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50 Greatest X-Family Stories: 50-41

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45. “Good Omens” X-Statix #1-5

After the tragic finale of X-Force, the team must re-brand themselves and continue on as a team…or do they even WANT to continue on? If they’re going to make a choice, they’ll have to make it soon since a new team, O-Force, is prepared to take their place if they hesitate. Peter Milligan did a wonderful job re-introducing these characters and all the trauma they’re all going through. Mike Allred, meanwhile, does an amazing job, especially in the way that he comes up with these offbeat yet awesome designs for new characters. Paul Pope admirably fills in on the final issue in the arc.

44. “Multiple Issues” X-Factor #14-17

After a rough patch in his life, Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man decides to collect some of his errant dupes. As we learned in the Madrox mini-series by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi, Madrox discovered that he could send his duplicates out to learn all sorts of different skills and when Madrox re-absorbed them, he would learn those skills, as well. A few of his dupes, though, have been out on the range a bit too long and have carved out lives of their own. What will Madrox do when it comes time to collect them? Will they fight him? Will he let them stay away? The three duplicates he follows are an Agent of SHIELD, a pastor and a private detective. Each visit comes with it its own particularly tricky pitfalls. This was the first time that Raimondi had re-joined David on the X-Factor ongoing that had launched off the back of their Madrox mini-series, and their pairing works really well. Meanwhile, the other members of X-Factor have all gone through some rough patches of their own, and the story arc also tells their tales, like Siryn and M getting over their differences while on a shopping trip in Europe only to get caught up in an international incident. Plus, Guido deals with the fact that he murdered a man while under the control of a bad guy. Can he really face the man’s widow? This is a gripping four-parter.

43. “Longshot” Longshot #1-6

While now best known for the series that launched the career of superstar artist Art Adams (who penciled the series with inks by Whilce Portacio), this series also introduced not only future X-Men member Longshot, but also the alien dimension that Longshot comes from, ruled by the entertainment obsessed tyrant Mojo. Longshot and his fabulous luck powers land on Earth after escaping the “Mojoverse,” but Mojo is not one to give up on an asset so easily, so Longshot finds himself on the run from a number of hunters, none more notable than the mysterious Spiral. Adams and writer Ann Nocenti brought a rare sense of charm and dynamics to this delightfully fun tale of adventure.

42. “Pawns of the White Queen” New Mutants #38-40

Magneto had just recently taken over as the Headmaster of the Xavier School for Mutants when the worst tragedy that could happen to his students happened – they were ALL killed! However, they were all killed by the omnipotent being, The Beyonder, who then brought them back to life with the memories of their death. No one but the New Mutants KNOW this, though, so as you might imagine, they are all wound extremely tight. They are just going through the motions of life in a total daze. This makes them easy prey for the White Queen, who uses one of her young soldiers, the Hellions, to manipulate Magneto’s emotions and make him susceptible to Eamma Frost’s entreaty to allow the New Mutants to join Frost’s Massachusetts Academy. While there, remarkably enough, Frost actually does some strong work using her powers to help the New Mutants get over their death experience, When Magneto figures out he had been manipulated, though, he comes for his kids. White Queen is one step ahead of him, though, and lets the Avengers know that the mutant terrorist Magneto is showing up at a private school to kidnap enrolled kids. This leads to a confrontation between Magneto and the Avengers before Emma Frost actually surprises everyone with a decision regarding the kids. Rick Leonardi and Bill Sienkiewicz drew part 1 (with the iconic Art Adams cover), Keith Pollard and Dell Barras drew part 2 and incoming art team Jackson Guice and Kyle Baker drew part 3. Chris Claremont wrote the whole thing.

Story continues below

41. “Angels and Demons” X-Force #1-6

The concept of this series (written by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost) is that there are certain threats to the X-Men that need to be taken care off BEFORE they can hurt the X-Men, with extreme prejudice. So Cyclops and Wolverine put together basically a small hit squad. The toughest and deadliest X-Men all on one team, taking out targets before they can take out the X-Men. However, they might have bitten off more than they could chew when they track down whoever stole the head of the evil robot, Bastion. They learn that an anti-mutant group has rescued Bastion and then he, in turn, has used a techo-organic virius to return a number of anti-mutant villains back to life to torment the X-Men. The bad guys kidnap Wolfsbane of the New Mutants but unbeknownst to Wolverine’s team when they rescue her, she has been programmed to attack the X-Men. She tears Angel’s wings off. Unexpectedly, this turns out to be a change in Angel’s personality – has his Archangel persona actually been there all along? He finds himself changing between the deadly Archangel and the normal Angel. This opening arc to the series was drawn by Clayton Crain.

Okay, that’s it for the first day of the countdown!

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Loved the road trip arc on X-Force. Probably one of my favorite story lines of the series.

I’m glad to see Exiles on this list.

Hmm, I think the only ones I’ve read here are the Longshot mini, the Exiles story, the New Mutants graphic novel, and the other New Mutants story that I don’t really remember. But I enjoyed those, as best I can recall.

I’ve still never read any X-Statix, or X-Factor past the first few issues when it was still the original X-Men.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

August 22, 2013 at 10:49 am

I’ve been waiting for this to start!

I didn’t vote for any of these, but “Angels and Demons” was close to making it.

I haven’t really read much of the original New Mutants, Excalibur or X-Force, so my list is significantly lacking in those areas. I definitely want to get a bunch of that Excalibur material, though.

Very good choices!! The only story to line up with my picks this round is New Mutants 38-40 (although I had grouped 36-43.) It was #2 on my list.

This is gonna be a very interesting list, leaving out most of the usual X-men suspects that end on these favorite X-Stories lists, Claremont Uncanny X-Men, Morrison, Whedon, etc.

I didn’t vote for any of these, but I definite do like both “Days of Future Yet To Come” from Excalibur by Alan Davis & Mark Farmer and the original New Mutants graphic novel by Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod. Each of them are very good reads, and I’m glad that they made the Top 50.

As for “Pawns of the White Queen” from New Mutants #38-40, hmm, I don’t think I’ve read that entire story. But issue #40 is the one with the cover featuring Magneto vs Captain America, right? That was a good one.

Interesting batch of stories that affirms my decision to abstain from the voting: while I’ve read pretty much all of these, my recollection of the more recent spinoffs, especially in terms of specific stories, is so lacking I didn’t feel confidant voting for anything.

Now that you mention them, I recall really enjoying the X-Statix stories, and this X-Factor and Exiles arc I especially remember liking, but I’d have never recalled them for the sake of voting. And I haven’t even read any Excalibur pre-“Fatal Attractions”, which seems like a big omission.

The Road Trip arc was on my aborted short list, as was “Pawns of the White Queen” (which, eerily enough, I’m in the middle of reviewing myself right now). I had a Kyle & Yost X-Force story on my list, but not this one.

“Renewal” is one of those stories I respect for its significance more than I enjoy it outright, while Longshot is all about the art, though, as Brian said, there is a certain charm to the story as well.

Never was a fan of Adam Pollina’s artwork… have to admit, though, that the reason I disliked him sooo much was because he designed that godawful neon-light Ghost Rider costume (even though he never drew the series) that was used late in that series’ run in the 90s, so maybe I’m a bit biased.

This will be a very exciting list.

While the Greatest X-Men stories list was very predictable and rather a confirmation of what every X-fan knows, this might be a cool recommendation list of x-related stories

My Number 1 has already shown up…the New Mutants Graphic Novel.

I’m glad to see things outside of Wolverine, New Mutants, and X-Force though.

Here’s hoping some of my lesser known picks make the cut.

I think I gave the X-Statix/Defenders story five points or so, so I may actually have affected the list this time. But only Brian knows for sure :)

X-Statix/AVENGERS. Dammit :)

This Exiles story was on my shortlist, but I ended up bumping it because I didn’t want my list to be all Exiles. Good stuff though.

One of mine makde it! Excalibur’s Days of Future Yet to Come. Such a fun story and Davis’ entire run is the best thing with that title.

Pretty sure I read Road Tirp back in the day, I liked that it was a step back from the superhero and we got a bunch of characterization and it was nice to see a team of youngster not seeking out foes to punch.

New Mutants Graphic Novel 4 would have made my list of favorite New Mutant stories, same with Pawns of the White Queen, which I own both stories.

I didn’t get into Exiles until later in that title’s run, once that evil Illyana showed up, which really added some spice to that title.

Stayed away from X-Statix as it didn’t seem like my thing but heard some amazing stories came out of that.

Never really heard much about the Longshot mni besides the art being amazing.

Looks like from the first ten that there wasn’t many X-Statix fans who came out and voted, unless issues 6-20 are spectacular.

I’m looking forward to seeing which fan bases are active and which stories are remembered well. I can only assume that there are going to be at least five more New Mutants stories.

I completely forgot (and don’t know how to edit a post) to say,

Thanks Brian for compiling the list!

The Crazed Spruce

August 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Wish I could’ve come up with more than three stories on my list (and one of THOSE was kind of a cheat, ’cause I’ve only read one issue from the arc). I love taking part in votes like this.

Oh, well. Maybe next time….

This is the way I remember Longshot–as a thing unto himself. He never really made much sense to me as a member of the X-Men, and I was never particularly interested in his involvement with the team, but I read that mini when it came out and enjoyed it a lot.

I feel the same way about Dazzler, for what it’s worth. Liked her as a solo star, but thought her being part of the X-Men was kinda dumb.

Longshot was on my list. Art Adams drew it, how could it not be?

I also had the Kyle/Yost X-Force opener there. Loved it, fab story, fab art. Much better than ay of the X-Force series that have followed.

X-Statix is far too low. The run should have the top spots. >:(

Angels & Demons, and the rest of that X-Force run, helped get me back into comics a couple years ago. That story has such a unique, dark, pulpy and almost gothic vibe to it between the art and the writing that I’ve never really seen replicated in another X-book — including the rest of that X-Force run. I opened up the TPB in a B&N, thought “oooh, pretty!”, saw Wolverine and co. tearing Red Shirts apart (the story does have some character and emotional depth, thankfully), and thought “yeah, I’ll give this a chance.” Bought the rest, then Messiah War, then Messiah Complex and Second Coming, then moved onto Uncanny X-Force, and down and down and down the spiral I went. The rest of that title up to Necrosha (which wasn’t bad, exactly, but was a rather weak ending to such a fun title) was pretty rad, but in my view the art of A&D lifts it above the stories that followed it.

Multiple Issues is absolutely wonderful. Peter David killed it on that 50 issue volume of X-Factor, and that was definitely one of the stronger stories. I came very, very close to including it on my list but I had three or four other stories from that run on my list already. I ended up voting for #13 (Re-X-Aminations) instead, but it was a coin flip vote.

Despise Adam Pollina’s art and dropped the book because of it. Between him and Liefeld, that first volume of X-Force was pretty brutal on the eyes.

Haven’t read any of the rest, and aside from X-Statix and maybe Excalibur I don’t have much desire to fix that. I first heard about X-Statix earlier this year and it sounds like a title I’d thoroughly enjoy. I’ll get to it some day.

0-for so far.

I’ve only read three of these (Milligan and David.) Glad to see the debut of John Madrox make the cut. Underrated character.

@ Minuteman

I love X-Statix and own the Omnibus, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Only one story made my Top 10, and it was a single issue.

Despite that, I expect more to come. There are four stories that – in my mind – HAVE to make this list and they don’t include either of the two that have shown up already.

I had Good Omens at #4 on my list. I knew I needed at least one X-Statix story. That one was probably my favourite. But it was a tough call.

I am excited to see what the results are for this list.

If the X-Men one taught me anything, it is that I remember 70’s & 80’s X-Men stories more thoroughly than newer stories.

I’ve read and loved a ton of recent X-Statix and X-Factor and Uncanny X-Force stories but couldn’t think what specific number of issues they were from, etc. That, and those are the only recent day X-Family books I have read. The rest of my votes would have been nothing but Sienkiewicz/Claremont New Mutants, Peter David/Larry Stroman X-Factor, or Walt & Louise Simonson X-Factors. And Larry Hama era Wolverine stories with Weapon X in there too. And even then I thought I’d probably just be voting for shoe ins and I’m really curious to see what stories everyone else would recommend!

So bring it on CBR!

I had X-Statix Vs Avengers at #2 and Good Omens at #5, and they’re at the bottom part of the final list?

I liked Longshot a lot back in the day, but it’s been too long ago. I should try to get a cheap trade at a con. But I do remember Adams drew a great She-Hulk!
I only read the first big hardcover of the Kyle-Yost X-Force, Angels And Demons was alright but I didn’t care for any of the villains so my enjoyment was rather low because of that.

Its interesting. Unlike the X-men stories, most of these come from a period when I wasn’t really reading comics (1995-2000something).

None of mine have made the list so far, and I don’t know how many will, but I’m still kicking myself, because I completely forgot about Sienkiewicz’s whole run on New Mutants (probably my favorite run by a comic artist ever + the stories were pretty good) until the day after voting closed.

I had Longshot as my #1 pick. Got a trade of that series back in the 80s and fell in love with the art, but the story was pretty damn fun, too. I’ve been a big fan of everything Mojo-verse since then, too. I also started reading X-Men an issue or two into Longshot’s tenure with the team, so he’s always seemed like a logical choice as an X-Man to me. I could see how that viewpoint might differ if I had started reading X-men a year or two earlier or later.

I think we’ll definitely be seeing more of X-Force/X-Statix. I voted for 2 stories from that run, neither of which are here, and I’d be amazed if they didn’t both make it. But who knows, this list definitely looks like it will be surprising if nothing else.

X-Statix in general should be higher, but I think that’s a fair place for the X-Statix vs. Avengers story, since it was a just a silly crossover (albeit one played far sillier– and thus in a far more entertaining fashion– than most crossover stories).

What is silly about X-Statix Vs Avengers?

The Orphan vs Iron Man is one of the greatest battles in the history of comics!
They’re throwing grass at each other! XD

I missed the deadline for voting, but looking at this list makes me glad I did.

The only thing that I’ve even read is Marvel Graphic Novel #4 and it was … fine. The Uncanny X-Men were so successful that they became the template for Bronze Age super-teams. There was very little difference between X-Men spin-offs and X-Men rip-offs. Personally, I liked the series that Alan Davis drew with Batman as Professor X more than the title that Alan Davis drew that Captain Britain as Cyclops, but your milage may vary. The idea of definitively ranking them is terrifying.

Holy crap! I’d completely forgotten there was a time when I enjoyed Judd Winnick. I should pull out my Exiles issues.

Roadtrip made my list at #4. I really like JFM’s and Pollina’s X-Force run, and this is the highlight. If Gen X captured a bit of what it felt like to be in junior high and high school during the 90s, then this run was probably the mutant/comic equivalent of how it felt to transition from high school to college.

Almost included Longshot, but ultimately cut it because while I love the early Art Adams art, overall the story feels weak. It meanders around and Ann Nocenti would ultimately improve as a scripter.

Haven’t really read any of the others, but I’ve heard good things about many of them.

Road Trip was my #2. Wish it were higher but happy it made the list. Thought that was a great mix of characters and a great change of pace storywise. Really liked Pollina’s work a lot too.

Damn. I forgot about X-Force/X-Statix.

Now I hate myself.

I voted for both the Exiles and X-Factor stories, although voted for them as TPB’s.

The New Mutants White Queen story was great.

Longshot was really good, but not as good as the New Mutants/X-Men Annuals two-parter that Art Adams drew.

As for X-Force, I would generally be happier if they would just vanish into the ether…

I would have voted for the Asgardian Wars issue of New Mutants if it hadn’t already been on the X-men list.

“Pawns of the White Queen” is the best New Mutants story not drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz. Claremont kept Emma Frost villainous but showed she did care about her students on some level. The Avengers vs. Magneto fight was great, as was Magneto’s depression-to-action arc. I rank these issues with Claremont’s best, and above most of his X-Men comics of the same period.

Got one at least, the road trip arc which was fantastic. Really different, really cool character work and great art. I know I voted for Exiles, Yost & Kyles X-force and X-Factor but I don’t remember which arcs.

I just recently read through X-Statix for the first time over a couple days. It is so damn good, and I’m so sorry that I wasn’t around for the original run!

Baker inking Guice, like in NM #40, was great stuff.

Didn’t vote, but I am very curious to see if any Generation-X makes the list. The Lobdell Bachallo era and Counter X era were well written and fairly accurate in their portrayals of teens. A very good series if you leave out the Hama sillyness regarding the “M Twins” and the stuff about opening the school to the general public with Emma’s sister.

I had the new mutants graphic novel 2nd on my list. Glad to see it, but legitimately surprised how low it is.

This is why I love CSBG. I had never heard of New Mutants 38-40 before today. Reading the synopsis, I now have to track it down. Now if only any of my local shops still had back issues…

Craig: New Mutants Classic v5 is what you want. $25 on Amazon

I also didn’t like Pollina’s artwork. I always felt that most of his characters looked like heroin addicts. Didn’t stop me from buying the issues back then. But I really enjoyed when Jimmy Cheung took over.

Wolverine/Doop better be on this list..

Milligan/Cooke 2 parter

I am intensely hoping that more New Mutants (especially the Bill Sienkiewicz run) and more X-Force (Original Team and other Kyle/Yost) will appear on this list.

“X-FORCE ANGELS AND DEMONS” : This team incarnation and storyline I enjoyed much more than the Uncanny X-Force that followed, which was horrible on a large mutltiude of levels. Clayton Crain is a master at dark, haunting, nightmarish art. This title had great emotional depth to go with the ultraviolence.

It’s odd that Cyclops and Wolverine basically stole/ripped-off Cable’s stance/mandate of X-Force in its original form : a ruthless, militarized hit-squad being proactive against threats. They WISH they could have come up with it first, and they WISH they were as badass as Cable. (Well, 70s/80s/90s Wolverine was a badass…but currently…but what is wrong with him currently would take too long to go into. I’m sure we all know the reasons, anyway.)

“X-FORCE : ROAD TRIP ERA” : I am glad I am not the only one here that hated Adam Pollina’s art. It is cringe-worthy to look at, really awful as hell. I dropped it not long after he came onboard. Talking about an eyesore, the purple and yellow costumes the team had a short while before/after this were ugly and laughably bad.

And the author Brian Cronin is right on target when he wrote that this book ceased to be X-Force at this time and become New Mutants again. It was New Mutants : The Grunge Years. The initial stuff was great and character-focused, bu the art hurt it. All of the artists on Original X-Force were talented…Liefeld and Pollina are the shitty ones.

NEW MUTANTS GRAPHIC NOVEL : Speaking of NM, I am happy to see that this placed. It was the first X-Spinoff, after all. This team roster are comprised of a hell of a lot better and more interesting characters than the newest generation of teen mutants (that are annoying brats) in “Wolverine and the X-Men”, that’s for damn sure.

What is strange and amusing to me is that Dani Moonstar has not had a codename for the longest time, and has been referred to as her name (even in this article !), when her teammates still use their aliases. I’m just curious as to why Dani is no longer “Mirage” or “Psyche”.

It is the same thing with Kitty Pryde just being ‘Kitty Pryde’ and no longer Sprite/Ariel/Shadowcat.

That guy on the Exiles cover has a nice rack.

I don’t really remember those particular X-Statix arcs (and don’t even have all of the arc vs Avengers), but I do remember that X-Statix (to me) seemed less than X-Force (116-129) before it. If others agree with me, I think we’ll be seeing more of that run upcoming.

Longshot just came back out in trade, I believe.

This list looks like it’s going to be fun.

Happy with the list so far (despite being 0/10 expect 2-6 in the final list)
comments on first batch

NEW MUTANTS RENEWAL – I didn’t think to include it – probably underrating it because it was a “graphic novel” when they were considered for extra special stories ..and it was good but didn’t stand out as being worthy of the format.

PAWNS OF THE WHITE QUEEN – wondered about it but so many stories I preferred (including 2 others with the White Queen and Hellions) prevented it reaching my short list of 33.

LONGSHOT – this did make my short list – unusual in that it did not spin off from the XTitles but was instead picked up and continued by the XTitles ..the questions are how would it have played out if Nocenti and Adams had continued it? What would have happened to Rita? How different would Spiral be from how she is now?

DAYS OF FUTURE YET TO COME had been in my Kitty Pryde votes but this time ended up in 12th place (too many other Excalibur stories I prefer..)

I love Adam Pollina’s work and Road Trip would have been on my list had I voted. Also love me some some Claremont/Sinckewicz New Mutants and Claremont/ Davis Excalibur.

A question about the X-Force: Road Trip arc, which I just read for the first time this past weekend…

When the team splits from Cable in #70, Shatterstar and Rictor are there with them. Then when the action picks up in #71, those two aren’t with the team and their absence is never addressed. Why weren’t they part of the road trip arc? Where did they go? When did they next appear?

They went off on their own. They showed up during the Road Trip arc.

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