When I was into comics, there were a few superhero comics I loved. One that I followed religiously was X-men. I loved the concept. These were heroes who were not respected for their powers, they were feared. They were cast out. As a kid who was in special needs classes, I could identify with that. True, my family loved me, but my peers often didn’t understand me.
With the new X-men movie Days of Future Past coming in May, I thought it would be a great idea to count down my top 10 favorite X-men.
10. Beast–I always gravitated to the smart characters, and Beast is a very intelligent character. I find it interesting that at one point, he tried to reverse his mutation, thus creating the blue-haired, furry scientist we know today. (originally, he only had oversized hands and feet) Besides, it’s funny when he hangs upside down and reads.
9. Jubilee–For many years, X-men had characters that were meant to be audience surrogates, and Jubilee is one of them. Sure, her power set may seem lame, but she still serves the purpose of audience surrogate by showing us what it would be like to be the youngest member of the team, a role that was previously served by Shadowcat. Jubilee was a lot of fun.
8. Gambit–Gambit is the, er, wild card of the group. Maybe I like him because we’re both from Louisiana. Or maybe it’s because he’s one of the dirtiest fighters on the team. My only beef is that I wish he’d pick a side already.
7. Iceman–one of the original founders of the team, Iceman was basically the Guy Gardner of the team. The jerk who makes you wonder why everyone puts up with him. To be honest, I was introduced to Iceman through the Spider-man and His Amazing Friends cartoon in the 80’s.
6. Phoenix–Phoenix is a true powerhouse in the psychic department, nearly turning evil when she couldn’t control her powers during the “Dark Phoenix” storyline (which was not represented well when it became the third X-men movie. Just saying). Yeah, her story is a tad convoluted, but I like her just the same. Besides, I’d love to have telepathy and telekinesis.
5. Storm–The thing I love the most about the X-men is their family dynamic. Storm is pretty much the team mom. And the fact that she has weather powers makes her motherly personality perfect sense.
4. Cyclops–the main hero of the team, next to Professor X. I love his take charge attitude. He is a true leader and a student of the Professor in every respect.
3. Shadowcat–In the 80’s, Shadowcat was the audience surrogate. She partnered with Wolverine, who took her under his wing and turned her into a legitimate fighter who used her powers to great effect.
2. Rogue–I always felt sorry for her. She couldn’t touch anyone and she was probably the most emotional member of the team. I loved her arc from villainess to heroine and she got lots of great development, especially under the comic’s best writer, Chris Claremont (Fabian Nicieza is a close second).
1. Nightcrawler–Aw yeah, love the fuzzy elf! He can teleport, is a good with a sword, and he’s witty. Plus, we’re both Catholic, a fact that is not mocked by the writers, but played very respectfully. Always a plus when the writers treat a religion with respect.
I can’t wait for the Days of Future Past movie, even if it’s not a completely accurate translation (Sorry, but Shadowcat doesn’t have time travel powers. Her consciousness travelled through time, not her body.). They will always be my favorite team.