Who are the greatest ever X-Men? We’re going to try to answer that question with your help, by putting the spotlight on different individual X-Men from across the franchise’s long history and pairing up your votes with the votes and opinions of our panel of highly opinionated X-Men fans. Your scores will be added to ours to determine the top 100 X-Men.

Today we're going all-in with a Giant-Sized crop of X-Men, great and small. This is your chance to weigh in on the alternate future Phoenix trapped in a world she never made; the psychotic son of one of comics' favorite bad boys; the furnace-faced leather-clad telepathic Londoner; and a hairy kid and his big red dinosaur. The X-Men are pretty weird.

 

 

STACY X, MIRANDA LEEVALD

Steve: Oh boy, you guys. I feel like I may have been born to unwrap the joys of Stacy X in front of a global audience. Let's talk about Stacy X! When the X-Men head into and, er, “liberate” a brothel for mutants, Stacy is one of the women who they find --- a slightly scaly lady who does something with pheromones to make you love her. She promptly joins the X-Men somehow, at which point she tries to seduce every man in sight, gets in a strop with every single woman on the team, and ultimately leaves Angel with a video tape of her doing jump rope naked. She’s legitimately the most male-written character to ever exist at Marvel. It’s incredible. 7/10

Andrew: I feel like those things you just listed aren’t strengths, Steve. 2/10

Aaron: She can cause orgasams or vomiting?! Who wants this?! 1/10

Elle: Nope. 2/10

OUR SCORE: 15/50

 

 

DR VAL COOPER

Katie: We’re taking her being Dale Cooper’s sister as canon, right? Which puts Twin Peaks in continuity with Marvel Comics? Because I am all for that. 8/10

Andrew: Val is the anti-Henry Peter Gyrich, in that she seems to have principles and a soul, and also sometimes a very big gun. As government liaison on mutant affairs, she has a tough job, and I don’t always like her methods, but I always like her. 7/10

Elle: I haven’t really thought about Val in a long time, but she’s okay. Certainly better than that Gyrich jerk. 7/10

Steve: She’s my favourite authority figure within the X-Men Universe. She’s tough and irritating, but she’s usually right --- or at the very least, fair. You always get a sense of her bigger-picture thinking when she appears, which I think speaks to the character being written with a consistent level of intelligence. I’d really like to see her butt heads with Abigail Brand one day. Somebody get me that miniseries! 7/10

Aaron: The Amanda Waller of the X-verse? I’ll pass. 4/10

OUR SCORE: 33/50

 

 

MOON BOY & DEVIL DINOSAUR

Andrew: We included all the Fallen Angels in contention for this list because, I don’t know, Fallen Angels are just bootleg X-Men, right? They’re grandfathered in. But… on a case-by-case basis, some of them are more X-Menny than others, and these guys, great though they are, really don’t make the cut. 3/10

Katie: Definitely one of those “okay, but are they really X-Men?” situations, but this duo is just so Kirby-weird. Can’t help but smile thinking about them (even if one of them committed lobster-slaughter). 5/10

Elle: I do have doubts that these two belong on this list, but I can’t give them a low rating because I love them so much. 8/10

Steve: These two made the list but Onyxx didn’t? What a cruel world we live in. I haven’t read much Kirby, and I don’t really care about these two, so 2/10

Aaron: Definitely strike me as Land of the Lost extras instead of the X-Men. 2/10

OUR SCORE: 20/50

 

 

DARKSTAR, LAYNIA PETROVNA

Steve: The greatest of all time 10/10

Katie: I like her black and white costume quite a bit. Very sleak. But not too much of a personal connection to her. 5/10

Steve: How dare you.

Andrew: She doesn’t turn into a bear. I like the one that turns into a bear. Ooh, and Sibercat. I like Sibercat. But I do like characters with darkforce powers. Can those guys all talk to each other through the darkforce? Is it like group chat for Cloak, and Black Mamba, and Shroud? 5/10

Elle: I’m struggling to come up with a feeling I’ve ever had about Darkstar. 3/10

Aaron: She was apart of X-Corp?! 2/10

Steve: By decree of Putin, all scores will be erased and Darkstar shall be given full 10/10s.

Andrew: Putin, you have no power here.

OUR SCORE: 25/50

 

 

WOLVERINE, DAKEN AKIHIRO

Andrew: I think Daken is an interesting test of a writer’s worldview, much like Emma Frost before him. Any writer who can see the complexity in him is probably a good fit for the X-Men, and any writer who thinks this bisexual biracial bad boy should just be a plug-and-play thug should probably just stick to writing rote superhero power fantasies. 8/10

Elle: Characters with pheromone powers creep me out. But Daken’s kind of supposed to be creepy, I guess, which makes it a little more okay? I have mixed feelings, clearly. But I said earlier that queer characters get bonus points and I stand by that. 6/10

Steve: Surprising absolutely nobody, Marjorie Liu absolutely nailed Daken. She made him fun, flirty, fierce, and decidedly on-the-market. But what really worked in the ‘Dark Wolverine’ period was Giuseppi Camuncoli, who made himself the definitive artist for the character. He took the standard design for Wolverine and twisted it in little ways to make it feel more at home with who Daken was, and together the team created the most likeable rogue in X-Men history. Then I think he got drowned in a puddle or something. 7/10

Aaron: I struggle with Daken. I’m all for “flirty and fierce”, especially in a queer character, but Logan’s seed doesn’t excite me. Sorry? Kinda… 5/10

OUR SCORE: 33/50

 

 

LILA CHENEY

Elle: How has Lila Cheney never had a solo comic? She’s an amoral mutant intergalactic rock star who also steals things. This is a better premise for a comic than most comics that have come out, and yet Lila only shows up every few years in other people’s books. If I were in charge, she’d have starred in five movies by now. 9/10

Steve: I like what she brings out of Cannonball, but she’s not really that great. She’s absolutely fine, and has a brand of energy that works well more often than not. I don’t get that excited by her, although I recognise there’s this whole giant wave of fans who completely adore her every punk sashay. Not for me, but I get the appeal. 6/10

Katie: When we were first talking about doing the X-Men fantasy team picks, one of my first thoughts was, “I’m definitely going for Lila.” Lila Cheney is so cool, not just because she’s a badass rock star but because she once stole and nearly auctioned off the Earth! And then gave it back because the New Mutants did her a solid. This is the kind of delightful I look for in my comics. Like Elle said, she deserves all the books and all the movies and for crap’s sake, someone at least write an “outer space outlaw rock star” miniseries for her! 9/10

Aaron: I was pretty late to the Lila bandwagon, so I don’t have the strongest feels for her. But I have to admire anyone who’s badassery allows them to juggle intergalactic rockdom and thiefing. I’d pay Beyonce level coin to see her and Spiral in a band together. 7/10

Andrew: The X-Men has such a deep bench of these weird beloved obscurities like Lila Cheney. She’s a great character, a great foil, and as Elle says, she’d be a great lead character. Yet in the X-Men’s universe, she’s just this amazing C-lister who crops up occasionally to cause trouble. It’s great. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 38/50

 

 

CYCLOPS JR, SCOTT SUMMERS

Elle: First of all, I’m still sad that Greg Rucka had to cut his run on the Cyclops solo series so short, because that was great comics. Scott Summers has always tried to do the right thing, and now he’s seen how badly that can turn out. So does that insight provide him with enough self-awareness to do better this time around? I don’t know that there’s a real answer to that question in the cards, but it’s an interesting journey, and I’m on board. 9/10

Katie: All of the protagonists of All-New X-Men have to face the futures they would have had and then decide how they will avoid making those mistakes in a world they don’t belong in. In many ways, Scott is the one who has to deal with this the most glaringly, with his older counterpart being the killer of his teacher and father figure. The fact that younger Scott is still going after knowing all this is kind of amazing. 7/10

Steve: Young Cyclops is an interesting one, because the character sort of breaks away from the rest of his team in order to become this direct commentary on the focus and drive of the X-Franchise as a whole over the last, say, decade. He’s trying to be himself, but he knows that he has the weight of the future crushing down on him, relentless, and it’s all he can do to form an independent thought, let alone a purposeful personality. He’s fascinating, and almost reason to be glad that the whole ‘original X-Men come to the present day’ storyline happened. Almost! 7/10

Aaron: You’ve gotta give it to young Cyclops, for his tenacity becoming more than what he was “destined” to be is remarkable. Could you imagine fast forwarding your future only to find you become an a-hole? It’s horrifying! And despite it all, Scott multiplies his own awesomeness by becoming a temporary space pirate. 8/10

Andrew: As we've already established here, I hate Cyclops. But I don’t hate little Cyclops, who has yet to pick up all the baggage of his older self and, as Katie and Steve said, in many ways exists in reaction against it. This version is a well-meaning kid who has to live in the shadow of that jackass, which kind of makes him more of a Baby Havok than a Baby Cyclops. He may still grow up to be a schmuck, but I see his potential. 6/10

OUR SCORE: 37/50

 

 

KUAN-YIN XORN

Steve: You guys, isn’t this meant to be in the ‘Magneto’ section? If Magneto is the wrestler Mick Foley (and he really is!) then Xorn was his ‘Mankind’ phase. Which is fitting, because it was the only time he ever pretended to be a fan of homo inferior. I really liked the Xorn character! Maybe Mags should pretend to quit the X-Men but then return as Xorn the next day? 7/10

Katie: Is it weird that Magneto pretended to be a Chinese man? It feels weird. I mean it was during one of his evil phases so I supposed cultural appropriation is appropriate for him, but it’s still weird. 4/10

Andrew: See, you’re all forgetting that this wasn’t really Magneto, it was a guy named Xorn pretending to be Magneto pretending to be a guy named Xorn and… yeah, I think everyone gets the blame for this mess. 3/10

Elle: The best thing about Xorn was the reveal that he was Magneto. And then they decided he wasn’t Magneto. I love these comics, but they’re the worst sometimes. 1/10

Aaron: I had an Office deadpan stare moment once Xorn’s identity was revealed. Really Mags? Really?! I second Elle, comics can be the worst. 2/10

OUR SCORE: 17/20

 

 

ANOLE, VICTOR BORKOWSKI

Andrew: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; Victor is my most precious baby of all the post-2000 students. He’s the scared queer kid who was expected to take his own life, but he survived, he got stronger, and the way his body regenerates with a tougher hide when he’s injured is a so-perfect-it-might-be-too-on-the-nose metaphor for what it means to grow up queer. Bless his little green feet. 9/10

Elle: The Anole story in Amazing X-Men might have justified that series’ entire existence. He’s everything I want in a young queer mutant character, and so far Marvel has managed to not completely forget he exists, which is an encouraging sign in these trying times. 9/10

Steve: I liked when he borked Northstar in the nose, as revenge for a mind-controlled Northstar doing the same to him during a previous issue’s fight scene. Anole’s a calm presence among the X-students, with a distinct look and sense of mind. He’s a little overshadowed by, y’know, Pixie and Surge and those lot, but I quite like that he’s overshadowed and still happy. 6/10

Katie: I like Victor and I’m all for Marvel featuring queer teen heroes. 7/10

Aaron: Being a queer mutant in Fairbury, Illinois? You get all of my support, Anole.. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 38/50

 

 

THUNDERBIRD, JOHN PROUDSTAR

Andrew: The older Thunderbird is a bit of a non-entity, which is what happens when you die on your second appearance. His only real enduring contribution is as the prototype for James Proudstar, and even he isn’t much of a presence. Sorry, John. You are probably the least of the second genesis X-Men. (Not counting the ones that got retconned in later.) 3/10

Katie: I almost wish they’d Spider-Gwen John and have an alternate universe Thunderbird who has been a mainstay on his own Earth meet his 616 brother and realize what would have happened without him there. 3/10

Elle: What’s interesting about the couple of comics he’s in is that he’s kind of the Wolverine of the team, but Wolverine’s on the team too. I guess that dynamic wouldn’t have worked for long. 3/10

Aaron: At least he went out in a blaze of glory... right? 2/10

Steve: At first I thought, “I’ve never read a comic with him in,” before I realized, “No, wait, I’ve read every comic he’s ever been in”. Poor ol’ unmemorable Thunderbird. 2/10

OUR SCORE: 13/50

 

 

RACHEL SUMMERS / GREY

Elle: Rachel’s great, but it feels like nobody’s really known what to do with her in years. In fact they pretty much had to ignore her during that whole AvX “What are we going to do about the Phoenix Force” storyline, when she clearly would have been the one to ask. Still though, she was great in ‘80s X-Men and awesome in Excalibur. I hope one day she’ll get to be great again. 8/10

Katie: I know her mostly from the '80s stuff (just now dipping my toes into Excalibur), but I also read the more recent Wolverine and the X-Men and yeah, she has sort of been pushed into the background. Rachel was another one of my picks for the fantasy team because of those great '80s stories. 8/10

Steve: Rachel was this laughing-stock of a character amongst X-Men fans until very recently, and I think it may have been the “End of Greys” storyline that gave people reason to change their mind. That storyline, in which her entire family is completely wiped out, cruelly, is the one that resonates. Moreso than her time-travelling, that immense sense of loss, seen on panel, showed Chris Claremont can still effectively tell a story when he wants, and it gave Rachel some motivation that for once didn’t rotate around Jean. I also liked that she was one of the X-Men’s main people heading through AvX, which she was great in. 7/10

Aaron: Rachel slayed in Excalibur, but she’s always overlooked by her fellow Greys, which sucks. (Still #TeamJean though…) 7/10

Andrew: Look, if you were in the original Excalibur line-up, you’re getting at least an 8/10 from me. That’s a G.O.A.T roster right there. Rachel’s story of dealing with trauma and coming to terms with her own power is an amazing arc, and she’s my favourite exploration of the Phoenix Force. 8/10

OUR SCORE: 38/50

 

 

DR NEMESIS, JAMES BRADLEY

Elle: Dr. Nemesis is awesome. When written by a writer who knows how to handle him (Spurrier is the champ, but Hopeless is good at him too), he’s one of the weirdest, funniest characters Marvel has, and there’s no other X-Man like him. He should be around more (although that might dilute his awesomeness, so maybe not). 9/10

Steve: Si Spurrier made Dr Nemesis into the character Matt Fraction intended him to be. Here was this scientist, taken from nowhere, and hooked up to a bunch of dull fellow scientists --- and Spurrier took a few acid quips he’d made and laced them together into this grandstanding science b-----d who cuts down all before him with some kind of caffeine-induced noose of self-righteous glory. 9/10

Aaron: Anyone who can go back in time and help deliver themselves in childbirth merits some awe and applause. 8/10

Andrew: I enjoy an old school character revival, but I don’t like white costumes and fedoras, so I have to split the difference on this one. 5/10

OUR SCORE: 39/50

 

 

CHAMBER, JONO STARSMORE

Elle: Another one of those characters whose prime I wasn’t really around for, but I love his visual. 6/10

Steve: Jono’s mutant powers blew off his chest and jaw, and replaced them with this pulsing fire that rages in the heart of the character in each and every panel he appears. Chris Bachalo, clearly, loved drawing the character, and did him a huge favor for years to come. After Generation X, though, the character lost that power and was effectively ruined --- until everybody’s hero Mike Carey gave him his powers back and blew that chest and jaw right back off again! Thank you, Mike! We’ve got our curmudgeonly Brit back again! 7/10

Aaron: Aesthetically he looks great, but goddess does that look like an awful power-set to have. 4/10

Andrew: It makes me so sad when a character can’t eat. Jono can’t even drink tea! It’s a true tragedy. A tragedy in black leather. 6/10

OUR SCORE: 25/50

 

 

DANGER

Andrew: After Cerebro became sentient and tried to kill the X-Men, was it really necessary for the Danger Room to also become sentient and try to kill the X-Men? What is going on over there at the mansion? Has someone checked the microwave for murderous tendencies? This was a bad idea and I wasn’t into it. 1/10

Elle: I’m with Andrew. I never liked Danger as a character, and her existence kind of retroactively ruined the Danger Room as a concept. Just no good all around. 1/10

Steve: She’s dating Cypher now, or something. Girl just can’t catch a break! 2/10

Katie: I’ve been on a Star Trek: Voyager kick and there is more than one episode where the holodeck program (always portrayed by a woman) goes bonkers and tries to kill everyone and the trope is no better here. 1/10

Aaron: Is it not telling that a civilian child she saved mistook her for a Transformer? 2/10

OUR SCORE: 7/50

 

 

RICTOR, JULIO ESTEBAN RICHTER

Elle: It just occurred to me DC and Marvel both introduced young Latino characters with vibration powers in the ‘80s. That’s kind of weird. But one thing you can definitely say about Rictor: He’s better than Vibe. 7/10

Katie: Gasp! (I like Vibe.) Anyway, Rictor is fine. 5/10

Aaron: He got to kiss Shatterstar, and I’ll forever wallow in envy. 7/10

Steve: Peter David seemed to struggle with finding a place for Rictor amongst the X-Factor team through the first half of the series. At first this depressed, depowered mutant, he ultimately changed and grew (as is the wont of a Peter David character, pleasingly) and then reunited with Shatterstar. From there, well, he flourished as part of a comedic double act, as Shatty bounded through the pages and Rictor walked behind, shaking his head with dismay and glee. By himself? Average. As part of a couple? Interesting. 6/10

Andrew: I fell for Ric back in the ‘90s, when I knew he and ‘Star were boyfriends, and Marvel wasn’t yet ready to admit it yet. He’s that sensitive boy with a guitar who just needs to be saved from his own terrible taste in suede waistcoats. Love him. 8/10

OUR SCORE: 29/50