After more than 15 years of “X-Men” movies, fans of the comic books have seen a plethora of major and minor characters make the transition to live action on the big screen. Some mutants have been given major starring roles in the films while others were reduced to background appearances as Easter eggs for the fandom to discover upon closer inspection.
With a new “X-Men television series” that’s set within the same universe as the movies currently in production, now is the perfect opportunity to shine the spotlight on even more mutants than ever before. Odds are that the big leaguers like Storm, Cyclops, and Jean Grey won’t be making the jump to the small screen, so here are 15 lesser-used mutant characters who we’d like to see get the attention they deserve on TV.
A founding member of the young mutant team, Generation X, in the original “Generation X” comic book series from the ’90s, Jonothon Starsmore (sometimes called Jonothan Starsmore) is a dark and moody British mutant who has risen from being an X-Man in training to a teacher at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, alongside his old teammate, Jubilee in the newly revamped “Generation X” series.
Chamber would not only add an interesting dynamic to a TV show with his sometimes confrontational personality, but he would also provide a truly unique visual due to his mutation which essentially destroyed his internal organs and lower-half of his face, replaced them with a burning inferno of comprised of psionic energy. In addition to his personality and mutant powers, Chamber could also be the springboard for a variety of interesting story arcs due to his family’s connection to Apocalypse, which could be a great way to tie the show into to the greater “X-Men” cinematic universe.
With Mystique likely remaining limited to the big screen “X-Men” adventures, an easy way to add some shapeshifting fun to the new “X-Men” TV series would be to simply introduce viewers to another mutant with a similar power set such as Changeling. The character actually appeared in the comics around a decade before Mystique arrived on the scene (back in “X-Men” Issue 35, 1967), and while he was killed off a year after his first appearance, Changeling is actually a fairly well-known character to casual “X-Men” fans thanks to his reimagining as Morph in the ’90s “X-Men” animated series.
The newly renamed Morph proved so popular with viewers after his initial appearance in the animated series’ first season that the character was brought back for additional episodes and was eventually reintroduced into the comic books in the multiple series-spanning “Age of Apocalypse” event before being given an expanded role in “The Exiles” alongside Blink, who has actually already been confirmed as a character in the new “X-Men” TV show.
Northstar is a mutant from the comic books that is long overdue for a live-action debut. Jean-Paul Beaubier first appeared as a member of the Canadian superhero group, Alpha Flight, in “Uncanny X-Men” #120 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne 1979) and has since been a recurring character in a variety of “X-Men” comic book series. This French-Canadian mutant is blessed with the powers of flight, super speed and energy blasts, but his biggest claim to fame is being Marvel Comics’ first openly gay character.
While it is important not to define a character entirely by their sexuality, there’s no denying how important it is to feature more diversity in media these days. Northstar would fit that bill nicely, especially in a franchise with as big of a focus on identity politics as “X-Men.” Introducing Northstar to audiences could also open the door for a potential “Alpha Flight” spinoff down the road, and who wouldn’t want to see that?
12. KID OMEGA
Kid Omega, often referred to by his real name of Quentin Quire, is a relatively new character who was introduced during Grant Morrison’s run on “New X-Men” in 2003. The character began as a typical troubled teen supporting character at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, but gradually increased in importance as his psychic powers grew to Omega level (hence his codename) and it was revealed that he would become a Phoenix host sometime in the future.
Both of these aspects would make Kid Omega a prime candidate for an “X-Men” TV series as he would be able to fill the slot of team psychic on the small-screen X-Men team yet is visually distinct enough to not feel like a poor man’s Jean Grey or Charles Xavier. Adding Quentin Quire to the show’s cast of characters also allows for some exploration of the Phoenix Force in a vastly different way than what is probably going to be done with Jean Grey in future “X-Men” movies. Using Kid Omega would be a great way to expand the franchise’s mythology.
11. STEPFORD CUCKOOS
Some other characters that were also introduced during Grant Morrison’s run on “New X-Men” are the Stepford Cuckoos. This group of blond telepaths started out as superficial clones (eventually revealed to be literal clones) of Emma Frost but quickly evolved into their own distinct characters as members of the group were killed off and each individual Cuckoo began to express their own opinions on different issues and events.
With Emma Frost having been unceremoniously killed off off-screen in “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” some teenage clones of the character could be just what the doctor ordered in bringing some degree of the White Queen back into the “X-Men” cinematic universe. Even if the small-screen versions weren’t clones and were simply teenage telepaths who had developed an obsession with their deceased role model, that would still make for a captivating connection to the “X-Men” movies and, due to their potential connection to the Phoenix Force in the comics like Kid Omega, the Stepford Cuckoos would be another cool way to bring the cosmic firebird to TV screens.
Viewers have seen a wide variety of mutant superpowers in the “X-Men” movies and will likely see even more on the new TV show. Something fans haven’t seen yet though is magic, and what better way to introduce this important aspect of the Marvel comic books than by bringing Magik to the small screen, Soulsword and all?
Magik, or Illyana Rasputin, is the younger sister of Colossus, a character already familiar with viewers from his appearances in “X-Men United,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” and (in a rebooted form) “Deadpool.” Adding Magik to the cast of characters would do more than expand the variety of stories beyond the typical mutant-related dramas but would also create a tighter connection to the “X-Men” movies. Her teleportation abilities may be similar to Blink’s, but her magical powers and sword skills would differentiate her enough to make her stand apart and it’s unlikely that viewers would confuse the two given how different each mutant is.
Forge is a fairly major “X-Men” comic book character that has yet to make an appearance in live action despite having been around since 1984 when he first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #184 (Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr). Forge has the unique mutant gift of being naturally talented at inventing and understanding technology which may sound rather lame at first but would be very useful from a storytelling perspective. His mutant ability would be a great fit for the new TV show, which is rumored to be about mutants being chased by the mutant-hunting robots called sentinels.
Two other things that Forge would bring to the “X-Men” cinematic universe would be his bionic right hand and leg, and his magical abilities. His bionic limbs would not only look great on screen, but they could also up the excitement in action scenes due to the fact that, in the comics, the character has been known to hide weapons in them. Like with Magik, bringing magic to the “X-Men” with Forge would be long overdue, and since his powers are based more on Native American magic instead of the demonic variety, the two characters could exist together without feeling redundant.
With Blair Redford having apparently been cast as Thunderbird in the new “X-Men” TV series, it would be a totally logical decision to include his brother, Warpath, as well. Warpath has already appeared in the “X-Men” cinematic universe in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” alongside the mutant teleporter, Blink, so it would be natural to bring in some of the other minor mutant characters from that movie too.
While there is a risk of being a bit predictable by including two mutants who are not only visually similar but also have identical mutant powers such as super strength and heightened senses. An argument for including them both is that doing so would create a family dynamic. If Thunderbird is killed off early on, like he was in the comic books in “X-Men” Issue 95 (Chris Claremont, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum 1975), it would be much more dramatic to have a family member mourn him than his teammates.
Sunspot is a fan-favorite character who first appeared in “Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants” (Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod) way back in 1982 where he began his superhero career as a member of The New Mutants before eventually graduating to become an X-Man and then becoming a key member of X-Force and even the Avengers. Being from Brazil, Roberto da Costa brought even more racial diversity to the “X-Men” line of comics, but was often defined by his massive wealth and business smarts as the character matured.
Like Warpath, Sunspot was also used in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in the present timeline alongside Blink. Having already been established as existing in the same time period as the teleporter, it would not only be easy to write him into the new “X-Men” TV series, but also many viewers would be expecting it. Being incredibly rich, Sunspot could also fill the role of someone who is helping mutants avoid detection and could even fund their operations. There’s no Tony Stark in the “X-Men” cinematic universe and Sunspot could fill that role nicely.
If a new “X-Men” TV series is going to use Sunspot, it would be criminal not to use Cannonball as well. Both mutants not only debuted together in the same comic book issue (“Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants” by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod in 1982), but also have since become as inseparable as other popular comic bromances like Iron Fist and Power Man. Sunspot and Cannonball both rose through the ranks of X-Force, the X-Men and the Avengers, and even after Cannonball temporarily retired from being a superhero to be with Izzy Kane and their child, the two still kept in touch.
Cannonball could offer a lot more to a new “X-Men” TV show in addition to a friendship with Sunspot though. Being from a rural southern family, the character could provide an insight into how mutants are viewed in that part of America. It has also been hinted at that Cannonball could be immortal and is part of the group of mutants called The Eternals. Nothing would increase the tension in human/mutant relations more than the reveal that some mutants can live forever.
While Cannonball would be a great addition to an “X-Men” TV series, his younger sister, Husk, is also an awesome character that’s definitely worth considering too. Being a background character for many years, Husk finally came into her own when she was made a main character in the ’90s “Generation X” comic book series. Unlike her brother who embraced his rural upbringing, Husk constantly felt ashamed of where she came from and was often seen making conscious efforts to hide her southern accent.
What makes Husk really interesting, and would bring something unique to the show, is her mutant ability which allows her to shed her skin to transform her body’s molecular structure. On many occasions, she’s used this to turn to stone during action sequences, but she can also become metal and even gas or energy. This power is not only visually distinct, but could also make for a complex character study due to how it affects her mind when she transforms. This could lead to memory loss and even a personality change that could make her a potential villain further down the road.
4. RACHEL GREY
Rachel Grey (sometimes called Rachel Summers) first appeared way back in “The Uncanny X-Men” #141 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne, John Romita Jr.) in 1981 and has been a popular character with comic book readers ever since. The character has gone through several evolutions over the last 30 odd years and has used the codenames, Marvel Girl and Phoenix, just like her mother.
Being the future daughter of Jean Grey and Scott Summers, including her in any storyline would require the introduction of time travel which could be a lot to throw at a viewer. Thanks to “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” though, “X-Men” fans are already familiar with time travel and, since her parents are two of the most well-known mutants in the “X-Men” franchise, using her wouldn’t require the show’s writers to jump through too many hoops at all. The addition of a character from the future could also add a sense of urgency to the TV series’ plot, especially if Rachel has travelled back in time to prevent another terrible future from coming to pass.
M is one of the more complex mutants in the “X-Men” comic books not only because of her huge array of different powers, but also due to her rather unusual origin story which involves her evil brother, Emplate, who transformed her into a creature known as Penance while her two younger sisters merged to become a new, singular M who took the original’s place.
Few characters have an origin as complicated as M’s, yet it would translate perfectly to television and it’s much more original than the usual “teenager discovers they’re a mutant and is bullied” backstory that most of the X-Men have. It’s something that could be teased over the course of an entire season or even the whole series. Something that also adds to M’s uniqueness is the fact that she’s both a Muslim and autistic. The exploration of what it means to be a Muslim is something that could really take an “X-Men” TV show to the next level, and featuring a near-invincible woman who suffers from autism? Who wouldn’t want to watch that?
First appearing back in “Uncanny X-Men” #141 (Chris Claremont, John Byrne 1981), Irene Adler has had a long and dramatic impact on numerous “X-Men” storylines over the years, even affecting those that have taken place well after her death in “Uncanny X-Men” #255 (Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri 1989) due to her mutant ability to predict future events with incredible accuracy.
The character, who often used the codename Destiny, was mostly associated with the Brotherhood of Mutants. However, she was far from evil and shared great affection for her romantic partner, Mystique, proving that she was much more complex than the typical villain. While it’s unlikely that Mystique will make an appearance on any future live-action “X-Men” TV series, Destiny definitely deserves some attention and could not only prove to be an asset to her allies, but could also be a potential villain who isn’t necessarily bad, but rather just has more of a long-term goal that’s misunderstood. Destiny could even share storylines with other characters who are actually from the future such as Rachel Grey or maybe even Hope.
Hope could be a really interesting choice for a character on an “X-Men” TV show as not only would she fill the team slot for the token telepath, but also she could signal the beginning of a major storyline if details from her comic book appearances are incorporated into the live-action version. In the comics, Hope is the first mutant born after several years of no new mutant births following the Scarlet Witch’s “no more mutants” spell. This particular aspect could be hard to explain in the “X-Men” cinematic universe, but it could also be adapted slightly to connect to potential mutant secondary mutations or even a greater increase in more mutant births. Something like that could really push human/mutant relations to their limits and make for an interesting storytelling.
Using Hope in a TV series could also be a way for the storytellers to have a Phoenix-wielding redheaded telepath on the show without trying to shoehorn Jean Grey in. The writers could even take a page from “Avengers vs. X-Men” and have Hope’s Phoenix awakening be a season-long plot point, culminating with the arrival of the Phoenix in the finale. There’s a lot going on with Hope and all of it would make for great TV.
Are there any other “X-Men” comic book characters that you’d like to see in future “X-Men” TV series? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below.