Top 10 Underrated X-Men

They fight to protect a world that hates and fears them! They fight villains and discrimination in equal measure! And they're the whitest of all civil rights metaphors until, like, the mid-80s!

Ah, the X-Men, comics’ most convoluted and confusing superteam. A while back, I explained the X-Men to my girlfriend by saying, “Half of the X-Men are just alternate future versions of/children of the other half.” And that's only a slight exaggeration.

But after really getting into Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men this past week, and hitting up my local comic shop to buy a foot-high stack of various X-comics, I'm finally starting to get a grip on these characters. So I decided to pick a few of my favorites who don’t get enough love and show you why they’re great. Marvel’s Merry Mutants may be numerous, but they’re all special. Just an aside, but X-Men as used here is more of a general term.

I'll be talking about characters from numerous X-teams, including, but not limited to, X-Men; the New Mutants; X-Force; X-Factor; Generation X; X-Club; the other, completely different, X-Factor that was a detective agency; Excalibur; and finally, any and all students of the Xavier or Jean Grey schools for gifted youngsters.


10. Multiple Man

This one isn't first on my list because I don’t love him. He's in this spot because he’s the least underrated. Hell, they were going to make a movie about him, but that fell apart.

Jamie Madrox, aka The Multiple Man, is one of the few hyper-powerful mutants who's had his powers from birth. In fact, he spawned his first clone when the doctor spanked him to check his lungs (yep, they used to do this; ask your parents or the internet). Madrox’s clones, usually referred to as duplicate - or dupes for short - operate under a very specific set of rules: They're produced through physical contact.

The dupes are created when kinetic energy is applied to Madrox, and they're defined by certain aspects of his personality, such as his faith, his opportunism, or his libido. The dupes exist until they die or Jamie re-absorbs them, at which point he takes on all their memories and knowledge. Jamie eventually served as support on Muir Island, and joined the government-run second incarnation of X-Factor. After that, he bounced around a bit, then founded his own private detective agency, XXX Investigators.

Later, after he recruitsed some friends and realizes that the name of his business sounds like the kind of magazine you can’t sell on newsstands, he changed it: to X-Factor Investigations.


9. Longshot

In a universe called the Mojoverse, life's terminal boredom is alleviated only through the creation and abduction of slaves to entertain the masses, otherwise known as Spineless Ones. They look gross.

Longshot, a creature gifted with the power of luck, is one of those slaves. Seriously! He’s just really, really lucky. Well, he's lucky as long as he’s not trying to use his power to do evil. As you might have picked up, what’s neat about this is that Longshot isn't a mutant! Yeah, he’s one of the few non-mutant X-Men. He joins the team right after the Mutant Massacre, and remains with them through the Australia years.

Unfortunately for Longshot, his memories tend to be wiped on an incredibly frequent basis, so he doesn't remember many of his adventures. But he's also left with a sort of tabula rasa adorableness and innocence. He’s just a good egg. A good egg who can throw knives at people with precise accuracy. Also, women canonically love him, and his costume inspired every bad 1990s costume trends, even though he can pull it off.

I love Longshot.