Marvel: New X-Men Mutations Everyone Forgot About | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Many X-Men have had new mutant powers introduced, only for them to quickly go away without any real explanation as to why.
The X-Men are one of Marvel’s most successful teams, protecting the world from the most dangerous villains. The mutant superteam not only battles supervillains but also has to protect themselves from the very humans they protect, constantly fighting for their survival from all sides. This has made them one of Marvel’s strongest teams, a force to be reckoned with for any foe.
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Mutants are all about evolution, so members of the team gaining new powers and abilities over the years is par for the course. Not every one of these new abilities have stuck, though, as for whatever reason some of these mutations have went the way of the dodo.
Namor’s status as a mutant is often forgotten in general— but the Atlantean monarch is technically Marvel’s first mutant and has been a member of the X-Men. His powers, super strength, durability, and flight aren’t very aquatic, so he was given the power to use abilities sea life could as well. Most of the time, he’d use it to fire off electric blasts.
Most have forgotten about this mutation, as Namor is so tough he’s rarely if ever actually needed it. It’s honestly a bit lame to begin with and best left in the past, even if some writers actually do remember its a thing occasionally.
Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run had evolution as an underpinning, and Beast played a role in that. When the new run opened, he was more feline than before and he posited that his evolution would continue but he didn’t know where it would go. Once Morrison left, this was never really touched on again and while he was still technically the more feline Beast, most writers and artists gave him a look more reminiscent of earlier ape-like form.
Later, during the Bendis X-Men run, it was revealed his mutation was somehow killing him and a past version of the Beast cured it— but it was never really explained how or what it meant for Beast’s mutation.
Magneto is one of the most powerful beings on Earth. His magnetic skills are such that if he wanted to shut down human civilization, he could very easily do so. He’s done amazing things with his powers, singlehandedly defeating the X-Men and Avengers, sometimes at the same time. Once, he used a power that he never had before and never would again.
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At the end of the battle against Scarlet Witch in Avengers Disassembled, Magneto teleported in from Genosha to pick up his defeated daughter and that was the only time he did anything like that. It’s pretty much been completely forgotten and was never actually explained.
In Uncanny X-Men #341, Cannonball found himself up against Gladiator, which seemed like the mismatch of the century. While Gladiator couldn’t hurt him while he was blasting, there was pretty much nothing Cannonball could do offensively against the Shi’Ar superman. As the fight went on, Cannonball realized he could absorb and redirect the kinetic energy of Gladiator’s attacks, using that to beat him.
Since then, these powerful abilities have been completely forgotten; even back them, they were rarely used. They gave him an extra bit of offensive oomph that made him that much more dangerous to his foes and it’s strange they’ve been so forgotten.
Gambit once faced down an alternate universe of himself called New Sun. New Sun had developed his powers to such an extent he could control molecules; he used this ability to destroy everyone in his way. Gambit was able to briefly manifest the same powers but burned them out.
One of the great things about Krakoa is that their resurrection apparatus allows mutants to be reset, as it were. Gambit could easily regain his Omega-level powers by dying in Crucible and being resurrected, but apparently no one has remembered that Gambit has the potential to be a near world-ending power.
Because of Apocalypse’s intervention, Archangel’s powers have always been kind of weird, with him now somehow having the ability to transform from regular feathered Angel into blue-skinned, metal winged Archangel. This is a weird power, but an even weirder one was his healing blood. This power pretty much only existed during the Chuck Austen run, a generally agreed upon ridiculous time.
Austen was seemingly trying to bring Archangel in a more angelic direction but the healing blood thing was just a bit weird for everyone. Once Austen left, Archangel went back to being a blue skinned engine of destruction and few think about his healing blood days.
Polaris’s magnetic powers make her a dangerous mutant in a fight but there was a time when her powers completely changed. She grew in stature— towering over then-boyfriend Havok— and gained superhuman strength and durability. She’d also become a nexus of negative emotion and that caused Shadow King to go after her. Eventually, Psylocke hit her with a psychic knife and she lost all of the new abilities.
It was probably one of the most bizarre secondary mutations ever. It didn’t really fit the character and the fact that it’s forgotten is no great loss, as Polaris with magnetic powers is much cooler than Hulk-Polaris.
In the year 2000, X-Men writer extraordinaire returned to the team’s books and dropped a heaping helping of change on the group. One of the characters most changed was Jean Grey. She started calling herself Phoenix again and while she didn’t have the Phoenix Force, she manifested her telepathic powers with Phoenix-like raptors.
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Only her telepathy, though, as her telekinesis was completely gone because of a power exchange with Psylocke. While her telepathic abilities grew to amazing levels, she lost one of her defining powers. Once Claremont left, her telekinesis would return and she’d manifest the Phoenix Force.
Claremont’s return also changed another member of the group: Psylocke. Psylocke has always had a convoluted history, so it makes sense this short term power change was forgotten. Psylocke and Jean’s powers had shifted, with Psylocke gaining telekinetic powers. She found them hard to control but was still able to manifest energy weapons similar to how she did before.
After joining a new group of X-Men hunting down Destiny’s diaries, Psylocke was killed in battle with Vargas. When she returned, her powers were back to normal.
Wolverine is one of the most dangerous mutants on the planet, with claws that can cut through nearly anything. So, when writer Charles Soule introduced hot claws to Wolverine in The Return Of Wolverine, the fanbase let out a collective, “Huh?” There was pretty much no reason for the power change and it even took away his healing factor when he was using it.
It seemed to be connected to his berserker rages but it was a completely superfluous ability for someone whose claws already cut through just about anything. The ability was only used in one comic besides The Return Of Wolverine, the equally forgotten Wolverine And The Infinity Watch, and no one has thought about them ever since.
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David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter-


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