Voting for the X-Men: The time is right for Tempo

With Marvel allowing fans to help chose the final member of the X-Men, the Smash Pages crew shares their endorsement(s).

In the grand tradition of voting for the leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes and whether Jason Todd would live or die, Marvel has launched a website where you can vote for the final member of the X-Men.

The campaign ties into the current X-Men storyline, where Cyclops and Jean Grey have decided to recruit a new team of mutants to protect the mutant nation of Krakoa. Marvel has offered up 10 options for fans to choose from: Banshee, Polaris, Forge, Boom-Boom, Tempo, Cannonball, Sunspot, Strong Guy, Marrow and Armor.

Voting is open from now until 11:59 p.m. Eastern, Feb. 2, 2021.

We here at Smash Pages have our own thoughts about who the new member should be — with one dissension — so please read our heartfelt pleas for your vote below.

Smash Pages endorses Tempo for X-Man

by Corey Blake

This is the most important election of our lifetimes. For the first time in its 60-year history, Marvel Comics will allow the final member of a new X-Men team to be selected by democracy.

Ten candidates are on the ballot, but only one has drawn the attention of our staff. She speaks to the best of us in these troubled times in which we find ourselves. Smash Pages is proud to endorse Heather “Tempo” Tucker as the next X-Man.

Since her debut in New Mutants #86, Tempo has showed her worth not just in her ability to twist time, but her mutant power feels more relevant than ever. Who among us in these COVID-19 days hasn’t felt as if we are out of step with time? When last summer seemed to last both two weeks and five years at the same time, we can relate to Tempo’s mutant ability to mimic super speed or slow down a nearby object. Her powers now serve as a metaphor for us as we persevere through the bizarre isolated states we find ourselves. As disjointed as we feel, still we find a way to carry on and even, improbably, to fly.

But Tempo’s significance reaches beyond her powers. Debuting a month before the more famous Cable, Tempo was a founding member of the Mutant Liberation Front, later helping disrupt that mutant terrorist group from the inside. Choosing education over violence, she then retired from super-doings to go back to school. As the nation’s teachers struggle to hold virtual classes, having an advocate in Krakoa will surely inspire our educators to not give up.

Before long, she was dragged back into superhuman shenanigans. And while she once again aligned with supervillain teams, taking tenures in the Acolytes and Marauders, she found her way back to the light when she moved to that other mutant nation, Utopia. As the United States struggles to regroup from an insurrection from within, we can find strength in Tempo’s journey from evil temptations to heroic community building.

While candidates like Cannonball, Banshee and Forge may be more well known, and Strong Guy, Armor and Marrow may be bigger cult favorites, Tempo is the dark horse whose day is due. Smash Pages encourages voters to pick a hero for our times. Vote for Tempo.

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I Dissent: Vote for Guido

by Carla Hoffman

While the rest of my colleagues have decided to endorse Tempo as the next member of the X-Men, I have to voice my dissent.  While Tempo is a valid candidate, I believe we need understanding on our side.  We need someone comfortable with the rigors of both mutant terrorism and international representation.  Someone who has traveled the stars, and yet feels our pain. As well his.  Like, a lot of pain.

Guido Carosella came from humble roots, a simple childhood and a history of feeling alone.  He was picked on for being smaller, smarter, and when he inevitably got hit by a school bus as a tender teen, you know what he did? He learned to make ‘em laugh. All that pain and sorrow was channeled into being funny, being useful, not joining a mutant terrorist organization.

Guido Carosella has been to outer space.  He’s seen the stars both literally and figuratively as Lila Cheney’s bodyguard, keeping her safe from rabid alien fans across the galaxy. He did this, not for some unrequited romantic advances, but because being Guido means being a protector. A bodyguard for the new mutant era as they ascend to stardom.

As a member of X-Factor, Guido has served the public interest on the government-sponsored mutant team, learning the ins and outs of bureaucracy while keeping a smiling public face though all the pain. He is quick-witted on his feet for a press conference and can absorb kinetic energy upon impact and metabolizes it to additionally augment his physical strength for brief periods of time, allowing him versatility in combat — and in public speaking.

I nominate Strong Guy for the final member of the Kraokan Age of X-Men.

(We will be taking no further questions about X-Factor the detective agency at this time.)

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