With Peter David's X-Factor coming to a close (sadly I've read NONE of it, though I plan on reading #200 to present), I started to wonder what will fill the void. If I'm not mistaken X-Factor is more of a detective agency than a formal "Xavier's Dream" team. In keeping with that I started to wonder what it'd be like if the X-Men had a heist team similar to Leverage.
For the uninitiated, Team Leverage was a group that set out to right the wrongs of the world and stand up for the little guy in a "Spy vs. Spy" type way. The group consisted of 5 basic archetypes: Mastermind, Thief, Hacker, Hitter and Grifter - though for my purposes I'll be expanding that list. This is a "get in and out before they even know what happened" team. Everything from item "acquisition" to the recovery of missing persons fall under their umbrella.
A bit of criteria first:
- Experience is a must, this is not a "learn on the job" type of gig. This rules out many, but not all of the New X-Men squad as well as all of the new mutants in UXM.
- Must bring more than powers to a team. If a character uses them as a crunch, they aren't fit for this group.
- Moral ambiguity. These missions while definitely not on the level of X-Force, still involve doing some bad things for the right reasons.
(Mastermind, Thief, Grifter)
There's nobody else fit to lead this team. He has the experience, the versatility and know-how. He can get by on his wits and acrobatics - his kinetic abilities are just icing on the cake.
(Hitter, Interrogator, Infiltrator)
Brings many skills to the table from her telekinesis and telepathy, to her honed ninja skills. Can deal with antagonists quietly and efficiently with lethal and/or non-lethal force.
Lifeguard (Rescue & Retrieval)
Versatility. Sometimes things don't go as planned and when they don't you need versatility. Lifeguard is someone who can easily adapt to a less than adequate situation and make the most of it.
Longshot (Infiltrator, Rescue & Recovery, Odds Manipulation)
With his inhuman marksmanship, acrobat-like agility, psychometry and luck based powers, Longshot brings a lot to the table.
Sage (Hacker, Field Intelligence)
With her computer-like mind, Sage is an invaluable asset to a heist team. Her ability to quickly assess friends and foes alike, while carry an enormous amount of mission related intel in her head make her second in command. Works closely with...
Fence (Hacker, Mission Intelligence, Mission Coordinator)
Gambit's trusted ally from his new series - which is ending in September :( - Fence not only has connections that other members of this team don't have access to, he also is a brilliant researcher and expert in cybernetics if the need rises. He coordinates missions and keeps track of the status of each member. His cupcake shop, Sugar Muffins, serves as a front for his illegal fencing operation as well as the team's headquarters.
Bedlam (Infiltration, Hitter, Crowd Control)
A bit of a jack-of-all-trades member, Bedlam lends himself to heavy black ops jobs with his experience in espionage, hand-to-hand combat and his versatile mutant ability.
Pixie (Transportation, Crowd Control)
With her mass teleportation abilities and hallucinogens allow her to get the team where they need to be quickly and cause diversions when necessary.
When things go wrong, she doesn't. Her primary function is a field bodyguard for Fence as he coordinates the mission in progress. However, if it all hits the fan she goes in and gets everyone out.
Essentially this team could be broken down to a smaller group. I didn't use Kitty Pryde as I wanted to stick with as many lesser used characters as possible and her moral ambiguity or lack thereof could cause problems - though obviously she'd be a great asset to a team like this.