I remember the first issue of the Uncanny X-Men I ever bought (or, that my mom bought me) – #196, titled ‘What Was That?’ It was a Secret Wars II crossover issue, and began my longstanding, on and off love affair with Marvel’s mighty mutants. On that note, here are five of my personal favourite mutants to grace the pages of the X-Men.
1) Kitty Pryde – yes, you, me and Joss Whedon – we all love us some Kitty Pryde, don’t we. Whether she’s Ariel, Sprite or Shadowcat, Kitty has always been an endearing character; brave, mature and relatable. She’s probably the most ‘human’ of all the X-Men. These days, she’s acting the professor with the All-New X-Men, and demonstrating why she’s still a popular character.
2) Cyclops – this choice comes as a bit of a surprise to me, but in thinking about my faves, Scott Summers just kept popping up. Here’s a character that for a long time was defined by his status as the leader of the X-Men, but when Storm took the reigns (even minus her powers for a time), Scott had to redefine himself. But the truth is – he is the defining X-Man, and his current arc is compelling stuff.
3) Emma Frost – she came in as a villain, but crossed the aisle to the side of the angels, a move that hasn’t dulled The White Queen’s bite. Sarcastic and sexy (we’re talking the comic book version, not the First Class take), Emma is a force to be reckoned with, a believable matron for young mutants.
4) Wolverine – I suppose you can’t love the X-Men and not love Wolverine. For me, Chris Claremont’s run remains the definitive interpretation of Logan on the team. He’s given gravitas dealing with his killer nature, while alternately becoming a father figure to both Kitty Pryde and Jubilee. Wolvie’s still great, of course, but I don’t know if he’ll ever be better than in the hand’s of Claremont.
5) The Beast – another bit of a shock to me, but as I was thinking about the characters who always pop off the page for me, Dr. Henry McCoy always seems to grab me. Whether he’s all blue and furry, or an oversized human, Beast is a complex character in every iteration. His current human incarnation in All-New X-Men, and his love of Jean Grey, gives him even more depth, and more to love.
So, who is your favourite X-Man?