Marvel Comics’ premiere mutant superhero team, the X-Men, have saved the world and all of reality from the brink of destruction more times than anyone can count. Whether the threat comes from fellow mutants, giant robots, or hate-mongering humans, the X-Men are always there to save the day. Along the way, in the quest to fulfill Professor Charles Xavier’s dream in uniting mutant and humans, they’ve made plenty of enemies. The X-Men constantly have to be on the lookout for those who want to hunt them down and kill them.
The foes that the team of mutants face are some of the fiercest and scariest in the Marvel Universe. Yet a bad as Sentinels or insane Egyptian deities might be, it’s almost nothing compared to the X-Men themselves. The team members that comprise the X-Men and all the offshoot teams have some truly remarkable abilities, some of which are downright frightening. Even if said powers aren’t terribly scary, those that wield them are. Simply put, there are some mutants, that no matter their allegiances, you don’t want to mess with. Today at CBR we’re quaking in our boots as we look at 15 X-Men who are more frightening than their villains.
Logan, aka Wolverine, is considered by far none the deadliest mutant on Earth. With an incredible healing factor and adamantium claws that can slice through anyone or anything, he also maintains a proclivity for violence, made worse by his animalistic Berserker Rage. Prone to ferocious outbursts, thanks to the torture he endured under Weapon X, Wolverine’s temperament, along with his wide range of deadly skills and incredible mutant abilities have heroes and villains plenty afraid.
Unlike many heroes, Wolverine isn’t afraid to stab someone repeatedly. Additionally, being unkillable is a horrifying situation for friends and family whenever he’s been mind-controlled; he just cannot be stopped. A walking engine of death and destruction, Logan’s been mind-controlled into attacking his compatriots and in alternate timelines, not only killing his fellow X-Men but nearly every other super-powered being on the planet. Nobody wants to fight the Wolverine; he will murder you.
14 PROFESSOR X
An Omega Level mutant if ever there was one, Charles Xavier’s vast telepathic powers are known far and wide. Capable of wiping out the minds of everyone on the planet if he wanted to, Xavier could force everyone to think like he does. Thankfully, he chooses not to use his power for malevolent or selfish reasons…except for those times he does. Xavier’s brainwashed his fellow team of X-Men multiple times, making them forget events he’d rather they not remember. It was also his mental powers that gave birth to the mighty villain Onslaught.
But who knows, maybe the world is already enslaved to Xavier’s mind; there’d be no way of knowing. Maybe the man is bored and just enjoys the idea of conflict and people running around in circles. At the end of the day, neither your mind nor your memories are truly safe.
Mystique is something of an on oddball in that, she, like others on this list also started her career as evil. You wouldn’t think there was a decent bone in her body, but when Rogue asked her to be part of a rapid response unit, Mystique joined. In typical X-Men fashion, things didn’t last long for Mystique, but it wouldn’t be the last time she’d try to be a hero. Even so, Mystique is a terrifying individual. While she can’t throw a building at you, she will instill a sense of mind-numbing paranoia into your psyche.
Perhaps the sneakiest shapeshifter on the planet, her name alone strikes fear in the criminal underworld. When Mystique is loose, you never know where or who she is; not until it’s too late. She’ll follow you inconspicuously or take the form of the person closest to you before stabbing a knife through your heart.
Ororo Munroe, Storm, and her ability to control the weather, earns her the title of one of the world’s most powerful mutants. From raining down hail or suddenly dropping an F5 tornado down at your front door, Storm’s powers are so great she can put the entire world in jeopardy. When it comes to weather, everything Thor, the God of Thunder can do, Storm can do too. Yet while Thor is more a bull in a china shop, Storm’s refined her powers masterfully; few opponents relish the idea of challenging the weather goddess.
Things go up a level if Storm becomes confined in a small space. Claustrophobic, she’ll often lose control of her powers, unleashing all sorts of world-ending calamities. Don’t even get us started on Storm when she’s angry. An enraged Storm is a terrifying entity, eyes ablaze with power as lightning comes funneling out of her fingertips.
When the Phoenix Force possessed Jean Grey she became the most powerful mutant in the universe. Already an Omega Level telekinetic and telepath, Jean’s power was only matched by her popularity amongst readers. Whether it’s her older self or her younger time-displaced iteration, Jean consistently served as a cornerstone for the rest of her teammates.
Dark Phoenix Jean is another matter entirely. She was more than okay with killing her friends. Well, that might not be entirely true, but after destroying a planet, all bets were off where morality was concerned. Completely out of her mind, Jean would have killed her friends, and blown up the Earth, if not for her committing suicide to save the universe from her power. Dark Phoenix Jean is virtually all-powerful and the mere mention of the Phoenix is enough to make people duck and cover.
The philosophical rival to his best friend and enemy Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto is not only one of the mightiest mutants on the planet, but one of the scariest. Imbued with incredible power, able to do anything from changing Earth’s magnetic poles to turning a hardware store into a literal deathtrap, Magneto’s stance on violence and murder, i.e. he’s totally okay with it, makes him downright horrifying.
Feared by humanity, even supervillains do their best to stay far away from the Master of Magnetism. Despite his ruthless mentality, Magneto constantly dances around the lines of good and evil. Right and wrong are not cut and dry with the Holocaust survivor. Yet perhaps the scariest thing about Magneto is not his powers, but his stoic belief he’s right, accompanied by the willingness to do whatever he feels is best for mutantkind.
By the look of her, Monet St. Croix actually seems reasonably normal. There’s nothing weird about her appearance and her powers are straightforward. She has super strength, speed, and endurance, invulnerability, and also possesses telescopic and night vision, among other things. She’s been a loyal member of the X-Men, but things tend to change when her brother, Marius St. Croix, get involved. Unlike his sister, Marius is a nightmare to look at, and when he possesses and merges with Monet, she becomes rather ghastly too.
Losing most of her humanity, Monet becomes Emplate and develops vicious-looking mouths on the palms of her hands; each with rows of razor sharp teeth and unsettling long tongues. Those tongues like going into the ears of their victims, draining them of their life-force; she essentially transforms into an energy vampire with diamond hard skin.
8 EMMA FROST
Telepaths are a sneaky and suspicious lot by nature. You never know when they’re reading your mind or if they’re controlling you against your will into committing dastardly acts. With Emma Frost, you can bet your britches she’s probably doing both. Unlike Charles Xavier who has a little thing called morality going for him, Emma isn’t bound by conventional views of right and wrong. Incredibly selfish, hostile, and downright terrifying, even her teammates tip-toe around her, never sure whether today will be the day she makes them all live their worst fears.
Beginning her career as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, she’d later join the X-Men. Still, after getting possessed by a portion of the Phoenix Force, she tried taking over the world. When that failed, Emma orchestrated a war between the X-Men and Inhumans. Realizing they’d found her out, she decided to just try and kill everyone.
While Rahne Sinclair, otherwise known as Wolfsbane, might not boast world-ending power, there’s probably few things scarier than finding yourself at night getting charged at by a human-sized, sentient, mutant werewolf. Maybe it’s because of that primal terror of animals that once posed threats to humans, but Wolfsbane, at least when she’s wolfed-up, is pretty scary-looking. Still, she can transform back to her human alter ego, but when it’s time for the claws to come out, then watch yourself!
With nearly all the powers of feral mutants like Wolverine, Wolfsbane is an excellent tracker. Her senses are superhuman to an nth degree, especially when transformed. She becomes super-strong and even acquires a healing factor; there’s no hiding from Wolfsbane if she wants to find you. Additionally, these days she can manifest a small army of mutant werewolves to attack people. So yeah, have fun with that…
A mutant with a heart of gold, Kurt Wagner, or Nightcrawler as he’s otherwise known, is a man of God and one of the loveliest people you’d ever meet. That said, many people are unable to get over the fact that he looks like he crawled out of Dante’s Inferno. Likened to resembling a full-on demon, Nightcrawler scares people half to death without even trying. it’s nearly impossible for Nightcrawler to go for a casual stroll, much less try and integrate with a mutant-hating society.
With nifty teleportation powers, his ability to pop out of nowhere makes folks super uneasy. Add on his uncanny skill as a swordsman and when you combine it with his mutant power, there are few heroes more (potentially) dangerous. If he wanted to, Nightcrawler would be a master assassin; literally killing fools left and right before they even knew what hit them. That’s scary.
The son of Charles Xavier, Legion might very well be the most dangerous telepath on the planet. Wielding abilities beyond anything Xavier was ever capable of, David Haller suffers from a severe case of multiple personality disorder. This is important, because not only does every different personality have it’s own unique power-set, but it’s impossible to know which personality will surface at any time. One second, David might be friendly, the next he’ll be murderous and horrifying beyond measure.
Legion’s unpredictable nature means he holds the power of a god and can use it at any time without even being aware he’s doing it. Rarely in full control of his powers, which includes generating fire, time travel, warping reality and anything the story requires of him, David is best known for going back in time, killing Xavier, and starting the "Age of Apocalypse" storyline.
Illyana Rasputin is the mutant sister to her X-Men brother Colossus and unquestionably one of the scariest mutants out there. Illyana endured severe trauma at an early age when she got abducted to Limbo when she was only six. Eventually she was rescued, but the experience changed her.
An incredibly powerful sorcerer, while Doctor Strange might be the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, she is the Sorceress Supreme of the Limbo dimension. To that end, Illyana has a penchant for dragging people down to Limbo, surrounding them with demons and despair. Unlike most of the X-Men, she has little problem with taking extreme methods in dealing with adversaries. Utilizing a blend of dark magic, Magik’s sinister nature leaves even her friends with goosebumps running up their spines, not to mention her enemies, who constantly have to worry about getting suddenly attacked by a Lovecraftian monster.
Controlling people against their will seems to be a common thing for heroes and villains alike in the X-Men comics. Laurie Collins’ ability to control people is a bit different from the many psychics running around. Wallflower can control and manipulate people’s emotions through the usage of pheromones. While typically those with such abilities can only control something like fear or love, Wallflower could make anyone calm, angry, lustful, happy, fearful, and even put them to sleep.
Some have theorized, that had she gained full access to her powers, she could put entire armies to sleep. During "House of M", she used her powers to make Quentin Quire suicidal and kill himself. After she got killed later, she was then turned into the horrifyingly grotesque Bio-Sentinel. And so, dead or alive, Wallfllower is downright scary.
Wolverine’s archenemy, Victor Creed, Sabertooth, was and is a merciless murder machine of a mutant. He’s tormented Wolverine for his entire life, always there to try and push the heroic mutant over the edge. Sabertooth is the embodiment of Wolverine’s fears, a dark reflection of what Logan could become if he shed his humanity.
While Logan learned to tame the beast within, Victor embraced it and would laugh all the while as he bathed in the blood of his victims. Though Sabertooth started on the wrong side of the law, he later joined the X-Men, having suppressed his murderous urges somewhat. Even so, many of his fellow teammates feel uncomfortable around the beastly mutant, as you never know what will drive him to tear out your throat.
Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, was the first member of Charles Xavier’s X-Men. For the longest time, Cyclops was anything but scary. A thoughtful, pragmatic leader, Scott used rationale to guide his thinking rather than fear or intimidation. In fact, his demeanor made readers consider him boring. That all changed once Cyclops started going darker. Not to mention his optic blasts that can blasts holes through skyscrapers, he once assigned several mutants to act as his personal hit squad.
He then went on a bender, getting possessed by the Phoenix Force, nearly taking over the world, and killing Professor X. Afterwards, Cyclops broke out of prison, became extremely irrational and unstable. Taking a militaristic approach in dealing with humans, he nearly set off a war between humans and mutants. With nothing to lose, Cyclops became more frightening than his villains ever were.
Which of these X-Men is the scariest to you? Let us know in the comments!