to move on to replace dead students. It’s almost as if he doesn’t get that perhaps being his student is what gets these people dead in the FIRST place (“Why does this keep happening to me? Why do the students that I train to go on deadly missions keep DYING on me?!!? WHY, LORD, WHY?!?!?!”).
In any event, Danielle joined the team, but in a fit of spite, Xavier forced her to take the embarrassing codename Psyche (her power was to create people’s greatest fears, like for Rogue, it would be a picture of a book or for Gambit, it would be a picture of a bath, stuff like that).
Eventually, she took the much-less-lame-but-still-pretty-bad name Mirage. Her powers also got more powerful as time went by. She was adapting to how to use them PLUS the writers realized how comparatively useless she was in a battle.
Luckily, she was also a pretty darn good hand-to-hand fighter and she was a natural leader. While Cannonball was ostensibly the leader of the team, Dani ended up taking over more and more control of the team, especially because Cannonball “can’t think too good while I’m blastin'”
Eventually, Dani became even MORE badass when she became a Valkyrie. When the New Mutants broke up, Dani was sadly lacking in mutant angst, so had no need for shoulders pads or Shoulder Pads 4 Less (later re-named X-Force). She eventually showed up working for SHIELD and joined her friends once they got past the whole “Shoulder Pads” stage of their lives. She stayed with the team for awhile, and when they broke up, she got a job as Forge’s assistant and aide to the X-Men (“Do you need your car washed, Mr. Gambit?”).
When the school started up again, Danielle became one of the school’s most valuable teachers due to her actual decent level of intelligence (the test to become an Xavier teacher is to find Waldo in a two-page spread in under 10 minutes – most of them just look to see where the impression is in the page from where the previous person pointed him out – Xavier needs to think of using different books for each test).
Sadly, Danielle lost yet ANOTHER bet and became one of the few supporting characters to actually lose their powers after M-Day (when Scarlet Witch said, “No more powers for Dani Moonstar! I hate her! She makes me feel dum just because I don’t never finish high school!”).
This depressed her greatly (her new lack of self-esteem is why she got the breast implants you see above) but she was even MORE pissed off when her old friend Cannonball put together the surviving members of the New Mutants into a new special X-Men team (special as in Cyclops thinking “I gotta give Sam something to do to keep him out of my hair – it’s the same thing I did with Rogue before. I was hoping Cannonball would have taken Iceman off my hands, as well”) and didn’t include her!
However, even without her powers (she temporarily re-gained her Valkyrie powers recently, and I bet she’ll get them back eventually), Dani proves to Sam she is competent through a duel in the Danger Room (that’s how the X-Men decide pretty much everything – like what DVD to watch that night or what food to order) she ended up back on the team and will undoubtedly end up leading the team pretty soon.
25. Cable – 159 points (2 first place votes)
Like 3/4 of all mutants in the Marvel Universe, Cable is related to Scott Summers, who married a woman who looked like his dead girlfriend in some sort of sick cry for help that none of the X-Men worried too much about (I suppose they all figured that the best Scott could do was a sick cry for help). That woman, Madelyne Pryor, turned out to be a clone of Jean Grey. So Nathan Summers is the son of Scott and Madelyne, but genetically he is the son of Scott and Jean.
Once Jean Grey returned to life (and Maddie was killed off), Scott desperately wanted to return to the single life, so he took the first opportunity to ditch his son, Nathan, sending him to the future. Nathan had been infected with the techno-virus (which sounds like something warlock would get after a date with Psylocke) and he was taught in the future how to control the virus, using his mental powers.
Since his power usage is keyed into the virus, Cable tried to get by using weapons more often than his powers – enter his “big ass gun” phase of his life as he worked to help stop the evil Apocalypse. One night, someone discovered an old copy of the film The Terminator. Cable was very much interested in the idea of going back in time to stop Apocalypse in the PAST, so that’s what he did.
Eventually he discovered that Cannonball was going to be very important in the future (Cable later learned that it was a translation error – Cannonball was going to be very impotent in the future), so Cable took over control of Cannonball’s team of mutants. They went around getting only the most angsty of young mutants and turned them into a paramilitary vigilante group. Cable’s original plan was to have them stop Mexican immigrants, but soon Cable’s evil twin Stryfe caused his plans to turn more towards “stopping Stryfe” than “protecting our borders.”
Once Cable learned that he was wrong about Cannonball, he went solo. He eventually discovered that the two weird people that had raised him as a young boy were actually Scott Summers and Jean Grey sent to the future for some reason. So he began to get closer to his father, even though he was now OLDER than Scott.
Then Scott ended up possessed by Apocalypse (who hasn’t?) and seemingly died. In honor of his father, Cable became a member of the X-Men for a short period of time. Around this time he also started using a spear as a weapon.
Cable broke from the X-Men soon after and soon got caught up in a bunch of wacky adventures with Deadpool. Cable then found out something important (I forget what – most of the stuff Cable finds out are important turn out to not be that big of a deal) so he ended up back on the X-Men, this time as a member of Rogue’s “loser squad” of X-Men (because, really, who else would you let Rogue lead?).
This also was short-lived and Cable was seemingly killed. Of course, he wasn’t ACTUALLY killed. He showed up to help save the first mutant born since M-Day (when the Scarlet Witch said, “No more mutants! At least not the six names I pulled out of a hat labeled ‘not important mutants’!”) and he then took the baby into the future to protect her from the Wile E. Coyote (also known as Bishop).
Cable trained the girl and then brought her back to the present and, like the song “Cats in the Cradle” tells us, what the father does, so too does the son, so like his father abandoned him, Cable abandoned Hope, as well (in both cases they tried to claim that it was some noble “sacrifice” – sure, tell that to the Department of Social Services, people!).
You might think, “Brian, you HAVE to make fun of M’s codename, right? It’s just M! How lazy is that?” You are correct, it IS a dumb name. However, the name was come up with by two young children, one of whom was severely autistic, so I think that excuses the name. What’s Rictor’s excuse for using a mis-spelling of his own last name as his codename?
The two young children that I speak of are Nicole and Claudette St. Croix, the younger twin sisters of Monet St. Croix. Their older brother, Marcus, had become a bad guy and he came home and transformed Monet into a mute, red creature named Penance. The girls showed up after that, so they thought Marcus had KILLED their older sister! They were outraged and banished him and his red “pet” to another dimension (Nicole and Claudette’s powers are generally defined as “they can do whatever the writer feels like). They then figured that since Monet was their father’s favorite, they would transform themselves INTO Monet to keep their father happy. So that’s what happened. However, since Claudette was autistic, occasionally this version of Monet would also suffer from autism.
Sadly enough, the girls were correct and their father barely noticed his twins were missing. He sent his good daughter to Xavier’s because of the new autism problem she was developing.
Monet took the name “M” and became a valuable member of Generation X (mostly because of the group, she had actual good powers).
Eventually, though, her brother returned and Penance was revealed to be the REAL Monet! She took over for her twin sisters (who went off into character limbo to be forgotten just like Thomas Wayne and Mopee) and basically everything was the same as normal.
M has telepathic powers and flight and super-strength.
After Generation X broke up, she joined various X-Men groups until recently she became a stalwart member of X-Factor.
Depending on how old she is supposed to be nowadays, it is a bit Colossus-esque of Madrox to have slept with Monet.
23. Havok – 171 points (1 first place vote)
Alex Summers was orphaned along with his brother Scott at a young age (it involved alien abductions – don’t ask). However, Alex was a good deal less of a loser than his brother, so while Scott was stuck in the orphanage, Alex was adopted quickly enough. However, looking back, perhaps Scott would have been a better fit for that family, as they were named the Blandings.
Despite an early meeting between Alex and Mister Sinister (as, really, what mutant DOESN’T have a secret meeting between him or herself and Mister Sinister?), Alex did not get involved in the world of the X-Men until after graduating college. Pause for a second and let that last sentence sink in. Alex GRADUATED COLLEGE. In the world of the X-Men, that puts him at basically the 99th percentile of non-Beast students. Not only that, but get this, he graduated with a degree in geophysics!!! GEOPHYSICS!!! Jubilee still needs all of her fingers and toes to count to 20, Rogue thinks Moby Dick is a slam book about a singer and Gambit flunked French class! And Havok has a degree in geophysics?!!? Insane.
Anyhow, through various bad guys being fascinated in Alex (sort of like how telepaths are obsessed with his brother – I think Scott got the better end of that deal), he ended up joining the X-Men as the mutant known as Havok. It was at this time that he first started dating the mutant mistress of magnetism (was she ever actually called that? If not, someone missed out!), Lorna Dane (she was with Iceman back then, but, come on, Alex or Bobby – you gotta go with Alex).
When the All-New, All-Different X-Men showed up, Alex and Lorna were smart enough (I guess that degree was somewhat useful) to quit the X-Men and study for Masters Degrees in geophysics. Yes, get this, not only did Alex meet an attractive mutant girl who was into him, but they were both into GEOPHYSICS!!! That would be like Rogue meeting a slimy Creole guy who thought book learnin’ was for fools!
Eventually, though, being mutants caught up to them (this IS a world that hates and fears mutants, after all) and after Lorna was turned into a bad guy, Havok ended up joining the X-Men. It appears as all that time spent around Lorna’s magnetic powers ended up scrambling Alex’s brain a bit, as he has not exactly seemed like the smartest guy in the world since re-joining the X-Men. Perhaps the chemicals Xavier treats every member of the team to make them all good-looking (see Rogue’s transformation) also dulls their senses?
In any event, Havok was part of the team when they went to Australia and he was part of the team who decided that the only way to survive was to go through the Siege Perilous (Psylocke sort of forced everyone to go through it using her powers).
Havok ended up working as a Magistrate on Genosha. Once that period in his life ended, he became the leader of a new government sponsored version of X-Factor (once again following in the footsteps of his brother, Scott).
Havok had many adventures for X-Factor, then had a period where he was a bad guy, but no, not really, but wait maybe, but no, not, but maybe, but no, but maybe, but no he was undercover the whole time. He came back to take control of X-Factor once more (and once more hook up with Lorna Dane) when he was sent to an alternate reality.
He eventually returned to Earth but was in a coma. Luckily for him, his nurse had a kid who had powerful mutant powers. This kid brought Alex back to consciousness, but also planted ideas in his head, like that he loved the kid’s mother (also a compulsion to buy her son Pokemon cards whenever he asked).
Havok ended up re-joining the X-Men and he lasted through a few periods of turnover on the team but ultimately, when he learned that he had ANOTHER brother, Alex thought that perhaps he would finally have a cool brother, but instead, this brother was even worse than the one Alex already had! This brother was tying to take over the Shi’ar Empire. So Alex and a group of X-Men went to stop him. Naturally, they failed (and got Alex’s father, the head of the space pirate group, the Starjammers, killed).
Alex and a few other members of the X-Men were stranded on the far end of the galaxy. They became the All-New, All-Different Starjammers and began fighting Alex’s jerk brother wherever they could.
Once his brother was killed (seemingly?), Alex and his team decided to head back to Earth. We shall see them soon, I bet!
22. Jubilee – 183 points (4 first place votes)
Jubilation Lee (her name at least took a LITTLE more effort than other characters) was born to rich Chinese immigrants. When they were killed, however, Jubilee was sent to an orphanage. She quickly left the orphanage and began to live in a mall. The female members of the X-Men had shown up at the mall to go shopping and Jubilee hitched a ride back to their Australian base with them.
This being the X-Men, their security was terrible, so they never noticed that she was living in their home and wearing their clothes. Eventually, Jubilee had to expose herself (not literally, Colossus, jeez, man, get a hold of yourself! What, no, not THERE! I meant CALM YOURSELF!) to save Wolverine from the Reavers.
As Wolverine was in pretty rough shape, while he wouldn’t admit it, he sort of kind of NEEDED a sidekick to help him out. In honor or her new status as Wolverine’s sidekick, Jubilee began to dress like Robin (from Batman and Robin). She served as his sidekick for long that when the X-Men got back together, she actually made the team!
With the X-Men now being so plentiful that they even had enough X-Men for two separate teams, Jubilee ended up just hanging out in the mansion a lot, which totally sucks. She tried to convince Professor Xavier that he was a jerk and that she should be an X-Man, but as Jubilee is not nearly as smart as Kitty Pryde (plus there were no aliens for Jubilee to prove herself against), she did not convince him. Instead she was sent to go join a new school for mutants. The students were known as Generation X.
Eventually, the heads of the school, Banshee and Emma Frost, both relapsed into old vices of theirs (alcohol and being evil, respectively) so the school broke up. Jubilee actually joined up with Banshee’s X-Corp for awhile then decided to go try to make it as an actress with her old Generation X teammate, Skin.
Unluckily for them, they were captured and crucified on the X-Men’s front steps (dick move, right?). Skin died, Jubilee survived. Jubilee then realized she wanted to have sex with Skin’s corpse (man, that joke is now, like, six years old, no?).
Luckily for Jubilee, everything in Robert Kirkman’s life he learned from early 1990s Marvel comics, so he wrote a nifty ongoing series for Jubilee where she goes to live with her to-this-point-unknown aunt. It was a fun book.
So, of course, it was quickly canceled. She returned to the X-Men just in time for M-Day, when Scarlet Witch’s anti-semitic cries were misheard as “No more Jubilees!” so Jubilee lost her powers.
She tried helping other mutants who had lost their powers and then there was a dark period in her life where no one remembers what happened to her. It was almost as if she was involved in something so stupid, so silly, so dumb that it overloads everyone’s memories of this point in her life.
In any event, she showed up soon after this black hole in her life saying that while she is still a mutant, she is not ready to go to Utopia yet. More recently, though, Jubilee was exposed to a vampire virus (man, the X-Men sure get exposed to a lot of viruses, huh? Legacy, techno-organic, vampiric) that is turning her into a vampire.
That is where we currently stand with Wondra (wait…Wondra? Who the hell is Wondra?).
21. Phoenix/Marvel Girl/Whatever Name Jean Grey Uses First – 198 points (4 first place votes)
In the future, 90% of all people born will be children of Scott Summers. Rachel is no different. The daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, she was a perfect example of the serial nature of comics – that is, the continued insistence on refusing to let classic stories stand on their own. Rachel was part of the great Days of Future Past storyline, so of course she shows up in the present later on. She is dismayed to learn that Jean Grey is DEAD in the present, so how can she give birth to Rachel!?!? ANGST!!! Sadly, X-Force and their shoulder pads were not yet available, so Rachel had to hang out with the X-Men, instead.
She became pretty much their most powerful member and called herself Phoenix (this goes along with Chris Claremont’s rule that Uncanny X-Men cannot go 15 issues without a story involving the Phoenix).
Eventually, she gets a little power mad, so Wolverine forced to stab her in the chest. You would think that at SOME point in the Danger Room they would have taught Wolverine how to properly stab someone in the chest, because Rachel survived and went off to join Excalibur.
While on Excalibur, Rachel managed to do something that is truly remarkable. On a team FILLED with stiffs, she managed to still be the blandest member of the team. Eventually, she discovered that Jean Grey was NOT dead! Jean Grey, though, decided to be truly cruel to Rachel and reject her. Seriously, what the hell, Jean Grey? “Sorry teenager who is my daughter, I want nothing to do with you because of stuff having nothing to do with you!” Not cool, Jean, not cool! Between her and Scott’s decision to use X-23’s psychosis for his own benefit (sort of like saying, “hey, know that alcoholic we’ve been helping? Well, I really want to win this drinking contest, soooo”), they make quite a pair!
Eventually, Rachel was sent into the future and thus began a decade-long period in her life that just defies explanation. I think at one point she became Scott Summers’ grandmother, daughter and third wife while also becoming Peter Parker’s paternal aunt. That’s how confusing all of the time traveling she was doing was – she didn’t even know how to MAKE wheatcakes!!! It was ruining EVERYthing!!!
Finally, she returned during a storyline involving the super-cool-for-sure-never-to-be-forgotten villain Elias Bogan. She began calling herself Marvel Girl and joined the X-Men. However, since she was pissed at her dad for now dating Emma Frost after Jean’s death, Rachel began calling herself Rachel GREY.
The Shi’ar did not like a possible Phoenix host being around, so they went around killing ALL people named Grey!! Rachel survived, but she now has a tattoo that they can track in case she ever decides to attack the Shi’ar.
That, of course, is just what she ended up doing when she teamed up with a group of X-men, including her “uncle” Alex, to first save the Shi’ar from her OTHER “uncle,” Vulcan, but when he succeeded in taking over the Shi’ar Empire, she fought Vulcan and the Shi’ar alongside Alex and the other X-Men, now calling themselves the All-New, All-Different Starjammers.
During this time, Rachel started dating this weird fellow named Korvus. Hopefully that is over now.
After being stranded in space for awhile, Rachel and her crew are now coming back to Earth! Sadly, Jean is still dead for now, but I’m sure she’ll eventually be back and perhaps a mother and child reunion will only be a motion away (I don’t meant to give you false hope)!
20. Professor X – 199 points
While it has become a cliche for writer to reveal that characters were abused as kids (none odder than when we learned Spider-Man was molested as a kid), in the case of Charles “Professor X” Xavier, it really does help to explain why he has such a messed up personality.
Now, on the whole, Xavier is a good guy. He has done more good for the world than he has done bad. But boy does he go about do-gooding in a funny fashion!
Heck, right off the bat, with the name of his team of mutants, he can’t even cop to the fact that he named the team after himself!
“You shall be the X-Men!”
“Why the X-Men?”
“Because of the X-Gene you have that makes you mutants.”
“Okay, do you have a code name?”
“Yes, Professor X.”
“Wait, so we’re Professor X and the X-Men?”
“What is it, Scott?”
“Why are we named after you?”
“You’re NOT named after me! You’re named after the X-Gene which gives you all your powers!”
“But Professor, who named the X-Gene?”
“So don’t you see what I’m getting at? You named the X-Gene after yourself, you call yourself Professor X and we’re the X-Men!”
See! The dude can’t even be trusted with the NAME of his team!
Once he put together his first team of mutants (right then and there he was also lying – he had a sixth member that no one knew about secretly working undercover for the bad guys), Xavier then was really weird about the 16-year-old Jean Grey. He lusted after her, but knew it wouldn’t work. That is almost admirable, until you learn WHY he figures it couldn’t work – because he was in a wheelchair!!! Yes, he has no problem with being into his 16-year-oldstudent, but with him in a wheelchair, then it just couldn’t work out. No wonder he had such an interest in Colossus, they’re like two peas in a pod.
Once he started leading the X-Men on missions, he revealed even more reasons not to trust him. He fakes his death at the drop of a hat! This one time, he had an awkward one-night stand, so he faked his death to avoid having to talk to her the next day! The guy just can’t go a week without faking his death. His funerals eventually became really weird affairs to attend.
Eventually, his original team of X-Men gets captured by some alien island. Xavier figures he needs to save them, so he gets a poorly trained group of new mutants to go save the first team, including the brother of two of the members of the X-Men (which Xavier doesn’t think to let them know about). This new team gets killed (or so Xavier thought). Okay, so you already got one team of mutants who never worked together killed – what do you do next? Get ANOTHER team of mutants who never worked together! This team worked slightly better – they got through their first mission without anyone dying (they saved that for their SECOND mission).
Eventually, Xavier started up a relationship with a hot alien chick (another thing about Xavier – he really doesn’t need to lust after 16-year-olds, he does very well with the ladies on his own). She helped save his life after he was seemingly killed by a Brood Queen.
No longer crippled, Xavier eventually decided to leave for outer space to be with his hot alien girlfriend. He left his old friend, a guy who once threatened to detonate all of the nuclear bombs on Earth for some reason, in charge. That did not work out so well (surprise!). Sadly, though, at the time Xavier was leaving Earth, who else could run the school? Magneto is psychotic, but he’s at least pretty intelligent. Imagine Colossus trying to balance the school’s budget!!
Eventually, Xavier came back to Earth and was re-united with his X-Men. He had a lot of various adventures (including his son going into the past and accidentally murdering him). By the way, a quick word about Xavier’s son. First of all, wouldn’t you think Professor X would be practicing safe sex? It’s like on ER, where all of the doctors and nurses never bother to actually use condoms. Did you know that of the EIGHT pregnancies on ER (between regular cast members and recurring cast members), only ONE was actually planned? And that was the lesbian couple! I’m sure if lesbians could accidentally get pregnant, they would have, too!
Xavier left Earth again awhile back to hang out with Skrulls for some reason. He returned, then his evil twin sister tried to take over the alien empire of Xavier’s girlfriend. Not cool, Cassandra!
One of the kids Xavier left for dead came back to life and he ALSO went after the empire of Xavier’s girlfriend! So Xavier took a team of X-Men to go save his girlfriend’s empire. He failed. He returned to Earth where Cyclops was naturally pissed about the whole “Wow, can you go two sentences withOUT lying/manipulating someone?”
Then Xavier was shot in the head by a former X-Man and he set off to re-create his memories and deal with his past, including some untold secrets (is there anything about Xavier that DOESN’T involve untold secrets?) involving Mister Sinister.
He’s currently on Utopia, being pretty useless, really. All of this stuff does not even get into how he once went nuts and almost destroyed the Marvel Universe just based on his old pervy thoughts! Or about how he was part of a secret group of superheroes who tried to manipulate everyone else in the Marvel Universe!
Man, Xavier is one messed up dude.
19. Magneto – 218 points (2 first place votes)
We’re all familiar with the concept of retconning comic books. You know, when you retroactively go back into an old story and say that something wasn’t what it looked like. To wit, Jean Grey did not become Phoenix, there was this cosmic entity called Phoenix that PRETENDED to be Jean Grey. Stuff like that.
With Magneto, though, you often get the much more hilarious retconning ACTUAL HISTORY. Asked about Magneto nowadays, Stan Lee will often pretend as though he always intended to have Magneto be like what Chris Claremont did with the character later on. Lee honestly says that he never saw Magneto as a villain back then. Two words for that, one is the name of a character from Night Court and the other rhymes with something you find in the middle of a peach.
In Magneto’s second appearance, in X-Men #4, where he leads the Brotherhood of EVIL Mutants, Magneto tries to take over a South American country. When the X-Men foil his plan, he decided to NUKE THE ISLAND AND ALL OF ITS RESIDENTS! But no, Lee didn’t intend for the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to be a bad guy. Suuuure.
And that’s not even the extent of all of Magneto’s villainy in Stan Lee-penned issues.
Anyhow, let’s take a look at Magneto’s back story.
Born Max Eisenhardt, a German Jew, Eisenhardt’s family was caught up in the Holocaust and tragically all save Max were executed. Max escaped and married a gypsy woman named Magda. They eventually settled in Ukraine with their daughter, Anya, and Magda became pregnant with twins. However, Max (now going by “Magnus,” because he thought it sounded more pretentious) missed out on a memo sent to him earlier that this is a world that hates and fears mutants, so when he used his powers publicly in a fit of anger, he unknowingly set events into motion that would end his daughter’s life. Upon arriving to his home, he saw that an angry mob had set in on fire. The mob prevented him from saving his daughter from the fire. Naturally, he sort of snapped and killed the lot of them and destroyed much of the town. Magda, also naturally, was scared “rhymes with the center of a peach”less and ran away.
Magnus went to go find her. With the intent to confuse future generations into thinking he was a gypsy for some reason, Magnus had someone create a new identity for him, Erik Lensherr. He never found his wife.
Eventually Erik mellowed out a bit and hung out with this nifty bald dude named Charlie. They would often play football (Erik would always pull the ball away before Charlie could kick it. It was quite a gas). However, sadly one day while they working on a car, Xavier remarked that they had to fix the magneto inside the engine. Erik shouted, “That’s it! I’ll be a psycho evil villain named Magneto! Thank you, Charles! I am off!”
From that point on, Erik became known as Magneto.
As I mentioned above, he did lots of crazy shit. Eventually, though, we learned that he had very low blood sugar, so when he would eat too many Twinkies, he would get sort of crazy. He had just finished four boxes when he thought it would be a cool idea to call up every nation on Earth and tell them that they had to make him the total ruler of Earth. This, naturally, is a declaration of war, and the Soviet Union responded by sending a submarine to shoot nukes at him. Bad idea, Russkies!! Magneto stopped the nukes and then destroyed the submarine in retaliation to the Russians’ retaliation.
Eventually, Xavier convinces Magneto to try being a good guy, and luckily through a good lawyer, they were able to convince everyone that since Magneto had been de-aged awhile back (through various wacky shenanigans), he was, in effect, already “dead” so those past crimes didn’t count. The UN must have been eating a lot of Twinkies themselves because they agreed with this ludicrous notion.
So Magneto was now a free man and just in time for Xavier to entrust him his entire school! Naturally, Magneto not being very adept at things that did not involve destroying stuff, the school fell apart very quickly. The X-Men seemingly all died and the New Mutants all ran away from school to join a paramilitary cult. Well done, Magneto!
Magneto eventually did get one member of the X-Men to trust him, the easily duped Rogue. They had a team-up where she ended up figuring out at the end that Magneto was a little too much on the “kill the pizza delivery man for being late” side of things, so she broke it off with him. In addition, she was saving herself for the day she would meet a nice, slimy Creole boy.
Magneto and the X-Men had a couple more back and forths, a lot of “I’m right!” “No, you’re not, I’m right!” stuff. Eventually, Xavier just got tired of it all and wiped Magneto’s mind. Magneto’s mind had so much evil in it, though, that it ended up merging with Xavier’s own pervy thoughts and created a monster that almost destroyed the Marvel Universe!!
Magneto ended up taking over the mutant island of Genosha. And when the mutants on the island were all cured of the Legacy Virus, he was going to lead them on an invasion of the rest of the planet. The X-Men stopped him, though, with a pretty weak lineup. Crippled from this attack, Magneto was just chilling when Xavier’s evil twin sister destroyed almost all of Genosha.
This inspired Magneto to get his final revenge on Xavier by secretly taking control of Xavier’s own school right from underneath his eyes! To achieve this, Magneto used his powers to pretend to be this new mutant called Xorn (really, it’s amazing the kind of things Magneto is able to do). However, Magneto was under the sway of a drug he got addicted to (he used it to make his powers stronger – he was still rehabilitating from Wolverine crippling him) and he ended up being even crazier than his old days!!
Eventually, he revealed himself and the X-Men stopped him, but not before he killed Jean Grey. He was then killed by Wolverine.
However, this was all in the midst of a time when Magneto’s daughter (one of many) Scarlet Witch was being all crazy. So she altered reality so that not only was Magneto still alive, but no one even thought that he was Xorn! Magneto began hanging out with his old pal Charles Xavier on the ruins of Genosha. When Scarlet Witch went officially nuts, Magneto went and got her and took care of her. Eventually a bunch of X-Men and Avengers came to deal with her and Magneto’s son Quicksilver asked the Scarlet Witch to create a world where mutants were in charge! Magneto became the King of the United States! The heroes rebelled from this, and Scarlet Witch ended up getting rid of all mutants. By “all mutants,” I, of course, mean very few mutants. Magneto was one of them.
However, naturally enough, he got his powers back and tried to help fix the mutant race alongside the High Evolutionary.
Recently he showed up at the X-Men’s home and said, “hey, let me be on the team, please.” And they said yes, but not before Cyclops made Magneto lick his boot (dick move, Cyclops!). Magneto recently brought Kitty Pryde back. He seemed to think that would get people to like him more, little did he know….
Now he’s on Utopia being a member of the X-Men, with everyone wondering, “Okay, how long until he starts chomping down on Twinkies again?”
18. Multiple Man – 220 points (8 first place votes)
It’s kind of weird to think that Jamie Madrox actually PRE-DATES the All-New, All-Different X-Men, as he debuted in Giant-Size Fantastic Four in very early 1975 (or very late 1974, whatevs). Created by Len Wein and Chris Claremont, I still don’t understand how Claremont managed to never make him a member of the X-Men.
But here’s another thing – you know how when something new is introduced, that new thing becomes part of the history of the characters? Like, say, next month we learn that Mister Sinister secretly was the REAL creator of adamantium (I am shocked that we have not yet revealed something like that – or that Mister Sinister was the one who REALLY crippled Professor Xavier or Mister Sinister was the one who secretly came up with Dazzler’s headband outfit). Well, that will automatically go into places like Wikipedia or whatever handbook Marvel is releasing this month. That’s fair enough, but then if someone does a comic about adamantium, it will be, like, “What, are you stupid? Mister Sinister created adamantium, MORON! Magneto didn’t really kill those people! It was some nonsense that we will wholeheartedly accept if it makes Magneto not seem like a bad guy!” However, a few years after the fact, it becomes hard to pinpoint exactly WHEN this change was made. Similarly, when, exactly, was it established that mutants get their powers during adolescence? That wasn’t established in the first few issues of X-Men, and I didn’t feel like continuing to read until I learned. So when did it happen?
I ask because in Giant-Size Fantastic Four, we learn that Jamie Madrox had his powers from birth. So was Len Wein and Chris Claremont wrong on this point (seems weird) or had it not been established yet that mutants gain their powers in adolescence? In any event, years later, Peter David used this fact to suggest that perhaps Jamie is not a mutant, per se, but some other type of creature.
So anyhow, Jamie Madrox creates a duplicate of himself every time he gets impacted with kinetic energy (an example would be like how Charles Xavier would slap Scott Summers whenever he would give him lip). Madrox’s father, a doctor, was luckily a doctor in the area of “knowing how to create a suit that absorbs kinetic energy,” because he created a suit that, you know, absorbed kinetic energy. After a hilarious bit of misunderstanding with the Fantastic Four, Jamie was sent to Muir Isle to help Moira MacTaggert as a lab assistant when Professor X was shocked to learn that Jamie could actually both read AND write (perhaps this is why Xavier never let him be on the team and why he wanted Kitty Pryde off of the team so quickly – I think Xavier was secretly selling the social security numbers of each team member to fund his gambling/heroin addiction).
So Jamie had a lovely ol’ time living on Muir Isle, doing actual work unlike the X-Men. He had a little adventure where he went off to join the Fallen Angels (this was back when not every mutant-related team had to work X into their name somehow. If that series would be told now, I am sure it would be “The X-iled” or “The X-cessives” or “The X-cerptors”) but he was soon back to work.
Eventually he got a job working for the government as a member of X-Factor.
He was able to cut loose a bit at this time and showed a lot more of a personality than he had in the past. Sadly, around this time, he came down with the Legacy virus. He was less pissed about the disease as much as he was about being seen as expendable by Marvel Editorial. “What the hell? Revanche, Pyro, Illyana Rasputin and ME?!?!??”
Luckily, he was later brought back to life (it turned out that only a DUPLICATE of Jamie had the virus) and returne to X-Factor. Just in time for it to collapse entirely. He bounced around the fringes of the world of the X-Men for a time before eventually settling down as a private investigator in Mutant Town. Peter David, who had written the government-sponsored X-Factor team that Jamie was on, had Jamie star in a MadroX mini-series (see what I mean about the X?). Unlike about 99% of mini-series that were designed as possible lead-ins to an ongoing series, this one actually DID turn into an ongoing series, a new X-Factor series (with X-Factor being the name of Jamie’s private investigation firm. Jamie hired on other X-Men characters who weren’t busy, including some of his former teammates from X-Factor. Shockingly, no one had pursued making Guido a member of X-Treme X-Men).
During the MadroX mini-series, David introduced a new facet to Jamie’s powers – that he retains any knowledge that his duplicates learn, plus their personalities (which can be quite unpredictable when he creates new dupes). Anyhow, in his new role as one of the few mutant organizations NOT directly tied into the goings-on of the X-Men, Jamie has become a powerful figure in the mutant world.
He continues to lead X-Factor and goes on various misadventures on a monthly basis!
17. Dazzler – 239 points (7 first place votes)
Remember Christmas Jones from the James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough? She was the love interest for Bond and was a nuclear physicist. She was played by actress Denise Richards. Suffice it to say – it did not work. I think of that film whenever I read comics where they try to push us on the “fact” that had Alison Blaire not become Dazzler, she would have become, like, a really successful lawyer or a judge, even! It’s like, “Srsly, u guise, she’s real smart! SRSLY!!!” The more they pushed it, the less I believed it. It would be like them constantly showing us Rogue having visions about one day owning a library card – it’s just not believable.
Dazzler was created to tie in with the popularity of Disco. Marvel continues this trend to this day, introducing Pixie to tie in with the popularity of alternative rock and introducing Lifeguard to tie in with the popularity of Baywatch. I hear that they will soon be introducing a mutant who is a member of a glee club.
Her original series had her pursue her career as a mutant while hiding her sound-based light powers from the public. A fun way to read old issues of Dazzler is to just put lyrics from old episodes of the Archies or the Hardy Boys in the place of Dazzler songs. “Sugar….ah, honey honey…” Dazzler would often encounter other members of the Marvel Universe, including that villainous harlot, Rogue. Plus, like 78% of the Marvel female population, she had a fling with Warren Worthington III. She even went to work for Galactus at one point!!! Then again, so did Frankie Raye, so it’s not like that’s all that hard to do (I think Galactus has a thing for human chicks). During this period, she even accidentally got invited to a tea party for prospective new Avengers. The Wasp was giving everyone stern looks the whole time “Who the hell invited this lady?!?” but was relieved when Dazzler was too dumb to realize that becoming an Avenger would have been a very good idea for her at that time.
Instead, she ended up moving out to Los Angeles to try to make it as an actress and also help her half-sister, Lois London, who had the power to kill anything she touched (sort of like how Sage kills any book she stars in). During this period, Dazzler absolutely wasted the hell out of some brilliant Bill Sienkiewicz covers.
While in California, Alison’s new boyfriend, Roman Nekoboh (yes, that was his actual name. Someone actually said, “Hey, you know what would be a cool name for a character who is supposed to actually be a person and not a background character from Crime and Punishment? Roman Nekoboh”) convinced her to reveal herself (not that way, Colossus! Oh, wait, too old for you? My apologies) as a mutant to the world.
This did not go over so well.
Now on the outs from a world that hated and feared mutants, Dazzler played back-up in Lila Cheney’s band for awhile (talk about depressing) and soon met the love of her life, the mutant known as Beast (see the previous parenthetical).
Eventually, Alison got a silly new costume, wasted a number of issues by comic greats Archie Goodwin and Paul Chadwick, had a spell where the Beyonder chose her, of all people, to be his consort (not quite as grating as “no, srsly, Alison is smart!” but still, the Beyonder choosing HER of all people? Nuts) and finally, to paraphrase Mary Tyler Moore, quit trying to make it after all and just gave up and joined the X-Men.
Once on the X-Men, she clashed with Rogue, seeing as how Rogue, you know, tried to kill her and all. Also, the two teammates were at odds over, of all things, their respective interest in Longshot!!! That’d be like arguing over who gets to go to the guillotine first. Dazzler served with the X-Men for awhile, and this is where she developed her go-to move, the “index finer laser blast” that has served her oh so well over the years. I think she should try using other parts of her body to shoot the laser out, though. Imagine how trippy it would be as a bad guy to have Dazzler blasting lasers out of, like, her ear lobes!?!? Or her elbows. Or her pinky toe.
Eventually, Dazzler went through the Siege Perilous and ended up losing her memory. She regained it in time to join forces with Longshot (yeuch) and helped him fight a revolution in Mojo World. It not only didn’t seem to work, she lost a good two decades of appearing in comics to do it!!! She also suffered a miscarriage in the process (sad panda). She returned from this ordeal (just having to hang out with Longshot every day is an ordeal enough – what do you think they even talked about every day? How best to spotlight his mullet?) to help out Jean Grey and a ragtag group of X-Men to stop Magneto. This is how stupid Magneto is, the entire X-Men plan involved Dazzler making a hologram of herself to hide that she was standing over to the side hiding Wolverine showing up to slice and dice Magneto. That was their plan. It would be like Dazzler bending over behind Magneto’s legs for Jean Grey to then knock him over just to see him tumble to the ground so they could all laugh at him and he would give up and go home dejected. But Magneto’s lack of tactical forethought led to the X-Men succeeding and Dazzler becoming known as now kicking the ass of Magneto AND Klaw. I am unsure which one was a more impressive victory – Klaw IS pretty powerful.
Sadly, rather than returning to the spotlight, Dazzler bounced around for awhile before joining a newly formed Excalibur. Around this time she gained a new power where she could return from death itself (weird, right?) and she also gained a strange new follower, her dullard teammate, Juggernaut, who she kept wondering if he was going to treat her like the lady in Of Mice and Men (yes, while she is being oversold as a possible judge, she IS smart enough to get an Of Mice and Men reference – she’s not Colossus over here). Eventually she was reunited with Longshot and the two left their respective teams to reconnect.
However, Longshot had suffered amnesia at some point, so while there was still SOME sort of connection, she realized that once again, Captain and Tennille had misled her and love was not enough to keep them together.
So she ended up rejoining the X-Men.
She is still a member of the team, but besides a one-shot she received recently, her tenure on the X-Men has been rather lacking in personality. She seemed to have received the same “personality removal” process that Colossus received years ago. But still, she’s an X-Man and perhaps cool stuff still awaits her!!!
16. Colossus – 270 points (2 first place votes)
Piotr Rasputin was born on a farm in Siberia, a descendant of Grigori Rasputin, the infamous “Mad Monk” from Russian history. Yes, apparently Rasputin is that uncommon of a name that Colossus is related to a famous guy. Did you also know that Nightcrawler was related to both composer Richard Wagner AND TV/film actor Robert Wagner? Did you ALSO know that Storm was related to New York Knick great Earl “The Pearl” Monroe? Her name is spelled with a U, you say? That was Scarlet Witch’s doing – originally Earl’s name was Munroe, but Wanda messed around because she wanted to feel unique for being related to both the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz AND the White Witch from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Wanda be cuh-ray-zee.
So Piotr grew up on a farm with an older brother Mikhail and a younger sister, Illyana. Think of how messed up things were for Illyana – she had two brothers, one of them, Mikhail, was a kick-ass cosmonaut and the other one, Piotr, was a slow-witted dullard. It is no wonder that after Mikhail was reported dead in an space training accident, that Illyana could not take living with Piotr anymore, so she threw herself in front of a tractor to end her misery. And Piotr even screwed THAT up, breaking a valuable piece of farm equipment in the process!
That same day that Piotr wantonly impeded his family’s ability to survive, he got an offer to come to America with a nice professor. He was so nice that Piotr’s parents and Illyana gladly signed liability waivers in case they were ever kidnapped/tortured/killed as a result of Piotr’s involvement with the X-Men.
So now a member of the X-Men, Piotr quickly settled in as a stalwart member of the team.
Early on with the team, when he and most of the X-Men were presumed dead but were really traveling the globe trying to get home (Illyana was secretly thrilled, Xavier was secretly pleased that he had them all sign liability waivers), Piotr discovered his secondary mutation. If you drop Piotr off anywhere, he WILL get laid. The Savage Land, an alien planet, the parking lot of a Denny’s, Burning Man, he WILL get it done.
Soon after demonstrating this power (as well as the fact that he never learned how to have safe sex), Colossus also killed his first guy, saving the X-Men from Proteus. This was a major deal for Colossus. It was so major that they just repeated the same plot, like, step by step, 100 issues later (“I am a killer! No!!!!!”).
Soon upon their return to the United States, the X-Men added a new, supple young thirteen year old girl to the team. Colossus HAD to have her, and eventually, he and Kitty Pryde began dating. This is why it was clear that the “hell” that the X-Men and Doctor Strange had stormed awhile earlier (where they made a big deal about how Colossus could open some door because he was so pure) was not for real, because, come on, the dude is hot for his thirteen year old teammate!
Illyana was kidnapped around this time (which was about the 1,405 time being related to an X-Man got someone kidnapped or killed) and soon after, she went to a hell dimension and came out a teenager. I can only imagine the impure thoughts going through his brain.
When the X-Men were away with a bunch of other superheroes on an alien planet for the “Secret War that was not really secret so the name really does not apply,” Colossus quickly hooked up with an alien chick. When he returned, Colossus demonstrated this weird thing he does where he honestly doesn’t get why people would be pissed at him for doing lame stuff. “Wait, Kitty, you didn’t know that it is okay to have sex with other people if you’re on a different planet? Seriously? Oh, you’re so young and naive, that’s what I love about you. No, seriously, that’s what I love about you” or “Wait, Kitty, you’re seriously not happy that I want to break up? Seriously? What’s your problem?” or “Wait, Wolverine, why are you being so mean to me? I was just messing around with a thirteen year old and then cheated on her the first chance I got and then broke up with her like it was no big thing when I got home. What’s the big deal?”
Colossus continued to be a stalwart member of the X-Men, serving perhaps the longest continuous stretch of any other X-Men ever. Some would call that dedication. Some would call that “got nothing else going on.” Eventually, Psylocke had to actually use her telepathy to get him to leave the team.
After traveling through the Deus Ex Machina, Colossus actually had perhaps the only time in his life when he was actually kind of cool. He somehow conned people in New York to think he was a good artist and began dating a hot model (who turned out to be Callisto – “I’ll take ‘Most Random Coupling Ever’ for $400, Alex!”). You could tell things were good because when Banshee, Forge and Jean Grey came across him in his new life, they even decided to let him live his delusion (“We should let him go back to his old life!” “Sean, you were THERE for his old life. Would you want to go back to that?” “Good point”).
Sadly, the Shadow King (that dick) broke the spell and Colossus was roped right back into being a member of the X-Men, just in time to deal with both his parents getting killed, his brother returning to life (only to seemingly die again) and his sister getting mutant AIDs. Seriously, Lot would sometimes text Colossus to say, “Man, I’m glad I’m not you!”). This led to a really weird time in Colossus’ life, where he was a mixture of emo and grim and gritty (supposedly he had brain damage – that would also explain the whole “not knowing why people would be mad at him for sleeping with another chick then breaking up with his thirteen year old girlfriend like it was no big deal” situation). Very weird times. After his sister died, he even decided to leave the X-Men and team up with Magneto (You could tell Magneto was taken aback “Really, dude? I’m pretty sure we don’t even know each other very well. I was sort of figuring maybe Rogue would join me, not so much you, but okay, I guess I’ll have to go with it”).
After he realized, “Oh wait, I just joined up with freaking MAGNETO!,” Colossus decided to go back to being a good guy, but it was a bit weird for him to re-join the X-Men, so he decided to join his former teammates Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde on Excalibur. For a guy who has had a number of lowlights, his Excalibur time was particularly depressing, as he alternated over pining over Kitty to pining over Meggan. Neither was gonna happen, big fella.
Eventually, he re-joined the X-Men with Kurt and Kitty, and he settled in to a nice background character (which is where he seems to be best suited, sort of like the SNL cast members who just wave at the end of the show).
But he finally decided to stand out, somehow, so he decided to sacrifice himself to find a cure for the Legacy Virus (although noble, it was fairly dim-witted – I think you probably should give Beast a little more time to think of an alternative before you start poking yourself with mutant AIDs).
After being dead for awhile (and really, this was one of the more “dead is dead” deaths), it turned out that however implausible it was, he was not actually dead.
He returned as part of some completely logical and in no way, shape or fashion silly storyline involving some aliens.
Kitty Pryde was so happy to see him alive, the two got back together. Although she was no out of his age range, Colossus was good enough at faking it to have sex with her (“Piotr, why do you want me to wear my hair in pigtails?”). Soon, though, Kitty Pryde was also taken from him (Lot sent a condolence text).
Around this time, get this, we learned that Mister Sinister was involved in the Rasputin bloodline!! Yes, despite all the time and effort he spent on the Summers and Grey line, Sinister still had time to be involved with the Rasputin line. I think it is something he worked on after work, to relax (“Man, this Summers stuff is complicated – you got aliens, clones, time travel, let me wind down with some simple-headed farmers”). Around this time, Mikhail showed up again (it did not last long, as Mikhail ended up in the Phantom Zone or something like that).
Colossus actually joined the Defenders for a little bit, but that did not last long and he ended up back on the X-Men, once again just playing the role of “strong guy with a line every couple of issues.”
More recently, Illyana has returned to life (kinda) and Kitty Pryde has ALSO come back, so maybe Colossus won’t have to annoy his fellow Utopia residents with mopey emo drawings anymore.
We can only hope.
15. Angel/Archangel – 312 points (2 first place votes)
When you think about it, for a lot of mutants, being a mutant really wasn’t all that bad of a break for them. If Cyclops wasn’t a mutant, yes, he would be able to actually watch 3-D movies and he would also understand the differences between colors, but he would likely be a brilliant strategist…in Dungeons and Dragons, while working as an assistant manager at K-Mart and being pissed that his older brother gets more chicks than him (while knowing an ungodly amount about geo-physics) and being weirded out by his younger brother. Instead, he has been with a plethora of beautiful women (seriously, they, like, throw themselves at him!) and one or two of them were even free of any STDs!
Likewise, Nightcrawler is DEAD, and he probably was better off being a mutant (he got to see the world, have sex with his sister, almost become Pope, all sorts of stuff).
But for Warren Worthington III, being a mutant really isn’t all that great. True, he doesn’t have bones sticking out of his forehead, but still, if you had the choice between a carefree life of luxury or being hated and feared by the world, I bet you’d pick the former.
While if Rogue were not a mutant, she would be living in a trailer park with 12 children and a high school diploma written in crayon (to impress gentlemen callers), if Warren were not a mutant he would be rich and likely married to Candy “both attractive AND cool” Southern and living in a mansion (just the two of them, not him and 200 other mutants in a mansion that gets blown up every other Tuesday).
So it was quite a bummer when he started to grow wings out of his back when he was in high school (he likely thought they were REALLY big zits). After realizing that they were, in fact, wings, Warren decided to be a good guy (and yes, I suppose there IS something to be said for helping people rather than just being a rich slob) and, after donning some costumes borrowed from the high school theater department, he became the Angel! It’s lucky for him that the school was not doing a production of Phantom of the Opera because A. He might have become the Flying Phantom and B. he would had to watch Phantom of the Opera, which sucks. It would have been funny if he became a flying version of Danny Zuko. By the way, I have to give Warren’s high school credit – for a private high school to be putting on a play like Angels in America, that’s pretty impressive of them!
So anyways, Warren soon became a member of the original X-Men (he was able to do so through the same way Professor X got most of the things he wanted, lies, lies and more lies…oh, and some mind-wipes). Seeing as how he just came from a private school and was now in a school with three other dudes and one girl, it comes as no surprise that Warren soon found himself drawn to his teammate, Jean Grey. Oddly enough, she was into Cyclops, instead (something I’m sure Warren still can’t figure out).
Perhaps in a bit of a daze out of losing out on Jean to Cyclops, of all people, Warren chose his new costume as Angel.
Freakishly, the mis-matched primary colors costume (with red suspenders!!! Who the heck wears suspenders on their superhero costume?) was far from the worst outfit Angel would end up wearing as a hero.
Angel’s adventures with the X-Men were pretty bland, really. One notable thing happened, though, when he was actually KILLED in the Savage Land! Luckily, he was only “mostly dead,” so Miracle Mags (Magneto) was able to revive him with a chocolate-covered miracle pill (the chocolate is to make it go down easier/easier to swallow – insert your own “Psylocke oral sex joke” here). Magneto gave him a cool new costume designed to let him take control of Warren if need be (this would be a reoccurring thing for Warren in the future).
Around this time, Angel also fought his uncle, the Dazzler, before he had gender-reassignment surgery to become the Allison Blaire we all know and sort of love (it is still kind of weird that Warren later had a fling with his uncle when she was going by the name Alison…maybe he didn’t know?).
After Warren’s team of X-Men were saved by the All-New, All-Different, Slightly-More-Competent X-Men, Warren quit the team, mostly because of his bigotry against Canadians, Germans and the Irish (he was totally okay with the naked black chick, though).
Sadly, though, his former teammate, Iceman, really had NOTHING else going on, so Warren agreed to form the World’s Greatest Superhero team, the Champions!!! Any team with Black Widow, Ghost Rider and Hercules couldn’t be bad, right? Wrong! They were terrible and broke up quickly.
After the Champions’ (not at all) shocking break-up, Warren helped out the X-Men a few times, but he just couldn’t deal with his prejudice against Canadians, so he quit again. Soon after, this nutjob named Callisto tried to kidnap him, figuring that if she cut off his wings, he would be stuck with her (he told her, “Honey, if I wanted to date a crazy ugly chick, trust me, I had plenty of opportunities with Polaris.”).
By this time, Warren was already steadily dating Candy Southern, and really, he should have just stuck with her and ignored this superhero silliness, but once again, Iceman conned him into joining yet ANOTHER superhero team, this time even bringing CANDY into it!
Once the Defenders (not at all) shockingly broke up, Warren was yet AGAIN sucked back into the world of superheroing through helping out his old friends when Jean Grey came back to life. Warren, figuring he had a second shot at her because there’s no way his old friend Scott would be a big enough dick to dump his wife and newborn child to go after Jean again, helped form X-Factor. Granted, while Scott WAS in fact a big enough dick to dump his wife and newborn child to go after Jean, it is only fair to note that Warren was not exactly forthcoming with Candy either about how he was hoping that this would be his chance to finally get with Jean Grey. Naturally, Candy was not pleased and left Warren (you go, Candy! I bet everything will turn out okay for you in the end! It’s not like everyone who comes across the X-Men are doomed to be killed!).
To help form X-Factor, Warren turned to his old friend, Cameron Hodge, who thought Warren had asked him if he wanted to form a company to kill mutants, especially Warren. Cameron was down with killing mutants, especially Warren, so he quickly said yes. He was dismayed at first to learn that he had misheard (cellular phones in the mid-80s had really bad reception), but he quickly figured out that he could still achieve his goal by simply lying to the former X-Men, since Cameron knew (as a friend of Warren’s), that these mutants will believe pretty much everything you tell them (“No, Warren, seriously, your wings totally prepare you to fight the master of magnetism!” “These liability waivers are just a formality, Warren, I don’t actually figure that you might all die on a mission any day now! It’s not like I have replacements already picked out for all of you from mutants living in a bunch of different countries!” “Of course your artwork is nice, Piotr!” “You have PLENTY of friends, Kitty!” “Yes, Rogue, arithmetic and writing both begin with Rs”).
So Hodge plotted to make X-Factor look terrible, while also plotting to kill Warren. Things were helped along when Warren’s wings were severely damaged during the Mutant Massacre. Hodge manipulated events so that Warren’s wings would be amputated, sending Warren into a tailspin (which, now that I think about it, would literally be what would happen if you amputated someone’s wings). Warren took his private jet to get away, but Hodge blew it up, while trying to paint it is as a suicide by Warren.
Instead of dying (because, really, when do these guys ever actually die? Except Nightcrawler, he’s 100% dead dead dead DEAD), Warren was teleported from the plane by Apocalypse, who gave Warren brand new metal wings and made his skin blue (mostly because Apocalypse is really vain and wants everyone to look like him). Going by the name Death, Warren became the head of Apocalypse’s Four Horseman (which is one of the saddest jobs imaginable – you won’t believe some of the mooks who have been horseman over the years, besides, like, Wolverine, it has been some sorry stuff). He was doing a real number on his former teammates when Iceman used on of the few things he actually learned from Professor X (besides some basic accounting info) and faked his own death, making Warren think he killed him. This broke Warren out of the spell and re-joined the good guys.
He now went by the name of Archangel, and was really emo for a looooooooong time. During this period, Candy Southern was tragically murdered by Hodge (she had discovered Hodge’s crimes – she was done in by being too competent, had she just been as dim as, say, Rogue, she would still be alive to this day). Warren took revenge on Hodge by cutting his head off (this did not even end up killing him, which totally sucks for Warren).
Warren began to break out of his shell a bit when he started dating Charlotte Jones, a police officer and single mother. She helped Warren stop being so whiny all of the time. He re-joined the X-Men with the rest of X-Factor and he quickly re-paid Charlotte for all of her kindness and help to his soul by dumping her as soon as the hot asian chick who wears a bathing suit for missions gave him the time of day.
Warren and Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock had a long relationship, mostly built on apathy (both theirs to life and the X-writers to the two characters) and inertia. During this time, Warren’s metal wings molted and he went back to natural wings. He also started wearing his old Angel costume (the cool blue one he got after Magneto saved him, not the garish one with the red suspenders) again. His skin was still blue, though.
For a short period of time, Warren had new powers involving some weird light-based stuff. It was the second most ill-advised idea at Marvel involving Angels ever (Punisher as an angel is still #1) and was quickly dropped.
He and Betsy eventually broke up, and Warren was in character limbo for awhile. Eventually, he returned to the X-Men and was even given him own team to lead! Granted, it was the loser brigade (Nightcrawler, Iceman and him, basically, oh, and that kid with the missing face), but still, his own team!
On a mission against Black Tom, Warren actually had the blue sucked out of his face. It makes as little sense as it sounds (why not just go with “Oh, I guess Apocalypse’s changes wore off?”). Around this time, Warren decided that with Colossus dead, SOMEbody has to keep up the X-Men tradition of sleeping with teenagers, so he began dating his young teammate, Husk.
He also started to wear this costume…
So you know his judgment was already a bit questionable. Warren took slight offense to the notion that he was somehow acting inappropriately with Husk, so to prove how beautiful their relationship was, he had sex with her in the air above her mother. His tender, romantic act of love turned everyone on to his side, because, really, what more does a mother want than to see her teenage daughter mounted by an older man over her head? It brings a tear to the eye.
During this time, Warren also learned that his blood could heal people because, hey, why not, right? When a bunch of young mutants were crucified in front of the X-Mansion (seriously, the X-Men really have to do something about their security, right?), Warren helped save the two attractive teenage girls, while letting all the others die (somewhere, Colossus was shouting, “Bozhe moi! Well done, tovarisch!”).
Eventually, the other X-Men all realized that Warren was rarely, if ever, actually doing any leading, so he left the team before they mutinied and just traveled with Husk for awhile (while traveling, he had to pretend she was his daughter to keep from getting too many angry glares). After awhile, the thrill wore off (she was getting kind of old, after all), so they broke up. Warren sort of drifted aimlessly, helping out the X-Men whenever he could.
When the X-Men decided to move to San Francisco (and then to Utopia), though, Cyclops used his tactical genius to recall that his old pal Warren was really rich, so Warren became involved with the X-Men again, helping to fund the team’s move.
It is at this time that Warren got sucked into the sordid world of X-Force, Cyclops’ private X-Men death squad. Wolfsbane (one of X-Force) was forced to attack Warren and she tore his wings off. This eventually led to the return of Warren’s metal wings.
He discovered, however, that he could return to normal – but the metal wings would remain inside of him, begging to be released. He would serve double duty as a member of the X-Men (as Angel) and of X-Force (as Archangel), using his natural wings on the X-Men and the metal wings on X-Force (being an agent of death is quite useful when working on a murder team). You would think someone would figure it out, but, again, this is the X-Men, they are pretty gullible at heart, so it was not until Beast actually saw him transform in front of him that he figured it out (he was not happy).
X-Force was eventually disbanded, but it was recently re-formed (without Cyclops’ knowledge, so he could have a clean conscience for once…well, about this particular issue, at least, not so much the whole “ditching his wife and newborn child as soon as he learned his ex-girlfriend was still alive” thing) with Archangel a member. Psylocke is also on the team, and they have gotten back together as, eh, why not, right?
14. Cannonball – 327 points (1 first place vote)
Once upon a time, there was a family called the Duggars. They were really conservative Christians, so they had about a gazillion children. They gave them all names that began with J, like Jay and Jeb. They got their own reality show on television. Eventually, it was determined that a nuclear power plant had given the father Duggar super sperm and the radiation had made some of his kids mutants. Once the Duggars discovered this, they moved away from Arkansas and started a new life in Kentucy under a new name, Guthrie (they also changed the names of most of the kids, except the ones they didn’t particularly care if they eventually were killed, like Jay Guthrie). The family chose a mining town because they figured no one would recognize them there. Sadly, the father Duggar did not realize that mining is hard – he thought he could just waltz right and in and mine with the best of them. He was wrong and he died due to his foolish pride. The eldest son, Jam (now changed to Sam, so as to not stand out) went to work in place of his father.
Sam was working in the mines one day when he realized, “oh man, I don’t know what I’m doing, either!” and so he and another fellow got trapped in the mine. Luckily, the trauma caused Sam’s powers to manifest, and he blasted his way out of the mine. You see, Sam’s mutant power was that he could fly through some sort of jet propulsion – when his powers were activated, he would appear that jet blasts came from his legs and he also had an aura around him that kept him from being vulnerable. In fact, you could almost say that he was nigh invulnerable when he was blasting. Also, you can’t really stop him when he gets his powers going – he was like a human cannonball. Get this, I kid you not, I saw his powers described like this in one place – Unstoppability (Impossible to stop) Oh, really? Unstoppability means he is impossible to stop? You’re blowing my mind here! I thought Unstoppability meant that he couldn’t do anything BUT stop! I’m so glad that there was a helpful qualification after the term.
Anyhow, despite not seeming to be the sharpest tool in the shed, Sam quickly showed more common sense than 99% of the X-Men and farmed his powers out for financial gain, working as a mercenary for Donald Pierce. Sadly, Sam decided that “ethics” were more important than “money,” so he quit working for Pierce and joined Charles Xavier’s School for Replacement Cannon Fodder.
Sam was a very important member of the New Mutants, as he was the only one who seemed to have a power with any real offensive capabilities. One member turned into a dog, one member turned into spots which made him as strong as a really big guy…I think one member’s power was just being good at interpretative dance. Or maybe she could make people see their fears? Who knows? In any event, Sam’s powers were actually useful (and they were a really cool visual), so he was an important member of the team. So important that they basically made him the leader right away, despite the fact that he thought strategics was a board game with miners and stuff (he also thought logistics was something you shouldn’t teach in schools).
When he joined the New Mutants, Sam was really gangly looking. Despite that, he somehow managed to date international singing sensation, Lila Cheney. Really. Seriously. Did they ever explain that? You know what that reminds me of? Have you seen Hot Tub Time Machine? Well, in it, this music journalist sees John Cusack’s character (who is in high school at the time) and is SO enthralled with him that she is willing to wait months for him, despite, you know, just meeting him that night and him being a high school student and her being a cool music journalist. What the heck, right? Well, that made about as much sense as Sam Guthrie and Lila Cheney.
During his time with the New Mutants, they were all transported to Asgard for a storyline that had a major impact on most of the characters. Well, not Sam! Nope, he had some weird story where he gets involved with the dwarves and, oh, does it matter? It went nowhere.
Eventually, Sam and the rest of the New Mutants got mad that they were given Magneto as their new headmaster (and really, it was kind of odd, right? “Hey guys, guess what, Professor Xavier is gone forever and now the biggest mutant terrorist in the world is your teacher! See ya!”) so they headed off on their own, eventually teaming up with some other teenaged mutant heroes (using the term extremely loosely for characters like Rictor and Boom Boom). Eventually, Sam and Boom Boom actually became a couple (sorry, international rock superstar Lila Cheney! I like this dumb trailer trash girl better than you! Well…not really, but she’s at least easy!”).
One of the popular courses at Xavier’s school is “power identification 101,” and Sam was excellent at this. You see, Charles Xavier theorized that people would be more at ease with you if you constantly tell them what your power is and how it works. So Sam would constantly tell people that “I’m nigh-invulnerable when I’m blastin’.” The problem with Sam is that got so wrapped up with the concept that he eventually began to think that other things couldn’t happen while he was blasting, either. This mistaken belief led to more than a few visits to the women’s clinic for Boom Boom over the years.
As their time on their own passed by, the membership of the New Mutants got a little, well, light. Members were dropping left and right. Warlock here, Rictor there, until it was basically just Sam and Boom Boom left. By this time, the teens had decided to follow a new leader named Commander X. Commander X had a hidden interest in Sam, and I’m not talking about the one Iceman has for Northstar. After adding a few new members, Commander X decided that a name change was in order, so the New Mutants became X-Force and Commander X changed his name to Cable, because, you know, he’s…a cable…between the future…and the past (maybe?). It was here that it was revealed that Sam was actually a SPECIAL kind of mutant – an immortal known as an X-Ternal! This was a very important plot point and it is brought up all the time to this day. By “all the time,” I mean, of course, it has been mentioned perhaps once in the past 18 years.
So anyways, after awhile hanging out with Cable, Sam and the rest of the team realized that Cable’s leadership was more erratic than Storm’s lovelife, so they decided to head off on their own. Sam had this really heartfelt speech to Professor Xavier about how they couldn’t live under the X-Men’s supervision anymore and they had to go off and be their own people. Less than two years later, X-Force was living in the X-Mansion wearing X-Men uniforms and under direct supervision of the X-Men. Sam, who had grown and matured into a capable leader of the group (perhaps the first truly capable leader they ever had) quickly dropped the team (and his girlfriend, Boom Boom) to go be the junior member of the X-Men. Trying to find his niche with the team, Sam decided to pretend to be a dumb yokel. At least I presume that’s what he was doing, because otherwise it seemed pretty weird for him to go from “We have to stand on our own” to “I get to be an X-Man? For reals? It is my dream come true! I hope I’m good enough!”
In his most memorable moment in his first stint as an X-Man (being a stand-in for Jubilee in Wolverine’s comic doesn’t count), Cannonball held his own against Gladiator. Hey, it made a lot more sense than Spider-Man defeating Firelord, at least!!
After the rest of his squad of X-Men left for outer space, Sam stayed behind and went undercover in Grayson Creed’s presidential campaign. Xavier foolishly allowed Sam to choose his own fake name, as Sam decided to go from Sam Guthrie to Samson Guthry. I know I was totally fooled! Around this time, Sam’s sister Jaige became a member of a new class of mutants at Xavier’s School for Mutants (“Look to your left, look to your right, one of the people next to you will be killed in a crossover”).
Sam eventually returned to X-Force for awhile, then they broke up and Sam wandered around aimlessly for awhile before eventually re-joining the X-Men (well, the X-Treme X-Men, which is sort of like leaving the Avengers and then coming back to re-join the Great Lakes Avengers). He then left the X-Men again for X-Force, but that was short-lived.
Eventually, Rogue was allowed to put together her own team of X-Men, provided she only used team members that no one else wanted. Cannonball was one of the people she chose. He served with distinction with Rogue’s team (which was hard to do with a team filled with screw-ups) but sadly, two members of the team, Mystique and Lady Mastermind, were working against the X-Men! They set a trap for the team and Sam was badly injured. After suffering his injuries, Beast noted that Sam’s brain scan indicated sluggish and non-continuous activity. Luckily, that was what Sam’s brain scan looked like normally, so Sam was a-ok!
Recently, Sam was given his own personal strike force by Cyclops, provided that Sam, much like Rogue with her squad, only chose members from teams that previously failed, like New Mutants. That’s what Sam chose to do, re-uniting his original New Mutants team members in a new group, sort of like when the Backstreet Boys got back together. Only a worse idea. Currently, Sam and his team are in the midst of various shenanigans.
13. Beast – 330 points
Okay, so here’s what I don’t get – Hank McCoy, the so-called “Beast” of the X-Men, was born with giant hands and feet, could feed himself a bottle with his own feet when he was a baby and could crush a person’s hand with a handshake when he was a small child. When he hit adolescence….all of that stayed the same. He didn’t actually gain anything. Mutants gain their powers when they hit adolescence. So, what, exactly, is Hank McCoy hiding? Is he really a mutant at all?!?!?!
McCoy was a brilliant young scientist who also memorized a book of quotations (to make it seem like he was well read). Can you imagine what it must be like for a brilliant young scientist to be on the X-Men? It would be like Albert Einstein being one of the Three Stooges – very, very frustrating. Hank was lucky to be a student of Marvel Universe science. Marvel Universe science is a lot more diverse than regular science. You see, Hank eventually gained a PhD (done while the rest of the X-Men were vainly trying to complete their GEDs) in biophysics and genetics. However, he achieved these PhDs in MARVEL science, so this made him an expert in engineering, medicine, time travel (yes, time travel), etc. It is like how one of the most highly-developed robots of all time, Ultron, was built by Hank Pym, a biologist. It is because Hank is a MARVEL biologist. Very different than normal biology. It’s like “How would you best describe a cell membrane? Also, how would you build a device that could negate Magneto’s powers?” All in the same class!!!! And MARVEL scientists always have multiple doctorates by the time they’re 22. It’s a rule.
So Hank was in the X-Men with his fake mutant powers and his MARVEL science degrees, and he fought the good fight, but eventually he was like, “What am I even doing with these people? I’m not even a mutant!” so he left to take a job at a big corporation as a geneticist. While there, he discovers a way to give people mutant powers temporarily (he figured, “Hey, if I could fake it, why not let other people do so, too?”), but he had to use it on himself because, you know, that’s what scientists do, use experimental drugs on themselves for kicks. He waited too long to change back, though (book smart, check. common sense, not so much), so he was stuck as a furry animal-like creature with fangs and a haircut like the Daredevil supervillain, the Owl. Also, it turned out that, much like 80% of the Marvel Universe before 1975, his girlfriend (and lab assistant) was secretly a Communist spy.
Things picked up for Hank when these new abilities got him noticed by the Avengers and eventually he became a member of the team. This was a dream come true! He was actually accepted by society! You see, society hates and fears mutants – except when they’re Avengers. Then they’re totally awesome!!! If Scarlet Witch were on the X-Men – hated and feared. On the Avengers – beloved! While on the Avengers, Hank (who now, all of a sudden, was a jokester) made friends with his teammate, Simon Williams, the hero known as Wonder Man. Simon, you see, was an expert electrical engineer. Sadly, he was just an expert electrical engineer and not a MARVEL engineer, which is why his munitions company was put out of business by Tony Stark’s similar company.
Despite the Avengers being the perfect place for Beast, he decided to leave them. It is actually pretty funny to read the issue he decides to leave the Avengers – there is an ostensible reason given for him departing, but it really doesn’t make sense even in the context of the issue itself, let alone Hank’s general characterization at the time. In any event, with the character now free for the taking, J.M. DeMatteis started using him in the pages of the Defenders and eventually re-configured the team AROUND Beast, adding in his former X-Men teammates, Iceman and Angel in a New Defenders, a team led by Hank. As you might imagine, it did not do so well.
With Angel and Iceman surely thinking, “Wow, we should NOT be on teams together – that’s back-to-back teams we were on that just ended in total failure,” their next thought, of course, was “Hey, let’s form another new team!” and so they formed X-Factor, made up of all the original X-Men, including the not-so-dead Jean Grey. Hank joined up because, really, what else was he doing? Soon after the team formed, Hank found himself turned back to his normal fake-mutant self due to the machinations of some bad guy. After awhile, the machinations of ANOTHER bad guy returned Hank back to the furry blue look.
Eventually, X-Factor merged back into the X-Men and Beast was assigned to the cool kid’s team (well, cool kids plus Jubilee, I should say). Oddly enough, after that squad’s leader, Cyclops, took a leave of absence when he got married, Beast actually led the cool team for a little bit. It was really weird. It was sort of like, “Wait, BEAST is going to be the leader? There’s got to be someone else better suited for the job! Who else is on the team? Psylocke? Oh. Gambit? Oh. Rogue? Oh. I guess Beast it is – do you think maybe the Blob would be available if we asked him?”
Throughout much of his second stint with the X-Men, Beast sort of fell into the background. Here’s an example of just how out of the way he was. An evil, alternate reality version of the Beast who was twenty years older than Beast managed to switch spots with Beast for weeks without anyone noticing the switch. The impostor did not even have to study to impersonate Beast, as it wasn’t like anyone on the team knew anything personal about the Beast. So long as he acted goofy and pretentiously quoted from old books, who could tell it WASN’T Beast? It’s not like anyone could tell he was speaking an entirely different dialect (few X-Men even knew what a dialect WAS – Boom Boom thought it was what she kept forgetting to use when having unprotected sex with Cannonball). How awkward must have that been when Beast returned to the team? “Really? NO ONE noticed it wasn’t me? Trish, you’re my girlfriend! You had no idea?!”
Beast did have one definitive highlight as an X-Man soon after the whole “no one noticed he was kidnapped by his twenty-year older copy from another reality” fiasco. He actually cured the Legacy Virus!! Not only did he cure the Legacy Virus, but Colossus sacrificed himself to get the virus to work, so Beast cured the Legacy Virus AND got rid of Colossus for awhile!!! Two birds with one stone!! To put into context how rarely X-Men get a victory this major, Rogue’s biggest accomplishment of all-time was when only two members of her personal X-Men squad turned out to be undercover enemies sent to betray her. That was a personal best for Rogue! So when Beast actually cured a major disease, well, that’s just awesome (and unexpected).
While mourning the “loss” of Colossus, Beast joined up with Storm’s group of X-Men who were searching for 13 ghosts who escaped from the Chest of Demons (that also happens to be Cyclops’ nickname for Emma Frost’s bosom). Beast and Psylocke were attacked by Vargas, a really cool character who was so major that he continues to be used constantly to this day. In the battle, Sage needed to kickstart Beast’s secondary mutation, so she did so, and he went from being a blue gorilla looking dude with an Owl haircut to being a big blue cat-like dude. What’s interesting to note is that if this was his secondary mutation, what if he had never altered his genetics to turn into a blue furry creature? What kind of cat-like creature would he look like then?
Beast is currently dating Abigail Brand, who is the head of SHIELD’s alien-defense group, SWORD.
Perhaps too happy with his competence with the whole “curing the Legacy Virus” thing, Beast recently decided to try to cure the whole “no more mutants” deal, and he went to GREAT lengths to prove conclusively that there will never ever ever never be another new mutant. Like, five minutes after he spent about a year coming to this conclusion, a new mutant showed up. That sure was a good use of a storyline that tied into multiple titles! “Nope, no new mutants ever never ever! Oh, except for this one. Oopsies.”
Seemingly one of the side effects of Beast’s secondary mutation is that he also has the mutant power of super-hypocrisy. You see, the X-Men were in battle with a whole other world from another dimension that was planning an invasion of Earth. Beast decided that for the good of OUR Earth that it made sense to destroy THAT world, so, with the help of his girlfriend, Abigail Brand, the X-Men destroyed the other world. So, as you can see, Beast obviously feels it is okay to commit genocide if it is in the best interest of the people of our world. Well, when Cyclops put together a mutant murder squad designed to go out and eliminate enemies of the X-Men, Beast flipped out, thinking it was way unethical. So his super-hypocrisy must have kicked in!
Beast very recently left the X-Men to join Steve Rogers’ new Secret Avengers, because, as you know, Beast has a problem with the X-Men having covert groups so he left them to go join…a covert group. Super-hypocrisy strikes again!!
First off, isn’t it funny when characters with joke names end up becoming actual important characters? Naming a character Lorna Dane would be like Marvel Girl’s name being Jean Eyre.
In any event, Lorna first showed up in the X-Men when her mind was controlled by the villain Mesmero, who was bringing mutants in for some sort of scheme. Iceman saved her from walking into traffic (which was dumb in and of itself, if you’re going to draw mutants to you, shouldn’t you try to make it so they don’t just wander aimlessly into traffic? Especially when Lorna was the most important mutant that Mesmero was bringing to him. So what would have happened to his plan had she been hit by a truck?) and that’s when the X-Men discovered that she was a latent mutant (sort of like how Iceman is a latent homosexual).
Eventually she discovered that she had the mutant ability to control magnetism. Mesmero’s group was waiting for someone known as M2. Cyclops, being a chauvinistic jerk, literally states, “I just assumed it was a son of Magneto, I never imagined it could be a daughter!” Seriously, Cyclops? You realize that Marvel Girl is on your team, right? But the notion of a powerful female mutant is so far off the beaten path that you never even considered it? It’s right out of that old riddle about sexism (“I can’t operate on this boy, he’s my son”).
So we learn that Lorna is the daughter of Magneto. But then it turns out that that Magneto was actually a robot! So you know what that means, right? Yep, Lorna is half-robot!! That explains a lot of her problems over the years – short circuits.
Anyhow, the X-Men put her up in a nice Manhattan apartment (for some reason – I really don’t know what) but then she is kidnapped by Sentinels. After she is freed, she ends up joining the X-Men, where she meets the love of her life, Alex Summers, an attractive mutant who is also a member of the X-Men and also IS INTO GEO-PHYSICS!!! I’ve already detailed this in the entry for Havok, but come on, people, what are the odds? As we all know by now, the X-Men are not exactly the brightest people in the world, and yet Lorna happens to fall for one of the few X-Men who is legitimately smart? I mean, we knew Lorna was smarter than the average bear when she instantly realized that Bobby Drake was not for her because of him not really being into women, but to be into geo-physics?!? Bizarre.
Then again, when you hear the name Lorna first used, you might not agree with the whole “she is smart” routine (perhaps she faked an interest in geo-physics to get close to Alex?) – she first called herself Magnetrix!! Magnetrix, people!! MAGNETRIX!!! What the hell?!?!? Luckily, she eventually read some Green Lantern comic books and stole the name Polaris from the magnetic super-villain Doctor Polaris.
After the All-New, All-Different X-Men showed up, Lorna and Alex left the team to pursue their love of geo-physics, but this being the X-Men, you can’t leave. You wish you could, but you can’t, and they were eventually drawn back in, with Lorna’s half-robot programming being overridden by the evil entity Malice (just like what Malice did to another half-robot character, Karima Shapandar – see!! it all fits!).
Lorna’s sister, Zaladane (really, when it comes to relatives and Lorna, you really can’t tell who is telling the truth, as everyone loves to claim that they are related to her – I’m surprised we haven’t learned she’s really the long-lost Summers sister), took her powers for awhile, so Lorna’s programming compensated in other ways, making her stronger instead. But then they returned and Lorna began a long stint as a member of X-Factor, along with a returned Alex.
Her X-Factor tenure ended poorly when Alex pretended to be a bad guy just to get away from her. When he returned, she agreed to re-join the team, but after he was seemingly killed, she dropped that idea quick-like. She instead embraced her fake father, Magneto, and lived on Genosha with him, using her power supply to make it seem like Magneto’s powers were totally fine (they had faded substantially at this point). When Casandra Nova destroyed much of Genosha, Lorna was one of the few survivors, although it left her programming short-circuited so she was kinda nuts. This showed up when Alex turned up alive and she insisted that they get married and when he explained that he was actually in love with his nurse (due to the mental manipulations of his nurse’s son, who is Lorna’s half-brother, oddly enough), she went crazy.
Eventually, Xavier tightened her screw that was loose and she returned to the X-Men and Alex. They served together for awhile and eventually went to outer space, where they began to fight together as the new Starjammers.
Recently, she and Alex and his annoying niece decided to head back to Earth. I dunno when they’ll arrive. Hopefully her half-robot brain gets a lot of beer on the way, I hear that robot brains need beer.
11. Ariel/Sprite/Fiona/Othello/Hamlet/Shadowcat – 385 points (6 first place votes)
As you all know by now, studies at Xavier’s School for Mutants is comparable to what college athletes take. For instance, I believe Rogue had a degree in Advance Paper Mache, while Sunspot wrote his graduate thesis on “Reagan-Era Politics and the World of Magnum p.i.” The problem is a good deal more severe than you might even imagine, though, as Xavier’s has a way of taking students who were already smart coming IN and effectively tainting them by the time they depart.
A good example of this is Katherine “Kitty” Pryde. When she entered the school, she was a brilliant 13-year-old. But by the time she left, the Xavier school influence had permeated her in many negative ways. One significant example is the class she took in debate at Xavier’s. Kitty somehow learned that the best way to win any debate is to use the N-word as much as you can. This first came up in a discussion with Kitty’s dance teacher, who didn’t get why “mutie” was a big deal, and Kitty asked her “What if I called you an n-word?” And the most hilarious thing is that Kitty seems to think that this is a brilliant argument. She uses it more than once. It got to the point that no one wants to discuss anything with Kitty, as she takes any excuse she can get to drop the n-word.
“Hey, David, how do you think the current True Grit compares to the first film version of the story?”
“Well, Kitty, I think the Coen brothers stay a bit truer to the original novel, but I liked John Wayne’s portrayal of Rooster Cogburn more than Jeff Bridges’ take on the same character.”
“Oh yeah? Well, what if I called you an n-word?”
This partially explains why everyone close to Kitty goes out of their way to die. Her first close friend, Doug Ramsey, jumped in front of a bullet rather than hear Kitty Pryde whine about her parents’ divorce some more.
Her closest friend, Illyana Rasputin, infected herself with the Legacy Virus rather than hear Kitty complain about the food in England anymore.
Finally, her first boyfriend, Colossus, also chose the warm embrace of Death over having to hear Kitty’s thoughts about Professor Xavier and his relative state of jerkdom.
Still, for all of her interpersonal faults, Kitty Pryde is still one of the more competent members of the X-Men. Her ability to “phase” through stuff (she effectively turns into a ghost) often comes in handy. And even with her brainpower dimmed, she manages to typically be one of, if not THE, smartest X-Man in the room at almost all times. This is why even Xavier had to admit that she didn’t deserve to be punished by being a member of the New Mutants, even though logic would dictate she be with the junior team of half-wits and half-dogs.
In addition, she’s one of the few members of the team willing to hang out with Wolverine. In fact, during her time with Wolverine, she even became a trained ninja, which was pretty badass. That’s when she dropped her ridiculous early codenames (at one point she went by the name 7-Up) and started going by the relatively cool-sounding Shadowcat.
After being injured in a fight with the Marauders, Kitty was stuck in Excalibur-purgatory for years before she was allowed back on to the X-Men. During this time, though, Kitty got a fake ID so that this cool British guy, Peter Wisdom, would sleep with her. This was one of the few legitimately cool times in Kitty’s life. It was short-lived. Soon her dorky ex-boyfriend, Colossus, showed up and she and Wisdom split up.
Once Colossus “died,” Kitty quit being a superhero for awhile, but eventually she was sucked back in because Cyclops rightfully noted that the X-Men had a shortage of half-way intelligent, attractive team members, so she had to join the team to be the “face” of the X-Men. During this return to the X-Men, Colossus turned out to be alive, and Kitty decided to throw him a bone and started seeing him again (she questioned why he kept asking her to wear her hair in pigtails, but hey, everyone’s got their quirks, right?).
Sadly, Kitty is forced to sacrifice herself to close an inter-dimensional portal (or something about a magic bullet – I forget). Recently, though, the heroic Magneto brought her back, albeit stuck in her “ghost” form. Luckily, the one thing this keeps her from doing is yapping on about her problems. This is certainly only a temporary solution, however, and soon we will be back to hearing her complain about her dad dying, Cyclops being a jerk, Emma Frost being a jerk, etc. etc. etc.
10. Emma Frost – 445 points (9 first place votes)
Remember how I detailed in Banshee’s listing how the X-Books tend to treat character with a bit of an open past (“Remember when Banshee and Wolverine teamed-up 20 years ago? No? Well, it happened, sucker!”)? Well, that is especially true for Emma Frost, since her past is still relatively open, so we learn every other issue that she has had a past history with every other character in the Marvel Universe, and usually it involves her having sex with some guy (“Did I never tell you about my torrid affair with J. Jonah Jameson?” “Did you seriously not know that I used to date Ka-Zar?” “How did you not know that me and Egghead used to be an item?” “Yes, I dated Willie Lumpkin! The things he could do with his ears!”).
Anyhow, when first we meet the mutant telepath Emma Frost, she was a member of the Hellfire Club, the White Queen, to be precise. Throughout X-Men history, some pretty messed up stuff has been overlooked to allow a person to join the X-Men (this one dude murdered like 150 people on a submarine and they forgave him), but Emma Frost did some particularly nasty stuff, and she did it over a pretty extensive period of time.
But things changed once Emma Frost’s students (she ran a rival school for mutants – when she was first introduced, she was trying to get Kitty Pryde to join her school – imagine if she had succeeded? Would that have been a net positive or negative for the X-Men?) were murdered by members of the Upstarts, a super cool group of villains that are still used all the time to this day! In the same battle, Emma was put into a coma, where she stayed for a long while before leaping into Bobby Drake’s mind (at which point she said, “Yikes, the repression in here is worse than the coma!”).
Eventually she recovered, and now was willing to be a good guy. So she teamed up with Banshee to become headmasters for a NEW school of mutants! The intent of the school was that they would keep their students from dying. A couple of dead students later, this did not work out so well.
Once that endeavor failed miserably, Emma decided to go to Genosha, where she figured, “Hey, in an island of 16 million mutants, my students won’t die HERE, at least, right?” A couple of Sentinels later, her class was all dead and Emma began to wonder if her secondary mutation was to kill anyone she taught stuff to.
But since it wasn’t HER life at stake, Emma traveled back to the States where she became an instructor at Xavier’s. While there, Emma caught a whiff of the weird pheromone that Cyclops exudes that makes lady telepaths get weak in the knees for him (plus that one awkward exchange with Kid Omega that we won’t speak of) and she started having a psychic affair with him. She was shocked to learn that having a relationship with another human is actually NOT a bad thing to be avoided at all costs (weird, right?), and after Emma taught Jean Grey how to work her new phone, Jean Grey, too, got struck by the “people who get taught by Emma die” curse and that paved the way for Emma and Cyclops to get together!
Once they became the official co-heads of Xavier’s, M-Day happened, and most of the students stopped being mutants. On top of that, when the now-former-mutants were headed home, a bunch of them were ALSO killed!
You’d think that Emma Frost would crawl into a fetal position thinking about how all of her charges die on her. Luckily, Emma Frost is above having “yoo-man feel-ings,” so she makes it through just fine.
Currently, Emma continues to lead the X-Men with Cyclops (they’re now on an island mutant sanctuary), although there is some tension because one of her many ex-lovers, Namor, is also hanging around and just wait…it’s only a matter of time until we learn about Emma’s affair with Magneto!
9. Gambit – 473 points (19 first place votes)
Gambit is sort of like the Chachi of the X-Men. He was introduced out of nowhere, thrown into the popular group dynamic, suddenly became a major character, starts dating the young, popular female on the show to the point where their relationship practically dominates the storyline, then the backlash happens and all those Chachi T-Shirts are thrown out and people pretend that they never liked “Wah wah wah” as a catchphrase or tied bandannas around their jeans.
The same thing happened to Gambit. He shows up out of nowhere and became one of the most popular members of the X-Men, but got so tied to a particular era of the X-Men that when people turned against that particular era, he was sort of the poster boy of that time period, so he got mocked mercilessly.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, he deserves most of it, but don’t practically ALL of the X-Men? Gambit’s no sillier than the tiny guy who always moans about how he is the best that there is and what he is the best at isn’t pretty (is he talking about being really good at unclogging toilets?). Granted, Gambit DID break Banshee’s jaw that one time, so screw him, but still, he doesn’t deserve any more derision than any other X-Man.
Gambit and Rogue bonded over their shared love of not reading, and you have to give the guy some credit, for a smarmy, sort of creepy guy, he got a lot of ladies in his day, and he was willing to stay with Rogue even though she was never willing to go through with Gambit’s full-body condom idea (boy did he try that idea constantly).
Growing up, Gambit’s people were similarly not too bright, so they actually had to form guilds so that everyone would know what their job was. Gambit was in the Thieves’ Guild, and he became quite the master thief. Along the way, he had problems with his powers (Gambit can charge objects with kinetic energy then throw them and they explode) so he went to Mister Sinister, who agreed to help him in exchange for Gambit putting together a team of marauders called, well, the Marauders. Again, Gambit is not the sharpest card in the deck, so it just occurred to him as he was leading this group of killers into the tunnels of New York that they were up to no good. This was the Morlock Massacre.
Later, when Gambit was a member of the X-Men, and had done a lot of good, his role in the Mutant Massacre was revealed, and the X-Men kicked him out for a time. He eventually returned, and in one of the odder turn of events you could expect, he and Rogue each ended up leading one half of the X-Men. Seriously, you’re going to let Gambit and Rogue be your leaders? Seriously?!!? Shockingly, this did not last very long.
Rogue ended up being on the team of X-Men who searched for the 13 Ghosts from the Chest of Demons, and she met up with Gambit again. They lost their powers and settled down for a relationship. You know there are multiple sex tapes lying around from this period in their lives. Eventually, their powers came back and they re-joined the X-Men. In a particularly notable example of incompetence, Gambit blinded himself with one of his own playing cards (he would charge playing cards up with energy then throw them). That eventually healed, but he and Rogue had continued problems, problems exacerbated when Jamie Foxx joined the X-Men and tried to seduce Rogue. Rogue had problems keeping the Oscar winner at bay, and Gambit grew so jealous that he decided to join up with Apocalypse (hey, no one ever said he was a brilliant thinker) and become a Horseman of Apocalypse.
This did not work out so well, and Gambit headed off with another one of Apocalypse’s Horseman, Sunfire, for one of the most bizarre friendships ever. Eventually, they joined up with Mister Sinister’s Marauders, only Gambit, naturally, was just pretending to go along to protect Rogue.
After that whole mess went down, Gambit and Rogue worked out their problems and Rogue managed to control her powers enough to kiss Gambit without it being an issue. However, her control of her power is contrasted with Gambit’s old Death self returning at moments of high stress. He’s still dealing with that while he and Rogue sort through their relationship.
8. Iceman – 490 points (2 first place votes)
Iceman is many things – a superhero, an X-Man, an accountant, a joker, gay, a good friend, one of the Twelve and quite possibly an Omega-level mutant!
Iceman was a founding member of the X-Men. The youngest member of the team, Iceman had the second-lamest origin of the original six, as he froze a bully and everyone got mad at him until the X-Men showed up and well, that was about it. Iceman was a joker on the team, but behind the laughs, he had problems dealing with his sexuality. Since the other three guys on the team all fawned over Jean Grey (heck, so did their teacher), Bobby faked interest, as well.
That was the story for most of Bobby’s life – feigned interest in other ladies that never seemed to go anywhere. Lorna Dane, the X-Man known as Polaris, was one of the first examples of this phenomena. Meanwhile, the only long-lasting relationships he had were friendships with two of the guys on the original X-Men, Beast and Angel.
After the All-New, All-Different X-Men joined up, Iceman could not hide from his hatred of Native Americans and/or Irish people, so he left the team. Ultimately, with Angel he joined a new team, the Champions. The Champions were so incompetent that they made the New Mutants seem almost capable by comparison (and seeing as how the greatest success in the history of the New Mutants was getting Doug Ramsey shot, that is saying a lot). While on the Champions, Bobby developed his second major fake relationship with the Russian mutant Darkstar (for a xenophobe such as Bobby, it is interesting to note that he was okay with a Russian and a Korean-American for his beards).
After the Champions broke up, Bobby joined up with Angel again, this time in a Beast-led team of Defenders. Since the previous sentence contained the phrase “Beast-led,” you know that was not going to work out. It was on the Defenders that Bobby first had a chance to explore his sexual feelings as he fell for a being known as Cloud who took on a female AND a male form (this will come back into play later on).
Following some un-inspired solo adventures, Bobby joined back up with his old friends in X-Factor. Seriously, what does Bobby Drake do but wait by the phone for one of his old friends to call him and ask him to join a team? Has he done a spontaneous act in his life? Man, he is SO repressed! I mean, that makes sense and all, but still!
Bobby’s tenure on X-Factor was practically the definition of “humdrum,” with the exception of his powers growing stronger and stronger. This has been something that has continued for years and years as a plot point without ever actually going away. To wit, if I quoted a comic as saying, “Bobby does not understand just how powerful he is,” and then asked you what year the comic came out, you would not be able to guess. Heck, if I asked you what DECADE, you would not be able to guess – because it has been a plot point every other year for OVER TWO DECADES!!! For over 20 years we have had to hear how Bobby doesn’t realize just how powerful he is. You would think that just by virtue of everyone telling him this for two decades, he would catch on. However, there goes that repression thing again.
One somewhat notable aspect of his X-Factor run was his next failed relationship, with Opal Tanaka, who was, of course, tied to the Yakuza (a little known fact – in the Marvel Universe, every Asian person has ties to the Yakuza. Weird, right?).
Once X-Factor merged with the X-Men to form a new X-Men team, Bobby was placed on the B-team, and faded to the background for years. He had two notable storylines during this period – Emma Frost took possession of his body for awhile (guess what she told him? Yep, you guessed it – he was more powerful than he even knew!) and he also dealt with his dad’s death. He left the team to be with his dad.
He came back in a cool storyline called Zero Tolerance where he was actually halfway competent, but as soon as it ended, he went away again. He next popped up as a member of a NEW B-team, Angel, Wolverine, him and Nightcrawler. It was like the time that the Avengers consisted of Black Widow, Hercules, Quicksilver, Crystal, Deathcry and Vision. A real “for serious? That’s your team?” team. While on this team, he developed an interesting friendship with Northstar where Northstar was interested in Bobby, but Bobby was not interested in him (or so he says).
After that, he just stood around in the periphery for awhile (he is good at that) before seemingly losing his powers during M-Day. But no, he did not actually lose his powers, he just repressed them!! HELLO, PEOPLE!! Do you need for us to write you a map? The guy has repression issues!!! Once he got his powers back, he was chosen special by Rogue for her team of “People Cyclops has no other use for.” While on that team, he developed a relationship with Mystique, someone who can be both male or female. Interesting, right? Well, she turned out only to be using him for some sort of Machiavellian plot where she tries to stab Rogue in the chest to protect her from a hang nail (like most convoluted Mystique plots).
Since then, he’s just been in the background of plots, hanging out, waiting for the inevitable new writer who will reveal that Iceman is gay (it is only a matter of when, not if).
7. Psylocke – 524 points (11 first place votes)
Have you ever noticed how Psylocke (Betsy Braddock)’s origins read sort of like bad fan fiction? She’s a charter pilot! No, no, she’s a pilot AND a supermodel!!! No, no, no, she’s a pilot, a supermodel AND a spy!!! Yeah, yeah, that’s it!! At least when she was a spy (with purple hair), she was competent. Soon after she began a bit of a downward spiral. First, she took over for her brother as Captain Britain, and promptly was blinded by Slaymaster (wow, what a great villain! I hope we see a lot more of him! I’m down with any level of usage – even incessant!).
She was then brought over to the American Marvel Universe, where she got robot eyes from Mojo. During this time, she was rescued by the New Mutants (it is a rare level of incompetence when you need to be rescued by the New Mutants, X-dom’s answer to the Inferior Five, only oddly not played for laughs – not intentional ones, at least). Here, Psylocke soon formed a bond with her future teammate Colossus by lusting after the teenaged Doug Ramsey (I don’t know what was worse, the statuary rape, or being interested in Doug Ramsey).
Soon Psylocke was a full-fledged member of the X-Men (complete with body armor, because she at least was practical enough to know that she was no good in a fight), who were so desperate for a telepath that they almost let Black Mamba from the Serpent Society join, and even Nysanne knows that Black Mamba’s powers are even more uesless than Dani Moonstar’s old powers! Psylocke was with the X-Men when they faked their deaths, Elvis Presley-style, and headed off to Australia, Mel Gibson’s draft-dodging family-style.
Here, the X-Men lost members to various maladies until the team consisted of Psylocke, Havok, Dazzler and Colossus. As you might imagine, that is one pathetic team, so when Psylocke got a vision that they would all die if they returned home, she had no doubt that it was true, so she used her powers to trick the other three to go through the Siege Perilous with her.
This ultimately resulted in Psylocke getting her mind placed into a new, hot asian ninja’s body. She dealt with this pretty well, although you would have at least figured that she would have started to wear something more than a ninja bathing suit, but noooo.
So anyways, she rejoined the X-Men in her new form (I never understood why Asian Betsy also has purple hair. What’s up with that?) and this is when she demonstrated strong usage of Power Identification 101 (which is weird, because she was barely in the X-Mansion before it was attacked), telling everyone how she would use her telepathic powers as a knife.
Eventually, Psylocke started to have a crush on Cyclops, because of the pheromone he gives off that attracts female telepaths. When that did not go anywhere, she played eeeny meeny miney mo with the remaining X-Men and landed on Archangel, so the two formed a relationship together. They bonded over the fact that they both enjoyed money.
Their joy was short-lived, as the mutant known as Boom Boom showed great stupidity (even for a member of the X-Men) and let Sabretooth (who the X-Men were holding prisoner – see what I mean? That’s so stupid and yet she managed to be even DUMBER than that!) free. Sabretooth proceeded to tear Betsy apart. She was saved through some mystical mumbo jumbo called the Crimson Dawn. She gained new powers and a nifty tattoo. Luckily, this was all dropped at some point over the years.
Psylocke eventually grew tired of Angel, so she switched to the sensational character find of 2000, Thunderbird II, the mutant so awesome that he must be starring in at least two titled by now, right?
Her choice of a non-WASP lover came back to haunt her, as she was then murdered by the sensational character find of 2001, Vargas.
Luckily, Psylocke was returned to life through some plot involving her crazy brother Jamie. She re-joined the X-Men before then becoming a member of the New Exiles, a group of reality-jumping mutants. Then Slaymaster, that jerk, kept trying to kill her (so rude!). That ended okay for Psylocke and she returned to the regular Earth and re-joined the X-Men.
After sitting in the background of a few issues, she recently decided to re-unite with Angel (now back to being Archangel) as a member of the all-new X-Force.
6. Cyclops – 529 points (18 first place votes)
The second member to join the X-Men (after founding member Sage), Cyclops (Scott Summers) had a rough childhood. When he was just a boy flying on a plane with his family, his parents were kidnapped by aliens so Scott and his younger, cuter brother Alex had to jump out of the plane with just one parachute. During their landing, Scott suffered brain damage that forever affected how his powers would work as well as give him a fetish for telepathic women (at the time it seemed like a curse, but it actually worked out pretty well for Scott).
While Alex was intelligent and cute, and therefore adopted quickly, Scott was weird and scrawny, so no one wanted him. He then suffered what can only be described as a plethora of retcons. Let me tell you, it would be easier to list which characters did NOT come across Scott during his youth. Mister Sinister (who, as we all know, is behind pretty much every plot of every comic) was in charge of his orphanage, for crying out loud!!
Luckily, Scott joined the X-Men, where Scott became the de facto leader of the group. Once the initial six members of the group were formed, Professor Charles Xavier began what would eventually become a long tradition of screwing with Scott’s head. “I lost my powers – you’re the leader now!” “Actually, my powers were never gone, it was a test!” “I’m dead!” “No, I’m not!” And yet Scott, like a sap, just went along with it! The whole kit and kaboodle! “That was a very smart idea, Professor, coming at me with a knife while I was sleeping!”
Did I mention Scott’s powers? He has these force beams – force beams, mind you, not lasers, that somehow get contained by ruby quartz that he uses in his eyeglasses and battle goggles. Has any member of the X-Men ever has a power set that seems more like it was developed using a game of Mad Libs? He has ___lasers____ that are contained by ___candy canes____. That would make just as much sense.
Luckily for Cyclops, one of the original six members of the X-Men was Jean Grey, an attractive telepath. For much the same reason that prisoners turn to each other for companionship while in jail (lack of other options), Jean Grey eventually began dating Cyclops.
Cyclops eventually met up with his brother, Alex, who was a mutant, as well! Alex joined the X-Men. Cyclops later met his younger brother, Gabriel, who he did not even know existed! However, after Cyclops, Alex and the X-Men were captured by some living island creature, Xavier decided to send Gabriel and some other poorly trained mutants to help the original, more worthwhile, X-Men. They failed miserably, forcing Xavier to turn to foreigners for help next. However, Xavier figured that this would…I dunno…hurt Cyclops’ feelings? So he wiped Cyclops’ mind of knowing he had a second brother. Honestly, I think Xavier was just so used to pulling crummy tricks on his students that he just instinctively wiped Scott’s mind then figured, “Eh, what’s done is done.”
When those fur’ners took over as the new X-Men, the other X-Men let their xenophobia drive them away, but Scott had such a co-dependent relationship with Professor X that he could not leave the team. So Scott stayed on as leader of the new team of misfits. Eventually, Scott actually molded them into a pretty impressive unit. They were soon good enough to get their asses kicked when it came to defending the life of Scott’s girlfriend, Jean Grey, against the Imperial Guard.
Jean Grey, you see, had become the mighty being known as the Phoenix (in reality, the Phoenix just took on the FORM of Jean Grey) and eventually she went kind of nuts before killing herself. So Scott was bummed. Eventually, he did what every red-blooded American would do – he went out and married someone who looked exactly like his dead ex-girlfriend. I believe that is in the American Dictionary of Mental Health under “healthy not at all dysfunctional ways to move on from the loss of a loved one.”
Scott settled down with his new wife and their baby (named after his grandfather and his saintly teacher, Charles) until he learned that Jean Grey was actually alive! Faster than you can say “grounds for divorce,” Scott ditched his wife and kid for his ex-girlfriend. After awhile, Scott realized he should check in on his wife and kid, but they had since disappeared (“Why aren’t they waiting faithfully at home for me while I run off to re-connect with my ex-girlfriend?”). Eventually, Scott’s conscience was assuaged a bit when he discovered that his wife was actually a clone of Jean Grey designed to have a Summer baby, which was part of a master plan of Mister Sinister’s.
Scott and Jean grew closer, but his stupid baby kept getting in the way, so Scott came up with a plan to send his baby into the future (smart, Summers, smart! No wonder everyone says you’re such a great strategist!). This opened up a path for Scott and Jean to get married. Like the cat in “The Cat Came Back,” though, Scott’s baby came back as an old mutant soldier named Cable (which oddly enough, was Scott’s second choice for the name of his baby).
For their honeymoon, they got to spend years in the future raising Scott’s kid from the other woman. Isn’t that lovely for Jean?
Scott had a pretty straightforward time with the X-Men after that, but things took a turn for the worse when Scott was forced to merge with Apocalypse! This very important event has mostly been ignored ever since (sort of like how Cyclops forgot his marriage vows), although it still remains there in the background as an excuse any time someone questions a characterization point with Scott. “He wouldn’t do that!” “He was merged with Apocalypse, now he would!”
Once Scott got un-merged, he was right back with the X-Men. During this time, though, he began having an affair with ANOTHER telepath, Emma Frost. Things were really awkward, but just like how Scott got out of an awkward situation by sending his baby into the future, he got helped out of this situation by Jean Grey getting killed! Score!
So now Scott is together with Emma, and they lead the X-Men together.
Scott’s recent initiatives include putting all of the mutants in the world in San Francisco, then putting them all on an island. then forming a mutant murder squad to kill enemies of the X-Men. Recently, Scott successfully led the X-Men in the defense of the first new mutant born since M-Day. This mutant, Hope, has sparked the mutant gene again and Scott can feel pride that the X-Men have saved mutant kind as a whole. He also feels some itching from the various sexually transmitted diseases he’s picked up from his new love.
5. Nightcrawler – 621 points (8 first place votes)
Q: Who’s blue, lifeless and has a hand stuck in him?
A. A Grover puppet!
But seriously, yeah, Nightcrawler is way dead.
Before he died, though, Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner) was an interesting mutant. You see, he was one of the rare mutants where mopiness did not come second nature to him. Now, don’t get me wrong, he certainly had his mopey periods, but they often tended to be sort of out of nowhere stretches of time, almost as if they were invented problems that he didn’t really have (for instance, there was a stretch around Uncanny X-Men #200 where Kurt suddenly doubted his competence – it was like, dude, you’re on a team with Rogue and Colossus, your competence should be the last thing on your mind) and then he went back to normal.
And his normal self was a happy-go-lucky mutant who was cool with the fact that he looked like a demon. Now, it certainly helped that he was raised by circus folk who treated him like he was normal. It also helped that he was having sex with his foster sister. So he grew up with a ton of self-confidence that comes from being a famed circus performer (which always made the bouts of self-doubt fall flat to me). And that was a neat contrast to the depressing antics of “The love of my life is dead and that bitch Lee Forrester won’t wear a red wig for me in bed” and “All my family members die” and “Professor Xavier is a jerk.”
Nightcrawler’s powers were also fun – teleportation in a flash of brimstone is a neat visual (although before Dave Cockrum left the title he was starting to give Nightcrawler some odd powers – what the heck was up with “blending into shadows”?!? Where did that come from?).
Another interesting aspect of Nightcrawler’s personality was that he was one of the few religious heroes. Of course, this being comic books, where things tend to go from one extreme to another, Kurt couldn’t just be “religious,” he had to be a freakin’ PRIEST, which was ridiculous. Then again, if you think him being a priest was ridiculous, what do you say about a storyline where he would be manuevered into becoming the Pope of the Catholic Church, only to reveal that he was a mutant to…uhmm…I forget…cause the Rapture, maybe? Man, how crazy is it that that run of Uncanny X-Men is still canon. Can’t Mephisto get rid of the concept of Kurt being an ACTUAL demon?
After being injured in the Mutant Massacre, Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde were led to believe that the X-Men were dead. So they formed a new team in England called Excalibur. Now, you would THINK that such a team would only last as long as them learning that the X-Men were alive, but noooo….instead, they stuck around even when it was pretty clear that Excalibur was about as effective of a concept as the X-Terminators. Still, Kurt grew as a character during this period, as he became more of a lead character.
When he and Kitty returned to the X-Men (along with Colossus, who had joined Excalibur after his brief “Magneto’s pal, Colossus” period), though, Kurt slid pretty easily back into a background role. Really, besides the ridiculousness of the “bad guys trying to make Kurt the Pope” storyline, Kurt did not get many prominent plots over the next decade or so.
In keeping with Kurt’s weird ideas of what is and is not an appropriate romantic relationship, for awhile, he seemed to pursue Marvel Girl, who, well, you know, is a GIRL (hence the name) and also, in her reality, she grew up with him as “Uncle Kurt,” so that was alllll sorts of wrong. It made Colossus and Kitty Pryde’s relationship seem normal in comparison.
Kurt continued to be in the background for awhile (even when he was technically the leader of his squad of X-Men, he seemed to be in the background) before recently, when he sacrificed himself to save the life of the first new mutant born since M-Day. It was not as bad of a death as Banshee failing to prevent the Blackbird from crashing into a commercial plane, but materializing into the robot arm of the bad guy and not even really stopping the bad guy any more than momentarily is certainly up there.
Luckily, since Kurt is apparently half-demon (or whatever), you would think that he would have a better than normal chance of coming back from the dead, right?
4. Storm – 732 points (12 first place votes)
Storm is another X-character whose past was an open enough book that writers can still pretty much throw anything they want into her history and it will work well enough. “Didn’t we tell you about the time that Storm was a member of Power Pack?” “Didn’t you know that Storm and Gorgon were engaged to be wed?”
This is because we really don’t know that much about her past except what has been retconned in over the years, including some elaborate versions of her early relationships with Prince T’Challa of Wakanda.
Storm is the daughter of an American photo-journalist and a Kenyan princess (makes sense, right? Normal stuff, no?) who were killed during a bombing during the Suez Crisis when she was six years old. Yes, Storm is, in fact, 60 years old. That explains a lot about her appearance, doesn’t it? While she looks pretty iffy for someone in her late 20s/early 30s, she looks AWEsome for a lady in her 60s!
Storm became a master thief as a child before Professor Xavier saved her from her “master” (in one of many retcons about Storm’s past). She drifted until a small African tribe began worshiping her as a goddess (as Peter Venkman can attest – if someone asks you if you’re a goddess, you say YES). Professor Xavier showed up again, this time asking if Storm would be willing to give up being worshiped as a goddess and not having to wear any clothes in exchange for going on a rescue mission that already saw a bunch of mutants with much more training die on it. Surprisingly, she said yes (okay, he might have not told her about the mutants who died on the same mission he was recruiting her for – Xavier is a crafty negotiator like that).
Storm became a member of the All-New, All-Different X-Men, and she grew as a character until she took over as the leader of the team from Cyclops. She was in charge for about five minutes before she screwed everything up. Before long, the X-Men were living in Australia and Longshot was on the team. Not a strong start to Storm’s tenure as leader of the X-Men (not to mention her time as the leader of the Morlocks – like, RIGHT after she became their leader, the group was massacred).
After the X-Men split up and got back together, Storm was leader of one squad of X-Men, but you could tell that no one particularly trusted her.
During the mid-1990s, Storm met the love of her life, Cable. Nothing ever came to fruition in their relationship besides flirtation, but you could tell that he was much more important to her than that guy she was going to accept a marriage proposal from or that guy that she eventually married.
Storm has lost her powers in the past, and yet somehow, even without her powers she was more effective than Rogue or Colossus (this was during a period where Storm also had a mohawk – this was to make sure that the stories would not seem at all dated to modern readers).
More recently, a powerful telepath filled Storm with new memories of a long, extensive past with this kid she interacted with a littl bit decades ago, the King of Wakanda, the Black Panther. Storm married him and the two became members of the Fantastic Four for a spell.
Currently, the Black Panther has decided to move to New York without his wife (but they’re apparently still together – yeah, that sounds healthy) and she is back with the X-Men after some time away from the team. Only time will tell when/how the writers get her out of her marriage with the Black Panther.
3. Wolverine – 741 points (12 first place votes)
To put Wolverine’s success into perspective, let me use a Happy Days analogy again. Wolverine becoming the breakout character of the X-Men would be sort of like watching an early episode of Happy Days and saying, “Hey, that Ralph Malph character should get more screen time!”
That’s basically all Wolverine was at first – a background character who was a bit of a pain in the ass and a typical wise guy.
Then John Byrne came aboard the title and suddenly Wolverine got a whole lot more interesting (and stab-tacular).
One of the most interesting aspects of Wolverine is his mysterious past. Here is a great way of showing just how important Wolverine’s mysterious past is – Marvel had a plot point during a crossover a few years back called House of M where Wolverine suddenly remembered ALL of his past. So no more mysteries about his past. And then the next major Wolverine storyline involved…a mystery from his past that he somehow did NOT remember!! How hilariously ridiculous is that?
Here’s an interesting question – what’s more annoying? Wolverine being on lots of teams at the same time (Avengers, New Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men and X-Force) or people complaining about Wolverine being on lots of teams at the same time?
Wolverine has changed a lot since his early popular days – back then he was practically feral. Then we suddenly learned that he is, like, a samurai. Not exactly complimentary positions, right?
Ever since he became a member of the X-Men, Wolverine has basically been a mainstay of the title. He has become the life’s blood of the X-books, even when writers want to spotlight other characters, they almost HAVE to include Wolverine, as well, partially because, if you want to sell your comic, having Wolverine in it helps (pretty much whichever team he is a member of almost instantly becomes the “real” team, which is why they put him on pretty much every team) but also because he’s such a cool character.
Now that the whole “he remembers all of his past” stuff has been sort of ignored, we can go back to the days of every other issue revealing that Wolverine has a secret past with Character X or Character Y.
Oh, and before I forget – Wolverine has sharp metal claws that pop out of his hands. How cool is that?! We shouldn’t get so used to these characters that we fail to appreciate the coolness of a dude who has sharp metal claws that pop through his hands that he uses to stab people!!
2. Rogue – 858 points (20 first place votes)
There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Mr. Burns is told he has every disease known and unknown to man. The twist was that they are ALL trying to kill him at once, so they are all sort of stuck in the door together in what the doctors call the “Three Stooges Syndrome”. This would appear to be a good thing, but as they explain to him, no, it just means that ANY ONE of the diseases could kill him at ANY TIME, like if a stiff breeze came through the window.
That basically explains Rogue.
There are SO MANY things to make fun of her about that they almost all counter-act each other.
I mean, do you make fun of her intelligence (or lack thereof)?
Her history of incompetence?
Her silly accent?
Her annoying relationship with Gambit?
Her annoying relationship with Magneto?
Her annoying relationships period?
There’s just TOO much material to do it justice, so just imagine all of the Rogue jokes all piled together trying to squeeze past each other and getting stuck.
1. Jean Grey – 859 points (43 first place votes)
Yes, I decided to give Jean Grey the victory.
I know, I know, you perhaps should not support someone who needed a sixth-place vote to get a victory despite FORTY-THREE first place votes.
However, Jean Grey’s history is just so sad and fairly pathetic that I figured, hey, might as well give her SOMEthing to show for it all, right?
Let’s take a look…
Her powers manifest themselves when her best friend is killed in front of her, so she has to experience her best friend’s death while also, you know, realizing that she was literally experiencing her best friend’s death!!
She then joined a team with four guys lusting after her. Heck, her PROFESSOR was lusting after her!
She ended up falling in love with perhaps the saddest of a sad bunch of guys.
She sacrificed her life to save her boyfriend and her friends.
A cosmic entity took her place and became one of the most hated creatures in existence.
When the cosmic entity was feared dead for awhile, the love of her life (who she was willing to die for), started playing the field pretty quickly.
When the cosmic entity ACTUALLY died, the love of her life replaces her with a CLONE OF HER!
When it turns out that she ISN’T dead, the same guys who lusted after her as teenagers rush to her side to lust after her some more.
Her ex-boyfriend lies about the fact that he’s married with a kid now.
Despite now having the perfect opportunity to get away from this deadbeat, she decides to stand by him, even as she learns that he married an EVIL clone of her.
After she marries him, they spend their honeymoon raising the kid he had with the other woman for YEARS (although no time passes in their physical bodies).
Her husband gets a bomb implanted in his chest.
Her sister is murdered.
He then merges with one of the foulest villains in the universe.
When he is rescued, he then proceeds to CHEAT ON HER with one of her most hated enemies!!
While still dealing with this problem, she is murdered!!!
She is then resurrected by the cosmic force that passed itself off as her, only to be killed about six or seven MORE times!
While she is dead (but sure to eventually return), her ENTIRE family save her mother and a daughter from an alternate reality, is murdered. So she has nothing to even RETURN to upon her eventual resurrection.
That’s a whole lot of messed up stuff, right? A lot harder to deal with than not being able to have unprotected sex with a slimy Creole boyfriend, I’d say.
So Jean Grey for the win!