So, the X-Men. Charles Xavier's School For Higher Learning and it's team of Uncanny mutants has seen a fair few members since its inception in the early 60's (near 100 at last count and that's if you don't include honorary members or members of sub-/ splinter teams that never made it to the main team), but that's only fair considering that to qualify you only have to be born a mutant, which skips around the whole origin story thing. Of course, as with any series with a large cast of characters there are some members that are good, some that are bad and then there's Beak. But today, we're only focusing on the good ones, specifically the 10 X-Men that you voted as the top 10 Best in the team's history.
Honourable Mentions: Beast (Dr. Hank McCoy), Psylocke (Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock), Iceman (Bobby Drake)
10. Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde)
And we kick off our list with the youngest person to have made the cut. Despite having made a few false starts during her earliest years in the team, going through numerous different names and even more truly terrible costumes, Kitty Pryde has become one of the most beloved characters introduced by the team, alongside her pet dragon Lockheed (ok, he's an alien, but he looks very much like a dragon so just go with it). Her ability to phase through objects might not be the most impressive on the team, but it definitely helps in situations like when there's a giant indestructible bullet hurtling towards Earth and the only way to stop it is to make it intangible (yes, that did happen). Now a member of The Guardians of The Galaxy, host to the cosmic power known as The Black Vortex and engaged to Peter Quill aka Star Lord (bet none of that is making it into Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2), Kitty has gone from being the "kid sister" character of the X-men to being a strong leading character in her own right.
9. Gambit (Remy LeBeau)
The X-Men's resident lovable rogue with the thick Cajun accent, Gambit quickly became a fan favourite after his introduction in the early 90's. Originally meant to be yet another clone of Cyclops made by Mr. Sinister (hence his unnatural red eyes) that plan was scrapped in order to make Gambit his own man and, if we're being honest, it was probably for the best. Whilst being an incredibly 90's character in pretty much every aspect (from the anti-hero persona, the redemption seeking from his tortured past, the constant shifting of moralities, the "too-cool" look and the energy based powers) Gambit has managed to get away with it because of the characters innate charm, even scoring a number of solo comics to his name.
8. Rogue (Anna Marie)
Gifted with one of the more problematic powers of any member of the X-Men, Rogues powers mean that she can absorb the powers, memories and personality of anyone through physical contact, however, doing this leaves the person she touches weakened and can even kill them. Though, she has since learnt to control her powers, this fact has made Rogue one of the most interesting characters in the X-Men series, an outcast even amongst outcasts. Originally meant to debut as a villain for Carol Danvers, she was shifted to being introduced in a battle between Mystique's Brotherhood of Mutants and the Avengers after Ms. Marvel's series was cancelled, though the encounter was mentioned and Rogue has been able to use powers similar to Ms. Marvel for most of her run. Joining the X-Men after seeking help from Xavier with her powers, she was originally viewed with suspicion by the team, but has since proven herself to be an invaluable asset to the X-Men team and has rarely been of the roster.
7. Phoenix/ Marvel Girl (Jean Grey)
As the first female member of the X-Men, Jean Grey was fairly ineffectual, more often than not the damsel-in-distress (because it was the 1960's, just ask Sue Storm), but by the time the 70's ended, she was one of the most powerful entities in the Marvel universe. Though the tactic of killing of a character and resurrecting them has been incredibly cheapened since then, Jean Grey rising from the ashes of the Dark Phoenix saga made her as a character. Her tumultuous relationships with Cyclops and the Phoenix Force have defined her, but as her character developed she could move away from these aspects more and more and become a much stronger character for it, becoming a teacher, a leader of the X-Men and breaking away from her messy relationship with Cyclops. However, the tragedy of Jean grey is that she always has to die and she did at the hands of Xorn/ Magneto/ Xorn (whoever it was). Still, because Marvel just can't leave well alone, she is back now, but only a younger version of her from the past, so that's... good?
6. Colossus (Piotr Rasputin)
The gentle giant of the team, Colossus is an imposing figure but also a talented artist and often a reluctant combatant. Physically the strongest X-Man when in his metallic form, Colossus has been a part of the team almost constantly since his late 70's debut, which has seen him defect to the USA during the Cold War, romance with team-mate Kitty Pryde, die, be resurrected (because it's practically a requirement these days), become the Juggernaut and a host to the Phoenix Force. So he's been through a lot basically, but he's still for the most part been the quiet, honest and hard-working backbone of the team.
5. Professor X (Charles Xavier)
And, finally, we arrive at Charlie, the founder of the Xavier Institute, the man who created the X-Men, owner of the mansion the team has called home for over half a century and the man whose initial the team bears. It might be surprising to see Xavier placed only 5th on the list of greatest X-Men considering that list of accolades, but the vote was so close with the top 5 spots that the Professor came only 5 votes shy of being number 1. One of the smartest people in the Marvel universe, with a huge array of mental powers to supplement that intelligence, ranging from simple telepathy to astral projection. An inspiration for so many people, from those with disabilities to activists looking to make the world a better place, there are few more iconic images associated with the X-Men than the sight of a bald man in a suit and tie sitting in a wheelchair with a hand to his forehead.
4. Storm (Ororo Munroe)
So, we've covered Storm a lot whilst doing these lists, she placed in the top 3 for Non-American Heroes (despite apparently being born in America) and she outright won our list of greatest Marvel Superheroines, so is it much surprise that the former Goddess of the Savannah and former Queen of Wakanda is this high up our list. Still, unlike the other two lists, she didn't manage to break our top 3.
3. Wolverine (Logan/ James Howlett)
He's the best there is at what he does and what he does isn't winning polls apparently. Ok, so yeah I did leave him off the original 10 when the poll first went up on purpose, because I wanted to see how long it would take for someone to add him and then how long it would take after that for him to run away with the win, but that didn't happen. Looks like short, dark and grumpy couldn't take home the Adamantium trophy after all. Still probably the most popular X-Man, certainly the only one to have gotten a solo film let alone three, Logan is the X-Men to a lot of people. Which is why its fairly surprising that he placed only third.
2. Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner)
You know, I was getting really excited all of last week because until Thursday, it looked like my favourite X-Man was going to win the poll. And then he came second. Coming from the same class as Wolverine, Colossus and Storm, Nightcrawler is another character from the blues brigade and his two digit appendages and pronged tail make him stand out even more.Alongside his blue demonic appearance, he also has the amazing power of the BAMF to fall back on, which can apparently teleport him out of heaven because that makes so much sense that teleportation can bring you back to life Marvel, why are you so stupid sometimes Marvel? And alongside the most overpowered teleportation ability in history, he can become invisible in shadow and he's an ace swordsman to boot. Plus he's always the fun one and he's one of the most well written characters in the teams history, even taking time away from the X-Men to become a priest, so he could preach his faith alongside sending a message of mutant/ human equality. Good guy Kurt. Still don't understand how he teleported out of being dead. Can someone explain please?
1. Cyclops (Scott Summers)
You know Marvel done messed a character up when they are the longest serving member of a team, the original leader and one of the most recognisable members of the roster and yet you are actually shocked that they came first in a poll of greatest members of said team. I mean, I thought most people thought Cyclops was boring and the amount of terrible storylines Marvel has put him through is so unbelievable I had to do a WWTT about it, but he still won.... I must say I'm impressed. That's not to say he doesn't deserve the spot, as I said, he's the original X-Man, the team leader for at least 80% of the teams 50 year run and one of the most developed characters during that period, even if a lot of the more recent developments have been terrible (and now he's dead). He's been a leader, a figurehead, a husband, a father, a pariah, an icon, a mentor, a politician, a god and a martyr, all for the sake of furthering Xavier's dream of peaceful co-existence between mutant and human kind. So, Scott Summers takes the crown that we should really all have expected he'd take and let's take a moment to remember, Marvel are really good at being the worst sometimes, but we still love them. Now how the hell can someone teleport out of heaven? I mean, where's the logic?