100 X-Men: How Do Firestar, Sunfire, Angel Jr, Frenzy And Storm Rate As Great X-Men?
Who are the greatest ever X-Men? Over the coming weeks, we’re going to try to answer that question, selecting five X-Men at a time from across the franchise’s long history, and pairing up your votes with the opinions of our own panel of highly opinionated X-Men fans. Your scores will be added to ours to determine the top 100 X-Men.
Today we're looking at two of the hottest X-Men, Firestar and Sunfire, the time-displaced Warren Worthington III, former villain Frenzy, and arguably one of the most important mutants of them all, weather witch and longtime team leader Storm.
FIRESTAR, ANGELICA JONES
Steve: Oh, Angelica. Sort of an X-Man but never really made an impression on the very rare occasions she actually got herself onto the team. Sympathy points for losing Butterum at such an early age. 5/10
Andrew: I’m glad she finally got to be an X-Man, but she’ll always be one of Spider-Man’s amazing friends to me. Because I am old. 6/10.
Katie: I too mostly know her from Spider-Man’s Amazing Friends, but only because a rerun showed up on TV at random around 2009 and I ended up watching it for the heck of it. But knowing that the comic version of her put up with Emma Frost emotionally torturing her for years and yet came out the other side, I’ve got to at least give her a 5/10.
Elle: I also knew her first as an Amazing Friend, but I mostly think of her as a New Warrior. I like her on the X-Men, though. I just don’t know when they’ll find the space to let her shine. 7/10
Aaron: I don’t exactly understand her relationship with the central X-team. I’ve always seen her as more of a Misty Knight type, someone who aids in adventures and makes a cook exit. 6/10
OUR SCORE: 29/50
SUNFIRE, SHIRO YOSHIDA
Aaron: One particular trait that’s a tad aggravating with fire-powered mutants/heroes is that they have similar temperaments. Hot-headed, arrogant, yada yada yada. Despite his heritage, I find Sunfire dull. 3/10
Steve: He doesn’t have much going on, but I do think he has an absolutely brilliant-looking costume and power set. If a creative team wanted to make him worthwhile, I’m sure they could, but I have to agree with Aaron that he’s fairly dull and a little one-note, most of the time. 5/10
Katie: After doing some research, one note seems to be all I can come up with for him. 3/10
Andrew: He’d be ‘Hot Namor’, with all his righteous anger and politicized aggression, if only Namor wasn’t already hot Namor. But Namor comes from a fictional society, which writers can play with freely, and Shiro comes from --- and is resolutely tied to --- Japan, a country and culture too often fetishised in Western media. I don’t think Sunfire has ever been handled very well; I wonder if a talented writer from a Japanese background could get to the truth of the character? 4/10
Elle: The first thing I think about with Sunfire is the running joke on Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men about how often he quits the team and then rejoins. I think that actually just happens in Giant-Size X-Men #1, but it happens like three times in that one comic. He really does have a great costume, but I can’t come up with much to care about besides that. 3/10
OUR SCORE: 18/50
ANGEL JR., WARREN WORTHINGTON III
Andrew: With apologies to fans of the elder Warren Worthington III (so I guess this one is IIIb), I think ol’ Archangel has become so horribly over-complicated over the years with his horsemanning and blood-healing and brainwashing that I wish they’d get rid of the guy and go back to basics with this one. Of course, they already ruined this one by giving him lazer-wings or whatever. There is nothing wrong with him just being a dude with wings! 6/10.
Katie: My main experience with younger Warren has been in All New Wolverine, where he’s comfortably in the role of cute, supportive boyfriend who occasionally catches his lady love as she’s diving off the Eiffel Tower. It’s easy to smile at a guy like that, so; 7/10.
Steve: He’s a pretty teenage boy and there the personality traits end. Okay no, that’s not fair. I do like that he’s the only one who realises that the original X-Men shouldn’t exist in the present day and just need to go home. Points for that! 5/10
Aaron: I had high hopes for Angel Jr. But his visibility isn’t there. He did make for a great visual dynamic in Immomen’s fight panels. 6/10
Elle: I don’t understand the point of his glowing cosmic super-wings, but in a world where original-model Warren became an amnesiac super-martyr and then a mindless death drone, I’m glad there’s a version of the character around who’s recognizable to fans of The Champions and the New Defenders. 7/10
OUR SCORE: 31/50
FRENZY, JOANNA CARGILL
Aaron: I never understood her obsession with Cyclops. Meh? 2/10
Steve: That was Legion’s fault! He messed with her head! Which has been a recurring theme for her, sadly, probably because she’s viewed as a ‘bruiser’ and the typical response to that style of character is a mind-tap. Frenzy is passable as a member of the X-Men, but it happened in a really dull run of comics, and followed her being really built up nicely as a logical successor to Magneto. She’s again a character who doesn’t get the panel-time that would make her a real threat, yet she’s one of the few X-Men villains who still has a coherent and notable point of view for why she’s a villain. That means a lot. 7/10
Elle: Frenzy’s main power is being strong as hell, but her secondary mutation is unrealized potential. I love the idea of a villain who wants to be a hero because she glimpsed a world where she was one and realized how much better her life could be. She’s an unstoppable tank who’s also a woman, and that’s something I always want more of. 8/10
Andrew: Do you know how many Acolytes there were? Like, a thousand. And most of them are deservedly forgotten --- and I’m talking about dudes even more obscure than Seamus Mellencamp here. But Joanna Cargill is still around. And sure, she was a member of the Alliance of Evil first, but we’re not talking about Tower or Timeshadow these days either. I think there’s something enduringly fascinating about Frenzy, as a strong militant woman who has often crossed the line, and I think there’s a place for her in the X-Men. 7/10
Katie: I know very little about this character besides the fact that she can punch you through the heart and liked Cyclops. But I did see a design for her where she has an awesome side/undercut, and female characters with that hairstyle makes me happy, so maybe more of that haircut, Marvel. 5/10
OUR SCORE: 29/50
STORM, ORORO MUNROE
Steve: One of the most valuable characters in the Marvel Universe. A proud leader and secretly neurotic parent for the students of the X-Mansion, Storm only works when she’s in the midst of the X-Men. She’s a wonderful character, granted such depth and warmth by Chris Claremont. It’s hard to do her wrong, although many have tried! She adds maturity and experience to any book she’s in, although she also has a wit and love of puns which I think sometime get forgotten about. 10/10
Aaron: If there’s one mutant that was capable of changing my life, it was Storm. Storm’s compassion for all life has always been an admirable trait, but even more admirable is the raw power she’s bestowed with, and her control over said power. Storm has incredible personal beats, created mostly by Claremont. She’s an impeccable leader, a brilliant mentor/teacher, and undoubtedly one of the best X-Men in existence. Not to mention she’s the X-counterpart to Grace Jones. 10/10
Katie: If there’s one character that really epitomizes the X-Men, it’s Storm. She’s become one of the true Marvel icons over the years. Even when she lost her powers for years under Claremont’s run, she remained a cornerstone of the X books. I knew Storm first from the (very cheesy) '90s X-Men cartoon, and she made me a huge fan well before I ever touched a comic book. 10/10.
Elle: Storm is perfect. I don’t know what I can say that my colleagues haven’t already said. There’s a difference between favorite and best, and while other mutants may speak to me on a personal level that makes them my favorite, Storm might be the best. 10/10
Andrew: Storm is important, but also, Storm is amazing. I think she’s one of the most exciting and brilliant superhero characters full stop, and she demands respect. 10/10
OUR SCORE: 50/50