100 X-Men: How Do Laura, Kitty, Benjamin, Hope & Gambit 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 we're asking for your input on the greatness of two of the toughest young women ever to wield Wolverine claws, Kitty Pryde and Laura Kinney, plus the latest and youngest of the many Marvel mutant redheads. But perhaps most contentious of all, here's your chance to decide if Gambit is the best or the worst.
WOLVERINE, LAURA KINNEY
Katie: Laura is the best at what she does and I’m very happy I was able to nab her for my fantasy team. 9/10
Andrew: I wasn’t a big fan of Laura when she first showed up, because of the whole clone thing. Too many clones. And too many Wolverines. But she’s really come into her own in the last few years, and shaking off that silly X-23 identity and becoming the new actual Wolverine clinches it. She’s great. 8/10
Elle: I’ve already made my feelings on this very clear. Laura Kinney is awesome, and she’s the one true Wolverine as far as I’m concerned. 10/10
Steve: When she first appeared I couldn’t believe that Kyle/Yost were able to get away with the sheer bleak torture they put her through. It was shocking to me, and I banded behind the character as a result. Over time the torture lost the shock, horribly enough, and it started to feel like some kind of gauntlet: I’ve heard people describe certain storylines as “torture porn,” and that’s certainly hard to argue. Yet aside from that horror, this character has slowly grown and developed and stepped up into the role of Laura Kinney, The Wolverine, and I really admire and respect what the character has become. 8/10
Aaron: Like Andrew, I was over the clone ordeal, but I became a recent fan thanks to Elle’s All New Wolverine article and recommendation. Thanks Elle! 8/10
OUR SCORE: 43/50
SHADOWCAT, KITTY PRYDE
Elle: Kitty Pryde is Marvel's Wonder Woman, in the sense that she's one of the greatest characters of all time, but they'd rather relegate her to being some dude's love interest; in the sense that she has legions of fans, but the company can't figure out what on earth to do with her; and in the sense that she's obviously bisexual, but they won't just let her be bisexual. I’ve loved Kitty Pryde since I was a kid (much as I’ve loved Wonder Woman), and it’s very frustrating. 8/10
Steve: One day this girl will be president. The actual best X-Men character of all time. 10/10
Katie: Jubilee was that kid X-Man character for me growing up, simply because my touchpoint was the cartoon and not the comics. But Kitty when done well is something really special... so I wish they’d stop trying to nudge her into ill-advised romances (or secretly impregnate her with Brood babies, because that trope is never okay, Marvel! I don’t care that you thought it would be a funny storyline for like two issues). And oh yeah, let Kitty Pryde be bi. 7/10
Aaron: I truly fell for Kitty in God Loves Man Kills and Days of Future Past aaand the Magik miniseries. But I’m gonna fight Steve on the best character of all time as that title goes to Queen 'Roro. Kitty’s truly a breakout, and when I think quintessential X-woman, I think of Kitty. I’ll never not love “Professor X is a Jerk!” Damn right, Kitty, Damn right. 8/10
Andrew: Kitty is core four. Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty; they’re the X-Men. 9/10
OUR SCORE: 42/50
MORPH, BENJAMIN DEEDS
Katie: Has Benjamin done much? He was introduced with fairly straightforward powers but has been mostly a background character at most. He never even got an X-Men name (pretty sure he never officially used the Morph title because haha, that would be silly, right?). One of many squandered young adult X-Men among the many of the 2000s. 3/10.
Andrew: Some of this class didn’t even make the cut for the long list; I think Ben snuck through on the strength of that one interesting issue where he tries to learn to use his powers. But is anyone going to pick this character up now Bendis is gone? Also, his powers are kind of creepy. 4/10
Elle: All I want is a story that explores the sex/gender implications of Benjamin’s powers, and there is no way in the world that Marvel will ever give it to me. If he ever even appears again, which he very well might not. 6/10
Aaron: Elle I’m so here for that story! 4/10
Steve: I read the Bendis X-Men issues for this column, so I could acquaint myself with the characters and see which ones were the good ones. Deeds isn’t one of the good ones. 4/10
OUR SCORE: 21/50
Elle: Hope is one of those characters who was basically created for one story and then just sort of stuck around. She’s okay, but I’m not very invested in her. 5/10
Steve: A lot of people wanted Hope to be Jean, but if you read the Duane Swierczynski run on Cable, you immediately can tell that this will never be the case. Hope’s literal growth in that book from a babbling baby into precocious young girl and feisty war-teenager is tremendously entertaining to watch, and led her into becoming one of the most spirited characters in the X-Men. She may not have been ‘important’, but she was well-written, and I’ll take that anyday. 8/10
Aaron: After AvX, I lost Hope. 5/10
Katie: Hope is middle of the road for me. She was a plot point and then I'm not sure Marvel had any idea what to do with her after, which is a problem we’ve seen a lot through this column. 5/10
Andrew: Steve’s right, she’s a redundant surrogate Jean --- redundant twice over, because we have Rachel, and we have a backup Jean. If you think Scott and Sinister are obsessed with pert young redheads, they’ve got nothing on Marvel editorial. Call your wives, fellas. 4/10
OUR SCORE: 27/50
GAMBIT, REMY LEBEAU
Katie: My liking of Gambit has waned quite a bit as I’ve grown older and realized how many red flags he sends out. He’s set up to be a romantic, suave guy, but truth be told, he’s kind of a creeper! That being said, I do like his power set, and the bowstaff is still my favorite melee weapon. 5/10
Aaron: I’m guilty in that I’ve never experienced comic book Gambit the way most fans did. I fell in love with Remy via the animated series. But when I became attached to comic Gambit, it was through his close relationship was Storm. Figures. 7/10
Andrew: I’m not going to lie; I think Gambit is a delightful little minx, and I am into it. He can steal his way into my boudoir any time. Also, I like a male hero who has no compunctions about wearing pink. 9/10
Aaron: Andrew, you own a boudoir?!
Andrew: I drink wine in my bedroom, I think that counts.
Elle: Yeah, I am just not buying what he’s selling. Keep your playing cards in your pocket, dude. 3/10
Steve: Gambit can be fun. Also, sometimes Gambit hangs out with Rogue. Fun Gambit and Rogue Gambit barely go… hand in hand. A joke! Because Gambit and Rogue can’t touch hands? Ah, whatever. I don’t see him as much of a creeper, to be fair --- he’s been pretty open and honest about himself, especially in recent years, which has simultaneously warmed up the character’s heart and made him a little less interesting. 6/10
OUR SCORE: 30/50