Generation Next: The 25 Most Powerful Young X-Men

Jubilee Jim Lee

At the end of the day, the X-Men are teachers. Since they spend most of their time fighting supervillains and taking trips to the other side of the universe, it's easy to forget that most of the X-Men are faculty members at Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning, which is currently known as the Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach. Regardless of its name, the Xavier's school has taught several generations of mutants how to survive in a world that hates and fears them. Even though the school has somewhat dubious educational credentials and has shut down more than once, its doors never stay closed for too long. While Charles Xavier hasn't played an active role in running the school for a few years, the X-Men have kept their alma mater operating as the bright beacon for Xavier's dream of peace between mutants and humans. Of course, most of Xavier's students have had to face off against the countless dangers of the Marvel Universe alongside some of their classmates in teams of "junior" X-Men.

Now, CBR is counting down the X-Men's most powerful young members, whether they grew into full-fledged X-Men or didn't make it to graduation. While most of the X-Men were technically Xavier's students at some point, we'll be sticking to teenage characters who were primarily served on X-Men training squad like the New Mutants, Generation X, New X-Men, and we won't be including younger versions of older characters. To figure out which of these young mutants are the strongest, we'll be considering their overall power and their most noteworthy accomplishments.

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While Megan Gwynn's most obvious mutant power might just be a pair of wings, Pixie has some magical abilities that give her unlimited potential. Since she was created by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir and Michael Ryan in 2004's New X-Men #5, Pixie has gone from being a background character to a full member of the X-Men.

In addition to serving as one of X-Men's chief teleporters, Pixie has a Souldagger than can injure all kinds of mystical foes. This mutant-fairy hybrid has even been mentioned as someone who could theoretically replace Doctor Strange as Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme in the future.


Surge X-Men

After debuting as a homeless mutant in Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Carlo Barberi and Khary Randolph's New X-Men #8, Surge became one of the leaders of the next generation of X-Men. Although she has electrical mutant powers that also gave her limited super-speed, Noriko Ashida needs gauntlets to help her control her electric abilities.

In her most impressive moment, Surge single-handedly took down Nimrod, an ultra-powerful mutant-hunting Sentinel from the future. While it took a full zap of her powers to do that, Surge still accomplished something on her own that entire teams of X-Men haven't been able to do.


From Kitty Pryde to Jubilee, the X-Men have occasionally run around with someone who could be the team's collective kid sister. Starting in Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men run, Armor filled that role in 2004. By drawing on the power of her ancestors, Hisako Ichiki has the mutant ability to form an impenetrable psionic exoskeleton around her body.

While most of her appearances have been alongside the main X-Men team, Armor also served as a member of the New X-Men, one of the X-Men's training squads, for a short time and remains a student at the Xavier Institute.


Boom Boom Nextwave

Whether she's called Boom-Boom, Time-Bomb, Meltdown, Boomer or just Tabby, Tabitha Smith livens up any group that she's a part of. Since she exploded on the scene in 1985's Secret Wars II #5, by Jim Shooter and Al Milgrom, this mostly reformed thief helped found X-Force and the absurdist super-team Nextwave. She's also been a member of the New Mutants, X-Factor and the X-Men.

While she might not always seem serious, Boom-Boom packs some serious firepower. Her plasma "time bombs" explode with enough devastating concussive force to blow up mutant hunters like Nimrod and Predator X.


Jubilee Jim Lee

Given their similar personalities and power sets, Jubilee and Boom-Boom look alike on paper, but they're drastically different characters. Since Jubilation Lee debuted in Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri's Uncanny X-Men #244, she's grown from a chili-fry-loving mallrat into a responsible, seasoned leader through her tenures with the X-Men and Generation X.

When she's not a vampire, Jubilee has the power to create small bursts of energy that she calls "fireworks." Jubilee has the potential power to detonate matter on a sub-atomic level, and she's already defeated legitimately tough X-villains like Sauron, Donald Piece and Emplate without much help.


Rockslide X-Men

With a body made out of granite, Rockslide might be the X-Men's most durable member. Although he was initially something of a bully, Santo Vaccarro has grown up a little since he debuted in Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir and Carlo Barberi's New Mutants #8. Thanks to his distinctive appearance, Rockslide was one of the most recognizable members of the New X-Men and Young X-Men.

With the ability to lift about 75 tons, Rockslide was able to knock the Hulk off his feet. With some help, he can also reconstitute his body from rock whenever it's destroyed or otherwise split apart.


Hellion X-Men

Life in the X-Men is usually pretty tough for telepathic mutants, and Hellion is no exception to that rule. Since he was created by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir and Keron Grant in 2003's New Mutants #2, the feisty Julian Keller lost his forearms to Nimrod, turned into a living bomb and even contracted the M-Pox virus.

With telekinetic mutant powers that let him move matter on a molecular level, Hellion has a pair of metal hands as telekinetic prosthetics. While Nimrod got the best of him, Hellion was still strong enough to permanently deactivate the Omega Sentinel with his powers.


Moonstar Valkyrie Asgard

The worlds of the X-Men and Asgard don’t overlap much, but Danielle Moonstar is the strongest link between those two realms. When she was created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod alongside the other New Mutants in 1982's Marvel Graphic Novel #4, Moonstar was a Cheyenne mutant with the power to create telepathic illusions who went by Psyche and later Mirage.

After an adventure on Asgard, Moonstar became a Valkyrie who could perceive death before it happened. While her mutant and Asgardian powers have fluctuated wildly over the years, Moonstar defeated the god Ares at the peak of her powers.

17 X-23

Like her cinematic counterpart from Logan, X-23 is a young female clone of Wolverine. While she originally created for the animated X-Men: Evolution by Craig Kyle, Laura Kinney eventually found her way into the Marvel Universe, where she joined the New X-Men.

With two pairs of adamantium claws and her elite training, X-23 is one of the most seasoned combat veterans on any young X-team. With a Logan-level healing factor, she's recovered from dozens of catastrophic injuries that would end other superheroes' careers. In her most primal state, she held off Wolverine, Gambit and Jubilee at the same time.



With the New Mutants, X-Men and Avengers, Cannonball has gone from Kentucky coal mines to the furthest reaches of the Marvel Universe. Shortly after he debuted in Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod's Marvel Graphic Novel #4, Samuel Guthrie became one of the New Mutants' first leaders, and he's remained near the top of his class ever since.

While Cannonball can generate concussive energy that propels him through the air, he's also near-invulnerable when he's "blastin.'" That might not seem too impressive, but he's been able to take down the Superman-esque Gladiator and hold his own in interstellar wars.


Roberto da Costa isn't the only X-Man with fiery powers, but he's burned brighter and longer than any of his fellow mutant flame-throwers. Since he debuted with the New Mutants in Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod's Marvel Graphic Novel #4, Sunspot joined X-Force before taking on an unlikely major role on the Avengers in the 2010s.

While his mutant power to absorb and channel solar radiation was already formidable, he recently contracted the M-Pox virus. Although he can lift about 50 tons and can call himself one of Earth's strongest mutants, he ages noticeably whenever he uses his considerable powers.


Zero Kenji X-Men

When he was created by Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen and Salvador Espin, Kenji Uedo was one of the first mutants in a new generation. After he joined Generation Hope's Lights, this nihilistic artist took the name Zero. Although he initially just seemed distant, he eventually turned against the team.

When Kenji's ability to create techno-organic matter emerged, he transformed into a giant bio-mass creature that almost destroyed Tokyo. While his powers and design owe more than a little to Akira's Tetsuo, it still took several X-Men to subdue Kenji, even before he really learned how to control his abilities.


Magma New Mutatns

Magma has always been a little overshadowed by her fellow New Mutants. Amara Aquilla debuted just after the team formed in 1983's New Mutants #8, by Chris Claremont, Sal Buscema and Bob McLeod. After growing up in a forgotten colony of the long-defunct Roman Empire, Magma learned about the modern world, at Xavier's Institute.

As her codename suggests, Magma has geo-kinetic powers that give her control over the Earth's crust and the magma it holds. When she's lost control of her powers, Amara has caused volcanic eruptions, kicked off small earthquakes and accidentally demolished an entire wing of the X-Mansion.


No-Girl X-Men

Since No-Girl doesn't have a body, she's easy to miss. Martha Johansson was captured by the sentient mutant virus John Sublime and his mutant-hating U-Men. After Sublime reduced her to a brain in a jar and used her telepathic powers for his own purposes, the X-Men rescued her and enrolled her in Xavier's School.

After No-Girl debuted in Grant Morrison and Ethan van Sciver's New X-Men #115 in 2001, she was placed in a few key student body groups before joining the Lights. While she was powerful enough to overwhelm the telepathic Emma Frost, she can also disable nearby mutant powers.

11 M


Even though M isn't the most memorable superhero codename in Marvel's history, Monet St. Croix commands attention. Monet seemingly debuted during the "Phalanx Covenant" crossover in 1994's Uncanny X-Men #316, by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo. Despite a complex history that involves Monet's two sisters impersonating her for several years, Monet was a key member of Generation X before graduating to X-Factor and the X-Men.

Monet essentially won the mutant power lottery. She's a super-fast, telepathic genius who can fly, lift 10 tons and survive a few punches from the Hulk without breaking a sweat.


Kid Gladiator

If the purple-skinned alien Gladiator is one of Marvel's answers to Superman, then his son, Kid Gladiator, is Marvel's Superboy. After the mohawked young alien debuted in Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo's Wolverine and the X-Men #1, Kubark became the X-Men's ultimate foreign exchange student and grew to love his classmates at the Jean Grey School.

Like Gladiator, Kid Gladiator has confidence-based powers that include invulnerability, flight, super-strength and super speed. Since his abilities will only get stronger as he gets older, Kubark could easily become one of the more powerful beings in the Marvel Universe as an adult.


Tempus X-Men

While the X-Men were split up into two factions that followed with Wolverine or Cyclops, Eva Bell joined Cyclops' team of teenage X-Men at the New Charles Xavier School and took the codename Tempus. This Australian mutant debuted in 2013's All-New X-Men #1, by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen and has the ability to freeze time on a localized basis.

Tempus has been described as a "near Omega-Level Mutant," and it's easy to see why. When her powers emerged, she froze an entire Avengers team in a time bubble that completely immobilized Earth's Mightiest Heroes.


When Jonothon Starsmore debuted in 1994's Generation X #1, by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo, he was described as one of the strongest mutants in the world. With a well of crackling psionic energy from his face to his torso, Chamber certainly looks the part.

With his always-burning biokinetic flame, Chamber has taken on the lethal Omega Red and the all-powerful Legion during his stints with Generation X and the X-Men. This distant relative of Apocalypse has even been called a potential Omega-Level mutant, which would put him in a class with characters like Jean Grey.


Wither New X-Men

While Chamber was the moody X-teenager of the 1990s, Wither was the X-Men's resident moody teenager in the 2000s. Kevin Ford was created by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir and Keron Grant in 2003's New Mutants #3. With the uncontrollable ability to make anything he touched decay into dust, Wither had a hard time dealing with his mutant powers.

His "death touch" broke down the sub-atomic forces that bind matter together. Although he was a member of the New Mutants and Emma Frost's Hellions, Wither eventually went full-villain and perished on 2010's "Necrosha" crossover fighting his powerful old teammate Elixir.


Genesis X-Men Apocalypse

As Apocalypse's clone, Genesis has the same genes as one of Marvel's most fearsome villains. Fortunately, Evan Sabahnur has seemed like a pretty nice kid since he was created by Rick Remender and Esad Ribic in 2011's Uncanny X-Force #11. After being raised in an idyllic simulation, Genesis joined a few young X-Men teams as he tried to avoid his dark destiny.

While the adult Apocalypse usually augments his powers with alien technology, Genesis naturally has several mutant abilities. Beyond his super-strength, energy blasts and complete control over his molecular structure, Genesis can apparently tap into numerous unseen powers too.


Stepford Cuckoos

Another set of X-clones, the Stepford Cuckoos, possess a telepathic hive mind that can go up against the strongest psychics in the Marvel Universe. Since they were created by Grant Morrison and Ethan van Sciver in 2001's New X-Men #118, these clones of Emma Frost have been a consistent presence in the background of the X-Men's adventures and on a few younger X-Men squads.

Although there were originally five Cuckoos, the surviving three Cuckoos—Celeste, Mindee and Phoebe—have a host of telepathic abilities and can transform into pure diamond. They've even wielded a portion of the Phoenix's cosmic power.


Kid Omega Quentin Quire

Since he debuted in Grant Morrison and Keron Grant's New X-Men #134, Quentin Quire has been the Xavier Institute's resident troublemaker. As Kid Omega, this powerful telepath led a riot at Xavier's that almost tore the school apart. When he hasn't been palling around with other young X-Men or the West Coast Avengers, he's even descended into full-on villainy on occasion.

As an Omega-Level Mutant, Quire is on par with powerhouses like Jean Grey and Professor X. In addition to his mental powers, he can create psionic weapons and has wielded the unlimited cosmic powers of the Phoenix Force.


When Illyana Rasputina first appeared in the background of Len Wein and Dave Cockrum's Giant-Size X-Men #1, she was just Colossus' little sister. After she was captured, Illyana grew up in the hellish Limbo dimension, which she eventually conquered as the sorceress Magik.

While she's struggled to control her inner demons since then, Magik has been a core member of the New Mutants and several X-Men teams. Magik only has the natural mutant power to create teleportation discs. But as a world-class sorceress and Limbo's ruler, she can access an array of dark mystical forces that make her truly formidable.


Elixir X-Men

With healing abilities that made him the New X-Men's Elixir, Joshua Foley doesn't seem like he has the kind of mutant powers that would put him near the top of this list. But since he was created by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir and Mark Robinson in 2003's New Mutants #5, this golden X-Man has proven why he's an unimaginably powerful Omega- Level mutant.

With the power to generate biomolecular energy, Elixir can heal virtually any wound or disease, raise the dead and create any kind of injury or illness imaginable. At his strongest, he almost resurrected 16 million late mutants at once.


Hope Summers can do anything your favorite X-Man can do, and she can probably do it better than them. In Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo's X-Men #205, Hope was the first new mutant born in several years. As she grew up under Cable's wing, Hope transformed into a seasoned warrior who could lead the Lights and other young X-Men into the future.

With her Omega-Level powers, Hope can mimic any nearby mutant's abilities and use them to their full potential. She's also wielded the Phoenix Force and may have additional psychic powers, as if her other abilities weren't enough.

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