Best X-men Characters And Powers

Maria Garcia
• Sunday, 17 January, 2021
• 9 min read

With Dark Phoenix (as well as the oft-delayed and forthcoming New Mutants), the X-Men universe as we know it, which debuted on big screens nearly 2o years ago, has presumably come to an end. It's been a strange, inconsistent, compelling, and convoluted journey for the franchise, with intertwining films being confusingly connected to each other.

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The Juggernaut's power does not necessarily derive from mystical abilities or psychic prowess but as a physically ridiculous human being. The character's journey has seen its ups and downs, but Jackman's gravitas made him the poster-child for the franchise over 17 years, whether as the star or as a cameo appearance.

Wolverine's power at birth was his seemingly-eternal life, his super strength, and his ability to sprout his claws from beneath his skin. Rather than a hindrance, Laura Kinney's small size provides a means to sneak around, move in and out of an enemy's path, and travel with an agility that is hard for grown fighters to adapt to.

Although the Disney Acquisition means we will likely never get another appearance of this version of X-23, X-23 will be able to use her abilities and experiences during her short time with Wolverine to guide the other mutant children to a promising future. Although entirely different in his set of powers, which stem from his ability to shoot energy from his eyes, Cyclops is a character in the same vein as Bruce Banner.

Like Juggernaut, Deadpool was absolutely botched during his first appearance, although many liked Ryan Reynolds despite the terrible way that the character was used. With the power of weather behind her, Storm's ability to bend nature makes her a valuable ally and an impossible adversary.

First portrayed by Halle Berry in the original set of films, Storm was constantly used as the final, powerful jolt that was needed to tip a battle in the X-Men's favor. We got a further glimpse of this in Days of Future's Past, but w hen Apocalypse came around, however, viewers got to see a younger, less controlled version of Storm.

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Like Cyclops, Storm requires control if she wants to use her powers to their fullest, but her intent can make her just as much a liability as she is an asset. The entire series opens with an unsettling scene of Magneto, played wonderfully by both Ian McLellan and Michael Fassbinder, being led into a concentration camp.

Things quickly change when a tantrum leads to his magnetic powers wreaking havoc on the setting. It makes perfect sense that the two actors have both portrayed Macbeth because Magneto has a lot in common with your classic Shakespearean tragic hero.

They quite literally have too much power, one that can result in madness, destruction, and chaos to their enemies Crucially, Magneto's will is impossible to destroy. Outside of Jackman's Wolverine, Patrick Stewart's Charles Xavier may be the highlight of the X-Men franchise, and James McEvoy's portrayal is a worthy follow-up.

As we learn in Logan, however, this psychic energy can be let loose for ill. As his mind begins to go, his powers inadvertently hurt the X-Men, their enemies, and innocent bystanders. With Dark Phoenix currently in theaters, fans finally have a slightly more fleshed out version, even if the movie is not exactly doing great with critics.

Bishop is a time traveler who was raised in a post-apocalyptic future where most heroes are dead and innocent children are sent to camps by a bigoted government. Later, he got a haircut and a huge gray cape after he ever so slightly witnessed Xavier be assassinated and thus became the sole survivor of a dead reality through the Age of Apocalypse crossover.

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Although eventually they form an uneasy alliance and Bishop is indeed generally out of line in his dealings with Mister Le Beau, their tense interactions defined a major part of the ‘90s X-Men reading experience. It’s easy to dismiss Cyclops as an uptight jerk, but it’s a pretty unsympathetic view of a guy whose first girlfriend died in front of him, not just once but many times in his life.

Besides all that domestic drama, his primary mentors were two men that put him through the wringer, aka a disguised Mister Sinister and Charles Xavier. Sure, he’s a serious leader with an inherent disdain for fun, but he’s also a lonely teen orphan desperate for a sense of family and acceptance who goes to a school where his father figure regularly fakes his own death or ditches the team entirely to make out with his hollow-boned Shi’AR girlfriend in space while Scott is left to marry Jean Grey’s clone and have a baby with her that gets sent to the distant future to battle Apocalypse.

Dani is one such character that longtime readers have watched grow through an awkward childhood to blossom into a confident adulthood with all the pitfalls along the way. Yet, even from the beginning as a young student of Professor Xavier, Dani’s best characteristics were already taking form.

Jubilation Lee’s parents were killed, so she moved into a mall and learned how to make money by entertaining groups with tricks based around her mutant powers. When she sees the women of the X-Men, she jumps into a teleportation circle with them and follows them to the Australian Outback, where she pretty much just moves into the attic without telling anyone.

Fate comes into play when she discovers Wolverine crucified to a giant X by a very annoying group of cyborgs called The Readers. Despite being very young and having a power set that was mostly party trick based, Jubilee saved Wolverine’s life and then just wouldn’t leave him alone for years thereby becoming his sidekick.

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Death of Wolverine would have happened about 15 years earlier if not for her, and her dialogue is some of the weirdest stream-of-consciousness avant-garde poetry we’ve read in our lives. She joined the school just after the Dark Phoenix Saga and was almost immediately eviscerated by an alien invader over Christmas Break.

The surrounding subtext many relationships with women and the allegorical quality of an intangible body or the ability to become invisible has been hitting home for LGBTQIA people for decades. Kitty’s relationships with the rest of the X-Men have always been the backbone of her character, from her sisterly love for Storm to her mentorship from Wolverine to her drawn-out affair with Colossus to her gal paling with Island Rasputin, Rachel Summers, X’IAN Coy Main, and, well, every other girl she’s ever met, Kitty is one of the most important players in the X-Men soap opera.

He was a circus performer whose mutant power made it impossible to pass as normal, making him an easy target for bigots. Fortunately, the X-Men provided him with a new way of life in which he had stability and family while finding no shortage of the adventure he craved.

With no exceptions, every single one of the X-Men has been through hell and back, often quite literally, but Kurt is one character that never lets anything stop him from living his life. Idolizing swashbuckling heroes like Robin Hood and the Scarlet Pimpernel, Kurt occasionally gets caught in alternate dimensions while he’s teleporting and segues into lengthy solo adventures in which he becomes the charming pirate he envisions himself as.

Enter: Laura Kinney, the Wolverine clone known as X-23 who had formed a shaky relationship with Logan in his later days that teetered between mentorship and a true father and daughter bond. Not only does Logan help her as much as he is able, but she meets up with other clones, most notably Honey Badger, who easily shares this entry with Laura.

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Unlike Wolverine, Laura is able to curb her anger and reason with others from the start, and her social skills are infinitely better developed. There are some pretty strange individuals at the Xavier Institute, but one of the most genuinely odd characters ever to walk the halls of the mansion has got to be one Mister Hank McCoy.

People tend to focus on how his intimidating physical form doesn’t seem to match his eloquent speech and gentle demeanor, but that is run-of-the-mill trope stuff. The real root of who Hank is as a person is all in the fact that he obsessively experimented on himself and gave himself all that blue fur, then continued to do so without telling anybody, thereby mutating even further.

In fact, nearly every single alternate reality features a Hank McCoy whose bizarre tendency to use himself as the sole test subject for his experiments has led to extreme physical transformations. This is obviously not standard procedure in a lab, and the fact that Hank seems to be completely unable to stop himself from doing it tells us a lot about what kind of X-Man we’re dealing with here.

Beast is incredibly charming and sociable when pressured to behave as such, but seems to get his greatest enjoyment working away in his lab day and night. When he disagreed with Cyclops’ actions, rather than reasoning it out with his lifelong friend through extended discussion, he instead saw fit to bring the original five X-Men as teenagers, himself included, out of the past and into the present to shock Scott into being a better person.

Sure, a lot of people would call the White Queen more of an X-Men villain than an X-Man, and even after decades of time-serving as a hero in the Marvel Universe that is still pretty true. In light of things like Xavier recruiting an entire team of teenagers that he immediately sent to their deaths or that time a cosmic entity imitating Jean Grey and committed genocide by destroying an entire planet, Emma is pretty much a saint.

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Many X-Men are at the school because they had nowhere else to go from a very young age, but Emma experienced trauma and failure and eventually came to the Institute because it was where her skills as a teacher would be best utilized. Indeed, many fans had only known Locke as the purple-haired ninja and were baffled to discover that the backstory behind her ethnicity was offensive on almost a surreal level.

That story is bizarre, and it’s difficult to discuss Locke outside its mention considering the fact that it was the one that defined her physical form for most of her existence. Seemingly addicted to violence and death, envisioning herself as a metallic, emotionless warrior, romantically involved with equally unstable teammates, but always struggling to be a better, redeemable person somehow, Betsy Braddock remains compelling despite it all.

Reconciling her backstory is nearly impossible, but her battles against villains like Sabre tooth and The Shadow King remain some of the most iconic fights in comics history. Not only was her brother, Emulate, a kind of emotional vampire that fed through his hands, but her body was also occupied by her younger sisters for the first few years of her appearances in Generation X.

Her defining characteristics of condescension and self-absorption were still in place, though she was slowly humanized via admissions to teammates that her extreme pride was only a wall she put up to defend her actually quite a frail ego. Though she seldom sees much of the spotlight, M is a character that always enters and exits every room with a biting criticism of whoever happens to be her least favorite teammate at the moment lightly veiled as a polite observation, and that deserves some recognition after all this time.

Besides, her perfectionism is admirable, and anyone that has had to put up a prickly demeanor just to survive everyday social interactions in a cruel world will find Monet to be highly relatable. The young girl who is told she is too powerful by a man that fears her strength that goes on to confront those that held her back while becoming a true hero is obviously an exciting and important premise, and indeed Jean has had truly iconic moments when she fought with all her strength against the predetermined destiny that she has been handed by the patriarchal figures in her life.

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This is a woman who has gone from being an orphaned thief on the streets of Cairo to being worshiped as a goddess to being one of the X-Men to eventually leading the team while going through a highly stylish punk phase to being the literal Queen of Wakanda for a hot minute then back to the X-Men again. The commitment that Storm puts into achieving a peaceful home and building a life with her loving chosen family would seem to exist in direct contrast to the intensity and scope of her power and the theatrical brilliance of her approach to super heroism, yet the thought and focus she puts towards understanding the parts of herself that are at odds with one another is nothing short of amazing.

Storm’s inner struggle between needing stability and her own desire for ultimate freedom has defined much of her development, and the juxtaposition it creates makes Promo a fascinating hero. From the best Star Trek captains to our favorite strong female characters, we're honoring the greats all month long.

The X-Men are a group of superheroes that started as a clumsy analog for the Civil Rights movement told via prep school kids. People around the globe have interpreted the stories in many ways and found meaning with the X-Men to the point that it’s impossible to deny the impact of these characters.

The X-Men were first introduced in 1963 and have given comic book fans some of the greatest Marvel superheroes of all time. From Wolverine to Jean Grey to Cyclops to Storm, and so many more, the X-Men stands the test of time as one of the best superhero teams ever.

While characters like Gambit, Nightcrawler, and Beast remain some of the most popular in the Marvel universe, there are plenty of mutants that are utterly ridiculous. His mutant power is an ability to transform himself into any ice cream flavor.

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While some heroes can become invisible, this mutant's powers are limited to translucent skin. His bones, muscles and organs are still visible, though, so his foes know where to aim.

He tags people, which causes them to emit a signal that makes everyone else run away. He's essentially a bird--hollow bones, lots of feathers, and a beak.

Cypher's power is the ability to translate any language -- both human and alien. He has the ability to mimic any sound he hears using his vocal cords.

Yes, he's essentially Michael Winslow from the Police Academy films. That said, her ability to create explosive light blasts with her hands essentially means she shoots fireworks at people.

On the surface, Layla's power to resurrect the dead is incredibly useful. He can't eat, however, two creatures that can devour anything live in his digestive system.

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They leave his body, eat, then return to impart the energy they've gained to Maggot. He's a mutant Brood, an alien race that works as a hive-mind that wants to protect its queen.

She drains mutant powers with a touch, which is a real bummer for her boyfriend Iceman. Adam-X can essentially make an enemy's blood combust, burning them alive from the inside-out.

Karma has a pretty strange form of telepathy as a power. Not only can she read minds, but she can also possess other beings to take control of them temporarily.

That includes superhuman leaping abilities, an elongated tongue that can dart out, and a flexible bone structure. While Marrow's ability to control the growth and strength of her bone structure does earn her a spot on this list, it's pretty useful.

She can make spikes and bones grow on-demand, creating a litany of armor and weapon possibilities. That means she can smell things from far away, has great vision, and her sense of touch is second-to-none.

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While John Wraith's primary ability is to phase from one location to another, it's another of his powers that is utterly ridiculous. While that might sound cool in theory, keep in mind what little aging comic book characters normally do.

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