20 most upbeat superhero stories

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Cover of X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #1 (Image via Marvel

3. X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever

I have often wondered what I would do if I were granted mutant powers. In my more egotistical moments, it’s nice to imagine that I could stand toe-to-toe with Storm or Wolverine, or even Professor X himself. Wouldn’t we all like to think so?

But, if I’m being brutally honest, statistics are against all of us. For every weather goddess or telepath that commands a cosmic consciousness, there’s going to be someone with terrible powers. Think of Beak, whose powers are just looking like a gross bird-human hybrid. Or what about that poor kid from New Mutants, Part 2 who wakes up to realize that his mutant powers immediately vaporize everyone around him?

At this rate, my own imagined mutant powers of being really good at licking envelopes (and thus being banished to the X-Mansion’s mailroom) doesn’t seem so bad.

Even more familiar X-Men have to deal with the consequences of their powers. Rogue can’t touch someone without seriously hurting them, while Cyclops shoots deadly laser beams out of his eyes. Human intervention gave Wolverine adamantium poisoning and probably didn’t improve his attitude, either. At any rate, it’s a rough world out there for even the most familiar mutants.

So, you might expect that the “worst X-Man ever” is going to have a pretty dark story. However, X-Men: The Worst X-Man Ever is both fun and affecting. It follows Bailey Hoskins. He’s a teenage boy so completely average that even Bailey is bored by himself. Things start to look up when his parents reveal that they are closeted mutants. An excited Bailey realizes that he may very well get some sort of cool superpower in the near future.

Bailey is incredibly excited about this prospect. Well, he is until his actual powers manifest themselves. The reveal of his powers is funny enough that I won’t spoil it here, but suffice it to say that they put poor Bailey back at square one. At least now he gets to hang out with Wolverine, Storm, and Cyclops.