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Popular X-Men Characters Who Aren't Even Mutants

November 11, 2020 2.4k votes 530 voters 106.7k views14 items

List RulesVote up the X-Men-adjacent characters who still rule even if they don't have the mutant gene.

Charles Xavier’s X-Men have been alternatively described as “Marvel’s Merry Mutants,” a group of Homo superior dedicated to defending a world that hates and fears them in the name of peaceful coexistence. Usually, it is mutanity that separates the X-Men and their various splinter groups from all the other superheroic organizations in the Marvel Universe, but that doesn’t mean there aren't plenty of non-mutant X-Men out there.

Of late, Xavier and others have founded an island nation for mutants on Krakoa, which has only drawn attention to the divide. While any and all mutants (including those dangerously powerful or questionably ethical) are welcome on Krakoa, non-mutants are not - which means that several beloved X-characters are on the outside looking in. 

Settling the mutant status of various X-Men heroes and villains isn't always cut and dry - because it sometimes changes from one series to the next. Is Juggernaut a mutant? Is Puck Homo superior? What about the father of Cyclops and Havoc? Read on to find the answers, and vote up the best non-mutant members of the X-family.

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  • X-Association: In the comics, Wade Wilson only occasionally pals around with the X-Men, though he did get his start as a New Mutants pseudo-antagonist. However, since the first two Deadpool films teamed him up with Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, the Merc with the Mouth has become firmly associated with Marvel’s Merry Mutants - much to Xavier and co.’s chagrin. According to cinematic continuity, Wilson had his X-Gene “activated” by government experimentation.

    Powers: Deadpool can heal from pretty much anything, up to and including beheadings and outright disintegrations. At one point, he was cursed with literal immortality by Thanos, though that’s since been rescinded.

    Non-Mutant Origins: Stricken with terminal cancer, mercenary Wilson volunteered for the Weapon X program (itself a long-term extension of the Super Soldier Program that yielded Captain America). He had the DNA of fellow Weapon X experimentee Wolverine grafted onto his own, and with it came the mutant’s legendary healing factor.

    One unfortunate side effect was that Wilson’s cancer also gained a healing factor, and began metastasizing all over his body. As a result, he was washed out into the Weapon X reject lab, where malicious employees placed bets on their patients’ survival in something known as a “dead pool.” 

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  • X-Association: The Juggernaut isn’t just a longtime antagonist - and occasional ally - of the X-Men; he’s also family. Cain Marko’s father married Charles Xavier’s mother, making Juggernaut and Professor X stepbrothers. He’s served on the X-Men, Excalibur, the Exiles, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants - quite a diverse resume for any X-character. 

    Powers: It’s right there in the name: He’s the Unstoppable Juggernaut. In addition to Hulk-level strength and functional immortality, Marko has something known as Irresistible Force Embodiment. That means when Juggernaut starts going in a certain direction, nothing can (theoretically) stop him.

    Non-Mutant Origins: While fighting alongside Xavier in the Korean War (which should make them each approximately 90 years old), Marko discovered the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. This transformed him into the earthly avatar of a demonic deity of the same name. Without the gem, Marko’s still entirely human, and is thus not welcome on his brother’s mutant-only island paradise.

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  • X-Association: Mister Sinister isn’t just a notorious X-villain; he’s someone who has been obsessed with mutants since long before even Charles Xavier was born. Originally Dr. Nathaniel Essex of 19th-century London, Sinister became an expert in genetics and was bestowed a slate of powers by early mutant Apocalypse.

    Powers: Sinister has spent decades augmenting his own DNA with that of various mutants, which has only added to the already impressive list of abilities given to him by Apocalypse. He can shapeshift at the cellular level, making him practically indestructible and functionally immortal, and he’s also an accomplished telepath and telekinetic. 

    Non-Mutant Origins: Sinister’s original set of powers came from Apocalypse, but that was only the beginning. Nathaniel Essex developed a penchant for augmenting and cloning himself, and it ultimately proved to be his downfall. When approached by Xavier and Magneto for assistance in the founding of a mutant nation, Sinister refused - only to be slain and replaced by his own clone, one that had been engineered to possess an X-Gene and thus considered itself a mutant.  

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  • X-Association: Though they’re both more closely linked to the Avengers these days, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff got their start opposing the X-Men as founding members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Their X-connections only grew stronger when it was revealed that Magneto was their father, though that revelation would later become a point of contention. 

    Powers: In the concise words of Maria Hill, “He’s fast, she’s weird.” Quicksilver is one of Marvel’s premier speedsters, though his powers pale in comparison to those of his twin sister. The Scarlet Witch can channel chaos magic to bend reality itself, though the development of her abilities was lengthy and drove her to madness on multiple occasions.

    Non-Mutant Origins: Though the story of their true parentage was retconned a dozen times over, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were always believed to be mutants; they showed up in Cerebro, they seemed to possess the X-Gene, they joined a team of "evil mutants," etc. Then, a convoluted set of circumstances proved that Magneto was not their father after all, leading the twins on a series of even more convoluted discoveries that culminated in their learning that they were ordinary human children genetically engineered by the High Evolutionary to seem like they were mutants.

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