X-Men

The 50 Greatest X-Men of All-Time Pt. 5

See who made Marvel.com’s official list for the top Children of the Atom from 50 years of action!

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In 1963, UNCANNY X-MEN #1 assailed an unsuspecting populace, birthing the mutant race into the Marvel Universe and a phenomenon into pop culture.

50 years later and the X-Men have exploded across countless sagas, numerous incarnations and even various realities. What began as a roster of five teenagers has expanded to include goddesses, aliens, former foes and every manner of mutant imaginable.

In commemoration of the X-Men’s 50th anniversary, Marvel.com brought together a panel of experts, including fans and professionals alike, to select the 50 all-time greatest members of the team. This list will unfold in five parts and feature write-ups as well as information and digital comics links spotlighting each X-Man.

Please let us know what you think of our selections and share your own by tweeting @Marvel on Twitter and using the hashtag #XMen50

Read part one!
Read part two!

Read part three!
Read part four!

50. SABRETOOTH

49. JOSEPH
48. HUSK

46. ARMOR

DARWIN

45. MARROW

44. PIXIE

43. SAGE

42. MIMIC

41. JUGGERNAUT
40. FANTOMEX

39. WARPATH

37. THUNDERBIRD

DANGER

35. HOPE

CECILIA REYES

34. NAMOR

33. POLARIS

32. CHAMBER

31. SUNFIRE
30. MYSTIQUE
29. DOMINO

28. MAGIK

27. FORGE
26. LONGSHOT

25. BANSHEE
24. NORTHSTAR
23. CANNONBALL

22. BISHOP
21. HAVOK

20. RACHEL GREY

19. DAZZLER

18. JUBILEE

17. ANGEL

16. EMMA FROST

15. GAMBIT

14. PROFESSOR X
13. CABLE
12. ICEMAN

11. PSYLOCKE


10. MAGNETO

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Joined the X-Men: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #200
Why He’s #11:
“The X-Men's number one nemesis, this high up on the list of the all-time greatest X-Men? We're living in the Age of Apocalypse, aren't we?

"Well, that right there is a fair point: in an alternate universe where Charles Xavier died before forming the X-Men, it was Erik Lensherr who stood up and championed his fallen friend's cause. In the proper Marvel Universe, the Master of Magnetism eventually abandoned—or at least shelved—his anti-human efforts in favor of joining forces with the likes of Cyclops and Emma Frost on Utopia and beyond. In losing his powers, Erik enjoyed a healthy helping of humble pie, hearty enough to push him toward the Xavier-trained angels, if only for a time. Yes, Magneto's true agenda remains something of a fluid situation. But that's part of what makes the character so—wait for it—magnetic as an X-Man.” – Josh Wigler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #161

9. JEAN GREY

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Joined the X-Men: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Why She’s #9: “Jean Grey is hands down the heart of the X-Men. Not only was she was there on the ground floor back when the X-Men consisted of five members, but the original Marvel Girl was Professor Xavier’s very first student. Naturally this has allowed her some pretty strong bonds with her teammates, most notably Cyclops, Wolverine and Storm.

“An Omega Level mutant Jean is also particularly selfless. She sacrificed herself to save her teammates by flying their space shuttle through solar flare lethal radiation. And later, when she realized that she was the only one capable of containing the Phoenix entity, she went to the White Hot Room once more. But even though she’s gone, she’s still inspires the next generation via the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning. Hers is a legacy that’s hard to top in the X-Men or beyond.” – Mathan Erhardt
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #101

8. COLOSSUS

First Appearance:
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Joined the X-Men:
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Why He’s #8:
“The X-Men's knight in shining armor, Colossus is a chivalrous idealist in a world that constantly challenges and upsets his expectations. Wolverine nicknamed him ‘Petey Pureheart,’ and though his heart has taken on tarnish over the years, from the Morlock tunnels to high up on Asteroid M, Piotr still lends his muscles to the good fight without a moment of hesitation or self-regard.

“A hero's hero, Colossus has no malice or vanity. He's a champion, a brother and an anchor to the team. He’s given his life to save others before, and would do so again in a heartbeat.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #390

7. ROGUE

First Appearance:
AVENGERS ANNUAL (1967) #10
Joined the X-Men:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #171
Why She’s #7:
“Few X-Men have undergone as drastic a transformation as Rogue has during her years with the team. That evolution from manipulated mischief-maker to loyal hero makes Rogue one of the most popular X-Men of all time. Her dedication to changing her ways made itself apparent on her first mission as an X-Man alongside Wolverine, when she took a fatal blast meant for her reluctant partner's fiancé. With that self-sacrificing move, Rogue became a real X-Man.

“While fans associate her with spitting out sass, ripping Sentinels apart with her bare hands, and getting emotional with Gambit, Rogue possesses greatness that lies within her unwavering devotion to her surrogate family. She packs a mean punch, which she delivers with equal vigor to those that threaten the world and her friends. For a mutant cursed with keeping others at a distance, Rogue holds her allies extremely close.” – Brett White
Digital Spotlight Comic:
X-MEN (1991) #192

5. CYCLOPS

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Joined the X-Men: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Why He’s #5: “Scott Summers has been there from the beginning, and since then, rare is the mutant who is more dedicated to his friends, teammates, and race. A fervent believer in Xavier’s dream for most of his adolescence and adult life, Cyclops willingly eschewed the pleasures of being a teenager to embrace the role of straight-laced leader so that his teammates—and by extension other mutants the world over—could enjoy those things. He has, repeatedly, sacrificed himself—his youth, his happiness, his very life—in the name of helping those who he cares so deeply about.

"Now, of course, he walks through life with a far different philosophy. But the dedication remains the same. Others forever before him, he will carry the load so everyone can enjoy the rewards. And if he has changed the way he does that, well, maybe that is just because the world changed on him first.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Spotlight Comic: ASTONISHING X-MEN (2004) #24

WOLVERINE

First Appearance:
INCREDIBLE HULK (1964) #181
Joined the X-Men: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Why He’s Also #5: “Wolverine earns his spot for nearly infinite reasons, at least as many as the man has years under his belt. With membership on multiple X-teams over the years, from Uncanny and Astonishing groups to leading stints at the front of X-Force and the Jean Grey School, few mutants play well on a team better than Wolverine. The man works just as well alone, carrying multiple solo adventures on his shoulders over the years, and countless aliases as well. 

“But beneath his loner exterior, Wolverine's a man marked by everlasting wanderlust and loneliness, weaknesses that strengthen the character and his legacy. He embodies the mutant experience at its most fundamental level: the idea of being uncomfortable in your own skin, of feeling stuck in eternity. Every time it looks like Logan's about to give in, every time isolation's about to get the best of the guy, those claws come out as an adamantium-laced reminder that every tunnel has a light at the end.” – Josh Wigler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN #133

4. STORM

First Appearance:
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Joined the X-Men:
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Why She #4:
“Storm is a big, big deal. One of the most important female heroes and one of the first superheroes of color, she understands better than most what it means to fight for justice in a world that hates and fears her. Even when she lost her phenomenal power to control the elements, she never let it hold her back. She never let anyone put her down.  

“Storm has been a goddess, a rebel, a leader and a queen. She guided the X-Men through some of their biggest fights and some of their darkest days. Despite everything she's suffered and everything she's seen, she remains dignified, disciplined, and in control. The storm is raging around her; she's the calm eye at the center. She's the one you want in a crisis. The whole world needs to recognize: Storm is a big, big deal.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #201

3. BEAST

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Joined the X-Men:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Why He’s #3:
“Hank ‘Beast’ McCoy serves as a foundation for the X-Men, particularly given his unique distinction as one of the original five members. Two constants set Beast apart from his fellow X-Men: his thirst for knowledge and unceasing optimism in the face of any adversity. As the X-family continually evolved over the years Beast rolled with the changes.

“Among all the X-Men, he stands out due to his genius-level intelligence and vast knowledge of genetics and all things technical/mechanical. His extended stints in both the Avengers and the Defenders enabled him to be one of the first high profile mutants out in the public eye. But surely what makes Beast such an endearing part of the X-Men is his ability to insert a mixture of wit and wisdom into the darkest of situations.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Spotlight Comic:
NEW X-MEN (2001) #117

2. NIGHTCRAWLER

First Appearance:
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Joined the X-Men:
GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) #1
Why He’s #2:
“The fuzzy blue elf has always been a study in contradictions. A boy rejected by both his parents and raised in a circus who nevertheless had a wonderful, fulfilling childhood. A devout Catholic with the appearance of a demon who leaves the smell of sulfur in the air every time he teleports. A man who has been nearly slain by mobs for his appearance and abilities multiple times and yet remains an ebullient swashbuckler.

“This is the key to his character and his appeal. Kurt Wagner refuses time and again to be defined by his appearance or his circumstances. He is aware of his stimulus value but rejects it. Let others think of him as they will. He knows who he is. He’s the ultimate outside among a group of them, but he faces his trials with a smile and forever carries his burden with heroic swagger.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #204

1. KITTY PRYDE

First Appearance:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #129
Joined the X-Men:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #138
Why She’s #1:
“The X-Men have struck a chord with readers throughout their 50 year history thanks to their unparalleled ability to be relatable. No other X-Man embodies this more so than Kitty Pryde. Created to provide the teenage audience with a character they could see themselves being friends with, or—even better—see themselves being.

“Kitty's adventures gave teenage girls a competent role model, one known for her book smarts and perseverance. Jewish readers now had a new super hero to look up to, and fans with divorced parents saw themselves in Kitty's story as she dealt with the same hardship and came out stronger and more confident than ever. Kitty Pryde's maturation from a wide-eyed teenager to that of a leading voice in the mutant rights movement forms the backbone of over three decades of X-Men stories.

“Her continued popularity and central role to so many classic tales speaks to why she tops this list of the greatest X-Men of all-time.” – Brett White
Digital Spotlight Comic:
UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #168

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Comments

4 comments
firered2442
firered2442

I like kitty, but I still think cyclops should be first

Lcb123210
Lcb123210

its between Wolverine AnD CycLops for #1

Non X-men fans Don't even know who Kitty PryDe is? However everyone knows wolverine and Cyclops.(even my 80 Yr old grandmother)

Worst OMISSION has to be Quicksilver, REGARDLESS of his oTher affiliations. C'mon... (He directly rElated to one of the most important Characters and he's HellA fast)

List Was going Good till the end..

RoboticMountain
RoboticMountain

Kitty Pryde?? seriously? I'll agree with Nightcrawler and good to see Havok high up (ish), but can't agree with #1.

5cents
5cents

After a decade of being in limbo Jean still makes the list :)