At the beginning of December, I asked all of you -- my dear X-POSITION readers -- to send in your opinions regarding the best moments in Marvel's X-books from 2010. Mentally, I thought I was prepared for the onslaught of varying views and opinions...
Boy, I thought wrong.
Your passion and enthusiasm were palpable -- mostly sweet, although a tad bitter on occasion. I was besieged by emails and had to swim through a lake of craziness at CBR's X-forums, but I believe I narrowed things down to a manageable list. Thank you all for your contributions.
A list of "Top Ten" feels a tad passé, however, so we'll be going with a Damn Great Dozen for this X-celebration. In narrowing things down, there were a lot of moments that were close but didn't make the list, for example: Iceman getting blessed by a priest so his ice could be used against vampires, the X-Men-related short stories in the "Strange Tales II" anthology, and Loa threatening to kill Warpath over ice cream. Here are a few other "runner-ups" to help get you in the mood.
"SECOND COMING" AND ITS ENSUING REVELATIONS
"Second Coming" was an X-event years in the making (technically, hundreds of years from the perspective of Hope and Cable). Many comments came my way about the event -- both good and somewhat mixed -- but one thing is for sure, it definitely left an impression on readers:
"Second Coming" was great, especially the Alpha Team (Cyclops, Wolverine, Psylocke, Nightcrawler, Colossus, X-23, Archangel and Magik) -- the best and most hardcore X-Men team in ages.
-- Chris Lowell
My favorite X-Moment of 2010 was in "Second Coming" when Cable and Hope returned to the present at the ruins of the Xavier Academy. Dave Finch drew the penultimate moment that X-fans had been waiting years for: Hope's return. The moment of return was so charged with potential to take the story in a million different directions, and the years of build up to it were a pleasurable sort of torture...
DANI MOONSTAR TURNS INTO A VALKYRIE
"New Mutants" #11 was another highlight, as it allowed fans to recall one of their favorite moments from the original "New Mutants" series...
Dani Moonstar turned into a Valkyrie, got on a flying horse, and threw a missile at a fighter jet...awesome!
Writer Chris Claremont teamed with Italian artist Milo Manara to deliver an interesting (and somewhat titillating) tale starring everyone's favorite female mutants. Regardless of their wardrobe choices throughout the book, fans loved seeing these ladies doing what they do best:
Great art and great writing. Kitty, Rachel and Rogue are back with their "good" powers and personalities.
Seeing Rachel again was a highlight of 2010!
Now that we're warmed up (some of us more than others from those "X-Women" images), let's hop right into that Damn Great Dozen. We begin with a moment pulled out of "Second Coming" that impacted a great many X-Men and allowed the event to fulfill the promise of its title:
12) THE DEATH OF NATHAN CABLE SUMMERS ("X-Force" #28)
Choi and Oback do a breath-taking job in drawing this death...Cable made the ultimate sacrifice to get his mission done -- he gave his life so that the X-Force could return home and ensure Hope's safety. This key moment paves the way for Generation Hope and the 5 Lights as we see Hope manifesting with the first five new mutants born since M-Day!
11) DANI VS. HOPE ("New Mutants" #13)
And as much as fans enjoyed Hope's journey, they also desired a good comeuppance when one was called for, such as this moment from "New Mutants" #13.
Dani vs. Hope -- FTW!
Dani kicked Hope's ass...although she should have kicked Cyclops'!
10) CYCLOPS HAS BREAKFAST
Personally, I'm not sure what it is about this moment -- maybe folks are feeling sentimental around the holidays. Whatever it is though, people liked watching Cyclops and son chat while drinking coffee and noshing on a bagel in "X-Men Forever" #18.
This is the Scott I love!
9) DOOP'S INVESTIGATION
In "Nation X" #4, Doop (from "X-Statix") returned to conduct a crime investigation that puts Sherlock Holmes to shame. Don't believe me? I have three words for you: tap-dancing Magneto.
Doop's return was the best thing ever!
8) "PIXIE STRIKES BACK"
Many moments from this title were submitted, so I'm afraid I'll have to just list the whole series as a single "moment." Pixie may be a mutant by birth, but one thing quickly became clear from submissions: her true power lies in her headband.
My favorite panel of the year -- the Vespa, 60s mod dress, and the Pichelli art. Stunning.
OMG! I love this because I'm a big ol' pervert. Seriously, I really love seeing Kurt interact with the newer generation of mutants and gain a new female following in the X-verse.
-- DevilishRogue (regarding issue #4)
7) EMMA FROST'S TANLINE
There were a few "Emma moments" nominated this year, but the one most folks commented on comes from the "X-Men: Curse of the Mutants -- Storm & Gambit" One-Shot. Apparently, the combination of dry wit and Dazzler (coupled with Chris Bachalo art) won over many fans...
Moment of the year, if not the last two decades!
6) INFERNO BABIES!
The New Mutants had their hands full in issues #16-19 of their series, when the Inferno Babies are revealed as alive and all grown up. Not a lot of specifics were given by readers, but from the number of votes it received, those Inferno Babies are winners!
And for the record, people were especially touched by the Karma and Cannon Face moment in issue #19...
5) RAHNE'S LONG-AWAITED RETURN TO "X-FACTOR"
With Rahne's return (and the manner in which she returned), writer Peter David gave us our next top moment in "X-Factor" #207...and then topped himself by having Rahne deliver one whopper of a lie!
A pregnant Rahne walks in on Rictor and Shatterstar in the bedroom -- can it be anymore soap opera?!?
My top moment is Rahne lying to Rictor that he's the father of her child. Peter David just has these WTF and OMG moments in him that reek of glory!
4) "UNCANNY X-FORCE" AND THE FINAL HORSEMEN
In September, the covert X-Force team formed by Cyclops and Wolverine was disbanded, but less than thirty days later...long live X-Force! That is to say, long live the new Uncanny X-Force, as written by Rick Remender. The formation of this team (headed by Angel and Wolverine) coupled with the creation of new Final Horsemen drove fans wild with excitement!
"Uncanny X-Force" definitely comes first. The Final Horsemen are the best Horsemen lineup to date! A Geisha who vomits bugs? Just beautiful!
-- Chace Crawford
Two issues in and this has already outshined everything else that was released this year. Wolverine, Archangel, Psylocke, Deadpool and Fantomex chasing Apocalypse as a child? What's not to like?
-- Ben Tennyson
3) THE DEATH OF NIGHTCRAWLER
Tragedy struck twice for the X-Men this year as they lost two of their teammates. We've already mentioned the loss of Cable (moment #12), but Nightcrawler's death in "X-Force" #26 seemed to hit many folks hard. May the elf rest in peace...
This was tragic indeed and a key loss for the X-Men, as (Kurt) was their mantle of faith and hope. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save Hope! Beautifully illustrated by Mike Choi and Sonia Oback, it was a riveting emotional moment done with purpose and perfection...kudos!
I read this in a bar and broke down in tears. Seriously. I knew it was coming, but it still got me. "I believe in you...."
Anyone who chooses anything other than this moment is disrespectful.
2) ANGEL AND PSYLOCKE GET BACK TOGETHER
Reunited and it feels so good! Most comic readers are romantics at heart, and the X-fans are no exception. It seems everyone was thrilled to see this classic couple back together, and they truly appreciated the reason behind this reunion as well...
I only have one favorite moment of 2010: Angel and Psylocke getting back together. I'm glad they didn't get back together just for the sake of it -- there's substance to it. I love how Remender handles the relationship and how it acts as the heart of the book. Plus they've always been my favorite X-couple.
When Betty explains to Warren why she is there on the team -- it's pure romance meshed with drama and reality. And it's all complemented by Jerome Opena's wonderful art and damn fine dialogue by the awesome Rick Remender!
Psylocke and Archangel getting back together...it just feels so right. The X-Universe was lacking some good old romance...
And now, for the Top X-Moment of 2010, may I present to you...
1) "X-MEN: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS -- STORM AND GAMBIT" ONE-SHOT
While not exactly a single moment, this one-shot was nominated by many X-POSITIONites as the best thing to happen in the X-Universe in 2010. And while fans enjoyed Gambit's casual fighting "punch" in the story, readers wanted the whole book to receive its due. Well, consider your Christmas wish granted!
This gets my vote! The Storm and Gambit One-Shot was the best X-issue of the year!!!
The Storm and Gambit One-Shot with Chris Bachalo's return to the X-books...pure AWESOME!
Seconded, or thirded, or whatever we're up to. And Gambit nonchalantly walking through a fight to get revenge for bring walloped was wicked!
I think this shows how badass Gambit is and how he keeps his priorities straight.
Thus concludes our "Top X-Moments" list for 2010. Thank you once again for your submissions which helped me craft such an "elegant" list. This is a good time to remind you all that X-POSITION exists as a conduit for you, the readers, to chat with all your favorite X-creators. Our columns are only as good as your participation, so we appreciate your involvement in 2010 and look forward to even more fun in 2011!
Speaking of which, "New Mutants" writer Zeb Wells will be here next week for a final Q&A of sorts as he wraps up his run on the book. If you have any questions for him about the team or the relaunch of this title, now is the time to ask them. Just shoot me those emails as quickly as you can. An "X-Position" in the subject line keeps you from becoming an "auld acquaintance" that I'll forget about, so be sure to include that. Happy New Year!