The 10 Worst X-Men Ever
Have you seen the new trailer for Fantastic Four yet? It finally released yesterday, prepping for the movie’s August release. Between that and the new Avengers movie, Age of Ultron, coming in May, we’re feeling pretty marvelous right now – so much so, in fact, that we feel like showing a little love to another huge Marvel franchise. Of course, by “show love to” we mean “make fun of.”
Days of Future Past came out last year to great reviews, and there are three new X-Men movies (Deadpool, Apocalypse, and Gambit) slated for next year, but 2015’s looking a little empty as far as the X-Men go. Joking aside, we really do love us some X-Men – it’s just that not every mutant has the star power of, say, Wolverine or Storm (and if you’ve ever seen any of Pete Holmes’ “Ex-Men,” you know that even they have their flaws). So, here’s our list of X-Men that probably don’t deserve their own franchise anytime soon.
Ink (Eric Gitter)
Debut: Young X-Men #1, April 2008
Powers: About that…
Ink’s contribution to the team lies in his different tattoos – each one can be activated to lend Ink a different temporary power. For example, his tattoo of a biohazard symbol can be used to make people sick, and the wing tattoos on his back let him fly. Honestly, that’s actually pretty cool. The problem is that Ink is actually a human, and not a mutant at all.
As it turns out, Ink’s tattoo artist is the mutant in the equation. Leon Nunez has the power of power bestowal, which allows him to give powers to other people via his tattoos. He discovered this ability while giving some chick a rose tramp stamp (seriously) and has used it to give powers to dozens of people.
So, if Ink knows he has the access to this kind of power, why doesn’t he just hit up Leon to cover his whole body with superpower tattoos? What’s the point in stopping at only seven? And, why can’t he just ask Leon for a “Kill All Bad Guys” superpower? That would come in handy. Tattoo the rest of the X-Men with some power boosts, too. Why not?
Cypher (Doug Ramsey)
Debut: New Mutants #13, March 1984
The crux of Cypher’s power is his ability to immediately and fluently understand any language. So, he was kind of just Siri.
Obviously smartphones didn’t exist when Cypher was created, but even in the 80s there were still phrasebooks. You’d think that, in a universe where the existence of alien races is a known fact, someone would have thought to make a pocket guide. Or flashcards.
After the writers quickly realized how useless Cypher was, they gave him a bunch of other powers by flimsily arguing that everything is sort of a language if you really think about it, maaan. For example, a fighter in hand-to-hand combat must interpret the moves of an opponent and make an appropriate response. Boom, fighting is a now a language, and therefore Cypher is now a master martial artist.
X-Man (Nate Grey)
Debut: X-Man #1, March 1995
X-Man has plenty of reasons why he should be one of the coolest mutants of all time. As the son of Jean Grey, and as an Omega-level mutant, he has all the telekinetic superpower of his mom, but cranked up to eleven. He can fly faster than the speed of sound, summon unbreakable barriers of psychic energy, and shoot energy blasts strong enough to raze cities left and right. Awesome! So, how come X-Man has never really been in the X-Men spotlight?
Well, his name is X-Man.
Jean didn’t need a codename to be cool (she did do the whole Phoenix thing, but that’s a different story). What was the point of giving one to Nate? Also, there was a pornographic video game for the Atari 2600 that was called X-Man. It has nothing to do with the X-Man we’re talking about, but it was probably more interesting.
Debut: X-Force Annual 1993, October 1993
Powers: Extremity; Electro-combustion
Hold on to your backwards baseball caps. Have you ever laid eyes on a manlier, more radical specimen of a superhero than this guy? Just check out that permanent scowl and those blades coming out of everywhere. That’s way more blades than Wolverine has, bro. That’s how you know X-Treme is a real bad-ass. Don’t even get us started on those golden, flowing, luxuriously braided locks, either. Thor can suck it.
X-Treme probably seemed like a great idea in the 90s, but then again, so did JNCOs and nu metal. At the end of the day, Marvel eventually decided that X-Treme was just too extreme for their audience, and relegated the character to cameos and obscurity. There was even an entire side series of comics in the early 2000s titled X-Treme X-Men that wasn’t extreme enough for X-Treme to be included. We think X-Treme should have just gotten his own series with X-Man. It would have been X-cellent.
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #345, June 1997
Powers: Energy Absorption via Autonomous Digestive System(s)
Maggott is actually amazing, and legitimately one of our favorite lesser-known heroes of all-time, but he’s on our list because we want to know what Marvel was rolling on when they came up with his powers. Instead of a stomach, Maggott has two giant pet slugs – named Eany and Meany – that live inside of his abdomen. Eany and Meany leave Maggott’s body and do all of his eating for him. They’re able to consume every type of matter, and when they return, impart the energy into Maggott, which grants him strength and heightened abilities.
Skin (Angelo Espinosa)
Debut: Uncanny X-Men #317, October 1994
Skin possesses six feet of super-stretchy extra skin. If that sounds really lame, that’s because it really is. If he had an unlimited supply of the stuff, that would be a different story, but he doesn’t. Until he learned to control his powers to the point of tightening all his loose skin and changing its coloration, he wasn’t much to look at, either.
One big plus to Skin’s powers, though, is that he can morph and form the skin on his face to look like other people. He’s the Jim Carrey of the X-Men! Of course, since his name is Skin and not Skin-Bones-Muscles-Body-Structure, he can only change his appearance on a very superficial level. He isn’t able to totally shapeshift into another form or to truly impersonate somebody.
Lifeguard (Heather Cameron)
Debut: New X-Men #119, December 2001
Powers: Reactive adaptation
If you thought that Ink and Leon seemed too over-powered and open-ended, Lifeguard’s power is literally the power of deus ex machina. Whenever Lifeguard is face with a threat, her body automatically adapts and physically changes in order to handle it appropriately. Someone’s drowning? Lifeguard can grow gills to save them. Bad guys showed up with a whole bunch of guns? Lifeguard can grow armor to protect people.
Somehow, stories aren’t any fun when you know the hero can’t lose. Marvel finally gave Lifeguard a nerf by writing that she became genetically locked in her last transformation. At least it was a cool one – permanent wings and claws – but she was left powerless to further alter her form or revert back to normal.
Darwin (Armando Munoz) is another Marvel mutant with the same sort of powers. He was only ever “defeated” in battle by getting sucked into an alternate dimension. Not even growing gills can save you from the time-space continuum.
Beak (Barnell Bohusk)
Debut: New X-Men #117, October 2001
Powers: Being a bird
Upon reaching puberty, Barnell didn’t developing a cracking voice and acne like the other kids. He just literally turned into a bird instead – complete with a giant beak, talons, bulging bird-like eyes, double-jointed limbs, and feathered wings. That must have gotten really awkward for him after gym class.
Apparently, Marvel didn’t even like having Beak on their superhero roster, so they got rid of his powers during the M-Day, which was responsible for the de-powering of tons of mutants. Barnell reverted back to his human form, and eventually became known as Blackwing. With the help of some cool gadgets and a shiny new black costume, he was all set to be a worse version of Batman.
Choir (Irina Clayton)
Debut: New X-Men #119, December 2001
Powers: Having extra mouths
2001 was not a great year for X-Men comics, was it?
Choir has multiple mouths spaced around her neck that allow her to cast multiple voices in multiple directions simultaneously, that can be used as a disorienting tactic versus enemies. If you’re wondering whether that would work better than X-Men using a voice recorder or an actual ventriloquist to achieve the same effect, it probably wouldn’t.
There’s not really much else to say about Choir, which is a shame because she’s so good at talking.
Debut: Obnoxio the Clown vs. The X-Men #1, April 1983
Powers: Shapeshifting. Sort of.
This is seriously a picture of a comic book character that was actually published.
Not only is Eye-Scream able to transform into ice cream, he can transform into any flavor of ice cream. Watch out, Ben & Jerry’s. To be fair, Eye-Scream was only supposed to be a silly one-off villain for a special event anyways, but he’s hard to take seriously even as a joke.
Either way, he’s definitely the mutant to invite to a birthday party. It’s technically not cannibalism to eat a person that’s transformed into a dessert.
Marvel Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright © 1941-2014 Marvel Characters, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Click to expand full credits.
Cypher From X-Men: To Serve and Protect #1. Pepe Larraz, Chris Sotomayor.
X-Man Cover of New Mutants Vol. 3 #25. Jorge Molina.
X-Treme Cover of X-Force #30. Antonio Daniel, Jon Holdredge.
Maggott From Weapon X Vol 2 #5. Georges Jeanty, Dexter Vines.
Skin From Uncanny X-Man Vol 1 #317. Joe Madueira.
Lifeguard From X-Treme X-Men #9. Salvador Larroca.
Beak Via http://marvel.com/universe/Beak.
Choir From New X-Men #120. Igor Kordey.
Eye-Scream From Obnoxio the Clown Vs. The X-Men Vol 1 #1. Alan Kupperberg.