11 X-Men Who Aren’t Actually Mutants

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?As the lore laid forth in an interview on a collectible Pizza Hutt VHS tape states, Stan Lee originally intended for the X-Men comic to be called The Mutants. He went with the less specific and more vague X-Men and thus unknowingly opened up the team’s roster to everything with a pulse. Sure, the original five X-Men were mutants. Sure, the team publicly fights for cultural equality for mutants (and metaphorically all minorities). Sure, both the X-Men comic and team are all about mutants. But like any other socially progressive group, they’ve welcomed other genetic types into their ranks to demonstrate that everyone can get along, bat wings or no.

Some X-persons are assumed to be mutants based on the company they keep, but what’s really surprising is who is and isn’t technically a mutant. Either because of an oft-overlooked origin or a writer’s boredom with a character, many X-Men don’t have to check the “homo superior” box on their census report. The following is a list of members of Marvel’s merry mutants that are anything but.

11) Madelyne Pryor


?In an attempt to keep this list accessible, I will gloss over Madelyne Pryor’s origin. You don’t need to know that she is the clone of the then-dead Jean Grey created by Mr. Sinister to manipulate Cyclops into falling in love with her and producing a child. You don’t need to know that she went insane and tried to sacrifice her son to demons in an attempt to bring Hell to Earth. You really don’t need to know about how she tried to hook up with an alternate reality version of what was genetically her son during a frustrating period called “the ’90s.” You just need to know that Madelyne Pryor was intended by creator Chris Claremont to be a normal gal who just happened to look like Jean Grey and that she held her own as the team’s technical support for a brief period of time. Not confusing at all!

10) Longshot


?Longshot hooked up with the X-Men for a brief time and put his good luck powers to good use. Aside from having three fingers, Longshot looks like a human (and a fan of Motley Crue). Really, he’s actually a manufactured humanoid action celebrity from Mojoworld, which is an alien planet in a parallel dimension that is obsessed with trashy, violent and gratuitous reality television. It scarily seems like this 1980s concept has become what passes for modern day entertainment. Can someone make sure that the Situation doesn’t have three fingers?

9) Fantomex


?Grant Morrison is a writer known for forcing readers to accept and celebrate absolutely ridiculous ideas through his unparalleled British-style magic and charm. So when Grant Morrison took over writing the X-Men for a few years in the early-’00s, he made sure to cram a butt-load of preposterous ideas into one character. That character was Fantomex. He’s no mutant, but a Super Sentinel with an external nervous system that doubles as a flying saucer, multiple brains, nano-active blood that prevents him from believing in any god, the power of misdirection and is really good at both reading body language and shooting guns. Also, he thinks he’s French, but he’s not.

8) Mimic


?Mimic was not only the first non-mutant X-Man, he was also the first, albeit brief, addition to the original X-Men lineup. Thanks to his dad’s knack for messing with chemicals and knack for not putting his stuff away, little kid Calvin Rankin got exposed to a potion that gave him the uncanny ability to mimic the powers of any super-powered being near him. He has since become stuck with the powers of the original five X-Men. Between having Angel’s wings and Beast’s ape-build, it’s easier for Mimic to fight killer robots than find a well-fitting suit.

7) Hepzibah


?This animalistic extraterrestrial served with the space-faring Starjammers for a number of years before temporarily serving as an X-Man during Ed Brubaker’s run on Uncanny. Sure she’s stronger, faster, more agile and more claw-ful than all humans and most mutants, but she’s average compared to her fellow Mephiztoids. And while her powers may be otherworldly, her taste in men is not. Hepzibah has bagged both Corsair (father of Cyclops) and the Apache X-Man Warpath. Looks like those guys caught jungle fever. Literally. Because she’s, like, an animal you would find in the jungle. Is this thing on?


6) Lockheed


?Lockheed not being a mutant isn’t the issue; it’s whether or not he’s considered more than just teenage-X-Man Kitty Pryde’s pet alien dragon. To that I say: see the above picture. Only an X-Man could save the team in such a badass fashion. Case closed.

5) Polaris


?Polaris has been manipulated for evil means by malevolent forces more times than Ke$ha. So when she lost her powers on M-Day, then current X-Man Polaris probably thought her days of being bad guy bait were over. Wrong. After she left the X-Men to search for her powers (she thought an alien had them — don’t ask), big, bad X-Men arch-nemesis Apocalypse abducted her and transformed her into one of his four horsemen, leaving her with a permanent alien-tech spinal implant that recreates her magnetic powers. Whoda thunk that the only thing fake about a girl with green hair would be her spine?

4) Juggernaut


?More people forget that Juggernaut isn’t a mutant than forget that he is Professor X’s step-brother (and if you are X-Men: The Last Stand you forgot both of these facts as well as what constitutes a good film). But yes, one of the X-Men’s oldest foes turned unlikely teammate in the early ’00s got his powers from stumbling upon a mystical gem hidden in a temple in Korea. So the next time you see someone wearing hideous amounts of turquoise, don’t mess with them because it probably gives them unstoppable strength. There is no other reason to wear turquoise.

3) Storm



served as a member of the X-Men with absolutely no powers at all for 41
issues in the mid-’80s. Not only did she serve as an X-Man, she led the
team. Not only did she lead the team, she beat Cyclops in combat for
the right to do so. And she did all that while sporting a look that
would make Joan Jett blush. For a character known for being all-powerful
and goddess-like, it was a gutsy move to leave her with just a knife
and an attitude for as long as Chris Claremont did. But it paid off and
made Storm one of the most badass characters in ’80s Marvel. It’s too
bad Storm had to get her powers back. Punk Storm would mop the floor
with today’s bride of Black Panther Storm.

2) Omega Sentinel

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?I know that letting a Sentinel join the X-Men sounds like allowing Glenn Beck to join Scissor Sisters, but it made sense at the time. Omega Sentinel was a cyborg who managed to free herself of her kill-’em-all-mandate and fight the good fight alongside the X-Men. That is until her brain got overridden and she tried to murder the team from within… twice. So on second thought, X-Men, just because you fight for inclusion, be a little more exclusive with your roster.

1) Magneto


?Magneto’s currently serving with the X-Men’s side (as he has on more than few occasions), but The House of M dealt radical mutant activist Magneto a big helping of irony by depowering him, too. How does one preach militant acceptance of mutants if he himself isn’t a mutant? To keep his cred, the master of magnetism squeezed himself into a fancy suit that mimicked his powers before going under the knife of the High Evolutionary. The Magneto you are currently reading about every month in Uncanny X-Men has had some work done, much like a Real Housewife of New Jersey.