‘The X-Men #1’ was released in September of 1963, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced the world to the founding members of the X-Men: Archangel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey and Professor X. By 1975, twelve more mutants had joined the team; among them, fan-favorites such as Nightcrawler, Storm and Wolverine. It wasn’t long before that that number grew to 50, and then to 100. Though some were definitely better than others, each one of these mutants came with their own unique abilities and power level. The toughest of the bunch are called Omega and Alpha level mutants, individuals with abilities involving the manipulation of matter and/or energy, like Iceman and Elixir. That said, the strongest of them all are Class 5 mutants, but only one mutant has ever reached a power level that high. Can you guess who?
Without further ado, here are the 18 of the most powerful X-Men of all-time. Feel free to let us know which X-Men you’d like to see added next in the comments below!
Born during the Chernobyl disaster in the USSR, Peter Rasputin’s (Colossus) abilities manifested at a young age while saving his sister (Magik). Colossus has the ability to convert his entire body into an organic steel of unknown origin, granting him superhuman strength, stamina and near-invulnerability to bodily harm. It’s been said that Colossus is capable of withstanding temperatures as low as – 390°F and as hot as 9000°F. While in his armored state, despite having a solid-steel figure, Colossus’ endurance and speed are enhanced. As a matter fact, as long as he stays in that state, he doesn’t even need to breathe! Crazy, right?
Shortly after learning of his abilities, Colossus was recruited by Professor X and brought to America. Xavier had no choice but to reach outside of country in an attempt to recruit a team strong enough to save the original team from Krakoa (mutated-living island). Along with Colossus, the new X-Men introduced at this time consisted of Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Sunfire, Thunderbird, Banshee and Strom.
Bishop was born in an alternate timeline (Earth-1191) during the 21st Century A.D. In the world Bishop comes from, the X-Men have all been killed at the hands of the Sentinels. Along with his sister Shad, Bishop was born in a mutant relocation camp – which explains the branded M overtop of his eye. Bishop’s super powers allow him to absorb energy and use it to enhance his strength, heal, create concussive blasts and remain invulnerable to damage. He also has a cybernetic arm that he stole from Forge’s lab, capable of releasing two clawed tendrils. Being that the arm is powered by nuclear energy, its full capabilities are unknown.
After Legion went completely insane and tried to murder Magneto, Bishop was tasked with stopping him and while they did succeed, Professor X was killed in the process, altering timelines and ushing in the Age of Apocalypse.
Gabriel Summers, or Vulcan as he’s most commonly known, is the brother of fellow X-Men Cyclops and Havok. He’s an Alpha level mutant whose abilities were heightened to an Omega level after absorbing energy expelled by the fallout of M-Day. He’s capable of producing light, heat and electricity (energy in any form) and channel it into a blast. As Vulcan became more powerful and aware of his potential, he learned how to use his control of energy to produce force-fields and lift and move objects. He’s also capable of manipulating, suppressing and detecting energy, even if it didn’t originate from his body.
At his peak Vulcan even learned to siphon power from other mutants, making him capable of using those abilities until they ran out. There is no question that of the Summers brothers, Gabriel is by far the strongest.
Born Josh Foley, Elixir has the capability of biological manipulation, an ability that allows him to control the biological structure of his and other’s bodies down to the genetic level. He’s one of the few omega-class mutants and is also considered to be an omega level healer. Elixir is capable of regrowing major organs and eventually learned to resurrect the dead. With the help of the Stepford Cuckoos (fellow X-Men), Elixir’s brain was injected with Beast’s knowledge of advanced science, increasing his abilities to unthinkable heights. As he became more powerful, Josh learned to treat multiple targets at once, without even having to touch them.
14. Kid Omega
Fans were first introduced to Quentin Quire in ‘New X-Men #134,’ when he joined the Xavier Institute shortly after it was rebuilt following the war with Genosha. Quire’s brilliance caught the attention of Professor X immediately, becoming one of the Institutes most prized pupils. Much like Xavier, Quire is a powerful telepath, capable of telepathic manipulation, tracking, cloaking, psionic blasts, mind control and illusions. But that’s not all. Quire is also capable of telekinesis and his psychic intelligence allows organize and construct this thoughts at accelerated rates.
Sadly, after learning of his adoption, Quire adopted the alias Kid Omega, changed his look and formed a gang of like-minded and troubled mutants, known as the “Omega Gang. He no longer believed that humans and mutants could live in harmony, opposing Xavier’s teachings and succumbing to his dark thoughts.
Lorna Dane — or as she’s most commonly known, Polaris — is the daughter of Magneto and Suzanna. Magneto was unaware of her birth, as Lorna’s mother kept the child from her husband and Magneto. After being discovered by Cerebro, Professor Xavier sent Iceman to find and bring her to the the Institute. Her abilities are extremely similar to her father’s, though she’s not as powerful and her personal polarity is opposite to that of Magneto’s.
Polaris has the ability to manipulate magnetism (Magnetokinesis), which means she’s capable of creating magnetic force-fields, flight, electromagnetic sight, energy absorption and negative emotion absorption. Much like her father, these abilities make for her incredibly powerful and dangerous individual. Thankfully, she fights for the good side!
12. Hope Summers
Hope Summers was the first mutant born after M-Day (the day 91.4% of the world’s mutant population lost their powers) and is considered Omega-level. She also happens to be connected to the Phoenix Force, which means like Jean Grey, her power is limitless but also uncontrollable. Shortly after her birth, Hope was adopted by Nathan Summers (Cable) and taken to the future to be kept safe. While still just a child, mutants like Bishop wanted her dead, believing that she would bring about the destruction of humanity, resulting in another war.
Much like Rogue, Hope has the power of mimicry or pluripotent echopraxia, the ability to absorb and duplicate power-signatures of nearby mutants. However, unlike Rogue, Hope doesn’t have to physically touch her subjects to duplicate their abilities and they don’t experience any sort of power-loss themselves. Not only that, it’s been said that once Hope absorbs an ability, she has it for good. The only problem – Hope has yet to fully control her power, but that can likely be attributed to her connection to the Phoenix force.
11. Franklin Richards
As the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that Franklin Richards (Mister Fantastic) is an Omega level mutant – his parents were exposed to cosmic radiation, after all. Franklin has a variety of different abilities, some being extremely dangerous, which is why his own father considers him a high level threat. Franklin is capable of molecular and energy manipulation, telekinesis, time-travel, telepathy, superhuman durability and the ability to create anything just by thinking it into existence. Fully unleashed, Franklin is capable of creating pocket universes, just by imagining them.
When Franklin was young, Annihilus captured him and placed him in a machine that released his full psionic potential. In fear that he’d cause the destruction of Earth, Reed placed his son in a coma. After being woken up by Ultron-7, Franklin defeated him and retreated to a pocket dimension.
Like Cable, Nate Grey is the biological result of combining the DNA of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. He was genetically engineered in the Age of Apocalypse timeline to be the ultimate telepathic and telekinetic mutant, but when he escaped from the lab, he learned to use some of his powers and managed to kill Apocalypse before sending himself from that reality to Earth-616 (the main Marvel timeline). Nate is constantly striving to control and expand his powers, and at times has been almost unstoppable; however, his powers have always made him a target. Multiple factions and other mutants have tried to control him so they can use him as a power source to do things like open portals to other realities.
Though he once was in possession of a host of amazing abilities, his time spent in the Omega machine left him with only fraction of his former powers, which is why he’s currently at the bottom of the list.
When he was first introduced in the 80s, the argument could have been made that Cable was the most powerful mutant in the Marvel Universe. While he’s since been surpassed by some of the other mutants on this list, as the son of Scott Summers and a Jean Grey clone, the time travelling cyborg won the genetic lottery when it comes to powerful mutant abilities. He inherited his mother’s telepathy and telekinesis; however, due to the techno virus that he contracted, he’s unable to use them to their full extent. In spite of this, he still has incredible abilities which include mind control, flight, psionic shielding, psionic blasts, illusions, and matter control at a molecular level. He can also time travel and link his mind to the Infonet to gather information.
Additional abilities are granted to him by his various techno-organic implants. He has a bionic gauntlet armed with rockets which gives him super-strength, as well as a cybernetic eye that allows him to see in infra-red and fire an optic laser. At his full potential, Cable could lift a city into orbit; at his weakest, he could single-handedly take on half of the Avengers.
Even though she might not be as well-known as her brother Colossus, Illyana Rasputina is definitely the more powerful of the two siblings. Known as the X-Men’s Magik, she has two very distinct sets of powers—one mutant related, and other stemming from magic. Her mutant ability is teleportation, which she controls through “stepping discs” that allow herself and others to teleport across interstellar distances, travel through time, or even transverse dimensions. While in the Limbo dimension she learned the sorcerer’s arts to become Sorcerer Supreme, including astral projection, metamorphosis, necromancy, force fields, possession and the creation of magical constructs. llyana also learned both black and white magic and acquired a partially demon soul that granted her psionic shielding. But the crown jewels of Magik’s abilities would have to be the Soulsword and Eldritch Armor, which in effect make her invulnerable to any magic attacks and enable her to destroy anything that uses magic.
As if both mutant and magic powers weren’t enough, after the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, Magik was imbued with the Phoenix Force.
David Haller is the estranged son of Charles Xavier, and, as such, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s also a mutant with Omega Level powers. As Legion, David has an incredible assortment of abilities that include pyrokinetic telepathy, super strength, super speed, healing, probability manipulation, reality warping, and even time travel. Basically there’s almost nothing he’s incapable of, the only problem is that he has a lot of trouble controlling his powers.
When still a child, David’s home was attacked by assassins and he watched as his step-father was killed right in front of him. The terror he experienced in that moment had the effect of catalyzing his latent psionic powers, which he then used to incinerate the brains of the assassins. However, in the process he made telepathic contact with each of his victims, thus experiencing all their thoughts and emotions in the moment of their death. The horror of the ordeal put David in a catatonic state for most of his formative years. When he finally emerged from the state, it was revealed that the trauma had shattered his mind, leaving his core persona floating in a sea of other personas within him. Each of these personas controls a different one of Legion’s fantastic mutant powers. So although he has the potential to do pretty much anything, it’s very hard for him to use his powers in combination.
Considering that naturally occurring weather patterns can leave entire cities in ruins in a matter of minutes, you can imagine that a mutant with the ability to control those elements would be pretty powerful. That mutant is Ororo Munroe—better known as Storm. She can control winds that allow her to fly, channel lightning bolts, manipulate environmental electrical energy and even augment her vision to enable her to see electrical energy patterns. Her powers are also adaptive, which means she’s able to survive in environments found on other planets or other realms and still control the elements there. Furthermore, Storm has a heritage of magic and witchcraft that makes her one of the most powerful Magic users in the Marvel Universe and protects her mind from most psychic attacks. With powers like that it’s no wonder she’s revered as a Goddess in certain parts of the world.
5. Professor X
It makes sense that the man who created the X-Men should also be among the most powerful. Though he’s a cripple confined to a chair, he’s often regarded as the most powerful telepath who has ever lived—a status that places him among the most important and influential people in the Marvel Universe. He’s also a part of the Illuminati, a clandestine organization of peace-keeping geniuses which also includes Reed Richards and Tony Stark.
Professor X never had to do too much fighting himself, since that’s what the X-Men are for, but should the need arise, he has the ability to probe the minds of others to do things like erase memories, induce feeling of excruciating pain, or even wipe out your entire personality, leaving you nothing more than a drooling vegetable.
Possessing awesome ninja skills and the ability to create incredible psionic and telekinetic weapons, Psylocke has always been one of the coolest characters to ever find a place on the X-Men’s roster. In addition to being a master martial artist and one of the world’s most powerful telepaths, Psylocke can teleport, create force fields, disrupt opponents’ nervous systems with her psionic blades, and fire energy blasts like she’s freakin’ Vegeta.
After having her full mutant potential unlocked by a Jean Grey from an alternate universe, Psylocke reached Omega Level status and could pretty much go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest baddies the X-Men have ever faced. Personally, we can’t wait to see her portrayed by Olivia Munn in X-Men: Apocalypse.
3. Emma Frost
Though Emma Frost started out as the villainous White Queen of the Hellfire club, she has since joined the X-Men and holds a position of authority with them and at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. In addition to having telepathic powers that are almost on par with Professor X, Emma Frost has the ability to alter her body’s molecular structure and transform her skin into diamond—sort of like Colossus’s mutant powers, but better since diamond is harder than metal. While in that form, her telepathic powers are diminished but her strength and durability go through the roof.
During her tenure as a villain she was especially known for the using her telepathy to control the minds and bodies of others. Her control over her psionic abilities is so precise that she’s learned to rewire the neural pathways of other mutants to boost their powers. So ya, she’s pretty damn powerful.
Since he’s regularly been portrayed as a brash teenager, Bobby Drake is often overlooked as one of the most powerful X-Men. But perhaps more so than any other member, Iceman has steadily evolved his powers over the years to the point that he’s now classified as an Omega Level mutant.
Using his thermokinesis, Iceman can lower his external and internal body temperature, allowing him to project intense coldness from his body. Though when he was just learning to control his powers Bobby was only able to cover his body in snow and ice, with the help of Emma Frost he was able to further develop this ability so that he can now transform every molecule in his body to any state of water, making him virtually invincible and allowing him to travel at incredible speeds through large bodies of water. He also has thermal vision and can absorb water molecules or vapour into his body to greatly increase his size and strength. The most recent advancement of his powers saw him gain the ability to generate autonomous ice clones of himself with various appearances and strengths. It is unknown exactly how many of these clones he can create.
If Iceman continues to probe the depths of his powers like this and learn to use them in new and imaginative ways, he could one day become the most powerful mutant in existence.
Despite her humble beginnings as a pretty basic telepathic/telekinetic, Jean Grey’s affiliation with the Phoenix Force has resulted in her having near-infinite powers.
Jean has probably died more times than any other character in the Marvel Universe, and each time she comes back stronger than before, much like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Her telepathy and telekinesis enable her to control and hypnotize others, fly, create force fields, project concussive blasts, manipulate matter at the subatomic level, and open wormholes that let her travel through the universe faster than light. Her power is so great that she strikes fear into the hearts of other Omega mutants like Magneto, and has tried to be controlled on numerous occasions by powerful entities like the Hellfire Club (unsuccessfully, mind you).
However, sometimes Jean’s Phoenix powers can go to her head and make her a bit crazy. Like that time she became Dark Phoenix and devoured an entire star along with the five billion inhabitants of a nearby planet. Still, that’s exactly the kind of display of raw power that earns you the top spot on the most powerful X-Men of all time list.