One of the most famous Aboriginals in contemporary fiction alongside that ‘First Slayer’ character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gateway first came into comics when the X-Men relocated to Australia. With his ability to teleport people anywhere he wanted to, this mute mutant proved himself to be a brilliant way for the team to get around – especially as Nightcrawler had buggered off. Gateway had that enigmatic air to him that the X-Books had been craving, and immediately hit it off with the ladies. Bedding the majority of the X-Ladies within the first week of their time in Australia, Gateway then moved on to the male contingent of the team. His dalliance with Storm was later hinted to have resulted in the birth of Bishop, but Chris Claremont is a notorious hater of ancestry and never outright admitted that Storm and Gateway were the parents of the soon-to-be traitorous braided future dude. Gateway was thought to have been killed, but this was during a Mike Carey comic so he’s since been spotted alive and helping Nick Fury recruit his Secret Warriors team. Gateway is also related to Monet somehow, because as we all know every black person is related to each other.
Oh yeah. Speaking of Monet, she’s done rather well to reach number 34 in our list. A selfish autocrat with a massive sense of entitlement, Monet hasn’t really done much to help the X-Men outside of her appearances in the original Generation X team. She’s certainly introduced several villains to the X-Men, resulting in deaths and trauma aplenty, but her real contributions to the team have been pretty limited. This isn’t really her fault though. She’s been relegated to minor team status for years now, barely scraping into the real X-Men for an arc before getting bumped over to X-Factor and obscurity once more. She does, however, have a fun personality. Although buperior and condescending to almost everyone she meets, deep down she’s secretly a pretty boring person. This dichotomy makes for fascinating reading, as her pithy put-downs nearly always reflect upon her own inability to make real friends or have proper relationships. She had a fling with Madrox, for goodness’ sake – this girl is really messed up. Her mutant powers are pretty broad – she has the power to be ‘perfect’- and yet she never seems to get anything right. That’s the joy of the character.
Probably the most popular X-Man of all time, Kurt Wagner had the mutant power of blue fur, teleportation, swordplay and a baffling idiolect. Unable to complete a sentence in English, he’s taught more Americans about the existence of words like ‘unglaublich” than any language teacher. Originally conceived to be a mutant who truly looked inhuman, Nightcrawler managed to somehow become the casanova of the X-Men. Despite being a Catholic who looked like a demon, he started dating wildly – getting almost as many girls as Gateway, even – before eventually getting fisted to death during the recent Second Coming storyline. Yes, the religious character was killed during a religion-mocking comicbook story. Those damn liberal writers. During his time with the X-Men, Nightcrawler appeared in many memorable stories such as…
Hey! Petra and Sway, who’re they? Well they only ever appeared during one storyline, you see, which is why you may not have heard of them. Their story was called ‘Deadly Genesis’, written by Ed Brubaker, and was essentially a re-write of the classic X-Men stories. Brubaker decided that there was a second team of mutants formed by Xavier between the 06 and the All New, All Different Team – a team made up of Vulcan, Darwin, Petra and Sway. These four kids were recruited after the 05 were kidnapped by Krakoa, the Living Island, and were sent as a rescue. Well this rescue didn’t go too well, you guys, and the team were all killed in the effort. Prof X mindwiped everyone so nobody would know he sent four kids to their deaths, and then formed the Storm/Colossus/Sunfire/etc team. But Petra and Sway shouldn’t be forgotten. They were heroes – they went into battle to save people they didn’t even know, against massive overwhelming odds. They didn’t think twice about it – they were the real heroes, and without them we would never have had the All New, All Different Team. They may not be remembered, but their legacy subtly influences everything that the X-Men do.
We round up today’s five/six characters with Jubilee! A well-worn trait of the X-Men is that the rough, growly Wolverine is always teamed up with a bubbly young girl to temper his violent streak. And after Kitty Pryde got too old for that role, in came Jubilee to sort out Logan. She first appears surprisingly early-on in the overall X-Men story, and grew into one of the most popular characters – thanks in part to a memorable role in the original X-Men cartoon series. Boosted by her appearances in the cartoon, the character adopted her trademark terrible sense in fashion and began using her borderline-pointless powers in service of the X-Men’s cause. A skateboard-wielding ‘mallbabe’, she liked going clothes shopping and bitching out other X-Men to their faces. A proper little madam, she was actually written like a teenage girl and that appealed both to young readers and slightly older, slighty disturbed bachelors. She was eventually moved across to Generation X before the Decimation stripped her of her powers. Then she was thrown into relative obscurity for years and years before being saved by Marjorie Liu. Marjorie Liu, who built up her abilities as a writer by working on Wolverine/Jubilee/Gambit fanfiction before she eventually became famous enough to land an ongoing Marvel series – which she subsequently threw Wolverine, Jubilee, and Gambit into. Who says dreams can’t come true? Oh, and Jubilee is currently a vampire. So, uh, that’s something.