CBR's Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2016
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).
12. Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1-6
This mini-series was both a sequel to Chris Claremont, Frank Miller and Joe Rubinstein’s acclaimed Wolverine mini-series as well as being an important progression in the character development of Kitty Pryde, as Claremont finally came up with a cool code name for the character. Al Milgrom drew the series, which saw Kitty Pryde travel with her father to Japan where she is captured and brainwashed by the evil ninja Ogun into becoming a bad ass evil ninja. She is ordered to kill Wolverine and, well, as you might imagine Kitty is able to fight her programming. In the end, though, she retained her ninja abilites as well as a little more darkness into her soul than she did to start the series (the series also began right after Kitty had had her heart broken by her super-age-appropriate-no-there’s-nothing-wrong-with-it boyfriend, Colossus, so Kitty was already in a state of mixed-up confusion).
11. “Time and a Half/Overtime” X-Factor #39-50
Had I let it stand on its own, X-Factor #39 likely would have made the list by itself (much lower on the list, though). However, since it sets off the storyline from #40-50 AND is included in the trade paperback for Time and a Half, I figured I might as well just lump them all in together and gain an extra spot on the list for another deserving story (as it turned out, said story was the X-Statix versus the Avengers). X-Factor #39 is the birth of Siryn and Jamie Madrox’s son. As it turned out, though…well, let’s just say that while the birth goes okay, things go REALLY REALLY bad right afterwards. So bad that Madrox has to split from the rest of X-Factor and he goes on a soul-searching journey which ultimately takes him into the future where he meets Layla Miller, who has grown into a woman while in the future (after her adventure through time with Jamie during Messiah Complex a year earlier). Jamie and Layla grow closer to each other in the future alongside their new ally, Ruby Summers, as they fight against the evil and mysterious Cortex. Cortex, meanwhile, shows up in the present and fights against modern day X-Factor, who are dealing with their own issues (especially Siryn). This storyline introduced former X-Force member Shatterstar to the team. David’s take on Shatterstar and his relationship with Rictor was quite refreshing. Like most Peter David storylines, a bunch of plots are balanced well as he gives each cast member strong character development. Valentine De Landro and Marco Santucci were the main artists for this storyline (a lot of different inkers).
10. “New Beginning” X-Force #116-120
There had been other dramatic changes in team membership in X-titles before (the most notable being how X-Factor went from being about the original five X-men to being about a government sanctioned mutant strikeforce) but none was ever quite so dramatic as when Peter Milligan and Mike Allred took over X-Force and did about a complete 180 from where the book was before. X-Factor at least had characters familiar to X-fans (including the brother of the former leader of X-Factor). In the case of X-Force, not only did the first issue of the revamp introduce a brand-new group of mutants known as X-Force, the lead character, who we spent a whole issue getting to know and who Milligan and Allred had made us actually give a crap about – is killed off (along with most of the team)!! The basic concept of X-Force is that it is a group of young mutants who become extremely famous and live life hard, because they know that the missions they are going on are often practically suicide missions. The turnover rate in the group is very high. You become very famous but you have a very strong chance of dying. In the second issue, we meet the new team leader, Mr. Sensitive (The Orphan). He has a tumultuous relationship with the two team members who survived the original battle, the Anarchist and U-Go-Girl. In a world where reality television was booming (with Survivor and Big Brother having just recently exploded on to the scene), this was a fascinating examination of the perils of fame and the corrupt nature of it all, as we see these people strive to somehow do some real heroics in the middle of such a fake set-up (U-Go-Girl’s transformation into a “real” hero is the most notable). Mike Allred is amazing at designs and he had to come up with a LOT of new characters in this series. Oh, and I almost forgot, this series introduced DOOP! DOOP! To know Doop is to love Doop.
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