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Top Five Oddest X-Men Secondary Mutations

by  in Comic News Comment
Top Five Oddest X-Men Secondary Mutations

Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve one over the years.

Based on a request from Nick Marino, here are the top five oddest secondary mutations from the pages of the X-Men comics (secondary mutations are just like what they sound, it is when mutants develop a second mutation later in their life. Sometimes they’re just extensions of their existing mutations and sometimes they’re completely out of left field).

Secondary mutations are weird. They were BASICALLY invented by Grant Morrison because he wanted to change the way Beast looked (to make him look like the Beast from Jean Cockteau’s film Beauty and the Beast) and because he needed someone on the team to have super-strength and he wasn’t allowed access to Colossus, so he gave Emma Frost her diamond powers. However, while Morrison introduced the term “secondary mutation,” mutants had been developing new unrelated mutant powers for a decade before Morrison introduced the official idea (all starting with Lorna Dane developing super strength for a time in 1990 when her magnetic powers were taken away from her). So we just now say, “Oh yeah, that? That was a secondary mutation!” So this top five will be a mix of those types of secondary mutations and the more official Morrison-era secondary mutations.


The aforementioned Beast and Emma Frost. They were definitely different, but a “Beast” getting more like a beast isn’t all that odd and Emma Frost’s new powers, while out of left field, aren’t all that out of the ordinary, either.

5. Masque

Introduced in Uncanny X-Men #170 (by Chris Claremont, Paul Smith and Bob Wiacek), Masque’s ability to transform people’s body was marked by a classical piece of dramatic irony. He could alter other people’s bodies, but not his own!

But then, out of nowhere, Masque shows up in X-Treme X-Men #38 (by Claremont and Igor Kordey) and Masque is now a beautiful woman and everyone’s like, “Yeah, duh, this isn’t news to us.”

In Uncanny X-Men #490 (by Ed Brubaker and Salvador Larroca), Ed Brubaker explained this by showing that Masque had a secondary mutation and now Masque COULD change Masque’s own appearance. Here, Masque impersonates the young mutant, Leech…

I think this one is “odd” because it just doesn’t really help the character at all. The other secondary mutations on this list are more odd in the general “that’s weird” sense.

4. Husk

Paige Guthrie had the ability to basically be a “Dial H for Hero” type hero. She would tear off her skin and she would have a new power under each layer of skin (or under each “husk,” as it were). It was a really great visual. Anyhow, during Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men series, she began acting out of character and even betrayed the X-Men!

As it turned out, in Wolverine and the X-Men #41 (by Aaron and Pepe Larraz), her secondary mutation is now that her brain changes every time she pulls off a layer of her “husk,” which essentially sort of drives her insane…

Luckily, as shown here, she is addressing her problems (Toad also had a secondary mutation, but his was pretty normal – he just got more toad-like).

3. Havok

Havok had energy powers like his brother, Scott Summers (Cyclops). However, during an explosion in X-Factor #149, Havok found himself propelled into an alternate dimension, where he took over the body of the Alex Summers of THAT world. This was the comic Mutant X. During this time, Havok eventually found himself as the host of the Nexus of All Realities. In Mutant X #32 (by Howard Mackie, Ron Lim and Andrew Pepoy), it was slightly unclear if this was just happenstance or if it was due to the fact that Havok had special powers. Here, it seems like it was happenstance…

but then here it seems like he had a unique power that DREW it to him…

In Exiles #28 (by Chuck Austen, Clayton Henry and Mark Morales), it is spelled out more that this is just an additional power Havok has for some unexplained reason…

That is a pretty weird ass secondary mutation.

Go to the next page for the top two!

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