|This may be a good time to just go right back the way you came...|
Actually I threw it together over the last two weeks or so. But I thought about doing it for the last three years!
Anyway the X-Men, likely due to their massive popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, have faced a large variety of foes over their fifty year history from simple crooks to interdimensional despots and everything in-between. For a superhero team that’s supposed to be a metaphor for prejudice they sure fight a lot of enemies that don’t neatly fit into the analogy. However they do have one of the best rogue’s gallery in superhero comics. Today (and then a second day because this will be a two-part blog) I’ll be looking at my favorite villains. Not the “best” but rather the ones I like the most; the ones that when they show up in a comic I say “Oh shit, I should probably pay attention to this storyline.” Let’s get to it.
The Juggernaut: Professor Xavier's evil, resentful step-brother whose magical powers make him super strong and invulnerable. A classic X-villain old Cain Marko doesn’t make the list proper because as dangerous and powerful as he is he spends most of his time trapped somewhere, like a mountain or a magic pocket dimension, and it’s gotten so bad over the decades that’s it’s makes him kind of a joke. Plus he’s a thug with little imagination. As reviled as Chuck Austen’s run on Uncanny X-Men was at least he tried to give Juggernaut the character development to grow from those limitations. It didn’t stick but I for one liked the idea of Marko trying to be a good guy since being evil has worked out terribly for him.
Click below for Part One.
|I'm not 100% sure why he's somehow less heroic than Venom|
As a darker image version of Wolverine Victor Creed has the same powers; an overpowered healing factor and superhuman senses, and sometimes he also has an adamantium skeleton but that is not consistent. He is often portrayed as psychotic killing machine but I like him better when he’s a cunning opponent who is fully capable of outsmarting his enemies. I’d prefer him to be the assassin who liked killing people waaaay too much than just a berserker. Also I liked how in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 one of his special moves was just him summoning his partner Birdy to gun down his opponent. We need more of that.
Sabretooth was portrayed by Tyler Mane without a personality in the first X-Men movie and later by Liev Schreiber in X-Men Origins: Wolverine where he pretty much acted like Sabretooth but didn’t particularly look like Sabertooth.
|Pictured: The one time I don't dig giant robots|
Typically Sentinels are giant humanoid robots, which is kind of weird since you’d think that’d be a really bad design for a mutant hunting robot, but they have also taken many other forms. Sometimes they’re particularly powerful Sentinels, sometimes there are advanced Sentinels from the future here to ruin someone’s day and sometimes they’re “nanosentinels” which I assure you sounds ridiculous to me as well. Despite being classic X-Men adversaries they’re fairly low on the list because of their inconsistent threat level. While they’re sometimes depicted as a terrible threat they’re just as often depicted as a minor annoyance and are slaughtered in droves by the X-Men. Sometimes we’ll get something associated with them that resembles a proper villain (such as Bastion) but for my money they aren’t the most interesting villains but are still important enough that they deserve a spot on this list.
After fifteen years of begging from the fans the Sentinels are set to finally make their onscreen debut in X-Men: Days of Future Past, not including a brief cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand.
|Pretty sure this is the guy who cancelled Community|
Also he created these guys.
|X-Babies, they make their dreams come true!|
#7: Dark Beast
Dark Beast is, at the end of the day, a mad scientist who a) doesn’t usually seem to have any end goal other than conducting science and b) seems pretty confident that the world is his personal laboratory and he can pretty much do whatever he wants with it. Despite being an insane villain with zero empathy Dark Beats is occasion approached by heroes looking for his expertise in genetics to help solve a problem when they are desperate enough so that likely speaks volumes of how talented he is. However, because he’s an insane villain with zero empathy, the heroes are usually quickly disgusted by his methods…or he betrays them, whichever comes first. He’s an evil version of Hank McCoy but the character is actually versatile enough that he can menace heroes that have nothing to do with the X-Men’s scientist and has done so in the past. He could probably be an A-List Marvel villain if the writers took the time to pull the trigger. He certainly is the best villain to escape the AoA universe (Holocaust and Sugar Man just don’t cut it). If nothing else he makes me laugh…and then feel incredibly bad for laughing.
As the Age of Apocalypse has not been introduced in any of the films Dark Beast hasn’t appeared in any movies. However a sequel to X-Men: Days of Future Past called X-Men: Apocalypse is already set for a 2016 release and while we don’t know any details it’s not impossible that it may take place in the AoA universe and that might mean Dark Beast will show up. Probably not though.
|She's a little different from the movie version|
Mystique is cool for a multiple reasons: she’s a badass, she was one of the first LGBT comic characters (she was in a relationship with fellow villain Destiny), and she has ties to several important X-Men characters. However I’d say the reason I like her is that she can be used in many different roles due to her shifting loyalties, immense variety of talents and skills, questionable motivations and long lived life. Mystique has been portrayed as thug for hire, femme fatale, ruthless pro-mutant terrorist and all around untrustworthy asshole and it usually feels pretty natural. Actually the only time I dislike Mystique is when writers try to make her a hero, even an antihero, and it always feels really forced and ridiculous. This sort of thing worked to really well for Emma Frost, another female villain, but through most of her existence she was depicted as a teacher (though not necessarily a “good person”) so the leap from “teacher of mutants” to “teacher of young X-Men” to “full-fledged X-Man” isn’t so large. Mystique on the other hand is a murdering, selfish, terrorist responsible for many tragedies who thinks she’s perfectly justified to manipulating her own children (or in some cases completely abandoning them) in order to get what she wants. That doesn’t sound like X-Men material to me. Good villain, lousy hero.
|Though I gotta say a lot of artist sure like to draw her provocatively|
As of right now this blog is 2,300+ words so I'm going to go ahead and call that here. So later we'll revisit this list, though perhaps not immediately. [EDIT: Part Two can be found here]