I grew up a huge X-Men fan.
I read the comics when I could get my paws on them, I watched the cartoon series with a religious fervor that would make any zealot jealous, and when they started making movies, I went to midnight showings with my friends and spent our lunch hours eating full-pound burgers and shoestring fries from Napp’s Grill in Hamilton, Montana and re-watching old episodes.
Yeah, I was a fan.
There are some seriously cool mutations. Kitty Pryde can walk through walls. Wolverine can heal from just about anything. Storm controls the weather, and Colossus is a one-man tank of a dude. And that’s not even mentioning Jean Grey, Cyclops, Professor X, and Magneto.
There is a darker side to the X-Men. A crappier side. A “why-oh-why-did-I-get-THIS-mutation” side.
Even as a kid, I looked at some of the X-Men and thought, “Wow, that would really, really suck. Genetics, you’re a meanie-pants.”
Some are lethal. Some are rather boring. Others simply very inconvenient.
I thought it was time to share some of these craptastic mutations with the world.
So, you can borrow anyone’s powers! Any time! Cool, right? NO. It’s total bullshit. Because the little fine print at the bottom of her DNA says in a breezy, nonchalant sort of voice that poor Marie can’t touch anyone EVAR.
If she touches a mutant, she siphons off their powers. If she touches a human, they freaking die. Or end up comatose, whatevs.
So that long flirtation match she has with sexy Cajun Gambit? Unconsummated. Though she does sort of swipe Gambit’s powers for a time when they’re on the outs and manages to bunk up with Iceman (can’t say I blame her). But that ends when her old powers return, and she’s once again doomed to a life of celibacy and hasty, very dangerous kisses.
Though she gets some control later on, that’s like saying, “Okay, so you’ll be like a walking, unstoppable machine gun around people for a decade or two. Then it’ll be like, okay.”
No, thank you.
Really, really loud.
Useful if you want to, say, shatter everyone’s eardrums within a mile radius or really piss off some fishermen, but otherwise a bummer.
Sure, she can use her sonic vibrat-O-waves to fly through the air, but she has to scream at top voice to do it. And that doesn’t change the fact that her superpower is yelling. Really, really loud yelling.
Talk about a shrill neighbour.
I’m not going to argue that she doesn’t come into her own later on. But early life as Mystique?
Anyone who’s ever been bullied in school can tell you how not blue you need to be to escape the worst of child cruelty.
Even though she can shift into just about any humanoid shape as she hones her powers, for most of Mystique’s early life she can be everyone but herself. Talk about childhood trauma. She can’t even show her real face for fear of being shot, stoned, or humiliated.
This guy started out with a mutation similar to Wolverine’s, in that he could heal super quickly.
And then William Stryker came along and made everything absolutely and completely miserable.
Deadpool is basically a botched science experiment. Thanks to Stryker, he has a conglomerate of random superpowers like superstrength and speed and a near invulnerability to psychic attacks.
But he is nuts.
Not only did Stryker’s poking and prodding result in Deadpool’s cancer going supercharged and disfiguring his entire body, but it seems to have left him with psychosis and dissociative identity disorder. Which is to say, you never know who the fuck you’re talking to.
“Deadpool isn’t here today! This is Bonko, the Sadistic Clown! HAR-HAR-HAR!”
(He never said that.)
And this guy doesn’t die. He’s stuck with his insanity and superpowers for over 800 years.
I think I’ll pass and just have the chicken.
Imagine little Scott Summers hitting puberty. He’s all bundled up in snowy Anchorage, Alaska. There’s a pretty girl he wants to ask out. He clears his throat, hoping it won’t crack.
Then he opens his eyes and incinerates her on the spot.
Is that love in the air, or simply burning flesh?
None of that happened. But Scott Summers almost had it worse. He was on a plane with his dad when they got attacked by a spaceship. So what does daddy do? Throw Scotty in a parachute with his brother and chuck them out of a crashing plane.
Scott bashes his head on a rock and ends up with little to no control over the optic blasts that can level buildings, let alone little pubescent girlies.
He has to wear his protective glasses at all times, otherwise he’ll accidentally murder someone just by looking at them. If looks could kill, right?
There are plenty of superpowers the mutants in X-Men have that I am rather envious of. Like Nightcrawler’s teleportation (incidentally, this also comes with a side of blue), or Jean Grey’s many abilities. Then there are the rather stupid ones like Jubilee’s fireworks, which are more like an unfortunate party trick than anything very useful.
But the X-Men above? They got the Hannibal Lecter of genomes and mutations that want everyone dead — or just really irritated.
What X-Men would you hate to be? What superpowers would bum you out if you drew them from the genetic hat?
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