Over forty years ago, Charles Xavier created an elite team of mutants and called them the X-Men. They helped fight for peace between humans and mutants respectively. Over the years, many mutants have joined the X-Men in their crusade for equality, and just as many have defected and joined their evil counterparts. Throughout the many X-Men stories that have been told, time-hopping mutants and devices have created alternate universes which introduced new X-Men teams, mutants, and has even changed the original backgrounds of characters we've grown to love.
Whether it began as a fight over moral differences, being brainwashed, or simply an evil version of their 616 counterparts, many X-Men have fought against their fellow teammates. Often, these fights have just lead to defeat, but occasionally the heroes we love were responsible for the devastating deaths of their fellow X-Men. Here is the list of 20 Times X-Men Killed Other X-Men.
In Avengers vs The X-Men, the Phoenix Force, an immortal and indestructible cosmic entity which had previously corrupted and destroyed its hosts, comes back to earth searching for a host in the form of Hope Summers. The Avengers and X-Men have differing opinions on how to handle the situation, which eventually leads to a war between the two factions. During a confrontation with the Avengers, Cyclops becomes one of the hosts for the Phoenix Force-- Dark Cyclops.
After a very long and drawn out war between X-Men and the Avengers, Cyclops' mentor Professor Xavier sides with the Avengers as he knows that he needs to stop the Phoenix Force. Xavier attempts to appeal to Cyclops' conscience and telepathically guilt him into stopping his destruction. When this appeal to Cyclops' conscience does not work, Xavier aids the Avenges in defeating Cyclops. Xavier confronts Dark Cyclops and attempts to convince Cyclops to stop his endeavors one last time, before launching an attack on Dark Cyclops. Having none of it, Dark Cyclops blasts Xavier with fire, killing his mentor.
The most devastating X-Men massacre by Wolverine occurs in the Old Man Logan series, where Logan unwittingly finds himself manipulated by Mysterio, the master of illusion.
At the start, Logan and Jubilee receive multiple distress calls from all over, when a blast knocks Jubilee out. Logan sees the combined forces of the major super-villains the X-Men have fought through the years. Wolverine fights and viciously kills all of these villains while searching for the other X-Men who have not yet come to his aid and, after stabbing Bullseye through the heart, he looks down and finds that he is holding Jubilee's body. Mysterio introduces himself and reveals to Logan the bodies of his teammates.
Devastated by his actions and the deaths of his friends, Wolverine was so badly broken that he "kills himself" by laying his head on train tracks and allows himself to be hit by a train, vowing he will never use his claws to kill again.
During Sam Humphries' relaunch of Uncanny X-Force, Psylocke, and Angel joined the X-Force. This team is known for having team members who were "tainted by evil and able to make the tough compromises," and the team is sent to assassinate the reincarnated child Apocalypse to prevent him from rising to power. During this time, Angel's Archangel power begins to reemerge, and Angel struggles to contain the Archangel's power.
As the Archangel's power overtakes Angel, the X-Force hurries to find a remedy and travel back to Earth-295 to locate the Seed of Life, which will counteract Angel's power and save him from the Seed of Death. However, by the time they find the Seed of Life, the Archangel has completely consumed Angel. Archangel, who has risen to the full height of his power, plans to extinguish all the life on earth. Unable to stop the Archangel or to bring back the original Angel, Psylocke stabs Archangel with the Seed of Life, killing both the Angel and Archangel personas.
Wolverine is no stranger to death and mayhem. He has even acknowledged that one of the only things that he is good at is killing. As a character who has traveled through multiple universes and suffered from amnesia multiple times, it is unsurprising that Wolverine has been responsible for many X-Men deaths.
One of the more notable Wolverine kills happens in New X-Men. Magneto traps Wolverine and Jean in a metal asteroid hurtling toward the sun as he attempts to take over New York. Wolverine and Jean scramble to stop the asteroid from its collision course with the sun by ripping up wires and trying to re-route it. Their attempts are futile as they edge closer to the sun and Wolverine and Jean begin to feel the effects of the heat. Wolverine and Jean share several sweet moments as they work, but Jean succumbs to the heat and passes out.
Unable to watch Jean suffer, Wolverine tells Jean that he would die for her, but at this time all he could do was take her pain away as he stabs her in the stomach, his claws emerging from her back. Horrified and devastated at what he has done, he waits for the asteroid to hit the sun to take his pain away.
Mimic, from Earth-12, is plucked from his time by the Time Broker and finds his place on the team of Exiles, a displaced team of mutants that travel between universes to fix timelines. Mimic takes his place on the team as their leader.
The Exiles' first mission was in an alternate reality where all mutants had been imprisoned due to their mutation The Exiles' mission was to free a mutant who would lead all mutants to safety. Mimic assumed that this mutant was Charles Xavier, as Xavier had been a mentor in his timeline. The Exiles search and free Xavier, hoping that Xavier would be able to help further the mutants trapped in the prison camps.
However, in this timeline, Xavier had become corrupted, as bitterness and revenge had consumed him. His sole goal now was to exterminate the human race as revenge for his and the other mutants imprisonment. Mimic is forced to kill the evil Xavier by using his claws. Realizing that he had killed one of the most important people to him, Mimic is unable to lead the Exiles, and he relinquishes his power to Blink.
In Uncanny X-Men, “The Cradle Will Fall,” genocidal supervillain Donald Pierce cobbles together The Reavers, a band of cyborg criminals that murder mutants. The Reavers attack the X-Men and capture Psylocke, Havok, and Dazzler. Forced into armor that causes them to follow the commands of the armor's creator, the Nanny, Psylocke, Havok and Dazzler are compelled to use their powers against their teammates. The captured X-Men fight Storm and Colossus, and Storm realizes that her fellow teammates are unable to shake free of the armor on their own and uses the elements to free them from their suits. Nanny realizing that she is about to be defeated escapes in an aircraft. Storm chases after Nanny's ship for answers.
Havok, who is still being influenced by Nanny’s command to kill Storm, accidentally releases a plasma discharge at Nanny’s ship which subsequently explodes, killing Storm in the explosion. Psylocke finds Storm’s body in the wreckage, while a horrified and angry Havok looks on.
In a series entitled Rogue, Rogue is brought back to her hometown and meets up with Sunfire, who needs help clearing his name in Japan. Before Rogue can arrive in Japan, Lady Deathstrike attacks her. In typical supervillain fashion, Deathstrike wants revenge against Rogue and Mystique due to a job that went south years before. Rogue defeats Lady Deathstrike and continues to Japan to meet Sunfire. She assumes that Sunfire was somehow responsible for Lady Death Strike's attack but after some flared tempers, both Sunfire and Rogue discover that Lady Deathstrike is a common enemy and work together to find her hideout.
During the battle at Lady Deathstrike's hideout, Lady Deathstrike slashes her claws through Sunfire’s legs. Sunfire, unable to move, does not want to live and asks Rogue to absorb his powers to defeat Lady Deathstrike. Initially, Rogue refuses and promises only to take on enough of his essence to use his powers. However, Rogue is forced by Blindspot to absorb all of Sunfire’s essence, which in is too much for Sunfire's mangled body and kills him.
In X-Necrosha, Onyxx and Wither are two of the twenty-seven mutants who retained their power after the events of House of M. Onyxx, who was an awkward teenager before his powers manifested, became a mutant with strength and invulnerability and found a home with the X-Men when they moved to Necrosha.
Wither, who also joined the X-Men, always felt alone and apart from the group as he viewed his power as dangerous, since it decayed all living matter. During the riots that happened at the Institute, Wither accidentally withered the arm of the girl he loved. Upset and alone on a park bench, Wither was approached and recruited by Selene, The Black Queen.
While with Selene, Wither becomes comfortable killing others for her and helps her recruit others for her inner circle. Selene sends her army of undead to Necrosha, where Onyxx and Dust happened to be. As Wither attempts to kill Dust with his power, Onyxx leaps toward Wither to stop him and save Dust. Wither uses his death touch, and Onyxx disintegrates, leaving only his helmet atop his ashes leaving Dust to hold his helmet in mourning.
In Young X-Men, "End of Days," Dust is unable to maintain her physical form due to suffering from cellular degeneration, which is causing her body to stay in her glass form. Dust attempts to double cross the X-Men and help Donald Pierce escape, as he has promised to help her survive. Pierce ends up kidnapping her, and she is found dead in her glass form. Since she's loved by her team and known for her good heart, Ink resurrects Dust, stating that out of all of them she did not deserve to die.
However, future Dust has become corrupted and soulless as a result of the resurrection, which contrasts with her original beliefs and personality. She now believes that mutants are a plague upon the earth and deserve to be exterminated for their abilities. Dust finds Wolverine sitting at a bar, and Wolverine resigns himself to his fate as Dust kills him. Dust proceeds to flay the skin off of Graymalkin and Anole and then suffocates Emma Frost on her way to finding Ink. She apologizes to Ink as she kills him and acknowledges that at least his heart was in the right place, which is the only inkling given that this is the same Dust who existed before her resurrection.
What If: Astonishing X-Men takes place during Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men run. In this What If issue, Jean Grey is resurrected by the Ord instead of Colossus and is prophesied to destroy Breakworld, a planet in constant war. Emma feels that, even though Jean does not have the power of the Phoenix, she will still be responsible for killing all of them and sets out to call upon the real Phoenix.
Emma, who is influenced by Cassandra Nova, a parasitic supervillain bent on destruction, enlists the help of the Stepford Cuckoos and calls forth the power of the real Phoenix. The Phoenix uses Emma as host and Emma turns against Jean and the X-Men. Corrupted by the Phoenix and Cassandra Nova, Emma kills Beast by telekinetically snapping his neck. Emma has no remorse over the issue until she is separated from Cassandra Nova and killed by Kitty.
Illyana Rasputin, aka Magik, resided with the X-Men at the age of six before her mutant abilities manifested. She stayed with them for some time and became very close to Kitty Pryde. After she was kidnapped by Belasco and transported to Limbo, Belasco performed a spell to take the first part of her soul and placed it in a Bloodstone.
An alternate version of Storm and Kitty-- who referred to herself as Cat and looks more feline than human-- rescue Illyana from the alter. Like in her reality, Illyana becomes close friends with Cat, who teaches her how to fight, while Storm takes Illyana on as a mentee and shows her how to harness her magic.
After several years, Storm goes to fight Belasco, intending on preventing him from making any more Bloodstones. Illyana goes to help Storm and discovers that Cat is even more cat-like than she was before and is completely loyal to Belasco. The demonic Cat fights to prevent Illyana from reaching Storm. Realizing that Cat is imprisoned in a body that she hates, Illyana snaps Cat’s neck as a mercy kill, ultimately freeing her from her enslavement to Belasco.
In What If: Wolverine, Enemy of the State, The Hand and Hydra have kidnapped Wolverine and re-programmed him to kill all superheroes. The mission is for the X-Men and Captain America to capture and reprogram Wolverine. This mission comes after a widely televised assault on the President, in which Iron Fist and Luke Cage were killed protecting the Commander in Chief. The X-Men have been unable to catch him due to Hydra teleporting him away from danger and behind other heroes to kill them, making Wolverine an unstoppable force.
Wolverine kills all of the X-Men and Captain America, leaving Kitty the only member alive to complete the mission. She attempts to plead with him, stating that she knows that he is still the same person she once knew. When that doesn’t work, she realizes that he is beyond being saved. She phases her hand through his head and squeezes his brain. Angered, Wolverine claws at her arm causing her hand to materialize in his skull, killing Wolverine instantly.
In Age of Apocalypse, Nightcrawler and Iceman are both recruited by Magneto, who is now the leader of this group of X-Men, to stop Apocalypse and his sentinels. Iceman retains his jovial personality in this timeline and saves Nightcrawler’s life after sentinels have slaughtered many of their friends. During this war, Iceman is shattered into millions of pieces, and when he puts himself back together, he lacks a conscience. Siding with Archangel, Iceman becomes a villain who has no problem with killing his former teammates and wreaking havoc around the world.
After Nightcrawler and Iceman are transported to a different reality, Nightcrawler stays to track down Iceman. Iceman uses his avatars to fight Nightcrawler and almost succeeds in defeating him, when Nightcrawler forces Iceman into a boiler room where the was no moisture in the air, rendering his mutant ability ineffective. Ignoring Iceman's please for redemption, Nightcrawler disables and shoves his former friend and teammate into an incinerator, burning Bobby alive as he says, "I would have burned the world to kill you, Bobby."
In New X-Men, Xorn becomes a teacher at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Xorn becomes addicted to Kick, a drug that boosts their mutant powers.After a riot at the Institute that kills a student, Xorn begins to adopt Magneto's "mutants are superior" rhetoric. Coerced by Sublime, an unknown entity who thrived on chaos and disorder, and whose goal was to promote fear and hysteria surrounding mutants, Xorn believes himself to be a reincarnated Magneto. Xorn leads a devastating attack against Manhattan and the people within it, forcing the X-Men to band together to defeat him.
Desiring to remain in charge and squash the dissent amongst his disbelievers, he kills Jean Grey-Summers, his former teammate and headmistress of the Institute, with an electromagnetic pulse that causes her to have a massive stroke. Subsequently, Xorn did not outlive Jean by very much, as Wolverine soon decapitated him out of anger and grief.
In Ultimate X-Men, Cable comes back from his time, where Apocalypse has risen to power and committed horrible atrocities against the mutants in his world. Cable's plan is to kill Xavier to prevent Apocalypse from rising to power. During his initial attack on the Institute, he nearly kills Xavier, but Kitty stops him by phasing through him. Cable escapes and kidnaps Jean Grey and places a power-dampening device around her neck so that they would not be found.
Xavier leads his team of X-Men to where Jean is being held captive and prepares to kill Cable to save his students from his attack. Cable cuts Scott’s visor in half, causing him to be blinded in the fight and he does not see a detonator that Cable throws at him. Professor Xavier throws himself in front of the detonator to save Scott. There is a blast, and all that is left is Professor Xavier's burned skeleton, though Cable's body is not amongst the remains.
Thunderbird, Warpath's brother, was killed while fighting with the X-Men. Saddened by his brother’s death, Warpath follows in his brother’s footsteps and joins the X-Force, which was a specialized task force to complete more extreme tasks than the X-Men typically associated with. After Caliban sacrificed his life to save Warpath in the events of Messiah Complex, Warpath brings Caliban’s body back to the Apache reservation for burial.
While Warpath visits his brother’s grave, he is attacked by a demon bear and discovers that Selene not only resurrected Thunderbird for her undead army, but someone had sacrificed his entire tribe to Selene. Angered and disgusted by this turn of events, Warpath joins the fight in Necrosha and is determined to kill Selene. Warpath confronts his Thunderbird and provides a mercy killing by snapping his neck. To make this second death even more heart-wrenching, as Thunderbird’s spirit departs, his final words to his brother are “You can let go now,” not only providing him closure, but also spurring him to kil Selene.
In the What If: Angel Killed the X-Factor and Horseman story arc, Archangel defects back to X-Factor sooner than he did in canon. Archangel, preoccupied with the survival of the fittest, begins to judge the enemies of tX-Factor and slowly starts to pick them off, deeming them unworthy of survival. However, corrupted by the power and the death seed, Archangel also judges his teammate's worthiness. He masterminds a scenario where the team is battling their remaining villains, who maintained that they were not responsible for the killings and that they too were being killed.
Archangel reveals that the X-Factor team was not worthy of living, as they should have realized that he was the one who was behind the killings and that he had lead them to their slaughter. Archangel deemed them weak for trusting him and sticking to sentiment. On a rampage, he kills Beast, Boom-Boom, Caliban, Rusty Collins, Cyclops, Iceman, Jean Grey, Leech, Rictor, and Skids.
In the alternate universe of Earth-1610, Quicksilver and Wanda are the children of Magneto. They briefly join the Brotherhood, but later defect to the Ultimates for amnesty. However, this is short-lived, as Ultron kills Wanda after she rejects his romantic advances (she's in love with her brother, not a robot!). Driven by grief, Quicksilver joins his father’s regime to destroy humanity and let mutants rule the world. After Quicksilver is supposedly killed protecting Magneto, Magneto uses Thor’s hammer to create a massive tidal wave that kills many of the X-Men, including Professor Xavier. Scott Summers confronts Magento and decapitates him with his optic blast.
Fueled by grief over the loss of his family, and the desire to take over his father's cause, Quicksilver assassinates Scott with the same bullet that was used to kill Wanda just as Scott is giving a speech promoting Xavier’s vision of mutant and human relations.
In Earth-295, Colossus married his sweetheart Katherine Pryde, also referred to as Shadowcat. In this reality, Shadowcat and Colossus have retired from the X-Men and have chosen to be teachers of young mutants after Colossus refuses to fight Apocalypse.
In Generation Next, Colossus and Shadowcat come out of retirement to save Colossus sister, Illyana from a human slave pit referred to as the Portland Core. They were able to rescue Illyana, but Colossus discovered that Magneto is attempting to restore history, and with this restoration, Illyana would be dead. Consumed by rage for Magneto, Colossus tries to follow Illyana into the M’Krann Crystal and prevent her from using her time traveling powers. Shadowcat steps in front of him, believing that he would recognize her and their relationship would be enough to calm him but consumed with his rage, he trampled over her and killed her. Unable to contain his grief at his actions, Gambit was forced to kill him before other people were injured.
Storm and Shadowcat seem to have a long, convoluted relationship that usually often times with Kitty dying as collateral damage in a conflict. In Astonishing X-Men, “Exalted, Part Three” begins with another romp through the multiverse to Earth-12245, where Magneto has subjugated the human race and a definitely not-bald Charles Xavier has become “the Savior”, who harnesses the powers of other mutants to create a device to save them all. Specifically, Cyclops is the best source of the Savior's energy, and Scott Summers finds himself imprisoned with several other mutants, including Shadowcat.
Shadowcat, unwilling to remain imprisoned to be a power source for a device that would end in her death, agrees to help Scott and the other imprisoned mutants escape from their holding area. Although Storm and Cyclops were romantically involved, Storm supports Xavier's cause over Scott's freedom. She catches the imprison mutants as they make for their escape and strikes Shadowcat with lightning, killing her immediately.
Can you think of other times X-Men killed one another? Let us know in the comments!