This year marks the 50th anniversaries of the X-Men and The Avengers. So to commemorate my love for the X-Men, I thought it’d be fun to count down my top ten X-Men of all time. I really don’t care who is dead currently, or who are evil, or who is on a new team. This is my top ten X-Men and the characters that keep me coming back to this intelligent and wonderful franchise throughout the late eighties and the nineties.
Who are some of your favorites?
Even as a goofy henchman with nothing to say, a bad ass leather jacket wearing thug, or a slimy teen in “X-Men Evolution,” I always kind of had a soft spot for the Toad. He has a wicked cool slew of powers, and though he is very similar to an actual toad, he is an interesting character that is often under used.
I love Iceman, whether the rebellious youngster of the original X-Men, or the wide eyed lovelorn youngster in the movies. Bobby Drake has a cool power that’s often been re-invented or modernized, and he’s kind of like the Human Torch, except an ice element. In the original comics, he can be seen dressing as a snow man, and often dons blue trunks. Later, Ice Man got so much more bad ass, and I enjoy the character, even when he’s goofy.
Colossus is a behemoth of a character whose intentions to save his sister make him a noble and incredible hero. Obviously stemmed from the Terminator, he’s a large Russian man who can transform his body in to steel making him the ultimate moving tank. He’s a constant source of bad assery, and he’s particularly cool in “X-Men Evolution” as a crony for hire who earns his way in to the X-Men.
Pyro is a great character, and yet another of the X-Men villains that always felt under used and not quite implemented well enough. He’s always had minor appearances here and there, but is really great in his eventual introduction in “X-Men Evolution” as a pyromaniacal mutant, and then a disgruntled delinquent in the “X-Men” movies constantly confused on what side of the war he’s fighting.
The Juggernaur is a frustrating villain. Because not only is he a large and angry individual, but thanks to magical powers, he’s an unstoppable force of nature who can only be put down from the professor’s mental powers. In the comics and animated adaptations he simply can not be stopped by any known force, and beats just about everyone in sight. One of the better uses of his character was in “X-Men Evolution” as a silent psychotic force of chaos who keeps the young X-Men on their toes.
Mystique is true to her name. She’s an alluring, seductive, but double crossing mutant femme fatale who can transform in to literally anyone she pleases, and uses her true form as a means of expressing her mutant pride. She’s the constant snake in the grass who always makes life hard for the X-Men and Professor X, and you can’t help but love her for it.
As has been said, the best villains don’t consider themselves villains, and Magneto is a freedom fighter for the mutant movement. He is tired of being considered a freak, and is desperate to show humans that the mutants are the higher species destined to dominate the world. A constant source of moral grays with immense power and a unique uniform, Magneto is a charismatic character you often root for, even at his most devious.
3. Kitty Pryde
I used to really think Kitty Pryde was lame. But years later, I not only grew to enjoy what the character had to offer the X-Men, but the usefulness of her powers. Beyond Nightcrawler’s teleportation, I’d much rather have Pryde’s powers to walk through any solid objects. Pryde often uses that ability as a means of escaping attacks, running past enemies, and in some instances traps villains legs in to solid objects with nowhere to go. She was entertaining in the comics, and even more so in the “X-Men” movies.
Cyclops aka Scott Summers is very poorly realized in the “X-Men” movies. Where as he was one of the founding members of the team forced in to leading with a strict hand whenever the Professor was put out of commission, he was only reduced to a plot device in the big screen adaptations. Cyclops is very much like a stricter version of Corporal Hicks from “Aliens” except with beams from his eyes that cause immense destruction. He’s a militant and loyal warrior and views Professor X as a father, often confiding in him and doing battle with him. Cyclops is a dazzling character that really needs his due.
Kurt Wagner is not just the moral center of the group because he’s religious, but because he has a clear code of ethics and some things he won’t do. He’s a demon who can’t hide what he is at all, and yet he’s still a swift and amazing warrior who can hold his own in combat. It also helps his powers come in handy in terrible times. The depictions of Nightcrawler in the media forms I’ve seen have all been the picture of a mutant who wants to be accepted not by the basis of how he looks, and may never get that. The only friend he has is in his religion and his belief in his God. Plus, he looks bad ass, so there’s always that. He’s a consistent source of fascination no matter where he appears, and he leaves a gaping hole when he’s not around. I’m looking at you, Bret Ratner. Right at you.