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.

We're heading into the home stretch with another bumper crop of mutants (and associated hangers-on), including the last surviving Jean Grey, the once-and-future Braddock twins, a girl who turns into a wolf, a girl who turns into a shark, the younger, sexier, stupider version of Cable, and a whole bunch of women with just one name.




Elle: Teen Jean is where it’s at. She’s my favorite version of Jean Grey, and my favorite member of the time-displaced “All-New” team. She doesn’t always make the right choice, but she always feels like a real person making choices. And I love her dynamic with Emma Frost. 10/10

Katie: When I ranked older Jean, I mentioned that you had to take any female character originally written by Stan Lee with a grain of salt. But teen Jean has never been written by Stan, and is therefore given a chance to be more than just “the girl.” She has the perspective that her counterpart never had, which makes all the difference. It’s one of the smartest things Marvel has done for the X-Men in a while. She’s a Marvel Girl for the modern world, in all meanings of the phrase. 9/10

Steve: She creates great drama for the other students and really works as a secret antagonist for the X-Men, because all she does all day is bluntly reveal their secrets and use their own minds against them. On the other hand she’s a stroppy little madam who can’t hold a candle to Real Jean, whom we all miss more and more each day. 6/10

Andrew: Isn’t it weird that, even when she stays dead, Jean comes back? An interesting way to square that circle and revisit that story afresh, but I still like Rachel better. 6/10

Aaron: Young Jean does it for me. Her and Cyclops share this resistance to being that version of Jean and Cyclops. Pre-Claremont Jean was never enough for me, she lacked assertion and presence, but this Jean? Even privy to her tragic end, she fights with a fire that’s present way before the Phoenix Force shows up. 9/10

OUR SCORE: 40/50




Elle: She’s one part Anita Pallenberg in Barbarella, one part Patti Smith, and as subtextually queer as a butch punk who rules an underground society could be. She and Storm tried to kill each other that one time, but everybody knows it was about sex. As long as we all agree to pretend she never had tentacles, Callisto’s the coolest. 9/10

Katie: Callisto as Storm’s underground counterpart is so fascinating to me, as is her whole queer punk captain of the forsaken aesthetic. 8/10

Steve: The more we see of her, the less impact she makes. She was so powerful and yet brought to her knees in devastating fashion by Storm. Sadly, all her best work has subsequently been done off-panel. Wink wink. 5/10

Aaron: Normally I have an arsenal of severe side-eyed waiting for those who may have wronged Storm, but Callisto’s got heart. And I gotta hand it to her, keeping Angel locked up as her groom to-be was a boss move. 7/10

Andrew: I was neutral on Callisto, but I am giving her a couple of bonus points for Elle’s description of Callisto. I want to read that character’s story. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 36/50





Elle: Reading Excalibur, I never cared for Brian very much, but I always thought it was interesting to have the British Steve Rogers equivalent be such a troubled guy and on such a weird team. And I love how there’s always fifteen other Captains Britain around from other Earths. Excalibur was such a weird, fun book. 6/10

Katie: It helps that Brian is almost always called out by people around him on his dickbaggery when he’s acting like a dickbag. But … he still acts like a dickbag. 6/10

Steve: Did you know that one of Captain Britain’s powers is that every single person in Great Britain thinks he has the same accent that they do? Literally the only good thing about this plonker. 2/10

Aaron: I can’t believe Betsy’s related to this tool. 2/10

Andrew: One of the all-time great superhero costumes, and a welcome example of a Big Man On Campus character who really does not have his ish squared away. Look, I don’t deny any of the things you all said about him, but I like this jerk. 8/10

OUR SCORE: 24/50




Andrew: I had to look up Ernst’s powers, because I can’t remember when she’s ever used them. Has she ever used them? All I really know her for is looking like a little old lady  --- for admittedly good reasons, but honestly, there are quite a lot of people who look like little old ladies. 4/10

Elle: Ernst used her powers in Spider-Man and the X-Men, which is also the first comic where she displayed enough personality to make me think, “Oh, I really like Ernst.” 7/10

Katie: I wish there were more old lady superheroines in comics, but Ernst wasn’t actually an old lady, right? She just looked like one? 4/10

Steve: Guys! Ernst is Cassandra Nova!

Andrew: Technically, sure, but is anyone at Marvel paying attention to anything Grant Morrison did?

Steve: Much like Doop, she’s this visual in-joke for readers, but unlike Doop, that joke hasn’t been explained and therefore remains amazing. Seeing Little Ernst pottering around doing aimless chores in the background of panels gives me life 8/10

OUR SCORE: 29/50





Steve: Rarrr! Hepzibah slash the birdy aliens with claws and shoot them up gun style to make delicious whiny bird meat, Then Hepzibah find beloved Corsair for alcohols and sex times in spaceship. 10/10

Katie: I’m not going to turn my nose up at a lady space pirate, okay? Hepzibah is pretty dang cool, and she nabbed a suave Earth guy as her main squeeze along the way. 9/10

Andrew: I will note here, so no-one needs to in the comments, that Hepzibah is inspired by a lady skunk character from Walt Kelly’s Pogo, but I don’t think you need to know that at all to appreciate how awesome this free-wheeling alien buccaneer really is. 8/10

Elle: Sexy space skunk step-mom? Yes to that. 7/10

Aaron: She’s something fierce. Get it girl. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 41/50




Andrew: Technically, the Phoenix Force was a member of the X-Men. But technically it’s also… some sort of abstract energy being? I don’t know if it can hold a baseball bat, at least not without cloning the body of a handy redhead. You can be a big part of some big stories and still be just a boring special effect. 2/10

Elle: The Phoenix Force is not a person. The person was Jean (or later, Rachel). 1/10

Steve: I can’t believe Onyxx didn’t make this list. Dude’s got everything you could want from an X-Student! Monster body, obnoxious personality that’s clearly hiding deeper kindness, a round metal head and red glowing eyes… and this one time Mystique smashed him round the head with a toilet! And yet the omnipotent sexual metaphor, The Phoenix Force, makes the list ahead of him? tt 1/10

Aaron: She makes for a great visual. She should be booked for parties & events. 5/10

Katie: What Elle said. 1/10

OUR SCORE: 10/50





Katie: The lapsed Catholic/former awkward teenage girl in me relates to Wolfsbane pretty hard. I do wish Marvel would do more with her now as an adult. 7/10

Elle: I love love love classic New Mutants Wolfsbane. I have less interest in the character she grew up into. Oh well. 7/10

Aaron: I feel for Rahne. She was the most relatable character when I discovered New Mutants. I want teen Rahne back! 7/10

Andrew: Yeah, teen Rahne was solid, but she’s grown up kinda weird. Her relationship with god and her id requires a deft hand to untangle, and she’s mostly just been “werewolf girl”, which ain’t that deft. 6/10

Steve: The first time I encountered Rahne, she was a Bachalo-drawn badass who rode a motorbike and made out with her students. That… was a very different Rahne to the one who showed up in every other comic I’ve subsequently read. I always enjoy her, because she’s such a carefully drawn line in the sand. Writers have to take care when they write her, because one step off-kilter and the character goes crashing into ridiculousness. When she’s done carefully, she’s this brilliant, faceted creation. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 34/50




Katie: Yes, she’s technically not an X-Man. Or a mutant. I don’t care because Stevie is great and she would be a great addition to the X books again. I’d love to see what a 2016 Stevie Hunter is like. 6/10

Andrew: Stevie was around in some of the first X-Men comics I ever read, which led me to have an outsized sense of her importance to the overall canon, when in reality she rates somewhere between a Candy Southern and an Aleytys Forrester. But I like Kitty’s dance teacher better than either of them. 6/10

Elle: Every superhero team should have a resident dance teacher, frankly. 7/10

Aaron: I imagined Stevie teaching Kitty the Rhythm Nation routine. That’s definitely worth something. 6/10

Steve: I miss having random human adults wandering into and round the schools. Stevie was, as noted, the best of them all. She was more a sounding-board for characters like Kitty to bleat at, but sometimes she’d give back just as good as she got! 5/10

OUR SCORE: 30/50





Elle: Frankly, he should be dead. After 50-odd transformations in the past thirty years, Jason Aaron established during his Wolverine and the X-Men run that Warren was dying, and being in a particularly angelic mood at that time, Warren accepted it. And it made sense, with the younger more classic-looking Angel running around simultaneously. But now Archangel’s still around somehow, and younger Angel has silly light-wings. Whatever, X-books. 7/10

Katie: I sort of liked when he thought he was an actual angel and had to meet up with his younger self who he didn’t remember actually being and then became friends with Evan... but yeah, with the young Warren out there now, I don’t know if he really needs to stick around after dying so many times. Just let the guy find some peace already. 6/10

Steve: It was weird that this character who was a blank slate... got turned into a blank slate halfway through Uncanny X-Force. Dark Angel and Archangel are good, but Warren himself is a lot of wet soap. Nobody ever got a real grasp of him, and eventually he got watered down into nothingness. Is that a good metaphor? 4/10

Aaron: Angel as an angel is meh, and he’s pretty up there on the scale of worst convoluted backstories. (No wonder him and Betsy are drawn to each other.) As Steve mentioned, Archangel and Dark Angel are great. I did reaaaaally enjoy him in the X-Men: Season One tradeback. 7/10

Andrew: Yeah, kill this dud. Layers upon layers of nonsense have wrecked this character, and there’s no coming back. He’s a sloppy, sloppy mess. 4/10

OUR SCORE: 28/50




Katie: Mostly I love how Shark-Girl embraced her sharky tendencies pretty quickly. She wants to take a bite out of you … literally! 7/10.

Elle: Shark-Girl’s awesome! She should guest star in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. She should guest star in lots of comics, to be honest. 9/10

Steve: I preferred Steve Sanders’ design for the character over the one they ultimately went with. Shark Girl is okay, I guess? Loa would wipe the floor with her, though! Team Loa, you guys. Bring back Loa. #TeamLoa. 3/10

Aaron: Nuh Uh. 2/10

Andrew: She’s a shark and she’s a girl, I don’t know what’s not to love about this. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 28/50





Andrew: Before there was Noh-Varr, there was Nate, the young, dumb, full of combustion clone of Cable, who I liked much better than Cable because he was prettier and his abs were drawn by Steve Skroce. I don’t think the character was ever well developed or well-used, but I always thought there was a great story in him, and sure enough, Grant Morrison and JG Jones told it when they created Marvel Boy. 7/10

Elle: I was going to ask why we need this guy, but I feel like Andrew just explained it. Personally, though, I remain unmoved. 2/10

Steve: Cable’s better. Cyclops is better. Dare I say… Havok is better? Or equal, perhaps. I don’t enjoy giving Havok credit and this column shan’t make me do it. Nate is bland toast indeed, although perhaps that’s simply because I never got to see his Skroce abs. He made out with his mum once. 4/10

Aaron: Gosh I’m admitting that Havok’s better? 3/10

Katie: The Summers/Grey family tree is confusing and this particular branch is pretty boring. 2/10

OUR SCORE: 18/50




Andrew: She uses doors to teleport! And she looks like Amy Sedaris trying to pass as a twenty-year-old in order to flirt with much younger men at the sort of nightclub that doesn’t admit any young men! I love all of that! I love her! 8/10

Elle: My favorite version of Ariel is the Colleen Doran redesign that only appeared in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, because the second Fallen Angels series that Doran was supposed to draw never came out. It’s a tragedy. 7/10

Katie: Ariel is fun, and I like that later look of hers with the short pink and blonde hair. 6/10

Aaron: I’m so here for her candy-coated aura. 8/10

Steve: Again, I’m the only person in the world who hasn’t read Fallen Angels, but handily my experience comes instead from a Mike Carey/Daniel Acuna collabo --- lordy, cast your mind back five years at the glory of the X-Men Universe back then. I like the hair, the stiff jackets, and her catchphrase “AW SPIT” --- and folks? If you got good hair, a nice jacket and a handy catchphrase, you’re in my good books. 7/10

OUR SCORE: 36/50





Katie: I’m kind of bored by Sabertooth. Maybe because he’s Logan’s nemesis and therefore gets overexposed like Logan? I dunno, he doesn’t do much for me anymore. 6/10.

Aaron: Katie, yes to everything you mentioned. Even in the new Uncanny X-book, which features an awesome roster including Magneto, Psylocke and M, Sabertooth has become so dull that it should be a secondary mutation for him. 5/10

Steve: This guy again. 3/10

Andrew: I really like Sabertooth with a short 50s Tom of Finland farmboy haircut, and I like that time Psylocke kicked his butt up and down the house. Otherwise, I agree that we’ve seen too much of him. Even his “for real” death was overblown (and bogus). He needs to just go. 5/10

Elle: Victor Creed should get his hands on the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak and become the new Juggernaut. Then they’d be one boring villain instead of two. 3/10

OUR SCORE: 22/50




Elle: Siryn’s technically not a mutant, right? She didn’t mutate, she just inherited her father’s power. But I guess in the Marvel Universe being a mutant just means you have an “X-gene,” and she must have inherited that too. Okay, so I guess she’s a mutant. She’s still an awful lot like Banshee though. 5/10

Katie: I kind of would rather just have Banshee? 4/10

Steve: Siryn’s another fantastic character --- again, with this distinct hair and accent, but also a brilliant costume, which really works for her and makes her stand out amongst the rest of a team. She has a clear head on her shoulders and is just so... direct about things. Siryn’s great in X-Factor --- read the first arc and tell me she doesn’t deserve at least a 7/10! She’s now the Morrigan, best I know, so she also predicted the rise of The Wicked and The Divine. 8/10

Andrew: That Morrigan stuff is weird. Siryn feels to me like the sort of character who should have just grown in confidence and maturity until she ended up on the Avengers, but somehow she’s a death goddess now? I dunno. It’s not what I wanted for her. 5/10

Aaron: I’m usually a fan of Celtic mythos, including Morrigan and all of her hijinks, but even her death goddess deal couldn’t keep me interested in Siryn. One Banshee is enough for the X-Men. 4/10

OUR SCORE: 26/50





Elle: How has nobody fixed the Psylocke problem yet? We have a Magik from another timeline, five founding X-Men from the past, and an alternate future Wolverine, but we’re just supposed to accept that Betsy Braddock is going to be a white British woman in a stolen Asian body forever? Marvel, what is your problem? And it’s worse because I like Betsy Braddock. 7/10

Steve: She’s complete garbage. 1/10

Katie: If we were ranking Betsy from the ‘80s, my score would be totally different. Because Betsy herself is fine! But the whole mind-swap thing is just --- oof. It’s rough. And Marvel just sort of letting it quietly stay canon doesn't help matters. 4/10

Aaron: I love Psylocke. I loved her even more in Remender’s X-Force, and in the Uncanny X-Men title she’s kicking so much ass, but Elle’s absolutely right. Marvel should amend this stolen body business stat! Can we bring back the days of supermodel Betsy? 8/10

Andrew: I’m with Katie, ‘80s Betsy was amazing. Turning her into a “bad girl” ninja was disrespectful to a great character and all kinds of racist, but making her not-Asian now would also be pretty racist, since she’s unfortunately one of the most high profile Asian superheroes around. My imperfect fix would be to establish her as the Betsy Braddock from an Anglo-Asian parallel reality, but no fix would satisfy everyone, and it’s a shame. She was a great character once. 6/10

OUR SCORE; 26/50




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