The original ‘kid member’ of the X-Men, Iceman has been around since day one yet still has never managed to shake the immature reputation. Not that he seems to be particularly trying. Iceman seems to be a character of endless potential, being that every few years a creator will do a ‘Iceman not reaching his potential’ story. So many of these have been done that he seems to have Proteus-level abilities…if only he could live up to his potential. At least he doesn’t wear the clunky power belt anymore.
But that doesn’t change that Iceman has dedicated nearly his entire adult life to Charles Xavier’s dream and has stuck with the X-Men through both thick and thin. He had a brief time of inactivity, but he came back and went on a love tryst, nailing the dreaded Nurse Annie, Polaris and even Mystique all within a couple years. He’s been a little out of focus lately, but mainly because he’s been busy providing nearly the entire mutant race with drinkable water. I think he’s doing pretty well.
Rogue had the distinction of being the first major villain to switch sides and join the X-Men. Sure, the Changeling technically beat her by a couple decades, but he was hardly major. Rogue took on the entire Avengers team by herself and did pretty well, taking out Ms. Marvel, Captain America and Thor single handedly. Intriguing in both her inability to control her powers as well as her enigmatic past (we still don’t know her full name), Rogue has become one of the most popular X-Men specifically based on characterization…and being a hot southern belle.
For far too long, she became embroiled in a relationship with Gambit that overshadowed any other aspect of her character, but recently she has managed to break free from that and become her own character once again. Now in full control of her powers (with an excellent explanation as to why she lacked it before) she has become the main teacher/advisor of the younger mutants amongst the X-Men and she has really taken to the role. And since gaining control of her powers, she seems to average at least two completely bad ass moments a month. You simply cannot say that Rogue is not awesome.
Joining the X-Men at the tender age of 13 would not be easy for anyone, but Kitty Pryde not only made it work, but shined in the role. Cute as a button, an intellectual genius and skilled with ninja prowess, Kitty has been the heart and soul of the X-Men world for decades. We’ve watched her grow up from the innocent little girl who just wanted her own X-Men costume into a true hero that has nearly sacrificed herself numerous times to protect her friends and even the entire world. And she finally hooked up with Colossus after an editorial mandate broke them up years earlier.
She tends to steal any scene she appears in and has a larger than life personality. Her mere presence puts even the ice cold Emma Frost on edge and she has stared down the likes of Mojo and even Loki successfully. She was a mainstay of Excalibur in an effort to keep Professor Xavier’s dream alive while the X-Men were seemingly dead, and has stuck with various teams ever since. Fans and villains agree – Shadowcat is one character who deserves respect. And she has a pet dragon. You wish you did.
He’s a blue and furry, religious swashbuckler who just happens to be the son of the devil…and that label can apply to both his father and his mother. But that doesn’t keep Nightcrawler’s spirits down as he come through great adversity to find inner peace within himself. He was a priest, but we’re really not even going to get into just how that ended. What’s more important is his love for adventure, the respect he’s earned from his friends and the inability to shake him of his core values despite what is thrown at him.
Being almost murdered specifically because of his appearance, Nightcrawler had every reason not to fight for Xavier’s dream, but instead he embraced it wholeheartedly and has been fighting for it ever since. He was the heart of the X-Men for years before becoming the concience and voice of reason to the insanity of the original Excalibur, eventually taking the spot of leader for a great amount of time. Serving still as concience of the new mutant society of Utopia, Nightcrawler gave his life to protect the life of Hope, possibly the last chance of mutantkind’s survival. In death, he showed that he was willing to give all that he was and more to protect the dream he so believed in.
X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force
Life has not been kind to Warren Worthington III. The millionaire playboy became a founding member of both the X-Men and X-Factor, but his high flying days were cut short when his wings were amputated after severe injuries suffered during the Mutant Massacre. From there he was mutated by Apocalypse to become the Horseman of Death, only to break free and eventually rejoin his friends…albeit with blue skin and metal wings. Slowly, he overcame murderous tendencies and a staggering case of gloominess to eventually recapture his former humanity and eventually regained both his feathered wings and his caucasian complexsion.
Archangel’s story has been one of redemption, all the while staying a member of the X-Men (and being their financial backer) as well as running his own company. Losing his wings again revealed that Apocalypse’s influence had not been lost on him, and he now can transform back to the metal-winged Death, complete with homicidal urges, at will. He’s become an unlikely member of X-Force while still remaining the charming, charismatic Angel in his downtime. How’s that for messed up?
Check here for the entire list thus far!
It’s almost over! Check back Friday for the final five members of the Top 100 X-Men list! You can probably guess who they are – but can you guess what order they’ll be in?