Marvel is letting the fans vote on the final member of the next X-Men team – and here are the candidates. Cyclops and Jean Grey are reforming the X-Men on Krakoa, but they’re taking a very different approach – allowing the island’s mutants to vote on the team members. In a surprising move, they’re allowing the fans to decide the final X-Men member in an online poll.
It’s probably the biggest fan poll since 1988 when DC allowed fans to decide whether Jason Todd should live or die. Votes open online from 12:00 AM EST on January 27, 2021, and close at 11:59 PM EST on February 2, and fans have been given a choice of ten mutant names. Some of them are better known than others, but all would be very exciting to see on an X-Men team.
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So here’s your guide to all the X-Men candidates – from Armor to Tempo, from Banshee to Marrow, the famous and the infamous.
- First appearance: Astonishing X-Men #4 (2004)
The Japanese mutant Armor possesses the ability to generate an almost impenetrable plasmic force-field around her in the rough shape of her own body. She first appeared in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run, and quickly became something of a sidekick to Wolverine, with Logan finding her chosen codename more than a little amusing. He suggested he was inspired by her example to change his codename to “Claws,” while Cyclops should go by “Eyes.” Still, as unimaginative as Armor’s on-the-nose codename may be, it’s stuck through the years.
Although she’s one of the younger X-Men, Armor has a surprising amount of experience behind her. She accompanied the team to the harsh alien planet called Breakworld, proving herself a competent warrior and helping the X-Men literally take down a planetary government in order to save the Earth. Armor chose to side with Wolverine during the X-Men’s schism, and her bond with Logan meant she was devastated by his death. She’s been shown to have settled in well on Krakoa, serving as a loose mentor to the next generation of mutants.
- First appearance: X-Men #28 (1967)
Sean Cassidy is a former Interpol agent and NYPD officer, and he first crossed paths with the X-Men when he was forced to become a criminal by an organization called Factor Three. He was recruited into the X-Men’s Second Genesis team and became a long-standing member of the X-Men, as well as the lover of Xavier’s ally Moira MacTaggert – although he was never aware of her being a secret mutant. As the years passed, Banshee came to believe the X-Men were failing the next generation of mutants, and he was responsible for setting up a new school for Generation X.
Banshee was tragically killed by Cyclops’ brother Vulcan, but was resurrected as the Horseman of Death. He’s since been seen many times in the background on Krakoa, although it’s unclear whether he has retained the Death identity – other Horsemen appear to have gained the ability to transition between their original mutant selves and their Horsemen forms, so the same could be true of Sean as well.
- First appearance: Secret Wars #5 (1985)
Tabitha Smith is one of Marvel’s most explosive mutants, possessed of the power to generate plasmoids that explode with tremendous force. She fled from an abusive family background to Xavier’s School, where she joined the New Mutants as “Time-Bomb” – the first of many code-names she would run through over the years. Tabitha remained a background member of the X-Men for years, ultimately finding fulfillment in Cable’s redesign of the New Mutants as X-Force. This was one of the hardest times in her life, with Tabitha – finally calling herself Boom-Boom and settling on that for a time – finally confronting her painful past.
Boom-Boom has struggled to adapt to life on Krakoa, finding the utopia far too peaceful. She’s something of an action junkie, and in the absence of such fulfillment she’s taken to drinking heavily. Boom-Boom’s decisions are frequently spontaneous and highly questionable, so she’d undoubtedly be something of a wild card in an actual X-Men team.
- First appearance: New Mutants (Marvel Graphic Novel #4, 1982)
Sam Guthrie is one of a large family, almost all of whom seem to develop mutant powers. He was the oldest, blessed with the ability to generate a powerful biokinetic energy field he typically uses to propel himself in flight, and he’s easily the most accomplished. Cannonball was the only member of the New Mutants team to officially graduate into the X-Men, although doing so unfortunately led to his going through a crisis of confidence. He later became a key member of an Avengers team, falling in love with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard member Smasher; the two have married and had a child together. Given the X-Men have planted a Krakoan Gateway on Chandrilar, he’s been able to enjoy life on Earth and in Shi’ar space simultaneously.
It would be interesting to see Cannonball on an X-Men team again. Having served as a high-profile member of an Avengers team, he’d surely no longer feel quite so insecure, and his strategic genius would be likely to manifest. Cannonball should realistically be a leader in the X-Men, perhaps Cyclops’ deputy in the team.
- First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #184 (1984)
Forge is a Cheyenne Indian, one of the many mutants who stands at the threshold of science and sorcery. He lives in an internal world of discovery, with his mutant power – the ability to spontaneously invent almost anything he can conceive, from time machines to power neutralizing tech – making him the X-Men’s greatest inventor. Unfortunately, Forge doesn’t always stop to think about the consequences of his inventions, which have caused him significant heartbreak in the past; his relationship was Storm fell apart when she realized he was responsible for creating the weapon that stripped her of his powers. Forge’s mind hasn’t always been the most stable, particularly after he suffered a head injury courtesy of the X-Men’s Bishop; that led him to wind up caught in an interdimensional war.
Forge has become one of the most important figures on Krakoa, using his innovative abilities to find new ways to use Krakoan biotechnology. To Forge, Krakoa is Heaven, an opportunity to become a pioneer in a whole new avenue of science. Again, though, the same old problems are coming to light; he’s quite happy helping Beast with his X-Force plans, even though they threaten to cause World War III.
- First appearance: Cable #15
Marrow was first introduced as a member of a ruthless, brutal terrorist group named Gene Nation, and her bloodthirsty ways led her into frequent conflict with the X-Men. Although she served on the X-Men for a time, Marrow has frequently stood on the sidelines of mutant society, and has often been a victim of brainwashing and manipulation. She was devastated when she lost her powers after M-Day, and was one of a handful of mutants to figure out how to repower themselves. She joined Krakoa alongside some of the other more morally questionable mutants and would add a fascinating edge to any X-Men team.
- First appearance: X-Men #97 (1976)
Daughter of Magneto, Lorna Dane is a latent mutant whose magnetic abilities were triggered by the psychic Mesmero. Polaris may be powerful, but unfortunately, she’s often been quite unstable, likely a result of an early flare of her powers that caused the deaths of her parents – and that was erased from her memories on Magneto’s orders. Polaris has served as a member of many X-Men teams, struggling to make serious relationships work with the likes of Iceman and Havok, and frequently lashing out when life seemed to be going out of control.
Krakoa seems to have afforded Polaris an opportunity to attempt to build a relationship with Magneto for the first time, although she’s very aware of standing in his shadow. She’s been featured prominently in X-Factor, enjoying leading a team of mutants who investigate mutant deaths in order to ascertain whether resurrection is on the cards.
- First appearance: New Mutants #29 (1985)
Guido Carosella possesses a somewhat unenviable mutant power, the ability to absorb kinetic energy and transform it into musculature – which has led his body to grow increasingly deformed as time has passed, and risks putting too much strain on his heart. Calling himself “Strong Guy,” Guido used humor to cover the pain he felt from being rejected by society, and he became mutant pop star Lila Cheney’s bouncer – a career that drew him into X-Men circles. Strong Guy has a history of making bad decisions, even winding up King of Hell for a time. No doubt he finds Krakoa somewhere he can finally fit in.
- First appearance: New Mutants (Marvel Graphic Novel #4, 1982)
Son of a wealthy Brazilian businessman, Sunspot‘s power – to absorb solar energy and boost his strength – first manifested on the football field, and he found his way to Xavier’s School as a member of the New Mutants. Sunspot is brash and self-confident, often taking advice from unlikely figures such as the immortal mutant Gideon, who amplified his powers and granted him the ability to fly and project energy blasts. The X-Men have never quite known what to make of Sunspot, who attempted to reform the Hellfire Club and – after a brief stint in the Avengers – even took over AIM for a time. It would certainly be interesting to have Sunspot reporting to Cyclops on an X-Men team, given the two would butt heads quite a bit.
- First appearance: New Mutants #86 (1990)
One of the less well-known residents of Krakoa, Tempo – otherwise known as Heather Tucker – was one of the founding members of the terrorist Mutant Liberation Front. This led her into frequent conflict with the X-Men, X-Factor, and X-Force, but Tempo’s relationship with the rest of the mutant community began to improve after Scarlet Witch depowered most of the world’s surviving mutants. It would be exciting to see Tempo move to the forefront at last.
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