Whether it’s through bad character design, terrible power-sets, or an abundance of ’90s-ness, these 15 mutants are the exact opposite of Wolverine, whose unbreakable popularity continues both in comics and on the screen, in “Logan.” These are the mutants, on the other hand, who were never meant to have film franchises, whether they were written only to be killed off, or were just too weird… even for a bunch of weirdos like the X-Men.
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To qualify for this list, characters needed to be primarily affiliated with and/or appearing in an X-Men title of some sort. We tried not to play favorites and stay objective, judging mutants based on their power sets, motivations and how long they survive in the field. That being said, Dazzler does not qualify for this list because she is awesome.
Cypher, created by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema, has the mutant power of being able to understand every sort of language ever. Initially created as a means of explaining why every alien speaks English, Cypher originally had no combat skills, resulting in the mutant hiding in skirmishes and generally complaining about being useless. On the other hand, this language skill extends to social situations, making Cypher a poker pro, as well as an exceptional hacker, being able to communicate with machines in their native language.
To compensate for his lack of combat ability — and so that fans would stop wishing for his death — Cypher is brought back from the dead, declaring everything to be language, and himself, therefore, as everything. So, instead of being the X-Men’s one non-combatant, Cypher becomes Neo, at one point beating the entirety of the New Mutants in combat. Not every X-Man needs to be a combatant, so to have a member of the team have a purely non-combative power was subversive. Pairing Cypher with the techno-organic Warlock even added further to Cypher’s dynamic. We kind of preferred it when he would just hide in Warlock’s belly like a baby kangaroo.
Prism is a crystalline member of Mr. Sinister’s Marauders who has the ability to absorb and refract light and most forms of energy directed at him. In his first appearance in “X-Force” #10 by Louise and Walter Simonson, Prism reflects one of Cyclops’ optic blasts, only for Jean Grey to throw Prism against a wall, shattering him, to the surprise of everyone. See, Prism can absorb almost any kind of energy blast, except for kinetic energy. Fortunately, being a Marauder, Prism is continually cloned; however, his fragility always remains.
Prism Clone #1 returns for round two in “Uncanny X-Men” #240 by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri, getting smashed by demonic policemen. In “X-Men: Messiah Complex” #1 by Ed Brubaker and Marc Silvestri, Prism Clone #2 is destroyed by an unnamed Purifier. When not being shattered, Prism doubles as a walking nightlight in a jam. Prism is a glass cannon: high attack, abysmal defense. He could be a powerhouse, but out of all of the energies, Prism cannot withstand the most common one used in fights: kinetic. Also, Prism’s design is lazy, as he (real name “Robbie,” no last name) is clearly a translucent Ice-Man.
Leader of the Morlocks, Callisto chose to spend her life living in the sewers after the surface dwellers took her eye and horribly disfigured her face. Callisto has just a random wad of mutant powers, including enhanced senses, and the typical enhanced strength and agility. Sometimes, Callisto has tentacle arms, while in the Ultimate universe Callisto can make a mass of tentacles come out of her eyehole. She also has excellent night vision, but then, so does anyone who loses an eye and intentionally chooses to live in the sewers.
Callisto makes it on this list for just being confusing. From her hodgepodge power-set to her original motivations in “Uncanny X-Men” #169-170 by Chris Claremont and Paul Smith. Since humans took her eye and jacked up her face, her first plan was to kidnap Angel to mate with him (because he is the hottest guy ever), and then try to force Kitty Pryde to marry Caliban. Those things are way more horrible than losing an eye. Callisto even names her group of sewer-dweller mutants the Morlocks, after the horrid future mole-people from H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine.” That’s just mean.
Flapping in from Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s “New X-Men,” Beak drew the short straw when it came to having powers, weighing closer to “Pigeon Boy” than “Hawk Man” on the whole Bird-Person scale. Beak can barely fly, is hideous to look at, and at one point even charges Magneto, the master of magnetism, with a metal baseball bat. As if to demonstrate his awfulness, Beak is sworn in as President during a nightmare sequence in “X-Men: Worst X-Men Ever.”
Beak ranks so low on this list because, thematically, he is meant to be a lame X-Man. He is placed in Xorn’s remedial class — the outcasts of the outcasts — to give Beak a narrative chance to spread his (chicken) wings. Beak is intentionally uncool, so much so that when he does get a chance to be a hero, he truly shines. Likewise, Beak is redeemed by having a badass hawk-person grandson known as Angel in “Here Comes Tomorrow.”
John Proudstar, or Thunderbird, is part of the second team of X-Men assembled to save the original team in “Giant Size X-Men” #1 by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. Having superhuman strength and durability, Thunderbird wants to prove himself to be a true Apache warrior. Undertaking a noble quest on his second X-mission, Thunderbird defies Professor X by pursuing Count Nefaria’s ascending escape-jet in “X-Men” #95 by Chris Claremont and Len Wein. Despite Banshee pointing out that he can disable the jet with a sonic scream if Thunderbird would jump off, Thunderbird punches the jet until it explodes, instantly killing only himself.
Thunderbird is a Native American character that is quickly killed off to demonstrate how high the stakes are, like Slipknot in “Suicide Squad.” “X-Men” #95’s cover even boasts “This issue an X-Man DIES!” so it’s a cheap death. Thunderbird is resurrected during “Chaos War” by Grek Pak and Fred Van Lente, defeating the Carrion Crow. Dying again, Thunderbird remarks that he is proud that his life finally counts for something. If you to want see Thunderbird done right, look at Warpath, Thunderbird’s cooler younger brother.
10. STACY X
Stacy X is a reptilian-skinned formed member of the Nevada mutant brothel the X-Ranch, who has the ability to control pheromones through skin contact, whether that’s healing, inducing nausea, or being the most efficient lizard-skinned prostitute ever. Originally, Stacy X was introduced as X-Stacy in “Uncanny X-Men” #399 by Joe Casey and Tom Raney. Since you can’t have a heroic character named after drugs, X-Stacy became Stacy X, working with the X-Men while still moonlighting her services to high-profile clientele. Stacy would lose the skin to become Ripcord in “New Warriors,” only to die and be mysteriously resurrected for “Vengeance” by Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta, just so that Magneto could slut-shame her apparently.
When Angel chooses to be in a relationship with Husk over Stacy-X, Stacy leaves the X-Men. As a final goodbye, Stacy-X leaves Angel a video of herself jumping rope naked, telling Angel that he will never have someone as sexy as her. It’s a bizarre farewell, since besides bringing the sexiness of jumping rope into question, pheromones don’t work through messages. Ultimately, Stacy-X left Angel lizard-person workout footage.
Coming in from the appropriately named “X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever” by Max Bemis and Michael Walsh, Bailey (or X-Ceptional) has the worst super-power ever, being able to self-detonate once, and only once. Having no super-suit to compensate, and faulty kung-fu skills at that, Bailey even interns on some of the other X-teams like X-Factor, X-Force, New Mutants and Beta Flight, coming to the conclusion that he is, in fact the “Worst. X-Man. Ever.” As if to confirm this fact, during a banquet, Bailey is seated at the “Worst X-Men ever table,” whose seats are filled by quite a few individuals on this list.
Despite his one-shot power set, Bailey isn’t the worst X-Man by any means, just the one with the most unfortunate powers. Upon meeting Beast, Bailey remarks that he wants blue fur, demonstrating how much of an optimist he is in regards to X-genes. Yet, given his power set, Bailey is essentially a human living amongst the X-Men, oftentimes reduced to a water-boy role on missions. Regardless, Bailey’s power offers him one shot to make everything right.
8. GIN GENIE
X-Factor’s Gin Genie can only smash crime when she herself is smashed. Making her grand appearance (and exit) in “X-Force” #116 by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred — the first Marvel comic to be published without the Comics Code Authority stamp since the 1970s — Gin Genie has the mutant ability to generate seismic waves that are directly proportional to her current blood alcohol content. Given the unruly nature of alcohol, mixing the wrong substances together can result in the bad sort of drunk for Gin Genie, and with it a loss of control over her powers. Incidentally, Gin Genie was a mean drunk, often aiming her seismic attacks at her own teammates.
Gin Genie does not have a mutant healing factor to compensate for this power however, meaning that much like Quake in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Gin Genie risks her health every time she uses her shockwave powers; instead of shattering her forearms, it’s cirrhosis of the liver. Ginnie wouldn’t go out this way, however, meeting a swift demise in her very first issue in a hail of helicopter gunfire.
It’s not the blue skin or white mohawk that make Maggott one of the oddest X-Men — those things are practically staples in X-Men comics — rather, it’s his disturbing mutant power. At least five times a day, two techno-organic worms named Eany and Meany will violently and painfully burst out of Maggott’s flesh to feed. These worms serve as his digestive system, consuming nearly any substance to transfer nutrients, power and the item’s history back to Maggott, oftentimes buffing him up and dying his skin blue. When the worms aren’t in Maggott, his torso is this horrid emaciated husk, reminding us that every time this hero wants to leap into action, he has to re-enact the climax from “Alien.”
Maggott makes this list for just being an unfortunately designed mutant. Maybe it’s the fact that he shares a misspelled moniker with insects that feast exclusively on necrotic flesh, or that these worms are the exact opposite of Baby Groot in terms of cuteness. When Maggott gives his worms to a little girl before he is put to death, you can’t help but feel bad for the child who got the worst superhero gift ever.
First appearing in “Uncanny X-Men” #317 by Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira, Skin has six feet of extra skin that he can manipulate at will, Mr. Fantastic style. Well, that’s to say that, unlike Mr. Fantastic, Skin cannot manipulate his skeleton, but he can hurl flab at you from up to six feet away. By focusing on both producing melanin and tightening his epidermis, Skin could appear “normal” for brief periods of time, though it would cause severe migraines. Normally, Skin had the appearance of a grey droopy candle. After briefly sharing an apartment with Jubilee, Skin was crucified on the X-Mansion lawn, which we didn’t think was possible, considering how Skin could have just manipulated his skin to pull the nails out, or not go in at all.
Here’s the problem with Skin’s super-skin — it’s just skin. It’s not bulletproof like Luke Cage, it’s just grey epidermis that Skin will likely shoot at you in a finger-shaped flesh-missile or wrap around you like some sort of eldritch taffy. Skin would be resurrected for Selene’s army in “X-Force” Vol.3 #22, but no one bothered to check if he survived.
5. EL GUAPO
Skating in from “X-Statix” by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, El Guapo, or Robbie Rodriguez, doesn’t have the ability to change his bone structure at will, or glamour people like Gambit. No, El Guapo’s mutant power is having a symbiotic link to a super-powered flying skateboard. This relationship between locomotion device and man is an abusive one at that, with the skateboard once assaulting Robbie on its own accord when Robbie cheated on his girlfriend Consuela. Unfortunately, Robbie cannot leave this relationship with a wheeled piece of wood, as his health rapidly deteriorates if he’s departed from his board for too long. This unholy union between man and skateboard only gets stronger, as after Robbie loses his legs in an explosion, the skateboard begins to serve as Robbie’s new legs.
Part of the fun of “X-Statix” is that their mutant protagonists are intentionally given unconventional and out-there powers, with El Guapo’s powers in particular bordering on parody. Robbie himself technically is powerless, as it’s the skateboard that does all of the heavy lifting. When El Guapo is successfully killed, like almost every other member of X-Statix, he is shown skateboarding to the heavens.
Not to be confused with awesome teleporting gunman John Wraith, the Spider-Man villain Wraith, the psionic “Marvel Team-Up” villain Wraith, or the alien Wraith from “Annihilation: Conquest,” this Wraith is Hector Rendoza, an X-Man with the ability to make his epidermis invisible. Clearly the worst of the Wraiths, Hector made his first appearance in “Uncanny X-Men” #392 by Scott Lobdell and Salvador Larroca. Wraith can also extend this invisibility field, using it to disorient Magneto once during a mission.
The real problem with Wraith’s power is that, while it’s easy to illustrate the Invisible Woman going ghost, trying to show translucent skin just results in having a fleshy skeleton running around. Also, being unable to ever effectively close your eyes sounds pretty terrible. Jean Grey theorized that given enough time and training, Hector probably could have learned how to turn completely invisible; however, Wraith would never see that day, getting cured on M-Day.
Created by Fabian Nicieza, Greg Capullo and Jeff Johnson for “X-Force Annual” #2, X-Treme or Adam X — no relation to Stacy — has the ability to light an individual’s blood on fire, but only once the blood has been oxygenated. This means that whenever Adam X cuts you, be it with his Shi’ar blades, ridiculous bladed costume, or 1990’s-era edginess, you explode. This effectively gives Adam X the ability to turn any fight into a Power Rangers brawl. To add to his counter-culture persona, Adam X/X-Treme even turned down membership to the X-Force — despite clearly having an X in his name—to look for answers to his mysterious past.
X-Treme claims to be a Shi’ar Mutant Hybrid —so, a mutant mutant— but he was clearly bitten by a radioactive Surge commercial. Let’s be glad Adam’s past was never fully explored, as he was originally supposed to be the long lost third Summers brother, almost making him an integral character. X-Treme is as close as the X-Men ever got to having a Poochie-style character fill their ranks, backwards baseball cap and all.
A lot of people believe that Angel is one of the worst X-Men ever. In response, we would like to introduce them to Wing, created by Josh Whedon and John Cassaday for “Astonishing X-Men.” Wing has the power to fly. No gross secondary mutations, just a normal looking kid who can fly with no weird physical compromises. Wing’s nonexistent wings are clipped, however, as he is given a dose of the mutant Cure against his will. Having lost his ability to fly, Wing takes one last leap to see if he can fly again, becoming the first person to die in the Danger Room.
To recap, the mutant with basically the sweetest power commits suicide when facing the prospect of having to live a normal life, albeit still enrolled in the Xavier Institute. When most X-Men lose their powers, they grab some power armor or double down on martial arts. Wing didn’t even wait around for a cure for the Cure, or even a jetpack. Also, how does Wing fly? Does he make his body less dense? Dark-matter manipulation? Wing doesn’t even have wings! He just ambiguously flies… until he didn’t.
Not to be confused with Ink, Tattoo is a member of Quentin Quire’s Omega Gang from Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s “New X-Men.” Tattoo has the ability to make any sort of pattern, message or camouflage appear on her skin. She can also phase her hand through other individuals and objects, but she needs to be high on Kick to do so. After harassing humans and rioting at Xavier’s with the rest of the Omega Gang, Tattoo is quickly taken out by the X-Men before being sent to “regular human jail.”
After losing her powers on M-Day, Tattoo reforms and joins the New Warriors. Tattoo grabs a pair of Stilt-Man’s old armor, and takes the new moniker of Longstrike. While fighting Cancer on one of their first missions, Longstrike becomes overconfident — a first for someone wearing Stilt-Man armor — before being viciously killed in front of her team. Tattoo is just an elaborate tapestry of lame. Tattoo is a character who has relied on crutches, be they performance enhancing drugs or stilts previously used for villainy. Dying in personalized Stilt-Man armor is easily the most embarrassing way to die in the Marvel universe.
Is there another X-Person that is just the worst? Disturbed that Angel didn’t make the list? Do you dare question the awesomeness of Dazzler? Let us know in the comments!
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