Marvel’s X-Men comics have been some of the company’s most celebrated works and characters since the team first debuted in 1963. Featuring a very wide cast of misfit mutants, the team has been tested in almost every way imaginable. Since their debut, the team has also undergone several changes in line-ups, spawned several spin-off titles, and even made the jump to the silver screen. However, throughout the years, several mutants themselves have changed personalities pretty drastically, and for a number of reasons. Even some of the most loyal characters have come to stab the X-Men in the back in some form or fashion. Here is our list of the X-Men you may want to keep an eye on, as it seems they are destined to constantly betray the team.
Fan-favorite character, Wolverine, is famous in part for his loner attitude and more violent practices. Though recently he’s been portrayed as one of the X-Men’s more devoted members, that hasn’t stopped Logan from his fair share of betrayals. Albeit usually under the influence of mind control, Logan has enacted many violent acts against his own teammates. In the popular Old Man Logan story, Wolverine even went so far as to accidentally murder all of the X-Men. It is easy to say that, though he may be well-intentioned, Wolverine continues to pose a great threat to the X-Men.
In defense of the Ragin’ Cajun, Gambit’s biggest betrayal to mutantkind wasn’t brought about by his own doing, but rather that of Mr. Sinister. When he first made his debut, Gambit was following orders from Mr. Sinister’s influence, which is how he came to an altercation with the X-Men in the first place. Though Gambit would eventually switch sides, his loyalty to himself constantly got in the way of his relationship with the team. In one case, Gambit even betrayed the team as a debt to a future version of himself. Considering Gambit’s history and rank with the Thieves Guild, you would think the X-Men would be a little more reluctant to trust him at times.
Even the leader of the X-men has betrayed the team on occasion. Whether it be betraying an individual teammate via psychic affair or betraying the whole team by joining Magneto, Scott Summers is not the type of character he may think himself to be. After being married to teammate Jean Grey for a while, Scott began a psychic affair with the White Queen, Emma Frost. However, this individual betrayal would be minuscule in comparison to what Scott would do during the Avengers VS X-Men storyline.
Following the schism event that divided the X-Men ideologically, Scott Summers would find himself in possession of the Phoenix Force. Using this power, Scott murdered his long-time mentor and founder of the X-men, Charles Xavier. To further his ultimate betrayal, Scott then joined Magneto, claiming that his way was the best way to continue to fight for mutantkind. For years in the comics, Scott would follow this ideology, up until his demise in Marvel’s Death of X story.
7 Charles Xavier
Xavier has betrayed his own team more times than he probably should have. However, Xavier’s betrayals don’t quite mount up to the same scale as others have. Most of Xavier’s betrayals come in the form of lies. He is constantly lying to his team, usually believing that the truth is worse than the alternative. Furthermore, Xavier has also been subjected to mind control on occasion, as well. Being one of the most powerful psychic mutants on the planet, controlling Xavier’s mind can lead to some very problematic situations. This concept was even briefly explored during X2: X-Men United. Considering the power of his mind combined with being a general genius, Charles Xavier is definitely someone that the X-Men don’t want to go up against.
Jubilee is typically portrayed as a very cute, fun-type character that is easy to love by all. This common depiction, though, has yet to stop her from betraying the X-Men. For a long time, Jubilee was actually a vampire. At the start of this conundrum, Jubilee regularly struggled with her new abilities and cravings, many of which brought her into conflict with her teammates. At one point, she even turned Wolverine into a vampire as well. Though she may be easy to like at a first glance, Jubilee can still be a very powerful foe to confront.
Even in the movies, Mystique seems incapable of choosing a side. In the comics, however, she is notorious for jumping back and forth, often even disguising herself as another member just to gain good graces. To be fair, her shapeshifting abilities make it very easy to sneak herself onto the team, especially with their ever-rotating roster. Even without her knack for deception, it seems that Mystique is constantly adjusting her ideology to benefit herself. Though her intentions to look after herself make her a very intriguing character, her natural gifts at deception almost guarantee that she will betray any who get too close to her.
Warren is most known for betraying the team during the Age of Apocalypse storyline. During this run, Warren became one of Apocalypse’s horsemen, leading to the emergence of the Archangel persona. Furthermore, Archangel would continue to be a problem throughout the years, as Warren isn’t always able to control the darker side of himself. This inability to maintain control made Warren a continual threat to the X-Men and a constant betrayer, regardless of his intent. Even recently, during the X-Men: Disassembled story, Warren fought against the team under the influence of X-Man. For someone who calls himself Angel, Warren certainly has his fair share of demons.
3 Jean Grey
Jean Grey is the type of character that writers love to bring back just to kill her off again. However, every time she seems to come back, she almost always comes into conflict with the X-Men. Since her original turn to evil in Dark Phoenix Saga, Jean has continued to clash with her former teammates. Even the younger version of herself that was brought from the past to the present constantly hid things from the rest of her team. Recently, it seems as though the most recent version of Jean is here to stay. After officially relieving herself of the Phoenix Force in the Phoenix Resurrection story, Jean has been one of the primary leaders of one of the many X-teams. Considering her history, it will be very interesting to see what the upcoming Dark Phoenix film does with the character.
2 Emma Frost
Emma Frost has betrayed the X-Men on numerous occasions. Originally introduced as a villain, she has bounced back and forth too many times to count. Unfortunately, due to her incredible psychic abilities, Emma poses a great threat to the X-Men whenever she is up against them. During Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men, Emma managed to put the entire team under extreme mental duress. Following that, her loyalty to Cyclops meant that she switched sides whenever he did. Emma’s motives have always been questionable, but she never falters from herself.
The ultimate betrayer role has to go to Magneto. As the original antagonist to his former friend, Charles Xavier, no X-Men foe has opposed the team as long as he has. Due to his own personal philosophies, Magneto has aligned himself with the X-Men on many occasions, usually only to stab them in the back or become a threat in his next appearance. However, these very philosophies are part of what makes Magneto such an intriguing character to begin with. Magneto switches sides so often that, even in the movies, both versions of the character—portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender—continually switch sides. Though he will certainly continue to switch back and forth, Magneto will also continue to be one of the most important X-Men characters.