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).
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
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.