You may not notice them in the theater, but they’re always plastered all over social media weeks after the latest superhero movie has come out. Yes, we’re talking about cameos, but no, we aren’t talking about Stan Lee. Although Stan Lee made the word “cameo” famous in regards to Marvel movies, there are tons of other cameos that only the most observant fans can hope to catch. This is particularly true in the X-Men films, since the comics host such a wide variety of characters. For X-Men film directors, it’s easy to slide in a few extra characters without disrupting the main storyline.
The question then becomes who deserves a cameo? Mutants are difficult to recreate on-screen because a lot of them have strange appearances that, in 2000 (when the first X-Men movie came out), wouldn’t translate well. At first, directors shied from including mutants with mutant physical characteristics, which severely cut down on the number of applicable character cameos. The first X-Men film, X-Men, didn’t include many cameos at all. However, as the franchise gained attention, CGI became more commonplace. In the second X-Men film, there are more cameos featuring outwardly recognizable mutants. By X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past, there are almost too many cameos to count. Of course, not all cameos are created equal. Some characters cameos are perfect in that they aren’t so long as to bore the audience, but they also give enough information to be at least a little insightful for non-comic fans. To keep track of all these cameos, CBR is counting down 20 mutant cameos fans forgot about (and one we all saw coming) from the X-Men movies!
21 SPYKE IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
In X-Men: The Last Stand, director Brett Ratner brought in tons of new mutants but gave them all less than a few seconds on-screen. When choosing mutants to add to the cast, Ratner brought in a lot of stereotypically “good” X-Men characters and made them bad by connecting them to Magneto. One of those characters was Spyke (or Spike in the film).
Those who watched the animated X-Men: Evolution show are probably familiar with Spyke, who was one of Xavier’s young mutants in training. His power was similar to Marrow’s: extraneous bone growth. The film version of Spyke is the complete opposite of animated Spyke. Ratner got Spyke so wrong that we kind of just wish this cameo never happened.
20 PSYLOCKE IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke, made her first official appearance on the silver screen in X-Men: Apocalypse. However, years earlier, she made an unofficial appearance as one of Magneto’s many minions in X-Men: The Last Stand. Only the most astute fans noticed the famous mutant, who in the film shared almost no physical traits with her comic book counterpart. The on-screen version of the character also never showcased her famous psyblade, which would have made her easily identifiable.
Since Betsy has and never will be a part of Magneto’s comic book Brotherhood, her cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand is random. That, plus the fact that only viewers who actively read the credits even knew who she was, made her cameo pretty worthless.
19 BEAST IN X2
Superhero movies weren’t always as crazy and outlandish as they are today. When the first X-Men movie was released in 2000, Marvel executives didn’t even try to include mutants with severe physical abnormalities because they worried about how audiences would react. This meant that X-Men founding member Hank McCoy, aka Beast, didn’t get screen time until X-Men: Last Stand, when the superhero genre was more established. By 2006, when the film came out, blue, furry people weren’t quite as jarring.
Hank did, however, get a very short cameo in X2. Hank, played by Steve Basic, can be seen on-screen during a “mutant debate.” This version of Hank is similar to his original design: muscular, but not blue and furry.
18 ARCLIGHT IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
Comic Arclight is, at best, a minor character. At worst, she’s a throwaway character that even hardcore X-Men fans are hard-pressed to remember. Most X-Men: The Last Stand viewers probably didn’t even notice the B-rated villain, who acts as both a member of the “Omegas” (the Morlocks in the comics) and Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in the film.
Like the other members of Magneto’s Brotherhood, Arclight fights against the spread of the Cure and unceremoniously passes away at the hands of Jean Grey. No one ever says her name in the movie, so we’re really only going off her unique style and mutant ability to generate shockwaves to identify her.
17 DAZZLER IN X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
They couldn't make an X-Men movie that takes place in the past without referencing Alison Blaire. Although not an actual character in the film, Dazzler does exist in the X-Men cinematic universe as, at least, a hopefully semi-successful musical artist. Her album "Sounds of Light and Fury" is briefly held up by Cyclops as the two take a trip to the mall.
Dazzler might not have been the most popular X-Man, but we're pretty sure that fans would love if the sound-manipulating mutant would actually show up on the big screen. With the possibility of a new group of X-Men showing up in the MCU, we can only cross our fingers.
16 JUBILEE IN X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Before X-Men: Apocalypse came out, everyone thought that the famous ‘80s mutant Jubilee would be one of the leading heroes. The pre-release stills from the film showed Jubilee, in her characteristic pink and yellow gear, sitting in a mall with Jean, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler, so it seemed like she was going to be a major player. Oh, how wrong we were.
In the final version of the film, the mall scene is cut. Jubilee shows Cyclops around the mansion near the beginning before disappearing for the rest of the movie. Unlike most of the characters on this list, she does get to do some talking, but that’s about all she gets to do.
15 MULTIPLE MAN IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
Multiple Man is the kind of character who could easily have a solo movie. In Peter David’s famous X-Factor run, the mutant became one of the most complex and interesting characters in the X-Men roster. Matthew Rosenberg’s recent series, Multiple Man, helped to further his character even more. Unfortunately, the X-Men movie franchise mostly just ignored him.
Along with a lot of other random mutants, Jamie appears in X-Men: The Last Stand as one of Magneto’s followers. Using his multiplying abilities, Jamie tricks the government into allowing Magneto’s sneak attack on Alcatraz. Although the movie’s premise (sort of) relied on him, he didn’t get a lot of screen time. For those unfamiliar with the comics, he most likely wasn’t very memorable.
14 BLOB IN X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Blob appeared in two movies in the X-Men film franchise: X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: Apocalypse. In both films, Blob played underwhelming roles, with his cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse being particularly unmemorable. In the movie, Blob appears in an underground mutant fight club, facing off against the winged mutant Angel.
Comic Blob’s mutant power is his strength, which derives from his body mass. Although a lot of characters refuse to take him seriously, he can be a formidable foe. During Apocalypse, Angel defeats him within seconds and makes him look pathetic. We’re not saying Blob could easily hold his own against one of the founding members of the X-Men, but we do think he deserved a little more than he got.
13 TOAD IN X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Toad is a classic character in X-Men comics, so his appearance in the 2000 film X-Men made sense. He was one of the few characters in the movie with outlandish physical features that accurately mimicked his comic book counterpart. Although on-screen Toad was slightly more formidable in battle then comic Toad, the portrayal was far from bad.
X-Men ended without audiences knowing whether Toad was deceased or alive. They got their answer years later in X-Men: Days of Future Past, where Toad reappears with a new look and a new actor. This resurrected version of Toad has a minor appearance in the scene where Mystique saves him from Bolivar Trask. Compared to his role in X-Men, this Toad serves as a glorified cameo.
12 PHAT IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
Phat is a B-rated X-Men member with the ability to change his body size, thus giving him increased strength levels. Comic book Phat is a surprisingly heroic character, who gave his life to save his friends. While most casual X-Men fans have probably never heard of Phat since he rarely appears on-page, he’s actually fairly interesting. If the X-Men movies were about characters like him, who aren’t as famous as Cyclops or Wolverine, Phat could have been a leading star.
But, they’re not. In X-Men: The Last Stand, Phat gets a few scenes that show off his growing mutant power. The cameos themselves aren’t terrible, but we wish they could’ve been just a little longer. Phat easily could’ve been a successful on-screen presence.
11 SIRYN IN X2
Theresa Cassidy, aka Siryn, is a fairly popular character in X-Men comics, appearing in series such as X-Factor, Spider-Woman, and Deadpool. Her father, X-Men veteran Banshee, passed down both his famous sonic scream and his signature red hair to his daughter, though he didn’t actually raise her. Marvel villain Black Tom Cassidy captured her when she was young, giving her a stereotypically crappy superhero childhood.
In X2, Siryn appears as a young student at Xavier’s who’s forced to evacuate after Stryker’s men invade the mansion. Her sonic scream alerts the X-Men to the danger right before a Stryker soldier shoots her with a tranquilizer dart. Colossus rescues her and then her character disappears for the rest of the film.
10 ANOLE IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
X-Men: The Last Stand introduced tons of new mutants but it hardly did any of those comic characters on-screen justice. Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is a classic facet of X-Men lore in the comics, yet in the movie, there’s hardly any nods to Magneto’s famous criminal line-up. Even characters like Quicksilver, Toad, and Blob don’t make the cut.
Instead, X-Men: The Last Stand sees comic “good-guys” like Anole join Magneto’s ranks. In the comics, Anole is one of the few gay X-Men characters. Putting Anole on-screen, as an openly gay character, would’ve been a huge step for the X-Men films. But, instead, his presence is surface level at best. He serves no purpose beyond being one of Magneto’s lackeys.
9 INK IN X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Ink is a fairly new character, appearing for the first time in 2008’s Young X-Men. In the comics, he isn’t technically a mutant. He obtained his powers via a mutant tattoo artist, who had the ability to give people amazing abilities by tattooing symbols on their bodies. For the most part, Ink is unlikeable, with a rude and abrasive personality. In modern comics, he rarely appears.
Although he isn’t much of a fan-favorite, Ink did make a cameo appearance in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He’s one of the many mutants William Stryker captured and held captive. When Mystique breaks into the compound to free the mutants, Ink uses his powers to help her by making the guards ill.
8 COLOSSUS IN X2
The X-Men sequel, X2, saw a plethora of new additions, including one of the X-Men’s most famous characters: Colossus. The Russian mutant first appeared on page in the 1975 special Giant-Size X-Men. Piotr Rasputin quickly became a fan-favorite and a core member of the superhero group in the comics but in the movies, it’s a different story.
Colossus appears briefly during the beginning of the film and during Stryker’s invasion of the mansion in X2. During his action scene, we see Colossus transform from human form to metal form before throwing a few of Stryker’s goons through a wall. This scene is great at showcasing Colossus’ powers, but it’s super short for such an important character.
7 MARROW IN DEADPOOL
The Deadpool movies live within the X-Men film franchise and have a surprising impact on how non-comic readers see the mutant race. Unlike the X-Men films, Deadpool and Deadpool 2 have been incredibly successful at the box office and have helped introduce some X-Men characters (like Colossus and Domino) to the mainstream. In Deadpool, viewers briefly see what could be Marrow sitting on a table in Ajax’s lab, with various scientists injecting her with something.
In the comics, Marrow has the ability to grow bones outside of her body. She can then forcibly remove them and use them as weapons. While we don’t see her face in Deadpool, we do see her back, which is covered in spiky bones.
6 CYPHER IN X2
Cypher is a young mutant with the ability to understand any and every language, written or spoken. If you think this sounds like a pretty cool party trick, but not exactly a superpower, you’re absolutely right. Although Cypher has had some interesting arcs in the past, his unique ability isn’t exactly in high demand among the X-Men ranks.
Because of this, his sudden appearance in X2 feels a little random. However, compared to most of the cameos in X2, Cypher’s is one of the better ones. Cypher is one of the six kids Stryker takes from the X-Mansion, which means the X-Men have to rescue him. On-page, Cypher always needs rescuing so his small role in X2 honestly makes sense.
5 STEPFORD CUCKOOS IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
All of the appearances on this list are difficult to find, but this one just might be the hardest. In X-Men: The Last Stand the three (originally five) identical clones known as the Stepford Cuckoos briefly appear during. In between a shot of Storm and Xavier, the triplets can be seen walking down a hallway to class, holding books in their arms.
No one has ever confirmed or denied that these figures are indeed the Stepford Cuckoos, but we’re certain they are. Since Emma Frost didn’t exist in the X-Men film franchise at the time, their presence doesn’t make a lot of sense. Strangely enough, however, we don't think it’s supposed to. More than anything, their cameo is a nice easter egg for observant comic fans.
4 GLOB IN X-MEN: THE LAST STAND
With a mutant ability that gives him an exoskeleton made of a jelly-like wax substance, Glob’s physical appearance is one of the oddest among the X-Men. In the comics, Glob isn’t easy to draw, which means he’s even harder to recreate on-screen, but the X-Men: The Last Stand creative team did it. Blob appeared in the final climactic fight scene, fighting as one of Magneto’s evil mutants.
Blob does, historically, tend to flip-flop when it comes to choosing sides, so his on-screen connection to Magneto is reasonable. Although the on-screen Glob is far from perfect, we’re happily surprised that the X-Men: The Last Stand producers even tried to bring him to the world of cinema. It might’ve been their only good decision.
3 ROGUE IN X:MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
At the end of X-Men: The Last Stand, Rogue’s story seems to be over. In a fateful moment, Rogue decides she wants to have her powers removed, in an effort to live a normal life. Since the X-Men films are about mutants with powers, everyone just assumed she was out of the X-moviemaking business.
Of course, superheroes never stay depowered for long. Rogue reappeared in Days of Future Past, in a short scene where Sentinels are capturing her. Most of her other scenes were cut from the film, but an extended cut of the film, titled “The Rogue Cut”, extends her role. Since she starred in so many of the other X-Men films, we thought Rogue’s small cameo worked well.
2 BLINK IN X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
The film X-Men: Days of Future Past is based on one of Marvel writer Chris Claremont’s most complex comic arcs. Surprisingly, though, Days of Future Past became one of the better X-Men films to date. A lot of the stranger elements and characters were cut, which made it more digestible for audiences.
However, a lot of the characters in the film were still unfamiliar to moviegoers, including Exiles star Blink. The portal-creating mutant makes a grand entrance at the beginning of the film, where she fights off a few sentinels. Although most audiences probably didn’t know who she was, for comic fans, her scene was a nice reminder of the film’s comic origins.
1 WOLVERINE IN X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
Now for the cameo we ALL saw coming, Wolverine serves a higher purpose in the X-Men films then a simple appearance. As one of the most popular characters in the X-Men film franchise, he’s usually front and center, but in X-Men: Apocalypse, Logan is noticeably absent for most of the movie.
That is, until Jean Grey and Cyclops arrive at Alkali Base. Jean and Scott find Logan at the famous Weapon X lab and set him free. He then goes on a bloodthirsty rampage through the base, showing off his classic Wolverine skills. Although Wolverine easily could’ve had a larger role in Apocalypse, we actually enjoyed only having this short cameo. This isn’t really his movie, so a longer scene would’ve been too much.