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Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five Non-Mutant X-Men Supporting Cast Members

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 the top five non-mutant X-Men supporting cast members.


A few notes. Trish Tilby, Charlotte Jones and Opal Tanaka are all really X-Factor supporting cast members. Opal barely showed up in X-Men at all and Charlotte and Trish only had nominal appearances (Charlotte actually showed up JUST enough that I guess I could see a case for her as an honorable mention). So I’m leaving them off of the list. Abigail Brand is a mutant (half mutant/half alien, to be precise) and Dr. Rao is a member of the X-Men, so they’re not eligible for the list. Madelyne Pryor turned out to be a clone of Jean Grey. I am torn on whether that should keep her off of the list. I mean, she HAD mutant powers, ya know? How about we just say that if she WAS eligible, I’d have her #2 on the list, but for the moment I’ll say she is not eligible.

Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander were mostly New Mutants supporting cast members, but they showed up enough to earn an honorable mention.

Dr. Val Cooper was a bigger figure in X-Factor than she was in X-Men, but she was introduced in X-Men and she DID play a bit of a role early on (especially with the formation of Freedom Force)…

Lee Forrester is notable in that she was the last character introduced by Claremont and Byrne…


and Yukio…

are interesting topics. They’re really more WOLVERINE supporting cast members, ya know? But they were obviously both involved in some memorable X-Men stories, so I dunno. I am splitting the baby and just putting them here in the honorable mentions section.

The mayor of San Francisco was a pretty interesting character there for a while during Brubaker and Fraction’s run…

Candy Southern was barely in the main X-Men books (she was used really well in the New Defenders), but John Byrne did good work with her in X-Men: Hidden Years.

Does that count, though? If it does then she’d be #4 on this list.

5. Fred Duncan

The X-Men’s earliest non-mutant ally, Duncan was their FBI liaison who was sadly killed off off panel for no particular reason some time in the 1990s.

4. Amanda Sefton

Nightcrawler’s flight attendant girlfriend who turned out to be his former foster sister who was also a sorceress. Ahhh…comic books.

Their relationship gave us one of the coolest moments of romance in X-Men history…

3. Stevie Hunter

For awhile there, Stevie was THE non-mutant character in the books. She was Kitty’s dance teacher, which meant that she was obviously always around for whatever reason. She brought a nice perspective to the team and she also allowed Kitty to use the n-word and we all know Kitty LOVES dropping n-bombs. Stevie’s one problem, though, is that she couldn’t shut the hell up about her injured knee…

I kid you not, she was not in the X-titles for over four years and then showed up in Uncanny X-Men #270….and complained about her injured knee!!!

She must have been quite the person to hang out with. “Want to grab some lunch, Stevie?” “I would, but my knee injury which keeps me from dancing professionally is really hurting me.” “Okay.” “Hey Stevie, want to watch a movie?” “I’d like to, but my knee is hurting. Did I ever tell you that I used to be a professional dancer and now I can’t because my knee hurts and it makes my soul hurt?” “Yes, Stevie, you did.” No wonder she never appears in the books anymore, the X-Men just got sick of her.

2. Lilandra

Professor X’s hot alien princess girlfriend. Ahh…comic books…

1. Bernard the Poet

Sort of self-explanatory, right?

Okay, okay, here’s the real #1 (by the way, Bobby and Hanks’s former girlfriends, Zelda and Vera, I guess deserve honorable mentions, as well)…

1. Moira MacTaggert

She first showed up as the X-Men’s new maid, because Professor X can’t help but lie to people about EVERYTHING…

Right away, she showed how cool she could be…

During the Proteus Saga, she was prepared to kill her own son and when Cyclops got in the way…

Man, Moira was awesome. I am still irked that they killed her. Oh, and Lilandra. And Fred Duncan. And Candy Southern. And Mariko (okay, maybe not Mariko so much). Man, the X-Books have a real problem with this stuff.


They do have a problem with killing off the human supporting characters. I liked Mariko though…

I liked Mariko, as well, I just think that A. her death was handled better than most and B. her story had sort of been cut off so I didn’t mind her death AS much.

The right character won, hands down.

But Val Cooper should be waaaaay up the list: she was a major supporting character for over 100 issues which is far longer than (and before) she was involved with X-Factor…. while Fred Duncan is a Who? Blink and you miss him character.

This’ll earn me some abuse but I always thought Annie Ghazikhanian was a good character, Brought in by Austen (don’t laugh) to serve as a human POV character when there hadn’t been one for a bit but quickly abandoned. She, along with bringing Juggernaut and Northstar in, were probably the best things Austen did on the book.

OK, you got an actual laugh out loud from me with Bernard–though I’d back you up on that assessment 100%.

No love for Vera and Zelda, though? Dang.

I imagine Stevie said this to Kitty once:

“I used to be a dancer like you, until I took an arrow to the knee”
lol, topical.

I cannae hardly understand any of that Moira/Banshee conversation — probably would be true in real life too (I have to turn on the captions when I’m watching BBC America half the time).

Trish Tilby deserves consideration, for her often-contentious relationship with the X-Men (especially the Beast). She started her work as an antagonist of the original X-Factor, rightly suspicious of their incomprehensibly asinine “pose as human mutant hunters” premise. But she also broke the story about the Legacy Virus to the public, leading to anti-mutant riots. And she started her romantic-ish relationship with Hank when he was brain-damaged from Apocalypse’s creatures, but ended it upon his transformation into a big blue cat. She’s significantly more complex than the usual “Intrepid Reporter Girlfriend” archetype.

So is Lockheed ineligible because he’s an X-man, or is it just a glaring oversight?

What, no honorable mention for Neal Conan & Manoli Weatherell? :P

I’m with Josh. Neal & Manoli deserve an honorable mention too (although who knows, maybe they were revealed to be mutants in the 00’s).

So is Lockheed ineligible because he’s an X-man, or is it just a glaring oversight?

The first one.

I thought would see Carol Danvers in the list.

I figure other superheroes and other teams really don’t apply. Or else the Starjammers and Imperial Guard would be on there, too.

I was hoping for an honorable mention for Senator Kelly. I’m not sure if he counts as a “supporting member” or a “quasi villain,” but he did become more of a sympathetic character before his death. Plus, he was a linchpin character in the first X-Men film and “sort of” in the second. Plus plus, he was the linchpin to Days of Futures Past.

I thought Gyrich should’ve been on this list.

I like how you have the Mariko and Yukio scenes right next to each other… and they’re from the SAME ISSUE!

Vera showed up off and on for a very long time. She appeared now and then when Hank was in the Defenders, and she even appeared in X-Factor, but with a green Mohawk– completely out of character. It really annoyed me. I had the feeling somebody in editorial had insisted that it was a Mutant book, so somebody had to be all cool and punk, and they just shoved the role onto Vera because they didn’t know who else they could use.

Didn’t Agent Gyrich first show up in Avengers or Cap first though?

For the record, Stevie is easily the most realistic human character ever to appear in any comic ever, right? She’s basically humanity in a nutshell, bitching about the same shit her entire life. Hob Gadling without Gaimen’s scripts, as I see it.

what was Dr Corbeau’s deal? wasn’t he always hanging out with Xavier way back in the start of Claremont’s run, just doing nothing? He was definitely there in the first Phoenix story, wasn’t he?

i sure hope he’s dead, what a useless turd.

also second the neal and manoli inclusion. also an honorable mention for geraldo rivera please.

wait, Moira and Lilandra are dead? wtf?

also, amanda sefton and nightcrawler. brother and sister. ew.

I could swear that I read somewhere that Bernard was actually a mutant who used his powers unconsciously when he performed, unaware of his mutant status.

That’s the only reason Bernard was not the actual #1!

@noob: Amanda and Kurt were not blood relatives, just brother and sister via adoption, just like him and Rouge were. It’s still kinda gross since they were raised as siblings, but at least there’s no chance of them having inbred kids.

Yeah, Stevie’s great. It’s kind of stunning she made such an impression given her relative number of appearances. Maybe we can still get Moira back… I mean they brought Cypher back. She’s a way better character than Cypher…

I always thought that Bamf doll was strategically placed for a reason.

Killing off Moira was a huge, huge mistake. I still miss her along with Sean. They both deserved better.

Fred Duncan was listed as deceased in the first edition of the Marvel Universe Handbook, back in ’83. To this day, I have yet to learn how he was bumped off after the initial Lee/Kirby issues! A few years back, he showed up in a previously unpublished story that Dave Cockrum drew featuring the 90’s Lee/Portacio era lineup, so that made things even more confusing!

Moira…Lilandra…Mariko…Candy Southern… So many great female characters gone and yet, Bernard the Poet still lives???


Is Warbird considered an actual member of the X-Men now? She’s only seen off and on, but she’s one of the best characters in the book whenever she’s shown.

Bad things happen to supporting characters. Such is the way of things.

Charlotte Jones, Opal were mostly X-factor’s supporting characters, but then-line-up consisted of O5.
Also Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander :)
I wonder if there will be a list of non-mutant X-Men members?

I wonder if there will be a list of non-mutant X-Men members?

Yep, that’s the next list coming!

Nightcrawler is such a player it hurts.

@FuryOfFirestorm – oh yeah, i am aware. i guess it makes it legal but no less ew to me. adopted or not, relatives should not date each other! Also, there was no reason that Sefton had to be Nightcrawler’s sister! They could have just known each other growing up!

i think this was established when Claremont decided he could make the X-Men’s backstories as convoluted and implausible as he wanted. because why not. Like Storm, the African goddess who was raised in Cairo by an arab thief after her american parents died. okaaaaaaaay…

They should bring back Moira, just like that, no questions asked, no explanations needed. Moira and Muir island really made the X-universe feel larger and more grounded at the same time.

I thought Amanda Sefton was a member of the Muir Island X-men do they not count

I thought Amanda Sefton was a member of the Muir Island X-men do they not count

They do not. Certainly no one thinks that Alysande Stuart is now an X-Man, right (well, rather, WAS an X-Man before she died, which was shocking, as she was a female X-Man supporting cast member and they tend to live to a ripe old age)?

I find it a bit amusing that the honorable mention section is as long (or longer) than actual top 5. Seems like a bit of hair-splitting going on among the exclusions.

That said . . . has Abigail Brand actually been identified as a mutant in the comics (I haven’t paid much attention to the X-Men since Brand was intro’d by Whedon)? Because the fact that she’s a human/alien hybrid wouldn’t automatically make her one, at least according to the standard definition (i.e., presence of an X-gene in the DNA) that Marvel has been using for a couple of decades now. In the early days, simply being born with powers was all it took (which is how Franklin Richards got classified as a mutant) but that criteria has been more specific ever since the whole X-gene concept was introduced. If being a cross-species hybrid with powers qualifies as a mutation, then several other characters (including Jack of Hearts, Hulkling, maybe even Hercules) should be reclassified as mutants. And if she’s not, then she should be on the list.

I think many of the honorable mentions/exclusions would have made better choices than most of the actual list. Drop Duncan, Hunter, and Sefton and add Val Cooper, Sen. Kelly, and Mayor Sadie. Also, Juggernaut should have at least rated an honorable mention.

The shot at Stevie Hunter seemed kind of cheap, even as a joke. Her complaining about her knee isn’t any more annoying than Scott complaining about not being able to control his eye blasts or Rogue complaining about not being able to touch anyone.

Geez, kal. Was there anything from the list you didn’t take umbrage with? Aside from suggesting maybe you just write your own post on a blog or something, a few things…

– Of course there’s hair-splitting, it’s an opinion-based list about fictional characters. Brian knows he has to be extremely specific, because everyone’s definition is going to be different. Plus, as more commenters make suggestions, corrections, etc. the rules usually have to be added to.

– He didn’t say Abigail was considered a mutant because she’s half-alien. He specifically said she was “half mutant/half alien”. I’m fairly sure he didn’t just make that up, and you yourself even admitted that you haven’t kept up on reading the comics like Brian has.

– The third paragraph is you stating your opinion as a fact, which is why I would suggest you write your own list. As far as Juggernaut goes, it seems like the intent was to show supporting characters as opposed to actual heroes or villains.

– I don’t think the fictional character Stevie Hunter is going to be too offended by Brian’s casual joke. I myself have a permanent leg injury, and if I brought it up as often as she does, I’m pretty sure I’d get told to shut up a lot.

I’m not trying to be a jerk, it’s just there’s a big difference between “Hey, here’s an idea or two” and “Everything about this list is wrong and you should re-write it to my specifications.”

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