BEST BETS: "Jessica Jones," "Big Trouble/Escape from New York" & More October 2016 Highlights
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).
15. “Enemy of the State” Wolverine #20-31
It’s really fascinating to see the impact that Hush had on comics. The idea of a “super run” by big name creators on a title was never really considered (except for Steve Englehart’s mid-70s DC work, but that was basically “I have X amount of time before I quit comics. Would you like me to do something in that time?”) until Hush showed how successful the concept could be. Mark Millar then followed that approach on Marvel Knights: Spider-Man and then on Enemy of the State, where he would come in, tell one epic story and then leave (Millar would later repeat his feat with Old Man Logan and his FF run). Enemy of the State is two six-part arcs, both drawn by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson. The first, titled just “Enemy of the State,” revolves around the Hand brainwashing Wolverine and having him become the world’s most effective supervillain, raising an army of brainwashed superheroes. It ends with Wolverine being captured and then de-programmed, leading to the second arc, Wolverine, Agent of SHIELD, where he resolves to kill every single Hand member there is after what they did to him. It’s a grand, sweeping storyline packed with action and pathos. And a lot of awesome guest stars like Elektra.
14. “The Longest Night” X-Factor #1-6
The opening arc on Peter David’s X-Factor, this storyline both addresses the precarious nature of a mutant private investigation firm at a time when suddenly there were very few mutants left on Earth as well as introduce a powerful adversary for Jamie Madrox’s merry band of mutants. The now de-powered Julio Rictor joins the cast, as does Siryn, M and the breakout character of House of M, Layla Miller. Ryan Sook started off as the artist on the series but Dennis Calero quickly took over. These were powerful issues with extensive insights into the various cast members, setting a high bar for the rest of the series – a bar David has cleared with ease.
13. “Chilhood’s End” New X-Men #20-31
The other side of the “no more mutants” coin was New X-Men. This series had initially featured a variety of “Squads” of students at Xavier’s, with the two most prominent teams being the “Hellions” (Emma Frost’s students) and the “New Mutants” (Dani Moonstar’s students), with the New Mutants being more or less the stars of the book. However, then M-Day happened and many students were no longer mutants. With things being very precarious, as anti-mutant hysteria was now at a fever pitch (with anti-mutant racists figuring that they could now wipe out mutants all together), Emma Frost decided to revamp the approach of the students at Xavier’s and instead just pick one squad that they could concentrate on as the main team. After a free for all, the new team consisted pretty much of a mixture of the New Mutants and the Hellions (shocking, I know). However, things were only going to get worse as the evil Reverand Stryker was planning an all-out assault on the X-Men. First, as the former mutants were all shipped home, they were attacked and many were killed in front of their friends! Next, an all out assault on the school by Stryker and his evil Purifiers began and more mutants were killed. Things went from bad to worse when the futuristic Sentinel known as Nimrod was brought to attack the young mutants, as well. This set of harrowing events were written by Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost and took place over three four-part mini-arcs. The art on the first mini-arc was by Mark Brooks and Jaime Mendoza. Paco Median and Juan Vlasco drew the last two (with one fill-in issue by Duncan Rouleau).
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