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The Worst Things Human Governments Have Done To Mutants In The X-Men Comics

List RulesVote up the messed-up moments that made you think, "Man, humans suck."

If nothing else, the X-Men are known for protecting a world that hates and fears them. While Charles Xavier may dream of peaceful coexistence between mutants and humanity, oftentimes his beliefs are challenged by systemic injustice in the form of anti-mutant crackdowns like Project Wideawake, anti-mutant technology like the Sentinels, and the occasional anti-mutant genocide like the Decimation, all perpetuated by various world governments. 

All of this has conspired to bring the world to the brink of mutant extinction on more than one occasion, but the X-Men have survived it all, only to face the next round of discrimination. These days, mutants are safer than ever thanks to the founding of Krakoa, a sovereign mutant nation built on the back of a sentient mutant island of the same name. Safer, however, doesn’t mean safe, and there are still plenty of human governments out there waiting for their next chance to put down anyone with an X-Gene.

  • 1

    America Invented The Sentinels To Hunt Down And Round Up Mutants

    There is no monument to anti-mutant intolerance that endures quite like the Sentinel Program. Under the auspices of Project Wideawake, Bolivar Trask received funding from the American government to create an army of giant mutant-hunting robots. Naturally, he also invented an enormous Master Mold Sentinel that could crank out other Sentinels by the dozen. The Master Mold almost immediately rebelled against its master, forcing Trask to accept help from the X-Men and ultimately sacrifice his own life to defeat it - but that wouldn’t be the last of the Sentinels.

    Trask’s son Larry would carry on his father’s legacy, creating a Mark II generation of Sentinels. Several others would follow, with each generation getting better and better at capturing and eventually eradicating mutants. In fact, several possible futures glimpsed by the X-Men, including the iconic Days of Future Past, feature timelines in which the Sentinels have already wiped out most of mutantkind.

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  • 2

    The Fictional Country Madripoor Conspired To Taint Mutant Pharmaceuticals So Innocents Around The World Would Perish

    Earth-616 of the Marvel Universe features several nations that don’t exist in the real world, and Madripoor is one of the nastiest. Located just south of Singapore, Madripoor is a hub of scum and villainy, host to crimes of both the high- and low-class varieties. It’s also been effectively ruled by a series of supervillains, including Viper, and of late, it's come under the sway of Homines Verendi.

    An anti-mutant hate organization born out of a collaboration between a intolerant billionaire and the rich kids who used to run the Hellfire Club, Homines Verendi used their wealth and influence to gain control of Madripoor’s government. Then, they made it their official foreign policy to mess with Krakoa, the newly born mutant sovereign state. One of their most nefarious schemes involved the tainting of Krakoan pharmaceuticals (the same life-saving pharmaceuticals the Krakoans were offering up to the world in exchange for no longer violently persecuting them) with the deadliest of intentions. The goal was to have the rest of the world blame mutants for the tragedy, but fortunately the Marauders, Krakoa’s band of privateers, interceded before too many could be harmed.

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  • 3

    Russia Built Nesting Doll Soldiers To Invade And Attack Krakoa

    When Charles Xavier and Magneto announced the founding of Krakoa, the sentient and sovereign island nation for mutants only, they leveraged recognition from the rest of the world with the offer of literal life-saving pharmaceuticals born from Krakoa itself. Most of the members of the United Nations played ball, but Russia refused and set about to engage in a cold war with mutants.

    Not only did the Russian government post troops at every Krakoan gate to prevent its own mutant citizens from visiting Krakoa, but the nation also made several direct strikes against the island itself. One strike featured genetically engineered soldiers that, when slain, had a smaller soldier burst from their chest to continue the strike. Then, when that one was slain, out popped an even smaller soldier, and so on, and so on. Yes, real-life Russian nesting dolls out for mutant blood.

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  • 4

    The US Imprisoned Mutant Refugees In The Xavier Institute After Scarlet Witch Depowered Most Of The World's Mutants

    When the Scarlet Witch said “No more mutants” and depowered approximately 98% of the planet’s X-Gene possessors, it was just the actions of one individual and not an example of systemic anti-mutant oppression. What happened in the wake of the Decimation, however, was an excellent example of it. 

    Following the events of what came to be known as “M-Day,” the president of the United States signed an order creating the Office of National Emergency, an organization charged with “monitoring” the roughly 198 mutants left on Earth, most of whom had congregated at the Xavier Institute for safety. O*N*E decided that the best way to accomplish this was by surrounding the institute with Sentinels, although at least this time the Sentinels were piloted by humans instead of being autonomous.

    Though the X-Men clashed with Sentinel Squad O*N*E on a couple of occasions, the pilots actually helped defend the world’s remaining mutants from danger numerous times, like when their software was occasionally corrupted to turn them back into regular ol’ autonomous mutant-hunting robots. The entire squadron ultimately perished in the chaos following the birth of the first post-M-Day mutant.

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