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 come to the end of our list of 125 jury-picked contenders for the top 100 X-Men, and we've saved some of the best for last. This is your chance to vote for the X-Men's first villain, its swashbuckling soul, and some of the definitive heroes of the '90s, including Jubilee, Feral, and Shatterstar, and the two biggest of the big dudes with guns.

 

CABLE, NATHAN DAYSPRING ASKANI’SON SUMMERS

Andrew: Like Nate Grey, but boring. 4/10

Elle: Cable has his moments. Dennis Hopeless and Si Spurrier have told some great stories with him in recent years. He’s a character who’s grown past his ‘90s origins to a degree that many never have. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still not in my top 30 X-Men or anything. 6/10

Katie: It took me a while to realize it, but Cable represents for me everything that made me wary of getting into comics as a kid --- the complicated continuity, the violence, the giant guns, the weirdly veiny muscles, the grim and the gritty (and it didn’t help that the female characters in books with him were drawn in that creepy '90s T&A way). Those comics made a point of letting kid Katie know loud and clear that comics weren’t supposed to be for her, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to see past that for Cable as a character. 3/10

Aaron: Cable’s always been a bloated character, filled with convoluted backstory and battle-hardened edge that reeks of '90s action figure commercials. But he’s still better than X-Man, and every now and then, he makes a for a good Terminator-type hero in a weird time-traveling story. Even my own feelings for Cable are convoluted. 3/10

Steve: Bloated, convoluted, confusing --- but actually, I find it’s very easy to completely throw away all Cable’s backstory when he’s in a series, and follow him in the here-and-now. I wish he had more time spent with other leaders like Cyclops, Wolverine and especially Storm, because his militarized background makes him absolutely gripping as this stone-cold force of tactical terror. He’s got the baggage of the '90s, but luckily he has a lot of pouches to store it in. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 23/50

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BLINDFOLD, RUTH ALDINE

Katie: Jeez, Blindfold just can't catch a break. Basically every part of her life story is sad and miserable and her Cassandra-like powers mean she can rarely if ever stop her visions from coming to pass, no matter how much she warns people. And her boyfriend willed himself out of existence in order to save her life. It's super tragic, but what do you expect when you’re a female character created by Joss Whedon? I mostly just feel really bad for her. 5/10

Aaron: You get the sense she’s been doomed from the start. Why else would she have had the pleasure of possession by Proteus? 4/10

Andrew: Can someone explain her relationship to Destiny to me? They're connected somehow, right? I like Destiny a bunch. Blindfold doesn’t really speak to me so much. 3/10

Steve: Blindfold got ‘explained’ twice, which is interesting. Firstly in Young X-Men, where she had an invisible friend. Secondly in X-Men Legacy where she had an invisible evil mastermind brother who was a dangerous megalomaniac who ruined her life every single second. Such are the options of an X-Man. Blindfold’s really likeable, I think; a curious soul in the team who can kick a story off, round out the ending, or just tag along and offer perspective as things go along. I always enjoy having her around. 8/10

OUR SCORE: 25/50

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NIGHTCRAWLER, KURT WAGNER

Andrew: I love Kurt. I don’t know why Wolverine is the one who ends up on every superhero team when Kurt is an option (setting aside whether either of them is dead at any given time). He’s a swashbuckler, a spiritual soul, a romantic, and a beautiful freak, and it’s just not the X-Men without him. 10/10

Katie: Kurt is great. It still weird that he almost became the Pope one time, but he's so damn charming, and the most swashbuckly swashbuckler in comics --- outside of actual pirate comics. I’d pay good money to see him join up with the Starjammers for a space pirate series. 9/10.

Elle: Kurt is one of the best superheroes. Except in those moments when his religiosity is over-emphasized at the expense of his adventurousness and charm. When that happens, he immediately becomes a boring character that I don’t care about. That was a huge problem in the original animated series and X2, and then it became a problem in the comics for a while, but thankful it got walked back and he became cool again. And when he’s cool, he’s the coolest. 9/10

Aaron: The figurative and literal Errol Flynn of the X-Men, Kurt is hands down one of the best X-Men ever. Kurt understand humans more than most, and therein lies his compassion. But he’s anything but dull. Even in the afterlife, he became an actual pirate. I friggin' love you, Kurt. 10/10

Steve: One of the good guys. I like his positioning within the X-Men, as a second-in-command sort of figure. He’s tried being a leader, and he’s just no good at it, but he has guts and determination and wholly defines the point of the X-Men comics. The moment in God Loves, Man Kills where he gets pointed out to the world as being some kind of evil freak is stellar, stunning storytelling. Kurt’s the nicest guy in the room, but he looks weird, and some people are never going to give him a chance. Spend five minutes with him --- as readers have had ample chance to do --- and you’ll respect the hell out of him. 9/10

OUR SCORE: 47/50

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HELLION, JULIAN KELLER

Steve: The superior version of Quentin Quire, which I know only I think is true but still. Hellion got developed through a long-term traumatic origin to turn him into the antiseptic half-hero of the X-Men’s newest generation, until editorial gave up on that generation and switched to a mix of Morrison/Quitely’s kids and some new bland ones that don’t work. As a result, well-developed creations like Hellion, Surge, Anole, and so on all got essentially dropped from memory. Hellion can be great fun, though --- he’s so dislikeable that his presence in a team makes him so valuable. 6/10

Katie: Hellion doesn’t do much for me. Don’t hate him, don’t have much vested interest in him. I think I’d rather have Quentin Quire. 5/10

Aaron: Hellion’s a telepath I can invest in. I’d love to see him at peak potential. 6/10

Andrew: I don’t think of him as the superior Quentin Quire, but as the derivative Manuel de la Rocha, the a-hole so handsome that you’d let him get away with more than you should. But Julian is actually a more sympathetic character, and I think he has potential. 6/10

Elle: Hellion hasn’t completely fallen by the wayside at least. He had a role in the recent Spider-Man and the X-Men series (which was delightful, by the way). His free-floating robo-hands are a great visual. 6/10

OUR SCORE: 29/50

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SHATTERSTAR, GAVEEDRA SEVEN

Elle: I have to confess: I never read most of the comics where Shatterstar became an interesting character. I just remember him as a Liefeld guy with two blades on his sword. But if I’m honest, I was pretty into that when I was 12. And then later he and I both realized we were queer. Good for us. 6/10

Aaron: I’m so glad I chose him for my fantasy team, swoon levels aside, he gives me a cosmic James Dean vibe. 8/10

Andrew: Without the rat-tail mullet and the shoulder-croissant, Shatterstar has become one suave swashbuckling mamma-jamma, and I am feeling it. Shattybuns is an amazing, vibrant, weird and wonderful character who could and should be having sexy adventures up and down the galaxy. 9/10

Steve: Liefeld-era X-Men is a big blank void for me --- I have never read, and probably never will read, those comics. So I’m okay with Shatterstar! It makes perfect sense that Dazzler would give birth to the most fabulous freewheeling sex-gladiator ever seen in comics. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 38/50

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FERAL, MARIA CALLASANTOS

Elle: You can never have too many feline-themed women in comics… is apparently something that a lot of people making comics have thought over the years. Even as a kid it bothered me that Feral’s costume seemed to be stiff, structured armor, when agility was her whole deal. We have now reached the end of my thoughts about Feral. 3/10

Katie: I like Wolfsbane better? 4/10

Aaron: Feral was definitely something… but she was no Tigra 2/10

Andrew: You might think Feral is the all-time worst cat-themed super-character, a testament to how creatively bankrupt comics could be in the flashy '90s, but she’s not even the worst cat-themed super-character in her own family. Thornn is even worse! And two years after Feral debuted, the Avengers invented its own version in Deathcry. These characters are not interesting just because they are cat women! 2/10

Steve: I was going to say what Andrew said. But hey, listen, sometimes a story just needs an angry vixen with razor-sharp claws who can ignore all the logic her friends offer because she just wants to gut someone. We’ve all got that side to us (er, right?) and Feral’s fun when put in that position of irrational, feisty, feline. 6/10

OUR SCORE: 17/50

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JUBILEE, JUBILATION LEE

Andrew: I really wish she wasn’t a vampire with a baby. I’m sorry, I’m sure these were well-intended attempts to add fresh dimensions to the character, but I wasn’t done hanging out with the loud-mouthed upstart mallrat who made the X-Men so much fun. Cure the vampirism; send the baby to live in the future. Bring back Jubilee. 8/10

Elle: Andrew is saying exactly what I also feel. We all know deep down that Jubilee should not be a vampire mom. She should be a reckless kid with plasma powers. But I’m never going to not like Jubilee, because Jubilee rules. It’s just that she used to rule that much harder than she does now. 9/10

Katie: I said this during my Kitty Pryde scoring, but I’ll say it again --- my childhood point of reference for the X-Men was the animated series, and therefore Jubilee is the kid X-Man in my heart. It’s easy for certain fans (mostly dudes) to put Jubilee down specifically because she’s a peppy teenage girl who quips and smiles and wears fun clothes. Well, surprise, that’s basically all the things I love about comics. 9/10

Aaron: My point of reference for Jubilee will always be in “Night of the Sentinels” where she breaks a mall video game, disrupts Storm and Rogue’s shopping spree, and fall helplessly into the arms of Gambit. How could you not want to be her? 9/10

Steve: Never seen the animated series! Boy, I have a lot of blank spaces in my X-Men history. Luckily I filled them with Chuck Austen comics! Um, but anyway, yes, Jubilee was depowered when I got into comics, and for me what I see is this slightly faded character with a bright, beautiful past to her. I really love that idea --- that her best days were so glorious, but now she has to live with life out the mutant spotlight. I’m not a fan of her being a vampire, of having a kid, or not wearing pink shades anymore, though. She kinda needs a Nextwave-style reboot? 7/10

OUR SCORE: 42/50

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CYPHER, DOUG RAMSEY

Katie: Doug Ramsey is great. Underused? Yes; but great. Underappreciated in story and in fandom? Yes; but still great. 7/10

Andrew: I feel like Doug has one of those power sets that confound every writer who wasn’t the one that came up with it, so they’re all still trying to work out what he’s for. But Doug’s generous personality has always mattered more than his underwhelming language powers. 6/10

Elle: Doug’s powers would be awesome to have in the real world. But Doug doesn’t live in the real world. Doug lives in a world where sometimes a nutball wearing a bear skull and a pince-nez tries to shoot your friend, and if your only power is speaking languages, all you can do is take the bullet for her. Doug’s a good kid. 8/10

Aaron: There’s certainly untapped potential for Doug’s power set. I’d love to see it manifest while helping to read an incantation or something otherworldly. He needs that, otherwise he becomes bland. 6/10

Steve: Hate him. He’s so dull! He hangs around, talks about language and linguistics in convoluted ways that don’t tend to have any basis in whatever’s happening at any given moment, and then slumps off-panel like the total drag he is. 2/10

OUR SCORE: 29/50

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MEGGAN

Andrew: A British Romani elemental shapeshifter, Meggan is fascinating to me. She’s incredibly powerful, but almost without ego. She’s poor, uneducated, an outcast several times over, and all she wants to do is help and nurture others. (And maybe build a family.) She’s a beautiful superhero. 9/10

Elle: She’s too good for Brian Braddock, I’ll tell you that for free. I always liked how she’d turn blue when she was hitting it off with Kurt. So cute! 8/10

Katie: I like Meggan a lot, and yes she should have gotten with Kurt, who would have loved her no matter what shape she took. 7/10

Steve: My first Meggan comic was the one where she ‘returned’, and my second one was the one where she ‘went away’, which was a strange reading experience. It sort of fits her, though, because she’s been tugged in so many different directions over the years. I like her, but I think I need more time with her to truly appreciate the character. As it is, I like her, and that’s a lot more than can be said for most of the other British characters! 7/10

OUR SCORE: 33/50

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SKIDS, SALLY BLEVINS

Steve: Nobody rocks a beret like Blevins. 8/10

Katie: I love Skids! She has one of the more unique power sets, but with heartbreaking physical boundaries. And her fashion sense was so fun. More Skids please, Marvel! 7/10

Andrew: My main connection with Skids is a shared fondness for hot redheads that I’m never going to touch, but I also look pretty sharp in a beret. Solidarity, sister. 6/10

Aaron: The animal print leggings was a bit much of my taste, but she has a sweet power-set. 6/10

Elle: Whatever happened to Skids? She never got to do that much, but I was fond of the second most fashionable X-Terminator. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 34/50

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BANSHEE, SEAN CASSIDY

Elle: In Giant-Size X-Men #1, when Xavier is recruiting everyone, he finds Sean Cassidy in Nashville, at the Grand Ol’ Opry. As a Tennessean, I’ve always loved that. Banshee had an interesting role in the X-Men, as the older guy who wore sweaters and smoked a pipe. He was never a particular favorite, but I liked him and I miss him. 8/10

Katie: I like his sweater and pipe look a lot. He also seems like one of the more reasonable adults among the X-Men and he was good to Moira, which is more than we can say about some of her other love interests. 7/10

Aaron: I was always too enamored with the rest of the Giant-Size X-Men roster to show interest in Sean, but he seemed genuine and true, and even stuck by the X-Men’s side after he temporarily lost his abilities. 7/10

Andrew: I’d love to have seen more of Banshee and Forge as a globetrotting buddy act. The X-Men franchise is very youth oriented, but I think it needs a generational aspect too, and the fact that a character like Banshee can be so easily discarded is… well, maybe it’s an apt representation of how easily identity politics can disregard its own past? Too heavy? I also like the pipe. 7/10

Steve: To be sure to be sure, Banshee is one of my favourite X-Men characters. He’s terrific, as noted, because he’s got this age gap between him and the others, meaning he more naturally fits into the mentor/teacher role than, say, Rachel or Kitty. It’s a shame that the school aspect of the X-Men never seems to be more than a vague afterthought, because it’d be great to have him as the headmaster of the school once more. Cyclops/Wolverine/Kitty don’t fit that role --- but Sean does. He’s wise, well-trained, and canny --- I want to see him back... but then again I loved what his death meant to Siryn, and don’t want to take that away either! 8/10

OUR SCORE: 37/50

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OMEGA SENTINEL, KARIMA SHAPANDAR

Katie: I have a soft spot for cyborg ladies with blaster arms, and I love the fact that she was an Indian police detective before becoming a cyborg, but apparently she hasn’t been used since 2013, when she was depowered? How do you depower a cyborg?? 5/10

Andrew: That is a very good question, and I’m worried about the possible answers. I’m not very attached to Karima, but I’ll say this for her; she’s a pretty useful recruitable character in Marvel Avengers Alliance, because she’s multiple-class and has healing and defensive powers and a pretty good melee attack. Thanks Karima! 5/10

Aaron: Karima was a fun addition to watch during the "Messiah Complex" arc. She has potential, but it seems she too has been dumped on the island of mutant misfit characters. 6/10

Steve: Karima was on my all-time favorite X-Men team, and she’s a clear, insightful character who just so happens to be easy to wirelessly hack into and redesign as a villain. Oops. She had a brief moment in the sun and then got put away. Sadly, I don’t think we’ll see her again, which is a huge shame --- she’s a wonderful character. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 29/50

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LUCAS BISHOP

Elle: Bishop was the most ‘90s of ‘90s characters. You might say it was Cable, but you’d be wrong, because when Cable came from the future with huge guns, that was still relatively new (at least in X-Men comics). Bishop managed to be even more ‘90s by being so derivative. That said, I kind of like the thing they’ve done with Bishop in recent years, where he’s been lost in the timestream more than once, so he’s sort of perpetually the guy showing up in the present with some specific mission and not knowing the lay of the land. Also, the dreadlocks are an improvement on the mullet. Anything would be. 6/10

Aaron: I adored Bishop. Of course I discovered him via the animated series. His grit and his thoroughness in completing his missions has been a point of interest, even making him a villain in some arcs like "Messiah Complex." 7/10

Andrew: One ticket to boresville, please. These macho big-gun characters do nothing for me, and Bishop’s “x-traitor” obsession made him a one-note trudge. Also, and relatedly, he didn’t like Gambit, so we can’t be friends. 4/10

Steve: Bishop’s started as a gun-totin’ badass that matched up to Cable, until over the years the writers made it clear that he simply wasn’t as good as Nathan. Recently he’s had a lot of incredibly dodgy racial stuff piled onto him --- that he’s related to Gateway, and Storm; that he’s the baby-threatening villain of the team; that he’s actually Aboriginal and once visited the dream-time, and more. He could be, a bit like Banshee, someone who offers presence of mind to the X-Men --- as it is, he can’t push past into the spotlight because he’s got an armful of baggage and all the white dudes are stood in the way. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 30/50

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GOMI, DON & BILL

Katie: I have a soft spot for this boy and his pet lobsters from Fallen Angels. RIP Don. 6/10

Andrew: Pour one out for Don. I don’t know why I hate Maggott’s dumb powers but love Gomi and friends, but the heart wants what it wants, and I want lobster. (It says something about how terrible Maggott is that he didn't even make our 125-character-long "shortlist" for this series of polls.) 7/10

Elle: I could take or leave Gomi, but those lobsters are badass. Poor, poor Don. 7/10

Aaron: At least someone has a soft spot for him. 2/10

Steve: I pretty much have no idea what any of you are talking about. He sounds like a warm-up for the decades-to-come glory that was Maggott. 3/10

OUR SCORE: 25/50

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MAGNETO, MAX EISENHARDT

Elle: Magneto was right. The problem is that, ultimately, supervillains are of limited utility as role models. No matter how valid your philosophy is, once you’re attacking the Earth from a base built into an orbiting meteor, you’re pretty much a jerk. 9/10

Katie: Magneto has jumped around the playing field so much in his decades of comics. From flat out villain, to a more nuanced and respected antagonist, to the actual headmaster of the Xavier Institute, back to villain, and everywhere in between. What I think keeps Magneto relevant and compelling is that he almost always has a good point to his argument, even if the ends rarely justify the means. 9/10

Aaron: Y’all know how much love I have for Magneto. What started out as a silly cape-and-helmet wearing bad guy quickly evolved into one of comics’ most complex villains --- if you can even consider him as such. He remains one of the most interesting X-Men, and despite his murky morals, he’s there to help mutantkind when they need him... sorta 10/10

Andrew: The best villain in comics, because he is right, and because he can cross over to the side of the heroes without changing really anything about him. He doesn’t get redeemed, he just recongifugres. This is why I’m actually glad of the Xorn retcon; the one thing Magneto doesn’t need is to be boiled down to “generic pantomime badde”. 10/10

Steve: That’s the best Magneto though, surely? No okay fine. I agree he’s a great villain, but he’s no Mystique. He’s actually a much better fit in the X-Men than as a villain opposing them --- I like him replacing the Xavier role, because it also means Xavier isn’t around. He has immediate rapport with every other character he meets, which I like --- you can put any other X-Men in a room with him, and it would be interesting. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 45/50

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