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50 Greatest X-Family Stories: 9-7

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 three each day from here on out.

Enjoy!

9 “Fall of the Mutants” X-Factor #24-26

A number of voters tried to extend this to a larger arc, beginning around #15, where Angel’s wings are amputated, he seems to die and then we first see him become one of Apoclaypse’s Horseman as “Death.” I am not necessarily against that idea, except that there were issues that had nothing to do with Archangel, so you’d have, like, #15, #17-18, #20, stuff like that, so I figured we might as well just go with the story that most people wrote in with as their vote, the X-Factor “Fall of the Mutants” arc, which saw X-Factor face off against their old friend for the first time with his metal wings and “Death” persona. During this story, Angel breaks free from Apoclaypse’s control and becomes Archangel for the first time, a hero with great darkness in his heart and soul. Very clever stuff by writer Louise Simonson and the artwork by Walter Simonson is stellar.

8 “The Cross-Time Caper” Excalibur #12-24

Written by Chris Claremont, this thirteen issue epic saw Excalibur go on a year-long journey around the Marvel multiverse, as they kept leaping from one dimension to the next, courtesy of the wacky sort-of-robot known as Widget (we later explained the strange origins of Widget that were not revealed until years later when Alan Davis was the writer and artist of the title). They kept hoping that the next leap…would be the leap home. A notable drawback of the storyline as that series co-creator Alan Davis stopped drawing the story five or so issues in, so there were fill-in artists for a number of issues before he returned for the final two parts. This was a fun, adventurous storyline by Claremont. The exploration of the Multiverse is rife with interesting scenarios, and Claremont touched on a bunch of them.

7 “The Apocalypse Solution” Uncanny X-Force #1-4

After working for Cyclops as his own personal hit squad, Wolverine and Psylocke decide to instead make their own secret hit squad. Along with fellow team members Deadpool and Fantomex, their first mission is to kill a newly resurrected Apocalypse. However, what do you do when faced with young Apocalypse, who is still just an innocent boy who does not yet know what he is destined to become? Do you really kill a little kid? That’s the dilemma that is at the heart of the opening arc of Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena. Opena’s artwork, by the way, is just stellar on this series. During this arc, we also meet a new Four Horseman of Apocalypse, and their origins are really well done by Remender and designed beautifully by Opena.

18 Comments

Fall of the mutants X-Factor: top stuff, looks fab

Cross time caper: yes suffers from lack of Davis artd went on far too long for a story that took them away from home that early in the book’s life. I recall some of the Chris Wozniak art being nice in places.

Remender X-Force doesn’t do it for me like Kyle/Yost X-Force did but this is probably the best of their stories

Have a bad feeling that the dark angel saga will be #1 … could have dealt with that if it wasn’t for the horrible ending.

Ed, go look at 6-4 which are up already.

To my mind number 1 was pretty obvious but we shall not speculate…..

..and Cross Time Caper (my number 1 because of the Davis issues) finally puts me up to 2/10
(both from Excalibur … I also voted for issues 4 and 5 as I remembered loving some of the downtime scenes in there)

I had already revised my estimate from around 4 (2-6) to about 3 (2-4) and so pleased to finally get a second one .. and still a chance of a third (my second choice) in the final 3 (I think I can guess what they are…but won’t because Brian doesn’t like it when people do)

The Cross-Time Caper? Really? That is quite possibly the WORST story in X-History. It drags on forever and is completely pointless. Yuck!

I very nearly voted for “The Cross-Time Caper.” It started off extremely strong, with some cool, funny stories by Chris Claremont, and amazing artwork from Alan Davis. I especially loved the ultra-insane issue #14. It’s one of my all-time favorite single issues of Excalibur.

But then Davis left mid-arc, and we got several artists whose styles really didn’t mesh. Plus there was an unrelated fill-in issue penned by Michael Higgins that unfortunately interrupted the flow of the story. Claremont seemed to really lose his focus at this point. And the art problems became especially glaring when Davis returned for the last two chapters. I was very glad to have him back, but those two issues were bookended by Chris Wozniack’s penciling. Unlike some people, I do like Wozniack’s work, but it just clashes terribly with Davis’ stuff. And instead of running 9 chapters as initially planned, “The Cross-Time Caper” went on for, what, 13 or 14 issues? By the time it finally came to a close with the epilogue in issue #25, I was just completely fatigued, and my attitude was something like “Is it finally over now?!?”

I voted for X-Factor, it was my #10 choice. To be honest I don’t remember a ton of the details, just that I liked the Archangel stuff and that Simonson’s art was awesome.

Cross-Time caper I remember liking the Alan Davis parts, but feeling like the story itself just kind of peters out eventually and didn’t have a real ending. Haven’t read it since it came out, so my memory of it could be totally off.

I checked Apocalypse Solution out from the library. I liked it, but didn’t think it was anything mind-blowing. The fact that I haven’t read an X book in over 15 years and wasn’t that invested in the characters to begin with might have something to do with that, I guess.

The Crazed Spruce

August 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm

I’d actually just read the Uncanny X-Force story a few days before voting closed (thank you, ComixOlogy!), and really enjoyed it. If I’d managed to put together a top 10 list, it probably would’ve been on it. (Maybe “The Cross-Time Caper”, too, though I’ve only read a few issues of it, right in the middle.)

That X-Factor story is the only other X-Factor story starring the original five that I’d consider worth reading (the other being Endgame). I thought Simonson’s writing on the title was pretty awful, especially when it was featured next to Claremont’s in events like Mutant Massacre and Fall of the Mutants. I feel as if this story got enough recognition when it was lumped into the FoM entry on the main list, but I can understand why people would single it out. Walt’s art really is the best thing about the story, and out of all of the FoM stories I enjoyed this one the most.

The Apocalypse Solution was fourth on my list. Probably my second favorite story from UXF behind The Dark Angel Saga. I really appreciated that it just dove right into the action (quite literally) without a whole lot of setup and exposition, and that the bulk of the story is told on the battlefield itself. It sets up the rest of Remender’s run but functions just fine as a standalone story. That, along with it being such a beautiful story to look at, makes it one of the easiest titles I’ve ever gotten into and is something most people I recommend it to end up agreeing with. That said, the actual reading experience is something like emotional whiplash: one moment you’re laughing at something Deadpool or Fantomex said, then you’re in the midst of Warren’s mental turmoil, or Betsy’s frustration of not being able to help him, or seeing someone on the team cut through baddies. Usually all within the same issue. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it keeps the story moving without sitting on any one thing longer than it needs to. This was my first introduction to Remender, Opena, and Dean White. Opena and White are still one of my absolute favorite art combos in all of comics. White’s trippy coloring is just such a natural fit for Opena’s art, which as pointed out in the write-up is magnificent.

been waiting for any part of fall of the mutants to show up on this list and glad its the part i would have picked the part dealing with warren breaking free from Apocolypse control as death. x-force liked the story line for it had the team in the old if you could stop some one evil before they had a chance to would you. not to mention that the darkness that warren had when he was death is still there.

Apocalypse Solution was on my list. It’s one of the few recent comics that presented a true moral dilemma and showed the characters affected by it. The art was very attractive and the story moved nicely. I wish more super-hero comics involved the protagonists having to find the right solution to an seemingly unsolvable moral situation.

I had Caper at #2. It was just a really fun story.

I’ve heard, of course, of Warren becoming Death, just never read the actual issues. I’ve seen it recapped plenty.

Ooof, Cross Time Caper made it this high on the list? I sort of dislike how many people think of Cross Time when they think of Excalibur. Out of 125 issues, it barely even 10 percent of the titles run and even the awkward fill in issues until Davis’ return are better than Cross Time (well except for that Avengers/Doom three parter). It is a nice storyline but it went on too long and it forever changed what the title is to people’s memories. But glad to see more Excalibur on the list. Plus I own all of these and enjoyed them.

I should read Apocalypse Solution as I like the later issues of the title and should probably read how the story started.

Interesting how 7 is kind of a sequel to 9. Both great stories centered around a character (Archangel) who doesn’t get the respect he should.

“The Apocalyse Solution” is the only UXF I’ve read, and I loved it. I’ve been looking to collect the series in trades, but for some reason I can’t seem to get ahold of the second trade. I’ve heard some of the series is not as strong (the Deathlok arc, etc.), but I’ve heard enough good to want to read it all. Also, I collected the “Age of Apocalypse” series that sprung from UXF, so I need to read the arc it came from.

I would have voted for Cross Time Caper. Glad to see Davis’ Excalibur make the Top 10.

Doesn’t anyone think of Fall of the Mutants as the story where the Beast lost his brains?! Besides me, of course;

http://nitzthebloody.blogspot.com/2013/09/that-time-beast-lost-his-brains.html

A cameo by Sam and Ziggy would have been pretty sweet in Crosstime Caper!

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