By Darren Franich
My comments follow then a clean list after that. Some of his write ups are funny and others are just confusing. It seems to me, that if you don’t really know a character, just don’t rank them. I wouldn’t mind seeing a list of the Top 32 X-Men, if the write ups all are sound.
100. Maggott – You can always tell something from a list with who they rank at the very bottom. Sets the bar, every character should be better than this one. Which they should be. We’ll see!
99. X-Man/Nate Grey – I really liked Nate Grey when he was friends with Spider-Man.
98. Rachel Summers/Phoenix – ooof, the lowest I’m hoping my favorite characters are ranked. Seems a bit extreme. I get the impression this fellow doesn’t like anything that isn’t pure mainstream X-Men.
97. Pete Wisdom – Credits Warran Ellis for the creation but also calls Pete Wisdom – Gabmit without the cards. I’ve never thought of Wisdom quite like that. I always thought of him more like Wolverine with hot claws.
96. Joseph, the Magneto Clone – He isn’t a fan of clones. Who is, though? Really?
95. Dr. Cecilia Reyes – He docks points for being in the same team as Maggot, that is quite the range of stink Maggot has.
94. Strong Guy
93. Wild Child – References Wild Child’s time with X-Factor, so Mr. Franich is probably a fan of the X-Men during the 90s, which is going to explain a lot, I’m sure. Particularly, the mid-90s. I only read a handful of that X-Factor run, and I didn’t even remember that he dated Shard, Bishop’s sister.
92. Stacy X – A character that I have no real history with.
91. Random – Who even remembers this guy? I always think of his trading card, when I do.
90. Meggan – Oh no, the second lowest Excalibur member!?! Can Captain Britain be too far behind? I take it that he didn’t really read Excalibur as who thinks she is boring? 89. Caliban – I take it that he doesn’t really know Caliban (at all) with this write up – “Ohhh, that’s from Shakespeare!” At least write something regarding the Morlocks.
88. Copycat – Never really thought of her as a ‘copycat’ of Mystique, including blue skin and power set. Now that is an insightful comment.
87. Boom-Boom/Boomer/Meltdown – Never thought of her as a Pre-Jubilee character before. I do wish that Tabitha, like Kitty, didn’t run through a gauntlet of names. I’ve always been more partial to Meltdown, myself.
86. Sway – a character whose first appearance is followed by her last appearance ranks 14 slots higher than the lowest person? Crazy times.
85. Slipstream – This is what I’m getting at, why rank them, and how do you justify them ranking higher than a character that can be given five sentences.
84. Lifeguard – Ditto.
83. The Guy With The Face From X-Men: 2099 – Points for remembering 2099, a title I still have no connection with. I was a big Spider-Man 2099 fan but he never had an appearance by the X-Men in his title so I don’t know them. I’ve checked a slew of websites and Kitty nor any other X-Man of note, ever is referenced in that series, so I’m not seeking out any issues.
82. Dani Moonstar – The lowest ranked New Mutants and arguably, one of the best. He implies that he did some research and couldn’t find any hardcore New Mutants fans who like her, but I know that there are a bunch of them. I even know that I’m in the minority of ranking her third in the Top 3 Best ones.
81. Juggernaut – I have only read ‘hero’ Juggernaut in the pages of New Exiles.
A semi-decent X-Men villain who got goodified into a pretty inessential X-Men hero. Since only his “goodness” record is counted, he doesn’t rank very high. But even if you count the “badness,” he’s most famous as an Internet meme.
80. Micromax – Barely an Excalibur member. I wonder what website did he gleam all of this information from.
79. Magma – Second lowest New Mutant Member. I’m okay with ranking her the lowest, her origin story has been re-written far too many times.
78. Mimic – I do like Mimic, shame that Marvel just keeps him as a sad sack.
77. Vulcan – I do share his disdain for all things ‘space’ when it comes to the X-Men. It gave us Lockheed, isn’t that enough!?!
76. Petra – The X-Men’s Terra.
75. Shard – Can’t believe someone from a forgotten era of X-Factor is the bar set at 75. 74. Lady Mastermind – She was awesome in Mike Carey’s run of X-Men. I take it the writer didn’t read that with his pithy description – “Like Mastermind, but a lady this time.”
73. Hope Summers – He nails the ‘place holder’ for Jean until Jean comes back. I really hope she just stays dead. Marvel just needs to tell people that she really isn’t coming back. Her and Uncle Ben, it is over people.
72. M/Penance – He nails how complicated M and Penance’s origins are. That wasn’t the best era of Generation. This is the first two person ranking of the list. So we are now at 101 X-Men.
71. Darwin – Clearly a man who has only seen the First Class film
70. X-23 – I like that he reveals he his a game with Marvel vs. Capcom 3. I would play those games but no Kitty Pryde and I’m not much of a fighter game player.
69. Widget – Maybe he is a fan of Excalibur, he knows that Widget was a future Kitty Pryde combination. I still wonder if that was the plan from the very first issue or not.
68. Lockheed – Poor Lockheed deserves a much higher spot! At least in the Top 50! His description for the dragon harkens to him not being over X23 yet. Also, he is clearly a member of the X-Men. “Kitty Pryde’s pet dragon. Arguably not an actual X-Man, partially because he’s a pet and partially because he doesn’t even have an alternate-universe future clone.”
67. Polaris – Overly harsh review of Polaris, or extremely simple take.
66. Sabretooth – I also liked Exiles Sabretooth. Really the only version of the character that I am actually excited to see.
65. Daytripper/Magik/Amanda Sefton – Are we not beyond referring to Amanda as Magik? It isn’t the best era for the character.
64. Pixie – His description clearly indicates that he never read any of her crucial storylines.
63. Bishop – Only time I’ve read Bishop was in X-Treme X-Men where he was an actually good character.
62. Thunderbird and Warpath – Ooof, borderline racist, perhaps? We are now at 102 X-Men.
61. Moira MacTaggert – I like that her Wikipedia page is longer than the page for the First Minister of Scotland.
60. Sage – I don’t get people’s love for the character. You’ll read people going on about Original 6 as she was always working for Xavier in the Hellfire Club. I liked her in X-Treme X-Men where that Xavier backstory is hardly referenced. She was good in Exiles now too, that I’m thinking of it.
59. Mondo – The lowest ranked Generation X member. When I read ‘Mondo’ I usually think that is Skin’s real name, which may be racist on my part. I don’t really know that character.
58. Armor – The other Joss Whedon / John Cassaday character
57. Hepzibah – I never think of her as an X-Man as she is more of a Starjammer to me. Did not know her name originates with Pogo – whatever that is.
56. Karma – Makes sense to be on the lower end of New Mutants characters.
55. Xorn – Sounds like he at least read the Morrison run, which is the cool thing to do as a new X-Man fan. Marvel did no favors to how much they ran over the Magneto is Xorn storyline.
53. Synch – First Generation X member to die and the second lowest one. He writes that Generation X is so cool it makes X-Factor look like Excalibur, so that really sums up that guy the best.
52. Dazzler – I do wish that a Dazzler CD did come out. That would have been something.
50. Wolfsbane – The ‘like Feral except boring’ is also very telling. So this character is better than 50 other characters but not better than 49?
49. Banshee – His description seems all over the place. He is all things to all people.
48. Cypher/Doug Ramsay/Douglock/Warlock – Overly tries to make their origins complicated. Plus Douglock was always just Warlock. 103 X-Men.
47. Captain Britain – Implies that Excalibur is a minor part of his history except that it is the defining era of his history. The only time he has been not Excalibur was when he was part of MI-13.
45. Bedlam – Who even remembers X-Force’s Bedlam?
44. Fantomex – If there was a Fantomex television series, I may actually get the character finally.
43. Rictor – He makes a big point about calling Karma a lesbian but doesn’t mention Rictor being gay? The huh?
42. Cannonball – Interesting insight with Cannonball being the top student to being low man on the pole.
41. Sunfire – Does his costume look like Aquama’s costume but with fire? I don’t see it. 40. Angel/Archangel – The lowest of the Original Five and at 40, ooof!
39. Maverick/Agent Zero – Was he ever an X-Man? He was mostly Team X and solo when not.
38. Forge – His description makes him sound like a guy who doesn’t like Donatello?
37. Angel Salvadore – Unless Angel has the same powers as Oya, I believe he has the two characters confused.
36. Domino – I have no history with the character
35. Chamber – The guy leaves off all of the complicated silliness that happened to Chamber Post-Generation X – for the best.
33. Illyana Rasputin/Darkchylde – I would have liked Magik being in the Top 25 or even Top 30. Is her life “somewhere between Michael Moorcock and Labyrinth and God of War”? Might have to think about that.
32. Sunspot – He’s nothing like Sunfire!
31. Longshot – How the heck he isn’t ranked closer to Domino is beyond me with how much this guy doesn’t care for luck powers.
30. Marvel Girl/Jean Grey/Phoenix/Madelyne Pryor – OOOOF!!! Jean Grey and Madelyne Pryor are nothing alike! Did not expect her to be the second lowest Original Five member! 104 X-Men. 105 if you want to count Phoenix as a separate one, some do. 29. Danger – More popular than her Armor creation sister.
28. The Stepford Cuckoos – I like to just to refer to them as the Cuckoos. Are their names from Philedelpha Story? I thought Morrison just wanted their names to spell out SPICE.
27. Iceman – Glad Bobby didn’t make Top 25! Middle of the Original Five.
26. Feral – With the comment about Feral earlier in the Wolfsbane description, I thought for sure she would rank higher. I’m not that familiar with her as I didn’t read early X-Force.
25. Jubilee – I’ve never seen her described as the Dazzler of the 90s, as she’s usually the Kitty Pryde of the 90s. Also, the 25th Ranked! Every one following her is top quarter! I suppose she could be a combination of the two.
24. Shatterstar – Another character that has his origin completely screwed with.
23. Artie and Leech – I do like them paired together, as that’s how I think of them. 105 / 106 X-Men.
22. Psylocke – For all the grief other characters got, he is pretty kind to her and her complicated status quo change.
21. Legion – Sounds like he read Spurrier’s fantastic X-Men Legacy run.
20. Magneto, Age of Apocalypse edition – Wow, a ranking for a character at 20 who has essentially eight appearances. That is impressive.
19. Marrow – Wow, at 19!
18. Kitty Pryde – Oh no at 18! Kitty not being in people’s top 10, I can get, but not even Top 15? Bonkers. I do like how he references that a certain age group would rank her higher. I take it he must be 22 or so.
17. Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man – He must be a fan of Peter David’s X-Factor to rank Jamie so high. Doesn’t state that but it can be the only way.
16. Emma Frost/The White Queen – What is it with people ranking Emma over Kitty? Trying to score points?
15. Husk – How in the name of Sam Hain is Husk ranked so high? I imagine we are getting to his real favorites now and he is ranking them below where he would actually put them but doesn’t want people to over judge his list (too late).
14. Mystique – For someone whose hero standing is in question, sure is ranked pretty high. Though points for reading both X-Men Unlimited 4 and Get Mystique by Jason Aaron, the Wolverine arc.
13. Professor X – Interesting take on how he is more Kirk than Picard. I’m all for Xavier remaining dead for quite some time. Like Jean, he works better as a memory to motivate others into action.
12. Havok – The writer can relate to Havok, so I can’t say anything about that. Relate-ability is as subjective as it gets.
11. Colossus – Boo to Colossus! At least he isn’t in the top ten. I also really enjoy the X-Men arcade game.
10. Blink – Me thinks she is in the top ten just to tie into the Days of Future Past film. Even diehard Exiles fans wouldn’t put her in the top ten X-Men, would they?
9. Deadpool – Diehard Deadpool fans worry me. I went through my phase but now I’m move on and Deadpool and I rarely cross paths.
8. Gambit – I do like how this gentleman makes movie references, now I need to rewatch Rounders and see if that is how Gambit is. I don’t hate Gambit like others do. He was part of the 35th Anniversary Team and I liked him there. He was crazy on the 90s X-Men Cartoon so my exposure to him as is pretty limited. He was great on Wolverine and the X-Men too.
7. Beast – Second highest Original Five. It dons on me that I really only like one of these five or the group as a concept. Clearly the list creator hasn’t read any Beast in the past few years.
6. Cable – Cable, I should have known hadn’t shown up on the list and was due any moment. I just like the Joe Casey / Ladronn run on the title. Besides that, like Gambit, my exposure is pretty limited.
5. Nightcrawler – Now the top five begins and Kurt deserves his spot.
4. Rogue – I don’t get people’s love for Rogue, she’s cool and all but some people are hardcore fans.
3. Storm – I feel like this list and my typing of it has taken too long. Usually I have a running tally in my head and start anticipating which mutants should be next. Storm keeps surprising me with how many people rank her as the highest X-Woman. Is she? Not to me, not since the 80s.
2. Cyclops – I would have swapped one and two but that’s just the era we live in now. Apparently the guy read AvX, and he is right – Cyclops is on the verge of being awesome again! He’s already there but for anyone who thinks he is still the straight lace kid – they are in for a surprise.
1. Wolverine – Wolverine is number one. It was going to be him or Cyclops. Wolverine is one of those characters that really is all things to all people. It takes someone listing all of Logan’s traits to fully see how far Marvel has taken the character. Some descriptions from Darren Franich – “Built on a grab-bag of personality traits and powers that feel assembled by accident — claws, healing factor, amnesia, Canadian-ness — Wolverine has been variously presented as a scuzzy uncle and a heartless romantic, a man without a past and an immortal icon existing throughout time. He’s a barfight samurai, hilarious comic relief and/or a bruised leader dripping with gravitas. He can be self-consciously “cool” — a fifth grader’s idea of a grown-up — but he can also be a tragic figure, his own worst enemy.”
A list that feels like a lot of clutter but I would have a hard time making a list of 50 so 100 seems like a daunting task.
The List Proper
99. X-Man/Nate Grey
98. Rachel Summers/Phoenix
97. Pete Wisdom
96. Joseph, the Magneto Clone
95. Dr. Cecilia Reyes
94. Strong Guy
93. Wild Child
92. Stacy X
83. The Guy With The Face From X-Men: 2099
82. Dani Moonstar
74. Lady Mastermind
73. Hope Summers
65. Daytripper/Magik/Amanda Sefton
62. Thunderbird and Warpath
61. Moira MacTaggert
48. Cypher/Doug Ramsay/Douglock/Warlock
47. Captain Britain
39. Maverick/Agent Zero
37. Angel Salvadore
33. Illyana Rasputin/Darkchylde
30. Marvel Girl/Jean Grey/Phoenix/Madelyne Pryor
28. The Stepford Cuckoos
23. Artie and Leech
20. Magneto, Age of Apocalypse edition
18. Kitty Pryde
17. Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man
16. Emma Frost/The White Queen
13. Professor X