Right before the end of 2009, I asked you - our faithful X-POSITION readers - to send me your favorite moments of the year gone by from the various X-books. Once I made the request though, I must confess that I wasn't prepared for such an onslaught of email!
Thank you all for sending in your thoughts, lists, and images. Originally, I had conceived this celebration as a "top ten" kind of event, but there were so many moments sent in and you all displayed such passion...well, I'm just going to list as many as space will allow. And here they are, listed by popularity (according to my own rough estimation skills). I did save one special moment for last though, so be sure to read to the end...
PSYLOCKE'S RETURN AND REVENGE
It was close, but between Psylocke's return and her ensuing revenge against Mastu'o, the lady with the thong-kini appeared on more folks' lists than any other event in 2009. For those who missed the fun, our favorite psi-ninja came back on the scene in "Uncanny X-Men" #508-511 and is now pursuing revenge and other opportunities in the current "Psylocke" miniseries.
Psylocke finally returned to the X-Men after being dead. And I'm so happy Chris Yost writes such an awesome "Psylocke." It was about time she had her revenge against Matsu'o.
Who cares about Jean Grey? The one true telepath with the power (and huevos) to stand up to Emma has returned! Long live the thong!
THE FORMATION OF THE DARK X-MEN AND UTOPIA
I realize these are two separate moments, but as with many X-events, they crossed over, mixed together, and exploded into something extremely entertaining. Here are your thoughts on the matter...
I think "Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia" was one of the most pivotal moments for the X-books in 2009. The Dark Avengers clashed with the best of the X-Men in what turned out to be a fantastic crossover!
And the Dark X-Men forming? While the formation of a Dark X-Men team was forseeable (what with the Dark Avengers), I think the roster came as a big surprise for X-fans - especially one that included Mimic and Cloak & Dagger.
Plus, we finally witnessed Emma Frost betray the X-Men. Many have been awaiting the day that Emma would turn against Scott and join the "dark side." It was only during "Utopia" though that fans get what they have been wanting. Frost decided to turn against the X-Men and join Osborn's X-Men, who later go head-to-head with Frost's former companions.
Emma Frost and Scott Summers finally opening up and talking about all their secrets in "X-men: The Confession" was a big moment for me.
-- Michael Hall
When Emma and Namor betrayed the Dark X-Men and the moment when the X-Men decided to inhabit the old Asteroid M were both very cool - and lead to a very big shift for both Dark Reign and the X-Universe as a whole.
-- Al Gonzalez
THE RETURN OF NATE GREY - X-MAN
Everyone who wrote in was short on words with this one, but the return of Nate Grey in "Dark X-Men" certainly made many a list in my In Box. Unfortunately, the character has returned to a very changed X-Universe, and it probably doesn't help matters to have Mystique running around disguised as his mom. Speaking of...
JEAN GREY APPEARS
My favorite X-moment of 2009 is when Jean appeared from the WHR and helped release Emma from lockdown in "Uncanny X-Men" #510, leaving her with a message: "Well then, little spirit, prepare."
And while we didn't see Jean full-blown in "Uncanny X-Men" #511, she made another appearance (of a sort) that a couple of you mentioned.
I enjoyed seeing Jean Grey's hair lead the Red Queen to the wrong corpse, thus killing her.
ROGUE GAINS CONTROL OF HER POWERS...AND WEARS BOOTS!
Rogue finally obtained control of her powers ("X-Men: Legacy" #224). This was easily the top moment for me. It was a huge shift for the character and opens up a world of possibilities for one of my favorite X-characters. I remember my mouth hanging open when I read it.
-- Al Gonzalez
Rogue can control her powers. Finally, someone did it.
Rogue gaining control over her mutant abilities seemed to be a highlight for many. Two of you also mentioned the beatdown she gave Ares, but the one recurring nomination that really surprised me? I received a bunch of emails stating that "Rogue's cowboy boots" was the one of the top moments of the year. Expect that to become part of the X-Men uniform later in 2010.
THE NEW MUTANTS ARE BACK - TERRIFIC MOMENTS ENSUE!
Now that they're officially a team with their own book once more, the New Mutants got lots of email in our little informal poll as well. From "X-Infernus" (which led into their ongoing) to the recent resurrection of Cypher, fans seem glad that the old band is back together!
"X-Infernus" brought us the return of an epic character, Magik (albeit in the Darkchild form). I enjoyed seeing her battle the X-Men and Pixie briefly before allying herself with them to reclaim her magical realm Limbo.
And now? The original New Mutants are back and they have already encountered Legion and their former teammate Cypher. A lot has changed for these characters since they first met at the Xavier institute as students. Moonstar has lost her abilities and has to constantly prove she's as capable of taking care of herself as anyone else. Favorite moment: Every. Single. Panel.
Dire Magik fans were likely to have been ecstatic at the return of this mutant, and in her own miniseries ("X-Infernus") no less! And then from her return, writers clearly planned the reformation of the New Mutants - and I couldn't be happier. The core members of the team returned, while the other members soon followed in the "Necrosha" story arc. Wells and Neves made the series as exciting and action-packed as ever!
X-FACTOR - THE YEAR OF OMG MOMENTS
"X-Factor" had a ton of amazing occurrences during the year...so much so, that I think folks weren't sure which moment to pick. So let's just start off with the first event - the unexpected one - that caught all of fandom by surprise: Madrox absorbs his and Siryn's baby.
I thought the Madrox/Siryn baby moment was a real turning around point for Peter David's "X-Factor." The series itself just becomes much more interesting at this point...-- Samuel Llewellyn
I will admit - I do not read "X-Factor." However, I was told about the absorption of the baby and I was amazed. That is quite a heavy story to tell and a tough toll for the would-be parents. It is something I vividly remember from this past year.
-- Al Gonzalez
When you can get someone to pick an event from your book as a "top moment" and they haven't even read it - well, that says something extraordinary about that moment. So how could Peter David top that? Simple...with a kiss.
Shatterstar and Rictor's seXy kiss was a top moment for me. There were rumors, but I really never saw that one coming. With a book like "X-Factor" - not to mention a team with characters such as Madrox, Darwin, Siryn, Strong Guy, Layla and M - there is never a dull moment.
For me, it was definitely the Rictor-Shatterstar kiss. I remember reading "X-Factor" and loving the stories, but always wondering: when are they going to talk about "it?" And then when it is brought up, no talking is necessary - just one sweet panel said everything
-- Hope Nicholson
Then, as if Peter David didn't give fans enough bang for their buck this year with those two huge moments, the writer finally got around to answering a huge question that's been looming in the background of the series: how does Layla know so much stuff?
We finally got to learn how Layla knows stuff, and the reveal was SO awesome! It just goes to show how well PAD's planned his series from the start. I'm excited (and a bit scared) to see what he reveals next...
X-FORCE SAVES BOOM BOOM...TWICE!
Boom Boom got lots of email for her appearance in "X-Force" this past year, but it's sort of a good news/bad news deal. The good news is fans thought her appearance was terrific and added a lot to the book. The bad news (for Boom Boom at least) is that those fans preferred seeing her as a damsel in distress as opposed to a kick-ass soldier.
My "best of" list includes X-23 time traveling back to the present to save Boom Boom and killing off the Leper Queen in "X-Force" #17. The teams of Kyle/Yost and Choi/Oback are awesome here.
One of my favorite moments was when Warpath saved Boomer from being violated by Osborn's HAMMER soldiers in "X-Force" #18. I loved this moment for two reasons: 1) it filled me with a sense of dread followed by relief when Warpath saved her, and 2) it was illustrated beautifully by Mike Choi.
"X-Force" is THE book to read. It's the new "Astonishing X-Men." Picking a favorite moment from this series is particularly difficult, especially when you consider X-23's personal traumas and a villain like Selene, who brings back deceased mutants to form her own personal army. Favorite moment? As I said with "New Mutants" - Every. Single. Panel.
OLD MAN LOGAN KILLS THE PRESIDENT AND TAKES DOWN THE HULK
This was another case where two moments in one series ("Old Man Logan") were mentioned by many folks. Instead of picking just one though, I'm naming both. Here, have your X-cake and eat it too!
This was something that had been building for a long time in "Old Man Logan" - readers wanted to know who the President was. And then, once they found out it was the Red Skull, they wanted to see some justice done for all of the fallen heroes (especially the X-men, whom Wolverine was tricked into slaughtering). Justice, and poetic justice at that, came when Logan chopped the Skull's head off with Captain America's shield. A nice touch there by Millar, and McNiven drew it perfectly.
And speaking of payoffs, Logan taking down the Hulk Gang was the big payoff to end all payoffs in 2009. You knew it was going to happen from the moment you met them, but when the Hulk Gang killed Logan's family, anyone with even half a heart felt his pain. And when he pops his claws at the end of issue #72, you just know you are in for vengeance of biblical proportions. And that's exactly what Millar and McNiven delivered in the Giant-Sized finale to "Old Man Logan" - brutal and unapologetic payback, which was just what the doctor ordered by this point in the story. In my opinion, this was THE most exciting X-moment of 2009 hands down!
THE LOGAN AND KURT ROADTRIP
While readers really enjoyed watching Wolverine slash his way through villains, there were a great many fans who simply liked watching him have a beer with a friend. I received several emails regarding this event, and in the process, I learned that "trucking" is the new lingo for roadtrip. Yes, I'm getting old...
The Logan/Kurt roadtrip in "Nation" X #1 was outstanding, the double-spread montage in particular. After a year of drama and precious little character interaction, this simple, light-hearted story with its down-to-earth charm reconnected us to the humanity of these characters. You need a little downtime sometimes to offset the big battles.
NECROSHA - DEAD MUTANTS RETURN
This event is still in its early stages (so I have a feeling more great moments are coming), but for now, quite a few readers were exited to see some of their favorite deceased mutants wake from dirt naps.
"X-Necrosha" - with all the dead mutants coming back to life like Blink, Cypher, Destiny and the Hellions - was amazing. This story may be as grand and timeless as the "Age of Apocalypse" if it continues down this road. Selene has always been a very diabolical and intriguing creature...er, I mean witch, or whatever she's going by these days...
THE DEATH OF LILANDRA
And what the X-office doth give, they take away as well. Truth be told, this occurred in a non-X-book ("War of Kings" #4) under the watch of writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, but enough of you mentioned this moment that I thought I'd include it. The woman was Charles Xavier's lover, and she died fighting alongside Havok, Polaris, and Rachel Grey - that makes her "X" enough for me. Rest in peace, Lilandra.
AND IN CONCLUSION...THE BRICK!
Apparently, there is a villain capable of stopping the X-Men: The Brick! A large number of you mentioned "The Brick" in emails, and I learned quite a bit about this nasty bit of work. His name has popped up in various threads on the CBR forums, he's popped up throughout X-Men's history in various attempts on X-members such as Kitty Pryde...
...and this year, he tried to take out Cyclops!
Does The Brick know no bounds? Will his mysterious, yet nefarious, plans succeed in 2010? Only time will tell. I will say, however, that I do agree with the fan who said he needs a new costume. Maybe Alex Ross is available for some design work?
And that closes out X-POSITION's first "Top X-Moments" list. There were many other intriguing events sent in by you (The return of Meggan! Deadpool in a meat outfit! Pixie on a moped!), but we had to draw the line somewhere. We will do this again, though, as I had a blast reading all your responses! Plus, with "Necrosha" concluding and "X-Men: Second Coming" kicking off this spring, lots of great times are coming our way in 2010. Just keep reading, and X-POSITION will be here every week to give you direct access to those writers creating those exciting X-moments. See you soon!