The X-Men franchise continued to dominate Marvel throughout its video games such as X-Men: Legends and X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, a blockbuster film franchise, cartoons and comic books throughout the 2000s. Celebrated writers such as Grant Morrison, Joss Whedon, Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost, and Ed Brubaker helped continue the elevate X-Men’s adventures with the support of an all-star group of artists including Phil Jimenez, Ethan Van Sciver, John Cassaday, Salvador Larroca, and Billy Tan. Because of these superb storytelling partnerships, fans have fond memories reading any X-Men stories they could get their hands on.
The 2000s also saw the franchise introduce new members to the team. Former enemies such as Emma Frost, the Juggernaut and Namor became fixtures to the franchise and even took on leadership roles. Also, the 2000s also saw former students such as Husk, Mirage, Pixie and Warpath graduate into full-time team members. But not every mutant that joined the team was met with the same fanfare by Marvel’s True Believers. In fact, many fans thought that these characters were not worthy of joining. Here are 15 X-Men team members that made the wrong impression on fans and are considered to be the franchise’s worst members during the first decade of the 21st century.
Legendary X-Men creators Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca created Heather Cameron and her brother, Davis, during their first few issues of X-Treme X-Men. Ms. Cameron made her first appearance in X-Treme X-Men #6’s “Paradise Lost.” The Australian lifeguard’s mutant powers manifested when she met Storm and her crush: Neal Shaara.
While Lifeguard might have played a role in helping the team defeat Sebastian Shaw, Lady Mastermind and Khan, it appeared that she cared more about searching for her super-powered brother, who disowned Lifeguard because of her appearance than sacrificing for the betterment of mutantkind. Besides her attitude, Lifeguard had too many abilities. From her shape-shifting DNA which allows her to grow wings and gills to having golden metallic armor as skin and being half Shi’ar, Lifeguard was one of the most overpowered members of the team.
Lifeguard’s boyfriend is next on our list. Introduced by Chris Claremont and Lenill Francis Yu in X-Men vol.2 #100, Neal Shaara should have been a powerhouse member of today’s X-Men’s team lineup. The team’s first Indian member had super-strength, speed and super-heated plasma. But, Thunderbird III had several factors going against him. Neal had a huge crush on Betsy Braddock and his feelings for the psychic lead to the breakup of a famous X-Men couple: Archangel and Psylocke.
Months after they officially started dating, Psylocke “died” in the pages of X-Treme X-Men #2. While brokenhearted, Thunderbird III fell in love with Lifeguard and even accompanied her to chase after Davis Cameron. To break off your duty to X-Men for love one thing, but to be fully powered after M-Day and not assisting X-Men during mutantkind’s darkest hour makes him not worthy of being an X-Man.
While it is one thing not to return to active X-Man duty, it is another to turn against the team all together and even threaten to kill them. Meet Kevin Ford, a former Xavier Institute student who fell in with the wrong crowd. Kevin made his first appearance in the second volume of New Mutants, vol. 2 #3 and because of his deathly like powers, he was nicknamed Wither.
After M-Day, Kevin’s worst fears of losing control of his powers come to life when his longtime love, Wallflower’s hand withered away. After Hellion called him a “loose cannon,” Wither ran away from the Xavier Institute. Along the way, Selene bewitched him, and he became her loyal soldier. Selene transformed him into a vampire and Wither became immortal with a lust for his former teammates’ blood. Eventually, Wither’s rival, Elixir, killed him in the 2009-10 X-Men crossover, Necrosha.
Over the years, the X-Men has had numerous non-powered humans become honorary members such as Dr. Moira McTaggert. However, Ink was the first formerly powerless person to become an X-Man. Introduced in the first issue of Young X-Men by Marc Guggenheim and Yanick Paquette, Eric Gitter had several tattoos that a mutant gave him superhuman powers.
From making others ill by touching a biohazard symbol even to have a tattoo of the Phoenix Force, Ink was able to help his teammates get out of sticky situations. What makes this mutant not cool for the team was the way he got his powers (through a mutant tattoo artist) and that he argued with his veterans such as Cyclops, Moonstar and Sunspot. By arguing with the veteran X-Men, it showed that Ink had no future with the team.
For every Kitty Pryde, Rogue and Jubilee that Chris Claremont created, there will always be a Freakshow. This young mutant who survived Cassandra Nova’s Sentinel attack on Genosha and made his first appearance of the debut issue of the third volume of Excalibur. Freakshow received his name because he is a mega morph that can transform into a variety of monsters. Freakshow made the list not only because of this horrifying power, but also his wasted potential.
He was one of the final mutants to be mentored by Charles Xavier and also one of the few depowered mutants to briefly gain his powers courtesy of the Terrigan Mists back in Son of M. Sadly, Freakshow lost his powers again and had not been seen by either the X-Men or the fanbase since.
9 HECTOR RENDOZA
Before Grant Morrison and Joe Casey took over the X-Men franchise in 2001, Marvel Comics’ higher-ups asked Scott Lobdell to write a great filler story arc. This four-part story, “Eve of Destruction,” showcased one of Magneto’s final attempts of dominating Earth. With Professor X kidnapped by his arch foe and half of the team gone searching for Destiny’s Diaries, it was up to Jean Grey to recruit a new team of X-Men. Sadly, she assembled the worst team possible.
One member was Hector Rendoza. His mutation manifested at the worst time. His powers forced him to become transparent and appear normal to others. Jean recruited him for this do-or-die mission, and the whole mission left him so traumatic that when they eventually defeated the Master of Magnetism, he bolted as Jean asked him to join the team full-time!
Heather Cameron’s brother, Davis, finally makes his appearance on our list. Like his much-maligned sister, Davis made his unwelcome entrance into the X-Men world in the pages of X-Treme X-Men #6’s “Paradise Lost.” While having the ability to manipulate space and time, having Shi’ar DNA, and quasi-psychic abilities would have made him a strong character, Slipstream had major character flaws.
At the end of X-Treme X-Men #18’s “Day of the Dead,” he is unable to accept own sister’s appearance and leaves the team. Slipstream’s selfish actions not only exposes his true colors but left a massive ripple effect on Storm’s team. Lifeguard and Thunderbird III to permanently exit the team to look for him, which left Storm’s team with a huge hole in its lineup. The X-Men are considered a good superhero team with high morals, but Slipstream’s awful characterization left fans with a rotten taste in their mouths.
Like Logan and Mystique, Jonas Graymalkin, who made his debut in the premiere issue of Young X-Men, has had a long and tragic life. He not only dealt with homosexuality in the 18th century, but his father buried him alive! While he has a sad backstory, but his powers also made him a prime candidate for this list. Graymalkin is only able to assist the X-Men when they are dealing with foes who work in darkness such as the Shadow King.
If they are battling either Sauron or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in broad daylight, Graymalkin will put the team at a huge disadvantage because sunlight depowers him. Also, creators have only used Graymalkin as a background piece to promote mutants who only briefly appear in the X-Men series such as Cloak and Dagger.
6 STACY X
Joe Casey and Tom Raney created one of the worst team members when they took over Uncanny X-Men in 2001. Miranda Leevald, who christened herself as Stacy X, could control people’s bodily sensations and functions. While the former X-Ranch prostitute did help the team out against Black Tom Cassidy, when Stacy X joined the team she nearly tore the team apart. When she was not seducing Archangel, Chamber or Nightcrawler, who was training to become a Catholic priest before he became the X-Men’s field leader, Stacy X picked fights with both Husk and Wolverine.
While the late mutant made amends with Stacy X, it was her fight with Paige Guthrie that caused her to leave the team after the two fought over the newly single founding X-Man. Despite her brief time with the team, fans do not want her back on the team!
Ed Brubaker’s 2006 controversial X-Men: Deadly Genesis storyline introduced Darwin (real name: Armando Munoz). He was part of Professor X’s disastrous first attempt to save the original X-Men from Krakoa. Darwin barely survived the experience with his instantaneous adaption powers by fusing with his teammate and the legendary third Summers brother: Vulcan.
Unfortunately, he was unable to stop Vulcan from descending into madness as he murdered both Banshee and Shi’ar Emperor D’Ken, who tore him from his mother’s womb in the pages of “The Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire.” When Darwin came back to Earth with the X-Men, he had a hard time holding his own against the Hulk in World War Hulk: X-Men and multiple villainous factors in “X-Men: Messiah Complex.” Darwin was unable to handle the massive threats. Therefore, he retreated to X-Factor Investigations.
Over the years, the X-Men have welcomed countless of mutants into their ranks. But No-Girl’s addition to the team shocked loyal fans! The creative team of Grant Morrison and Ethan van Sciver debuted the controversial character in New X-Men #119. Mutant runway Martha Johansson was tortured by the wicked Dr. John Sublime, who removed her brain from her body. While Cyclops and Emma rescued her from Sublime, No-Girl was unable to overcome the PTSD she experienced.
No-Girl is not a good X-Man. One, who is going to fear a brain? Secondly, No-Girl can be easily manipulated by the X-Men’s enemies. During New X-Men’s “Planet X” storyline, Xorn briefly persuaded her to join him in his Brotherhood of Mutants. In Spider-Man & The X-Men, Mister Sinister tempted her with a cloned body. If your enemies can manipulate you, then you are not a good candidate to join the X-Men.
3 GLOB HERMAN
If Marvel ever released a graphic novel highlighting the House of Ideas' turncoats, Glob Herman could be on the cover. On top of his offensive power set and appearance, Glob Herman’s history with the team can be seen as antagonistic. First, as a part of Quentin Quire’s Omega Gang, he killed humans who he thought murdered famous mutant fashion designer Jumbo Carnation. Next, he joined Quentin Quire and his team in slaughtering a group of U-Men. Thirdly, there was the famous “Riot at Xavier,” which endangered countless of students’ lives and nearly destroyed the Xavier Institute’s brand.
While Glob Herman was punished for his actions by sweating in Africa, he was welcomed back into the mutant community when the X-Men moved to San Francisco. While Glob Herman did seek redemption in the 2010s, the stains of his actions in the 2000s left fans with a bad taste in their mouths.
2 OMERTA (PAULIE PROVENZANO)
While Glob Herman and No-Girl at least found redemption later in their career, one-time X-Man Omerta (Paulie Provenzano) was not allowed his chance for redemption. Introduced in Scott Lobdell’s “Eve of Destruction,” Mr. Provenzano was a discharged United States Marine and discovered that he possessed super-strength. Instead of using his powers for good, he wanted to become a mob enforcer.
Jean Grey decided to enlist him in her makeshift X-Men team to face Magneto and boy it was a major mistake. Omerta revealed his intense homophobia when Northstar tried to revive him and even showcased his masochistic views by wishing that Jean Grey could makeout with him. After the team defeated Magneto, Omerta decided to quit the team. In four short issues, Omerta’s horrible moral compass makes him one of the worst X-Men ever created.
1 LADY MASTERMIND (REGAN WYNGARDE)
The worst X-woman who ever appeared in any X-Men line-up is Lady Mastermind. The daughter of longtime X-Men adversary, Jason Wyngarde, she was created by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca during the sixth issue of X-Treme X-Men. Rogue and her team rescued the illusion casting and telepathic psychopath during Mike Carey’s massive “Supernovas” story arc. After Cyclops warned Rogue about including Ms. Wyngarde in her team, the former villainess decided not to listen to the veteran X-Men leader and chose to give this wildcard a chance.
Unfortunately, that decision came back to explode in her face. During X-Men #200’s “Blinded by the Light,” Lady Mastermind was one of the four members of Rogue’s team that defected from the X-Men to either join Sinister’s faction of evil mutants or pursue their agenda. But Lady Mastermind is not the only other villain to turn against the X-Men…
Kuan-Yin Xorn will forever be known as the worst X-Man member to come out of the 2000s. Introduced by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely in New X-Men Annual 2001, Xorn was a powerful Chinese mutant whose destructive powers could spell catastrophe if he fell into the wrong hands. The worst decision the X-Men ever made was rescuing Xorn from John Sublime. Once he arrived at the Xavier Institute, Xorn manipulated students into doing his bidding.
He asked Esme Cuckoo to kill Emma Frost, sent Phoenix and Wolverine on a wild goose chase into space, healed and then broke Charles Xavier and destroyed New York City under the guise of Magneto! His final actions against the X-Men at the end of “Planet X" was to injure Jean Grey fatally. A berserk Wolverine decapitated him ending his reign of terror.
What other X-Men from the 2000s left a bad taste in your mouth? Let us know in the comments below!