The Best of the Best. Forget all of the rest.
One of my fondest childhood memories was getting up on Saturday mornings, getting a big bowl of my favorite cereal Corn Pops and watching cartoons from 8am to 12pm. It was a time of wonder and escapism in my crazy adolescent life and my favorite cartoon out of them all X-Men. X-men hit in 1992 and I could tell that this show was different from the others right away, story driven plots, well developed characters and it was very mature. This show got me into comic books and made the X-Men my premiere super hero team. The X-Teams aren’t the best because they have the strongest or the smartest, they are the best because they fight as team. They train as a unit and strike as a unit. This is a list of my Top 10 favorite X-Men, if you don’t like it make your own Top 10.
10) Storm- Trained as a pick-pocket, worshipped as a goddess, admired as a queen, Ororo Munroe makes the list at number 10. Graceful and strong, Storm’s powers are weather manipulation, she can summon hurricanes, blizzards, and tsunamis at a very thought which makes her one of the most powerful mutants on the planet. As powerful as she is, her mutant power is only the surface. Storm comes from a powerful magical background as well although her mystic powers are undeveloped. Ororo is also a skilled hand to hand combatant, being trained by the likes of Professor Xavier, Wolverine and her ex-husband T’Challa, the Black Panther. My favorite Storm moment comes from Uncanny X-Men #201 were she beat Cyclops for leadership of the X-Men without her mutant powers. If that’s not hardcore enough for you I don’t know what is.
9) Gambit- In both the cartoon and comic, there was the funny talking man in the even funnier looking costume, that man was Remy LeBeau. Remy got my attention early on in X-Men because he was one of the more mysterious members of the team. He had the wicked cool New Orleans charm and that made him cool. Plus having Rogue as his on again of again girlfriend did hurt him either. Later on I got to understand the man and his power set in the comics. The Raging Cajun is just the guy who throws playing cards; he can manipulate kinetic energies that increase his overall physical abilities. Gambit is so bad that Apocalypse chose him to be the Horseman of Death along side Wolverine and Archangel. Master Thief, Horseman of Death, and ladies man, Gambit is like the James Bond of the X-Men and I love that. Favorite Gambit moment: in the episode “Night of the Sentinels Pt 1”, after saving Jubilee from the sentinels, she asks, “How did you do that?” He replied with a smile, “With style petite, with style.”
8) Forge- What can you say about Forge he is an Indian shaman with the mutant power to create anything technological he can think of. He is like a combination of Dr. Strange and Iron Man. Forge appealed to me because he was a thinker, a strategist, a futurist if you will. He is so good at what he does that he was approached by Nick Fury to join S.H.I.E.L.D, but he declined the offer. For someone to turn down Fury takes moxy. Forge is also a very capable solider and leader in his own right overseeing the government led X-Factor. He also has a deep-seated idea of responsibility for his actions, both good and bad. Currently, Forge is serving as tech support on Cable’s X-Force Team. I am looking forward to see what the future hold for him.
7) Cable – The Summers bloodline is one of the most feared in the Marvel U and Cable is a testament as to why that is. Born to Scott Summers and a clone of Jean Grey named Madelyn Pryor, Cable was sent to live in the dystopian future wielding untold physic powers. He is probably the baddest X-Man to live. He has trained in multiple styles of combat and is a student of war from his many time traveling escapades. He is an Omega class mutant with untold Telekinetic and Telepathic powers. He has fought wars and lived hundreds of years. He is also the adopted father of one Hope Summers, the mutant messiah, who brought back mutant kind from extinction. Cable is always willing to do what it takes to win and will do it his way, like it or not. He is currently running his own X-Force team, kicking teeth in and taking no prisoners. Favorite Cable Moment: In the episode “Time Fugitives Pt 2”, Cable prevents Bishop from saving Wolverine from a laser blast from Apocalypse. Wolverine is shot into a container of the Legacy Virus and gets infected, however due to his extremely fast healing ability, he was cured of the virus instantly.
6) Colossus – In the X-men, Colossus is the gentle giant, the optimist, and also the physically strongest. The Russian born X-man has super human strength and durability, but it’s not his powers that I like the most about him (being a nearly indestructible metal man would be fun). I like that he would rather not use his powers and the great sacrifices he makes for the team. This is the man who injected himself with the mutant death plague, the Legacy Virus in order to help make an airborne cure at the cost of his own life. Even after his death and resurrection, Colossus still makes ridiculous sacrifices for his friends including taking on the power of the Cyttorak and becoming the Juggernaut. As gentle as he is, enemies will do good to remember that he is also a man made of rage. My Favorite Colossus moment: found inside Astonishing X-Men, Ord had just finished the typical evil doer speech. He finally realized Colossus was behind Ord. Ord asks him, “ Do you think because you are made of steel –that you can stand against me?” Pitor replies, “I am not made of steel. Rage. I am made of RAGE!”
5) Shadowcat- Sprite, Ariel, Shadowcat, no matter what name Kitty Pride is using, she holds a special place in my heart. She was never the strongest or the most powerful X-man, but I’ve always just loved her. She is strong, fierce, compassionate and has an alien fire breathing dragon. With the ability to change her density to phase between solid objects, Shadowcat was always seen as a support X-Man and that is not the case. She is a gifted hacker. She is one of Wolverine’s kid sister characters used to humanize the beast. Besides all of that, she told Professor Xavier that he was a jerk, how awesome is that? Favorite Kitty Pride Moment: Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #26, Kitty Pride is trapped in a giant metal bullet hurtling towards Earth. Inside the projectile with no hope of escape, Kitty Pride sacrifices herself and phases the bullet through the planet. This causes her to endlessly cruise through space.
4) Rogue – Anna Marie was my first fan-boy crush. She was sexy, mysterious, and the accent was to die for. Even when I was young, I was drawn to her character. Not being able to touch loved ones or to have physical contact because that could result in you could killing them is something I couldn’t live with. That’s how strong she is, she endured that trauma everyday. Even with the threat of her uncontrollable powers, she continued to draw the affections of Gambit and even Magneto. Now Rogue has been given a new lease on life as she now controls her powers, is single, and working as a senior staff member at the Jean grey School of Higher Learning. When she isn’t teaching, she is running with the Uncanny Avengers. Favorite Rogue Moment: During the Second Coming event, Rogue was given the task to protect Nightcrawler (her half-brother) and Hope (mutant messiah) from Bastion (evil robot). She absorbed the powers of Wolverine, Colossus, Angel, and Psylocke to combat Bastion in a last ditch effort.
3) Nightcrawler – What is not to love about Nightcrawler? He is funny, intelligent, handy with a blade, and a priest. Oh, he can teleport to just about anywhere he can see. Kurt Wagner was the beating heart of the X-men. He helped ground them. He was the voice of reason for the team. Boy, do the X-Men need some of that right now. Kurt stood up for what he believed was right and he was the X-man who stood up to Cyclops about his mutant kill squad X-Force. Kurt even threatened to quit. One of my favorite things about him is that in the world of aliens, monsters, and gods, he kept his Catholic faith strong. Favorite Nightcrawler Moment: In the Second Coming event, upon taking a mortally wounding blow to the chest by the mutant hunting machine Bastion, Kurt grabs Hope (with Bastion’s arm still inside Kurt’s torso) and prays, “Ht…ht..o…o Luh-Lord in this…this time of need strengthen… me…” and then teleports both he and Hope from Las Vegas to the shore of Utopia.
2) Wolverine – The most popular X-man today. The feral mutant known as Logan is a hardcore as they come. From fighting Hulk to Headmaster of the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning, Wolverine has done it all. There are a number of things that draw to me to Logan, his sense of honor as a samurai, the constant struggle with the beast within him, but what I love most is his honesty. Wolverine does not beat around the bush, he gives it straight forward all the time. These days, Logan is overused as he is in nearly every Marvel comic every month and for me that’s okay. He is the best there is at what he does and what he does isn’t very nice…he is the Wolverine. Favorite Wolverine Moment: all of Wolverine #16. The entire issue.
1) Cyclops- Scott Summers is my favorite X-Man, but he wasn’t always my favorite. That spot used to be reserved for Wolverine. You see, in 90’s cartoon show, Scott was portrayed as the boy scout and the goody good. It was too cookie cutter for me. It was in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s run on Astonishing X-Men that him my favorite. The “astonishing” Scott was calm, cool, calculating, and (most of all) he was leading. There was no Professor X to save him or guide him. He had to remember what he learned and apply it on his own. With the Decimation that followed the House of M, Cyclops was the de facto leader of the mutant race and he had to step up and lead on a global scale. Yes, there were some hiccups on the way. Mostly the whole AvX situation which included killing Xavier, but he only did what he did to achieve the dream and was doing so until the Avengers stepped in. Currently on the run in Uncanny X-Men, Scott is doing what he does best: leading and protecting his people. Favorite Cyclops moment: in Avengers vs. X-Men #1, Captain America and Cyclops are standing off on Utopia’s beach as the Helicarrier looms over head with the Avengers as the invading army, Cap tells Cyke that he wants Hope in protective custody due to the Phoenix. Scott tells him to leave, Cap replies, “You do understand that I wasn’t asking.” To which Scott replies, “I understood that completely.” Cyclops then proceeds to Optic Blast Cap.
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