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Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five Ragtag Temporary X-Men Teams

All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!

In this installment we’ll look at all of those times that the X-Men are, for whatever reason, indisposed and a ragtag team of temporary and unofficial X-Men must come together and save the day.

Enjoy!

The Astonishing X-Men

Oh man, this was not a good storyline. So the idea is that the X-Men temporarily break up for whatever reason but then the Mannites need help and a ragtag team of X-Men form to save the Mannites. Here’s one thing that I can promise you, you do not want to know who the Mannites were. There is a good reason that you don’t know who the Mannites are. No one cares about the Mannites because they were a horrible short-lived plot device. This whole mini-series just existed so that Wolverine could be “killed,” leading into the Twelve storyline.

Eve of Destruction Team

Scott Lobdell clearly loves ragtag teams and I am right there with him. This team, made up of Jean Grey, Dazzler, Northstar and three brand-new mutants was interesting but there just wasn’t enough time to establish them well enough. The best we got was that one of the new mutants was homophobic but Northstar showed him how that was silly to be.

5. Phalanx Covenant Team

ragtagxmen5

The X-Men were captured by the Phalanx, all except Banshee who was away on vacation. When he returned, he discovered that the X-Men had been replaced by Phalanx duplicates of the X-Men. The Phalanx were trying to find new mutants. So Banshee freed two prisoners of the X-Men at the time, Emma Frost and Sabretooth, and the three of them went to save these newly discovered mutants from the Phalanx (while the other X-Teams were given the task of rescuing the captured X-Men). Banshee and Emma Frost made a good team. This led into their time running Generation X together (the aforementioned newly discovered mutants).

4. Planet X Team

Magneto has taken out Xavier’s School and taken control of New York City. Cyclops must put together a mish-mash group of Xavier students to stand up against Magneto. This is a great example of how the heroic ideal can inspire some surprising courage in young people.

3. New Mutants Graduate Team

The X-Men are turned into X-Babies and the New Mutants must temporarily “graduate” and save their friends. Art Adams artwork, people! Awesome stuff.

2. Iceman and His Amazing Friends

What did I tell you about Scott Lobdell? The dude loves ragtag teams. In this storyline, the government is tricked by Bastion into capturing the X-Men. They’re about to go collect other mutants, as well, but Iceman (who was on leave from the team at the time) is tasked to protect a mutant from Bastion’s crew. The new mutant is Cecilia Reyes, a doctor who wants no part of the mutant world. She and Iceman go on the run from Bastion’s forces. They soon team-up with the Morlock known as Marrow and the Israeli superhero Sabra to take on Bastion head on. Sadly, this story sort of cut-off due to editorial stuff, but man, for awhile there this was great. One of Iceman’s best stories ever.

1. Muir Isle X-Men

A total classic. The Reavers are preparing an all-out assault on Muir Isle during a time when the X-Men were scattered to all ends of the Earth. Banshee and Forge must piece together a team of X-Men from the various mutants on the island like Amanda Sefton, Siryn, Legion and Madrox. They get help from an unlikely source – Freedom Force (formerly known as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants). What a great story this was. Claremont and Silvestri at the top of their game. I still find it hard to believe the above cover is by Jim Lee, though.

25 Comments

My first thought seeing the headline was the “Eve of Destruction” team. The only thing I remember is Dazzler’s fate, albeit temporary.

I’ve read a small portion of “Phalanx Covenant,” found in a quarter bin years ago. Didn’t like it much, but nice way of building a new spin-off book. The Cassidy-Frost(-Creed) collaboration was neat.

The Muir Island X-Men are my favorites, too. Anything that gets Forge in as a team member is cool, and here he is practically in charge. He and Banshee made a good duo. Is the huge bald dude the Whizzer’s son? Anyway, it was nice to see characters like Amanda and Moira stepping up their game. Awesome storyline indeed.

On the cover of the Northstar issue, can anyone tell me who’s the guy on the upper left of the corner box heads? I can spot Gambit, Beast, Storm, and Jean but not that dude.

Amanda/Jimaine is a mutant?

Clutch, that is Cable, his Cyclops tribute costume, when Scott was dead and Cable joined the team.

Amanda Sefton is not a mutant, she is an awesome witch. Moira, also, is not a mutant.

Hopefully, with Nightcrawler’s return, we get more Amanda, I miss that character. Ever since they tried to turn Magik into a legacy character, Amanda has never been the same. Almost as if she has been in limbo. Yuk yuk

@Clutch: the huge bald dude in the Muir Isle team is Sunder, one of the Morlocks.

Brian, the Eve of Destruction team had Joanna Cargill/Frenzy, she was an acolyte until Utopia, and was part of Rogue’s team in X-Men Legacy.

If I remember right, Sabertooth was put on the Phalanx team to test the waters to see if Sabertooth would work as an X-Man. Bob Harras was gung-ho on that idea for a long time, which is why he was held captive by the X-Men for so long, plus he figured pretty prominently in the covers and promo ad for the PC story. He even gets a bit of a face turn where he disappears and comes back at the last minute to help save the day, but the writers were so against the idea of turning him that eventually Bob just dropped the idea. However, when it came time for AoA, the writers were quite a bit more willing to try the idea, and that actually worked out pretty well.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

September 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

Wow, the Mannites. Forgot about them. Ugh. The only thing I really liked about that Astonishing mini was Wolverine’s awesome Death costume. The rest of it I can gleefully forget.

I liked the Phalanx team, but they had Sabretooth leave at the end of the second issue and come back of his own volition in the fourth part (because cannibalism?), which didn’t make much sense. Still, I got more Sabretooth action, so it was alright.

I figured Eve of Destruction would make this list. A ragtag crew for a ragtag story. While I liked the idea of Magneto as this mutant general with a wholly committed army, it didn’t really amount to anything in this story.

Didn’t read 3 or 2, but I remember getting that issue of the Muir Island team and not knowing what the Hell was going on. Kinda funny, in retrospect.

I don’t believe #3 really counts… I’m just sayin’.

This article failed on one level. The list required looking most teams up. You should give us a roster of each of these ragtag teams. Luckily I’m here to help.

Eve of Destruction: Northstar, Dazzler, Jean Grey, Frenzy, Omerta, Sunpire, Wraith, Cyclops, Wolverine,

Generation X Phalanx Covenant: Banshee, White Queen, Blink, Husk, M, Skin, Synch, Sabretooth

Planet X Team / X-Men Street Team: Fantomex E.V.A. Three-In-One (Stepford Cuckoos) Dust (Sooraya Qadir) Forearm Longneck

Graduated X-Men: Mirage Cannonball Warlock Magik Karma Sunspot Cypher Magma Wolfsbane Longshot

Muir Island X-Men: Polaris, Banshee, Tom Corsi, Sharon Friedlander, Forge, Legion, Marvel Girl, Amanda Sefton, Sunder, Brigadier Alysande Stuart,

Brian, would the Banshee/Iceman/Havok/Polaris team from 145-146 count? I really dug that story when I was a kid (still do!) and devoured the Essential collections. I really dug the idea that all the ex-X-Men could be pulled together at a moments notice, that being an X-Man was a lifetime membership kind of thing

My favorite ragtag team was the dead kids from Deadly Genesis. Say what you will about the whole retconning of it, Brubaker did a great job establishing Vulcan, Darwin, Petra, and Sway in such a limited amount of page time. I’m still hoping they bring the girls back too. If that plot weren’t already being used in a similar fashion elsewhere, I’d suggest that Sway used her time travel powers to jump away and that launched them both forward in time to the present.

My favorite ragtag team was the dead kids from Deadly Genesis. Say what you will about the whole retconning of it, Brubaker did a great job establishing Vulcan, Darwin, Petra, and Sway in such a limited amount of page time. I’m still hoping they bring the girls back too. If that plot weren’t already being used in a similar fashion elsewhere, I’d suggest that Sway used her time travel powers to jump away and that launched them both forward in time to the present.

But that team really wasn’t a temporary team. The idea would be that those kids would be new X-Men. They just all seemingly died instead. It’s the same reason that the All-New, All-Different X-Men aren’t on the list.

Brian, would the Banshee/Iceman/Havok/Polaris team from 145-146 count? I really dug that story when I was a kid (still do!) and devoured the Essential collections. I really dug the idea that all the ex-X-Men could be pulled together at a moments notice, that being an X-Man was a lifetime membership kind of thing

Oooh…interesting, Danny. I am a bit torn, in the sense that it doesn’t seem as thrown together, since they were all just former X-Men. But then again, by that same token, the New Mutants graduate team probably shouldn’t count either. So I guess if the New Mutants team counts, your team has to count. Or we have to exclude them both and make the Eve of Destruction team #5!

When I saw this post my first and only thought was “Muir Island Team.” Glad to see I’m not the only one that loves that team.

I also love that on the cover of X-Men #69 up there it declares “Guest Starring Sabra!” as if that was legitimate selling point for anybody.

@John Klein III: Thanks, I never would’ve thought of Cable for some reason. That does look like a cool tribute costume.

I miss Amanda as well. Claremont had so many excellent supporting characters that adding newer ones seems redundant nowadays.

@GreenLuthor: Thanks, I forgot all about Sunder. Didn’t look like Strong Guy to me either.

My top 3 favs were the Muir Island team, the New Mutants X-Men, and the Eve of Destruction crew.

I wonder what became of Wraith? His power was basically having invisible skin and temporarily making other people’s skin invisible, but it actually helped them beat Magneto. Too bad Omerta was killed off in the secret government -run mutant concentration camps few years ago. Alas, poor Paulie, we barely knew ye.

An interesting trivia note about the Eve of Destruction X-Men is that it may have been the first Marvel team with two gay members: Sunpyre, Sunfire’s never-before-and-barely-since-mentioned kid sister with the same powers was on that team. A version of her from another dimension was on the Exiles for a while, and was a lesbian. I don’t think they ever specified whether 616 Sunpyre was too, but the vast majority of the Exiles had the same sexual orientation as their 616 counterparts.

Sunpyre and the Sunfire from Exiles were two different people, not even counting the alternate reality stuff. Sunpyre was Shiro Yoshida’s sister, while the Exiles’ Sunfire was Mariko Yashida, Shiro’s cousin.

If I remember correctly, Sunpyre was killed by Mystique during Joe Casey’s “X-Corps” storyline in Uncanny X-Men, right?

Good list. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are my favorites as well. I always wondered why Sabra just left abruptly. Makes sense since that was the era of constat editorial interference at Marvel.

Some of these are my favorite x-men stories were great. Eve of destruction because of Northstar and dazzler.

phalanx had an awesome start. It was like body snatchers. And great Mad art. Banshee never looked better!

And lastly zero tolerance. Iceman was in fine form with some great new additions. And Pacheco on art!

@Neo: Wasn’t Madrox on the Muir Island X-Men team? I always thought Guido was on the team too, but that’s probably because Sunder looks just like him (or as he did back then).

@ Living Silver

Madrox and Strong Guy were not a part of the Muir Island X-Men when The Reavers attacked, but they were a part of the team on Muir Island of X-Characters who were being controlled/influenced by the Shadow King later on.

Heck yes on #2. That was some strong character work for Bobby and still sticks out in my head as the essential Iceman story.

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