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CSBG Archive

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

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 team members.

Enjoy!

First up, since she was a clone of Jean Grey who ended up exhibiting Jean’s powers, I’m eliminating Madelyne Pryor from the list. Otherwise, she’d be a fine choice. In addition, I’m not counting those X-Men whose original mutant powers were duplicated through other means (like how Polaris and Magneto’s current powers are not their actual mutant powers but rather are essentially facsimiles of their original mutant powers – that was a silly concept to begin with and we should just follow the suit of the X-Titles and pretend as if that is not the case). Even if they are depowered mutants, I still consider them mutants.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

I love how Dr. Kavita Rao went from being almost a villain to being a valued member of the X-Club…

Cloak and Dagger are weird, since they joined the X-Men when they thought that they WERE mutants, but they’re not…

Mimic was NOT a very good character, but at least he was the first new addition to the X-Men and the first non-mutant member (although later writers have tried to argue that maybe he was a latent mutant)…

I like Hepzibah as a character a lot but I don’t think she worked particularly well on the X-Men.

This is a tough one. I’ve gone back and forth on this one and ultimately I think that the last one cut is Omega Sentinel.

I think she’s a fascinating character (as more than just being a human X-Man, she’s a freaking SENTINEL!) but I don’t think she’s had quite as much development as…

5. Warbird

In just one issue of Wolverine and the X-Men, Jason Aaron gave Warbird more character development than many X-Men themselves get in a year’s worth of stories. And that wasn’t the end of it, as Marjorie Liu also did strong work with her in Astonishing X-Men, where she was made an official member of the team.

4. Fantomex

Fantomex was a great introduction into the X-Mythos by Grant Morrison, but for a while there it looked like he would just fade into obscurity once Morrison was gone. Luckily, he was picked up by Rick Remender for Uncanny X-Force and Matt Fraction had him join the team in Uncanny X-Men.

3. Lockheed

Considering Lockheed as a member of the X-Men has always seemed a bit odd to me, but eh, I guess I’ll just have to give in to the various encyclopedias out there that insist that he is a member of the team. If he IS a member, then obviously he would rank high as he’s a total blast of a character. I love that Kitty Pryde has her own freakin’ ALIEN DRAGON! So awesome.

2. Juggernaut

While a lot of Chuck Austen’s Uncanny X-Men run was…not so great, he did a good job with Juggernaut when he made ol’ Jughead a member of the X-Men. He really played up the outcast angle well, as Juggernaut really IS a big outcast and he had a terrible childhood. His X-Men tenure was a fine example of seeing a guy warm up when he actually gained real friends.

1. Longshot

Longshot is just a fun character and he probably had the most substantial membership on the X-Men than anyone else on this list, so I figure he pretty much had to be #1.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

71 Comments

Was Moira never an official X-Man? I would’ve sworn she was.

Was Moira never an official X-Man?

Yes, she was never an official X-Man. Definitely an honorary member, though!

i was going to say cloak and dagger turns out were not mutants at all their powers come from some drugs. but still are cool. and Juggernaut nice to see him on this list. given his power is mystical . though surprised long shot got on the list given he does have the power to have good luck

Lockheed #1 all the way!

I know you mentioned the bit about Mimic may-or-may not be a mutant. Hasn’t Marvel tried to argue the same with Juggernaut in the past? That the gem unlocked a latent mutancy?

No mention of Warlock? Yes, writers have bent over backwards to try and explain how he is SO a mutant!, but they’ve also done the same for the Mimic (as you mention) and Longshot as well.

Warlock was described as a mutant IN New Mutants, though. Not like Mimic, who was only alluded to being a mutant decades after he debuted (and again, no one has ever actually flat out said that Mimic IS a mutant, which is why I have him on the list. If he was ever actually specifically stated to be a mutant, I’d have omitted him).

Warlock is an alien who is also a mutant… and was he ever a full-fledged member of the X-Men?

Warlock!

(Calling him a mutant is an honorary categorisation at best–mutants as homo sapiens are an offshoot of the human race, which he is clearly not.)

(Calling him a mutant is an honorary categorisation at best–mutants as homo sapiens are an offshoot of the human race, which he is clearly not.)

He was allowed access to X-Factor’s Ship, which only let mutants enter.

Warlock is an alien who is also a mutant… and was he ever a full-fledged member of the X-Men?

The most recent New Mutants series initially was about them all being an X-Men squad under Cannonball’s leadership (essentially, Cyclops led Cannonball have his own X-Men squad and Cannonball decided to populate it solely with his old friends from the New Mutants). So when Warlock joined that team he became an official X-Man.

so we’re really calling Doop a mutant? He needs to be on this list if Lockheed is.

Point of information, in the Sixth Day story they said that the gem juggernaut found worked by activating his latent x-gene which is why all the other avatars had different but equal powers and it’s why he still has super strength when he’s lost the gem over the years so Juggernaut is a mutant, after a fashion.

Brian, good call on Warlock being allowed to board X-Factor’s Ship, I totally forgot about that. However, didn’t Longshot get admitted to Ship around the same time, during the end parts of Inferno?

Madrox. Peter David kept mentioning in the recently concluded X-Factor (sniff) that Jamie Madrox wasn’t actually a mutant, since his powers manifested at birth.

Longshot?

Freaking Longshot?

Never saw any appeal in him, personally.

Warlock was said to be a mutant because he had individuality, being separated from the Technarchy collective, right? (even the Celestial ship recognized him as a mutant, if I recall well)

But I remember something saying that Longshot was ALSO a mutant among the slave humans in Mojoworld exactly for a similar reason – he had free will and so started the rebellion against Mojo.

Am I wrong? hehe

Moira is officially an X-Man: she’s part of the scratch team formed in Uncanny 254 and even puts the costume on

But yeah, Longshot was always the run away winner here. Well done for putting Juggernaut second and for giving Austen the credit. There’s not a lot he got right but this was one of the things.

Luis, I’m guessing Longshot made it because he had the most substantial membership run of any non-mutant. I found him to be such an annoying character, especially considering he was significantly worse than the characters he replaced.

Longshot made it because he’s the best! I love me some Longshot.

Moira is officially an X-Man: she’s part of the scratch team formed in Uncanny 254 and even puts the costume on

That’s not an official team. Similarly, Amanda Sefton, Sunder, Madrox, Siryn, Tom Corsi, Alysande Stuart and the others are not official X-Men either. The civilians like Moira and Alysande got costumes because the costumes were bulletproof. It is the same reason why Charlotte Jones has one.

Hey, vaguely on-topic: a few years ago, Marvel released a bunch of teaser posters saying “We Are the X-Men” that featured some odd characters included in them, such as Spider-Man, Elektra, and Lyra (Hulk’s daughter). I remember people theorizing that the X-Men were going to expand their ranks with non-mutants so they’d be more presentable to the public. Nothing ever seemed to come of it. Was something supposed to? Was there a dropped plot to add Spidey and the others to the team?

I really don’t think Xavier, Cyclops, Storm or Wolverine ever considered Lockheed an X-Man … I’ve always considered him just a pet dragon. On top of that, he appeared way more in Excalibur than in the X-Men books. Aside from that issue in Japan, most of the time they showed Lockheed in X-Men he was curled up like a pet cat.

Sorry to double post but an addendum: Mimic is indeed a mutant. In fact he was on the Brotherhood of Mutants for a while. I think that was pretty clear cut. Plus, didn’t the alternate version of our Mimic that appeared in Exiles say he was a mutant.?

@Adam – those teasers led to the new X-Men series by Gischler and Medina, whoch featured the core X-team teaming up with Bçade, Spidey, FF and so on.

I mean, “which” and “Blade”

They teamed up with Witchblade? Actually that’s not all that surprising.

I remember reading Pet Avengers (or something similar). Lockheed called himself an “x-man”.
Some other non-mutant X-Men: Bird-Brain. Madelyne Pryor (not sure about her)? Danger, Ink,
Deadpool (well, he is officialy X-man from the future currently), and… that’s it I guess

Lierson–

Yeah, I do remember that Spidey cover eventually being used. I’m a Hulk reader, so I was tracking Lyra’s involvement, which I don’t think ever came to fruition. Unless I missed it?

Lockheed would say that Kitty does not have her own alien dragon. He has his own mutant superhero.

Don’t be a bipedalist. Lockheed is most certainly an X-Man. Not only has he been associated with the team longer than anyone else on the list (with the exception of Mimic) he even was taken to Secret Wars with the team.

I guess she wasn’t with the team long enough to be more than an honorary X-Man but I always loved Carol Danvers as part of the team, even when she just just a part of Rogue.

Fantomex isn’t a mutant?

“Lockheed would say that Kitty does not have her own alien dragon. He has his own mutant superhero.”

That’s what I was going to say.

Are we sure Longshot isn’t a mutant? He’s the modified clone of Shatterstar. Shatterstar is the son of Longshot and Dazzler, a mutant. Most offspring of mutants tend to be mutants themselves, after all.

Isn’t Longshot a “mutant” in the same way Warlock is?

Isn’t Fantomex a mutant? He has the power of misdirection, and I think the three brains thing was also a mutation and not tampering from the Weapon program. Or did I miss something?

Isn’t Fantomex a mutant? He has the power of misdirection, and I think the three brains thing was also a mutation and not tampering from the Weapon program. Or did I miss something?

The three brains and everything else is from the Weapon program. He’s a mutate like Deadpool and Longshot.

Isn’t Longshot a “mutant” in the same way Warlock is?

No. He was created using Shatterstar’s genetic material. He was different from the other Mojo creatures because he wasn’t created from the same genetic material.

I agree that Mimic wasn’t a very good character, when he first appeared but the last couple of Excalibur really changed that. But unfortanly all that Growth was thrown out of the window. So today, there is only one great version of Mimic, the Exiles one and he is dead. Bummer.

Are we sure Longshot isn’t a mutant? He’s the modified clone of Shatterstar. Shatterstar is the son of Longshot and Dazzler, a mutant. Most offspring of mutants tend to be mutants themselves, after all.

Modified is the key term. He’s a mutate, like Deadpool or Fantomex.

Fantomex isn’t a mutant?

He is not.

Sorry to double post but an addendum: Mimic is indeed a mutant. In fact he was on the Brotherhood of Mutants for a while. I think that was pretty clear cut. Plus, didn’t the alternate version of our Mimic that appeared in Exiles say he was a mutant.?

This entire list is about people who are X-Men while not being mutants, so no, being a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants is not a clear indication of anything besides Mimic liking to hang out with mutants (like when he was a member of the X-Men while not a mutant). Like I noted, though, there is certainly time for a writer to say “Yeah, Mimic is a mutant.” It just hasn’t happened yet.

Plus, didn’t the alternate version of our Mimic that appeared in Exiles say he was a mutant.?

Yes, the alternate reality version of Mimic said he was a mutant. That was an alternate reality version of Mimic. As noted in another recent top five, the Exiles’ Sunpyre was literally an entirely different person than she was in the regular Marvel Universe, so alternate versions of the Exiles do not mean anything about the regular versions.

No love for Amanda Sefton?
She’s been on at least two of the splinter teams and despite being saddled with the terrible name of Daytripper has always been a pretty decent heroine.

She was never an official X-Man. And what other splinter teams was she on?

In the ’89 Update of the Official Marvel Handbook, Amanda Sefton is listed as a member of the X-Men.

They made a mistake. Certainly not the first time that Handbook got something wrong (especially with group memberships, since they’re often working with incomplete information well ahead of time. See this old Comic Book Legends Revealed about Dreadnought being in the Masters of Evil despite never actually being in the Masters of Evil as an example.

Yeah, those handbooks always list Captain Britain and Meggan as X-Men too, just because they were on Excalibur and in that one annual that people still misinterpret as saying that Wolverine can regenerate from a single drop of blood, so I wouldn’t take the handbooks as gospel either. They slap “Group Affiliation: X-Men” on anyone who was ever a member of the extended X-family.

And Warlock was definitely a mutant. He has the same mutation Broo has: he has compassion, which the rest of his species lacks. (Granted it’s more of a mental disorder – albeit a beneficial one – than what we’d normally consider a “mutation” in X-Men terms, but it’s officially his “mutant power.”) He’s kind of like Cypher or Forge, except instead of being able to understand communication or machines, he understands other people’s points of view. Of course that, like the claims that Longshot’s luck powers were a mutation, was really just something Marvel pulled out of their posterior at a time when they were uncomfortable with the idea of the X-Men or New Mutants having non-mutant members, so they just claimed anyone on either team was a mutant if you squinted hard enough. But unlike Longshot, Warlock’s mutanthood is canon.

Marvel’s had plenty of non-human mutants. In addition to Warlock and Broo, Cerise and Deathbird are Shi’ar mutants (I think Deathcry was too), and Xavier once taught a team of Skrull mutants called Cadre K (one of whom – Fiz – joined the X-Men briefly). They’re not mutants in the “homo superior,” X-Gene way, but in the “born with genetic mutations that gave them abilities not possessed by the rest of their species” way (and, in almost every case, in the “feared and hunted by their own kind because of an accident of their birth way”).

Point of information, in the Sixth Day story they said that the gem juggernaut found worked by activating his latent x-gene which is why all the other avatars had different but equal powers and it’s why he still has super strength when he’s lost the gem over the years so Juggernaut is a mutant, after a fashion.

It’s called “the “Eighth Day,” and it says no such thing at all. The Avatars all have different powers because they have different mystical patron entities; the whole idea was that the Cyttorak gem was one of eight power objects created by the various deities and demons mentioned in DSoctor Strange’s spells to create avatars called “Exemplars” who would take over the world, then wage war to see which one was toughest and thereby settle a bet between their masters. The Exemplars had different powers in order to reflect their creators’ particular mystical specialties or domains; no x-genes were involved at all.

Thus Ikonn’s avatar Bedlam, created by his Ivory Idol, had psi powers; Watoomb’s avatar Tempest, produced by her Waterfall, controlled natural elements and forces; Farallah’s avatar Carnivore, created by his Fearsome Fist, was a beast-man and master hunter; Krakkan’s avatar Conquest, created by the Kestral Key, was the world’s greatest martial artist; Balthakk’s champion Inferno, generated by the Blazing Brazier, was an energy projector supreme; Decay, champion of Valtorr (and the only one of these I had to look up, sadly), was given decay powers by his creator’s Verdant Vial; and Raggador’s champion Stonecutter, the result of his Ringed Ruby, was able to craft mystical machines that could do almost anything. Cyttorak, a god of destruction and strength, naturally created a juggernaut, and the ruby was renamed the Crystal of Cyttorak to keep the alliteration theme going.

However, as the story states, the Juggernaut activated without activating the other Exemplars and kept his free will because the military action nearby had screwed up the carvings on the temple wall and because Xavier was in his head at the time, so the full “Wager of the Octessence” spell didn’t kick in when Cain found the gem. Once it did during the crossover, Cain lost his free will and began working to set up the world war designed in the “Wager” spells. The resolution of the crossover revolved around Xavier restoring Cain’s free will, after which he smashed up the mind-control magical device of the other seven and ruined the whole thing.

When the other seven tried to get revenge on Cain Marko in Avengers v.3 #24-5, the Avengers managed o get through to Ikonn’s exemplar, Bedlam, who used her mystic powers of telepathy to restore the free will and human personalities of the others. The seven confused superhumans fled, and except for Carnivore briefly turning up in Priest’s Black Panther because his human side was an old Panther character, they’ve never been seen again. The whole thing may have been part of why Cain’s powers were on the wane as of his appearances in Austen’s X-Men, though little of the crossover convolutions were mentioned directly as the reason Cyttorak no longer wished to fuel Cain Marko’s powers.

The editorial line at Marvel is, or at least was that the “Muir Island X-Men” from one of Claremont’s last stories get counted as X-Men. That’s how Amanda Sefton gets in in the Handbooks. Unlike the Avengers, the X-Men roster is kind of informal, so there’s a case to be made either way and I imagine it changes depending on who’s writing or editing the books at the moment.

Longshot at #1 makes this the greatest Top 5 in CSBG history

Retire now Cronin, it’s all downhill from here

Personally I tend not to count characters with such brief tenures as X-men, regardless of what is “official” so the following are not X-men IMHO: Changeling, Petra, Sway, Vulcan, Sunfire, Revanche, Stacy X, Lifeguard, Slipstream, Aurora, Cloak, Dagger, or Ariel. Also, if you’re a villain who’s only trying to infiltrate the team for some nefarious end, you’re not an X-man, so Xorn, Mystique, Sabretooth, and Lady Mastermind are out.

i love karima, and id put her above warbird, if not even higher. to be fair, i dont read astonishing, so i dont know what warbird has been up to lately.

agree on juggernaut. he was the one good thing to come out of austins run. not sure if id place him this high, though.

Another name missed out into the pot: Binary

I love how some people just randomly make these rules as to who does and does not qualify for something. As though they are the definitive source on the matter. Breaking news: I’ve just decided that unless chocolate tastes EXACTLY like how I WANT it to taste, it cannot be called chocolate. It’s something else entirely. Because I said so. Bugga bugga boo.

Greg P., Stacy X was on the team for literally almost two years’ publication time. That is a “brief tenure” for you? Lifeguard was a member of the X-Treme team for basically a full year’s worth of issues.

In a previous column Brian had made the ruling that he did not consider any Sabretooth or Mystique X-Men because they were being compelled into membership against their will.

To me, the bottom line is that if the publishers of those characters say that they are/were part of the team, they are/were a part of the team. Whether that be for four issues or 24, whether they are acting of their own accord or not. Marvel owns those characters. Marvel publishes those characters. Stacy X was absolutely a member of the X-Men during the Joe Casey and Chuck Austen runs. Lifeguard was absolutely a member of the X-Men during Claremont’s X-Treme run. Sabretooth and Mystique (and Lady Mastermind) were absolutely X-Men during Jason Aaron’s original run on X-Men. (And I don’t understand how you can dismiss Creed and Raven as members, but still count Karima. That is absolutely mindboggling to me.)

Trying to make these ridiculous rationalizations for what “counts” and doesn’t “count” is pointless. We have the published comics. That is the record. That is reality. If you don’t like it, tough shit. That’s what the creators did.

So personally, I absolutely consider anyone who was part of the Muir Isle team to be X-Men. Brian, you yourself considered them X-Men in a recent Top 5 about “hodgepodge” teams. Well, if they were X-Men there, they’re X-Men here. And Amanda should count, as should Moira and the rest.

Lockheed is definitely an X-Man! He sometimes isn’t listed as a member of Excalibur, which is even more ridiculous. He is one of the original six.

Really don’t get the appeal of Warbird – Aaron’s writing is so heavy handed and “The hardened warrior with a secret heart of gold” is such a boring stereotype, not to mention that she has no special powers beyind being a regular Shi-ar. In fact all of Aaron’s created characters have been really bad while he specifically ignores better characters which are available to him.

What about Deadpool? Doesn’t he officially join the X-Men as a member of X-Force, in the same Warlock joined via the New Mutants Squad. I think he deserves an honorable mention and might even bump out Warbird. Also he’s a member of the future based Battle of the Atom team.

Doesn’t he officially join the X-Men as a member of X-Force, in the same Warlock joined via the New Mutants Squad.

Deadpool’s X-Force was specifically not an X-Men team. That was the whole point of the team. It was not the same thing as the New Mutants squad.

Does Carol Danvers count as an X-man? She was up there with them and the Brood for a long time. What about Lilandra? What about Nurse Annie? There are many characters who appeared in the pages of X-men without actually being x-men.

The criteria I use are whether they went on multiple missions with the team, and actually identified themselves as X-men with the assent of the other characters on the team.

I don’t count Lifeguard or Slipstream be ause they were non-powered supporting characters for most of their time there, and only actually fought alongside the x-men for like one mission after getting their powers. I count Karima, but not Mystique, Lady Mastermind or Sabretooth because she was not a villain infiltrating the team. Sabretooth didn’t even join of his own free will. Stacy is closer to an X-man, in that she went on multiple missions, but the fact that other X-men on her team blanched at the idea that she was a member suggests that she was not considered an X-man. And when I refer to a brief tenure, I’m talking about story time, not real time. It took two years to tell about the three weeks or so she hung around the X-men.

The reason Cloak and Dagger thought they were mutants is probably because Spider-Man and the New Mutnats asked the question of the possibility which was never answered until much later.

It was now revealed that Longshot is a modified clone of Shatterstar, his son, which pretty much makes him a mutant, but Dazzler must never “NEVER” know this or she’ll end up in a mental hospital.

Longshot is not a clone of Shatterstar. He was just made using Shatterstar’s genetic material. To wit, it’s basically like Shatterstar was the sperm donor used to make Longshot. Said genetic material was then modified to make Longshot, which is why Longshot was different from the other Mojoworld people.

There are many characters who appeared in the pages of X-men without actually being x-men.

Definitely. So to count as an X-Man, you have to specifically join the team. Carol, Lilandra and Annie never did. Stacy X, Mystique, Karima, Lady Mastermind and Sabretooth all did. It doesn’t matter if they joined the team with the intent to betray them, they still joined the team. For instance, Swordsman still joined the Avengers in Avengers #20 even if he was just doing it as a ruse.

So Longshot is made from…Shatterspunk? eww.

I love how Brian, despite all of his cred and hard work and sort of reputation as the head of a hugely broad comics blog can still pull out his old x-clusive card and just shoot out ” Well, Ship let Warlock on it, so he must be a mutant.”

Greg P. said : “Does Carol Danvers count as an X-man? She was up there with them and the Brood for a long time.”

No, Carol was never a member of the X-Men. She was an ally and friend to the team, and guest-starred a few times. She was a member of The Starjammers, once she became Binary. The absorbed Carol part of Rogue’s consciousness was the closest she came to ever joining.

What about Psylocke? Isn’t she from Otherworld, and her powers is because she is an otherworlder?

I don’t mean to come off as “Brian’s White Knight” as he can defend himself, but I think a lot of this just comes down to the fact that everybody has different interpretations of who’s a mutant and who’s an X-Man and all that, but he’s the guy that wrote the article. He’s been reasonable about corrections in the past (“Oh, you found a quote from a specific issue that says that to be true? OK, I’ll add it.”), but at some point we’ve gotta close the book.

I’m not saying don’t give opinions by any means (that’s what comment sections are for), but if we were attempting to write some kind of definitive, “official” list, we would be here forever arguing opinions. This is comics, after all, where the entire scope of reality can change due to a single writer’s whim and a distracted editor. My way of looking at these lists is as one person’s (obviously well-read and educated) opinion, and plus, they’re just for fun.

Like you said Brian, Juggernaut joining the team was actually a great move, and one the the few characters he genuinely wrote well consistently. I wish he was still with the X-Men, and it’d be nice to see in an X-Men book what he has to say about Cyclops killing his brother. I personally would have him go after Scott, as I believe deep down Juggernaut really did love his brother, and having his brother’s death be the thing that finally makes him realize that is a plot just begging to be written by Lobdell for a (mostly) quiet one-off issues

Also, I was obviously referring to Austen when I was talking about Juggs joining the team.

And I wish Juggs was still with the X-Men, not Austen. Figured that needed be clear too lol

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