It’s hard being a member of the X-Men — and I don’t just mean living in a terrible, hateful society or having to share a house with people who vomit acid. More specifically, it’s always been a series and universe brimming with stars — huge names like Wolverine, Gambit, and Magneto that have captivated readers right into their own ongoing solo series. But there are just as many other X heroes/villains that deserve their time in the spotlight, and they have the heart, story, and humor to more than carry their own title.
So, in the name of spreading the love and page time around, our staff has put together a list of seven mutants who would kill as the leading man or lady, and just what these books just might look like. Here’s hoping someone out there wants to give these plucky protagonists a real chance to shine.
Layla’s whole shtick was knowing that a soul can’t be resurrected even when a body otherwise could. Now, we’ve already seen Jamie on Krakoa but not Layla or their son. The question, then, is what would she think of the resurrection protocols? It allows the X team to answer some longstanding questions about the protocols’ longevity, too. If Layla doesn’t want to be a part of Krakoa, what’s her day-to-day like as someone who chose not to go? As someone who has seen the future and tried to prevent it, would she be understanding of Xavier’s desire to do the same?
Everyone asks for a Moira MacTaggert-focused book, but what kind of hell has Sabretooth gone through after being sent into the pit prison? It’s a mystery I’ve pondered since House of X and Powers of X.
You could do an entire miniseries about what goes on down there while also introducing new kinds of monsters. In fact, this could be a way to give the X-Men line a traditional horror comic spin/element. It would also allow Jonathan Hickman to add yet another threat to focus our attention on and then draw into focus months or years later.
With security promised, Dazzler can finally attempt the music career that’s been start-and-stop for 50-ish years. Touring has never been easier, what with the plentiful gates. There could be a lot of cameos and fan interactions, and a crew of backing band mutants, roadies, and a manager. In terms of impact on Krakoa, the various political implications of her bopping around various countries allows for a spy in the band. Probably on keys.
Isca the Unbeaten
When Isca and the other Arrakki mutants arrived on the scene in X of Swords, they were not only instantly memorable — thanks to those great Pepe Larraz character designs — but also gave readers a chance to see mutantdom from a different perspective. If Krakoa was a place of peace, what purpose could it serve for a people who had only known war? Since that crossover ended, we’ve seen some Arrakki like Bei the Blood Moon come to Krakoa, but with more hardened mutants like Isca, a true reunion seems all but impossible.
A solo book would answer all the questions we’ve been dying to have answered since X of Swords. Would Isca ever be OK just chilling at the Green Lagoon, playing beer pong (which she, of course, never loses)? What about that dreary Arrakko council that Hickman introduced in X-Men #16? But most importantly: will Krakoa and Arrako ever find love again now that they no longer speak the same language?
Despite literally being in the title of the most iconic X-Men story of all time, the Phoenix Force’s history since that book has been more miss than hit. After multiple failed adaptations and bad Avengers books, it’s about time someone figured out what to do with it, and if there’s an era of X-Men where that might be extra conducive, it’s totally rhis one. And I will specify that when I say Phoenix, I mean Rachel, who similarly to the Force itself has not had any real opportunity to shine in a long time.
She’s worked well as a cast member in X-Factor, but put her in the driver’s seat of her own solo, and for God’s sake, let’s acknowledge her status as someone that the Phoenix Force didn’t drive mad with power. Plus, with Dawn of X’s basis upon the concept of time travel, alternate timelines, and such, it seems fitting to shine the spotlight on a character with such a unique position temporally. And let’s be honest, neither Marvel Girl or Prestige feel right — Rachel should be Phoenix. The Phoenix.
Now I know this isn’t technically a solo book, but I want a mini-series focusing on the relationship between Xavier and Magneto. I don’t want to learn the deep, dark secrets of Krakoa, or catch hints of the plans Moira X is putting forth — I just want a comedic mini about the life of two octogenarian buds living out non-romantic domestic bliss. I want charming old folks moments like Skyping the kids (“Erik, come to the kitchen; Scott and Jean are on the computer!”) to quiet afternoon tea sessions where they complain about the young mutants (“She called me a Boomer, Charles!”) to just an issue where they’re crocheting out a nice shawl for Polaris or something while mentally dealing with all the information coming in from the field teams without missing a stitch (Work-life balance is important).
Maybe have Sinister show up some times to tease them about being domestic partners. (“He should have put a ring on it by now, Xavier!”) Think of it like Grace and Frankie with super powers.
Unlike some other heroes listed here, Glob Herman, everyone’s favorite paraffin-based good guy, already had a “solo” outing. Technically, he just got to play lead in that Age of X-Man tie-in, but that more than proves the point: Glob is a real star, baby. There’s a distinct everyman quality there, and you want to cheer him on whether he’s playing the perfect silly supporting character or showing off some his more depth as a hero trying to always do what’s right.
Glob is both silly and yet much more nuanced, and in that space comes a chance to tell some really great X-centric stories about personal responsibility and facing one’s on growth head on, albeit with endless heart and wit. If he can shine bright while hanging out with chickens, then Glob Herman can do anything.
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