I’ve been sitting on this info for a while, but back in October, Marvel released the results of their “official” list of the top 50 X-Men of all time. Their “panel of experts” made some interesting choices for the best-of list.
The list seems a bit focused on getting the superfans excited, which makes sense. I don’t know that casual comic fans can even name 25 X-Men, let alone 50. So, I’ll briefly touch on Marvel’s rankings of 41-50 before giving you my own, “Official Top-10 X-Men of All Time (for casual readers).
Marvel’s Official Top 50 X-Men (#41-50)
#50 Sabretooth – Nope. Not an X-Man. I asked Hugh Jackman.
#49 – Joseph – Did he have an amazing technicolor dreamcoat?
#48 – Husk – I think they misspelled “Hulk”.
#47 – Armor – OK. I’m good with Armor. I think I saw her in Joss Wheedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men.
#46 – Darwin – Is this a historical crossover where the X-Men try and find the father of the theory of evolution?
#45 – Marrow – Who now?
#44 – Pixie – Come again?
#43 – Sage – Apparently appeared in a title called “X-Treme X-Men” published in 2001. Probably drank a lot of Mountain Dew, too. For shame…
#42 – Mimic – “The first non-mutant X-Man” according to Marvel. Non-mutant? Disqualified.
#41 – Juggernaut – Not a mutant and ALSO a villain? They must’ve been scraping when they tried for a list of 50.
Now that the foolishness of Marvel’s rankings are behind us, let’s move on to the foolishness of my rankings.
Casual Comic Guy’s Top 10 X-Men of All Time – Now, and Always
#10 – Wolverine (Marvel Rank = 5)
This is more from obligation than anything else. I think you get your comics card revoked if you don’t include Wolverine in the list of top 10 X-men. You can argue, but you will not be successful. The little hairy mutant did a lot to popularize comics back in the 80s.
#9 – Colossus (Marvel Rank = 8)
While we’re talking about Logan, we’ll slot his “Fastball Special” partner right here. Nine sounds about right for the muscular Ruskie. Da, Tovarisch?
#8 – Iceman (Marvel Rank = 12)
Being one of the original X-Men gives him the bonus points needed to bump him above Wolverine and Colossus on my list. Looking like a snowman with boots in his first appearance makes sure he freezes up at eight.
I’m surprised Marvel left two original team members out of the top 10. I only left out one of them, and only because having weird bird wings does not make you interesting (I’m looking at you, Angel).
#7 – Nightcrawler (Marvel Rank = 2)
A great character design and cool back story allows Nightcrawler to BAMF his way to seven on the list. Plus, he’s an excellent swordsman who gets bonus points for a sweet 80s miniseries all his own.
#6 – Kitty Pryde (Marvel Rank = 1)
I don’t know many comic fans who didn’t have a crush on Kitty in the 80s. It makes me think that Marvel’s panel was all men ages 35-50.
Singer’s X-Men made a terrible mistake trying to make Rogue the romantic lead instead of Kitty. Double bonus points for having a pet dragon and for holding her own in a co-starring role with Logan in the “Wolverine and Kitty Pryde” 80s mini-series. Loses half a point for changing to a terrible, terrible hairstyle in that series.
#5 – Cyclops (Marvel Rank = 5)
Charles Xavier’s second-in-command for the largest portion of my memory, Scott Summers is also the Kevin Bacon of Marvel mutants. I haven’t checked online for a “how are they related” chart, but I’m sure one exists. And, I’m sure if you check, Scott is related (father, brother, cousin, in-law) to at least a third of the mutants in the Marvel U.
Five seems like the right spot for a character who is so tied in to the mythology of Marvel mutants, yet is simultaneously so bland. He’s the “Archie” of the Marvel Universe – a competent guy with two chicks who are both WAY out of his league (Emma Frost, Jean Grey) fighting over his affection.
#4 – Firestar (Marvel Rank = Not Ranked)
I was SHOCKED that she didn’t make the top 50. Especially when some fool named “Joseph” was on the list.
Firestar may not have had the most memorable run as a member of the X-Men, but she gets a bonus point for a Marvel mini-series in the 80s and triple points for being one of Spider-man’s Amazing Friends. Did Husk (whoever she is) have either of those?
And I love her costume redesign for Ultimate Alliance 2.
#3 – Beast (Marvel Rank = 3)
Brains, agility, and pretty durn strong. Beast put together the whole package with wry wit and a furry blue coat. Extra points for being an original member of the team.
#2 – Jean Grey (Marvel Rank = 9)
Points for being an original member of the team, plus she’s woven into the basic mythos of the entire Marvel U with the Phoenix Force. She misses out on the top spot, losing points for actually being part of the Scott Summers love quadrangle (once you throw in Logan).
#1 – Storm (Marvel Rank = 4)
The baddest of the bad and coolest of the cool, Storm tops my list of best X-Men of all time. She’s number one because she rocked a sweet mohawk in the 80s and she beat Cyclops in a one-on-one battle for team leadership while she had lost her powers. That’s right – even with no powers, she kicked Scott’s sorry mutant backside.
Agree? Disagree? That’s what the comments section is for.
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