MUTANT MISSTEPS1 of 12
This week, Marvel announced new titles for Legion and Gambit & Rogue - characters that have more than pulled their narrative (and heroic) weight. But while Marvel is handing out new X-Men titles, there are a few mutants they might want to avoid.
The X-Men have always been Marvel’s weirdest heroes, but even in that context some of the characters that have populated the team haven’t exactly set Cerebro ablaze with mutant potential.
We get it – everyone is somebody’s favorite. But when it comes to the mutants on this list, they’re a hard sell at best.
CYPHER2 of 12
Doug Ramsey gets a lot of grief for his power, both on and off the page. With the innate ability to understand any language of any kind, his power is only slightly above that of anyone with access to Google Translate.
Writers who like Doug can easily be picked out, because they find some way to make him useful in battles. Whether it's reading body language or hacking an alien computer, Doug does get to use his abilities on occasion, but it didn't save him from being killed; 'cause you know, speaking French really well doesn't block a sword or a bullet or a claw or a laser.
Even Christina Strain, writer of the ongoing Generation X book, has given the young Ramsey
a bit of shade.
CALLISTO3 of 12
When Callisto was leader of the Morlocks, her most defining traits were her tactical ingenuity and her trademark eyepatch. After all, enhanced senses aren't exactly a visual ability.
When she was actively working with the X-Men, specifically with Charles Xavier himself, however, you couldn't miss her. She had tentacles for arms. Callisto never got her due again after having tentacle arms, possibly because no one could do anything but note the fact that she had tentacle arms.
Also, tentacle arms. She has since lost those and her other powers.
JOSEPH4 of 12
Originally thought to be a somehow youthful, amnesiac version of Magneto, Joseph was in fact a clone, which, in the world of Marvel Comics, causes some eyebrows to be raised.
Joseph had all the power of Magneto, and all the attitude of Don Henley. Somehow, this guy managed to woo prime X-Babe Rogue away from her longtime paramour Gambit, probably by playing her "The Heart of the Matter" on his acoustic guitar.
Joseph was the comic book equivalent of a douchey, one-off boyfriend on 90210, who you find out is actually cheating on Brenda at the end of the episode. He's a "really nice guy" except that, years later, he returns from the dead and murders a bunch of people (as he did in the 2011 Magneto: Not A Hero miniseries), not bothering to even remain consistent with his previous, laid-back approach.
Thanks for trying, Joe.
SKIN5 of 12
Generally speaking, if your superhero identity is named after a body part, you're asking for some side-eye (more on that later).
As a member of Generation X, Skin a.k.a. Angelo Espinosa, added some diversity to the young mutant lineup, and his abrasive cockiness actually made him a lot of fans.
But that power... the power to control your excess skin in a twisted b-horror version of Mr. Fantastic... it's just gross, people. Six feet of extra skin isn't a power - it's a prerequisite for Ripley's Believe it or Not.
Skin didn't last long, meeting a rather grisly death at the hands of the Church of Humanity.
SHATTERSTAR6 of 12
Look, we get it. The 90s are back in a big way. But nostalgia aside, Shatterstar is just another mullet-bearing, pirate-shirt-wearing stack of 20 years of unresolved plot threads and impractical weaponry.
Created by the other-dimensional mound of egg-pudding known as Mojo, Shatterstar is a genetically bred gladiator who was raised with the expressed purpose of jumping and crouching while holding his swords incorrectly.
In addition to the longest recorded independent ponytail of all time, Shatterstar had a pair of teleporting, double-bladed swords and a totally boss Jazzercise leotard complete with sleeves large enough to house every other member of X-Force and still have room for a lifetime's supply of Vidal Sassoon hair care products.
Peter David decided to finally "clear up" Shatterstar's origin and his connection to Longshot in his long run on X-Factor, with what wound up being the craziest of all possibilities: They are essentially each other's father.
STACY X7 of 12
Stacy X's inclusion on this list is not meant to besmirch her as a character. A product of Joe Casey's run on Uncanny X-Men, there's definitely something about a mutant prostitute-turned-X-Man with scales and pheromone powers that could work in the right context.
However, in terms of actually being a productive contributor to the X-Men's missions, Stacy X didn't add much. She spent much of her time trying to use her wiles to win over Archangel and the highly religious Nightcrawler, and ended up leaving because the former chose to be with Husk instead - which itself was a surprising development given the significant age difference between the two.
Luckily, the outcome of "The Dark Angel Saga" in Uncanny X-Force means that Warren Worthington has no memory of any of that happening, and though Stacy X died in New Warriors, she returned in the Casey-written Vengeance miniseries. So things worked out for everyone, kind of.
MARROW8 of 12
She hates the world, but just wants to live in it, accepted for who she is. She's proud of being a mutant, but hates how she looks. After all, she has bones protruding from all over her body, which she pulls out to use as weapons. You'd probably not be too fond of mirrors in that case, either.
The bigger problem with Marrow than her kinda gross power, however, was what a one-note wonder she was. Several writers tried to give her a little more depth, and even tried to give her a little happiness so she wasn't just always complaining in woe is me mode.
Unfortunately, none of them were very successful (or just didn't seem to like her very much), and she was usually returned back to whiny one-noter in no time at all. She actually found herself associated for a time with Callisto, and wound up teaming with her in the terrorist group X-Cell after losing her powers on M-Day.
Marrow was last seen making a cameo in Secret Empire, her first appearance since prior to Secret Wars.
MAGGOTT9 of 12
Maggott is one of those characters who seemed cool on paper, but then when he was actually on – well, paper – it quickly became obvious that instead of being a thoughtful, non-violent man with an incredibly brutal mutation, he was really just a dude whose digestive tract could crawl around and turn his skin blue. Also, he spoke in a barely understandable patois of South African slang.
After a fairly brief stint as an X-Man, he was sent down to the minors as a member of Generation X. Unfortunately, not even they wanted him, and he only hung around for a single issue before disappearing.
Sadly, he later resurfaced in a mutant concentration camp where he was eventually killed, which isn't really funny at all. He is survived by one of his intestinal "slugs," though whether it's the one called "Eany" or "Meany" is unknown.
X-MAN10 of 12
At first glance, it looks like X-Man is a pretty cool character. He's like Cable, but without the leash of the techno-organic virus holding him back. Hailing from the Age of Apocalypse universe, this test-tube baby is the genetic child of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. It's when X-Man came to the 616 that everything went to crap.
Now you have an unleashed Cable in the same universe as the original Cable, automatically restricting both of them. Then came the romantic relationship with Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne, if you'll recall, is a clone of Jean Grey. That means Nate had a thing with his mom - at least genetically speaking.
Recently a member of a proper X-Team (the New Mutants), Nate's problems have continued. Now the character whose coolest point was that he was everything Nathan Christopher Charles Summers Dayspring Askani'Son could have been has been basically neutered. Nate has recently had trouble lifting a basketball with telekinesis.
But at least he's no longer dating his mom.
X-TREME11 of 12
Adam X the X-Treme is 10 pounds of 90s cliches in a five-pound backwards baseball cap. Born as Adam Neramani, he was created for people who thought that the "breakout characters" from DC's Bloodlines event were too subtle.
As if simply being a walking rat-tail wasn't enough of a super-power, Neramani has the grim'n'gritty power to set fire to people's blood. Also, his own blood is acid. So, rather than be confined by the typical 90s naming conventions and calling himself "Bloodlaunch," or "Firesquirt," or even something like "The Hemogoblin," he decided to grab life by the surfboard and just name himself "X-Treme," forever sealing his own fate as the avatar of comics' weirdest decade.
Clad in the aforementioned backwards cap and a motorcycle suit littered with not only pouches and straps but also straight-up razorblades, X-Treme may in fact be the lamest mutant ever to refuse to join the X-Men.
That's right – they offered him membership, and he refused. He was originally rumored to be the fabled "third Summers brother," but was later revealed to be the son of the Shi'ar despot D'Ken - which kind of explains the rad corpse paint, but can never explain how one character managed to so perfectly embody the ideals of 90s excess.
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