Does 'XX' Mark the Spot for These Marvel X-WOMEN?1 of 12by Lucas Siegel, Newsarama Editor
After a bit of hiatus, the ambiguous-ish Marvel NOW! promos are back one-word teaser, creative team, and month of release; with a full reveal coming a week or so later.
A new one arrived on Monday, except instead of a word, fans just got two letters "XX" along with the creative team of Brian Wood (Ultimate Comics X-Men, The Massive) and Olivier Coipel (Thor, House of M).
For many, those were all the clues they needed to arrive at a very specific conclusion: An all-female X-Men series, perhaps titled X-Women, a theory based at least partly on the biological fact that females have "XX" sex chromosomes, and that Wood recently wrapped his run on adjectiveless X-Men.
So if it is indeed an X-Women series of some sort, which female mutants will make the cut? We don't know yet, but here are 10 of our picks some likely, some long shots, and some just about certain (provided some massive misdirection isn't at work with the whole thing). Click "start here" to begin.
ROGUE2 of 12Rating: Likely
Rogue has worked with virtually every current, active member of the X-Men. She acted as the leader of her own squad for quite some time while headlining X-Men: Legacy, where she also learned to control her powers, giving her more confidence.
And oh yeah, she just joined the freaking Avengers (specifically, the Uncanny version).
As an active Avenger, a leader, and someone with connections all over the Marvel Universe, this southern belle is a natural for an all-women team of mutants, maybe even as the leader.
STORM3 of 12Rating: Very Likely
Meet the female Wolverine. Storm is a full-time member of the Jean Grey Academy staff and also joining up with Psylocke and her new Uncanny X-Force squad, but that shouldn't stop her from joining this team. In fact, that's part of what makes us think she's a good fit.
Like many other members of this list, Storm has a lot of connections across the Marvel Universe (don't forget her brief stint on the Avengers towards the end of the Bendis era). Another leader candidate, Storm is no stranger to giving orders, but more importantly knows when to take a step back and let her teammates do their own thing. It also doesn't hurt that she packs a wallop: with control over wind, lighting, rain, and a connection to all of the Earth and Nature itself, Storm is just someone you plain want on your team, no matter what team it is.
KITTY PRYDE4 of 12Rating: Likely
Kitty Pryde is a complicated number to add to Brian Wood's dance card for this new team. After all, she's the leader of his team over in the Ultimate Universe, in the ongoing Ultimate Comics X-Men also by Wood.
But that doesn't mean the 616 Kitty should be left out. As headmistress of the Jean Grey School, you could argue that she's already "graduated" to the big leagues, but putting her on an active field team again is certainly a long time coming. Kitty's powers may not be viewed as offensive, but her skills as a ninja, her history with S.H.I.E.L.D., and her visibility in the mutant movement as a teacher and politician make her ideal to be back out in the open. Wood's potential double-act might seem strange at first, but Brian Michael Bendis did write Ultimate Peter Parker and 616 Peter Parker simultaneously for years, so it's not unprecedented.
POLARIS5 of 12Rating: Likely
Polaris spent several years "our time" lost in space with Havok and Rachel before coming back and rejoining X-Factor. When Havok left to go lead Captain America's new squad of Uncanny Avengers, Polaris decided to stay behind and strike out on her own.
That growth makes her a perfect candidate for an X-Women team. Her X-Factor (and Magneto) connections give them a wealth of characters to draw from for help, and her own mastery of magnetism can certainly come in handy. And don't forget, though many may, that Lorna Dane has been an X-Man longer than almost anyone else on this entire list since 1968!
RACHEL SUMMERS6 of 12Rating: Very Likely
Every good mutant team needs a telepath, right?
But seriously, Brian Wood used Rachel in his recent miniseries, Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega to great effect, and it seemed like he had more to say with the character. Being an alternate reality daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers and former Phoenix host certainly brings a lot of baggage to a team like this, but being alongside other X-Women, both older ones who can influence her and younger ones she can be a role model to, sure seems like it would be good for Rachel.
Armor, who also appeared in WATXM:AAO (say that out loud, it's hilarious), narrowly missed this list but would be a good addition for many of the same reasons after her involvement in that tale.
BLINK7 of 12Rating: Long shot
Last seen as an associate of the now-defunct New Mutants, Blink is in a figurative limbo right now. While we'll suggest her as teleporters are certainly handy, we admit there's another who is more likely for this team.
Regardless, the biggest thing hampering Blink is also the best reason for her joining a team like this: she has no real place in the Marvel Universe. While her Age of Apocalypse doppelgänger was front and center with that event, then the Exiles, this one is most notable for having been dead, and that little bit of being a descendant of Clan Akkaba and Apocalypse. But how could Blink fit with a team of like-minded heroes? Could her Apocalypse connection mean something more now that a young version of En Sabah Nur is in the school? Blink could be fun, and Wood could be just the writer to make the misfit loner/cult favorite into her own real character in the Marvel Universe.
PIXIE8 of 12Rating: Very Likely
Let's see, she's a younger member of the mutant community, certainly a forte of Mr. Wood. She was a member of his lineup of X-Men, the book that sure seems to be getting relaunched here. She's got teleportation, magic, and a mostly-unexplored Pixie Dust power that is ripe for growth.
Yeah, we're going to go ahead and say she's going to be in this lineup.
BOOM BOOM9 of 12Rating: Long shot
This one may seem out of left field, but hear us out. Boom Boom was an embodiment of the 90s in a lot of ways as a member of X-Force. Given the X-Force revival that includes two teams bearing the name, and a couple of small but recent mentions of the character within the Marvel Universe, we think now is the time for her to return.
It may seem cliché, but Boom Boom's explosive personality could be perfect for this team. Her time outside of the X-verse with Nextwave gives her a deep bench of support, she's been trained by Cable and Pete Wisdom, and her explosives are powerful enough to take out a Predator X. Whether she's Time Bomb, Boom Boom, Boomer, Meltdown, or just Tabitha, we think she could be a real wildcard for a new all-female X-team.
HOPE10 of 12Rating: Long shot
Hope Summers might be the most prominent female mutant in the entire Marvel Universe. Harnessing the power of the Phoenix, Hope flew around the world at the end of the big Avengers/X-Men war, reactivating the mutant gene and finally delivering on her name and purpose.
But what's next? Sure, at the moment she is palling around with her dad, Cable, and his squad of X-Force, but that doesn't mean she should be counted out of a team like this altogether. If for nothing else than how much fun it would be to see her interacting with all these other amazing women. With her pseudo-aunt Rachel, she can learn more of what it is to be a Summers. With Pixie, she could learn to be a kid. With Kitty and Storm, she can see how a prodigy can learn to fit with a team. Rogue of course has similar powers, Blink is an outsider, Boom Boom can help her control her temper, Polaris can help her stand on her own, and well, our No. 1 entry certainly has a thing or two to teach the girl who would be her progeny of sorts.
JEAN GREY11 of 12Rating: Likely
If you're going to have a team of X-Women, you can't go wrong with including the first X-Woman. Even better, you have one who both has the benefit of being the first ever and also has the inexperience compared to some of her potential teammates.
With the original, young Jean Grey back in the mix thanks to the time-travel shenanigans of Beast, she almost has to be a member of the team that is if Brian Bendis is willing to let others play with her so early in the game. Jean was the one who decided her team had to stay in the present to fix the world, after all, and working alongside the women she inspired would be a great start. The potential of seeing a young Jean interact with her alternate-reality daughter, her adopted granddaughter (of sorts), the daughter of her greatest enemy the list goes on and on, and it's all storytelling gold.
And of course, if the young X-Men aren't available to other writers just yet, Wood could always just resurrect the Jean who's been through all those things her younger self wants to fix, once and for all...
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