In the last two or three months, I’ve started going back to X-Men. You have to understand, there was a time where I drank down everything ‘X’, and when I needed new furniture, I was able to put my mattress on the longboxes I had so many filled with Charles Xavier’s team of racial allegory.
Now, I will admit, I am not currently brought up to speed… I stopped reading what I previously had said was a couple of years ago, but honestly is almost coming up on a decade. Somewhere shortly after Hope Summers saved the world I got super busy and life happened and comics just fell to the wayside. I’ve found during our current Under-The-Dome sheik lifestyle, comics and logic puzzles have helped me caulk up the boring minutes.
So to celebrate that, here are my three favorite X-Men and why!
#3 – JAMIE MADROX
Oh yes, the Multiple Man, the only comic book character that shares my name. Maddrox, for a long time, just felt like ‘another tough do-gooder’ in his younger years, but after Peter David took back X-Factor and we got ‘Multiple Man, Private Dick’ and the much more traditional soap opera of David’s runs, Jamie really came into his own as a complicated and, in many ways, man broken into hundreds of pieces. He’s layered and at times completely wrong in his choices… but that’s what makes good character.
#2 – ROGUE & GAMBIT
The middle spot here is a bit of a revolving door of characters. I always love Maddrox, and #1 is kind of a non-shocker if you know anything about me… but this middle spot really could be taken up by ‘whomever I am really loving right now’. It’s been Blink, it’s been Colossus, it’s been Maggott (oh yes, you read that right). But Rogue and Gambit, at their best, are a fantastically brutal story about the things you can’t have and the toxicity of relationships. Some writers have done them well, other writers have been complete garbage to them and can’t help but treat them like a ‘forbidden fruit’ trope.
When they’re good, they’re great, though – and in my trawling through the X-verse, I have been keeping an eye on where they end up. Sadly, with the way comic books work, their world will never be perfect, and if it feels that it is, it won’t be for long. He’s too broken and she’s too uncomfortable with who she is and there will never be a writer that wants you to feel that they are an ideal that has been achieved when there is so much more gristle on the bone in their dysfunction.
#1 – EMMA FROST
Are you surprised? If you know anything about me, you shouldn’t be. Emma has been one of my favorite characters since Generation X and, honestly, probably before that (but I’ll blame that on teenage me seeing a woman clad in white lingerie and thinking that was the cat’s pajamas. The truth is, Emma, when done correctly, is a tragically beautiful character. From her Hellions being brutalized to her making amends and being the teacher for the next generation of mutants. Followed up by being Cyclops’s therapeutic ‘other woman’. She is cold and calculating, brutal and unforgiving, and that’s even after you get to know her. The emotions of Emma and the feelings beneath her coldness has been attempted to be explored in an individual series and many many flashbacks that all don’t seem to make much sense when you blend them together, but the heart of her character is true – it is easier to be cold, than hurt…
At her best, she doesn’t care about what’s best for the ‘Dream of Mutants’ and she doesn’t care what’s the best legal choice. Emma does what’s best for those she has placed beneath her, the kids that are using her as her template. Every story that includes some concept of ‘will Emma be evil?’ doesn’t get Emma at all (I’m looking at you Whedon) and where I loathe her secondary mutation as it feels a tad to ‘on the money’ – when Emma wants something, you’re doing what Emma wants which is the fear everyone has about the Psi-Level-Mutants because if she wanted to, she could rule the world and you wouldn’t even know she was doing it.
So what about you – who’s your favorite X? Who am I completely wrong about? I’ll tell you right now.. I will happily write more X Reviews if you want, as it’s how I cut my teeth as an internet presence and I do miss it sometimes. See you next time.
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