There have been 10 films in the X-Men film universe since the first film debuted in 2000. Over the decade and a half, there have been some highs and there have been some lows (we’re looking at you X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Much like the comics these films are inspired by, the X-Men films are populated with a variety of different mutants, with crazy superpowers. However, not all of these mutants are memorable, or even good characters. In fact, there are a large number of characters in these films that are just horrible.
When you’re dealing with movies that feature a dozen or more mutants, there are bound to be some real stinkers. The characters on this list are here for a variety of reasons. Many of them are just nowhere near as alive and interesting as the ones on the printed page. Some of these characters are almost mockeries of their comic book namesakes. A lot of the time, the reason a character ends up on this list is a general misunderstanding of what makes them great. There’s a lot of wasted opportunity here. So, let’s take a look at the 15 worst characters from the X-Men film series.
15. WHITE QUEEN
X-Men: First Class is a film that divides fans of the series. Either you’re all aboard the quirky, brightly colored period film, or you think it’s campy and doesn’t fit with the rest of the films. One thing everyone can agree with however, is that Emma Frost, aka White Queen, is probably one of the worst things about the film.
It’s hard to even put into words just how bad Frost is in the film. In the comics, she’s a sexy, capable badass. In the movie, she’s a robot. Not literally, but pretty much. Her costume, the acting, and the use of her powers are all just not good. It’s such a shame because there was a chance for her to be truly memorable, but instead they focused too much on the sex appeal and forgot the actual character stuff.
Do you even remember anything that Toad did in the first X-Men film? Probably not. Well, actually, you probably remember he is on the receiving end of what is perhaps the worst line in any of these films, “You know what happens to a Toad when it’s struck by lightning…” Ugh. That line should make you want to vomit. Take away that scene, and you’re left with a character that was completely forgettable.
In the comics, he’s a full character. He’s gross and campy, but in the best way. In the film, however, he’s Darth Maul with puke green face paint and a CGI tongue. Toad, along with Sabretooth (more on him later), are pretty much just mutes throughout the film, which also contributes to them just being shells of their comic counterparts.
This might be controversial to say, but Mystique is probably the biggest problem with the entire X-Men film series. If you sat and watched the main X-Men films in chronological order, Mystique would make absolutely no sense. She goes from being a huge part of the films, as one of the founding members and eventual trainer of the new class, to a throwaway villain and Magneto’s lackey in the remaining films. Let’s not even discuss the fact that if the timeline is accurate, she would be in her 70s during the present day films.
When you consider her horrible character design, and uneven acting from the two actresses, you’re left with an uninteresting mutant that takes screen time away from better, more deserving characters. Sure, her powers are cool and the shape-shifting ability is a nice effect, but that’s just a gimmick, not a character trait.
Havok is a prime example of the wasted opportunity in the X-Men films. In the comics, Havok is a second-tier X-Men character. He’s a character with a cool name and eye-popping powers, but is not often utilized in big ways in the comics; such that, when he is, it’s always a powerful moment. So, he’d be a perfect character for the X-Men films to mold into whatever they want. Instead, they introduce him and he’s boring.
In First Class, he’s just a stiff character that is best known for not being able to control his powers. In the subsequent films, he’s completely ditched as a main character, and relegated to cameos that are forced in the film. There’s no way to describe his character in the films because he’s not given any real characterization. Plus, it doesn’t help when the actor portraying him has as much charisma as a paper bag.
Storm is one of the best characters in the X-Men comics, period. That’s what makes it such a shame that the original trilogy of X-Men films makes her a laughing stock. The worst part of the character is all in how she’s written. Storm comes off as timid and unsure of herself. She lets other people tell her what to do. It should be a crime to write such a powerful, confident character like that in the films.
Okay, you can’t bring up Halle Berry’s Storm without talking about the accent and hairstyles. Obviously, Halle Berry’s hair isn’t white, so the use of a wig is necessary, but holy hell, are those wigs bad. The first X-Men film, in particular, has her looking completely ridiculous. The worst part of the character, hands down, is the accent. Listen to how the cartoon version of the character sounds and then Halle Berry. It’s cringeworthy.
There’s nothing horrible about the Rogue character as she exists in the film series, per se. Her powers are faithful to the comic, partially, and Anna Paquin does a good job portraying her. The problem is that the Rogue in the film series isn’t the Rogue that fans have grown to love over the decades. In the comics, Rogue is a powerhouse and full of life. She’s molded herself into one of the best X-Men ever, and an eventual leader of the team. In the movies, she’s the opposite of that in almost every way.
It hurts to watch Rogue become a damsel in distress, screaming all the time when she gets attacked. She doesn’t even come close to resembling her comic book namesake. The film series tried to make her into a Kitty Pryde-esque character, but failed to give her any spunk. She just mumbles and does her best emo-look throughout the films.
Logan is a great film, without question. In fact, it’s probably the best representation of the Wolverine character in any of the previous films. The glaring weakness, however, is the X-24 character. Well, “character” is actually a bit of a misnomer. He’s more of a plot point, with almost no character other than being a young, feral Wolverine.
The biggest problem with X-24 is that the character would have been a great way to introduce another Wolverine bad guy. They could have had the main physical threat be someone from the comics, since the Weapon X program is known for its crazy cast of killers. Having him just be a younger Wolverine just felt a bit anti-climatic. They could have made him a clone of Victor Creed, which would have been a good callback to Wolverine’s history. Nope, instead we got Hugh Jackman fighting Hugh Jackman, and they both die.
No, before you get all up in arms, we’re not talking about the amazing Deadpool from his self-titled film. No, we’re talking about the abomination that was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s difficult to think back to the film without gagging and almost getting sick, but we’ll try. Sure, you have Ryan Reynolds giving it his all as Wade Wilson in the beginning of the film. He uses swords and cracks jokes, but is ultimately forgettable in the first half. Then he comes back.
As the big boss battle at the end of Origins: Wolverine, Deadpool is infuriating. He is a bald guy with lines on his body. He has Mortal Kombat-esque blades in his arms. He teleports and shoots concussive blasts out of his eyes. Oh yeah, and his mouth is sewn shut. Deadpool is a disgrace, and the worst part about a horrible film.
Please, if the X-Men Producers are reading this, actually give Jubilee something to do! Did you know that Jubilee has appeared in four separate X-Men films? Do you know how many lines she’s had? NONE. Putting her on this list isn’t an opportunity to beat up her character because there’s really no character to trash. Instead, this is to show that putting such a high-profile mutant in the films, purely as a cameo, is a waste.
Sure, Jubilee doesn’t have the rich history that some of the characters have, but many fans love her and have fond memories of her, either from the cartoons or the comics. Jubilee was one of the main characters on the ’90s cartoon series, and deserves her chance to shine on the big screen. So far, the best scene we’ve had is a deleted mall scene from X-Men: Apocalypse. Come on!
Colossus is one of the most visually striking characters in the X-Men comics. He’s the go-to strong guy, and is covered head to toe in metal. On top of his amazing visuals, he also happens to be one of the nicest, sweetest members of the team. So, that makes it painful when you watch X-Men: The Last Stand. Props to Daniel Cudmore, who does his best job with what he’s given, but the character is garbage.
When Colossus is in his metal form, beating up bad guys, he’s actually not bad. However, when they try to give him any lines, or make him anything more than just a visual spectacle, he fails completely. To top it off, you see how great Colossus can be in Deadpool, where you get the most comic book accurate portrayal to date, showing that it can be done with just a little bit of care.
You probably forgot Viper was even in an X-Men film, huh? When you look back and remember all that happened in The Wolverine, you think of Wolverine fighting ninjas, his bright-haired sidekick, and the atrocious third act with robo-Silver Samurai. What you completely forget is Viper. However, she’s in there, and yep, she really is horrible.
Viper, in the comics, is an interesting character. She was actually Madame Hydra, and a crucial part of Marvel lore. One thing she isn’t however, is a literal snake. Somewhere along the way, the filmmakers responsible for The Wolverine thought it would be a good idea to give her a snake tongue and make her shed her skin. You know, because her name is Viper, get it? Yeah, they still gave her the toxin immunity, but it was the complete misunderstanding of her character that lands her on this list. She’s not threatening. She’s not cool. She’s just a snake lady.
An argument could be made that Sabretooth, not Deadpool, is the character that was done the most disservice in the X-Men films. In the first X-Men film, Sabretooth is a throwaway character that is hairy, poorly dressed, and nowhere near the threatening badass he is in the comics. Bryan Singer and Company took the best Wolverine villain ever and made him a henchman. It’s almost as if they never read a single comic, saw a character named Sabretooth and wrote him based on his name alone.
To make matters worse, they decided to integrate Sabretooth into X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Unfortunately, because of the mess of a character Sabretooth was in X-Men, they ditched the codename and just called him Victor Creed. Even the creators of the films wanted to separate themselves from the dumpster fire that is cinematic Sabretooth.
Before the film was released, everyone was buzzing about Olivia Munn as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse. She was on the cover of magazines, in the costume that was almost ripped from the comic book pages. Then the movie was released and everyone groaned.
Without a doubt, Olivia Munn looks the part. The filmmakers did a great job designing her. However, she’s given horrible dialogue and bad motivation. Why is she even in the film? Like so many other bad villains in these films, her sole purpose is to be cannon fodder for the X-Men to fight. Worst of all, she literally leaves the film by sneaking off into the shadows, like a bad cartoon villain. Sadly, the best thing about her is the scene where she chops a car in half, but even then it’s just disappointing because of how awful her character is.
2. JOHN WRAITH
Just as a general rule, it’s probably best if you leave musicians out of comic book films. Will.I.Am is so bad in X-Men Origins: Wolverine that you almost want to cheer when he gets killed in the film. The worst part about John Wraith is that he’s completely not necessary for the film. His only reason for being there is to help Wolverine make it through some expositional dialogue and eventually die.
The John Wraith character is only in the movie just to add another mutant. One of the worst parts of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is how they crammed as many mutants as they could in the film. Most of these characters, including Wraith, are extraneous. What puts Wraith on this list is how unnecessary the character is combined with Will.I.Am’s horrible acting.
As has been said by many X-Men fans before, you’re either a Cyclops fan or a Wolverine fan. Bryan Singer and the rest of the X-Men filmmakers definitely fall in Team Wolverine. Cyclops is a founding member of the X-Men, and next to Xavier and Magneto, one of the most important characters in all of X-Men mythology. So, why is his character treated so poorly in the films?
In the first two X-Men films, Cyclops is just treated as the butt of Wolverine’s jokes. Plus, there’s so little chemistry between him and Jean Grey, that you wonder why they’re even together to begin with. Then when he gets killed off at the beginning of Last Stand, it’s the final “F You” to all Cyclops fans. Overall, he has none of the leadership skills and other character traits that make him one of the most interesting characters in all of the Marvel Universe. Instead, he’s just a bore.
Who was your least favorite movie mutant? Let us know in the comments!