Marvel’s comic book universe contains a vast array of super-powered heroes and villains, but they can’t all stem from radioactive spider bites or blasts of gamma radiation as the source of their powers. For many, it’s their DNA separating them from their homo-sapien cousins. These would be Marvel’s mutant minority.
The mutants in the X-men comics are often categorised according to their powers, such as psychic abilities, and there are a lot of mutants who possess mental gifts. Some are telepathic, others telekinetic or psionic, and they make up what is arguably the most powerful group of mutants. You’ll find the best of the best here: the 15 most mentally powerful mutants to have ever joined the X-Men at one point.
Nathan Summers, child of the X-man Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, was destined for greatness from the beginning. The result of Mr. Sinister’s manipulations, Nathan Summers was sent into the future to survive the techno-organic virus inflicted upon him by Apocalypse who had discovered the child’s purpose: to one deal bring about Apocalypse’s death.
Being the child of Cyclops and Jean Grey’s clone, Nathan Summers possessed considerable psychic abilities, inhibited by the techno-organic virus that runs through his system, constantly trying to assimilate him. When his body had finally seemed to rid itself of the virus, he was able to display great feats with his telepathic and telekinetic abilities. He levitated an entire city while going head to head against the Silver Surfer in “Cable and Deadpool” #10. Unfortunately, those powers eventually disappeared, but Deadpool was able to restore them by repairing his personal timeline. Though his psychic potential is clearly formidable, it seems Cable is either unable or unwilling to tap into it to its max, which is why we aren’t ranking him higher on the list.
Known mainly for those beautiful purple blades composed entirely of pure psionic energy, Psylocke has shown a variety of telepathic and telekinetic abilities, with Rachel Summers once even stating that she wouldn’t be able to match Psylocke’s abilities once the latter had been resurrected. Though Psylocke rarely uses those powers, more recently she’s been trying to develop them further, becoming able to create a force field of telekinetic ability as well as achieve flight.
Depending on the story, Psylocke has occasionally shown an incredible ability to resist mental manipulation while at other times she’s shown to be surprisingly susceptible to them. For example, during the “Necrosha” event (in which the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club tried to resurrect dead mutants in order to reach a state of godhood), Psylocke was possessed and her physical form manipulated by Proteus, a mutant of pure psionic energy, despite having previously been shown as immune to reality-shifting beings and their manipulations.
Revealed to be the long-lost younger brother of Cyclops and Havok, Vulcan possesses a variety of powers that aren’t entirely dissimilar to those of his brothers. After losing his memory and taking the name Vulcan from Roman mythology, he became a part of the incarnation of X-Men consisting of Petra, Darwin and Sway. In the aftermath of a battle with the hive-minded Krakoa, the living island, Gabriel was kept in stasis, trapped in space until the events of M-Day (in which Scarlet Witch drove the mutant populace to near extinction) caused a large amount of energy to awaken him.
Vulcan is able to create lethal amounts of energy and manipulate it in ways few others could. He has also displayed great feats of telepathy as well as telepathic resistance. Though he doesn’t actually possess any psychic abilities of his own per se, what he can do is psionically manipulate telepathic energy. With those psionic abilities, he’s able to manipulate and absorb energy, in effect simulating telekinesis and giving him the ability to mimic other people’s powers, as well as suppress them. He can also use his energy manipulation powers to fire energy blasts, fly, and heal himself.
12. Nate Grey
Nate Grey was basically Cable from an alternate reality, one where the ancient mutant, Apocalypse, rules all in the appropriately titled “Age Of Apocalypse” story. Under Apocalypse’s reign, all psychics are being hunted down, but Nate Grey, or X-Man, manages to avoid capture. As it turns out, Nate Grey is the most powerful psychic of all and, with help from this reality’s Forge, is able to undermine Apocalypse’s rule through guerrilla tactics. Essentially, Nate Grey is what Cable might have been if he hadn’t been infected with the techno-virus that hindered the development of his psychic abilities. That’s because he’s cloned from this reality’s Jean Grey and Cyclops.
At one point, it was discovered that Nate’s telepathic and telekinetic power rivalled that of the infamous Phoenix Force. Unfortunately, that all changed when the Sugar Man forced Nate to use all his will and power to open a portal to his home reality. Suffering nerve damage, Nate lost almost all his powers, save for his now extremely limited telekinetic abilities which were all but lost in the aftermath.
One of the most tragic X-Men, Xi’an Coy Manh, or Karma, possesses great telepathic abilities which first manifested when her twin brother, Tran, was attacked by a Viet Cong soldier in Vietnam during the war. She was able to completely possess the soldier and save her brother’s life. Tran developed the same powers though he was reckless and cruel in its use. While he escaped the war, Xi’an lost everyone before finally arriving in America, where she came into contact with many of its superheroes.
Xi’an can psychically possess an individual and control their bodies as though they were her own, which means she can easily extract information, see through their eyes and alter everything they perceive and remember. After her encounter with the being known as Shadow King, her powers had grown and she was shown to be capable of possessing multiple individuals at once, though when doing so, her control over them becomes limited and she must shift focus to one individual at a time.
10. The Stepford Cuckoos
The Stepford Cuckoos are the cloned children of Emma Frost, birthed through the villainous John Sublime harvesting and growing some of her eggs while she was in a coma. Originally, there were five of them. Each one was telepathically linked to her sisters and together they formed a hive mind of sorts, able to instantly communicate with each other and share power among themselves. There was Celeste, Esme, Irma, Phoebe and Sophie. Like Emma Frost, they possess a wide array of psychic and psionic abilities, including telepathy, the ability to astral project, and fire psionic blasts. Some of them were later granted telekinetic abilities thanks to the Phoenix Force which inhabited their diamond hearts for a time.
Unfortunately for the quintuplets, after a tragic riot at the Xavier Institue, Sophie died. Soon after, a bitter unrequited love between Esme and Xorn (Magneto in disguise) resulted in the former’s demise. The five were now down to three and the extent of their powers has suffered for it.
Ruth Aldine was born without eyes, which is why she wears a blindfold. Thankfully for her however, she’s able to perceive the world in a way no one else around her can, owing to her precognitive and retro-cognitive mutant abilities. Her appearances would often show her answering questions before hearing the question and replying to things others never got a chance to actually say. After a period in which she lost the majority of her powers, owing to her cruel brother’s psychic projection damaging her mental state (resulting in an unusual speech pattern, among other things), she regained and developed more power than she’d ever had.
Now able to create armor for herself comprised of psionic energy, Blindfold is a force to be reckoned with. Her abilities allow her a certain amount of clairvoyance as well as total possession of an individual’s mind. In the “X-Men Legacy” comic series, she was even shown to be a match for the Stepford Cuckoos, albeit with the aid of David Haller, with whom she was romantically involved.
8. Kid Omega
Quentin Quire is a powerful mutant who quit being an X-Man to become a member of the Hellfire Club, leaving an irreparable path of destruction behind him. During his time at the Xavier Institute, he became infatuated with Sophie Cuckoo, of the Stepford Cuckoo quintuplets, though all of the Cuckoos, including Sophie, reviled him. He would go on to incite a riot at the institute against Xavier’s policies. That riot involved a gang of Omega-level (part of a vague classification scheme, in this case meaning “ridiculously powerful”) mutants boosted by the drug known as Kick. It turned out Quentin’s real intention was to impress Sophie, who died while quelling the riot.
Kid Omega possesses incredible psychic abilities, including the power to possess others through subtle mental invasion or direct domination. His mind works at such a speed that other telepaths find it difficult to assault or affect his mind. However, it should be noted that a lot of the time, Kid Omega was under the influence of Kick, so his real potential and limits are currently unknown.
7. Marvel Girl (Rachel Summers)
Rachel Summers took on the name Marvel Girl in honor of her mother, Jean Grey, from an alternate universe where Robert Kelly is assassinated, an incident that prompted a violent response against mutants through the use of the Sentinels. Rachel Summers was employed as a mutant hunter, using her psychic abilities to track mutants, though those same telepathic powers would soon drive her into fighting against the dystopian regime. After a failed attempt at changing the past, the Phoenix Force plunged Rachel into a different reality: Earth 616, the main Marvel continuity.
Using her telepathy, Rachel Summers is able to completely control a mind, going so far as to completely suppress an individual’s super-powers. She can create links between her mind and others over vast distances as well as over time itself. Using her telepathy in conjunction with her time-controlling abilities, Rachel is able to send someone’s consciousness through time (a power they instead gave to Shadowcat in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past”). Even more impressive are her telekinetic abilities, though their depiction is notably inconsistent. While sometimes her powers are shown to be limitless, she has required aid from both Professor X and Emma Frost over the years.
6. Emma Frost
A wealthy and powerful mutant, Emma Frost has been affiliated with a variety of teams, including the Hellfire Club and of course, the X-Men. Because of her experience and power, she’s led mutant teams of her own, including Generation X, the Stepford Cuckoos and eventually the X-Men, alongside Cyclops, her lover. She has been both a supervillain as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, trying to bring the Phoenix into the inner circle, and a remarkable hero after the loss of her sister, which prompted her to become a teacher for young and wayward mutants.
She’s been shown to be a powerful telepath, able to switch minds with others and communicate with individuals across the globe. Her powerful mind can also affect the neural pathways of others and in mutants, which means she’s able to give them a boost and offer them a little more control over their own powers than usual, something she did when she took over Iceman’s body and used his powers in ways he never thought possible. The only weakness her telepathic abilities really have is that she’s unable to use her awesome power when in her virtually invincible diamond form.
5. Professor X
Arguably the most well known psychic in this list, Professor Charles Xavier of Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Youngsters first discovered his telepathic power at the young age of 10. He quickly discovered the true extent of all the pain and anger in his broken family. Eventually, he would use his powers to complete his education with flying colors though he thought that it was unfair. That attitude and empathy drove him to opening his school for gifted youngsters.
Xavier is among the most powerful telepaths in the Marvel universe. His range of telepathic communication is usually a couple of hundred miles. He’s able to perceive the thoughts of anyone within that vicinity as well as broadcast his own thoughts. He has even been shown to be able to communicate with beings far across intergalactic space. In fact, his telepathic powers are so great that he was able to confront Ego the Living Planet in “Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet”.
4. Jean Grey
This fiery redheaded mutant discovered her phenomenal telepathic and telekinetic abilities at a young age. Unfortunately for her, she was unable to control them, which is why her parents searched for someone to help her. This is how they found Charles Xavier, who aided her by constructing mental blocks within her mind to essentially cut Jean off from her telepathic powers until she would be old enough to control them. Jean Grey herself is a powerful mutant, but the strength of her powers was amplified greatly thanks to the all-powerful Phoenix Force.
Jean Grey’s telepathic abilities allow her to possess minds and manipulate an individual’s senses and memories, she can also use her telepathic abilities to shut off super powers or boost them to a greater extent. Jean’s telekinetic powers are even more powerful, as she’s been shown to be able to reach things orbiting Earth as well as developed a telekinetic sense of touch, meaning she can feel the texture and properties of objects through her telekinesis.
One of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe, David Haller, son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, discovered his powers after a terrorist attack after which he unintentionally absorbed the terrorist leaders’ mind. Over time, David Haller’s mind splintered further and his shattered psyche rendered his psychic and psionic powers essentially uncontrollable. His mind became a warzone wherein more than a thousand different personalities fight for control.
Legion has the ability to absorb personalities and abilities via telepathy. Some of the personalities contained within his mind cause him to change physically. There are several contained which give him telepathic and telekinetic powers, as well as several incredible psionic abilities. One of his personalities, Susan In Sunshine, was shown to be able to control the emotions of everyone around him/her. Even without his reality-warping, acid-spewing or time-controlling, David Haller is one psychic that others do not face willingly, unless they’re Blindfold, the only person who was ever really able to aid him in retaining control over his own mind.
2. Hope Summers
The miraculous first mutant born after Scarlet Witch decimated the mutant population sparked a long battle between old friends and enemies alike, all with their own intentions for the child of Louise Spalding. The first to strike were the Purifiers, a group that sought to kill this new mutant to prevent a prophecy from manifesting. Louise was killed in that attack, though young Hope was rescued by Cable, who eventually took her with him to the future, after Cyclops decided that it would be safest for her there.
Hope embodies the Phoenix Force and is thus one of the most powerful mutants. Her mutant abilities allow her to mimic the powers of other mutants so long as she is in close proximity to them. When she stuck the psimitar into Cable’s head (to help him, not hurt him) in “Cable and X-Force #14”, she gained Omega-level telepathic and telekinetic abilities for several weeks afterwards.
This ancient and colorful mutant was born Bennet Du Paris in 12th Century France. His mutant abilities had already manifested before Apocalypse had taken him and used his celestial technology to augment his mutant powers. Thankfully for all, after a brief time in service to Magneto, Exodus has been shown to be a generally decent being, resurrecting Professor Xavier after his brain and skull had been destroyed by Bishop.
On top of being potentially immortal, highly durable and able to teleport, Exodus has displayed great feats of both telepathy and telekinesis, as well as the ability to psionically feed off of others to strengthen and rejuvenate himself. That’s expected, of course, when you consider that the development of those powers was aided by Apocalypse, one of the handful of psychics that can withstand Exodus’ telepathic and telekinetic abilities, while Exodus himself has been shown to be able to resist the telepathic assault of Professor X.
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