Life has not been kind to Illyana Rasputin. Kidnapped by demons and left in Limbo for six years, Illyana went from an innocent child to a jaded part-demon girl with trust issues. She became a valued member of the New Mutants while constantly dealing with her dark side, until finally she sacrificed herself to stop Inferno, restoring herself to childhood. Then she died of the Legacy Virus. She recently was brought back, albeit without her soul, and has become the most wicked member of the restored New Mutants, and a pure joy to keep up with. Colossus still likes her, too.
The daughter of Banshee, Siryn has come a long way since being the criminal accomplice to her uncle Black Tom Cassidy. She stayed with her father on Muir Island for a while before joining up with X-Force and becoming a longtime, cherished member of the team. She joined up with X-Factor Investigations despite her rather shady past with leader Jamie Madrox and eventually fell in love with him (after getting knocked up). That kind of fell apart when Madrox absorbed the baby into himself, as it had pretty much been a baby dupe. She’s kind of crazy now, but still an important part of the team and takes care of herself and her friends.
It was a surprise when Namor joined up with the X-Men upon abandoning Norman Osbourn’s team of “dark” X-Men, but it’s more of a surprise that the X-Men haven’t had more encounters with him. Widely considered to be one of the first mutants ever, Namor has dealt with much of the same hatred and persecution that the X-Men have because he’s from Atlantis, and even has to serve as a king and think of his people first. He’s made an excellent figure to the team, not least because he’s constantly butting heads with Cyclops over proper leadership and has the hots for Emma Frost. I guess it’s something about taken blondes.
New Mutants, X-Force
Find another example of a depowered mutant who has made as much of an impact of late as Dani Moonstar. Go ahead and try. Originally able to project inner thoughts, Mirage was co-leader of the New Mutants for most of its run, even becoming a Valkyrie in the process. Eventually she left the team for Asgard, but eventually came back and began working undercover for SHIELD as a member of the Mutant Liberation Front. She rejoined her friends in X-Force before returning to Xavier’s school as a teacher. She led the New Mutants squad before being booted from the school for losing her powers. But then she came back and managed to beat up Ares. Yeah, THAT Ares.
X-Men, Generation X
Though pretty annoying at times, Jubilee was a breath of fresh air to the often stale doom and gloom of early 90’s X-Men. After losing her mentor Wolverine for a while, she struck up an unlikely closeness with Professor X which benefitted both parties heavily before eventually leaving the team to join with kids her own age in Generation X. There, she served as an unlikely veteran presence, while still being a jovial trickster of sorts, loved by her teammates. She hasn’t done much since losing her powers (besides with the oft-forgotten New Warriors) but it looks like she’s about due to return. Fans of the 90’s X-Men cartoon can start rejoicing.
A virtual clone of his brother Thunderbird, Warpath originally joined up with Emma Frost’s Hellions in order to avenge his brother’s death. Strangely enough, though, he went after Banshee and the X-Men rather than Count Nefaria, who actually killed him. Warpath was recruited by Cable into X-Force and stayed with the team through its entire run. At one point, he dropped his brother’s legacy and developed the power to fly, but since that was actually really stupid, it’s been ignored since. He was recruited to the X-Men by Professor Xavier and has stuck with the team since. Wolverine brought him into X-Force where he warmed up to killing, but eventually dropped it when he finally avenged the murder of his tribesmen.
As a sentient being, Danger is relatively new, but being that she was the A.I. of the Danger Room, she’s been an important part of the X-Men’s lives for longer than half of the characters around today. Through the use of advanced technology, she gained sentience but was quieted by Professor X who needed the Danger Room for his students. She became free of the program by successfully killing a student, but failed to kill Xavier and the other X-Men before coming to terms with herself as well as them and joining the team. She now runs the X-Men’s brig, holding numerous villains with great ease. And she’s got a bitter wit too.
#23: Marvel Girl (Rachel Summers)
The daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate future, Rachel became inheritor of the Phoenix Force and returned to the present, only to find that the present wasn’t on path to make her future. That drove her a little batty, and she was ended up leaving the team after Wolverine had to stop her from killing Selene by putting three claws into her chest. Eventually she turned back up as a mainstay of Excalibur before getting launched into the future, founding the group that raised Cable, then dying, being found alive again, then returned to the present. She joined back up with the X-Men for a while, but ended up staying with Havok and Polaris as a member of the Starjammers. She no longer has the Phoenix, either. So that’s a plus.
The daughter, then not daughter, then daughter again of Magneto, Polaris has had her head screwed with more times than anyone, yet still has made a fantastic member of the X-Men family. Leaving the X-Men, she was forced to serve Eric the Red, then possessed by Malice and forced to join the Marauders, then given super strength for some reason, Polaris finally settled down and joined the government sponsored X-Factor, where she did quite well, despite some body issues. Losing Havok made her join up with the Acolytes (though not whole-heartedly), but she returned to the X-Men after Genosha’s destruction. She then lost her powers and was forced to become a Horseman of Apocalypse (restoring her powers) and eventually joined the Starjammers with her beloved. And you think you’ve had it bad, Magik.
The rajun cajun of the X-Men, Gambit was recruited by Storm and stuck with the team largely due to his infatuation with Rogue. Unfortunately, he neglected to tell them about his past, in which he recruited the Marauders for Mr. Sinister to launch the Mutant Massacre. Whoops. Despite that tidbit, he did remain a valued member of the team, using his thievin’ abilities and charm to overcome the downfalls of his past. Well, that is until he became the latest in the line of X-Men to become Apocalypse’s Horseman of Death, and then joined up with the Marauders again. But really, it was all done for Rogue, so I guess that’s ok. The Death thing is going to come back though. That won’t be good.
Check here for the entire list thus far!
Now that we’re down to the top 20, we’ll be going five per day rather than ten starting on Wednesday. Be back for #16-20!