50 Greatest X-Family Stories: 6-4
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.
6. “Home is Where the Heart Is” New Mutants Special Edition #1/X-Men Annual #9
After first manipulating X-Men and Alpha Flight in an earlier mini-series, Loki came up with a new plan to mess with the X-Men (and his brother Thor, of course). His plan was to manipulate Storm into becoming a new Goddess of Thunder. So he kidnapped Storm and the New Mutants. However, since he didn’t want anything to do with the New Mutants, he gave them to the Enchantress. Magik tried to teleport her and friends to safety but her powers clashed with the Enchantress’ and instead the New Mutants were strewn about Asgard. The various New Mutants encountered differing challenges, with the most notable being Dani Moonstar becoming a Valkyrie. Meanwhile, eventually the X-Men learned where their friends were so they came to Asgard just in time to see Storm crowned the new Goddess of Thunder. Can the X-Men convince their friend to return to sanity? Can the X-Men even convince all of their New Mutant friends to return to Earth? Will all of them even LIVE through it all? Chris Claremont and Art Adams (doing some of the most famous work of his career) were the creative team on this story which dramatically reshaped the New Mutants for basically the rest of their comic book “lives” (some, like Moonstar becoming a Valkyrie, in bigger ways than others, but note that Wolfsbane’s romance from this storyline was a major plot point in both the pages of X-Force AND X-Factor within the last few years).
5. “Weapon X” Marvel Comics Presents #72-84
To put into perspective just how much of an impact Barry Windsor-Smith’s “almost” origin for Wolverine had upon the comics world, note the following…the term “Weapon X” was not a major term before Windsor-Smith dubbed his tale by that name in 1991.
Within months of Windsor-Smith’s story (which was serialized in the pages of Marvel Comics Presents, where many Shanna the She-Devil fans were wondering why so many people were suddenly interested in the Shanna the She-Devil serial running in the book) both the term and the image were practically burned into the minds of comic fans, and have been so ever since (heck, there was even a recent ongoing series by Jason Aaron TITLED Wolverine: Weapon X).
The fact that the visuals from this story have become so well known should not all that much of a surprise, as Barry Windsor-Smith is one of the most striking comic book artists ever, but the real revelation of the series besides his great artwork (which was somewhat of a given) was the strong story by Windsor-Smith, as he depicts the casual cruelty of the scientists who experiment on Logan in the attempt to turn him into “Weapon X.”
The story is a slow burn, as you get a chilling glimpse into the souls of the people working on Logan, and at the same time, you see how the noble person being tortured by science manages to survive the experience, and you occasionally get a look at the beginnings of what would eventually become the most famous member of the X-Men.
4. “The Dark Angel Saga” Uncanny X-Force #8, 10-18
Uncanny X-Force began with the team trying to stop Apocalypse from rising again. Instead, they just ended up seeing him rise again in the form of their own teammate, Archangel. With Warren Worthington slowly turning evil, X-Force must travel to an alternate dimension, revisiting the Age of Apocalypse, to bring back something that could possibly stop the increasingly evil Archangel as he slowly gathers together a fearsome group of soldiers to serve him in the celebration of the survival of the fittest (through lots and lots of killing). The problem, of course, is that the Age of Apocalypse needs the same remedy that the heroes of our Earth need, as the Age of Apocalypse is being taken over by its OWN Apocalypse-controlled X-Force member, Wolverine! This storyline is ALL about the hard choices. Which reality is more important? And eventually, the most brutal of decisions – if they cannot save their friend from Apocalypse’s control, do they have to KILL him? Archangel’s girlfriend, Psylocke, might be the one who has to make that final decision in this heartbreakingly epic tale that was written by Rick Remender and drawn by a bunch of different artists, most notably Jerome Opena, Mark Brooks and Billy Tan.
NOTE: The top four were REALLY close and way ahead of the rest of the pack. For instance, #4 is far closer to #1 than it is to #5.