When it comes to mutants, there are generally two distinct sides of the coin. The first is the heroes on the side of the X-Men and their various iterations. Formed by Professor Charles Xavier, these heroes had one purpose in the beginning. They were formed to save lives, much like The Avengers, but also to prove to the public that mutants could be good and live hand-in-hand with humans. This changed somewhat over the years, with black ops teams like X-Force and leaders like Cyclops ordering hits on people to further his agenda. At the end of the day, they were still supposed to be the good guys.
At the other end of the spectrum were those who either followed Magneto's lead and wanted to conquer the human race and take their place as the world leaders or those who just wanted to use their mutant powers to serve as common criminals. However, when it comes to both sides, there are lines that are not crossed and when those lines are crossed, very bad things happen. On more than one occasion, a mutant has done something so terrible and so irresponsible that it almost -- or in some cases, actually did -- destroy everything. Here is a look at the 21 most reckless uses of mutant powers, ranked from bad to completely horrific.
21 NIGHTCRAWLER ATTACKS PRESIDENT
When it comes to the films in the X-Men universe, one of the best remains X2: X-Men United. This movie introduced some new characters like Nightcrawler and had William Stryker and his military personnel attack Xavier's school and the students. It became hard to get support behind the mutants thanks to the introduction of Nightcrawler.
When he first appeared in the movie, Stryker sent Nightcrawler to assassinate the President of the United States. Nightcrawler used his mutant powers to teleport himself into the White House before trying to take out the President before he was shot at and ran, leaving a "Mutant Freedom Now" note behind. It ended up creating even more fear from the general public when it came to mutant affairs.
20 MYSTIQUE BUILDS MGH SUPPLY
Mystique has done a lot of bad things with her powers -- things that could destroy the world and hurt all mutants in the process. She also pulled off another deception in the pages of Uncanny X-Men when she took down the mutant Dazzler. The reason for this was that Dazzler worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and Mystique then stepped in and took over the role.
While working inside S.H.I.E.L.D., Mystique started pulling off robberies and heists to steal money and then bought Madripoor from Hydra. While the original idea was solid -- building a new mutant sanctuary -- Mystique started using her status to deal Mutant Growth Hormone, something that even Magneto referred to as being a traitor to mutant-kind.
19 JEAN GREY OUTS ICEMAN
One of the more interesting moments for the X-Men came in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #600. It was at that time that the younger Bobby Drake was talking to his mainstream older counterpart. That is when Jean Grey reached into Bobby's mind and let everyone know that he was gay.
The point to note isn't that Bobby admitted to being gay -- it is the fact that Jean invaded his mind and forced him to make the decision to reveal it right then and there. It also isn't the first time she has done this. She has always looked into the minds of everyone, from her teammates to her enemies, and has no regard for anyone's privacy.
18 PROFESSOR X BRAINWASHES WOLVERINE
Possibly one of the reasons that some of the X-Men have no regard for anyone's privacy or sense of freedom comes from the fact that Professor Xavier is one of Marvel Comics most despicable characters. For someone who has always claimed to want to prove that mutants and humans can live in peace, he does a lot to disprove the fact there is nothing to fear.
That was shown in great detail when the reason Wolverine is an X-Men, to begin with, was shown in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It turned out that Wolverine was sent to take out Xavier but he stopped him and then rearranged his memories and manipulated him into believing that he was there to join the X-Men. Xavier did this because he needed a soldier, but the way he did it was deceiving and evil.
17 BEAST STRANDS YOUNG X-MEN IN FUTURE
The Beast is not a mutant because he is big, blue and furry. Those are due to an accident where he tried to "cure" himself -- one of many questionable things that Henry McCoy has done over his life. His mutation is a genetic atavism, which gives him a very large brain inside a body that is similar to the physique of an ape. While his ape-like features make him a great fighter, his strength comes in his overdeveloped brain.
His weakness also comes with that overdeveloped brain because he often thinks he is smarter than anyone else and makes questionable decisions without concern for anyone else. He did this when he brought the five original X-Men to the present to show Cyclops how he had fallen and then stranded them there, altering their timeline completely.
16 PROFESSOR X HOLDS BACK JEAN GREY
In the X-Men movie world, when Jean Grey was a child, Professor X and Magneto went to visit her at her home. They learned that she had immense powers and Magneto immediately knew that she could be a valuable asset and weapon. However, when looking into her, Charles saw how dangerous her powers were and put up psychic barriers -- which ended up causing the split personality of the Dark Phoenix. Xavier created the danger by thinking he could suppress it.
This was a slight retelling of the comic book storyline and while it had nothing to do with creating the Dark Phoenix, Xavier's tampering with her mind did make her more accessible to welcoming the force into her. Xavier taught her how to use her skills for telekinesis but put up a barrier to block her ability to control her telepathic abilities, putting her in great danger.
15 DAVID HALLER IS A BAD MAN
For the first two seasons of Legion, fans got a look at David Haller and saw him as a hero who was also mentally unstable. With villains like the Shadow King, Haller was someone that the audience was solidly behind all the way to the Season 2 finale. However, after that Season 2 finale, fans learned what Marvel Comics fans already knew: David Haller is a very bad person.
Haller is not a hero. He is not even really an antihero. He is someone who has so many voices in his head that he has little control over what he does and often does whatever pleases him or is easiest in his mind at the moment. He gets that from his dad, Professor X, who also does whatever he wants to achieve his goals. By the end of season 2, fans learned that David committed a huge crime with his actions against Sydney and became the true villain of the series.
14 WEAPON OMEGA
It made sense that someone like Apocalypse would decimate most of the world and take over the planet to turn it into his own vision. That was what X-Men fans had always expected from the evil and ancient mutant villain. However, in the world of Apocalypse, it was Magneto who led the X-Men and he recruited Wolverine. Instead of mentally working with him as Xavier did in the main timeline, he had Jean Grey calm his rages mentally.
While most fans love the Wolverine that used his mutant powers for good -- battling villains with a sense of honor and nobility -- this Wolverine used his mutant powers as a force of evil, slaughtering innocents, taking the life of his own daughter, and becoming worse than even Apocalypse was before him. He returned to his senses later, but his actions had already ravaged the world.
13 ADAMANTIUM NO MORE
Magneto was on a quest to finally lead mutants into the future by taking over the world. The first thing that happened in this story was horrible on many levels. Magneto deactivated every electronic device on Earth with his magnetic mutant powers. This sent the Earth into a panicked stage. Think about this -- his actions shut off every vital piece of hospital equipment on Earth, causing untold devastation for innocent people.
Magneto them followed up with a giant battle against the X-Men. Continuing to use his magnetic powers for evil purposes, he turned to Wolverine and chose to eliminate the X-Men's strongest member by ripping his adamantium out of his body. All this abuse of power led to Professor X shutting down his brain, which led to Onslaught.
12 EMMA FROST STARTS WAR WITH INHUMANS
Emma Frost had been a hero for a long time although she was never, ever a good person. Originally, Emma was part of the Hellfire Club and was partially responsible for the events that warped Jean Grey and turned her into the Dark Phoenix. She also messed with the minds of many members of the X-Men and had her own devious reasons for many of the things that she did. However, she went over the line in the war between the X-Men and the Inhumans.
The X-Men and Inhumans were about ready to reach a truce in their battles when Cyclops approached Black Bolt and in a preventative measure, Black Bolt seemed to slay Cyclops, which increased the hostilities and continued the battle. It turns out that Emma used her mutant powers of creating telepathic illusions to fake this moment, as Cyclops had already fallen before this. She misled everyone, even her own X-Men, to seek further senseless vengeance.
"No More Mutants." It was with those three words that the mutant hero Scarlet Witch committed one of the most reckless uses of power in Marvel Comics history. Wanda had already committed the atrocity of messing with the gene pool once by making Homo Superior the dominant race and then she tried to fix it in the worst way possible by wiping out the powers of 91.4-percent of the world's mutant population.
Mutants like The Blob suddenly watched in horror as his body started to sag and drop around him, destroying his life in a second. Even worse, so many mutants were depowered that a number were bussed out of the Xavier school, only to have William Stryker lead an attack that blew up the bus and slaughtered the depowered children. All this was ultimately the fault of Wanda Maximoff.
10 DEPOWERING CAPTAIN MARVEL
When Rogue first appeared, she was a villain and a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. She was raised by Mystique and Destiny and was close to them before she finally left and tried to start a new life with the X-Men. What likely caused her decision to turn over a new leaf was her need for Professor X to help her learn how to control her powers.
She was, and remained for years, haunted by her battle with Captain Marvel. In Avengers Annual #10, Rogue and Marvel were in a vicious battle when Rogue used her mutant ability to absorb all Carol's powers and memories, leaving her in a devastated state, powerless with part of her entire psyche missing, making the two women enemies for life.
9 DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
It seems hard to believe that the mutant power of assuming someone else's identity could cause changes that could destroy the world, but that is what happened more than once with Mystique. The most reckless use of this power came when she started to disguise herself in order to get into place to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly.
This moment happened in 1980 when Mystique got into position and led her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants into an attack that eliminated both Kelly and Moria MacTaggert. The result of this action was the increased fear and hatred of mutants and the passing of the Mutant Control Act. By the end, Sentinels were unleashed -- robots which took out everyone from the Avengers and Fantastic Four to mutants and ended up putting the entire world under martial law.
8 HELLFIRE CLUB UNLEASHES THE PHOENIX
Jean Grey was responsible for taking the lives of over five billion beings when she consumed a star under the control of the Dark Phoenix. This was in part because she used her own mutant powers to call out to the Phoenix Force, which saved her life and connected with her. However, while she called the Phoenix Force with her mutant powers and then used it to create havoc, it was the Hellfire Club that set the slaughter in motion.
The Hellfire Club snatched Jean Grey and forced her into the role as their Black Queen. This was due to the mutant powers of Mastermind twisting things in her head. Through his mental wrangling in the already fragile mind of Grey, he unleashed the Dark Phoenix and was responsible for the massacre and for her eventual sacrifice as well.
7 DEADLY GENESIS
In Marvel Comics, sales started to slip on the X-Men comics and Marvel started to phase them out. However, a huge idea came and with Giant-Size X-Men #1, a new team was introduced. It was a smart idea, where the originals were missing and Xavier put together a new team to go to find and rescue them. This included Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler and Thunderbird, who joined Cyclops to rescue them.
However, this was not the first team that Xavier sent in. The first team was revealed in Deadly Genesis and they failed. To make matters worse, Xavier used his powers to wipe the memory of these heroes from existence -- including Vulcan, who was Scott Summers' brother. When Cyclops learned that Xavier had erased his own brother from existence, he banished Xavier from the school.
6 CYCLOPS ENDS PROFESSOR X
While there are those who believe that Scott Summers was not responsible for this action, the fact is that it was Cyclops who took the steps to end the life of Professor Charles Xavier while possessed by the Phoenix Force. Other mutants were able to fight against the effects, but it was Cyclops who wholeheartedly embraced the force and used it to commit a true evil against the only father figure he ever had.
Cyclops them used this act to turn himself in a martyr for mutant kind, becoming the opposite of what Charles Xavier taught him for years. Honestly, Cyclops had turned dark years before, going from the straight-laced X-Man to someone who ordered mutants to take out their enemies by any means necessary, but in this one moment, he used his powers for the ultimate act of betrayal.
5 THE MUTANT MASSACRE
One of the most devastating moments in X-Men comic books came when the Morlocks were attacked in the pages of Uncanny X-Men. It was a terrible moment, as the poor and downtrodden mutants who lived in the underground sewers of New York City and away from society -- including families and children -- fell in a massive attack to a group called the Marauders.
The attacks make sense for the villains involved, as they were led by Mister Sinister -- one of the vilest villains in the history of the X-Men. Hundreds of Morlocks fell in this battle and the biggest kicker came later when it turned out that a popular mutant led them there. Gambit was the leader of this team, forming it under the orders of Mister Sinister.
4 LOGAN TAKES OUT THE X-MEN
There is a lot of debate concerning the inciting incident of Old Man Logan. The story started with Wolverine still a member of the X-Men and arriving to witness an attack on the Xavier Institute by a number of supervillains. While many of the villains were believed to no longer be alive, Wolverine didn't seem to take that into account and the battle began.
Using his mutant powers and his pure adrenaline, Wolverine launched into a defensive attack. He ended up massacring all the villains and ended up in a long battle with Bullseye -- one in which Wolverine won by cutting down the assassin. However, Bullseye ended up turning into Jubilee and then all the other villains turned out to be the X-Men with Mysterio casting the illusion. What makes no sense and what makes this reckless is that Wolverine leaped into battle without once using his acute senses to realize that these were his friends he was fighting.
3 PHOENIX COMMITS GENOCIDE
When looking at the worst thing that any mutant has ever done, look no further than Jean Grey when she was possessing the powers of the Phoenix Force. No, it wasn't her fault completely, but Jean was unable to control herself when she powered up as the Dark Phoenix and she had already proven to be too powerful of a psychic for Professor X to trust.
The truth is that Jean used her psychic mutant powers to call for help while on a mission in space, and the Phoenix Force answered. At the end of the day, that made her at least partially responsible for what happened next. With the powers of the Phoenix, Jean flew into outer space and devoured an entire star, wiping out a galaxy and ending the lives of five billion people.
2 PROFESSOR X SHUTS DOWN MAGNETO
For years, Professor X preached peace between mutants and humans. At the same time, Magneto lived through the Holocaust and believed that humans were inherently evil and that they would never stop hunting mutants. As a result, Xavier looked for the two sides to live in harmony while Magneto looked for mutants to take over the world.
After Magneto ripped out Wolverine's adamantium, Xavier finally lost control. For years, he believed that he could one day see his old friend Magneto do the right thing. In this case, Xavier shut down the mind of Magneto to finally stop him for good. However, this caused Magneto's anger and grief to flood into Xavier's consciousness and eventually created Onslaught -- a creature that wiped out the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avengers and resulted in a new Earth.
1 THE ULTIMATUM WAVE
For everything that Magneto used his powers for in the mainstream Marvel Universe, what he did in the Ultimate Marvel Universe was even worse. Ultimatum included possibly the most surprising moment in any X-Men comic book when he snapped the neck of Professor X and eliminated his oldest friend and greatest enemy.
However, what was worse was his complete disregard for life when he recklessly used his mutant powers to create the Ultimatum Wave. Due to the passing of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, Magneto used his powers to create a giant wave that hit New York City, wiping out thousands of people. By the end, millions of citizens lost their lives, including some of the world's greatest heroes.