This week, fans get to decide who will be the final member of Marvel’s new X-Men team! Who wins big, who ran a strong campaign despite losing, and who never really stood a chance whatsoever? The answers may surprise you! Comic Watch’s resident X-Men brain trust – Gabriel De Jesus, Duna Haller, Ross Hutchinson, and Matt Meyer – put their heads together as only the most dedicated X-fans could, and ran the odds as to who the next official X-Man (or -Woman) will be. They weighed the pros and cons of each character, as well as intangibles and real-world factors. Who wins? Who loses? The countdown begins below!
*DISCLAIMER: Odds based on overall predication without factoring in early voting!*
10. STRONG GUY
- Is strong
- Is funny
- Good at following orders and gets along with everyone
- Not currently doing anything in any of the other X-books, so he’s free
- Former detective/king of Hell
- His power set is relatively basic, and may be replicated by another X-Man
- Not a highly popular character outside of niche fandom
- Tends to be unceremoniously killed off due to lack of popularity
- Wouldn’t be written by Peter David, who is the only writer who ever gets him right
OUR TAKE: We love Guido, A.K.A. Strong Guy. With all our hearts. But the character has had a rocky road over the years, starting life as Lila Cheney’s bodyguard, becoming a government X-Factor-ite, dying unceremoniously, coming back to life, doing nothing for a long stretch, becoming an X-Factor-ite detective, losing his soul, becoming the king of hell, becoming not the king of hell without much explanation, and then dying unceremoniously. Again. The point is this – there’s no true defining through-line for Strong Guy as a character; he tends to bounce around from scenario to scenario with no clear direction, and nobody really knows how to write him or what to do with him other than Peter David. And Peter David ain’t taking over X-Men from Jonathan Hickman anytime soon. His fandom is mainly devotees to both of David’s X-Factor runs; he doesn’t have a lot of legs where fans are concerned in and of himself. And since “Dawn” and “Reign of X” have started, he’s just been hanging out in the background. Granted, though, plenty of D-list characters have been given a chance to shine anew lately (Whizkid, anyone?), so maybe it’s Strong Guy’s time. But we aren’t counting on it.
- Incredibly powerful, though not quite omega level
- Works well with others
- Long-standing history with the X-Men, basically knows everybody and used to be a member of the team
- Magneto’s daughter, but without the moral ambiguity
- Cool green hair
- Has some issues right now (see X-Factor)
- Previous possession by the Marauder Malice could make her more easily susceptible to psychic attack
- Tendency toward lack of direction
- One of those characters whom everyone likes but maybe doesn’t love
OUR TAKE: Polaris rules. Period. And we love her. Well, we like her. Love to like her? Anyway, that’s the thing: Lorna Dane is one of those characters that has been around for decades, everyone likes, but has never really burst forth as a leading player with a hardcore dedicated fan base on par with, say, Gambit or Rogue or Psylocke. She’s always part of an ensemble, and works extremely well with others – but never as a leading lady. Couple that with her confusing, retconned backstory (she’s Magneto’s daughter, except now she isn’t! Oh wait, she is!), and you have a character who is almost defined by her sitting at the edges of the spotlight, just waiting for her chance to finally shine. Sure, that time could be now – but without a larger fandom, coupled with her dedicated role in Leah Williams’ X-Factor, leads us to believe that Lorna is staying where she is for now. Especially since Williams is actively addressing her overarching lack of direction.
- Proven leader and team player
- Has been an official X-Man before
- Disproves the stereotype that “country folk” are all rednecks/racists
- Nigh-indestructible while blastin’
- Multigeneration connection both in the number of teams he’s been on and the number of mutant siblings he has running around
- Used to be an Avenger
- Sucker-punched Cable once
- Not currently attached to any teams
- Not currently attached to any teams because he’s in space with his space family
- Doesn’t exactly scream diversity
- Having a second leader-type on the team might cause a lack of cohesion
OUR TAKE: Sam Guthrie is a man of many skills, and has one of the most impressive resumes in all of X-history: leader of the OG New Mutants; rebel with a cause in X-Force; first New Mutant to graduate and become a formal X-Man. Plus, he’s married to a member of the Imperial Guard, so that’s an instant connection to the Shi’ar Empire should the X-Men ever need them to lend a hand in some cosmic crisis or another. But that marriage is his biggest reason for not joining the new team: he just recently left the newest New Mutants to go be a responsible husband and father, so the idea that he would up and run off to get into shenanigans feels out of character at best and depressingly irresponsible at worst. But all things being equal, Cannonball is the least attached right now in terms of dedicated appearances in an X-book, so in terms of not ruffling other creators’ feathers, all bets are off. As an old school New Mutant, Sam has a legion of fans who will back his play any day of the week.
- Mutant inventor who can build anything he puts his mind to
- Has in the past had the personal courage to question Xavier’s methods even while staying true to the idea of mutant/human coexistence
- Excellent taste in leg and hand prostheses
- One of the smartest minds on Krakoa; could easily sit on the Quiet Council and be hugely influential if asked
- Has dated both Storm and Mystique in the past, which is pretty cool
- Eternally curious pro-science mind
- Doesn’t always play well with others in a team setting
- Sometimes falls into the “oh he’s Native American so OF COURSE he has a mystical shaman connection” stereotype
- Has occasionally been lead astray by his own power; see last temptation of the Phalanx
- Maybe shouldn’t be left alone with super powerful weapons?
- Just like Cannonball, he’s an old-school New Mutant with tons of experience
- Knows how to be in charge, because he used to own A.I.M.
- Used to be an Avenger, too, now that we think about it
- Wealthy, but uses that wealth for good instead of evil
- Absorbs solar radiation but doesn’t give anyone cancer with it
- Brazilian representation!
- Has displayed Hulk-level strength once
- Perma bromance with Cannonball means these two should always be hanging out, which means staying in space for now most likely
- Tendency toward arrogance makes him insufferable at times
- Lacks maturity (sometimes, depends on the writer)
- Was briefly a villain named Reignfire and then wasn’t with no explanation… could turn evil again
OUR TAKE: Sunspot burns bright, that’s for sure. But sometimes, he’s a little much – which means that in team settings, he can sometimes be a bit of a headache. But his heart’s always in the right place, even if his mouth is sometimes unattached to his brain. ‘Berto comes with a pretty amazing amount of inherited wealth, too – and hasn’t let that turn him into a grade-A jerk; rather, he uses his fat stacks to do good things like buy A.I.M. and turn them into a force for good. Bonus – sure, he’s currently in space, but he doesn’t have the family obligations out there that his B.F.F. Cannonball does, so he could come home to Krakoa at any time. However, with an X-Corp book hinted for sometime on the horizon, we think he’d be a better fit there than hanging around with the X-Men. Don’t ask us, though – Sunspot loves getting his chances to shine, so maybe the Big Leagues are exactly what it’s time for for him.
5. BOOM BOOM
- Bitchin’ fashion sense
- Past mentors include both the O5 X-Factor and Cable, so she has well-rounded perspective
- Has overcome childhood poverty and abuse, and come out stronger for it
- Founding member of X-Force means she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty
- Time bombs are cool
- X-Terminators, X-Factor, NextWave, New Mutants, X-Force… her resume is stacked
- Recently unattached from the New Mutants, so status is free agent
- Recently prone to drinking a lot
- Tends toward immaturity
- Past mentors also include the Beyonder
- Was briefly known as Boomer, which leaves her way too open to obvious “okay, boomer” gags
- Somewhat easy to manipulate
OUR TAKE: Boom Boom has a ton of untapped potential as a character. Despite a brief angsty break as “Meltdown” (*groan* she had a meltdown, get it?!) in the ‘90s, she’s almost perpetually been stuck in a kind of ‘80s mallrat mode, even when running deep on the wrong side of the law with X-Force. Since then, she’s been all over, rarely sticking to any one place for very long. In that regard, she’s a very journeyman character – well-traveled, well-versed in the ins and outs of the mutant world. She knows everybody, and despite having even been shot in the head once, keeps popping up and coming back for more. Lately, though, she’s been more than a little rough around the edges, getting a bit too much into the drinking and passing out parts of Krakoan life. Tabitha could definitely use some direction, and we think that joining the X-Men could be just the thing she needs right now.
- He’s been in the game almost as long as any other X-Man
- Has been co-headmaster in the past of the Massachusetts Academy, responsible for training and guiding Generation X
- Has been both a cop and an outlaw
- Proven leader, but also knows when to follow orders
- As a more senior character, many look to him for guidance even outside of a formal leadership position
- Past trauma could be explored in a social context
- Has appeared many, many times over the decades, but has he been truly developed?
- His past relationship with Moira MacTaggart could be key to bringing the long-simmering Moira X subplot to the fore of “Reign of X”
- Writers rarely know what to do with him, and as a result he keeps getting retired and/or ingloriously killed by airplanes
- Frosty history with Emma
- Age leaves him wide open to “I’m too old for this sh*t” jokes
- The most “old voice” choice, which might not play as well with Millennial/Gen Z readers looking for more diversity
- Inarguably the least flashy of all candidates
OUR TAKE: Banshee is easily the safest choice on the list. He has extensive history within the X-family, has co-headmastered the Massachusetts Academy alongside Emma Frost, and is one of those characters whom everybody enjoys, even if writer after writer seems at something of a loss as to what to do with him for very long. His role within the X-Men’s world changes all the time, but he’ll always be one of the most respected senior team members despite that. Sean Cassidy is an old pro at this game, but possibly a hair too old, a bit past his prime, a tad out of sync with the younger generations. He recently came out of some pretty traumatic experiences in “X of Swords” with his head still attached, and may be looking for redemption. Plus, since House of X, the Moira X subplot has been lurking in the background, and Sean has a very lengthy history with the lady in question. Could Banshee’s return to the spotlight signify a shift in narrative toward its inevitable, Moira-centric conclusion? We think the odds are pretty good, at that. Banshee may not be the flashiest choice, but he’s the most rock-solidly safe one.
- Everybody loves her
- Briefly filled the role of requisite teen girl Wolverine sidekick, but also smacked him once
- Looks ready to whomp a kaiju when powered up
- Positive, sunny disposition hides an extremely pragmatic mind
- Bursting with untapped potential
- Aspired to be an X-Man from the start, then immediately began her superhero career in the big leagues with them
- Still a relative newcomer to the superhero game, despite an impressive resume
- Plays an integral role in S.W.O.R.D., may not be able to come back down to Earth anytime soon
OUR TAKE: Hisako Ichiki, a.k.a. Armor, is a fan favorite, and almost a shoo-in to win the vote. Her power set is fantastic, both in terms of ability but also just as a sheer, fun visual: who doesn’t love a big pink energy mech? Hisako was determined to become an X-Man from the start, and skipped the juniors altogether to immediately start living out her dream back in Joss Whedon and John Cassiday’s legendary Astonishing X-Men. The lady has earned her stripes, going toe to toe with some of the baddest of the bad, including the legions of Breakworld, the bigoted Purifiers, a Predator X, and Norman Osborn’s H.A.M.M.E.R. forces. She never fails to defend her people and her friends, fearlessly leaping into the fray whenever the moment comes. She has the true heart of a hero, and deserves to be part of the main X-Men team. However, her current commitment to S.W.O.R.D. – which, objectively, is a much bigger deal in terms of scope and responsibility – makes us wonder if maybe this student has surpassed her teachers. Still, though, Armor’s extremely vocal fan base makes us think she stands a better than most chance at winning all the marbles.
- Hugely popular fanbase
- Has been an X-Man before, even if she was grumbly about it
- Isn’t afraid to think big and work outside preconceived notions of how the job ought to be done
- Reformed terrorist in search of a completed redemption arc
- Tough as nails; she even survived having her heart ripped out by Storm one time
- Deeply believes her convictions
- Doesn’t play well with others
- Deeply believes her convictions… but to the point of fanaticism
- Yanking bones through skin is unsanitary at best
- Prone to impulsivity to the point that she once thought it was a good idea to stab Wolverine in the throat
- Complains pretty much constantly
OUR TAKE: Marrow could be it. The winnah, the best of the best. She’s got this in the bag… MAYBE. Though it might also be a nailbiter. She has one of the most unique power sets in all of mutantdom; the ability to pull bones through her skin and use them as knives is not just cool beyond cool, but makes for a fantastic visual. And she has an unfulfilled redemption arc: she started as a mutant terrorist as the leader of Gene Nation, and was eventually more or less guilted by her mentor Callisto into joining the X-Men so she could learn how to be better. But Marrow hated it and pretty much complained the whole time, so despite her having a really, really dedicated (and vocal and passionate) fanbase, there’s going to also be a segment of voters who just can’t stand how cynical and negative she tends to be. Like we said, though, her arc is unfulfilled – her second shot at being an X-Man may well be the thing needed to bolster her from being a reluctant hero to being an actual one. Sarah’s tragic backstory sings, too: one of the last survivors of the Morlocks, she grew up and became a ferocious defender of mutants, pushing over the edge into fanaticism for a time before gradually learning a better path (for the most part). All of these things together make for a singularly strong candidate, one we think has what it takes to run away with voting. Except for just one candidate…
- Has the power to slow down and speed up time, which could lend itself to untapped omega mutant potential
- Currently aging adult beverages for Sebastian Shaw, which may seem like a waste of her talents but on an island as booze-happy as Krakoa is actually pretty important
- Underdeveloped to the point that she’s basically a blank slate, and thus can be built any which way writers want
- Brings strong diversity to the team
- Reformed terrorist
- Uh, who?
- Former terrorist
- Used to wear a bucket for a helmet
- Underdeveloped to the point that not enough people may care
OUR TAKE: Tempo is the dark horse candidate, and we think she actually stands the best chance of winning this thing. She’s a virtual blank slate in terms of backstory and character development; she’s only been seen sporadically since about 1994 and the most recent time prior to Krakoa was in the alternate universe “Age of X.” But all of that actually works in Tempo’s favor, because that means writers get to more or less take a tabula rasa and craft a whole new character without much in the way of baggage or continuity. The Krakoa era has given countless Z-list mutants (hi, Whizkid!) new leases on life, so in a way it’s almost inevitable that Tempo might finally get her shot at the big time. Heather’s likes to wring pathos out of a redemption arc like the X-Men do. Plus, there’s been an unusually vocal level of support for her online as voting has heated up, so it seems that fans are just as excited as we are as to what possibilities may lie for Tempo should she be awarded her chance to shine at last. She has incredible potential in her power set – the ability to control time, even in a limited capacity, is a godlike one that could put her on omega-level status should she get the training she needs to master her skills. And as cool as having her age certain adult beverages for Sebastian Shaw is, we feel like maybe, just maybe, Tempo is destined for something more. In a lot of ways, she’s one of the strongest contenders precisely because she’s such a relative unknown, which lends itself to a litany of exciting possibilities.
And there you have it! We might be completely wrong, but it’s still fun to play the odds a bit (and we don’t think we’re wrong!). Polls close at marvel.com/characters/x-men-vote on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter!
Don’t forget to vote for your favorite character today!
ROCK THE X-VOTE! Who will win? Our All-Star Braintrust of X-Perts Decide the #XMenVote Odds!!
User Review( votes)