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Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five Most Heroic X-Men Deaths

by  in Comic News Comment
Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five Most Heroic X-Men Deaths

All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!

In this installment, , we take a look at the top five most heroic X-Men deaths…


NOTE: The Siege Perilous does not kill you. In Uncanny X-Men #229, it was used specifically as an ALTERNATIVE to death. Uncanny X-Men #247 then opens with a reminder about the Siege Perilous’ properties, so when Rogue plunges into it with the Master Mold at the end of the issue, there isn’t any reason for her to think that it will kill her. In fact, the Siege Perilous was her only shot of LIVING, as the Master Mold had her wrapped up and was in the process of killing her. So I don’t think it qualifies for this list. It’s a great moment, though!


In Uncanny X-Men #390 by Scott Lobdell, Salvador Larroca and a bunch of inkers, Beast discovers a cure for the mutant-killing Legacy Virus (which had taken the life of Colossus’ younger sister), but also learns that for the cure to work, some mutant would have to use their mutant power and activate the cure. The downside is that in doing so, the mutant in question would die. Naturally, Beast puts the cure aside for the time being. Colossus, though, has other plans…

When Dr. Reyes recovers, she tries to save him…

While heroic, there are a couple of things that make me a bit wary of overpraising Colossus’ actions here.

1. Beast clearly says that he’s going to keep working on it. It’s not like he was just going to give up. He made such great strides, who is to say that he wouldn’t have solved the problem soon?

2. Colossus had seemingly been going through a bit of a bout of depression, so this almost seems like a fulfillment of a death wish.

But it WAS a nicely presented moment by Lobdell.

While you could ARGUE that Colossus’ death was not really a noble one, Thunderbird’s death in X-Men #95 (by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Sam Grainger and Len Wein) definitely wasn’t noble. That really was just a dude with a death wish…

When the other hero you’re with specifically explains to you that he could stop the bad guy if you would just get off of the plane and you decide you’d rather kill yourself and the bad guy, that’s not noble. It’s a good scene and I have no problem with it happening (to show that these All-New, All-Different X-Men were different from most teams – they could really be killed off), but it wasn’t a heroic death.

In X-Force #26, Nightcrawler and Rogue were trying to protect Hope from the evil Bastion when Bastion showed up and cornered the trio. He blasted Kurt and hurt him a lot…

Then, after Bastion also dealt with Rogue and was about to kill Hope, Kurt decided to sacrifice himself for Hope…

It’s a fine scene by Craig Kyle, Chris Yost and Mike Choi, but I don’t think better than the top five that follows…

5. Cyclops Merges With Apocalypse

In X-Men #97 by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Terry Kavanagh, a dying Apocalypse is about to succeed in taking control of X-Man’s body. The X-Men show up to stop him…

Cyclops effectively sacrifices himself, then, to save X-Man…

It is #5 because you could argue Cyclops didn’t know for SURE that he’d die. But he had to know it was a very strong possibility.

4. Professor Xavier Saves Magneto’s Life

In X-Men #41, Charles Xavier’s mentally unbalanced (but very powerful) son Legion has gone back in time to help his father out by killing Magneto before “Magneto” even existed, back when he was just Charles Xavier’s pal, Erik. A group of X-Men are sent back in time to stop him.

He attacks Magneto and explains his plan…

And after repelling an attempt by the X-Men to stop him, he gets down to business…

I think Nicieza really nailed the nobility of Xavier’s sacrifice.

The art was by Andy Kubert and Matt Ryan (Kubert doing just layouts, which is why the pages look a bit different).

3. The X-Men Save the World at the Cost of Their Lives

In Uncanny X-Men #227 by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Dan Green, the Adversary seemingly cannot be stopped, except for a special magic spell, with quite a high cost…

Not that I don’t think that Maddie Pryor was a more appropriate choice for the ninth sacrifice than Neal Conan, it is kind of funny that it is just a foregone conclusion that Conan should be spared and Pryor shouldn’t.

2. Jean Grey Saves Her Teammates

In X-Men #100 by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, Jean Grey saves all of her teammates with a noble sacrifice…

How awesomely executed were those sound effects? WOW!

1. The Phoenix Sacrifices Herself/Itself

In X-Men #137 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin, “Jean Grey” sacrifices herself to prevent herself from turning back into Dark Phoenix…

If you follow the retcon that she is NOT Jean Grey here, the sacrifice seems even more noble, as Jean Grey’s personality is so noble that a cosmic being who was just PRETENDING to be her still sacrificed herself for the better good. For a human to do that is impressive, for a cosmic being to do that because they’ve been imprinted with a human soul is even more impressive.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let us know!

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