WARNING: This article contains spoilers for History of the Marvel Universe #3, by Mark Waid, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
The Marvel Universe has a lot of powerhouse mutants. From Storm's planetary weather manipulation to Magneto's mastery of the electromagnetic spectrum and Jean Grey's telepathic abilities, there are plenty of Omega level mutants with jaw-dropping amounts of power.
As part of Marvel's ongoing X-Men relaunch, House of X #1 specifically identified all of the most powerful Omega level mutants currently in the Marvel Universe. Now, History of the Marvel Universe #3 has identified which one of those juggernauts is Marvel's strongest mutant in even more definitive terms.
In the final moments of the Marvel Universe, a dying Galactus tells Franklin Richards that he is "the most powerful mutant ever born."
As its name implies, History of the Marvel Universe is mainly about condensing the complex, convoluted history of the Marvel Universe into one cohesive, immaculately researched narrative. However, that retelling is also framed as the final conversation between an ancient Galactus and an adult Franklin in the moments before a new universe begins.
While recounting the Fantastic Four's early adventures, Galactus acknowledges Franklin's complex history as he recalls his birth in 1968's Fantastic Four Annual #6 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The former planet-eater explicitly confirms how powerful Franklin is before describing him as the universe's ultimate builder.
While House of X's Omega level mutants list briefly summarized Franklin's powers by calling him a universal-scale reality manipulator, Franklin simply calls himself "the utmost creator" here. Essentially, Franklin can create anything he wants, and he reminisces about creating worlds and multiverses before implying that he did something even greater with his limitless abilities.
In the main Marvel Universe, Franklin is barely into his teenage years, and he's already accomplished more than most heroes do in a lifetime. When he was still an adolescent, he created the pocket "Heroes Reborn" universe to save the Avengers and the Fantastic Four from death at the hands of the villain Onslaught. As Franklin grew older, he created universes more regularly; effortlessly turning a blast from an all-powerful Celestial into flowers.
An even more powerful adult Franklin, who traveled back in time, was able to carry out even more impressive feats during Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting's tenure on Fantastic Four and FF. He knocked out a Celestial with one punch, used his vast cosmic power to revive a fallen Galactus and took out another Celestial in a blast of pure cosmic power.
While those feats and Galactus' statement are seemingly the last word on who's really Marvel's most powerful mutant, another fan-favorite mutant could theoretically be as powerful on a technicality.
Although Franklin is the most powerful mutant ever born, Nate Grey, the Omega level telepath known as X-Man, was genetically engineered -- not born -- by Mister Sinister in the Age of Apocalypse alternate reality. Last year, another Omega level mutant, Legion, said that Nate was "beyond Omega level," shortly before Nate trapped the X-Men in the Age of X-Man timeline where he still resides.
However, Nate has never shown the multiverse-creating, Celestial-killing power that the adult Franklin has exhibited on multiple occasions. Since Galactus is looking back at the history of the entire Marvel Universe in hindsight, his confirmation of Franklin's power level appears to be the final say on the matter.
Despite all of his power, History's adult Franklin, who's billions of years old, still faces some uncertainty about his future. He also seems disturbed at the idea of moving on into the next universe without Galactus, his friend and companion for most of history. While Franklin's survival seems guaranteed, it's not clear what role he might play in its grand cosmic order, but it seems like a safe bet that he'll probably be the most powerful mutant in that universe, too.