Fastball Special1 of 12
It’s hard to think of characters like Wolverine, Mystique, or Rogue as anything but X-Men, but believe it or not, none of those characters debuted in the pages of X-Men comic books.
Likewise the Struckers - the main characters of Fox’s The Gifted, which premiered on Fox this week – come from the Hydra-centric Strucker family like (Baron von Strucker... should we say more?)
In that spirit, we’re looking back at the most prominent X-Men characters who didn’t debut in X-Men comic books. Some of them might surprise you.
Silver Samurai2 of 12
Though Silver Samurai is connected to the X-Men universe by his deep history with Wolverine, for most of his existence the Silver Samurai has actually challenged other heroes, starting off in his first appearance in Daredevil #111.
Over the years, Silver Samurai has also fought Spider-Man, Captain America, the Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D., and has even spent time as a hero.
Silver Samurai appeared on the big screen in The Wolverine as well.
Longshot, Mojo, Spiral3 of 12
While none of these characters are mutants in the Marvel sense, they are all inextricably tied to X-Men lore. But they all originated outside of X-Men titles. All three characters first appeared in the Longshot mini-series by Ann Nocenti and Art Adams.
Longshot is the most prominent of the bunch, having served on the X-Men and X-Factor for many years, while Spiral and Mojo have usually been seen as villains to the X-Men.
Jamie Madrox4 of 12
Jamie Madrox, A.K.A. Multiple Man, is a mutant with the power to create fully functioning duplicates of himself. Though he’s best known for headlining multiple volumes of Peter David’s X-Factor, his origins actually lie outside the X-Men.
Madrox first appeared in Giant-Size Fantastic Four #4. In the story, Madrox’s out of control powers cause him to clash with the FF until Professor X arrives and recruits him.
Fans of Madrox were saddened when he became one of the first casualties of the M-Pox in Death of X #1, though given the nature of his powers - and that he’s died before, under similar circumstances, no less - it’s only a matter of time before he returns.
Psylocke5 of 12
Before Psylocke was a psychic ninja – or even Asian, as bizarre as that sounds – she appeared as Betsy Braddock, the precognitive British sister of fellow non-X mutant Captain Britain (look it up!), in Britain’s Marvel UK series, co-created by none other than Chris Claremont, creator of many characters on this list.
Although her telepathic powers and even her iconic psychic knives were in place for some time, it wasn't until she body-swapped with a Japanese ninja named Kwannon that she gravitated towards the upper echelon of X-Men.
And Psylocke isn't the first non X-Men character that Claremont brought with him later into the X-Men titles. Read on...
X-Force6 of 12
Well, not exactly.
More than a year before the more famous X-Force debuted in New Mutants #100, a group of mercenaries using the name appeared in The Mutant Misadventures of Cloak & Dagger #10, getting caught in between the teen heroes – themselves non-X mutants – and Freedom Force, the government sanctioned mutant team comprised of former members of Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Lady Deathstrike7 of 12
Lady Deathstrike first appeared in her civilian identity of Yuriko Oyama in Daredevil #197, helping Daredevil fight her father, the criminal Lord Death Wind.
Even after that, her debut as the assassin Lady Deathstrike came in Alpha Flight #33, while it was writer Chris Claremont who added her cybernetic enhancements when she became a part of the X-Men mythos.
Rogue8 of 12
Though she was always intended as a mutant, Rogue actually debuted in Avengers Annual #10 as a villain. It was in this appearance that Rogue absorbed the powers of Carol Danvers – Ms. Marvel at the time – granting her the flight and super-strength she had for many years.
It was not long after that that Rogue joined the X-Men under writer Chris Claremont’s guidance. In recent years, Rogue has returned to the pages of Avengers comic books, appearing as part of the Avengers Unity Squad in Uncanny Avengers. She'll also play a key role in the upcoming weekly series "Avengers: No Surrender."
Mystique9 of 12
Mystique’s first appearance came in Ms. Marvel #16, where she was the leader of a new band of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. It was the start of a story that didn’t end until Avengers Annual #10 some years later.
Like Rogue, her adopted daughter, Mystique was co-created by legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont who was also writing the adventures of Ms. Marvel at the time.
Sabretooth10 of 12
Sabretooth may be most well known as an enemy of Wolverine and the X-Men, but he actually originated in Iron Fist #14, written by none other than Chris Claremont.
Sabretooth is another character who wasn’t originally a mutant, but his close relationship to Wolverine grew out of Claremont shepherding the stories of both characters.
Over the years, Sabretooth’s origin has been called into question a few times, with Claremont hinting for many years that he was Wolverine’s father, though subsequent writers have undone that idea.
Iron Fist and Sabretooth are set to cross paths again this fall as part of "Legacy."
Wolverine11 of 12It’s not exactly uncommon knowledge that Wolverine debuted in a brief cameo in Incredible Hulk #180 before making a full appearance in Incredible Hulk #181, but what’s less well known is that he was never intended as an X-Men character – at least not til some time later.
Wolverine’s actual origins are somewhat strange. He wasn’t initially meant to be a mutant. He was originally envisioned by creator Len Wein as a hyper-evolved wolverine – as in the animal. It wasn’t until Wein dropped him into Giant-Size X-Men #1 as part of the all-new, all different X-Men that he became a mutant.
The original Wolverine has been dead for a few years now - or at least he was, until he returned under mysterious circumstances in the recent Marvel Legacy #1 one-shot.
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