In 1992 the X-Men had become the biggest thing on planet Earth. I still loved The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with much fanfare, yet this would completely die out once Wolverine unleashed his adamantium claws in some comic book I picked up and I was instantly enthralled in how awesome it would be to have those coming out of my hands. Not long after I began to get into the comic book the cartoon started showing up on Saturday mornings after all the horrible cartoons like Taz-Mania and Bobby's World were over on Fox. Soon everyone in my classroom had a favorite mutant and everyone both boys and girls couldn't get enough of the X-Men.

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It would be a while before they all appear on the same cover like this...


However there was a huge difference in the roster between the comic book and the cartoon show. Since the X-Men have been one of Marvel's greatest comic books since 1963, there have been several different members of the team who have come and gone. So with the huge success of launching a comic book simply called "Spider-Man" and having Todd McFarlane illustrate and write the book, Marvel decided to do the same and create a new offshoot comic book of The Uncanny X-Men and simply call it "X-Men." The task of writing the first issues went to Chris Claremont, who had scripted several of the most memorable storylines for The Uncanny X-Men, namely The Dark Phoenix Saga among several others. The artist given the job to illustrate the X-Men was Jim Lee, my all-time favorite comic book artist. With this talent, it is no wonder that the first issue of the "X-Men" sold over 8 million copies and still holds the record for the most copies sold of a single comic book. Due to the fact that there were now two different X-Men comic books, the writers came up with this solution: Split the team up into two groups, The Blue Team and The Gold Team. What this equated to was one of the most unfair and unbalanced mutant drafts of all time...

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Alright, all the most popular characters on the left and all the others on the right!


Let's me take this time to expand on how this split-up was "unfair." Understand, first of all, that it's logical to assume that the more popular team would be put as the team that would be featured in the new "X-Men" books assuming that Marvel's goal was to make it sell better by giving it better characters, but come on, not only did the X-Men Blue Team have better X-Men but they also faced the more well-known X-Men villains! Within the first five issues the team battles Magneto and the Acolytes and faces off against a then new character, Omega Red. The Gold Team on the other hand, battled some lame mediocre group called The Upstarts and Trevor Fitzroy-an odd time traveling mutant who lures Bishop from the future to join the Gold group. Understand this, Bishop originally wasn't in the Gold Group! Instead the Gold Group was Storm, Jean Grey, Iceman, Colossus, and Archangel. Archangel was barely in some of the issues I had and Jean Grey was put in a catatonic state due to her mind being bonded to Emma Frost or something. To further investigate the differences between The X-Men Gold Team and The X-Men Blue Team I will look at each member and how they contribute to the appeal of hardcore X-Men readers.

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They're in trouble! Now that Wolverine is with the Blue Team-nobody is gonna to buy this issue!


The Gold X-Men Roster

Storm
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Powers: She can fly and has nearly unlimited control over weather which includes summoning tornadoes and hurling lightning bolts

Appeal: Of all of the X-Men very few have more appeal than Storm. I would go so far as to say that she paved the way women in comic books as being great leaders. It was clear that she would be the obvious leader of the Gold Team since Cyclops was the leader of the Blue Team of X-Men. It is also safe to say that her power is possibly the greatest of all the X-Men (aside from Jean's Phoenix transformation) as the ability to control the weather can aid in any situation. Storm is the perfect leader, and in my opinion even superior to Cyclops, as she also has a mother-like quality. Of all the members of this X-Men faction Storm is my favorite, but she deserved far better teammates.

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Storm has great leadership and great hair


Out of the Comic Books: Storm has appeared in some form on television making appearances in Spider-Man cartoon from the 70s. She was a prominent member of the X-Men team on the X-Men cartoon show on Fox in the 90s where she was second in command, following Cyclops. She has appeared in all three of 20th Century Fox's X-Men movies portrayed by Halle Berry (although I always thought that Angela Besset would have been better for the role). Storm also is in several video games starting with LJN's X-Men for the NES, Konami's X-Men arcade game, Spiderman and The X-Men in Arcade's Revenge, Marvel Vs. Capcom series, and the X-Men Legends games.

Colossus
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Powers: He possesses super-human strength and is able to turn his body into organic steel

Appeal: Here we have the obvious 'strong guy' of the Gold Team of X-Men, Colossus, the Russian artist that can turn his body into steel, yet he has a heart of gold. I have to say that I always liked Colossus, but he has seemed to lack the personality of several of the other X-Men characters, particularly those on the Blue Team. Sadly, Colossus spends most of his time with the Gold Team in grief over his sister Illyana, who contracts the Legacy Virus, and eventually dies in an issue that has Jubilee crying on the cover. This causes Colossus to become angry at Xavier and soon the Russian joins Magneto's Acolytes. It would be nice if Colossus had the arrogance of say, Ivan Drago, but instead he is more of a teddy bear rather than a rampaging monster.

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Colossus can punch a hole though the center of the earth


Out of the Comic Books: Colossus also appeared in the 70s Spider-Man cartoon like Storm, and was also part of the X-Men team in "Pryde of the X-Men." He was not a regular on the Fox cartoon, but he did make two memorable appearances, the first is during a battle with Juggernaut, and the second is when he goes to Russia with Jubilee to fight Omega Red. In the film, X2: X-Men United, he is on screen for about thirty seconds and only has one line. In the third movie, X-Men III: The Last Stand, he appears in roughly three short scenes, the first in the Danger Room, once talking to Iceman, and the final battle. In both movies he is played by Daniel Cudmore, and altogether the dialog he speaks in both movies is roughly less than this paragraph. Colossus is a playable character in both the NES X-Men game and Konami's X-Men arcade game where he is the second best character due to his special ability, and in Marvel Vs. Capcom. He did not make an appearance in another widely known X-Men video game until his appearance in both X-Men Legends titles.

Archangel
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Powers: His steel wings allow him to fly and were even used to decapitate Cameron Hodge, and he can also fire steel projectiles from his wings at will.

Appeal: You really have to feel sorry for Warren Worthington the Third, a.k.a. Archangel. Once he was a wealthy playboy with wings, yet during a mission with X-Factor his wings had to be amputated, then later he becomes transformed into one of Apocalypse's Four Horsemen, only to end up with the less popular X-Men faction. Sure Apocalypse made him look cooler than his former self "Angel" but he has no personality besides the resentment he holds for Apocalypse, who basically did him a favor. The blue skin looks really cool, as well as the razor sharp wings that can fire projectiles at people was a bonus power he didn't have. As one of the very first X-Men I always thought Angel/Archangel got the a raw deal on his powers. It seems that three out of every five mutants nowadays can fly, plus they have other powers on top of that! Flying is all Archangel really does, besides the steel feather things he shoots out. If we were to compare Archangel to Superman, it becomes totally lop-sided as Superman's flying ability is almost an after-thought compared to all of Supe's other powers! Warren makes a funny remark to Rogue in the Fox cartoon where he says something to her like "You can fly without wings?" Heh heh, yeah not mention that both Storm and Jean Grey having flying capabilities which mostly made Archangel obsolete with the Gold Group.

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Thanks to his steel wings, Archangel is able to fly through anything


Out of the Comic Books: Archangel and his former self Angel have been in the Fox X-Men cartoon a few times, but was never a permanent member of the X-Men, just more of an unreliable ally. He appeared as a support character in the first Sega Genesis X-Men game, where he flies back and forth on the screen firing missiles at your enemies. He recently appeared in X-Men Legends as Angel, but wasn't a playable character, he returns in the sequel, X-Men Legends II Reign of Apocalypse, where he is kidnapped in the middle of the game and becomes Archangel, after Mister Sinister does gene-splicing experiments on him, soon after this he becomes a boss your team must battle. In the X-Men films, Archangel was to appear in X2: X-Men United, but his scenes were written out. Angel does appear in X-Men III: The Last Stand in a memorable flashback sequence and as an adult, with the adult Warren Worthington III being played by actor Ben Foster.

Jean Grey
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Powers:
Telepathic abilities ranging from the ability to read the minds of others and enter the astral plane. She also has telekinetic powers which allow her to move mass with her mind and also allows her to create shields and even fly. Jean can even transform into the Phoenix making all of her powers enhanced and limitless.

Appeal: Along with Storm, Jean is the only other woman in the Gold X-Men faction, and the sole telepathic member of the group not counting Professor Xavier. Jean has went through so much trauma over the years, going through an identity crisis and constantly changing her costume and hairstyle, that she can't believe she is put on the Gold Team away from her husband Cyclops. Still you can't go wrong with a hot redhead, just try not to get her confused with her evil clone, Madeline Pryor, who was also married to Cyclops.