FCBD 2020 X-Men Featured Columns 

Mutantversity: Building a Better X-Men

By | January 13th, 2021
Posted in Columns | % Comments

The X-Men are reforming! Though there has been an ongoing series called “X-Men” since the launch of ‘Dawn of X,’ there hasn’t actually been a superhero team with that name. Not only is the team getting back together, they are doing something never before attempted by a major superhero team- they are having elections for membership.

My opinions on who belongs on this X-team do not matter to the mutants of Krakoa. After all, only mutants are eligible to vote. But perhaps my thoughts mean something to you, the loyal patron of this humble Mutantversity. So we are going to design a new team worthy of the name X-Men. Here are the rules.

  1. We are looking for a team of mutants who represent the best of what Krakoa has to offer. This means individuals who are more than willing to uphold the ethos of a superhero team. They must believe in some form of coexistence between man and mutant. They need to be able to operate without killing. They have to be interested in saving lives.
  2. Repeat applicants need not apply. Our X-team will be made of members who don’t already serve Krakoa in an official capacity. This means no official members of X-Force or S.W.O.R.D.
  3. This is a superhero team! That means we are looking for the right combination of demeanors and attitudes to work together to beat impossible odds and save the day.

Our team will be made up of NINE (9) members. This number is based on the active roster in “Uncanny X-Men” #94. We will be pulling mutants from across generations. Ready? Let’s begin.

Dani Moonstar – Mirage

Danielle Moonstar was my last pick for an MVP before the Krakoa era. In the months before HOXPOX, Dani actually attempted to turn the X-Men into a functioning democracy. We didn’t get enough issues to see this idea play out, but Dani is assuredly a strong choice to represent Krakoa to the world. Besides her big heart, Dani is an ideal leader- she has the grounded ruthlessness that you see in the most successful X-Men leaders (Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine) with her strong moral compass.

Dani’s illusion powers have proven to be very effective. Besides being used for trickery, she can also visualize somebody’s hope or fears, which can be used therapeutically or to gather intelligence. On top of all of those assets, Dani has many combative skills that served her well in the years after she was depowered. One time, she defended her teammates with a bow and arrow, despite a broken arm. Dani just duct taped the bow to her foot and killed all the bad guys. A powerful, compassionate leader who never says die, that’s who should lead the Krakoan X-Men!

Megan Gwynn – Pixie

Very few of the Academy X kids ever got a shot. Pixie got more than most, but she still deserves her time in the limelight. Megan is friendly. She built trust with her classmates, and even went on to form friendships with the older generation of mutants, such as her partnership with Dazzler. And Pixie has a great power set- wings are always good, and her hallucinogenic dust can be a lot of fun. Before you think Pixie’s kit too similar to Dani, she also has magical training from Illyana Rasputin, and even wields a Soul Knife (which is similar to Illyana’s Soul Sword). Pixie has long deserved a spot on a major X-team, but hasn’t had a real chance since 2008.

The biggest asset she brings though? Lingering drama! Pixie may or may not be an illegitimate scion of the villainous Wyngarde family, a story that’s been hanging over the X-Men for over a decade. Jason (perhaps Megan’s father) and Regan (maybe her sister) are both on Krakoa- has the family learned to reconcile? Pixie is a strong superhero contender while providing the kind of soapy drama “X-Men” fans crave!

Continued below

Jean Grey – Marvel Woman

It’s always good to have an original member give a superhero team some continuity, and Jean is one of the original five. Conversely, she was dead from 2004-2018, so we have a lot of Jean to catch up on. And in the pages of the story, Jean just left behind her council seat to see the X-Men return. It seems inevitable that she has a place, and that makes a lot of sense. She’s powerful- one of the most powerful mutants ever to live. She’s a team player. She is a proud mutant who has battled for the dream of peace since she was a kid. But she’s not a kid anymore.

Which is why I think now is past time for Jean to adopt a new code name. Marvel Girl works fine for a teen, but Jean is a mother of multiple (time displaced) kids. Invisible Girl changed her codename to Invisible Woman in 1985. It’s time Jean do the same. She’s going to be the senior adult on this team, so it’s time she was given the stature she has earned. Very few characters get the honor of getting the publishing company as a codename, and Jean Grey absolutely is worthy!

Monet St. Croix – Penance

One of the coolest and most powerful mutants has been a fixture of Krakoa, but never given an official role. It’s time Monet stepped up to the big leagues. While in her beautiful human-looking form, Monet has the power of perfection. She’s strong, and fast, and can fly, and she’s also super smart and psychic. But she has another form, her penance form, which is red, even more durable, and covered in razor sharp spines. That covers quite a bit of superpower territory.

She’s also in a mysterious place right now! It’s not exactly clear when Monet gained control over her ability to transform between her two forms, but that development seems linked to her place on Krakoa. On top of that, she’s proudly served multiple X-teams over the years, in many capacities. She’s a capable investigator, a straight talking negotiator, and a powerful bruiser. Monet would be a good addition to any superhero team, so the fact she hasn’t had much of a role on the A-List is a mistake past time correcting. 

Sean Cassidy – Banshee

Banshee has taken on odd roles on mutant superhero teams. He joined the X-Men at the same time as Wolverine and Storm, but seemed much more interested in smoking his pipe on the porch while reading the newspaper than involving himself in superhero shenanigans. Later, he and Emma Frost became the teachers of the Generation X class, and Sean really came into his own as a mentor. But then, he died, and he’s been in various states of dead for a long time. Banshee can fly and his sonic scream is a useful weapon. He’s a fearless superhero, and a great parental figure to younger mutants.

He’s also a peerless investigator! As a young man, Sean worked for interpol, and he chased horrifying serial killers across Europe, including a pre-supervillain Omega Red. While his powers and history are interesting, it’s his investigative and interpersonal skills that are a real asset for the team. And they may not know it, but Banshee is going to have a huge role to play in the conflict to come- Sean was the long time romantic partner of Moria MacTaggert. When she comes back into play, Sean is inevitably going to become a big part of her plans, whether in support or opposition. It’s important that he be close to the action when that time comes!

[Birth Name Unknown] – Trinary

One of the most recent additions to the X-Men, Trinary has a lot of potential. She fills a unique niche with her powers- she can talk to machines, and sometimes control them. With a major sentinel threat looming, that’s a person you want in your corner. But Trinary’s greatest asset isn’t her powers, it’s her personality. More than any superhero team, the X-Men tend to be renegades. They deal with life or death problems and often encounter the ugliest things the world has to offer. Trinary is an activist and a thief. Her first known use of her powers was to rob executives and transfer their money to working women, in order to address the gender pay gap. That kind of activism is a great audition for the X-Men, but the righteous criminality is what clinches it. Trinary joins the ranks of Storm and Jubilee as a righteous badass who is happy to break the law for the greater good.

Continued below

Lin Li – Nature Girl

Though she started as a shallow background character, Nature Girl has acquitted herself brilliantly every time she’s been given center stage. She was a great teammate when she was a member of Generation X, but it was in the ‘Age of X-Man’ where she showed what she was capable of herself at full power. In that alternate reality, Nature Girl was a full member of the main team of X-Men and one of their most powerful members.

Lin can communicate with multiple aspects of the natural world. This means she can talk to animals, which is cool, and to plants, which is somehow cooler. She can also talk to more abstract things like mountain ranges and weather patterns (as demonstrated in her guest spot in the “Nova” series). Lin cracked the mysteries of the ‘Age of X-Man’ right open by talking to microbes. Her power set would be an asset to the team, but as with a lot of potential X-Men, it is her outlook that makes her so interesting. Nature Girl thinks of herself as a guardian of the natural world rather than as a savior of people. While everyone else is worried about politics and perception, Nature Girl always finds time to rescue a family of raccoons, or to deal with the collateral damage done to a forest. No one approaches superheroing like Nature Girl, so no one else could take her spot on the team.

Noriko Ashida – Surge

Art by Jamal Campbell

To be clear, Surge kind of sucks. She’s abrasive, and at times she’s intolerant. This is her shot at redemption. I like where Noriko’s character is at- the problem is that she has been stuck there for almost 20 years. She was hot stuff as a student, but as the X-school came crumbling down around her, she lost her place. Her domineering personality made her a bit of a bully, but once she was cut off from her structured life, she acted like a real jerk. But she’s got a noble soul, and ultimately wants to help people. Lots of X-Men are noble jerks who come through and do the right thing. Surge should be given that chance.

Her powers are stupid useful too. Lightning powers have obvious superhero utility- you can use them to zap all sorts of things. But on top of that, Surge can absorb electricity and channel it into super speed. She’s not quite as fast as Quicksilver, but she’s in the same neighborhood. Every superhero team has one questionable member who is there to learn to reform. Surge should get a chance, and her redemption story could be the heart of the X-team of the future!

Robert Herman – Glob

Perennially popular in the modern era, Glob Herman is not the most obvious candidate for the X-Men. While he is considered stronger and more durable than a baseline human, his mutant gifts have never really had much obvious utility in superhero situations. Sure, he can light bits of his waxy physiology on fire and chuck himself at people. And if you melt a bunch of him and wear him as a hat, you can block out certain psychic powers. But Glob has nerves of steel and a heart of gold, and such is the stuff X-Men are made of. He’s found himself in peril multiple times in the last few years of comics and every time he has kept his cool, and his morals, and he’s gotten out of it.

Glob’s role in the team is going to be less as a heavy hitter and more as a conscience. He’s got a lot of love for all sorts of creatures, from humans to mutants to chickens. He’s also starting to express some of the weariness you see with people who spent their formative years being chased by silly supervillains. You put Glob on your team to invest in future. Shooting uncontrollable beams of force out of your eyes doesn’t lend itself to being one of the most significant heroes in the Marvel universe, but Cyclops has proven himself time and again. We all know Glob has got it in him. He’s just got to be given the chance.

//TAGS | Mutantversity

Jacob Hill

Jake is from New York. He currently lives in Ohio. Ask him, and he'll swear he's one of those people who loves both Star Wars and Star Trek equally. He is the Multiversity Manager At Large. Say hi to him on twitter @Rambling_Moose!


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