There are two versions of Blink out there, so let’s be clear about this: we’re talking about the Blink who has barely interacted with the X-Men whatsoever. Actually that doesn’t help at all. We’re talking about Blink II. After the original Blink was killed off during her first appearance, fans were apparently so upset that Marvel decided the best way to respond was to create a second, identical-looking Blink. Only this second Blink would be sexually legal, have completely different powers, and live in a different Universe. Way to give the fans what they want, guys! And ever since, Blink II has been around, nipping in and out of storylines very very infrequently. She tends to be owned by the ‘Exiles’ line of books, meaning that she doesn’t spend much time in the ‘real’ 616 Universe at all. When she does, she’s usually written by Chris Claremont and doing unspeakable things to Nocturne – a fellow member of the Exiles. Apparently Blink is going to return again soon, in the pages of Abnett & Lanning’s New Mutant series. Will that off-putting lesbian subtext still be there? We’ll have to see.
44: The Policeman Who Shot William Stryker
We never even learned his name, but the dutiful police officer who saved the life of Kitty Pryde is one of the most important characters to ever appear in an X-Men comic. During the storyline ‘God Loves, Man Kills’, the mad preacher William Stryker had tried to rally support for his anti-mutant cause by appearing on television. However, he quickly lost it and murdered one of his supporters after she realised she was a mutant – at which point the X-Men tried to stop him. He set off a device which crippled every mutant in the room, however, leaving them helpless as he levelled a gun at Kitty… only to be shot and apparently killed by a policeman who witnessed the whole thing. But hey – it’s all in a day’s work for the hard-working, under-appreciated members of THE POLICE FORCE. They truly are the greatest heroes of all.
But the general public never really cared too much about that. They were too busy cheering on the cast of the hit reality TV show ‘X-Force’. Featuring a cast of mutants only Peter Milligan and Mike Allred could ever have thought up, the series X-Force was a withering satire on the nature of celebrity. Incredibly aware of the times it was released in, the series commented on culture and society in a way never captured since. And who was the most popular member of the team? U-GO-GIRL, also known as Edie Sawyer. A blue-skinned teleporter with an iffy past, Edie loved the spotlight and was determined from the start that she would be the most popular member of the team. Well, she got that, but soon afterwards she became a drunk paranoid floozy. Which, if this isn’t meant to be a subtle Cameron Diaz reference, we’re highly surprised. Edie was pretty useless with her powers, had disastrous taste in men, and couldn’t even win a slanging match with a bright orange doofus. Despite all that, she remains popular even to this day.
Onyxx is the best student character to ever appear in an X-Men character. Where countless writers have attempted in the past to make sense of the teenage mind, peter Milligan (him again!) effortlessly waded in to the bog and pulled back Onyxx. He might look like a generic rock-bodied mutant, but Onyxx was so much more. Oh, so much more. For one thing, he was a mighty hero. For another, he was involved in the most beloved panel in X-Men history.
After falling in love with one of Mystique’s ‘characters’, the teenage girl Foxx; Onyxx confronted Raven and demanded she turn back into Foxx. After a hefty discussion Mystique finally decided to end the conversation by thwacking him over the head with a toilet seat. AMAZING. Onyxx later went on to team up with the teenage character ‘Ink’ for a series of adventures, with their most famous being an ill-fated trip to a strip club. There are a lot of REALLY poor student characters. Onyxx shines above that deluge and is easily the most important one. Well, male one.
41: Val Cooper
She may never get anything done, but Val Cooper is still IMPORTANT. The woman who stands between the X-Men and the Government, she is the woman who has single-handedly managed to keep Madrox away from the real X-Men. Her valuable work in isolating terrible characters like Strong Guy from the important X-Men titles demands to be noted. Prone to setting up covert groups of mutants to do the Government’s dirty work, in her spare time Val enjoys playing chess with Bishop and Xavier, and buying herself fancy underwear. She may look like she’s uptight, but this woman knows how to have a good time. The X-Men would all have been sent to a death camp decades ago if it weren’t for her tireless work. Can you imagine having to explain Polaris to the FBI? Or trying to cover up the time Magik opened up a portal to Hell in the centre of New York centre? It’s time for us to re-evaluate Val Cooper. IT IS TIME!