The X-Men are one of the most recognizable and important superhero teams that Marvel has to offer. They’ve been around for more than 50 years, have dealt with more real-world issues than most other comic characters will ever see, and for a while were the face of Marvel Comics.
What makes the team remarkable is that they, unlike many other heroes are born with their powers and did not receive them as a result of an accident. This means that new team members can be created at will. While this seems great, at one point, Marvel had more X-Men than they knew what to do with them. I mean, the count was literally in the thousands.
With so many X-Men having been created, who are the greatest of them? Here are the greatest X-Men members of all time.
List of greatest X-Men members ever:
What? Wait a second, Magento wasn’t ever an X-Man.
Yep. Yes he was.
The fallout of the Secret Wars saw Charles Xavier critically injured. Afraid of what might become of his X-Men, he turned to Magneto (who had been fighting the Beyonder alongside the team) and asked him to become their leader. Wanting to help his friend, he accepted and led the team under the guise of Charles’s cousin, Michael Xavier.
Under Magneto, the X-Men fell into a world of duress. Not only did the Beyonder return and slay a number of students, but Magento was manipulated by Emma Frost into battling multiple groups of heroes. Needless to say, although he was a member of the X-Men, his tenure could’ve gone better.
First appearing in Giant Sized X-Men #1 back in 1975, Storm has been the definition of what an X-Man is ever since.
Storm is an Omega Level Mutant capable of affecting change on a worldwide level with nothing more than a simple thought. As such, she can make it snow in the desert, cause a drought in the rainforest, hail in Panama, and turn Antarctica into a warm tourist destination.
Storm is such an important member of the X-Men that she has assumed leadership multiple times. In fact, many, myself included, believe that she should become the permanent leader of the team.
Admittedly, I don’t like Cyclops too much and here’s why.
For most of his existence, he has been as entertaining and exciting as stale bread. Cyclops has always been the quintessential do-gooder who’s incapable of thinking and acting on his own. He was the leader of the X-Men (a title he took very seriously) and anything exciting that happened in his life was a direct result of something more exciting happening in someone else’s life.
Thankfully, this began to change when Hope Summers appeared.
After Hope Summers appeared, Scott began to act and carry himself in unrecognizable ways. He started to bark orders, offer “my way or the highway” ultimatums and killed for the protection of the mutant way. This, of course, got him in a lot of trouble. But that’s ok. It also added layers and layers of character development that he had been sorely lacking.
7. Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch isn’t necessarily an X-Men, she’s an Avenger….or is it the other way around? Over the years, Scarlet Witch has flipped teams more than I flip pancakes for my kids on Sunday mornings.
Scarlet Witch began as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (arguably the worst team name in history), left to join the Avengers, flipped to the X-Men, jumped back to the Avengers, aligned with her father Magneto once again, fled and joined the X-Men for the umpteenth time and then……well, I hope that you get the picture.
No matter which team she’s on, one thing remains constant. Scarlet Witch is one of the most popular, strongest, and interesting characters in existence. Because of this, and the fact that she has been a part of the X-Men, she deserves to be on this greatest X-Men members list.
6. Professor X
It’s tough to create a top 10 X-Men list and not include the man who started it all, Professor Charles Xavier.
Charles Xavier had a dream that humans and mutants could and would live together in harmony. He understood that he couldn’t achieve his dream alone. So, in an effort to increase his chance of success, he enlisted the help of other mutants…but not just any mutants. He enlisted the help of teenage mutants whom he could mold and sculpt in whichever best suited his cause.
Charles Xavier is the worlds foremost telepath. By himself, he can do almost anything with his mind. If he has the help of his supercomputer, Cerebro, he can actually do anything with his mind. Charles is the reason the X-Men exist and for that very reason, is a no-brainer choice as one of the greatest X-Men.
Try as I may, every time I write one of these lists that include either the X-Men or mutants, I find it impossible to not include Wolverine on the list. It’s not as though I don’t want to include him but rather, I’d like to talk about both without having to talk about him.
Alas, I can’t, so…
Wolverine is arguably the most famous mutant and by default that makes him the most famous of the X-Men. He possesses a healing ability that allows him to heal from practically anything, has a sense of smell that enables him to track the smallest of creatures through the deepest of jungles, has razor-sharp claws that retract from his hands, a skeleton that’s been fused with adamantium, and a temper and attitude that’s second to none.
Ask me a number of years ago if Iceman belongs on a greatest X-Men members list like this and I would’ve told you not a chance. Ask me today and there’s no doubt that he does.
Iceman is a founding member of the X-Men who has come a long way since his days as a glorified snowman. Over the years, his powers have changed and instead of merely being able to create snowballs, he can now control the ambient air temperature around him and cause the fluids inside of his enemy’s bodies to freeze. This means that he can kill his enemies from the inside out.
Iceman is so powerful that he has been classified as an Omega Level Mutant.
You may disagree with my inclusion of Psylocke on this list and you know what? That’s ok. This is my list and not yours. Psylocke is here because although she has one of the worst backstories in comic book history, she has one of the most unique power sets in all of comics.
Psylocke is an immensely powerful telepath who, with the help of her telepathy, can create a Psionic Blade that’s capable of cutting through just about anything. On top of that, she’s a gifted martial artist, the sister of Captain Britain and an invaluable member of X-Force. Psylocke is here not only because I want her to be but because there are very few members of the X-Men who can do everything that she does.
2. Emma Frost
If you’ve read my History of Emma Frost, you already know how much respect I have for the character. If you haven’t, I suggest you go here and read it.
Emma Frost, like Psylocke, is an immensely powerful telepath. In truth, aside from Professor Xavier, she might actually be the most powerful telepath that the X-Men have. Her telepathy is so strong that she could make you believe you were a baby in an adult’s body for the rest of your life before you had the chance to blink your eyes. Emma also possesses a secondary mutation…something very abnormal in the world of mutants. She can turn her entire body into a diamond-like substance thereby making herself invulnerable to most attacks.
Emma’s place among the greatest X-Men members was solidified the first day that she became a team.
1. Kitty Pryde
In the history of the X-Men, very few characters are as relatable as Kitty Pryde. For most of her existence, Kitty was a teenager dealing with teenage problems all the while learning to cope with her mutation.
Putting Kitty on this list was as easy as marrying your true love. Kitty is the definition of what an X-Man is. She’s loyal to the cause, stands up against discrimination (a topic I discuss here), is caring, kind, trustworthy, and has a power that’s meant to be used defensively and not offensively. If Kitty doesn’t make your top 10 X-Men list, you need to ask yourself why not.
And that’s it. The best X-Men members of all time. Why do you think? Who would make your list of greatest X-Men members?