X-Men comics have featured some heroes who readers strongly disliked, as well as villains who became incredibly popular over the years.
The X-Men comics have literally hundreds of characters that have shown up as a member, ally, student, or part of another team through the years. With so many different characters and mutants in the Marvel Universe, it is easy to get things wrong and present a hero that readers and fans hate.
At the same time, there are villains who Marvel Comics introduces that readers fall in love with. When these characters arrive, Marvel has to decide whether to leave the popular villains where they are or rehabilitate them and bring them to the side of good. For the heroes, it is tougher, as Marvel has to fix them or eliminate them completely.
Kid Omega is a character that showed up at Xavier’s school that was so unlikeable that fans hated him from the start. It was so bad, that many fans won’t even give him a chance to this day. Quentin Quire was an insolent and arrogant child whose mutant powers make him a genius and one of the most powerful telepaths in the world.
Thanks to the level of his powers, he looked down on everyone around him and fans immediately disliked everything about him. In recent times, Quire has learned a little humility and Marvel is working at improving his character, but his arrogance still makes him an X-Men hero fans love to hate.
Magneto was the first villain that the X-Men faced. He was a mutant messiah that attracted those mutants who felt feated and persecuted. Unlike Professor Xavier, Magneto believed that mutants should strike first at the humans who hated them because they were born differently.
With the years of humans hating and persecuting mutants, Magneto seemed right more often than not. He ended up joining the X-Men more than once and in the grand scheme of things, Magneto can be a sympathetic character who does bad things, but his fears are just.
Cyclops was one of the very first X-Men members and was often the team leader, handpicked by Professor X himself. There was one big problem with Scott that turned fans against him more than once, which was that he was arrogant and had a single-minded impression of how the X-Men should work. When compared to Wolverine, it was easy to hate Cyclops.
Marvel tried to make Cyclops more nuanced over time. He became more violent in later years, and fans still didn’t like him and sided with Wolverine, who was always on the opposite end. As X-Men comic book fans know about Cyclops, he became a martyr and was unbearable in his arrogance. Out of all the original X-Men, Cyclops was the easiest to hate.
It’s not that X-Men fans loved Sabretooth as a villain that they wanted to see win, but he was a villain that fans loved to see show up. It seems like a giant loss to have Sabretooth gone completely from the pages of X-Men comics after being banished to the bowels of Krakoa.
Sabretooth was always connected to Wolverine and it was when these two met up that the X-Men villain was at his best. Sabretooth showed up against Wolverine every year on Logan’s birthday to almost kill him. It was like clockwork and was something readers could look forward to.
Jubilee was someone that became very popular thanks to her role in X-Men animated shows. While she was a popular person on TV for the kids to watch, X-Men fans hated her character in the comics. She was seen as one of the most worthless members of the team and did almost nothing to help them in battles.
Fans also didn’t like Jubilee taking up so much storytime from Wolverine, who was always there to babysit her when the two were in the X-Men together. In more recent times, she became a vampire and now has a dragon baby, and that makes her different enough to stand out.
Emma Frost is a villain, who like Magneto, ended up so popular that she finally turned good and joined the X-Men. She has a lot of the bad qualities that Cyclops has, but the arrogance and conceit fit Emma well and are natural with her, whereas it just gives Cyclops a punchable face.
Emma ran her own school at the same time the Xavier Institute was open, but she taught mutants to be villains. When she realized the error of her ways, she began to give in to Xavier’s teachings, but she never bought in completely, allowing her to remain independent and not neutering her personality at all.
While fans loved Magneto and ended up turning him good in the long run, everyone hated Joseph, who took Magneto’s place for a short time in Marvel Comics. When Joseph showed up, he had no idea who he was and eventually found a home with the X-Men.
Everyone thought he looked like Magneto and many believed he was the Master of Magnetism reincarnated. He turned out to be a clone of Magneto. He never shared the original’s personality and alpha-complex and was instead someone who whined all the time and never fit in anywhere.
When Daken appeared, he was a villain who wanted nothing more than to kill Wolverine. This is because he was Wolverine’s son, and Logan never knew he existed. Daken was a hardcore killing machine and ended up joining the Dark Avengers, replacing his dad on the team, and remaining completely amoral.
However, fans bought into Daken and he was popular enough to warrant his own comics and more appearances through the Marvel Universe. He is now in Krakoa, rehabilitated, and working with X-Factor, still a popular and fan-favorite mutant.
Fans used to love Beast as the happy-go-lucky blue furry mutant. An original X-Men member, he came with the jokes, was loyal and honorable, and always did the right thing. Over time, his genius started to change him though. He did things that he never should have done scientifically and ended up ostracized for a time from the X-Men.
Now on Krakoa, Beast has completely changed. He is immoral, lies and cheats, and doesn’t care if his own allies die, taking the resurrection protocol for granted. He is slowly turning into a creature like Dark Beast from Age of Apocalypse, and fans are turning on him by the issue.
Legion had a tough life. His father was Charles Xavier and his mother was Gabrielle Haller. Thanks to the fact he is the son of one of the planet’s most powerful telepaths, he was born with strong mutant powers. Sadly, those powers also came with many struggles, with several distinct personalities living in his subconscious.
Each of those personalities has unique mutant powers and he is often unable to control what he does. He became a lethal villain to the X-Men, but he was too powerful to put down. Even to this day, his own father fears him, but the fans love him, especially after he received his own Marvel TV series in Legion.
NEXT: X-Men: 10 Things Only Comic Book Fans Know About Professor X
Shawn S. Lealos is a senior writer on ScreenRant who fell in love with movies in 1989 after going to the theater to see Tim Burton’s Batman as his first big screen experience.
Shawn received his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma with a minor in Film Studies. He has worked as a journalist for over 25 years, first in the world of print journalism before moving to online media as the world changed. Shawn is a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists and current member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. He has work published in newspapers such as Daily Oklahoman and Oklahoma Gazette and magazines such as Vox Magazine, Loud Magazine, and Inside Sports Magazine. His work on the Internet has been featured on websites like The Huffington Post, Yahoo Movies, Chud, Renegade Cinema, 411mania, and Sporting News.
Shawn is also a published author, with a non-fiction book about the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers and has begun work on a new fiction series as well. Visit Shawn Lealos’ website to learn more about his novel writing and follow him on Twitter @sslealos.