When the X-Men first debuted over 50 years ago, their power sets were not exactly awe-inspiring. You had a guy who could fly, a guy who was super athletic, a guy who could create a little snow, a guy with optical force blasts and a girl who could lift things with her mind. In the decades since, though, the X-Men (including some of those original five members) have become more and more powerful.
However, the power increases were mostly in non-physical areas like telepathy, energy manipulation, telekinesis and things of that nature, so there is a surprisingly limited amount of X-Men who are simply super strong (at least in terms of physical strength). So, which of these X-Men is the literal strongest of them all? As for who we're considering "X-Men," we're opening it up to the broadest sense possible; all members of the main X-Men teams, as well as their student teams are eligible for inclusion. Here, then, are the 15 strongest X-Men!
Hisako Ichiki, known as Armor, is a bit of a cheat when it comes to physical strength, as Hisako herself is not necessarily a strong person. However, her mutant power is a psionic exoskeleton (her "armor," as it were), which allows her to approximate superhuman strength. It also envelops her so well that it can protect her from attacks by making sure that she does not physically feel the impact of one (there is a constant buffer between her body and the exterior of the armor).
While her armor is psionic -- so you could argue that it doesn't belong on a physical strength list -- it really only works on a physical level, so we think it counts, as opposed to someone like Jean Grey, whose telekinetic abilities can give her the appearance of super-strength even if she is not really ever making physical contact in a fight. In Armor's case, her psionic armor is just as physical as actual armor like Iron Man's; it just happens to be formed by her mind.
One of the longest-lasting X-Men students (a lot of the X-Men's students have a tendency to leave the X-Men at one point or another... or worse) is Santo Vaccarro, known as Rockslide. Initially, Rockslide was basically just like the Thing from the Fantastic Four, a super-strong being made out of a rock-like substance (with the added ability of being able to shoot off his limbs and control them and then have them return to his body).
After his body was exploded a few times, though, he discovered that he basically was a living consciousness that had the ability to form physical bodies out of whatever material was lying around, but primarily just the earth itself. So he is sort of like a golem, a powerful being made up of the ground. Due to his body often being made up of strong rocks, the end result is that he can cause a lot of physical damage and not have to worry about being damaged himself (as he can just form a new body).
The former X-Man (and current Avenger) Sunspot (whose real name is Roberto da Costa) has the ability to soak up solar energy, which he then converts into physical strength. He is constantly soaking up solar power, but when he has enough energy to power up, he can transform his physical appearance into his "Sunspot" form, where his whole body turns black, including some small black dots around his body (like a corona sun effect).
Originally, Sunspot's powers were strength-only, so that he could be easily damaged (he was not bulletproof, for instance), but as he has grown older, he has become more invulnerable. Sunspot doesn't only draw from solar energy, but that is what he most commonly uses for his power source. When he was in Asgard, he drew from another power source and found himself much stronger than normal. He can also convert his solar energy into concussive blasts, which also allow him to propel himself into the air so that he can fly.
12 Omega Sentinel
Karima Shapandar was a police detective in Calcutta, India when she met a young mutant named Neal Sharra, who was looking for his missing brother, Sanjit. The two became close to each other while working together to find Sanjit. However, when they did, they discovered that he had been transformed into a Prime Sentinel. Sanjit ended up killing himself rather than injure his brother, but then tragically it turned out that Karima was also a Prime Sentinel! Prime Sentinels were a program run by the evil Bastion where ordinary humans were secretly fused with Sentinel technology to become sleeper agents, ready to be activated whenever Bastion needed their help.
Karima was a more advanced model, and after she encountered Professor Xavier, they were able to break her free from her Sentinel programming, so she maintained the super-strength, but had control of her own thoughts. She then joined the X-Men for a while, before recently having her powers rendered inert after having her mind taken over one time too many. As an Omega Sentinel, Karima was very strong, on top of the various other offensive capabilities in her body (like lots and lots of weapons).
Armando Muñoz, known as Darwin, was part of the ill-fated X-Men team that Professor X put together after his original X-Men were captured by the mutant island Krakoa. They were all seemingly killed by Krakoa, a fact that Xavier hid when he then formed a second new team to try again to rescue his original X-Men (the famous All-New, All-Different X-Men). As it turned out, though, Darwin actually converted into energy that allowed him to survive in a dormant stage in the body of his teammate Vulcan until many years later when Vulcan was re-animated by the release of mutant energy following "House of M."
Darwin's place on this list is tricky. Normally speaking, he is not a particularly strong X-Man. However, the way that his powers work is that he constantly adapts to whatever a situation requires. Therefore, if he needs to, he can become extremely strong, and has had some rather impressive feats of strength in the past. Since his strength is reactive, though, we think this lower place on the list is merited.
Monet St. Croix, better known as M, has a wide variety of superpowers. The approach to her character was always to see what happens when the most beautiful, smartest and multi-talented mutant also turns out to be self-centered and a bit of a jerk. In other words, she has great powers and knows she had great powers, making overconfidence at once her greatest strength as well as her ultimate weakness.
However, the greatness of her powers mostly comes from just how many she has. She has the ability to fly, she's invulnerable, she has telepathy and she has super-strength. Because of the fact that her powers are split up among a lot of things, no one ability is all that dominant. For instance, she's a telepath, but she is a low-level telepath. Similarly, while she has super strength, she is not as strong as other mutants. She makes up for it by combining her strength with all of her other powers.
Joanna Cargill, also known as Frenzy, had one of the most circuitous routes to becoming an X-Man in the history of the team. She was a mercenary for years before she joined up with a group called the Alliance of Evil that was doing some work for Apocalypse. Later, she became one of Magneto's Acolytes, and served him faithfully for years. It was while a member of the Acolytes that she first joined the X-Men, albeit against her own wishes, as a desperate Jean Grey was forced to brainwash Cargill to make her join the X-Men in a battle against Magneto.
After her mind was her own again, Cargill quickly left the X-Men and joined up with the Acolytes again under Exodus' leadership. Things changed post M-Day when Frenzy was one of the few mutants who kept her powers. She ended up on Utopia (the island where the X-Men brought any mutants who wanted to be protected from the rest of the world). After seeing a heroic version of herself in "Age of X," she officially joined the X-Men. Frenzy's super-strength has developed over the years, from being a relatively low-level threat to being able to meet Rogue's levels in battle.
Speaking of increased power levels, when James Proudstar was first introduced, he had the same basic abilities of his older brother, John Proudstar, the X-Man known as Thunderbird. Thunderbird had super-strength, but closer to Wolverine's level of strength than anything else. He barely even had what you would call "super" strength. Over the years, though, as Warpath grew, he got stronger and stronger. Also, Warpath is over seven feet tall, striking an imposing physical presence, which is its own kind of strength.
Warpath even gained the ability to fly for a time! He was one of the most powerful members of Cyclops' special X-Force black ops team, even able to take on Sentinels all by himself. Even when he was younger, as a member of the original X-Force team, he managed to fight the Juggernaut one-on-one, and that was before Warpath's strength increased. He is currently one of the strongest and fastest X-Men members, although he hasn't actively operated as part of the team in a few years.
Another tricky mutant to judge, strength-wise, is longtime X-Men team member, Rogue (currently a member of the Uncanny Avengers). Rogue's mutant power is that she is able to absorb other people's life force (taking the form of special abilities in the case of mutants or similarly super-powered beings) through making physical contact. This can theoretically make her very powerful, and can also give her immense super-strength. However, we're going to rank her more on her standard strength level.
For years, Rogue had the powers of Ms. Marvel, after absorbing too much of her power. Incidentally, as is a side effect of her powers, she also got stuck with Ms. Marvel's personality, as well as Ms. Marvel's powers. Eventually, she got rid of Ms. Marvel's personality, but kept her powers. After many years, Rogue lost those powers and was strictly getting by on her ability to take other people's abilities. This changed in the first volume of "Uncanny Avengers," where she ended up with Wonder Man's powers after he sacrificed himself to stop the bad guys during a mission. So Rogue's wonder Man-derived super strength is high up there on the list, as he was one of the strongest of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers.
After the X-Force squad that did black ops for Cyclops disbanded, the team reformed under their own command. One of their very first missions was to discover a secret sect that had cloned Apocalypse and was raising the young child, who they believed was destined to grow up to become Apocalypse. X-Force killed the child, but Fantomex cloned the boy, as he wrestled with the morality of having killed a young boy just because of his destiny. This young boy was dubbed Evan and was raised in a virtual reality world (modelled around the Kansas life os Superman, incidentally) by Fantomex to see if he could make him a hero.
Evan was broken out of his virtual home by villains who tried to turn him into a villain, thus fulfilling the prophesy of his original upbringing. Evan resisted and then went to go to school at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. He is currently a member of the All-New X-Men. Since he is literally Apocalypse, Evan has all of Apocalypse's abilities, including his truly vast super-strength. A fully-grown Apocalypse would be higher on the list, but due to his age, Evan (who uses the anti-Apocalypse code name, Genesis) is not quite as high overall.
For years, the X-Men trained at Xavier's School using a training gym called the Danger Room. Initially more of a basic gym, it slowly got more and more advanced until finally Xavier acquired Shi'ar technology and made it even more powerful, to the point where it could create realistic holographic life-and-death scenarios. However, at this point in time, the technology that powered the Danger Room became sentient. It was stuck following orders until it managed to convince a mutant to kill himself. This killing broke the safety protocols of the room, allowing the Danger Room to break free and form its own robot body.
After fighting the X-Men, the new being (now called "Danger") ended up joining up with the team, as Danger was more misunderstood than anything else (due to being confused about the very nature of sentience). Danger has all the powers of the original Danger Room, and along with having a wide assortment of abilities, can basically become impossibly strong, matching any of the powerful mutants who would once train within her.
During the 1990s, to help promote his ongoing series, Marvel came to refer to the King of the Ocean, Namor, as "Marvel's First Mutant." This is because Namor was, indeed, a mutant, born of an Atlantean mother and a surface-dwelling father. Namor's mutant powers allow him to fly, but also give him a high level of super-strength. In fact, he is likely the strongest Atlantean ever and has been able to keep up with the strongest, hardest hitters in the entirety of the Marvel (and DC) universe.
The trick with Namor is that his super-strength has a bit of a limit to it. He needs contact with water to fuel it to its highest levels, as well as maintain its consistency during battle. This doesn't mean that he has to literally be in water, but A.) His strength is even higher when he is in water, and B.) His strength slowly fades away the longer he is out of the water. Therefore, the conditional nature of his powers makes it so that we rank him below another mutant whose strength doesn't naturally fluctuate, even though his may arguably the highest of the lot at full power.
Piotr Rasputin has come a long way, power-wise, from when he first joined the X-Men. He always had the ability to transform his body into living metal, which gave him a respectable amount of super-strength and of course invulnerability. However, his strength level was relatively low in his early years as an X-Man. Over time, though, he grew stronger and stronger, and is now likely the strongest "traditional" X-Man ever, at least at base levels.
For a time, Colossus actually had taken over from Cain Marko as the holder of the Gem of Cyttorak, and thus was the Jugernaut for a while. During this period, Colossus was easily the strongest X-Men team member ever. His time as the Juggernaut was sadly a bit too short to let it factor too much into Colossus' ranking, however. Colossus' current strength level is roughly the same as Namor's while in water, and since Colossus' strength is the same in or out of an atmospheric element, he gets the slight edge over the Sub-Mariner.
Nezhno Abidemi was a Wakanda mutant who came to Xavier's and studied under Storm as a member of her student team. His power is the ability to increase his mass and strength like the Hulk. Like the Hulk, there is technically no limit to how strong Nezhno can get. However, unlike the Hulk, it is difficult for him to maintain his larger form. In fact, there is the fear that if he grew too large, he could kill himself.
Due to the danger his power could cause him, the king of Wakanda, the Black Panther, developed a series of Vibranium tattoos that served to absorb the energy that Nezhno gave off, limiting his powers. Even with the tattoos, though, Gentle can easily exceed Colossus' strength level if need be. Meanwhile, Nezhno also controlled his own powers through meditation, keeping himself from, in effect, "hulking out." A pacifist by nature, Nezhno took on the superhero name Gentle, although sometimes he can be anything but!
Like a few of the other X-Men on this list, Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, is a tricky one to rank. This is because he has gone through many different power levels over the years. This was ultimately revealed to have to do with how dedicated Marko was to his role as the Exemplar of the Gem of Cyttorak. When he has wavered over the years, his power levels have reduced.
It was during one of those periods that Juggernaut joined the X-Men for the first time. He was reduced in size and strength while serving the X-team; an indirect proportion, some might say, to the size of his heart. Basically, it was one of those situations where a character who took on the entire X-Men when he was a villain needed to be powered down if he was going to be on the side of the angels; classic comics. During the X-Men tie-in to "World War Hulk," Juggernaut embraced his lot in life and returned to his most powerful strength level, which is one of the strongest charters in the Marvel Universe, period, let alone among the X-Men.
Who do you think is the strongest X-Men team member? Let us know in the comments!