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50 Greatest X-Family Stories: 25-21

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the X-Men, we’re doing a poll of the greatest X-Family (spin-offs of the X-Men) stories of all-time (Here is our previous list of the 50 Greatest X-Men Stories)! You all voted, now here are the results of what you chose as the 50 Greatest X-Family stories! Here is a master list of every story featured so far.

We’ll do five each day from here on out (until we get towards the end, when it’ll probably get down to 3 a day).

Enjoy!

25. “24 Hours” Wolverine #10

In the conclusion of their initial run on Wolverine, Chris Claremont and John Buscema (inked by Bill Sienkiewicz) told the tale of Wolverine’s birthday. Apparently, every year Sabretooth tracks him down and beats the hell out of him. We discover this as two punks try to kill him in Madripoor while the story flashes back to years ago when Sabretooth killed Wolverine’s then-girlfriend Silver Fox just for the hell of it. In the end of the issue, the two punks trying to kill Wolverine are themselves killed. As it turns out, SABRETOOTH killed them, noting that only he was allowed to mess with Wolverine on his birthday. A gripping look at the fascinating relationship between Wolverine and Sabretooth.

24. “Multiple Choice” MadroX #1-5

This mini-series by Peter David and Pablo Raimondi pulled off the ultimate upset. It did so well, sales-wise, that Peter David was given a brand-new X-Factor series! The mini-series re-envisioned Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, as a private detective. David added a new twist to Madrox’s powers. He would send off his duplicates to learn certain skills. When they mastered them, Jamie would re-absorb them and gain all of the skills himself. However, another twist is that the dupes are not always particularly helpful at first. They have personalities of their own and Jamie doesn’t know what that personality will be until he calls them forth. Jamie was currently working as a private detective along side his former X-Factor teammates, Rahne Sinclair and Guido. He gets caught up in a noir crime story…just a noir crime story involving mutants, of course. It is all beautifully written and Raimondi’s art style is perfectly noir.

23. “We Were Only Foolin’” New Mutants #45

In this powerful one-off tale by Chris Claremont, Jackson Guice and Kyle Baker, a young teenager at the local high school is accused of being a mutant by other students. He and Kitty Pryde had a date and in part to distance himself from being considered a mutant, he told a “mutie” joke to Kitty and the other New Mutants who were all disgusted by him. Eventually, the sensitive young man (who was, indeed, a mutant) kills himself. The issue deals with the various reactions of the New Mutants to his passing and it ends with Kitty Pryde visiting the school to give a touching speech about the power of prejudice (she somehow kept herself from using the n-word. For whatever reason, Kitty seemed to believe that that was rhetorical gold. Like, if she dropped the n-word, then she would just automatically win any argument she was in).

22. “Magik” Uncanny X-Men #160/Magik #1-4

Colossus’ sister, Illyana Raspution, gets lured by the evil demon Belasco. The X-Men go to rescue her and encounter twisted versions of themselves. The X-Men lose Illyana for a moment and when they rescue her they are shocked to learn that seven years have passed for Illyana and that she is now the powerful mutant sorceress known as Magik! The accompanying mini-series, Magik, details her seven years with Belasco in Limbo. Chris Claremont wrote the issue and the mini-series while Brent Anderson and Bob Wiacek drew the Uncanny issue and John Buscema, Ron Frenz, Sal Buscema and Tom Palmer drew the mini-series.

21. “Third Genesis” Generation X #1-3

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The opening storyline of Generation X by Scott Lobdell, Chris Bachalo and Mark Buckingham introduced us to both Chamber (perhaps the oddest looking mutant to date, as his mutant power first showed itself by blowing a whole in his upper chest and lower jaw) and the villainous vampire-like mutant, Emplate. The teens battle the new villain and at the end of the first issue, meet the last member of their team, the mysterious mute mutant known as Penance. The next two issues deal with the team trying to track Penance down and get her to trust them and join the school. Besides the amazing artwork from Bachalo and Buckingham (I believe this is the last time the mighty Chrucky art team worked together, right?), Lobdell did a fine job developing all the personalities in the series and making them converge into a cohesive whole.

37 Comments

30 stories in and I am STILL 0-for. “MadroX” is begging for a re-issue.

was thinking 24 hours in wolverine would be higher given that not only does it give some more to the is sabertooth wolverines father and also maybe sabertooth knows more about wolerine then he lets on we were only foolin was thinking it would be higher given how it shows the cost one predjucie can wind up paying not to mention how shocking when the guy after trying to hide he is a mutant commits suicide. magic interesting to see this story on this list since not only does magik appear but also its contains one of chris lovely dangling unsolved plotlines. storm also being a mutant sorceress

30 stories in and I too am still 0-for.

I was 9/10 in the X-men voting. But I guess I’m out of touch when it comes to the rest of the mutants.

Holski: it’s in X-Factor by Peter David: The Complete Collection Volume 1 published Feb 4th next year

I am now 3/10 with New Mutants # 45 and the Maddrox mini series. Starting to think Dazzler the Movie is probably not going end up on this list. Sigh…

I remember really loving Generation X up to about issue #8 or 9 (the Cassidy Keep storyline). I re-read them last fall and was surprised how much I actually enjoyed all of Lobdell’s run with the exception of the Cassidy Keep storyline. Those first four issue before the AoA are still gold.

Once I saw Wolverine Issue 10, I was like, I’m not sure I’ve heard of this story. But I have once I read the description. So funny how Wolverine has stop being hunted by Sabretooth on his birthday, but it really is only a story you can allud to as like how many Christmas stories Amazing Spider-Man had, it sort of hints at how many years are passing.

I have only read about MadroX and I meant to find it once I enjoyed the first several arcs of X-Factor just never did.

New Mutants 45, Kitty at her speech making best! Such a great issue.

I would have thought people would not have voted for Magik as 160 was represented on the X-Men proper list and I saw that as a vote really for the mini but glad others disagreed and voted regardless as the mini is so much better than the one issue – which makes complete sense. Love seeing the evil version of our heroes, really shows that we are lucky they went down the correct path that they did.

I sort of love that the opening arc of Generation X was called Third Genesis. I bet once I read those when they came out, I didn’t even realize the homage and legacy they were trying to go with that title. Real shame that only Jubilee is a mainstray out of this cast. Chamber and M are still around but everyone else is dead or forgotten but mostly dead. Love Bachalo’s art on this title and has made me a life long follower of his.

Madrox is my first vote to appear.

But that is largely because I forgot about X-Statix

Captain Haddock

August 27, 2013 at 9:09 am

That opening arc in Gen X was insturmental in making me an x-fan. Of all the x stories Lobdell wrote, it was probably my favorite, and the art was astonishingly good as well.

These lists also make me truly appreciate how much of an impact Chris Claremont had on the X-men outside of the core books. It’s really an astonishing testatment to his prowess and consistency in the 80s.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

August 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

Well, I’m 1/10 at the moment. Wolverine #10 is pretty frikkin’ fantastic, and I’m a little surprised it didn’t place higher. Maybe if the Wolverine/Sabretooth rivalry hadn’t (for the most part) sucked for the last 10 years…

I’m going to be more than a little sad if none of Mike Carey’s X-Men Legacy makes it on here. It took up more than a few spots on my list.

hmmm…still just 2/10

With Madrox, I think I’m up to 5/10 now. I liked Magik years ago, but I went back and read it when I was making this list, and I don’t think it holds up at all.

24 Hours is a good story. Wasn’t in the running for my list, but I quite liked it all the same. Don’t really need to look anywhere else to figure out why Logan and Victor are at each other’s throats so much. Silver Fox got taken for a pretty crazy ride for a dead woman later in the series.

Read the Madrox mini after I was well into the following X-Factor series. Saw it on sale on comiXology, thought “the hell is this?”, bought it, read it, and loved it. It sets up X-Factor quite nicely, but works perfectly well as a standalone story.

Haven’t read the rest. Really surprised to see the Magik mini here considering it was lumped into the X-Men list. Seems redundant, but oh well.

The Magik miniseries by Claremont & friends was one of my votes. I actually never had the opportunity to read it until about five years ago, when it was finally collected. But once I picked it up, I enjoyed it. Definitely a very bizarre, dark, twisted, tragic story. In retrospect, as with a lot of the other X-Men related stories Claremont was involved with (Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Futures Past, etc) a lot of subsequent writers really drew tremendous inspiration from this four issue miniseries. Anyway, I wrote a review of it on my blog about half a year ago:

http://benjaminherman.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/strange-comic-books-magik/

I was considering voting for Wolverine #10, but there were a couple of other stories from that title I liked better. And, unfortunately, it lost quite a bit of its dramatic impact once it was seemingly retconned away as one of Logan’s memory impants by the Weapon X Program during Larry Hama’s run. Althought Claremont disgregarded that (and a whole bunch of other stuff) in his X-Men Forever continuity, and did some interesting stuff with the “Sabretooth is Wolverine’s father” concept.

Side note: I wanted to vote for something from XMF back during the 50 Greatest X-Men Stories poll, but I couldn’t think of any one specifi story that really stood out. Rather, I enjoyed the series as a whole. It was definitely Claremont’s best writing in years. As Peter David would say, though, but I digress!

Speaking of PAD, after all these years I still haven’t read the Madrox miniseries. Yeah, I really should track that down. Who drew the covers for it? I keep thinking it might be David Lloyd.

New Mutants #45 and Magik put me at 4/10 at the moment, with the New Mutants Graphic Novel and New Mutants #40 being my other votes (I only voted for 40 instead of 38-40, just ’cause it was that Magneto/Avengers fight that really stuck out.

I only read NM #45 in the last few years and was surprised by how well done it was. Admittedly I forced myself to overlook some awkward dialogue, which I kind of expect from Claremont, but I thought the story and the sentiments expressed in it felt very true.

I just remember finding Magik really, really cool when it first came out, if a bit scary and depressing. I should re-read it to see how it holds up but certainly from memory it was top 10 voting material.

Definitely want to read Madrox someday.

This has been a fun list. I hope to see more of my votes show up, although if the NM Graphic Novel barely placed, then I doubt New Mutants #2 will show up (even though it had a great fight with brand new Sentinels that was my first indication that this second X-team could be pretty cool)…

No complaints here. All favorite stories and/or favorite characters. The only one I’m pretty much unfamiliar with is “Madrox”, but a friend of mine recently got me interested in it, so I hope to fix that soon.

Nothing from mine. But all good stories. Third Genesis was on my shortlist.

The early Generation X stuff was very good, and I’m reminded of it often these days, whenever anyone makes a snide reference to Lobdell not being a good writer or whatever. The Cassidy Keep storyline actually really pulled me out of the story, and Tom Grummet’s art didn’t make for a good replacement for Bachalo, but after a while, once Bachalo returned, the series definitely got back on track.

Brian,

I may be misremembering, but didn’t Kitty’s speech in NM 45 have a section in which she sad, “[slur], [slur], [slur], [slur], mutie?” I could have sworn she slipped in the n-word.

Also, Mark Buckingham came back to ink Chris Bachalo’s return to Generation X 17, and stayed on to issue 20.

Not to be a know-it-all nerd or anything…

Also, Mark Buckingham came back to ink Chris Bachalo’s return to Generation X 17, and stayed on to issue 20.

Right, I was just noting that Generation X period was the last time they worked together. Not these three issues specifically.

Mike, you’re thinking of Uncanny X-Men #196, which was my #2 vote on the other list.

I may be misremembering, but didn’t Kitty’s speech in NM 45 have a section in which she sad, “[slur], [slur], [slur], [slur], mutie?” I could have sworn she slipped in the n-word.

That part, though, you’re right. Good call. So yeah, Kitty Pryde just can’t help but use the n-word in every argument she makes.

Kitty managed to use both the N word AND bundle of twigs in NM#45.

Mike Loughlin is correct, New Mutants #45 is where Kitty says “[slur], [slur], [slur], [slur], mutie?” , the first slur being the n-word. Dalarsco is partially right, she did use the n-word in Uncanny X-Men #196, in a response to a black guy asking if she was a mutie (“Gee, I don’t know Phil, are you a n—-?”). And of course she used it in God Loves, Man Kills. Those are the 3 I’m aware of, might be some more out there. Maybe when she was trying on some of Harmony Young’s clothes, or something.

Re: Chrucky: Got it, Brian. My bad for misinterpreting. I wonder what happened with those two. I know that following Buckingham’s departure from Generation X he did a lot more pencilling. Given how good Peter Parker, Titans, & especially Fables looked, I’d say that decision paid off.

Re: Kitty & the n-word: I’m both glad and kind of sad that I remembered that scene correctly.

Re: Chrucky: Got it, Brian. My bad for misinterpreting. I wonder what happened with those two. I know that following Buckingham’s departure from Generation X he did a lot more pencilling. Given how good Peter Parker, Titans, & especially Fables looked, I’d say that decision paid off.

My total shot in the dark guess is what happened was that Buckingham wanted to keep their art looking the same, as they were doing really well with their style (which had nearly as much Buckingham in it as it did Bachalo) but Bachalo wanted to keep experimenting with his style (which he has continued to do over the last two decades). You could see towards the end of their collaboration that Buckingham was practically straining to keep the art looking the same. Eventually it just wasn’t working any more. So Buckingham went off and basically just penciled the same way that Chrucky used to look and Bachalo did his more experimental stuff.

I remember hating the art on Generation X after Buckingham left. I blamed it on a combination of bad inking and Bachalo putting more manga-like tics into his work. Suddenly, everyone looked like a child in an oddly-proportioned adult body. Luckily, that period (which extended to his Uncanny X-Men issues, although they looked much better) proved to be growing pains and Bachalo’s art improved. In fact, I just read the Spider-Man story “Shed” and was amazed by Bachalo’s work.

You’re right about how much Buckingham added to Bachalo’s work, something that wasn’t apparent until I saw an extended run of solo Buckingham issues of Peter Parker. It would be interesting to see a new comic from the Chrucky team, only to see if their styles are at all compatible these days.

NEW MUTANTS # 45 : Claremont was such a master at fusing real-world issues into his X-Comics, and this is a fine example. I loved how none of it was ever the cliche ‘superheroes punching stuff’… his Uncanny X-Men and New Mutants was filled with complex, flawed, and relatable characters and important, socially relevant topics and messages.

I never cared for the Jackson Guice art much, but the stories were always solid. I think that the Bill Sienkiewicz run on New Mutants was when it was at its best visually. Hell, that whole run should be on this list.

DEMON BEAR SAGA should make it, at least.

WOLVERINE #10 : Claremont really ‘got’ Wolverine. He and Larry Hama were the most adept at his characterization. This is really one of the most enjoyable Wolverine stories…back when Sabretooth was a viable threat and scary.

Elements of this were adapted into the X-MEN ORIGINS : WOLVERINE film…badly. I did like how, in the movie, Sabretooth says to Logan, “Nobody kills you but me”…which was what Sabretooth wrote on the note he left Wolverine at the end of the issue. Good reference.

During Jason Aaron’s time on the book (near the end of his run), he had Wolverine do a reversal and beat the hell out of Victor on Sabretooth’s birthday. Nice !

Third Genesis was a zenith of X. Madrox was breathtaking because it brought Peter David, Madrox, Wolfsbane and Strong Guy back together. (Now, after so many issues of the reunited X-Factor, it’s harder to remember how amazing that was at the time.)

LOVED the Madrox mini. To all those saying they plan to read it: DO IT! You’ll love it.

I’ve read all of these but Madrox, and they’re all good choices. Nothing I voted for, but I did vote for a Claremont Wolverine story, 2 David X-Factor stories, 2 Claremont New Mutants stories, and a Lobdell/Chrucky (I like that name) Gen X story, so there’s that. I’ve only had two votes show up so far, and three more are definitely coming, but it’s very possible I’ll only go 5/10. I’m starting to lose hope on the two Jason Aaron Wolverine stories I voted for, as well as New Mutants Annual 2, though I’d absolutely love it if they all made Top 20. And my two Cable votes were almost certainly not making it on the list from the get-go.

What I’m loving here is that we’re down to the top 20, and I still think this list could go in any number of directions. There are 10 stories that I feel very confident are still to come, but the other 10 could be just about anything, and I have no idea where to even begin guessing. Some things I’m very curious whether we’ll see: Any Casey/Ladronn Cable? Any Ellis Excalibur? Any Liefeld stuff (I hope/suspect not)? Any more Hama Wolverine? Any Aaron Wolverine (I really hope so)? Any Joe Kelly Deadpool (beside #11)?

Any Joe Kelly Deadpool (beside #11)?

People convinced me to eliminate Kelly Deadpool from contention. Deadpool is more of an X-book than, say, Alpha Flight, but since he’s not a mutant and has never been a member of the X-Men proper, it seemed fair enough to not muddy the waters by including him.

Ah, yeah, that seems fair. Somehow I missed that back during the infinite rules bickering everyone was throwing at you, but I didn’t vote for any Deadpool regardless.

Though out of random curiosity, when was it established that Deadpool isn’t a mutant? I always thought he had a healing factor too…

I believe I’m still on zero, but I really, really like this list.

Ah, yeah, that seems fair. Somehow I missed that back during the infinite rules bickering everyone was throwing at you, but I didn’t vote for any Deadpool regardless.

Though out of random curiosity, when was it established that Deadpool isn’t a mutant? I always thought he had a healing factor too…

Deadpool gained his healing power through an experiment, so his powers are like Spider-Man (I think some people call them “mutates” to differentiate).

Yeah, I just started playing the Deadpool video game (has its flaws, but enjoyable if you’re a fan) and they call him a “mutate” about a milion times in it, so that seems to be the official term.

I haven’t come across any that I didn’t vote for that I said “dang, I forgot to add that one” but New Mutants #45 probably comes the closest. And wow, that cover!

sorry to nitpick but the bit on Chamber is bothering me..I assume it should be “hole”

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