Saturday, April 27, 2013

Power Ranking the X-Men Characters - Spring 2013

The X-Men related comic books and characters have been through some very interesting developments in the last half year. The fall out of Avengers Vs. X-Men has provided some new directions for several characters. After taking to the forums, Facebook, and Twitter, I have compiled the following list of characters that are having and potentially will have the biggest impact on the X-Men related books with in the foreseeable future. 

10. Scarlet Witch - Wanda Maximoff is back and currently on the most publicly visible Avengers team at the moment: the unity squad made up of several mutants. The goal of the team is to strengthen human and mutant relationships. Having been a long time Avenger, the Scarlet Witch shouldn't have as much of an issue being accepted by the human public. However, it's perception in the eyes of the mutant populace that is what will be the most interesting thing to watch develop.

This is the woman that was single-handedly responsible for the Decimation that removed almost all of the mutants of their powers and put them on the track towards being an endangered species. As a result, Wanda is to the mutants as Cyclops is currently being viewed by humanity, in the wake of his possession of the Phoenix force.

9. Magneto - Erik has been playing viceroy to Cyclops for a while now. At the moment, he playing double agent and is feeding information to SHEILD and Scott Summers' version of the X-Men. Also, he states that his powers have been drastically weakened, similarly to Cyclops, Emma Frost, and the rest of the Phoenix Five. However, Magneto was never a host. How is he effected, but we no one else that was caught up in the mayhem that was the final showdown with the Phoenix Force? What's Magneto's endgame?

From the forums (CIBAWAG): "He is the Fidel Castro to Cyclops' Che Guevara. The man who waits in the back for the revolution to take it's course, and when the time comes, he will usurp the leadership. He will ultimately be responsible for the revolution's tragic downfall. Men like him always are."

8. Young Cyclops - This young man from an earlier era understandably has a lot of questions. He sees what he potentially capable of having witnessed the actions and heard the words of his older self, and it scares the hell out young Scott Summers. Given what he has witnessed, what is the time lost Cyclops planning to do next? Will he be choose to go down a drastically different path than the one chosen by his older self, or his he doomed to make the same decisions. Either way, this young lad is a ticking time bomb.

7. Mystique - Raven Darkholme is finally being written, one again, as the schemer and pro-active mutant terrorist that she used to be portrayed under the pen of Chris Claremont, thanks to Brian Michael Bendis. Recently Jason Aaron and Rick Remender had demoted her to Sabretooth's number two. Bendis has smartly reordered the pairing and Mystique is back assembling a new Brotherhood and his slowly consolidating her resources for... something.
And that's what makes Mystique so exciting at the moment. She is obviously up to something, having contacted young Cyclops, freeing Lady Mastermind from prison, and has began robbing armor trucks for money. I love that we don't know exactly what game she is playing, but it's sure to have an impact.

6. Wolverine - By the very fact that he is on several teams and stars in two solo series, Logan will probably always be on this list. He's an X-Man and an Avenger. He's a warrior and now a teacher. He is currently molding the X-Men of the future. From the forums (Phillies64): "Wolverine took it upon himself to start a school honoring Professor Xavier's dream. A solider, a killer has become a teacher."

As a member of the Avengers unity squad, he's also taking an active role in shaping the public image of mutants. Also, Wolverine from the Age of Ultron recently traveled back to the past to make a severe alteration to the timeline. This could impact the greater Marvel Universe and not just the X-Books.

5. Beast - Hank McCoy has been messing around with matters on a cosmic level quite a bit as of late. It's bad enough that he could have severely altered the past with is transporting of the younger original X-Men to the present. Additionally, he has been brought into the Illuminati, having taken Charles Xavier's place. This group is currently facing increasingly difficult decisions in their attempts to protect the Earth from incursions from other realities. Hank has one of the loudest critics of Cyclops, but Beast could be walking down similar path of ends and the justification of their means.

From the forums (Eric): "And as a member of the New Avengers Illuminati posse, he's playing with cosmic-scale forces, possibly ending universes and determining whether or not the regular Marvel Universe will continue."

4. Apocalypse - Strangely enough, Apocalypse has been dead for a while. However, his legacy is making major waves in various titles. In Wolverine and the X-Men, his teenage clone, Evan, has been attempting to shake off the inevitability of becoming an evil monster. While over in Uncanny Avengers, the twin offspring of Apocalypse (sired while in possession of Archangel's body) are starting to raise all sorts of hell. Also, for better or for worse, characters from the Age of Apocalypse continue to invade the regular universe (but given recent events in the extremely horrible X-Termination crossover, this may not happen again for a while). For no actually being physically present, Apocalypse continues to cast a very long shadow and over several different titles.

3. Marvel Girl - When I first heard about the idea of the original X-Men being plucked out of the past and transplanted into the present, I was very unsure of the idea. Luckily, Brian Michael Bendis has really made it work far beyond expectations. The shining standout is young Jean Grey. Given that the modern version has been dead for about a decade, the grand entrance and impact of the model from way back when is intense. Due to the short time spent in the present, she's had her powers accelerated earlier than how they matured in regular continuity and she's become a bit of a wildcard. The casual way she messed with young Angel's mind and her constant hearing of other people's thoughts add to her nature as the other ticking time bomb from the past.

From the forums (Anti-Robot Man): "Jean's relationship connections to multiple characters, her status as a time-tossed character, her potential for vast power, and her diverging personality (much more interesting than classic Jean imo) all give her the potential to really shake things up. Frankly, if she doesn't then it'll smack of editorial cowardice."

From the forums (MadroxDupe42): ”A big part of why the 05 stayed in the present; the maturation of her powers and her future/past with Scott are big plot points in All New X-Men; she has a school named for her; current Scott's history with her and the Phoenix clearly still influences him."

With these last two, I think that I'll leave it to the words of those who posted on the forums:

2. Havok - From the forums (Phillies64): ”The younger brother of Cyclops often struggled to find his place in the Marvel U. Now, he's leading the Uncanny Avengers. He's the symbolic link between mutants and humans."

From the forums (Eric): " If the Marvel Universe were real, I would not be a fan of Havok. But for better or worse, he is being shaped into the poster-boy representative of "The Good Mutant". He's non-threatening, he can pass as "normal", and he says all the right things that a public that Fears And Hates mutants wants to hear. As the nominal leader of the Avengers "Multi-cultural team", he's in the spotlight, informing the public of what a "Good Mutant" is. Captain America's stamp of approval gives him legitimacy. Havok is setting the standard for which attitudes and behaviors the public will consider acceptable from the mutant community, basically saying "Look at me. If you want to get along, I'm the guy you have to be and think like."

From the forums (CIBAWG): "He is the poster boy for mutant/human co-existance. The idealogical polar opposite of his brother. His belief in peace between humans and mutants can be seen as both inspiring and naive."

1. Cyclops - From the forums (CIBAWAG): "The reinvented poster boy for mutant revolution. He struggles to balance Magneto's tactics with Xavier's ideals. He can be seen as both righteous and self-righteous."

From the forums (MetoxoTheLavaMan): "Is there any other choice? Face of mutant struggle. Polarizing figure inside mutant community and out of it."

From the forums (MadroxDupe42): "From the San Fran move to Utopia to his current revolution, his decisions drive the status quo of the X-Men; both versions of him figure prominently in Bendis' books; killed Professor X."

From the forums (Eric): "The flip side of the mutant coin. With his trademark ruby-quartz glasses ( or X-Visor), Scott can't quite pass for normal like his brother does. Instead of trying to hide his mutant nature, he embraces who and what he is, serving as an inspirational figure for many mutants. To the mutants who can't "pass", Scott is the poster-child for Mutant Pride. Cyclops dares to ask "Why should we change to accommodate the public? We are who we are. Why can't the public change to accommodate US?"

There you have it: the movers and shakers that are currently making (or potentially will make) the biggest impacts on the X-Men books in the near future. Thanks to all those who contributed to this article. Please come by the forums or Facebook and join in on the conversation!


  1. Very cool write-up! Thanks for putting this together!

  2. Have you ever watched X Men movies? Xmen characters are amazing; all genetic mutants play their role superbly. I was looking for a complete list of x-men, please share if you have one?