100 X-Men: How Do Pete Wisdom, Darwin, Wind Dancer, Marrow & Colossus Rate As Great X-Men?
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 is a tale of two Petes --- two of the four that have dated Kitty Pryde (in one reality or another). We also offer our take on three more of the many weird randos who have filled out the ranks of the X-Men over the years, including everyones seventh or eighth favorite Morlock.
Andrew: No-one has quite known what to do with Warren Ellis’s ‘John Constantine-as-an-X-Man’ pastiche since Ellis moved on, which is a shame. Approached with the right knowing wryness, Wisdom is a fun character. Without it, he becomes the grimdark ‘90s version of Cable; just another pinch-faced angry man. 6/10.
Steve: I think he’s had a little bit more success than you give him credit for! He was a decent lead in Paul Cornell/Leonard Kirk’s MI:13 run. Have to agree though, that there’s not much people have done with him beyond Ellis’ initial remit. He needs more 2000 AD alums to get their hands on him, I think. 5/10
Aaron: Jubilee Shrug. 3/10
Elle: You know who’s overrated? Warren Ellis. You know who I don’t care about even a little? Pete Wisdom. He might be my least favorite of the Kitty-adjacent Petes, and that’s saying something. 2/10
Katie: I’d rather be reading Constantine. 5/10
OUR SCORE: 21/50
DARWIN, ARMANDO MUNOZ
Steve: I don’t feel it. Darwin’s fine, and I think that’s all he’ll ever be. There’s no excitement surrounding the character --- the best way to get my attention would be bringing back the cinematic version of Darwin, who had more charisma. He just doesn’t feel like anything more than a face in the crowd? 4/10
Katie: I too like the movie version of Darwin... but the fact that they killed the black guy whose one power is being able to survive pretty much anything still gets me steamed. It is infuriating to me, I tell you. But if the comics brought back some version of charming movie Darwin? Sure, I’ll be down for that. 6/10
Elle: I’m also on the “only cared about movie Darwin and he shouldn’t have died” train. 5/10
Andrew: Sometimes I think I could grow to care about Darwin, and then I realize I’m thinking of Graymalkin, who isn’t even on this list. 2/10
Aaron: I can’t talk about movie version of Darwin without throwing something. So much wasted potential. 3/10
Steve: Graymalkin rules
OUR SCORE: 20/50
WIND DANCER, SOFIA MANTEGA
Steve: One day Marvel will remember how much they like money and they’ll give a solo series to The Battletank Ballerina from Venezuela. Wind Dancer has the power of the wind, surprisingly enough, and uses it to gracefully fight as leader of the New Mutants (back in the Academy X days). But, most importantly, she often refuses to use it to fight. She’s peaceful, and a natural student for Storm, who served as her mentor. Sofia is kind, considerate, but has that darker edge that could be brought out at any time. 8/10
Katie: Yet another heroine of color in our list that we’re frustrated hasn’t gotten used enough in stories. I do not like this trend at all. For real, a teen Venezuelan superheroine could be huge at Marvel, and while her powerset has some parallels to Storm’s, there’s so much flexibility in how she uses her wind powers to help or to attack. I’m with Steve on this one; I think she should be brought back. 7/10.
Andrew: Is there really an audience out there for Wind Dancer? She always struck me as a bit of a drip. And she was in that really weird incarnation of New Warriors with all the mutants who lost their powers, and somehow she was the central figure, and she called herself Renascence, which deserves some sort of wooden spoon for bad codenames. I’m not feeling it. Sorry. 3/10
OUR SCORE: 30/50
Andrew: Marrow was an “ugly” militant young mutant who got prettified, which is about as tone-deaf as an X-Men comic can get. I don’t actually like Marrow and her weird bone powers, but I really don’t like that they did that to her, and I’m glad it seems to have been undone. But... no-one really cares about Marrow. 5/10
Elle: I liked Marrow to begin with, and again recently in Si Spurrier’s X-Force run. I mean, she’s not one of my favorites, but I wish there were more female mutants with monstrous-looking powers, so I’m inclined to give her points for that. 7/10
Steve: “No-one really cares about Marrow”? Sometimes it’s like you’re wilfully trying to forget that I exist! …
All Joe Casey’s X-Men must be held precious, including dear young Sarah. She’s angry, she’s bony, she’s got this neat color scheme going on - and then she gets turned into a regular girl. But then she gets depowered on M-Day and everything just goes right on to hell for her, and she scraps and claws and fights back into some shape of a person throughout X-Force, and comes out devastated and devastating. 8/10
Katie: Not all mutants can have the basic okay-to-have powers of super strength and flight, and I can appreciate Marrow for being one of those mutants who has the weirder body horror level gifts. 6/10
Aaron: Marrow in Si Spurrier’s X-Force is definitely the most digestible one for me, but I’ve found her involvement with Gene Nation rather interesting. She’s got a grotesque mutation, and I wish we could see more of that contrast to her glossier mutant counterparts. 6/10
OUR SCORE: 32/50
COLOSSUS, PIOTR RASPUTIN
Katie: Colossus was created at a time when a Soviet-born hero was not something you saw in a lot of mainstream media. I have to give Marvel credit for having that hero be someone like Colossus. When written right, Piotr is kind and thoughtful, using his super strength to help rather than to hurt. 8/10
Steve: As an error-prone older brother who will never be able to keep up with a superior younger sister, I adore Colossus as a character. He’s got a capacity to... well... completely suck, sometimes. But when he’s not being a complete suck, he can be genuine, loyal, honest and open --- he’s got heart, which works brilliantly when combined with Nightcrawler’s pluck. Those two are an underrated double-act. 8/10
Elle: Claremont’s Colossus, a summary: “All I want is to be a painter, or to work the land. I am not a fighter at heart.” / “Okay Pete, but could you kill this villain for us real quick? You’re the only one who can do it.” / “I have now killed the villain, although it tortured my soul to do so. Only my painting, and this thirteen-year-old girl who’s in love with me even though I’m like nineteen, can bring me comfort.” 6/10
Aaron: Reading his interactions with his fellow X-Men has always been a highlight of his character. Colossus and Kitty remain the most Prom Goals couple that has graced the X-Men (sorry, Jean & Scott), while his banter with Nightcrawler is worthy of it’s own buddy-cop type spin off. 8/10
Andrew: He wants to find the beauty in the world, not because he thinks he deserves it for himself, but because he wants it for the people he loves. Colossus is a tragic romantic, and I adore that about him. He’s my favourite. 10/10
OUR SCORE: 40/50