How do you get on a team of super-heroes? Well, you can try sending them videos of you displaying whichever super power you have, you can show up in person to show them how well you can freeze stuff solid or melt it with heat vision, or — in the case of the X-Men’s next member — you can campaign. One member of the next X-Men roster will be chosen not by editorial or writer decree, but by fan vote.
The X-Men vote began Monday at the Marvel Comics website. Any visitor can vote for one of 10 fictional mutant citizens of the island nation of Krakoa. The choices are Armor, Avalanche, Bling!, Firestar, Gentle, Gorgon (not to be confused with Gorgon of the Inhumans), Micromax, Penance, Siryn, and Surge. Once you vote, an image is revealed (below) including shots of all the runners, which Marvel encourages you to share to your social media.
Is the idea of an X-Men vote confusing? It’s understandable if you don’t read the comics or if you used to but it’s been a while. Actually lapsed readers might be even more confounded than those who have never been Marvel readers considering a number of these characters — e.g. Avalanche and Gorgon — are traditionally portrayed as villains.
In 2019, writer Jonathan Hickman grabbed hold of the reins of Marvel’s X-Men line and steered it in a bold new direction. Between 2019 and 2020 came Dawn of X, kicking off with the two miniseries House of X and Powers of X. The event forged a new status quo for Marvel’s mutants centered on the newly formed nation of Krakoa, where every mutant on Earth is welcome. While there are certainly some noteworthy exceptions — Namor the Sub-Mariner, for example, gives Krakoa a regal “thanks, but no thanks” — just about every major and minor mutant character becomes part of Krakoa. Characters who made up hero groups like the X-Men now live in peace with once deadly enemies like the Brotherhood and the Hellfire Club. Now, the X-Men serve as the protectors of Krakoa, and so every citizen of the young nation gets an X-Men vote.
This isn’t the first time Marvel Comics has given fans a chance to pick a new member of one of their most popular teams. The company held a similar X-Men vote in 2021, leading to the addition of Lorna Dane, aka Polaris — the daughter of Magneto with powers similar to those of her famous father — to the roster. Fans of The Gifted may remember Emma Dumont (Inherent Vice) played her on that series.
Electronic polls opened for the X-Men vote Monday, January 10 at 9 AM EST. Voting is scheduled to close Thursday, January 13, at 11:59 PM EST. The results of the vote will be revealed, per CBR, at the second annual Hellfire Gala.
As for the mutants you can pick in the X-Men vote: Armor is a popular hero with the ability to project a powerful psionic exoskeleton armor around herself. Avalanche, like his name suggests, has the power to shake and mold the Earth below your feet. Bling! is a genius with a crystalline body. Firestar is an import from the 1980’s Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon. Gentle is a Wakandan who can increase his size, mass and strength to epic proportions. Gorgon is a former member of The Hand. Micromax is a British mutant with the powers to shrink and enlarge himself, much like Ant-Man/Giant-Man. Penance has more super powers than most entire teams of heroes. Siryn is the daughter of Banshee and enjoys sonic powers similar to those wielded by her father. Surge is an energy wielder who can blast you with lightning and move in bursts of super speed.