Fox’s X-Men franchise is an ever-growing universe of connected films and characters. Aside from the main franchise flicks, we’ve seen a prequel/reboot series, as well as solo movies based on fan favorites like Wolverine and Deadpool. New Mutants and Gambit films are also in the works (supposedly), and a Legion series is set to arrive on the small screen in February. Suffice to say that Fox’s mutant franchise is alive and kicking, and the finish line is nowhere in sight.
We’ve seen a few dozen on the big screen, but Marvel’s catalog includes mutant characters that number in the hundreds. That’s a huge pool of potential superheroes that Fox has access to, and it’s sure to help keep the studio in business for many years to come.
So who are some of the best or most interesting X-Men that have yet to appear in live-action? Here are 14 X-Men We’ve Yet To See On-Screen (And Want To).
The mutant known only as Fantomex is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. Many known facts about him are fluid, because he’s a master of misdirection and frequently revises his own oral history. Misdirection is part of his mutant power set, though it’s never been clear how that works, exactly. He’s not actually French, but he speaks with a French accent to throw others off.
Fantomex, aka Charlie Cluster-7, aka Weapon XIII, is a professional assassin-type character, a mutant who was “artificially evolved” by the same folks that gave Wolverine his metal skeleton. They used Sentinel (those giant robots that love hunting mutants) technology to pull it off, and he’s actually been referred to as a mutant/Sentinel hybrid on occasion, as strange as that sounds. Among his gifts are possession of three brains that enable him to process multiple thoughts at a time, and a living spaceship called E.V.A., which is Fantomex’s own nervous system that’s exited his body and taken a new form. The ship can function independently from the man, but they’re symbiotic, feeling each others’ pains and seeing through each others’ eyes. That whole no-nervous-system thing makes Fantomex impervious to pain, too.
From the depths of mutant obscurity comes Warlock, a “techno-organic” alien life form. Why is this machine guy that looks like he stuck his finger in an electrical outlet an X-Man, you ask? Well, he may be an alien, but he’s a mutant alien.
Warlock is from the planet Kvch, home of sentient race of machines called Technarchs. Kvch is a lovely little spot if you enjoy the thought of battling your own parent or child to the death so you can go on living. This bizarre twist on survival of the fittest is especially bad for Warlock, because he just so happens to be the son of Kvch’s ruler, Magus. Our robotic hero is unusual for his race, having no desire to engage in a barbaric fight-to-the-death with dear old dad, and he was therefore deemed a “mutant.” So he escaped to Earth where he — you guessed it — just happened to land on Charles Xavier’s front lawn.
He joined the New Mutants, where his offbeat personality often provided comic relief or food for thought on the human condition. His powers include nano-tech that lets Warlock change his form so he can adapt to any situation. He can also self-heal, which of course comes in mighty handy for the world’s most discriminated-against superheroes. We’d like to see Warlock join the X-Men movie universe mainly to see how such a bizarre creature might be believably brought to life on screen. He’s supposedly been confirmed to appear in the New Mutants movie due out sometime in 2018 or 2019, so this one could very well be in the works already.
12. The Stepford Cuckoos
Full disclosure: the Cuckoos were glimpsed in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot from X-Men: The Last Stand, where there appear to be three blonde teenage girls walking together to or from classes at Xavier’s School. But that hardly counts, so we’re including them here.
Celeste, Phoebe, and Mindee are triplet telepaths who call themselves the “3-In-1.” But to everyone else, they’re known as the Stepford Cuckoos. (Originally they were the “5-In-1,” but their sisters Esme and Sophie died.) In reality, the Cuckoos are actually the product of genetic experiments by the Weapon Plus program on Emma Frost. The Cuckoos were “grown” from Emma’s embryos, and rapidly aged to become teenagers. Basically, they’re catty clones of the mutant formerly known as the White Queen.
The triplets have the same power set as Emma Frost, including her telepathy and her ability to shift into a diamond form. What’s unique to them is their “hive mind,” which allows them to function together most of the time, almost as a single entity. Using their joined brain power, they’ve shown an aptitude for operating Cerebra (and Cerebro before that), and even taking control of others’ minds, similar to Professor X himself.
The casting for future appearances could be tricky for this one. Sure, you could have one actress play all three with some fancy camera angles and visual effects, but we’d rather see actual triplets, to ramp up the creepy factor. It’s a tall task, but we believe in you, Fox!
11. Dani Moonstar
A Native American mutant of the Cheyenne nation, Danielle Moonstar has the unique ability to create visual images of her foes’ greatest fears. She’s also a skilled survivalist and fighter, thanks to her upbringing. Eventually, she gained the ability to make her conjured images into real constructs. (It was this whole big thing with the High Evolutionary.) She’s used many codenames over the years, but her most common one, for obvious reasons, is Mirage.
Dani would make a nice addition to the movie universe, but she can’t be portrayed as pandering to diversity. Admittedly, her appearance in an X-movie for Fox is problematic, because a big part of her story is tied to Asgard, which falls under Marvel’s cinematic domain. In a classic storyline from New Mutants, the team was transported to Asgard, where Dani bonded with a native winged horse named Brightwind. Because of that bond, she was bestowed with the powers of a Valkyrie, allowing her to see when and how a person will die. She’s since made repeated visits to Asgard and Hel, sometimes falling under the control of the evil Hela. She was also among the mutants to lose her powers after House of M, aka the de-powering event known as “M-Day.” She eventually bartered with Hela to regain her powers, and became a teacher to other mutant kids.
Moonstar/Mirage has also been seemingly been confirmed for the New Mutants movie, so our hopes of seeing her on the big screen could very soon become a reality.
Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel gets a lot of credit for being the first A-list Muslim superhero, but Dust of the X-Men predates her by more than two decades. Sooraya Qadir’s origins go back to a childhood kidnapping that led to her being sold into slavery. She was rescued from this life by Wolverine and the aforementioned Fantomex, after which she enrolled at Xavier’s School for GiftChildrenren.
Dust discovered that her mutation allowed her to transform her body into sand that she could then manipulate for various effects. A devout Muslim and serious introvert, Dust is rarely seen out of her black burka, preferring the privacy it affords. She’s also one of the most potentially lethal mutants in the world, capable of taking a life while leaving zero evidence behind. Her sand blast and sand storm powers are strong enough to rip through metal and strip flesh from bones. She can also allow her sand form to be breathed in by an enemy so that she can kill them from within.
Hot-headed Jean-Paul Beaubier has become best known as the first openly gay superhero to marry his partner, a man named Kyle Jinadu. But there’s much more to this guy than you may know.
Northstar first gained notoriety as a champion skier, where he competed in and won the Olympic Games for his home country, Canada. Even though it was later proven that he never used his powers to win, his superhero career resulted in the revoking of his Olympic medals and other trophies. Jean-Paul met his long lost twin sister Jeanne-Marie for the first time while working for the Canadian government’s Alpha Flight super-team. He also died once, at the hands (er, claws) of Wolverine, who’d been brainwashed by Hydra. The evil organization then promptly resurrected Northstar, turned him evil, and sent him out to do their dirty work. (This reprogramming was later undone.)
His powers include photokinesis, or the ability to generate light. This power takes multiple forms, with the science behind it enabling him to create concussive blasts, bursts of super-speed, accelerated healing, heightened reflexes, and more.
Okay, we admit it: we picked this one primarily in the hopes of seeing how live-action filmmaking could translate Marrow’s “ew” factor to the big screen in a cool way. (Our morbid fascination draws the line at Maggot, though. Just no.)
The thing with Marrow, aka the former Morlock known only as Sarah, is her bones. Her mutation causes hers to protrude from her skin, and allows her to grow them at a vastly accelerated rate. She can then break them off and use them as weapons — and then regrow them again, just as fast. She also had two hearts once upon a time, but Storm ripped one of them out. (Long story.) Her character arc is one of manipulation and betrayal, which has caused her to grow a little unstable over the years.
After a rocky start as one of the underground-dwelling Morlocks, Marrow became a terrorist, carrying out plots against normal humans in defense of mutantkind. Her villainous ways eventually gave way to joining the X-Men, though these days, she functions as a member of the black ops team X-Force, relishing in the group’s need for violent solutions to dangerous problems. Marrow had an unconfirmed background cameo in a scene from the Deadpool movie, but like the Cuckoos, we don’t consider the appearance remotely worthy of her character (if it was in fact her to begin with).
Admittedly, Hisako Ichiki could use some beefy character development, as the comics haven’t done much to flesh her out. But her power makes for an awesome visual, and having a relatively blank slate would give filmmakers more creative wiggle room.
Conceived by Joss Whedon during his Astonishing X-Men run, Armor is a teenage girl with a strong will and a remarkable power: the ability to psychokinetically create a suit of armor around herself. Unlike other mutants, her power is tied to her ancestors and bloodline. This manifested when she received a tremendous power boost after the deaths of her mother and brother. She can vary the size of her “psionic armor,” even growing to skyscraper proportions. But the bigger it is, the harder it is to maintain.
Armor developed a close bond with and respect for Wolverine, who trained and mentored her to the extent that she “felt it” when he died. She was also one of the 27 students at Xavier’s who still had their powers after M-Day.
Sometime after M-Day and the arrival of Hope (see #3), five young individuals across the globe discovered that they were mutants when their powers suddenly activated. These five new mutants were dubbed the Five Lights, and Hope, now a young woman, was tasked with finding and recruiting them to become X-Men.
Idie (pronounced “Ih-dyay”) Okonkwo was the third Light that Hope encountered, a Nigerian mutant who was found as a young girl. When Hope reached her, Idie was alone in her village, which she’d accidentally burned down in its entirety when her powers manifested for the first time. Tragically, the accident killed everyone in the village, including her family. After Hope helped her gain control of her abilities, she agreed to join Xavier’s school and Hope’s squad, taking on the codename Oya. Her power is to invert temperatures; if presented with ice, she creates fire, and if presented with fire, she creates ice.
Though still relatively new to the X-Men, Oya has a terrific story arc, going from a meek and nervous girl to a fierce warrior. It wasn’t long after she joined the school that Wolverine saw potential in her and began to mentor her. Now, unlike most other X-Men, she doesn’t hesitate to take a life when wartime circumstances necessitate such an action.
5. Evan Sabahnur
What would happen if you cloned Adolf Hitler and raised him to be a heroic young man with morals and integrity? It’s a provocative question, to be sure, and it’s the very question that the story of Evan Sabahnur explores.
Young Evan was a test tube baby, cloned from the blood of En Sabah Nur, aka the big bad mutant villain Apocalypse. Fantomex was instrumental in his creation, and was responsible for implanting in Evan the positive memories that made him a good person, as he’d hoped to create a weapon capable of defeating Apocalypse. Evan came to know Fantomex as “Uncle Cluster.”
His true nature was hidden from him until he was kidnapped by a group of evil mutants. Although hurt by their lies, he soon rejoined the team and developed a close bond with — of all people — Deadpool, who was atypically supportive and nurturing to the boy. During the Axis event, when heroes and villains found their moral compasses reversed, Evan transformed into Apocalypse and began a reign of terror. It was Deadpool who managed to help him reclaim his inner goodness. Somehow.
Illyana Rasputin has had a hard go of it. She carries the same mutant gene as her big brother, Colossus, but her powers couldn’t be more different. Kidnapped at the age of six by a demonic entity called Belasco, Illyana was taken to a dark dimension called Limbo, where she lived for years and learned sorcery.
When she finally escaped Limbo, she found that her mutant powers were still directly connected to it. Now an adult, she has become the Sorceress Supreme of Limbo, a place she can visit at will and where she is pretty much all powerful. Her mutant power allows her to create “teleportation discs,” which can send anyone anywhere across space and time. She also has psionic shields, mystical armor, and frequently teleports her enemies to Limbo mid-fight, where she is at her mightiest.
One of Magik’s defining attributes is her “Soulsword,” a big, powerful sword that was forged from part of her own soul. With it, she can disrupt spells and kill demons, but it does no harm to ordinary humans. The Soulsword is so unique and powerful, it’s been sought by other sorcerers for years, because whoever wields it becomes the ruler of Limbo. Poor Magik has been turned evil several times — almost always while in Limbo — and she’s called “Darkchylde” when her darker self emerges.
These days, Illyana is seen running around in a patently absurd black costume, though she’s worn much worse in the past. Like Moonstar and Warlock, she too could be coming to a big screen near you in the very near future.
3. Hope Summers
Thanks to the mutant de-powering event known as M-Day, only a handful of mutants around the globe maintained their abilities. Even worse, the dwindling mutant population would eventually die off, because there were “no more mutants” to be born.
But then something miraculous happened: a mutant baby girl was born in Cooperstown, Alaska. Informally deemed the “mutant messiah,” the child’s parents were killed, and she eventually wound up in the custody of Cable (see #2), who protected her by traveling through time to avoid those who wanted to harm or exploit her. Cable named her Hope, after a woman he loved and because she was literally the last hope of the mutant race. Oh, and she had red hair and a connection to the Phoenix Force, like a certain other red-haired, über-powerful (and recently deceased) mutant.
Hope is the ultimate mutant representation of the “chosen one,” giving her story the kind of weight and significance that no one else in X-Men canon can lay claim to. Thanks to all that time travel, she quickly grew up to become an omega-level young woman with the power to mimic the abilities of any mutant she’s in close proximity to. She became the axis that the Avengers vs. X-Men event centered on, and eventually did take on the Phoenix, but she distinguished herself by being the first known host to have the will to let go of the omnipotent powers the Phoenix gave her.
Cable, aka Nathan Summers, has an extremely convoluted origin involving Mr. Sinister, cloning, an arranged birth, and loads more. Nathan is the biological son of Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, but not his lady love Jean Grey. Instead, he was born to a clone of Jean’s named Madelyne Prior, though Marvel later tried to rectify this by giving Jean all of the deceased Madelyne’s memories.
You can’t mention Cable without talking about time travel, as moving through time is something he’s done his entire life. For example, he grew up 2,000 years in the future. As a child, he was infected by Apocalypse with a “techno-organic virus,” which slowly tried to kill him by turning him into a machine. Nathan proved resilient, resisting the virus until he could use his burgeoning telepathic powers to stop it from spreading further. Today, he’s a man older than his own father (time travel!) with a cyborg-like appearance, and nearly one-half of his body is comprised of machine parts. Despite this, he’s still regarded as one of the most powerful telepaths and telekinetics ever born.
Another major component to Cable’s history is his raising of Hope, the “mutant messiah” (see #3) while traveling through time to hide her. He’s been the leader of X-Force several times, and circumstances have repeatedly thrown him in league with Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool; together, they’re the ultimate odd couple. Their dynamic is so loved by fans that Cable is expected to debut in the big-screen sequel to Deadpool, which we could not be more excited to see.
Molded in the classic Marvel fashion — regrets over past misdeeds lead to the taking up of a superhero mantle — such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Iron Man, Forge is a great character with loads of dramatic potential. He tops our list with a fascinating tale unlike any other X-Man that exists.
A Native American of the Cheyenne nation (there are other Native Americans, Marvel), Forge was trained as a medicine man and a sorcerer. He rarely uses those magical skills, though, because of an incident while he was serving in the Army during the Vietnam War (this could be updated to Iraq or Afghanistan for the movies, of course). After everyone in his unit was killed, including his commander, he conjured their spirits to dole out revenge. He called in an air strike immediately after, in order to close the portal that the dead had passed through, but the falling bombs resulted in him losing a leg and a hand.
It was after this that Forge discovered his intuitive genius for invention. His mutant “power,” if you can call it that, is the ability to build virtually anything he can imagine. No matter how technical or complex, he can do it all. This ability allowed him to replace his missing limbs with technology of his own creation. In the comics, Forge — whose birth name has never been revealed — was once romantically involved with Storm. He was also engaged in a years-long struggle against a demon called the Adversary, which he accidentally allowed to come to Earth via the aforementioned portal he opened during the war.
In short, he’s awesome, and he needs to be seen on-screen asap.
What other unused X-Men do you want to see in live-action? Let us know in the comments.