Underrated or Underused X-Men Villains

While we can, and probably will, make lists for underused or underrated characters in other superhero and superhero team books, the X-Men have so many characters in its stable that it’s easy to make a list of them. Old uncle Geekly likes easy tasks, so here’s a list of X-Men villains who are underrated or underused in the comics. I’m sure Jim will spank me with a paddle if I’m wrong.


Children of the Vault (First appearance: September 2006)
You know you have a horrifying supervillain team when they turn Sabretooth’s fur white. Seriously, if you look closely in one of the panels, you can see if Sabretooth poops in the woods. He does by the way.

These superpowered villains don’t fall neatly into a human or mutant category. They’re beings that evolved from a baseline human genome over 6,000 years or so. Think of them as an off-shoot humanoid like a Neanderthal that developed over millennia with the help of the Weapon Plus Program that also produced Wolverine. That, and they want to end humans and mutants. They’re equal opportunity murderers with Spanish codenames like Sangre, Fuego, and Cadena.

Even though they’ve been around for over a decade, the Children of the Vault and their approximately 3,000 members (X-Men #193) haven’t been used enough and that’s why they make this list.


Graydon Creed (First Appearance: April 1993)

We go from a group trying to kill Sabretooth to Sabretooth’s estranged, human son.

Creed factors into so many X-Men characters backstories that I couldn’t possibly list them all here, but I will mention that he formed a group called the Friends of Humanity, and they’ve been a thorn in the X-Men’s side for a long time.

This entry may be a tad misleading. Creed was assassinated in 2010 by Mystique during his presidential campaign. He’s since been resurrected as a human-sentinel. In classic X-Men fashion, it’s more complicated than that, but classic Graydon Creed made a great foil for the X-Men. Plenty of X-Men the Animated Series may remember him fondly as well.

He hasn’t shown up that often since his transformation, but nothing says a trip back in time couldn’t return Creed to his original form. Make it happen, Marvel.


Mastermind (First Appearance: March 1964)

This is the guy who set the Dark Phoenix Saga in motion, and it often gets overlooked and viewed as an also ran. Sure, the original Mastermind perished in 1993, but he doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a pivotal member of the Hellfire Club.

Heck, the Hellfire Club asked him to turn Jean Grey as his initiation into their Inner Circle. When that turned into the Dark Phoenix Saga, his application was rejected, and he was forced out of the group.

But that didn’t stop Mastermind. He remained a thorn in the side of Cyclops and Wolverine—tearing apart future romances. He even went toe to toe with Rachel Summers, the second host of the Phoenix force. He may have died of the Legacy Virus, but he won’t be forgotten by this fan.

Mastermind is a classic X-Men villain who doesn’t get the same recognition as his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Hellfire Club teammates. It’s a shame.


Sugar Man (First Appearance: April 1995)
Sugar Man hasn’t made too many appearances because he’s tied to the Age of Apocalypse storyline, but that reality gave birth to Blink, and she’s made plenty of appearances since the 90s. Sugar Man must have the most unique look of any X-Men villain: four arms, a mouth full of razor teeth, a long strong tongue, and a head for a body.

He’s a cross between a troll and a mutant and he isn’t used enough in the X-Men universe. Give us some Sugar Man.


Vargas (First Appearance: July 2001)

Yeah, Vargas takes the humans hating mutants angle and adds a Captain America bend to it. He gave himself powers, so humans can compete with homo-superiors. He had a short but interesting run where Rogue may or may not have killed him. To be fair, it was revealed some years later that she spared his life and someone else took it.

While it makes sense that Vargas hasn’t made another appearance, you’d think more humans would take the Cap route to keep up with mutants. Maybe they have, and I missed it. If so, feel free to wag your finger at me.

I could’ve added more than these five, but your uncle Geekly wants to hear your thoughts. Are there any X-Men villains you’d like to see more of or who don’t get the due they deserve? I’ll accept picket signs with your answers on them, or you could take the easy route and comment. Your uncle Geekly won’t judge.

3 Lists of 3 Movies

Your uncle Geekly kicked off these 3 Lists of 3 with TV so it’s only fair that we cover a few movies as well. Uncle Geekly doesn’t agree with critics most of the time and it might be a good idea to put on my psychic cap and see which upcoming movies will be better or worse than most critics think.

Upcoming movies that’ll be better than critics think they’ll be

Dark Phoenix (February 14, 2019)

I’m most likely wrong with this one. Heck, I may be wrong for countless reasons and if I am, I’ll owe Jim a lap dance from Jean Gray—How’s that for passing the buck to a fictional character? You’re welcome, Jim—but I want a well-done Dark Phoenix Saga live action film. It’s one of the X-Men’s most iconic storylines and X-Men: The Last Stand did a poor job of adapting it. Who knows what critics will think of this one? We’ll have to see what happens with Dark Phoenix, but I’m sure I’ll watch it no matter what and hope for the best.


Dumbo (March 29, 2019)

The Disney live-action movies are mixed bag and Tim Burton has been in a slump for some time, so Dumbo may or may not receive favorable reviews. I’m leaning toward fewer favorable reviews, since Burton tends to go odd with his interpretations. Even so, Dumbo has me intrigued. If there was any live-action Disney film Burton was perfect for, it’d be Dumbo and the director is reunited with Eva Green and Michael Keaton. This is the first time Burton and Keaton will have worked together since Batman Returns. I’m in.


Shazam! (April 5, 2019)

I could go with Aquaman here because critics typically dock movies 10-15% on Rotten Tomatoes when they see DC is attached to a project, but I’m not as confident with Aquaman—something about a live action movie under the sea that may not land—so I’m going with the action-comedy Shazam!. About the only thing I know at this point is that Dawyne “The Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam won’t be the antagonist of this film, his movie should be even better, but I have faith that Shazam! will build on the momentum of Justice League’s second half—and I hope Aquaman does the same.

Upcoming movies that’ll won’t be as good than critics think they’ll be


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (November 16, 2018)

The first movie of this series was an abomination and it received 76% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and while I believe the sequel can mostly go up from the first film, I don’t think it’ll be much better than a 40-50% and I won’t be surprised if it receives higher than the previous 76%. If you can’t tell, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a hard pass for me.


Captain Marvel (March 8, 2019)

This one might be a little surprising. I like the Marvel cinematic universe, and this film should build on the events of Infinity War, even though it’s set in the 1990s. I also like the 90s, many of my formative years were spent in the 90s, but Captain Marvel reeks of a film dangerous with replacing many characters with Skrulls. If half of the characters have been Skrulls all along, Disney-Marvel can easily recast those characters to keep the universe going and that irritates me. Even if Disney-Marvel doesn’t do that, Captain Marvel is a prequel and I downgrade prequels because they seldom push a story forward.


Untitled Joker Origin Movie (October 4, 2019)

While I think DC movies receive too much hate, something tells me that the Untitled Joker Origin Movie will get plenty of high marks by critics, based on the involvement of Martin Scorsese and Joaquin Phoenix. I have heard that the movie plans to use The Killing Joke as source material, too, but DC Animation didn’t do a good job with the story a few years ago. The early trailers look promising, but The Joker tends to work best when no one knows much about him: case in point Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Surprise hit movies


Welcome to Marwen (December 21, 2018)

This Steve Carrell engine deals with a man overcoming a traumatic experience. Welcome to Marwen is being released at the time when Oscar darlings tend to get released and while I’m sure the academy may consider the film, the direction of Robert Zemeckis usually leads to a well-received hit.


Glass (January 18, 2019)

The third movie of the surprising Unbreakable trilogy should make more money than the previous two films. The first set up the world, the second shocked many, and the third Glass should receive enough buzz to put M. Night Shyamalan back in the limelight—at least for a while. I’m not sure if Glass will be any good, but it should make plenty of money and should be intriguing.


Chaos Walking (March 1, 2019)

Dystopian worlds are overdone, but the premise of Chaos Walking is interesting (every living creature can hear each other’s’ thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise) and the stars (Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley) make this one interesting and a possible hit. I’m the least confident about Chaos Walking, but I’m hoping it delivers on some of its promise.

Are there any movies we missed with our lists? What do you think will be a surprise hit or a movie that’ll be better or worse than critics think? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday Morning Cartoons That Should Return

A petition helped to bring back Saturday morning cartoons to broadcast stations in 2017, so that got your uncle Geekly thinking about Saturday morning cartoons that should make a return on ABC, CBS, Fox, or NBC. Bring back our crudely drawn cartoons.

This list is a little difficult as many cartoons that aired on Saturday mornings originally have been relaunched on several streaming services and premium networks. I’m also unsure about any plans to bring back these shows. One never knows what’ll happen.

darkwing duck

Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck split its time as an after-school cartoon and a Saturday morning cartoon, but I’m including it because it was fun and one of the few Disney cartoons that didn’t use preexisting characters. And these original characters became so popular that one can find many of DW’s greatest foes on the 2017 DuckTales relaunch.

These cameos led to unfounded rumors of a Darkwing Duck reboot in 2018. The outcry that the rumors were false may lead to a reboot after all. Until then, DW fans will have to read the new comic book series.


The Tick

Okay. This is the second comic book spoof cartoon show on this list, but The Tick’s just as good, if not better, than Darkwing Duck. Yes. There’s an interesting live action show available on Amazon Video, so I guess The Tick has gotten a reboot, but there’s something special about the original cartoon.

I’m not sure if a reboot could ever capture the magic of the original, probably not, but someone should make this happen. Amazon’s The Tick, while good in many ways, isn’t as funny or down-right silly as Fox’s cartoon Tick.


Sym-Bionic Titan

Sym-Bionic Titan aired between 2010-2011. It’s by far the newest cartoon on this list, and your uncle Geekly has little reason to watch a cartoon when he was this age but screw it. This show was excellent. Judge me all you want. It’s a hybrid of Voltron and high school antics brought together by Genndy Tartakovsky, the mind behind Samurai Jack.

While I think certain shows benefit from a short run, Sym-Bionic Titan’s one season wasn’t enough, and if Tartakovsky’s previous gem’s timeline holds for Sym-Bionic Titan, there may be a second season any day now.



Batman the Animated Series is a far better series and more influential than the X-Men Animated Series, but some cartoon Batman has been on the air continuously since the last episode of Batman TAS aired. X-Men hasn’t received an animated series since 2009 and even that was a spin-off, Wolverine and the X-Men.

Like many other cartoons on this list, I’m uncertain if a new X-Men cartoon could capture half the magic of the original, but nine years (as of this write-up) is a long time between cartoons.

I’m not including the X-Men anime (2011) or The Super Hero Squad Show (2009) as they either took very different approaches with the characters.



Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone combined School House Rock with a kid-friendly Saturday Night Life? Histeria! might be the outcome. The show’s creator Tom Ruegger was a writer for Batman: The Animated Series and a key developer for Animaniacs (which is getting its own reboot), and the cast included original SNL member and writer Laraine Newman and the incomparable voice actor Billy West (Futurama). The show was fun and informative.

Histeria! deserves a reboot or at least, a means for viewers to see the original. I haven’t seen a DVD collection for it, and In2TV took down streaming episodes in 2009.

This list was so difficult. I’d look up Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and find that there’s a reboot scheduled for 2019. Then I’d think of Rocky and Bullwinkle, but that’s been rebooted too. So many of the better Saturday morning shows never went away, or they’d find life in some other way. Even so, I’m sure I missed a fair share of shows. Pound the table and curse the names of the ones I missed, or you could pound the keys of your keyboard and let me know in comments.

X-Men Starter Stories

Comic book movies have flooded Hollywood and that’s led to new comic book readers, but there’s too much history for a lot of these characters that newbies to the hobby can get lost. Not to worry your uncle Geekly and Big Bad Jim have you covered. We’ll make recommendations for newcomers to various aspects of geekery.

Keep in mind that these are recommendations. You can read our list and disagreeing with it. We won’t hold that against you, but we may have to challenge you to a leg wrestling match.

We’ll start this ballgame with one of the largest superhero teams in comics: The X-Men.

The X-Men have had plenty of various lineups, eras, and variants, so they prove difficult to follow, especially if you’re new to the comic books.

Over the course of its history the X-Men have grown and expanded more than any other Marvel property. Time travel, group dynamic changes, and characters losing their minds don’t help matters much.

Hi, everyone. This is good, old uncle Geekly with a group of starter stories that feature everyone’s favorite Marvel mutants the X-Men.


X-Men: First Class (written by Jeff Parker/art by Roger Cruz; 2006-2007)

No. This story doesn’t mirror the movie by the same name; it’s a reimagining of the original class of students to don the uniform: Scott Summers (Cyclops), Jean Grey (Marvel Girl), Robert Drake (Iceman), Warren Worthington III (Angel), and Hank McCoy (Beast).

The X-Men can get overly convoluted. X-Men: First Class strips down the original characters to their teenage roots. It’s a light-hearted and fun series, and the one quality that puts it on this list is that the reader doesn’t need to know much about the series find enjoyment. It’s a great jumping off point.

Giant-Size X-Men

Giant-Size X-Men #1 (written by Len Wein/art by Dave Cockrum; May 1975)

This one predates Chris Claremont’s fabled run on Uncanny X-Men (1975-1991) and introduces readers to the second wave of X-Men: Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine. It opens in medias res with Professor X recruiting this new team to rescue the original X-Men, and it’s this group of mutants who defined the group for a generation. It’s also arguably the most diverse team roster, something in which the X-Men prides itself.


X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga (written by Chris Claremont and John Byrne/art by John Byrne; 1980)

This one is iconic. Jean Grey had been reborn as the Phoenix after becoming a being of pure thought. This new persona made her a target for Mastermind (of the Hellfire Club) and what follows is a long descent into madness. One could liken it to a superhero version of The Exorcist.

The Dark Phoenix Saga is required reading for anyone wanting to get into X-Men comics. Readers get a good look at the Hellfire Club, the Shi-ar, and even throws in the Kree and Skrull empires. The Dark Phoenix Saga is a who’s who of Marvel aliens.

This story was adapted for the X-Men Animated Series. X-Men: The Last Stand contained story elements, and the upcoming Dark Phoenix film should be a direct, live-action adaptation of the story that has been inducted into Columbia University’s library. Yeah, Xavier’s school isn’t the only one that views The Dark Phoenix Saga highly.


X-Men: Days of Future Past (written by Chris Claremont and John Byrne/art by John Byrne; 1981)

This story marked the end of Claremont and Byrne’s run on the X-Men, and this is also where the X-Men’s time travel stories begin. While the series may have done time travel to death, in Days of Future Past it was refreshing, novel, and easy to follow.

The story alternates between the present year of 1980 and the future year of 2013. Wow. We’ve already lived beyond the fictional year for this story. The story’s 2013 paints a bleak existence for mutants. They’re killed one by one and must send one of their own back in time to stop the dystopia.

Kitty Pride, the one who’s chosen to go back in time, becomes a full-fledged member of the team, and this story is the first one to promote Mystique to the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants’ leader. Both characters come into their own here, so this classic is a must read.


X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills (written by Chris Claremont/art by Brent Anderson; 1982)

So many X-fans would call God Loves, Man Kills the defining X-Men arc, and they may be right. The main antagonist doesn’t wear tights or have powers. Humanity is at war with itself.

This is a realistic portrayal of how the world may react to the dawn of mutants and how those mutants would react to that world. It’s an analogy of bigotry and small mindedness. It also showcases how tenuous allegiances can be in the series as Magneto joins forces with the X-Men to rescue Professor X, who is forced to mentally kill all mutants on Earth.

Some fans may notice elements of this story in X2: X-Men United.


Fatal Attractions (written by Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell/art by various; 1993)

It’s difficult to pick an X-story from the 1990s and beyond without listing a bunch of other stories one would have to read to get most of the references. Fatal Attractions requires very little background info. It recasts Magento as the X-Men’s chief antagonist. This crossover event also features Cable’s return to X-Force (good for Deadpool 2 fans) and one of the most desperate fights between Magneto and Professor Xavier.

There’s even an iconic battle between Wolverine and Magneto that left some fans squeamish.

That’s my list for readers new to X-Men. Did I miss any stories or include some that I shouldn’t? You could send me a message via telepathy, but I’m telepathetic. Leaving a comment would be more effective.