Marvel Denies Rigging X-Men Fan Vote Over Controversial New Member

The recent X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 saw a new X-Men team being formed from democratically elected Krakoan mutants, but one surprise was the winner of Marvel's Fan Vote, which saw the Avengers-focused Firestar chosen as a new member of the X-Men. Dedicated X-Men fans have been skeptical of whether or not the fan vote had been rigged, but in a new interview with Chris Hassan at AIPT the X-Men Senior Editor Jordan White assured fans that the vote was 100% genuine.

While the fan vote options for this year's X-Men election featured little known mutants like Micromax or Avalanche, the addition of Firestar into the vote was still a surprise for many since she is often considered to be explicitly not a member of the X-Community. Angelica Jones very deliberately has not joined the mutant nation of Krakoa, so even though her addition to the team may come as a surprise, it will also lead to a ton of interesting drama and intrigue.

Related: Cyclops Is Going to Kill Professor Xavier Again: Theory Explained

Firestar was first introduced as a character on the beloved 1980s Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends alongside other mutant Iceman, but quickly became a fan favorite character and was introduced into Marvel comics canon soon after. A major plot of Angelica Jones introduction into Marvel involved the then evil Emma Frost manipulating her into joining her Massachusetts Academy, a rival of the Xavier School, while secretly training her to become an assassin without her knowledge. To do this she used a hypnotizing bracelet to give Angelica horrific nightmares of all the X-Men attacking her and also murdered her horse Butter Rum to convince her she couldn't control her powers, and although she eventually figured out Frost's deception the damage had already been done, and Firestar has not trusted the X-Men since. As part of AIPT's "X-Men Mondays," interviewer Chris Hassan spoke with the X-Men's Senior Editor Jordan White about all things Hellfire Gala, and of course touched on the contentious vote and Firestar's new role on Krakoa:

Jordan: So Firestar, obviously, is on the team because you chose her — like you literally voted for her. But I know a lot of fans are very angry that she was in the running.

Listen, I know there are skeptics out there who think we rig the votes or that we know who it’s going to be before it happens. We really don’t. Part of the reason we do it so far in advance is that Gerry plans who he wants on the team, generally speaking, and then we go, “OK, who else would you be willing to have on the team?” And we came up with the list and Firestar was on the list. And so she’s on the team because you demanded it, because this is the character you chose. If you had chosen Armor, it would’ve been Armor, and Gerry would’ve come up with some good material for Armor as a character.

With Firestar, honestly, the question was raised, is she too popular? Will she automatically win? And my original thinking was, I don’t think it’ll be a sure thing. She’s barely an X-character. Mostly, she’s known as an Avengers character, or even as a Spider-Man character from other media. And the fact that she was on a Spider-Man TV show many, many, many years ago, I didn’t think would be that big of a thing.

As Jordan White hilariously points out, Firestar is barely an X-Character at all and has actively avoided engaging with Xavier's students for years, instead choosing to spend her time as a member of the New Warriors or different iterations of the Avengers. Now, White's interview confirming that the fan vote was not rigged of course does not mean that the results of the vote were not skewed. As White says himself, even he himself had the thought of if Angelica was an automatic shoe-in because of her name recognition, so there is a chance that casual Marvel readers decided to vote for her because they knew of her instead of choosing to vote for characters that many dedicated X-Men readers absolutely love like Monet, Armor, or Siryn. Regardless of how Firestar won, there is no going back now, and with Pepe Larraz designing a truly stunning new costume for Angelica that will first appear in the upcoming X-Men #15, it is clear that Firestar as a part of the X-Men is here to stay. However... with her ties to the Avengers, and her hatred of Emma Frost, there is a high likelihood that Tony Stark may meddle in Firestar's status with the mutants, meaning readers could be in for some extreme team drama over the next year.

Firestar being voted onto the X-Men team was a big surprise to many X-Men fans, but perhaps an even bigger surprise for Angelica Jones herself, and it is nice to get official confirmation from a Senior Editor at Marvel that this year's X-Men Fan Vote was a legitimate affair, one that will hopefully continue to happen on an annual basis.

More: X-Men's Immortality Reveal Comes With the Ultimate Anti-Mutant Twist

Source: AIPT

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