95: Jesse Bedlam
Although he was crucified on the front lawn of the Xavier Institute and is currently thought to be dead, Jesse Bedlam remains a strong black character. With his signature hairstyle and mutant powers, everyone knows the details about this worthy member of the X-Men. He’s certainly been on missions of some sort, and participated fight scenes from time to time. He’s either spoken to famous characters such as Cyclops and Wolverine, or yet to have a conversation with either of them. Some people say that his death was the most famous thing to ever happen to him, and in every respect that is true. However, he has inspired several black fans to *not* be crucified, and in that regard has proven himself to be a valuable role-model.
Although he was blown up with a bomb, Synch remains a strong black character. One of several break-out characters from Generation X, he was never as popular as Chamber, Monet, Husk, Jubilee or Skin until he died. Generation X was meant to showcase the third generation of mutants – the X-Men were first, then the New Mutants, and then Generation X. That the majority of the team have been killed off, sent to limbo and scattered shouldn’t reflect on the ability of the readership to appreciate new characters, however. Synch has lived on in death despite having the same powers as Rogue and ripping off Xavier’s hairstyle. His powers have recently been re-used on another black mutant, called Prodigy, which suggests that what black people do best is steal things. Oh dear.
He may have been gassed to death in a mutant concentration camp during a poorly-received series, yet Maggott remains a strong black character. For many reasons, most prominent of which is that he has one of the most disgusting power-sets ever given to a mainstream character. Joining the X-Men during Joe Kelly’s run on the main title, Maggott owns two giant, uh, maggots, which feed on his digestive fluids. And they say comics aren’t for everybody! Maggott is from South Africa, which means he says bizarre things like s’truth and sometimes turns blue. Although dead, he paved the way for other minorities to join the X-Men. Like gays.
Peter Milligan created perhaps one of the strongest black characters Marvel have ever put in an X-Men title, and although he was killed at the end of the X-Statix series, he remains a strong black character. Gunned down by mysterious foes, Tyke Allicar knew that he’d never survive long in a world where pretty white characters flourish, and subsequently went to Hell. Before that, though, he was a tormented member of the X-Statix team, who achieved in a few months what the X-Men have never achieved, ever: popularity. Beloved by the Marvel Universe, this reality TV star showed the World that they don’t have to be scared of minorities anymore.
Although he is mainly a member of Alpha Flight, Northstar has also jumped into the X-Men from time to time, making his mark by killing a small child on his very first mission. Also gay, Northstar has grey hair and superspeed, which means most of his fans are in actuality confused Quicksilver fans who think he’s changed costume. Marvel have a massive problem with all their speedster characters looking exactly the same, which is why New X-Men character Surge died her grey hair blue prior to her first appearance. Now that Alpha Flight have returned, Northstar is going to leave the X-Men again and return to his wine-sipping nation of choice. Which is why, despite being gay, he is so low down in the list. No commitment.