Today's Friday Five features three of your Pornokitsch mainstays - Anne, Jon and Jared - plus a special guest from J for Jetpack, all picking their favourite heroic mutant with the mostest (we'll do villains some other day, although you'll note a couple snuck in). Without further ado, let's crank up the Blackbird and go punch some damn evil!
Emma Frost: Probably the least likely breakout figure of the countless characters that came out of Claremont’s years and years of X-writing, though tellingly it’s other people who’ve made her so. She was already on an interesting road when Grant Morrison and then Joss Whedon got their hands on her. Since then she’s become so much a part of the X-Men that it’s hard to remember a time when she wasn’t. Plus, even though she initially came off worst in the confrontation, you’ve got to love someone who sets out to nick Jean Grey’s man.
Rachel Summers (or Grey, what day of the week is it?): Actually the most interesting of the countless...yada yada. Whether it’s rat-tail Rachel, Phoenix Rachel or inexplicable trenchcoat Rachel, they’re all great. My favourite thing about Rachel is that during Avengers Vs X-Men, a series whose entire existence is predicated on the belief that a human being can’t possibly host the Phoenix force without turning into a planet-eating maniac, she casually notes that she hosted the thing for years without eating a single planet. (Except that time with the Beyonder, but let’s make allowances for dealing with someone with that hair.)
M: Ah, Monet St Croix! What’s not to love? Super strength, super speed, super arrogance, etc. Not for nothing did Jubilee once snark that her main power was "being perfect". In ‘her’ first appearances she was secretly a merged version of two of her siblings, impersonating Monet while she was held in an extradimensional prison by their brother. No, seriously. Since she became herself she’s been a mainstay of Generation X, X-Corps, X-Factor and is now part of Brian Woods’ “X-Women” and generally kicks all sorts of ass wherever she goes. Monet is the X-Person I’d secretly like to be.
Cecilia Reyes: The most reluctant of X-Men, Cecila was a doctor who was dragged into the team in the wake of the Zero Tolerance event and never really saw herself as a member, even though she was one of a tiny core group at the time. Her power is a biological forcefield that protects her even without her having to consciously activate it that she learns to use more offensively over time. She’s the most willfully obscure character I could think to include who I actually like, and badly needs to be given more time in the spotlight. That I can't think of a single witty thing to say about her probably indicates exactly how likely she is to get a sudden return to prominence.
Doop: I desperately wanted to write this entry in Doopspeak, but I don’t think HTML would handle it very well. A riddle wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside a green levitating potato-thing; ex-lover of Madonna, instrumental in the fall of the Eastern Bloc, Doop has played many roles to many people. Any suggestion that he/she/it shouldn’t be on a “favourite x-person” list is simply wrong.
Magneto: One of the things I love about Magneto is the fact that, depending on the writer, his powers run the gamut between: "devastating" and "omnipotent". In some issues he's chucking balls of metal at people's heads. In others he's bending space-time. Because, you know, MAGNETISM. ALSO, I have this crazy rant about about the Avengers and X-Men cinematic universes can never be rejoined because NONE of the Avengers movies make any sense in a world where Magneto exists. "Oh, hey, we're scared of alien invasion, let's build a big metal deathship." "Oh, hey, we're worried about terrorists, let's build a fleet of big metal deathships." "THANKS - MAGNETO, XOXO"
Boom-Boom: "I've had to handle worse things than robots with big swords." How could I not include the only X-Person that also featured in NEXTWAVE?
Blink: I never read her outside of the Exiles, but loved her in this series - she was a brilliant heart to the team. This was a great series until you know, it very suddenly and irreversibly became shit. I will never forgive Chris Claremont for what he did to Exiles. Never. NEVER.
Magik: Because she is a badass motherfucker in both PvP and PvE. Also one of the few heroes in the game whose Level 9 > Level 6 > Level 2 > Level 1. Plus, her attacks are both magic and slashing, so you can drop a lot of different ISO-8 on her. I've gone for Aggressive and Sympathetic, and she's a self-healing killing machine. Wait, Magik was in the comics too? Eh. Don't care.
Forge: Back in the day, Forge had the mutant power of 'create plot device' with the secondary mutation of 'generate McGuffin'. But I've always been a sucker for the mutant/superhero who spends most of his/her time back at the ranch, building stuff for the others to forget/explode/crash-land on missions.
Magneto: Smarter than everyone else, with a better power than everyone else, and really damned good at issuing Meaningful Profundities. The one that sticks in my memory comes from the X-Men animated series, when he watches the X-Men fly off to save the day and editorializes 'the brave are always the first to die.' Also, that thing where he ripped Wolverine's adamantium off his skeleton? That was, honest to god, so shocking. It was that single issue of X-Men (issue 25 - and it had a holographic cover! Ah, 1993.) that convinced me that, really, Magneto deserved to win.
Gambit: Not gonna lie: I totally fancy him and his nonsense powers. Let's see: he's from New Orleans, is super flexible, 'converts potential energy to kinetic energy' (but unlike the rest of us, does so with, ahem, explosive results), features really weird eyes, totes around some torturous personal history, has a tumultuous romance going on with Rogue, and is a big ol' flirt. Also, fights with Wolverine and Cyclops a lot, which is pretty grand. And he smokes and wears a frankly absurd trenchcoat, both of which seem like questionable decisions for someone who spends his days fighting giant monsters, but looks cool. What can I say? I'm a sucker.
Magik: For all the reasons Jared outlines, and also because ZOMG teenaged hell-queen.
Husk: Remember her? For some reason, back when I was a sensitive adolescent, I loved her. Probably because she CAN RIP HER OWN SKIN OFF.
Wolverine: On some parallel timeline somewhere my 13-year-old self actually just burst into tears without knowing why. And that why is Wolverine, and the fact that I've just included him on a list of favourite X-People. Look, in the early 90s, Wolverine was the premiere X-Man, and I hated him. He was in everything, on every cover, every t-shirt, and topping every fucking list, smoking his stupid cigars and saying 'bub' a lot, and it was so annoying. (I wanted more tortured romance and less angry smelly Canadian dude.) But all that changed with Bryan Singer's first X-Men movie. Hugh Jackman was awesome as Wolverine. And then I started liking him in the comics because, as it turns out, in the right hands he's a pretty fun character. I don't know, 13-year-old AU Anne. I'm sorry. You'll understand when you're older.
Paul from J for Jetpack says:
Polaris: Everyone talks about how cool Magneto is – Oooh look he can bend spoons, he’s like Marvel’s very own Uri Gellar – and Polaris often gets forgotten but she’s so much cooler than old Maggie. First of all she has the same ability to control metal but she can also have super strength, she’s been the leader of X-factor (which is the grittier younger brother of the X-Men) and did I mention her green hair? Polaris is one of the only characters in comics who can pull off hulked-out hair (hang your emerald head in shame Doc Sampson).
Nightcrawler: The face of a demon and the soul of an angel, Nightcrawler is the true heart of the X-Men. Everyone adores a swashbuckler and a magician and Nightcrawler’s both as he’s adept with sabres and with his powers of teleportation he can BAMF out of sight in puff of smoke. The only downside is this smoke smells of sulphur (actually it’s a gas from the pocket universe but we can talk about this another time) which means every time he uses his power he effectively drops a rotter…
Deadpool: Naysayers will nay and say that Deadpool isn’t an X-Man (despite his trying) but Wolverine made ‘Pool a member of X-Factor and that’s good enough for me gosh darn it! Deadpool, a.k.a the Merc with the Mouth, is one of the funniest, craziest and ultimately most tragic characters in the Marvel universe. ‘Pool can regrow limbs, he’s got two voices in his head (they all frequently argue), he says “Bang Bang” when shooting his gun and he refers to poo as a stink pickle. Beyond this, he’s a master assassin, a maniac mercenary and jibbers near-incoherent hilarity while slicing and dicing enemies.
Cable: Sent back through time to save John Connor the world from a terrifying future, Cable is a fierce warrior who (dependant on the timeline) has incredible telekinetic powers and a big metal arm which is actually a techno-organic virus that threatens to consume his body if not kept in check. Cable’s parents are Cyclops and Jean Grey, he’s often sporting some kind of enormous cannon and he once ruled Providence, his own country which floats through the sky. Pretty cool indeed. One of my favourite memories of Cable in the comics is when he’s attacked on Providence and despite fighting the Silver Surfer it turns out [Spoiler Alert] that Providence, an entire country, is being kept in the air by Cable’s power alone even while holding off a cosmic entity. Nuts! [/Spoiler]
Magik: Magik can er, do magic but she’s no simple magician. When she was young, Illyana Rasputina found herself in a Limbo realm where she eventually became a sorceress supreme and even made a Soulsword out of, you guessed it, her own soul. And this is all before you find out she’s also got the mutant ability to teleport absolutely anywhere in space time. If that wasn’t enough, Magik’s also a complete badass whose attitude could give Wolverine a run for his money and finally, her older brother is Colossus. In the immortal Marvel words… ‘Nuff Said.
Your turn! Which X-Person is your favourite? All formats - comics, films, games, television are eligible, so no reason not to chime in! (And, hey, while you're thinking, why not catch upon Jon's series on comic book crossovers?)