Ever since his introduction in Giant-Size X-Men #1, Colossus has been one of the most popular members of the X-Men. Despite this, it took a long time for him to get a significant role in the X-Men movies. This was due to the nature of his powers – unlike Nightcrawler or Beast, Colossus’ powers cannot be emulated with makeup. It requires a lot of CGI to do justice to his appearance, and most directors would rather just save money by using Wolverine instead. The only cost with Logan is the gel for Hugh Jackman’s hair, and tape & knives for his hands.
Colossus finally got his chance to shine in Deadpool, where he was a totally CGI character. Technology has advanced to the point that he is now affordable enough to put on film. Colossus belongs to the most popular iteration of the X-Men of all time (the second generation, written by Chris Claremont), and he now has the chance to be as awesome on the screen as he is in the comics.
The X-Men were Marvel’s most popular team for a long time, and Colossus has always been an important part of that. We are here today to take a closer look at the history of this beloved X-Man. From snapping bad guy’s necks, to sharing the screen with Spider-Man, here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Colossus.
15. He Has Killed His Enemies
In 1986, Marvel Comics ran what was their darkest company-wide event to date. It was known as the “Mutant Massacre“, and it united the X-Men, Thor, Power Pack, X-Factor, The New Mutants, and Daredevil. Beneath New York City, there lived a group of mutants who called themselves the Morlocks. Unlike the members of the X-Men, who gained awesome powers and chiselled physiques from their mutations, the Morlocks were transformed into freaks and monsters. They lived in the sewers, as they believed it was a safe haven.
They were wrong…
Mr. Sinister arranged for a group of evil mutants known as The Marauders to enter the Morlock’s tunnels, and slaughter everyone they could find. Word reached the surface, and the X-Men & their allies tried to stop the massacre before any more lives were lost.
One of the Marauders was a mutant named Riptide, whose power allowed him to spin his body like a tornado. Riptide can also grow razor sharp spines from his skin. By combining his powers, Riptide could fire numerous deadly spikes from his body. After witnessing Riptide injuring Nightcrawler, Colossus reached out and snapped his neck, killing him where he stood.
14. He Was Romantically Involved With A Teenage Girl
The mutant known as Kitty Pryde (who has had numerous code-names over the years) was first introduced in Uncanny X-Men #129. She would later join the second generation of the X-Men, and would become one of the most important characters in the series. Kitty Pryde was a clear favourite of Chris Claremont and John Byrne (her creators), as many stories focused on her after she was introduced.
One of the recurring themes involving Kitty Pryde was her attraction to teammate Colossus. In the “Days of Future Past” storyline, we see that the two were married with children in the future timeline. There was a long running “will they, won’t they” vibe between the two, with a mutual attraction being evident. The two even kissed on many occasions, and hints were given that they were secretly an item.
There was just one problem – Kitty Pryde was 13, and Colossus was 19.
Marvel’s editor-in-chief at the time, Jim Shooter, stepped in and stopped the romance from continuing due to Kitty’s age. Colossus would fall in love with another woman named Zsaji during the “Secret War” crossover.
Years later, Colossus and Kitty would rekindle their relationship – once she was of appropriate age. This led to the two of them having sex, and Kitty orgasming so hard that she phased through the floor.
13. He Sacrificed Himself To Cure The Legacy Virus
At the end of the “X-Cutioner’s Song” event, Mr. Sinister receives a canister from the time-travelling villain named Stryfe. Sinister believes that it contains DNA from the Summer’s family; instead… it is empty.
By opening the container, Mr. Sinister did not realize that he had unleashed the Legacy Virus on the world. Intended to be Stryfe’s revenge on mutantkind, the Legacy Virus was a disease that forced mutants to lose control of their powers, before slowly killing them. When knowledge of the virus spread, both heroes and villains alike began to look for a cure. In the meantime, mutants were dying all around the world.
One of the tragic victims was Illyanna Rasputin… Colossus’ sister.
Years later, Beast discovered the cure for the Legacy Virus, but it first needed to be administered to a mutant who could activate his powers… an act that would kill them, but would end the virus once and for all.
When Colossus learnt this, he broke into Beast’s lab and injected himself with the cure. He chose to sacrifice himself, rather than allow anyone else to die in the same way that his sister had.
12. He Was Brought Back To Life By Aliens
Death is cheap in the world of comics, and is even more so in the time-travelling & dimension-hopping setting of X-Men. Jean Grey alone has died and come back to life more times than an MMO character. The X-Men put the cast of Dragon Ball Z to shame with the amount of times that characters have been resurrected, no matter how stupid the explanation for their return may be.
Speaking of stupid explanations for character resurrections, let’s talk about how Colossus came back. He sacrificed his life to stop a disease that was killing people all over the world, and was given a very touching send off.
Colossus would not stay dead, however, as his body was stolen by aliens before it was due to be cremated. This body snatcher was an alien known as the Ord. Ord came from a planet known as the “Breakworld” It was prophesied that a mutant would one day destroy their world. In order to prevent this, they stole Colossus’ remains and brought him back to life. They were trying to find the cure for the Legacy Virus in his system, in order to use it as a potential weapon against mutants, or as a means of removing their powers altogether.
11. His Brother Is A Supervillain
Colossus has two siblings, although most fans are only familiar with one – Illyanna Rasputin, Colussus’ younger sister. Illyanna has been a major character in X-Men for a long time, both as a supporting character, and as a member of the The New Mutants.
Both Colossus and Illyanna have an older brother, who very rarely makes an appearance. He is Mikhail Rasputin – a former cosmonaut of the Soviet Union, who was believed to have perished when his space shuttle exploded. Mikhail was revealed to be alive, as his mutant powers saved him. He arrived in a different dimension, where he was caught up in a civil war between two alien factions. Mikhail’s experiences left him unhinged, and after the X-Men saved him, he would go on to become one of their recurring villains.
Since then, Mikhail has been a leader of the Morlocks, and a servant of Apocalypse. While his powers have not been fully explained, it has been shown that he can open portals to other worlds/dimensions, making him an incredibly powerful mutant.
10. He Once Possessed The Phoenix Force
In 2012, Marvel created an event where their two biggest teams fought each other. “Avengers vs. X-Men” was a crossover that dealt with the return of the Phoenix Force to Earth. Both sides had different ideas on what to do about this, which led to conflict.
During a battle between the Avengers and the X-Men that was taking place on the moon, the Phoenix Force was growing within Hope Summers, who was afraid that she would lose control. In response to this, Iron Man attempted to destroy the Phoenix Force… but he failed, his attack only splintering the Phoenix into five pieces. Each of those pieces bonded with a different mutant – Cyclops, Namor, Emma Frost, Magik, and Colossus.
With each of the five mutants possessing a manageable piece of the Phoenix Force, their powers were magnified in strength. They formed a team known as the Phoenix Five, and swore to make the world a better place for mutants. The Avengers were wary, however, not only of the truth of their intentions, but for the fear that one or all of them could fall to temptation, and become a Dark Phoenix.
9. He Once Joined Magneto
After Colossus lost his sister to the Legacy Virus, a funeral was held for her on the grounds of the X-Mansion. When the funeral began, an uninvited guest showed up… Magneto.
It was believed that Magneto had perished when his space station, Asteroid M, crashed into the Earth. He had been saved at the last moment by one of his acolytes, a mutant named Chrome. By using his mutant ability to transform flesh into metal, Chrome saved Magneto’s life, at the cost of his own. Magneto’s arrival at Illyanna’s funeral was his first appearance since then, and a battle soon broke out.
Magneto used his power to lock the X-Men into place (by controlling the iron in their blood). What he did not realize at this point was that the X-Men had a new member… Bishop. By using his mutant power of energy absorption, Bishop grew stronger from Magento’s imprisonment, and turned Magneto’s power into an energy bolt that broke the X-Men free.
Before Bishop could defeat Magneto, however, he is knocked out by Colossus. After witnessing the death of his sister, Colossus decided that he wanted to join Magneto, and protect mutantkind from humans. He would go on to become a member of Magneto’s acolytes, and would serve him loyally for years to come.
8. He Was Removed From Certain Ports Of Marvel Ultimate Alliance
The X-Men have been luckier than most comic characters when it comes to video game adaptations. Between the X-Men arcade game, the Sega Genesis game (also called X-Men), and their crossovers with Capcom, the X-Men have had some awesome games that carry their name.
One such series of titles was X-Men Legends, a series of action RPGs that were a critical and commercial success. This led to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, which took the same concept, but included characters from many different Marvel franchises.
The first game in the series has been ported to ten different consoles to date. Their is something very unusual about a few of those ports, however, and it concerns Colossus. In the original Xbox, PSP, and PlayStation 2 ports of the game, both Colossus and Moon Knight are unavailable as player characters, despite being in the other versions of the game. They are still in the game, and can be accessed through some trickery involving the training mode. The reason for their exclusion is unknown to this day.
7. He Once Had Juggernaut’s Powers
The X-Men movies don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to their interpretations of certain characters. Cyclops, for example, is one of the most important X-Men in the comics, yet he barely shows up in the films (and was even killed off-screen in X-Men 3). Rogue is supposed to be one of the most powerful members of the team, yet all they could find for her to do is engage in cringe-worthy melodrama with Iceman and Juno.
No character was treated worse than Juggernaut. He is one of the best X-Men villains in the comics, and yet he was demoted to Magneto’s flunky in X-Men 3. They changed the fact that he is Professor Xavier’s stepbrother, who is powered by ancient magic, and made him into a Cockney mutant instead.
Due to Juggernaut’s power coming from the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, it is possible for his powers to be taken away from him. During the “Fear Itself” event, Colossus became the new Juggernaut, after the original was possessed by the evil spirit known as Kuurth. Whilst possessing the power of the Juggernaut, Colossus’s strength and durability increased many times over, making him one of the most powerful members of the X-Men.
6. He Does Not Need To Eat, Drink, Or Breathe In His Metal Form
When Colossus is in his organic steel form, he gains incredible strength and durability. He has often traded punches with both the Juggernaut and the Hulk without scratching the finish on his skin. When the X-Men’s enemies start firing guns, it is a common tactic for everyone to hide behind Colossus and let him take the bullets – after all, he can take it.
The power granted by his mutant ability has other functions as well. Whilst in his organic steel form, Colossus does not need to breathe. Not only does this allow to survive in the vacuum of space, it also allows him to travel underwater. When Magneto raised an underwater fortress to the surface world (one that resembled, but was legally distinct from H.P. Lovecraft’s city of R’lyeh), all Colossus needed to do to assault it was turn into metal, sink to the bottom of the ocean, and walk up to it.
Colossus’ steel form also offers another benefit – he does not need to eat or drink. Colossus has managed to hold this form for five days straight (although knocking him out will force him to revert to flesh). If the X-Men are trapped in a harsh environment, then Colossus is one of the most useful members to have around when it comes to survival.
5. His Body Is Composed Of The Third Strongest Metal In Marvel Comics
When it comes to the most durable metals of the Marvel universe, the list can be hazy. This is due to writers constantly retconning the details. The strongest metal is usually Adamantium, the same metal that coats Wolverine’s skeleton and claws. The 2nd strongest metal is usually Vibranium, a substance which is also said to be shock proof. Black Panther’s suit uses Vibranium, as was seen in Captain America: Civil War.
What further complicates this list is the presence of items forged from unique metals. Thor’s hammer, for example, is made from Uru metal, which may even be stronger than Adamantium, but is also forged with magic. Captain America’s shield has had more origin stories than the Joker, but it is commonly thought of as a unique mixture of Adamantium and Vibranium (it possesses the durability of the former, and the shock resistance of the latter).
The organic steel that Colossus transforms into has been shown to be stronger than everything except Adamantium and Vibranium. Only those two metals have been shown as equal to the steel that makes up Colossus’ body.
4. Wolverine Cannot Cut Him
(The picture is from a cover – in the strip itself, Wolverine is possessed by a powerful Demon).
Just because a weapon is made from a metal powerful enough to damage Colossus, it doesn’t mean that the wielder has enough strength to actually do it.
While Adamantium and Vibranium have been established as stronger than organic steel, you would need an incredible amount of strength to actually make one cut the other. It is due to the sheer amount of strength required, that Wolverine would not be able to cut Colossus with his claws.
Both Wolverine and Colossus are team mates and close friends, so the two have rarely ever came to blows. Whilst Wolverine is a fierce fighter, he lacks the super strength required to do anything more than scratch Colossus.
There have been occasions where a suitable powerful individual has been able to wound Colossus in his steel form with an Adamantium weapon. The demon Sym, for example, used one of Wolverine’s dismembered claws to penetrate Colossus’ armoured body.
3. He Is Gay & In A Relationship With Northstar In Ultimate X-Men
When the first X-Men and Spider-Man movies made millions at the box office, Marvel decided to try and capitalise on the new interest in the characters. They wanted to create comics that used these popular characters, but weren’t bogged down in decades of continuity. Unlike DC Comics, who would have just rebooted the universe for the umpteenth time, Marvel decided to create an entirely new universe. Starting with Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man, the new “Ultimate” line of comics was created.
Sooner or later, pretty much every character from the original comics showed up. They would often be very different than what fans were used to, such as Galactus being a fleet of sentient ships, or Mr. Sinister being a super-powered drug addict. Colossus was no exception to this – he started out as a member of the Russian Mafia, who only came into contact with the X-Men after nearly being killed in a deal gone wrong, and being saved by his powers.
After joining the X-Men, Colossus more closely matched his original counterpart. The biggest change to his character was his sexuality. In Ultimate X-Men, Colossus was gay. He would end up dating Northstar, one of the few openly gay superheros in both the regular continuity and the Ultimate universe.
2. He Left A Team Of Teenage X-Men To Die
In 1995, Marvel ran a company-wide event known as the “Age of Apocalypse“, in which the world of the X-Men completely changed. After Professor Xavier is accidentally murdered by his own time-travelling son, a new timeline is created where Apocalypse takes over America, and Magneto leads the X-Men in a resistance movement against him. Magneto discovers a way to return the world to the way it was before, but it required several items and people in order to succeed – one of which was Colossus’ sister Illyanna.
One of the miniseries that ran during this event was Generation Next. In which, a team of teenage X-Men led by Colossus and Kitty Pryde are given the mission to break into a heavily guarded facility, and break Illyanna free. They manage to free Illyanna, but the team are discovered whilst still trapped inside the facility. Colossus leaves his students to get Illyanna to safety. When he returns, one is still alive… still fighting. Rather than save her, Colossus chickens out, and leaves her to die.
During the final issue, Colossus would kill Kitty Pryde, the love of his life, when she attempted to stop him from jeopardising the mission by going after Illyanna. Gambit kills him in revenge, and Colossus is left to die on the floor, comforted only by the sister whom he let so many to perish for.
1. His First Screen Appearance Was On Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends
Even though X-Men is one of Marvel’s biggest selling franchises, it took them a long time to get a proper animated adaptation. Both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four had cartoon series before the X-Men did. It took until 1989 for an animated feature to be made – the pilot episode known as X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. This 30 minute feature was intended to drum up interest in financing a full cartoon series. While this venture failed, Pryde of the X-Men would later form the basis of the excellent X-Men arcade game.
In 1992, the X-Men would get their first animated series – one that followed the (then) modern incarnation of the team, rather than the classic 2nd generation lineup. Despite the issues of using Colossus on the big screen not being a factor in a cartoon, Colossus was still not part of the main cast of the series, and he only made a few cameo appearances throughout the show’s run.
Despite being snubbed by the official X-Men cartoons, Colossus would make his screen debut on another show – Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. To those not familiar with the show, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends focused on the adventures of Spider-Man, Iceman, and Firestar. In the episode “The X-Men Adventure“, Firestar tries out for the X-Men. The lineup of the team closely matches that of the classic 2nd generation lineup, and Colossus finally got his chance to be the powerhouse of the team.