What should be the ideal size for an Xmen team?

#1 Posted by HAWK2916 (1560 posts) - - Show Bio

We always discuss who should be on what teams, and most of us agree that sometimes teams get ridiculous in size but equally ridiculous is the number of teams/books. It seems that back in the day there was the core team and then you had other supporting characters that helped out sometimes and appeared in some issues but were not always part of the core. Then all of a sudden we went thru a period where every mutant had to be on an team.

So in order to properly feature and develop characters as well as show their interaction with the team and what not, what should be the ideal size of an X-team? It could be a range or a specific size.

#2 Edited by Selina_Sublime (133 posts) - - Show Bio

I think six or lower is ideal and a talented writer can successfully juggle seven. Beyond that its usually Papa Bear and the Cameo Squad or a series of vignettes than a proper ensemble book.

#3 Posted by Cochise (707 posts) - - Show Bio

Six, +/- one. Error on the side of smaller. For me, team books are all about the interactions between team members, and once the team gets to big it becomes less about that and more about generic fighting bad guys.

#4 Posted by knighthood (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

I think six or lower is ideal and a talented writer can successfully juggle seven. Beyond that its usually Papa Bear and the Cameo Squad or a series of vignettes than a proper ensemble book.

I agree. Maybe 8, but I prefer slightly smaller teams.

#5 Posted by Dayvid3 (807 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe 8? Enough to take down the big badguys, fight other teams. Enough personalities to generate different types of interactions between the different personalities. Too few and each character will relate to the other few in the same repetitive ways. Not so many that characters don't have time for their own time in the spotlight.

#6 Posted by McKlayn (1067 posts) - - Show Bio

@dayvid3 said:

Maybe 8? Enough to take down the big badguys, fight other teams. Enough personalities to generate different types of interactions between the different personalities. Too few and each character will relate to the other few in the same repetitive ways. Not so many that characters don't have time for their own time in the spotlight.

i think 8 is too much, i am a fan of 5 or 6 MAYBE 7 but that would be if you had a mentor like character or side kick like character that didnt require much attention. (IE Jubilee in the blue team and Professor X most the time) As far as big villians go thats is why we got a ton of x books, you do cross overs, and team up swith other x teams for bigger threats but most of the stories should be kept in small teams. the one thing i disliked about X factor was the gaint size of the team

#7 Posted by Dayvid3 (807 posts) - - Show Bio

@mcklayn: Meh, I picked 8 cause that's about how many there seemed to be on the original X-Force :)

#8 Posted by Rabbitearsblog (5768 posts) - - Show Bio

About 6 or 7 members. That would allow each member to shine and get their own spotlight to shine in. The only problem with that is choosing who should be in the main X-Men team without angering the fans who loved the other characters who are not featured in the main team.

#9 Edited by deaditegonzo (3507 posts) - - Show Bio

5

#10 Posted by knighthood (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll use Uncanny Avengers as an example. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's an Avengers book but it has big X-Men ties, plus a lot less pesky students running around. The above roster has 9 members. They could easily drop two or three.

There are three main character relations that I see with this team. As much as I hate Wolverine on everything the dynamic between Wolvie and the pacifist Wonderman is very good. Also Havok and Cap America's struggle with leadership is interesting as well. Lastly the beef between Scarlet Witch and Rogue has made the book very fun to read.

The odd men out? Wasp is only good when used to relating with Cap. Thor when he flirts with Rogue. Shiro is anti-social to begin with.

Personally, I'd drop Wasp and Thor. Work on a love triangle between Wanda, Alex, and Wonderman. Develop Shiro's personality. Oddly enough Wolvie and Shiro should work better to together due to their ties to Japanese culture. Keep escalating tension between Scarlet Witch and Rogue and to a lesser extent Alex and Steve.

7 members.

#11 Posted by Rickbarry (1743 posts) - - Show Bio

My ideal team is this size. No, I mean literally this team. Get with it, Marvel.

#12 Edited by knighthood (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

My ideal team is this size. No, I mean literally this team. Get with it, Marvel.

I'd be okay with that. Swap out Emma & Beast for Storm & Nightcrawler and I'd uber happy.

Y'know what. I don't need Scott. Leave him with his little group (which is starting to grow on me) and replace him with Rachel.

#13 Posted by Polarity (106 posts) - - Show Bio

Between 5-8, enough to have a team with decent chemistry.

#14 Posted by Rabbitearsblog (5768 posts) - - Show Bio

My ideal team is this size. No, I mean literally this team. Get with it, Marvel.

Aw man, I want this team back again...

#15 Edited by oldnightcrawler (4169 posts) - - Show Bio

I would say the ideal team size is between 6-10 characters, but let me qualify that:

Most classic teams are between 6-8 members, usually with 6 main team members and 2-4 supporting or satellite members.

the Giant size era, Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Pheonix

the Classic era, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Kitty, Rogue, Rachel

the Outback era, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Rogue, Psylocke, Havok, Longshot, Dazzler

Whedon's run, Cyclops, Emma, Beast, Wolverine, Colossus, Kitty, Lockheed, Armor

David's X-factor, Madrox, Siren, M, Guido, Wolfsbane, Richter, Layla

The most notable exceptions to this would be the blue&gold era with a team of up to 15 members (but still spread over 2 books) and Morrison's new X-men which had a core membership of 6, but with a supporting cast of at another 6-12 satellite members.

#16 Posted by greenteaforme (1826 posts) - - Show Bio

The (debatably) best and most iconic X-Men team, X-Men Blue, was seven members.

The X-Men cartoon featured a now-iconic line-up of Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue (With Ms. Marvel's powers), Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee and Jean Grey for a total of eight.

In both of these line-ups, I never felt any characters were especially left out, and all had development in both mediums.

That being said, the X-Men cartoon featured (in my opinion) the best line-up of X-Men on one single team, ever.

So, to answer your question, seven/eight seem to do really well, without leaving anyone in the dark.

#17 Posted by Selina_Sublime (133 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought the Uncanny Avengers team got too big with Sunfire, Wonderman, and Wasp. Also, they've been pretty terrible aside from some Sunfire banter with Thor.

#18 Posted by dbatdog (530 posts) - - Show Bio

Depends on the X-mansion; depends on the writer; depends on who would be alive.

#19 Posted by WestfriesianMan (228 posts) - - Show Bio

5 or 6 is ideal. the ff just have 4. the Original x-men had 5

#20 Posted by shenron (889 posts) - - Show Bio

7_____________ as in

Cyclops,Jean,Storm,Wolverine,Rouge,Gambit,and Beast

#21 Posted by Silver_Raven (351 posts) - - Show Bio

10 is my magic number.

The bigger the team the better. But most writers can't handle all those character and make them all shine individually and as a team. The classic New Mutants line up that returned from Asgard had 9 members and then Magneto took over as headmaster which made 10.

#22 Edited by PhoenixoftheTides (3443 posts) - - Show Bio

4 - 5. The more random the lineup, the better. It's annoying when you see lineups and each member conveniently fills a "necessary" MMO party niche. Unless they are specifically recruited for such, of course.

Would not have a problem with a character like Iceman leading a group of 3 or so younger members for a run or so.

#23 Posted by jhazzroucher (14709 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends for which team though I prefer more members.

But if I really have to choose a number, that could be 7. I do not want 6 or less because that would usually have 2 ladies only (except for the current all-female x-men team)

I love this 6 much. I hope they add 1 more.

#24 Edited by GonnaRain (752 posts) - - Show Bio

@rickbarry said:

My ideal team is this size. No, I mean literally this team. Get with it, Marvel.

^ Plus one. I loved that team.

Also Extinction was quite awesome, in both terms of characters and numbers. Danger, Scott, Emma, Magik, Namor, Colossonaut, Magneto, Hope and Storm, and it was quite balanced if you ask me. A porter, a "mechanic" / Technopath / hacker / artillery, pretty much anything concerning computers, a Telepath, two Bruisers, Storm gives them range, same with Scott with the addition of leadership / strategy, and finally Hope serving as kind of a Wildcard. And just in case you also had three characters with insane durability, which, IMO is quite important.

So I would say between 6 ~10 is a good number.

#25 Posted by knighthood (1693 posts) - - Show Bio

5 or 6 is ideal. the ff just have 4. the Original x-men had 5

I agree with this, but you can see @oldnightcrawler's point when looking at both of your examples. F4 had Alicia Masters and Willie Lumpkin. X-Men had Professor X and eventually Havok, Polaris and other additions. Even with the original 5 in X-Factor they had Cameron Hodge, Caliban, Artie, Leech, Skids, Rusty, Boom Boom, Rictor, Opal, and baby Cable. The smaller teams need those supporting characters.

#26 Posted by oldnightcrawler (4169 posts) - - Show Bio

@knighthood: Astonishing X-Men was one of the best examples of a small (5-6 member), core team, with a great supporting cast; every character seemed to be doing something for the story.

It's also basically how the blue&gold teams worked, except that they were each others supporting cast..

#27 Posted by poisonfleur (2923 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends for which team though I prefer more members.

But if I really have to choose a number, that could be 7. I do not want 6 or less because that would usually have 2 ladies only (except for the current all-female x-men team)

I love this 6 much. I hope they add 1 more.

This^

#28 Posted by flazam (2465 posts) - - Show Bio

My Ideal core X-men Team

1. Cyclops
He is the Leader of the Team, His costume reflects a mix between the costume he wore in A vs X, But with a similar co louring to his costume he wore in X-men First Class.He is also in charge of recruit the team.
2. Wolverine
He wears his normal costume, Although he is skeptical about Cyclops leading the team he does decide to join the team,He is strong in combat and has strong beliefs about the treatment of mutants children.
3. Kitty Pryde
She wears her normal costume (Yellow and Black) She is starting to use her powers incredibly effectively and becomes one of the most powerful members of the Team. She is in a relationship with Iceman
4. Iceman
He wears a similar costume to the one he wore in first class. Like Kitty Pryde he also begins to use his powers to his far stronger he is effective in combat his suit features upgrades which let him be much more in control of his powers.
5. Nightcrawler
rejoins the X-men, he adopts a new costume similar to his classic red and Black costume his new one is instead yellow and black to match with the teams color scheme.His teleportation skill have vastly improved making him be able to teleport huge distance in small time. he also continues his friendship with Colossus.
6. Joseph
Cyclops decides Joseph could become with training a incredibly powerful team member.Joseph excepts thee offer and is fitted with a new costume which is similar to Magneto's classic costume but instead of the classic Purple and Red it is changed to Yellow and black to fit with the teams color scheme
7. Beast
The Mind behind the team Beast is one of the first members to join the new team his costume reflects the one he wore in 2001's new X-men. He designs much of the teams tech and becomes a valid member.
8. Storm
Joins the team to be with Logan she has now gained complete mastery over her powers. She continues to excel as one of the most powerful members of the team.
9. Bishop
Adopts a costume similar to his original costume. He is originally reluctant to join the team. But he believes that preventing his future as something to do with Joseph not becoming a villain which is what Cyclops fears and is one of the reasons Cyclops asks him to join the team.
10. Hope Summers
The Mutant Messiah, she becomes a very valid member of the team although she struggles to befriend Bishop because he is very fearful of Hope's immense power. She adopts a new yellow and black costume to fit with the teams color scheme.
11. Colossus
rejoins the team when Nightcrawler does he wears his classic costume but in yellow and black He becomes a father figure to mutant children and continues to excel in the Battle field.
#29 Posted by Chapmar (189 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that 6 should be toward the max, other wise all the character development gets pushed into characters solo books if they have it and the team books get relegated to non-important fights.

I use Hickman's current run on Avengers as an example, some characters get perhaps one line of dialogue an issue, or a quip and that's their entire lot. It annoys me because if you like a character, you will be a team book they are in, only to see them with one piece of action and one stupid line while they sit in the background for the rest of the issue.

It is important to keep the team books relevant, look at Remenders X-Force, the team was small but everyone got an important story or played an integral role at most times.

#30 Posted by frozenedge (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

I say anywhere between 6-10 is a good number. It really just depends on who the characters are in the team and who the writer is that determines whether or not every character gets a chance in the spot light.

#31 Posted by Cochise (707 posts) - - Show Bio

@chapmar said:

I think that 6 should be toward the max, other wise all the character development gets pushed into characters solo books if they have it and the team books get relegated to non-important fights.

I use Hickman's current run on Avengers as an example, some characters get perhaps one line of dialogue an issue, or a quip and that's their entire lot. It annoys me because if you like a character, you will be a team book they are in, only to see them with one piece of action and one stupid line while they sit in the background for the rest of the issue.

It is important to keep the team books relevant, look at Remenders X-Force, the team was small but everyone got an important story or played an integral role at most times.

Yeah well said.

#32 Edited by oldnightcrawler (4169 posts) - - Show Bio

@chapmar said:

I think that 6 should be toward the max, other wise all the character development gets pushed into characters solo books if they have it and the team books get relegated to non-important fights.

I use Hickman's current run on Avengers as an example, some characters get perhaps one line of dialogue an issue, or a quip and that's their entire lot. It annoys me because if you like a character, you will be a team book they are in, only to see them with one piece of action and one stupid line while they sit in the background for the rest of the issue.

It is important to keep the team books relevant, look at Remenders X-Force, the team was small but everyone got an important story or played an integral role at most times.

while I mostly agree with this, I would point out a couple things.

Firstly, while I do like for every character in a story to have an integral role to the story (as you use Uncanny X-Force as an example of), I don't think that every character needs to have equal relevance or be a main character to accomplish this.

As examples I would again site Whedon's Astonishing X-Men, or the way characters were handled in the blue&gold era; in both cases you have a small, core team membership of 5 or 6 characters, but you also have a revolving cast of supporting characters that come and go from the story as they are relevant to it. This not only helps to keep the dynamic of the core membership from feeling too insular, but can add context and an outside perspective to the events of a story in a fairly organic way.

Secondly, while I mostly agree with you about Hickman's Avengers, I don't know that it's the size of the team that's really the issue there, so much as that almost none of the characters are really the focus of the story. This makes them all fairly indistinct, to the point of being interchangeable most of the time. Really, it's more that that story isn't really about any of those characters, so much as they all have small, supporting roles in it. Arguably, the same could be said about San Fran/Utopia era X-men as, again, the story was as much (if not more) about the group becoming very large as it was about any of the individual characters themselves.

But I don't think that having a large team in and of itself necessitates that approach. Again, take the blue&gold era, wherein there was a full team membership of generally around 15 members, but where each character was focused on as they were relevant to the story (making the story as much about the characters in the story as what they were dealing with), which actually gave the stories more depth compared to, say, not doing that.

Hickman's current approach to Avengers is basically the opposite of, say, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, which had 20 superheroes, most of whom were really not interchangeable, because the story was as much (if not more) about the characters as anything else.

Really, I think it just boils down to the writer's approach to the story, as much as it does the story itself.

#33 Posted by Chapmar (189 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess to me, oldnightcrawler, that character is and should be everything. That is the reason I love Bendis and his writing style. If you have characters that are interchangeable then you are not doing your job. And you mentioned the san fran/Utopia era of X-men as a point comparable to Hickman's Avengers run, and I agree with you that the size and focus of the story is different. But again for me they were all problematic stories.

I don't want a story that could feature any team, or any characters. I want a situation and story that is driven by the characters that I love. I was a big fan of Gillen's X-men run also, but even this lacked somewhat in the character development stakes. Too many on any team, even if they are semi-regulars, gets convoluted fast and then we are right back to the 90's where every series had both an X before the title and Wolverine and Cable dotted around somewhere.

How great is the current Uncanny X-men run, an X-team without wolverine or cable, yet housing everything that made the earliest of X-men titles great - mutant rallys, sentinels being scary again, unfamiliar powers, and there are not so many characters that the emotion gets diluted - case in point Emma's thought projections in issue 2 of Uncanny X-men recently-ish actually making me connect with Emma Frost for the first time in memory.

#34 Edited by Xwraith (14468 posts) - - Show Bio

My favorite mutant stories (e.g. The Phoenix Saga and Remender's Uncanny X-Force) have teams of six.

Online
#35 Posted by HAWK2916 (1560 posts) - - Show Bio

it seems that most want 6 or 7,which is great as far as character development and all. I agree that its hard to keep up when you have huge teams and the Uncanny Avengers while interesting is a prime example of this. There are too many characters and it seems some are there just to be there. However unless you depower a bunch of xmen again, having only 6 or 7 on a team we'd end up having ten or more books and imo this would also lose the focus of what each team's purpose should be. Sort of like now. I always have discussions with people about what the purpose of the different teams are and it gets to be very convuluted. Having more teams would make this problem even worse. Of course Im not against depowering or killing off some mutants to cut down on all this

#36 Posted by oldnightcrawler (4169 posts) - - Show Bio

@chapmar said:

I guess to me, oldnightcrawler, that character is and should be everything. That is the reason I love Bendis and his writing style. If you have characters that are interchangeable then you are not doing your job. And you mentioned the san fran/Utopia era of X-men as a point comparable to Hickman's Avengers run, and I agree with you that the size and focus of the story is different. But again for me they were all problematic stories.

I don't want a story that could feature any team, or any characters. I want a situation and story that is driven by the characters that I love.

No, I get that, that's pretty much how I feel about it as well.

There are stories I like with large casts ( Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, Squadron Supreme, Kingdom Come, House of M), but all of those stories took place in 12 issues or less, and they're all still primarily character driven stories.

For the sake of a regular series, for the sake of teams really feeling like they have their own identity and dynamic and purpose, I'd definitely go with a tighter cast.

#37 Edited by desmond006 (595 posts) - - Show Bio

I prefer a larger team for the x-men. 8-11. I think they have enough unique power sets to display. its not like other super hero teams where every one has nearly the same powers. besides not every member has to go on every mission. With more members to chose from the writers could send them on more types of missions. fire fights, stealth missions, information gathering team, or the team that deals with large threats.

#38 Edited by John Valentine (16270 posts) - - Show Bio

7 +/- 1.

#39 Edited by Extremis (3318 posts) - - Show Bio

5 maybe 6 tops. More than that and you start sacrificing character development for some characters. With 5 or 6 you can have them all fleshed out and well rounded. With 5 especially (that's my magic number for this) you can have some time with each character in each issue even. I like getting to know a solid group rather than meeting but not really knowing tons of characters.

It seems that when more are added its too much to handle issue to issue and then certain characters become one note. We see this a lot when certain characters become little more than comic relief. My example would be Ice Man in X-Men right now. Cyclops, Jean and Hank are all explored well even issue to issue but you see others like Angel and Ice Man sacrifice character development because of the size of the cast.

Personally I champion good characterization more than anything so I like writers like Robert Kirkman and Josh Dysart who can balance a verylarge cast of characters while hammering out characterization panel after panel. But those two are highly gifted at that; upper echelon. Brian Michael Bendis would be a notch below them for me to provide reference. I don't trust many others to be able to do what BMB even does regularly, hence why 5 is preferable at the most. Some people can't even handle a 3 person team properly *cough* Lobdell.

#40 Edited by RustyRoy (10717 posts) - - Show Bio

@rickbarry said:

My ideal team is this size. No, I mean literally this team. Get with it, Marvel.

Aw man, I want this team back again...

My ideal team.

#41 Posted by TheMGR (193 posts) - - Show Bio

6-8 but I could not fit my favourite team in 6 members

Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Boom Boom, Archangel, Gambit, Darwin, Quicksilver, Beast, Cable

It's to many members but it has everything:

2 bruisers in Colossus and Beast

2 wildcards in Iceman and Darwin

A couple of quick escapers Archangel Nightcrawler and Quicksilver but they can use there powers to fight effectively

Telapath and telekinetic which I always want in a team in Cable

Smart guy in Beast

Boom Boom and Gambit as long rangers but Gambit can fight as well

Kitty is a good innovator and quick thinker and has a cool power

Also this team can speak many languages such as French (gambit) Hebrew (kitty) German(Nightcrawler ) Technobabble (beast) russian (colossus)

They have a Dimension traveller and a couple of people with untapped potential(gambit and iceman)

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.