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’ll look at all of those times that the X-Men are, for whatever reason, indisposed and a ragtag team of temporary and unofficial X-Men must come together and save the day.
The Astonishing X-Men
Oh man, this was not a good storyline. So the idea is that the X-Men temporarily break up for whatever reason but then the Mannites need help and a ragtag team of X-Men form to save the Mannites. Here’s one thing that I can promise you, you do not want to know who the Mannites were. There is a good reason that you don’t know who the Mannites are. No one cares about the Mannites because they were a horrible short-lived plot device. This whole mini-series just existed so that Wolverine could be “killed,” leading into the Twelve storyline.
Eve of Destruction Team
Scott Lobdell clearly loves ragtag teams and I am right there with him. This team, made up of Jean Grey, Dazzler, Northstar and three brand-new mutants was interesting but there just wasn’t enough time to establish them well enough. The best we got was that one of the new mutants was homophobic but Northstar showed him how that was silly to be.
5. Phalanx Covenant Team
The X-Men were captured by the Phalanx, all except Banshee who was away on vacation. When he returned, he discovered that the X-Men had been replaced by Phalanx duplicates of the X-Men. The Phalanx were trying to find new mutants. So Banshee freed two prisoners of the X-Men at the time, Emma Frost and Sabretooth, and the three of them went to save these newly discovered mutants from the Phalanx (while the other X-Teams were given the task of rescuing the captured X-Men). Banshee and Emma Frost made a good team. This led into their time running Generation X together (the aforementioned newly discovered mutants).
4. Planet X Team
Magneto has taken out Xavier’s School and taken control of New York City. Cyclops must put together a mish-mash group of Xavier students to stand up against Magneto. This is a great example of how the heroic ideal can inspire some surprising courage in young people.
3. New Mutants Graduate Team
The X-Men are turned into X-Babies and the New Mutants must temporarily “graduate” and save their friends. Art Adams artwork, people! Awesome stuff.
2. Iceman and His Amazing Friends
What did I tell you about Scott Lobdell? The dude loves ragtag teams. In this storyline, the government is tricked by Bastion into capturing the X-Men. They’re about to go collect other mutants, as well, but Iceman (who was on leave from the team at the time) is tasked to protect a mutant from Bastion’s crew. The new mutant is Cecilia Reyes, a doctor who wants no part of the mutant world. She and Iceman go on the run from Bastion’s forces. They soon team-up with the Morlock known as Marrow and the Israeli superhero Sabra to take on Bastion head on. Sadly, this story sort of cut-off due to editorial stuff, but man, for awhile there this was great. One of Iceman’s best stories ever.
1. Muir Isle X-Men
A total classic. The Reavers are preparing an all-out assault on Muir Isle during a time when the X-Men were scattered to all ends of the Earth. Banshee and Forge must piece together a team of X-Men from the various mutants on the island like Amanda Sefton, Siryn, Legion and Madrox. They get help from an unlikely source – Freedom Force (formerly known as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants). What a great story this was. Claremont and Silvestri at the top of their game. I still find it hard to believe the above cover is by Jim Lee, though.