Now that the X-Men Power Rankings are completed, I’m sure you’ve noticed a few characters who were omitted from the list. Characters who in current Marvel 616 continuity are either dead, in comic book limbo since the Messiah Complex event began, or have only recently reappeared in comics after the Power Rankings had already begun.

So, here we are with the appendices- a place to briefly discuss these characters who didn’t make the list and where they would have been placed if they had. Let us continue…

astonishingx43Shadowcat: Honestly, I’m surprised no one gave me any flak for leaving Kitty Pryde out of the Rankings. Even so, here’s my reasoning: the Rankings were focused on characters who have appeared during or after the Messiah Complex event. The last time we saw Shadowcat in current continuity was during the Giant Size Astonishing X-Men One-Shot (published right before MC) where she was trapped inside a giant bullet hurtling towards the Earth as a form of doomsday device. Right before impact Kitty activated her powers, turning the weapon intangible and phasing it and herself through the planet. She saved the world, but as a consequence she’s floating through space inside this freakin’ thing and we haven’t seen her since. So there ya go.

bulletPowers: Shadowcat can pass through any solid object by phasing her atoms through the spaces between the atoms of the object she is passing through. Got that? This ability makes Shadowcat intangible and therefore untouchable. She can also walk on air, extend her power to anything and anyone she is touching (which includes her clothes and her friends), disrupt any electrical object by phasing through it, and she’s immune to telepathy while intangible. Kitty is also an expert martial artist and computer technician. Due to her power set had Shadowcat been Power Ranked I would have placed her somewhere between number 12 and number 6.

First Appearance: X-Men #129, 1980.

844241-talyafav_superNocturne: Talia Wagner, the daughter of Nightcrawler and Scarlet Witch of Earth 2182, is one of those characters who is stuck in comic book limbo. She was most recently featured in Chris Claremont’s New Excalibur run which ended in 2007. At that time she had suffered a stroke which essentially rendered her useless to the team. This really had no relevance at all except that it was an obvious attempt to provoke empathy from the reader about a character no one really cared about. Nocturne’s most recent appearance was a brief one in the final issue of New Exiles (also written by Claremont) where she had apparently recovered from her stroke and led the team for awhile in Blink’s absence. That was back in 2008. She would have been Ranked somewhere in the late 60’s because of her health condition and lack of power display.

Powers: Nocturne’s most prominent mutant ability are her Brimstone Hex Bolts. With these bolts she affects probability fields by taking energy from the Brimstone Dimension (which is where Nightcrawler briefly goes when teleporting), creating a finite pocket of reality of disrupting psionic force which upon hitting a target causes a disturbance within them on a molecular level. Talia also has the power of body possession with which she can possess one person for 12 hours within a 24 hour period. Additional powers include heightened agility and reflexes, night vision, and a very low level of telepathy. Oh, and her tail is also retractable.

First Appearance: X-Men: Millennial Visions, 2000 (as a background character) and Blink #4, 2001 (in an actual role).

712878-caliban_00_largeCaliban: This dude bit the bullet hard during Messiah Complex… literally. During a battle with the Reavers, Caliban leapt in front of an array of bullets targeted for teammate Warpath which killed him. So why didn’t he make the Power Rankings you may ask? Because he’s dead you fool! Well, sort of. In the current run of X-Force we saw a zombie version of Caliban who was reanimated via villain Eli Bard’s Transmode Virus. It would appear that this will be the fate for many formerly deceased mutants as the villainess Selene is using them for her own army of mutant zombies. Look for this plot to unfold during the Necrosha story arc in October.

Powers: Caliban can absorb the psionic energy of fear in others around him and convert it into physical strength. At his peak he is able to lift 10 tons. Additionally, Caliban can amplify the fear in others’ minds to a greater degree of intensity, psionically sense any other mutants around him within a 25 mile radius, and he has superhuman speed, enhanced stamina, durability, reflexes, and agility. All things considered though, I would have ranked him somewhere in the 60’s.

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #148, 1981.

Stay tuned for more!

Star Wars InvasionBelow are quick hits about some exciting comic book news set to take place in the next couple of months:

Dark Horse

Star Wars Rebellion: Dark Horse has pulled the plug on the title. Apparently the series’ time line (which takes place during the original trilogy) made it difficult to come up with new stories that wouldn’t contradict the already existing continuity of the best documented time period of the Star Wars Saga. Editor Randy Stradley said, “[It was a] never ending struggle to keep the line fresh and not fall into the same stuff happening every month.”

Star Wars Invasion: This new monthly title will replace Rebellion, and takes place during the Yuuzhan Vong invasion that occurs during the New Jedi Order novels. In addition to some new characters, Leia, Luke, and the Solo children will be featured. Australian playwright turned comic scribe, Tom Taylor, will write the series.

Star Wars Adventures: A new series featuring standalone stories from characters throughout the Star Wars Universe. To premiere the series, the first story is about Han and Chewie. No word yet if this is a children’s series as it has an ‘Adventures’ tag to it.

Teen Titans #71D.C.

Batman: In June R.I.P. headmaster, Grant Morrison will return to write the title. According to editor Ian Sattler, Batman will somehow tie into the Green Lantern: Blackest Night story line.

Batman Battle for the Cowl: The Network: Some of the discontinued Birds of Prey cast make their way to Gotham City to help quell the storm in Batman’s absence. Said to make appearances in this issue are Huntress, Batgirl, Misfit, Manhunter, and Ragman.

Teen Titans #71: Ravager returns to the team, but is she an ally or enemy?


GI Joe: Snake Eyes: This mini series was presented to IDW by actor Ray Park, who will be playing the silent warrior in the upcoming Joe film. Park has teamed with co-writer Kevin Van Hook and artist SL Gallant to produce the 4 issue mini series. Apparently, Park enjoyed playing the role so much that he wanted to do more with the character.


GeNext United: As if one mini series featuring the future children of the present X-Men wasn’t enough, Chris Claremont returns to write this sequel of the less than average GeNext line. The five part series will continue the new_mutants_vol_3_1pwhere the first mini left off.

What’s going on with the Ultimate Universe: Said scribe Mark Millar, “The thing that was the problem was that the Ultimate line wasn’t very good for quite awhile- it was good when it started, and it really went off the boil after awhile. There were maybe a couple of good books, and then in the end, maybe one good book, and the whole idea is just to make it all good books again.” What Millar is talking about is the complete revamp of the Ultimate Universe as Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic Four have all been given the axe. Ultimate fans shouldn’t worry too much though, as the line is going to continue, but in an all new direction. Marvel Editor in Chief, Joe Quesada, comments on how the revamp offers more creative freedom to the production teams, “Now we’re looking at the Ultimate Universe saying, ‘what other doors can we open?’ Let’s get really kind of funky and crazy. I think you’ll see things in the Ultimate comics that we couldn’t do with other books. What is happening is we have a grand opportunity with the Ultimatum event to jump ahead a little bit. Just a little bit- not a lot. At the end of Ultimatum, there’s going to be a jump, and with that jump, we’re going to have a brand new Ultimate Spider-Man comic book.” One can only assume that something unprecedented is in stmpar-cv5_large1store for the Ultimate characters.

New Mutants #1: Due out in May, the title features original New Mutants: Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Sunspot, Magma, and Magik. Legion, the man responsible for everything Age of Apocalypse, has returned and the New Mutants need to stop him…


Storming Paradise: What if the United States armed forces had to invade Japan in the greatest conflict the world has ever seen? Find out in this alternate-history WWII mini series. Since being put on the back burner months ago, Wildstorm is finally finishing up the run beginning with issue #5 due out in May.

Special thanks to Comic Shop News for the quotes.

xmforev001cvr_col1In May 2009, long time X-Men scribe, Chris Claremont, will be writing the new series X-Men Forever published by Marvel Comics. Claremont, who recently completed a less than satisfactory run on New Exiles, will be joined by artist Tom Grummet.

For the premise of the new X-title, travel back in time to 1991 and X-Men #3 where the X-Men thought they had defeated Magneto for the last time; this is where Forever begins. John L. Byrne took over the writing duties for X-Men beginning with issue #4, and in Forever, Claremont will spin the series in the direction he wanted it to go had he never left. In effect, the title may conflict with current X-Men continuity, as Claremont was unclear in his response to where the series fits in the X-timetable, “The world of this series is very much like that of the 616 Marvel Universe. The setting is contemporary. The year is 2009. The original trilogy [from 1991] that frames the start of this series occurs just prior to the events of Forever. From that point on, anything goes. Everything is up for grabs.”

According to these comments, X-Men Forever seems like a First Class tag would be appropriate. While existing outside of main X-continuity, X-Men First Class, Wolverine First Class, and Weapon X First Class all provide modern takes on classic X-tales, uprooting older versions of characters and placing them in a contemporary setting. This seems like the structure for Forever, and as a result, it raises questions as to how Claremont plans on keeping the series in line with what has already existed in the X-universe. After all, he is continuing a story that began more than 18 years ago. From Onslaught and Age of Apocalypse to Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, from M-Day to Messiah Complex, the mutants have undergone quite the overhaul since Claremont left X-Men in 1991. Since then, his role with Marvel shifted from premiere writer to the guy who they give projects to because he keeps sticking around. How Claremont plans to write interesting stories that cannot conclude with a major impact in the X-universe (as the events in Forever will have already occurred when compared to the time line of the current X-books) will be interesting to see play out. Says Claremont, “All of the presumptions we’ve gotten used to over time no longer apply; relationships that we’ve come to take for granted are suddenly cast in question.”

chrisclaremont-1-1804This could prove to be either good or bad for Claremont, as many fans would argue the writer is well past his prime. Since leaving X-Men, it’s hard to find work from the writer that can be considered ‘great’. Amongst Claremont’s best stories are The Dark Phoenix Saga, Inferno, Vignettes, and Days of Future Past. However the most recent of these tales was published in 1988, and Claremont’s modern work is vastly considered to be stale, melodramatic, and outdated. The problem with Claremont is that despite his past successes, his style hasn’t adapted well to fit the fast paced action and minimal exposition structure we have come to expect from the Modern Age comic book. He is notorious for convoluted plot lines (X-Treme X-Men), sub par script writing (New Excalibur), and creating multitudes of one dimensional characters that no one cares about (New Exiles, GeNext).

Perhaps X-Men Forever is Claremont’s chance to redeem himself of his recent work, and remind fans of what made him so awesome in the first place. Forever places Claremont in familiar territory with control over the characters he loves and created (Rogue, Kitty, and Gambit to name a few), while at the same time preventing him from being able to do anything too crazy, as the book takes place in the past. On the other hand, if Forever resembles the stories we have recently come to expect from Claremont, the series will further tarnish the reputation of the man who is responsible for the X-Men’s modern day popularity. If this is the case, fans will begin to seriously question Marvel’s decision in keeping him around, because he hasn’t produced anything worth reading in what feels like forever.

Quotes pulled from

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Here’s my first video review! I didn’t realize the 10 minute YouTube limit until after filming, so I had to break Episode I up into two parts. Thanks for watching and enjoy!

Part 1:

Part 2:

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