The X-Men All-Star MVP Lineup
From Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to Chris Clairemont and Jim Lee, The X-Men and their power brokers offered unique stories and dynamic art reflective of their eras, but history will take us only so far. It’s now time to affix our Peter Brand and Billy Bean hats, because we must recruit the ultimate X-Team.
From each era we’ll examine what we’ve got and make some choices: From the sixties Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier both demand the highest prices of the original X-Men decade. While the first team of Xavier’s X-teens run around in generic blue and yellow speed suits that seem perfect for little more than cleaning the toilets at an office park, Magneto’s iconic sense of style had already taken off, his red and purple metallic costume almost unchanged all the way through the 90s.
Xavier on the other hand may get a chair upgrade, but his smart business casual look carries through X-Men without missing a beat. Just because Magneto and Professor X are the most mature members of the X-Universe doesn’t mean they don’t know how to command an audience, while the mutant teens at the center of the storyline needed some time to make their mark.
Now we hit the 70s, where we’d be fools not to pick Thunderbird while we can. Sure he dies an unfortunate death, but if his value per issue tells us anything for sure, in the X-Men Universe, it’s better to burn out than to fade away. But since Thunderbird won’t be around for long, why not pull in that power couple you weren’t sure about when they first got together? In the 1970s Havoc and Polaris do an about face, showing that just because in the ‘60s two were least valuable players, just a few years together and here they go moving up the ranks to a joint number three spot! Must be those wild new powers – magnetic cosmic energy waves? Yes, please!
But woe to the X-Men of the 1980s! This decade is all about the rebooting of our favorite characters in the darkest way possible. The first female X-Men member transforms from coy, dilettante Marvel Girl to full badass bitch: first becoming the powerful Phoenix, then going full Darth Vader as Dark Phoenix, the star of the unparalleled Dark Phoenix Saga! Meanwhile, Angel, another of the X-Men originals, gets remade as a New Wave, blue and magenta harbinger of armageddon as one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Don’t mess with these two, or face a judgment most lethal!
Grab your sugary cereal and leave on your PJs for that upbeat ‘90s bull market. We’re only looking at issues that predate the cartoon shows the Marvel Universe is about to unleash, but that doesn’t mean prescient character design wasn’t going full throttle in the pages of those early nineties X-issues… and nobody can talk ’90s X-Men swagger without Gambit, a Louisiana native with the unique ability to turn playing cards into a deadly weapon while wearing bright pink shirt under a forest green jacket and totally pulling it off! Now if that isn’t fodder for a cartoon show, I don’t know what is.
And finally, who can leave out Storm, who never had a chance to be a truly most valuable, because win or lose, this weather warrior was playing her heart out on the metaphorical field. From her inception in 1975 through issue #299, she is almost always featured. She appears in no less than 33 issues between ’90 and ’92, with runner-up being Jean Grey showing up 29 times. In the ’80s she appears in 121 issues – only Wolverine with 115 appearances comes close. In the ’70s, members of the X-Men that appear in both reprinted 1960s issues as well as the all-new, all-different X-Men teams originating in 1975’s issue #94 have a higher number of total appearances, but this is simply because Storm didn’t yet exist. For these reasons we had to present Storm wins the coveted Wilshire 5000 award for being the X-Team member most reflective of the total X-Men market value overall. All hail the beloved, overworked Kenyan Goddess of Weather, Ororo “Storm,” Monroe .
So please, a round of applause for your 2022 Mutant Moneyball All-Star team! Please feel free to examine the data (links to the data, sourcing, and programming are available on the next page), and make your own conclusions.