The 6 Characters on My X-Men Team
Welcome to Comic-Con Week! The party is rocking down in San Diego, but here I am still shuffling around Central New York. Such is my lot and life, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have some comic book fun! In what’s becoming an annual tradition for Henchman-4-Hire, I’ve decided to spend Comic-Con Week playing one of my favorite games: superhero dream team!
If I was hired to write the X-Men, which characters would I choose for my team? Last year, I did the Justice League, and the year before that it was the Avengers. I’ve also done X-Force, the Fearless Defenders, the Teen Titans and the Sinister Six. But this year, it’s the X-Men!
This is a very open-ended proposition, considering how many X-Men teams and squads there have been over the years. Once upon a time, team membership was sacred, but now every single change in writer brings on a new lineup, not to mention all the different X-titles available. There are already dozens of lineups in continuity, so what difference would mine make? Good question! Just trust me when I say it would be an awesome, super fun comic!
Join me after the jump to check out my roster. And please join me in the comments to pick your own! I’d love to hear your ideas.
So what would be the premise of my X-Men comic? There are so many different versions of the team that it could be nearly anything. I don’t have a specific story or villain in mind, but my X-Men comic would be set after the Schism had been resolved and Scott Summers has rejoined the fold (having been right all along). I don’t think it would have anything to do with any mutant school, but it could. I’m more thinking along the lines of a superhero strike force, protecting a world that hates and fears them. My comic would be more character-focused, telling stories about the members and their lives over whatever super-villain threat came against them.
Who is he: Original X-Man and their longest-serving leader, Cyclops is the driving force of mutants in the 21st century. His powers may seem minor — optic blasts — but this mutant is no push over. He’s courageous and heroic through and through, and has been with the X-Men as long as anybody. Most recently, Cyclops was kicked off the team after a series of difficult choices, but he soldiered on to help mutants in need despite being hated and feared by his own teammates.
Why pick him: Once upon a time, I didn’t even really like Cyclops. He was boring, stiff and just not cool. But after the past few years, through Schism and Avengers vs. X-Men, my eyes have been opened! When backed into a corner, when the whole world is out to get him, Cyclops holds his own and keeps his head up. He continues to fight for what’s right, no matter what. And I want that kind of leadership at the head of my team. He’s a classic choice for team leader, but he’s also a must-have these days.
5. Emma Frost
Who is she: Formerly the White Queen of the villainous Hellfire Club, Emma Frost has been a proud hero and X-Woman for years now. She’s rich, dresses provocatively and often gets under your skin, but there’s no doubting her commitment to the mutant cause, especially as a teacher. Emma’s powers include telepathy, mind control and turning her skin into unbreakable diamond.
Why pick her: Emma Frost is probably my favorite core X-Woman, and I think she and Cyclops make a great team. Not only do I love reformed villains, but I really love the nature of Emma’s character. On the one hand, she’s an arrogant, sharp-witted bitch, but on the other hand, she’s also a dedicated teacher and hero. She cares deeply about helping and teaching, and I think that makes her a great addition to any team. Plus she and Cyclops would make for some great drama going forward. She’s a must on my team.
Who is he: The demonic-looking Kurt Wagner is the poster boy for mutant prejudice. His mutation is largely physical, and he looks like a monster. But Kurt is the kindest, friendliest, most happy-go-lucky superhero in comics. He came back from the dead recently and could use some more attention.
Why pick him: Nightcrawler is great as the heart of any team he’s on. He’s got a positive attitude, he’s great in a fight, and his look is perfect for comics. If I really wanted to rock the boat, I’d come up with a pretty crazy roster for my ideal X-Men team. But part of the strength of the X-Men is maintaining the core team and keeping fan-favorites in the rotation. Nightcrawler is perfect for that role, so he’s in.
Though if I’m being entirely honest, my ideal Nightcrawler comic would be a solo series where he becomes an international man of mystery.
Who is she: Stalwart and powerful, Storm is a dedicated X-Man who has led the team for years. With the power to control the weather, Storm is as awesome as they come. But she’s also great on the personal front, with deep friendships on the team, great love affairs and a powerful distrust of Cyclops these days.
Why pick her: Like Nightcrawler, Storm is a bedrock member of the X-Men and one I would be glad to have on my team. She’s got great relationships with characters like Cyclops and Nightcrawler, and I’d love to build a better relationship with a character like Emma Frost. Storm is powerful, fearsome and dedicated to heroics. She’d also be there to keep Cyclops in line, possibly butting heads with a man she no longer trusts.
Who is he: Blob is a big, fat bully. From the very first days of the X-Men, Blob has been one of their biggest villains, pun intended. He’s always filling out the Brotherhood of Mutants or some random evil mutant cause, always more than willing to get into a fight with the nerds and squares on the X-Men. He’s rude, arrogant, crude and is all-around perfectly happy to be a bad guy.
Why choose him: Blob is my wild card. Every team has a wild card or two, and I think he’s overdue for a little time in the spotlight. What I love about the X-Men franchise is that they’re all mutants. Good and bad, they all still play for the same mutant team. In Blob’s first appearance, way back in X-Men #3, Professor X and the original X-Men were actually trying to recruit him to join the team because he was a new mutant — he was just too much of an asshole to keep around.
Bad guys are always joining the X-Men! The way I figure it, Blob has finally had enough of being a helpless idiot. Bad guys like Magneto, Mystique and Sabretooth always have something going on. But Blob is a henchman at best, never accomplishing much on his own. So perhaps he’s been feeling depressed lately, and the X-Men are called to pick him up after a bar fight or something. They offer him a little bit of amnesty, and he lends a hand in the tough scrapes.
Blob would be my lovable asshole character. Every good team has one of those!
Who is he: Another original X-Man, Bobby Drake is the team jokester, always good for a laugh or an ice-themed prank. He’s also one of the most powerful mutants, with total control over ice and cold. He’s been a solid team member for a few years now, and I think he’s long past due for a heroic spotlight. And it helps that he’s my favorite core X-character.
Why pick him: I think Iceman would be the star of my comic. He’s a nice guy, friendly, funny and charming when he wants to be. He’s also got awesome powers, and every new writer claims they’re finally going to have Bobby come into his own. I would make that happen. He could cast aside his drama and step up as a true superhero.
There’s also the new wrinkle that Bobby’s younger, time-traveling self came out as gay recently. We haven’t gotten word yet if adult Iceman is gay, but I’m of the mind that I think it’d be more interesting if adult Bobby wasn’t gay. I’m all for LGBTQ+ characters in comics, and I would definitely have some in any series I write, but I like the dynamic of an adult Iceman having to come to terms with his younger self being gay. It would be a great parable about accepting your loved ones when they come out, with the comic book twist that this ‘loved one’ is yourself, come to visit from the past. That sounds like a neat story to me.
Support Staff and Guest Stars
The joy of any X-book is that you’re not stuck with just the one team. There are lots of characters who can make guest appearances or help out in the background. You better believe my comic would include such characters as Cecilia Reyes, Forge, Northstar, Mimic, Strong Guy, Avalanche and definitely Goldballs as the ‘Kitty Pryde’ entry character role.
Also, Young Iceman would have to show up so I could do that Iceman story I mentioned. Iceman and Young Iceman make a great team!
Who would be on your ideal X-Men roster? Would you go wild with a team full of brand new mutants? Or would you stick to a classic lineup? Let me know in the comments!