Tuesday, April 13, 2010

X-Men Dream Team

Geektastic Challenge: Create a dream team of X-Men characters.
The Rules
1) Team must consist of 7 characters
2) Mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616) only
3) All characters must have been a member of an X-team at some point or another
4) Character does not need to be presently living. (Because who can keep track?)
5) Team should be selected based on not only overall coolness, but how interesting the dynamic between the characters would be.

So, this was the very first little challenge one of us gave the other, which I asked kind of casually because I knew Ren was an X-Men fan. Turns out she's an expert, but just to make sure she made a well-thought-out decision, she spent the next half-hour on Mutatis Mutandis. I did the same, and came up with my own team.

I call them X-pionage, a sort of super-spy X-team whose missions would involve a lot of sneaking around, with the occasional all-out Mutant fight we've come to expect from good X-Men series.
Mystique: Our team leader, well-versed in the moral gray areas of spying and sleuthing. She's been on both sides of the line between good and evil and has become extremely adept at tip-toeing across it. Mystique is the brains of the operation, and also one of its most useful resources.
Nightcrawler: The boss's kid, all grown up of course, but nevertheless gets the sort of preferential treatment/higher expectations from Mystique. He's been a team leader himself, and often takes up the role of field commander when Mommy's off sneaking around. He's not entirely comfortable flirting with the dark side, and sometimes takes it upon himself to remind Mystique when she's riding the line.
X-23: She's a big gun, daughter/clone of Wolverine. Just as badass, about a third as annoying and seriously underused as a character. She's still sort of learning how to be a superhero as opposed to just a killing machine, but when the team needs killing done, she'll do it without flinching. A ying to Kurt's yang, X-23 is the devil on Mystique's shoulder, impulsive, unfeeling.
Forge: If X-pionage is like the MI:6 of the X-Men teams, the Forge is Q. Just because you've got superpowers doesn't mean you never need some awesome gadgetry, and if Forge can imagine it, he can build it. To use a different analogy, Mystique is Kirk, Nightcrawler is Bones, X-23 is Spock and Forge is Scotty.
Armor: She's the youngest team member, only joining the institute recently in Astonishing X-Men, but she's a powerhouse, able to build a suit of near-impenetrable energy armor around her body. She's just discovering her potential and this is her first taste of what it's like to be on a real X-team. She's driven, spunky and often saves their asses.
Shadowcat: What can I say about Kitty Pryde? She's my very favorite a lot of the time and though she doesn't really fit on this team I couldn't leave her behind. Her power is very handy for espionage, her honest and true personality doesn't gel well with Mystique's Machiavellian leadership style. She's here under protest, but she understands that she's needed and will do her best to protect the interests of the Mutant community at large.
Pyro: Because every team needs a badass asshole in black who's just there to light things on fire. He's worked with Mystique before as a baddie, and usually sits out the parts of missions that involve cunning, since he's kind of a dunce.

Cyclops: Despite some people's beliefs, Slim is not just an asshole. In fact, he isn't really an asshole at all. He's a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and tactical genius. His optical beams come in handy quite often, and his understanding of trigonometry can use these beams to pull off impossible feats.
Beast: I love Hank McCoy. Whether he is normal!Beast or cat!Beast, he is ridiculously smart, witty, and wise. He also has physical strength and agility.
Gambit: Gambit, despite his douchebaggery in X-Treme X-Men, has several useful skills. Primarily, his kinetic energy powers can be used for demolition purposes, his charm powers can be used to manipulate women (because manipulating women is fun), and his bo-staff skills are useful in more traditional hand-to-hand situations. Also, his skills as a pickpocket and rogue are useful for more shady dealings. His chemistry with Scott, and his chemistry with Rogue make for an interesting team dynamic. He can piss off Scott and make Rogue be simultaneously horny and emo.
Psylocke: Ah, Psylocke. This is a character with whom I've had little exposure, but she seems to be a pretty interesting character. Also, I needed a person telekinetic or telepathic powers. She is also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and I like my characters to be multi-talented. She also adds a level of diversity to the team, being British AND Asian.
Rogue: I hate Rogue. Just throwing that out there. She's whiny, she's overused, and the Gambit/Rogue fiasco makes me want to punch babies. But, Rogue provides the team with the ever important gift of flight, the gift of nigh-invulnerability, and the gift of super-strength.
Squirrel Girl: My personal favorite. She is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, beating several super-villains single-handedly. She adds a bit of silly charm to the group, balancing out the serious people and the emo people.
Deadpool: Deadpool. The Deadpool. Despite his recent Wolverine Publicity, I still love Deadpool. He kills like very few others can, and tears down the fourth wall like no one else. He would provide comedic value in the team. But, he would not be all-powerful and overwhelming, as Squirrel Girl would be there to balance him out. He fears her.

Got your own ideas? Post your own dream team or just tear ours apart. Or make a request for the next Geektastic Challenge.


  1. Dream team of X-characters:

    1) Cyclops. Bred to be a leader and team coordinator, and he has a very basic, straightforward mutant power: He can blast the shit out of things. Plus, being the master strategist that he is, he knows precisely which things need have the hell blasted out of them, and in what order.

    2) Wolverine. Overused though he may be, he can sneak and/or murder his way into spots that others can't or won't. When his teammates are stopped/kidnapped/killed, he'll keep on going. Put simply, he's incredibly, ludicrously difficult to kill, and that's an asset.

    3) Emma Frost. Extremely powerful telepath. Can make a roomful of people think whatever she wants them to think, including that they're all asleep, on fire, covered in scorpions, or dead. I would've picked Xavier himself, but he's not so much a team member as he is a guy who hangs out in the background, with or without a functional spine. Also, he can't turn into diamonds.

    4) Colossus. Because it doesn't hurt to have some unstoppable solid metal muscle.

    5) Beast. I know I'm just naming each member of the Astonishing team here, but... Beast provides a combination of muscle, agility, and animal viciousness (when he lets loose) PLUS careful scientific analysis. Of stuff. Science stuff.

    6) Rogue. Just to be "realistic," let's say the Rogue of the late 80s/early 90s, before she could willingly recall every power she'd ever absorbed. So, Rogue with Ms. Marvel's strength/invulnerability/flight, plus her own power-absorbing ability. How can anyone not pick Rogue? She's a flying, power-stealing tank. Rogue.

    7) I was gonna pick Blue, the Days of Future Past daughter of Nightcrawler, because she could effortlessly teleport the entire team wherever they need to be, but she's not from 616 so... hell with it, my team has 6 people.

    With this lineup, you've got a strategic leader who knows how to allocate resources and can also blast the hell out of things, a fighter who basically can't be killed, a telepath who can screw with everyone's minds, a superstrong metalman to lift heavy shit, a supersmart cat-man who can make clever quips, and a flying tank who can steal additional powers when needed. I think that's pretty solid.

  2. How can you not have Wolverine? He's the best there is at what he does. Nevermind if he isn't the "best" team player. First of all, he is still kinda, since he's been on Avengers and now has X-Force, and second of all, he doesn't need to be. You're just like, hey, Wolverine, do what you do, and then he does. And then the rest of your team does what they do, and things start dying. Is true, I seen it.

    So, my dream team (not really going to explain them, unless you want me to, I'm going mostly off of badassery):
    1) Wolverine
    2) Deadpool
    3) Nightcrawler
    4) Jean Grey (Phoenix Empowered, but before Dark Phoenix)
    5) Cyclops
    6) Gambit
    7) Rogue

    Storm is tempting, but I can't think of who I would take off. Cyclops and Jean would work well together, and Jean could serve as liason between Wolverine and Cyclops if needed. Gambit and Rogue obviously work well together, so if they can keep Deadpool and Wolverine off each other, sounds good.

    Also, you guys should do an Avengers list, too. My personal Avengers team would be:
    1) Spider-man
    2) Wolverine
    3) Thor
    4) Hulk
    5) Iron Man
    6) Captain America
    7) Deadpool


  3. Well, Will. You see, I hate Wolverine with a fiery passion. He's overused, overrated, and overexposed. Plenty of others have ridiculous fighting abilities and strength and anti-hero tendencies. Wolverine doesn't need to be present to include these qualities in an X-Team. You do make a good point of you can simply tell him to kill shit and he'll do it, but so will others.

    I like your suggestion for doing an Avengers team, and Dylan and I will add it to the list.

  4. I'm just commenting because I can. I'll get back to you on my list--I have to stare at my Marvel poster for a bit lol

    But I like Ren's list better because she has Gambit...for obvious reasons.

  5. Yeah, I'll admit he's a little overused, but it's because he's such an extreme badass. He has one of the most developed characters in Marvel mythology, up there with Spidey and Iron Man and such. There's a reason they've had him branch out from the X-Men so much, besides not being completely cohesive with them all the time. And yeah, others will go and kill things too, but none of them are as good as Wolverine. You can't really compete with a couple centuries worth of experience, his stealth skills, and his regeneration. Many people in the Marvel universe aren't even sure if Wolverine can actually die, so, as Geoff said, if nothing else, his survivability is key. He is one of the top warriors on the planet, both because of his skills and because he knows how to think (or stop himself from thinking, if that is what is called for) his way through a fight.

    Okay, I'll end my rant now, haha. Wolverine is one of my favorites, up there with Spidey and Batman.