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These are the 7 Best X-Men Ever, Bub

I lost sleep over this list. Having read X-Men comics since I was 7 years old, I was paralyzed by trimming down my team down to 7 members. But life has never been easy for an X-Man. Here we go:

The 7 Best X-Men Ever

Cyclops

He’s my team lead, hands down. I’m willfully ignoring the last decade where Marvel editorial has turned Cyclops into a character that is difficult to like, much less root for.

Instead, I remember Slim as the perfect Boy Scout, and focus on images of the character during Joss Whedon’s Astonishing run when Cyclops would have a rare moment when he let loose and could take out a Sentinel single-handedly with his optic blast.

And Cyclops always–always–stands up for what he thinks is the best for the X-Men, even if it draws the disapproval of others.

Wolverine

Owning a copy of Uncanny X-Men #94, I realize that Wolverine isn’t an original, yet I can’t imagine an X-Men team without him. Claws, healing factor…I wanted to be Wolverine as a junior high boy, going as far as building sets of claws for myself in my basement and declaring Canadian citizenship. Sadly, Canada sent me to Minnesota.

Even today, I have a graded copy of Uncanny X-Men #207 in my office, showing Wolverine shredding through the cover with his adamantium claws.

Besides, will you be the one to tell him he won’t be on the team, bub?

Nightcrawler

The Elf was actually the first X-Man I thought of for my all-time team. The joyful, swashbuckling hero serves as the moral center of the team. Kurt cares for others, he lives his values, and he has a mirth that is sorely needed in the ofttimes grim X-Men comics. Besides, I’m re-reading the original Excalibur right now and he is wonderful in that title.

While I admit his power set doesn’t stack as well as some others – Magik, Gateway, or even Ariel would serve better as a team transporter – I still have a vivid memory of reading the issue where my beloved Nightcrawler sacrificed himself at the hands (literally) of Bastion.

Certainly one of the best X-Men ever.

Storm

I go with this pick mohawk or full locks. Storm is amazing regardless.

For my money, the classic tales of Storm taking leadership of both the X-Men and the Morlocks are second to few. Her butting heads with Cyclops (often) and Wolverine (occasionally) would create great drama.

Plus, the team could use a goddess and her power set gives the team a little more punch. (For the record, I never liked her with the Black Panther as I’m team Forge all the way.)

Rogue

It was hard not going with Colossus here because every team needs a heavy hitter. With Rogue you get that, plus potential for a whole lot more.

I’ll forever remember her as lovelorn because her and Gambit couldn’t touch, and I’m still getting used to her having control of her powers. But there is no denying it’s a great power set and I’m always a sucker for a Southern belle.

Kitty Pryde

Although I toyed with adding a little luck to the team via Longshot or Domino, my junior high self would never be able to forgive my adult self if I passed up Shadowcat.

Her plusses are many: she can freaking walk through walls, she’s a computer genius, and she has a pet dragon.

If you want your heart broken, read through Joss Whedon’s Astonishing run as his take on Kitty Pryde was as near perfect as you’ll find with a character in comics.

Read this is you’ve always had a nerd crush on Kitty Pryde.

Stepford Cuckoos

It was difficult for me not to go with Colossus here or simply add any member of the Australian team, my favorite X-Men era, but I needed at least one left field pick for this list.

Besides, I’m a sucker for subterfuge. Whereas other teams – like the Avengers – are known for heavy hitters and overpowered hulks, the X-Men always, always, always have telepaths.

Instead of going with Psylocke (Ninjas are fun) or Emma Frost, I thought we’d triple our fun with this pick and go with the slightly creepy hive mind of the Cuckoos.

Even two Stepfords down the Cuckoos are formidable telepaths who can either coordinate the team’s attacks or simply turn opponents’ minds into those of a whimpering puppy. Plus, they could always go diamond form.

Again, this was a miserably hard list to whittle down to 7, as there are dozens of X-Men who I considered for a slot. I’m sure you have a few picks you think I should’ve included. Just assume they are #8, which is not too shabby at all.

Now, go read Hickman’s X-Men. It’s incredible.