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TGIF: Greatest X-Men

Some of the X-Men's most beloved creators have their say on the mightiest mutants of all time

By Ben Morse Last week, the Secret Cabal had their say on the greatest X-Men of all time in Take 10, but this time around, the professionals get their turn, as we contacted some of the Children of the Atom's finest creators from yesterday and today to get their take. It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
MARC GUGGENHEIM (writer of YOUNG X-MEN, former writer of WOLVERINE): My favorite X-Man is actually a woman. Kitty Pryde. My very first issue was [UNCANNY X-MEN #139], when Kitty joined the team, so I feel like we've been in it together. Plus she's cute. And Jewish. Growing up, I couldn't get a cute, Jewish girl who could walk through walls to even look at me. Come to think of it, even the cute Jewish girls who couldn't walk through walls didn't look at me, either... MARK WAID (former writer of X-MEN): Cyclops. Everyone else is a very distant second. Robin, Mike Nesmith, Scott Summers...I've always looked up to the dark, brooding, brainy team leaders.

He's like the Aquaman of the Marvel Universe, poor guy-perceived as a weenie when, as Joss Whedon just demonstrated in [ASTONISHING X-MEN #24], in the right creative hands, he's anything but. Make Mine Cyclops! ROB LIEFELD (former writer/artist of X-FORCE, NEW MUTANTS, WOLVERINE, co-creator of Cable): Wolverine has always been and most likely always will be my favorite X-Man. I was introduced to him at a young age, from his first appearance in [INCREDIBLE HULK]. I was eight years old and was immediately taken with his feral, aggressive nature. As the character matured and different pieces were added to his legend, such as his complicated relationship with Sabretooth and his Japanese heritage, I was further intrigued. I think he remains the most compelling character in the X-Men as well as the Marvel universe.

As a matter of fact, I used Wolverine as my example when creating Cable. I wanted a character with a complicated back story and enough intrigue and mystery so as to keep fans interested in him over the long haul. PHIL JIMENEZ (former artist of NEW X-MEN): Without a doubt, my favorite X-Man of all time is Storm. At her best, her most iconic, she embodies everything I love in my comic heroes-she's regal, commanding, intelligent-with a touch of naiveté-and extremely powerful. I was elated when she became leader of the X-Men and devastated when she lost her powers; I loved her punk transformation all those years ago and the issues of control and freedom it explored.

Every time I see the devastating effects of weather on a region-hurricanes, monsoons, blizzards-I'm reminded of the vast power Storm has and how I wish more creators would use that power to its logical extent. Plus, she has one of the most iconic costumes in comics-her first Dave Cockrum-created costume is one of my favorites, ever! MIKE CAREY (writer of X-MEN: LEGACY): Okay, it always depends what day of the week it is with me, but I'm going to go with Cyclops, both because he has an insanely cool power and because I find it really easy to identify with him. He's someone who subordinates everything personal to his responsibilities most of the time, but is a seething cauldron underneath that controlled, punctilious surface. If I had eye-beams, and charisma, I'd be so like Cyke it would be scary.

JUAN DOE (cover artist of X-MEN: THE 198, CIVIL WAR: X-MEN): The original Thunderbird, John Proudstar. I always thought he was the coolest looking X-Man. I also remember being deeply affected by his death. Maybe I was too young to realize it was a comic and that he could be brought back at any time but the idea that a hero could die was perplexing for me. Maybe that's why I never forgot him. HUMBERTO RAMOS (former artist of X-MEN, WOLVERINE, NEW X-MEN): I have to say I loved GENERATION X. I just loved that book-great story, killer art from my friend Chris Bachalo-I even tried out for that book!

And you can't say no to Monet, not the way Chris drew her. TERRY DODSON (cover artist of YOUNG X-MEN, former artist of GENERATION X): Husk from Generation X-there's nothing like being able to change one's own skin! TOM RANEY (former artist of ULTIMATE X-MEN): I've always been partial to Wolverine. His inner conflict always kind of spoke to me in some way. I really like the fact that he's constantly striving to be more, a better man, a noble warrior or a passionate, caring lover. But he's drawn down, held back by his earthy, feral nature. That inner war just makes him very complex, to me, and gives him a solid core to drive his character forward. WILL PANZO (X-Men assistant editor): If you were to charge a team of scientists with creating a nine-year-old Will Panzo's dream hero, they wouldn't have agreed to do it. But if they did it anyway, they would have come up with Cable.

As any child of the ['90s] can attest, Cable embodies all the excesses of that decade. He's a cyborg, and a mutant, and he uses great big guns, and his past is full of mystery. Where I come from-Staten Island, New York-we recognize that as the ingredients for a tall, frothy glass of Awesome. And setting aside my professional opinions for a minute...the new CABLE series by Duane Swierczynski and Ariel Olivetti answers all my fanboy prayers. It's big and fun and crazy and looks beautiful. I'd buy this book even if I weren't working on it. But I am working on it. So suck on that, nine-year-old me. CRAIG KYLE (co-writer of X-FORCE, former co-writer of NEW X-MEN, co-creator of X-23): Colossus!!! This guy has been my favorite character since I bought my first comic when I was 12. During the '80s he clobbered Juggernaut, shattered Nimrod,

battled Magus, threw Wolverine, chased Kitty and kicked the @#$%! out of the Hellfire Club, Mojo, Asgard and all the other UNCANNY baddies. I also like the fact that his nearly impenetrable exterior is countered by his soft interior. I mean, he's one of the most gentile and compassionate X-Men, but thankfully tough enough to never be considered a wuss. He's a hero you just have to root for and I'm thrilled Joss [Whedon] brought him back to the X-Men and the fans! MATT FRACTION (former writer of X-MEN UNLIMITED): Cyclops. Hands down, bar none. He's the axis around the rest of that world spins, and to me, the most interesting to watch. When the X-book closes, and god knows how long from now that'll be, in the end, it's all Scott's story.

FABIAN NICIEZA (former writer of X-MEN, X-FORCE, CABLE): Tar Baby. Definitely Tar Baby. A mutant that lives underground and is sticky. I mean, how does it get better than that? I think they made a real wrong turn when they focused all that buzz on the guy with the claws. They should have focused on making Tar Baby the darling of the Marvel Universe. Check out more X-Men on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited


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