April 5, 2010

X-Men Power Rankings #1

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Written by: Andy
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Here we are, the #1 X-Men Power Ranking! It took us long enough but we’re about to rank the best of the absolute best the X-Men have to offer. So brace yourself. Things are about to get intense!

So what are power rankings? Mostly used to rank sports teams on how well they are playing now, my power rankings are a list of X-Men based on what their power set is in current continuity (or most recent appearance). Other factors that determined a character’s ranking are: what their power potential is, what they’ve already proven they can do (so long as it is still relevant in current continuity), and their over all level of badassness. If you disagree with me that’s totally cool- please leave a civilized comment explaining why. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and while I believe this list to be very solid in it’s numbering, I want to hear your thoughts! So anyway, here is number 1:

#1. Cyclops: Think back to the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s when Scott Summers was Professor Xavier’s ‘yes man’ boy scout. A time when he was the hall monitor of the X-Men, the goody-two-shoes of mutantkind. Well, picture that time and then forget about it because in 2010 Cyclops is hands down the most bad ass X-Man on the roster. He has stones of steel and only one thing on his mind; preserving mutantkind as a race and going to whatever lengths necessary to do so. He has readily become the lighthouse for mutants everywhere, and is unofficially the new leader of everyone with the X-gene. Since Messiah Complex Scott has acquired 3 eye popping feats on his hero resume that make him deserving of this #1 ranking of all the active X-Men in current continuity. And here they are:

Suck it Osborn.

1) He defeated Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers. If you haven’t read the Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia story arc from last summer, read it. In that event Cyclops displays a complete understanding of the mutants under his command, dividing them up into different strike teams to perform specific tasks according to their powers, all crucial in the defense of their very lives and in summation, mutantkind. Norman Osborn wanted to “wipe the mutant menace” from the face of the Earth, and Cyclops gallantly, bravely, and boldly led the X-Men in preventing him from doing so. What’s more is that no other hero team in the Marvel Universe managed to defeat Osborn during the Dark Reign; but a Cyclops-led army of mutants accomplished this feat.

2) Cyclops outwitted The Void. Yes, you read that correctly- Cyclops managed to conquer the entity that during Siege has tore Ares in half, shredded through Asgardians like toilet paper, and literally brought Asgard crashing down to Earth. Wow. After the Utopia story, Emma Frost had a sliver of The Void stuck in her mind following a failed attempt to reign in Bob Reynolds, the human alter ego of The Sentry. Frost knew that eventually this small sliver would attempt to take her over, thus gaining her telepathy, and she feared she would not have the power to fight it off. So as a preemptive strike against it, Cyclops went into Emma’s mind and faced off against The Void in a battle of wits and deception. Cyclops, a mere mutant without any psi powers or the ability to destroy a god, won. That’s hardcore.

Cyclops puts The Void in its place.

Magneto does the unexpected.

3) Cyclops has accomplished what Xavier and Magneto couldn’t do for decades: unite mutantkind. In today’s world of mutant paranoia, heightened mis-trust of super powered people, and a post M-Day mentality, Cyclops has realized that Xavier’s dream of peaceful co-existence between man and mutant is all but lost. However, peaceful co-existence amongst mutants has become a very attainable reality, and with Asteroid M being resurrected from the depths and re-dubbed Utopia, Cyclops has accomplished that very goal. You saw it during Nation X: Magneto bowing down to Scott, stating that he has been able to achieve something that he and Xavier only dreamed of. Let me state that again, Magneto BOWED DOWN to Scott Summers. What’s more is that Cyclops was also able to recruit Namor to the X-Men. Namor being the man who hates anything that walks on two legs and breathes air. Now that’s power.

For some more reasons why Cyclops is deserving of the #1 power ranking, check out this article written about him a few months back that goes into more detail. There’s no denying it ladies and gentlemen, Scott Summers is the man.

Powers: Cyke’s power, as I’m sure we all know, is to emit a concussive ruby colored energy blast (or optic beam) from his eyes. As the result of a childhood injury, his control over the beams is very limited, which is why he has to wear a visor (or sunglasses) made of ruby quartz to prevent them from escaping while his eyes are opened. However, in Joss Whedon’s run of Astonishing X-Men, there was a brief time where Cyclops had control of his beams which allowed him to fully open his eyes without them escaping. Since the conclusion of that story arc though, this idea has not been touched upon. The blasts do not harm him, and the thin membrane of his eyelids is enough to stop the emission of energy (of course, with his eyes closed he cannot see) from busting loose. Scott’s eyes act as a valve control for the width of his beams, meaning if he squints they will be more finely tuned than if his eyes are wide open. The visor he wears makes this job easier for him. The narrowest beam he can generate is the width of a pencil that can travel 4 feet with the concussive force of 2 pounds per square inch. His broadest beam is about 90 feet which can travel 50 feet with the force of 10 pounds per square inch. Cyclops’ most powerful optic blast is 4 feet across which from 50 feet away has a concussive impact of 500 pounds per square inch! After the distance of 2,000 feet his beam becomes ineffective. Also, if he were to blast away for a solid 15 minutes, he would become fatigued, causing the beam to be temporarily non-functional and forcing him to ‘recharge’ his power. There is speculation that Scott has yet to use his optic beams at their full potential- partly because of how dangerous it could be, and partly because he doesn’t have full control over them. Tony Stark once recorded that his energy output is well over 2 giga-watts- more powerful than a nuclear reactor. When in combat, Scott is attuned to his environment in such a way that he can see angles clearly with which to blast an opponent or have his beams ricochet in his favor. He is also a natural leader, stand out pilot, master tactician, and a very capable hand to hand fighter- in the past he’s stood toe to toe with the likes of Wolverine and Ghost Rider. Cyclops is also Havok and Vulcan’s brother.

First Appearance: X-Men #1, 1963.

And there you have it! A power ranking of all the active X-Men since Messiah Complex. I hope you enjoyed our analysis of comicdom’s mightiest mutants and stay tuned to for more X-mayhem!

Click here to view all 75 X-Men Power Rankings.

Andy Liegl