With a history that spans more than 50 years, there’s no doubt that the X-Men have faced their share of interesting and powerful foes. But, what about the ones that didn’t quite make the grade? For every Magneto or Apocalypse, there’s a handful of smaller, less interesting villains that usually don’t make the grade.
While not everyone can be a super-villain, we thought we’d take a look at those bad guys that just don’t seem to be able to live up to the hype. Whether they tried and failed at every turn when going up against the good guys, or are just too weird or too niche to really make an impact, everyone on this list is here for a reason.
Here is Screen Rant’s 15 Worst X-Men Villains:
More of an anti-hero as opposed to a true villain, Marshall Evan Stone III, also known as Random, was created by Peter David and Joe Quesada in 1993. He made his first appearance in X-Factor Vol. 1 #88. His origins are unknown, but it appears that he was created by Dark Beast from a mass of protoplasm. Because of the ambiguity of his origins, it is also possible that he was born normally and experimented on, but no one knows for sure. He has the ability to shape shift into just about anything he wants, as well as turn his forearms into weapons that fire gardened plasma projectiles at his foes. He can also counteract any force that is directed his way and regenerate damaged or missing limbs.
When he was with Dark Beast he was given the name ‘Alex,’ but once he escaped, he morphed into a heavily muscled bounty hunter and started calling himself Random. Eventually, he became a member of X-Factor, but because he and leader Havok didn’t see eye to eye on basically anything, his contract was bought out and he was once again a lone wolf ready for hire. He joins the X-Men at the end of the X-Men: Legacy saga, but whether his loyalties actually lie with them is another question entirely.
15 Black Tom Cassidy
Created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in 1976, Black Tom Cassidy made his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #101. This was his first full appearance, although he did appear in Uncanny X-Men #97 in shadow. His is a mutant who has the ability to generate and discharge blasts of force and heat through any wood medium. Because that’s useful. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants and was often seen with Juggernaut, coming to be seen as his partner in crime.
Although he is cousin to X-Men member, Banshee, Black Tom is really seen as more of a bit character. His mutant abilities were altered when he was shot by Cable and had a wood-like substance grafted into his wounds. This gave him the ability to channel energy through his hands, but it also came at a price. A genetic virus attacked him, basically turning him into a walking tree, with the ability to manipulate plants into doing his bidding. It also made him sort of crazy. His human form was restored after M-Day, although he did maintain his ability to manipulate foliage. He was last seen trying to take out Deadpool in Deadpool #58: Blacklisted. Needless to say, he didn’t succeed, which isn’t surprising, given that he’s not much more than a sidekick.
14 Sugar Man
A genetics student of Mr. Sinister, Sugar Man was created by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo in 1995. He made his first appearance in Generation Next #2. He is a hold-over from the Age Of Apocalypse storyline, who does not have an Earth-616 counterpart.
He is physically deformed, although whether he was born that way or it was achieved through genetic testing and modification is unknown. His powers include superhuman strength and an enhanced sense of smell, including the ability to smell fear. He can also control his body mass and size. On Earth-295 he kept humans enslaved and performed genetic and scientific experiments on them. He spent most of his time travelling through time and between dimensions, trying to get back to his own Earth. All while still experimenting on humans and trying to create more mutants and mutates. What makes him a bad villain is that his plans always seem to be foiled by the X-Men and he rarely accomplishes what he set out to do, always managing to get captured in the process.
Originally a member of Magneto’s Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, Peepers was created by Jack Kirby in 1977. His first appearance was in Captain America #4, although he spent most of his time opposite the X-Men. His powers include telescopic vision, giving him the ability to see really far, as well as through matter. He can also shoot energy beams from his eyes.
His real name is Peter Quinn and he was drafted into the initial version of the Brotherhood by Magneto himself. When the team lost to Captain America on their first mission, Magneto dropped them like a hot potato. They changed their name to Mutant Force and somehow managed to get themselves captured while going up against the Defenders. They bargained for their release by promising to be good guys, but that was short lived and they returned to their villainous ways. Peepers then tried to reinvent himself and decided to change his name to Occult, but it didn’t work and he was defeated again, this time becoming seriously injured. Quitting the villain business altogether, he became the bartender at the supervillain bar, Satan’s Circus. He managed to keep his powers after M-Day, but it didn’t really work out all that well for him, as he was killed and eaten by Predator X not long after.
A founding member of the Mutant Liberation Front, Michael McCain, also known as Forearm was created by Louise Simonson and Rob Liefeld in 1990. He made his first appearance in New Mutants #86. Aside from the fact that he had a second set of arms that extended below his regular ones, he also had increased strength, stamina and physical resistance to injury.
So, Forearm and the MLF, hatched many plans over the years, but the good guys always seemed to be one step ahead of them. Forearm was a mainstay of the team, though, sticking it out even through leadership and roster changes, and a bout in the slammer. Guess he really believed in the cause. To add insult to injury, his girlfriend on the team, Moonstar, turned out to be an undercover SHIELD agent, and it was this betrayal that finally led Forearm to leave the group. He was last seen in the Bloodsport Championships, where he was killed by Anaconda of the Serpent Society. If you die and don't come back, you belong on this list.
An alien known as a ‘spineless one,’ Mojo was created by Ann Nocenti and Arthur Adams in 1985. He made his first appearance in Longshot #3. He belongs to a race of beings that are immobile without technology and is the ruler of the Mojoverse, a dimension where everyone is addicted to gladiator-like television sports shows.
Over the years he made many appearances across many of the X-Men titles, although he is probably most famous for the whole X-Babies thing. Yes, he tried to turn the X-Men into children so that he could exploit them for ratings on his planet. When that didn’t work, he created X-Baby clones of the X-Men, hoping that he could then control these new versions. That didn’t happen either, and they all managed to escape. To try and stop them, he then created the Mitey ‘Vengers, who also rebelled against him. Because they gave him sky high ratings, he continued to clone random folks in the Marvel Universe. He is currently in the custody of Cable’s X-Force team. This just doesn't make any sense and is so ridiculous as to be laughable, and hence Mojo's on the list.
10 The Neo
A possible sub-species of mutants, The Neo were created by Chris Claremont in 2000. They made their first appearance in X-Men Vol. 2 #100. Like regular mutants, they have a bunch of different powers, although they have slightly increased strength, endurance, reflexes and speed, and are way more powerful when it comes to their abilities. They refer to regular mutants as ‘spikes’ because they barely register on the Neo’s power scale.
The Neo are an ancient race that prefers to live in seclusion and away from the rest of the world, as they consider everyone else, including regular mutants, beneath them. They were doing their thing and living life prosperously until the High Evolutionary activated his machines and turned off all mutant genes. There were many casualties to the Neo on this day. Over the years they have pretty much been decimated, with their Warclan perishing in the attack on Genosha and the Evolutionaries blinking them out of existence for not evolving and threatening the survival of Homo Superior. If you can be destroyed so easily, you deserve to be include on this list.
A member of the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants, Mammomax was a bi-pedal, mammoth shaped mutant with hands. He also has long ivory tusks that he uses during his attacks, and is as strong as an elephant. If that’s not enough, his skin is pretty much invulnerable and he can create powerful stomach acid, which he then spits at his opponents. He was created by Chuck Austen and Salvador Larroca in 2004, and made his first appearance in X-Men Vol. 2 #161.
He was defeated rather handily by Iceman during his first appearance, and then the entire Brotherhood was sucked into the Mojoverse. They turned on their own, sacrificing Juggernaut and Nocturne to Mojo to gain their freedom. He was one of the mutants unaffected by M-Day, and spends most of his time on the run, before rejoining the Brotherhood. Sadly, it’s not a happy ending for Mammomax, as he was eventually captured by the Facility and used as a subject during one of their tests. That test happened to involve Predator X, who killed and ate him.
A Savage Land Mutate, Vertigo was created by Chris Claremont and Michael Golden in 1982. She made her first appearance in Marvel Fanfare Vol. 1 #1. She had the ability to project psionic energy waves, which affected the nervous systems of her opponents, causing dizziness, disorientation and in some cases, unconsciousness. She was a member of Mr. Sinister’s Marauders.
She has been killed and cloned so many times, it’s kind of hard to keep track, although it appears that the real Vertigo is still in the Savage Land and has actually never left. The Marauders versions of her are probably all clones. The X-Men killed her in a battle that Sinister sent her into, ending her alliance with him. She was then destroyed and eaten by Predator X. Unfortunately, she is also not immune to her own powers, as they can and have been used against her in the past. While the clones seem to be rather indispensable, having your own powers used against you is sort of a big deal. Not very helpful in the least, and should definitely be considered a deal breaker.
Another member of the Marauders, Prism was created by Chris Claremont and Louis Simonson in 1986. He made his first appearance in X-Factor #10. He was gifted with the ability to absorb, amplify and reflect light and certain forms of energy. His body is crystalline, making him virtually a walking flashlight, as he can use the stored light to illuminate his surroundings.
While being made of crystal looks cool, it’s not very handy when it comes to real world applications. He was killed the first time when Jean Gray used her telekinesis to slam him into the wall. His fragile body couldn’t handle it and he shattered. Being a follower of Mr. Sinister, you have to know that he was going to come back again. Although this time, he and his fellow Marauders were slaughtered in the Mutant Massacre. Brought back once more, he was destroyed again, this time by a group of demonized police officers during Inferno. As if that wasn’t enough, he was brought back again, where he was subsequently destroyed by X-Man and then eaten by Predator X. His final clone was destroyed by Magneto. It’s time to give it up when you’ve died that many times.
6 The Acolytes
The Acolytes are a group of super villains that vehemently followed Magneto’s ideals that mutants were superior to humans, with some of them even worshipping him like a god and calling him the Mutant Messiah. They were created by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee in 1991, appearing for the first time in X-Men Vol. 2 #1.
They initially began as a group of mutants, led by Fabian Cortez, that were on the run from SHIELD. Magento took them in and stashed them away on his space-station, Asteroid M. Cortez manipulated them and the events surrounding them, causing them to all die. He used their deaths and the apparent death of Magneto as a form of martyrdom for his cause. Cortez then recruited a new set of Acolytes, whose missions included attacking a school for the handicapped and a hospital. Thankfully, they were stopped before they could do too much damage. They then accidentally awoke Holocaust, who killed a bunch of them before wreaking havoc and destroying a space station. They were reformed once more on Genosha, but disbanded soon after, with everyone going their separate ways. Which is probably a good thing, given how useless they were.
A scientist employed by the anti-mutant organization, Right, Nanny was created by Louise Simonson and Walt Simonson in 1988. She made her first appearance in X-Factor #30. She was working on cyborg technology when she realized her employer's anti-mutant agenda and tried to stop it. They sealed her in an egg-shaped armored suit, which was one of her own designs. The ordeal made her mentally unstable, although she did manage to escape their clutches.
Once on the outside, she rescued an orphaned mutant named Peter, whom she made a super-suit for. They became Nanny and the Orphan Maker, saviors of mutant children everywhere, even if it was only in their own minds. Together they murdered the parents of mutant children, considering the parents incompetent and ill-equipped to raise a mutant properly, and took the children in. She has minor telepathic powers, which is how she controls the children in her care. She also has the ability to regress the minds of adults to childlike states, and force children to keep their mindset no matter how much they age. Like the X-Babies, it’s a pretty weak story line and makes Nanny a must for this list.
Another founding member of the Mutant Liberation Front, Richard Gill, aka Wildside, was created by Louise Simonson and Robert Liefeld in 1990. He made his first appearance in New Mutants #86. Wildside has the ability to disrupt his opponent’s sense of reality, causing them to either perceive (or not) hallucinations. Even though his gift is quite useful, he prefers not to use it, instead relying on his fists and brute strength to maim and/or kill his victims. He can do that because he is equipped with long, sharp teeth and nails, as well as enhanced speed, strength and reflexes.
During the X-Cutioner’s story line, the MLF is defeated and taken into custody. When Reignfire decided to restart the terrorist organization, he broke them all out of jail, but that didn’t go so well, as they lost focus and he then tried to kill them. They then decided to steal the Legacy Virus, but are foiled by Moonstar, who is an undercover SHIELD agent. Wildside was captured by the Weapon X program, who enhanced his abilities. But it didn’t turn out so good, because he was declared brain dead when Cable tried to do a telepathic probe on his brain to find out information on the Weapon X program.
Based on the character created by Bram Stoker, Vlad Dracula was created by Gerry Conway and Gene Colan in 1972. He made his first appearance in Tomb Of Dracula #1. Vlad has all the typical powers of a vampire, including superhuman strength, speed, stamina and reflexes. He can also levitate and is impervious to aging, disease and most forms of injury. He has incredible powers of regeneration and the ability to manipulate other people’s minds. Basically, he’s immortal.
In regards to the X-Men, they faced off a number of times, no matter how absurd the entire things is. In the Mutant X line, he even transformed Storm into a vampire. They managed to defeat him, and locked him in a coffin. The Marauders set him free and he went on a killing spree until Storm exacted her revenge and killed him. He doesn’t seem to stay dead, however, as he has been resurrected a number of times. Sure, the Marvel Universe is a fantastical place, but even this is a little much for this world.
A mutant with the ability to turn himself into any flavor of ice cream (no, that is not a typo, that is his actual claim to fame), Eye Scream was created by Alan Kupperberg in 1983. He made his one and only appearance in the Marvel Universe in Obnoxio The Clown #1.
Eye Scream decided he wanted to destroy the X-Men because he was jealous of their cool abilities. You can understand that sentiment, given what he had to work with. He infiltrated Xavier’s mansion, along with Obnoxio The Clown, easily because Charles was throwing a birthday party for Kitty Pryde. He was handily defeated when they lowered the temperature of the room he was in and he became a frozen block of ice cream. Obnoxio smuggled him out of the mansion under the guise of a sundae, and he was never seen or heard from again. Possibly because someone ate him. You’ve got to wonder what Kupperberg was thinking with that one.
So, there you have it, the worst X-Men villains out there. Did your favorite (or the one you love to hate the most) make it on the list? And seriously, how many people has Predator X eaten? That seemed to be the go to way for Marvel to thin out the herd there for a while. There are plenty of weird and maybe not so wonderful characters to choose from in the X-Men Universe, so who would you include on your list? Let us know in the comments!