The characters of the X-Men animated series

The Most Powerful X-Men of All Time, Ranked

Alongside the Avengers, the X-Men are one of Marvel’s most recognizable superhero teams. The team was formed by Charles Xavier (a.k.a. Professor X) and is composed primarily of mutants—humans born with a genetic trait called the X-gene. Those with the X-gene develop superhero powers, which typically manifest around puberty and take a variety of forms, including shapeshifting, the ability to manipulate weather, and telekinesis, to name a few.

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Due to their differences from the majority of humanity, mutants have faced substantial discrimination and prejudice. Society fears what it doesn’t understand, and the mutants have been locked in a constant fight for justice and acceptance. Seeing this, Professor X created a school for mutant children—Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters—and started the X-Men. The team is meant to encourage peaceful co-existence between mutants and humans by forging mutants into defenders of humanity.

Over the years, many extremely powerful mutants enjoyed stints as X-Men. The mutants on this list are either Omega-level mutants or near-Omega-level mutants—mutants whose dominant power has no known limit. With all of these mutants being the most powerful of their respective type and ability, determining the most powerful among them comes down to which powers are most effective. For example, a power like reality manipulation far exceeds the power of weather manipulation. Here are the most formidable X-Men, ranked from least to most powerful.

15. Scott Summers (a.k.a. Cyclops)

Tye Sheridan as Cyclops in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
(20th Century Studios)

As you’ll learn throughout this article, the Summers family has produced many powerful mutants. Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, is one of the most recognizable members of the family due to being one of the founding members of the X-Men. Summers was an orphan when his mutant powers began to kick in, and he found refuge at Xavier’s school, soon becoming the leader of the X-Men under Xavier’s guidance.

In addition to being a leader and icon among mutants, Summers is also an Alpha-level mutant whose main power is the ability to project optic blasts from his eyes. His eye beams are extremely powerful, able to cut through mountains, Adamantium, and potentially even planets. Additionally, it’s believed Summers only uses a fraction of his abilities for control reasons; it’s unclear just how powerful his beams are. However, some particularly powerful foes, like the Hulk, have been able to resist the strength of his beams, making him quite vulnerable at times.

14. Hope Summers

Hope Summers in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Hope Summers is an Omega-level mutant with the ability to manipulate power itself. Summers is the adoptive daughter of Cable, who raised her in the future to protect her. Upon her homecoming to the present day, Summers joined the X-Men. After the mutant state of Krakoa was created, Summers became one of the Five—a group of five X-Men who used their combined powers to resurrect mutants who had been killed.

Summers’ power manipulation means that she can copy the powers of any nearby mutant. The mutant whose powers she copies, does not feel any adverse effect when she copies them. She also has the ability to regulate other mutants’ powers and bring them to an optimal level. Summers can also track mutants and activate their powers for them. While this certainly gives Summers a wide range of powers, it also gives a great deal of weakness. Her power mimicry is temporary, impacted by distance, and limited solely to mutants. Hence, if her time limit is up or no mutants are around at the moment, she becomes very vulnerable.

13. Robert Drake (a.k.a. Iceman)

X-Men's Iceman on the cover of 'Astonishing Iceman #1'
(Marvel Comics)

Robert Drake, a.k.a. Iceman, is an Omega-level mutant with the power of temperature manipulation. As a young boy, Drake was recruited to Xavier’s school and trained by Professor X. He became one of the founding members of the X-Men and served alongside some of the Earth’s mightiest heroes since he was just a boy. He has also been affiliated with X-Factor, Defenders, Champions, Marauders, and the Fantastic Four.

Iceman’s temperature manipulation powers give him the ability to lower both his internal and external body temperature to extreme levels. He can also manipulate and control ice, snow, and cold substances. This means Drake can transform water or moisture molecules into ice, thus allowing him to construct almost anything he desires out of ice. He can also turn himself into complete ice and reform after being shattered. Drake is very powerful, but when other mutants can manipulate metal, magnetism, energy, and reality, his ice isn’t much of a match.

12. Charlies Xavier (a.k.a. Professor X)

Patrick Stewart as Professor X in X-Men: The Last Stand
(20th Century Studios)

Professor X is the only mutant on this list who isn’t actually Omega-level. However, he still deserves a place as he is one of the most powerful telepaths—by far. Xavier attained his level of power through training and even found ways to significantly enhance his powers through Cerebra, a powerful A.I. that allows him to locate other mutants. He has one of the greatest minds in the Marvel universe and is among the most powerful telepaths in the world.

On his own, Professor X can project his thoughts into the minds of others within a 250-mile radius. With Cerebra, he can connect to every single mind on the planet. He can create telepathic illusions, link his mind to others, exert mind control, and engage in mind possession and alteration. While his telepathic powers are incredible, Xavier still lacks the raw power that Omega telepaths, such as Jean Grey, exhibit. He also doesn’t boast significant telekinetic powers, as most other telepaths do. Through relentless practice and enhancers, though, Xavier still manages to come very close in telepathic power to the Omegas.

11. Elizabeth Braddock (a.k.a. Psylocke)

Olivia Munn as Elizabeth Braddock in X-Men: Apocalypse
(20th Century Studios)

Elizabeth Braddock, a.k.a. Psylocke, is a very powerful Alpha-level mutant with psychic abilities. While her powers don’t compare to that of Xavier or Jean Grey, they are still very formidable and unique. Psylocke comes from a powerful family; her twin brother is Captain Britain, and her older brother is Omega-level mutant Jamie Braddock. While she did take on the mantle of Captain Britain several times, Psylocke also forged a legacy apart from her brothers by becoming a secret agent and later a devoted member of the X-Men.

Over the years, Psylocke has honed her telekinetic and telepathic abilities. One power she has that Xavier and Grey don’t is that of a psychic knife. She can channel the force of her psychic abilities to create psychic blades to plunge into the minds of others, sometimes with enough power to kill them. Psylocke is also known for constructing other tangible telekinetic weapons, including a katana, that can do quite a bit of damage. Considering how many unique and effective ways she has found to channel her psychic abilities, she appears very close to being an Omega-level mutant.

10. Ororo Munroe (a.k.a. Storm)

Storm From X-Men Red Vol 1 8
(Marvel Comics)

Ororo Munroe, a.k.a. Storm, is an Omega-level mutant with weather manipulation abilities. Storm can control all forms of weather and can manipulate Earth’s ecosystems, as well extra-terrestrial ecosystems. She can modify temperature, generate tornadoes or blizzards, manipulate atmospheric pressure, and has even demonstrated control over cosmic storms, oceans currents, and electromagnetic fields. However, Storm does have multiple weaknesses, including claustrophobia, emotional suppression, and sensitivity to nature.

Due to being buried in rubble when she was a child (after a plane crashed into her home and killed her parents), Storm has a very debilitating fear of closed spaces. While she works to conquer this fear, it can at times render her completely helpless. Meanwhile, Storm’s sensitivity to nature means she often refrains from using her powers in a way that goes against the natural order of things. Storm also fears the damage she can do if she loses control of her emotions, causing her to suppress certain feelings that might enhance her powers. In short, Storm often puts limits on her own powers that keep her from unleashing them to their fullest extent.

9. Erik Lehnsherr (a.k.a. Magneto)

Ian McKellan as Magneto
(20th Century Studios)

Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto, is an Omega-level mutant with the power to create and control magnetic fields. Magneto starts off as a villain who believes that mutants are superior to humans and should conquer the world. But his story arc evolves when it’s revealed that he is a Holocaust survivor, and developed his extreme views out of a desire to protect mutants from suffering a similar fate. Magneto has since become more of an anti-hero and has even been a member of the X-Men at times.

Magneto is extremely powerful, with his control over all forms of magnetism also giving him the power to control and manipulate all forms of metal. He can manipulate the electromagnetic field of an entire planet, form a nearly impenetrable magnetic force field around himself, destroy both metal and non-metal objects with electromagnetic pulses, manipulate matter, fly, and turn off gravity by reversing the polarity of earth’s magnetic field. In short, there is little Magneto can’t do. Still, his powers are limited to metal and magnetic manipulation. In the face of mutants who can control reality itself, his magnetic powers simply aren’t enough.

8. Anna Marie (a.k.a Rogue)

Anna Marie (a.k.a. Rogue) in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Anna Marie, a.k.a. Rogue, is a mutant with the ability to absorb the energy, powers, and memories of others with a single touch. When she first found Xavier, she had almost no control over her powers. She was also traumatized after putting the first boy she kissed in a coma. Later, she assumes the power and psyche of Ms. Marvel, but has a hard time separating herself from them.

Fortunately, Rogue learns to control her powers enough to reach Alpha-level classification. Her powers are difficult to measure, considering they expand greatly depending on whose energy she absorbs. Additionally, depending on how long she touches them, she can inherit their powers almost permanently, as in the case of Ms. Marvel. There’s also no limit to how many powers she can absorb. If she wanted, Rogue could take on the combined powers of all the X-Men or Avengers at once. It seems her lack of control and the necessity to achieve physical contact (which isn’t always easy) are the only things preventing her from being an Omega-level mutant.

7. David Haller (a.k.a. Legion)

Dan Stevens as David Haller in the FX series 'Legion,' based on the Marvel Comics title
(FX)

David Haller, a.k.a. Legion, is the estranged son of Professor X and an Omega-level mutant who was occasionally affiliated with the X-Men. What makes Legion an especially unique and powerful mutant is that he doesn’t boast just one power. Haller was a young boy when his home was attacked by terrorists and his stepfather killed before his eyes. The trauma was a catalyst for his mutant powers, causing Haller to incinerate the minds of the terrorists and accidentally absorb the mind of the terrorist leader. Haller was rendered catatonic for years and when he recovered, his psyche had been fractured into multiple personalities, each manifesting a different mutant superpower.

In other words, Legion can spontaneously create mutations with various powers and then create a persona to govern every new mutation he creates. According to Haller, there are 200 Omega-level personalities within him. His personalities have powers including telepathy, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, time manipulation, super strength, spirit absorption, postmortem power absorption, hypnotism, flight, and nearly every other power one can think of. Legion basically has unlimited abilities. At the same time, his personality disorder makes it harder for him to exert control over all his personalities and powers and to use them in conjunction with one another.

6. Nathan Summers (a.k.a. Cable)

Josh Brolin as Cable in Deadpool 2
(20th Century Studios)

Nathan Summers, a.k.a. Cable, is the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor, as well as the adoptive father of Hope Summers. His story is quite tragic, considering his birth was orchestrated by Mister Sinister and he was infected by a techno-organic virus that threatened to take over his body. As a result, Cable was sent into the dystopian future to save his own life. Since then, he has traveled back in forth between the two worlds as a hardened and militaristic soldier.

Cable is a near-Omega-level mutant with telekinetic and telepathic powers. For a long time, he wasn’t able to utilize the full range of his powers because he constantly had to use his telekinesis to keep his virus at bay. If his powers hadn’t been devoted to keeping himself alive, it is believed he could have been among the most powerful psionics in the Marvel universe. Despite the virus’s disadvantage, he still displays very powerful telepathy and telekinesis, boasting the ability to read the thoughts of others across dimensional barriers, telekinetically control several tons of matter, project psionic blasts, alter his size telekinetically, and even heal and regenerate himself and others.

5. Joshua Foley (a.k.a. Elixir)

Joshua Foley (a.k.a. Elixir) in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Joshua Foley, a.k.a. Elixir, is an Omega-level mutant with healing powers. He was initially part of an anti-mutant group before his powers manifested. After his mutant identity became known, Foley was rejected by his friends and family, leaving him no choice but to seek refuge at Xavier’s school. While there, he was involved in an incident that left him mortally wounded and required him to use his healing abilities on himself. Foley was able to heal himself but with the odd side effect of turning his skin the color of gold.

As Foley worked with the X-Men and New Mutants, it became apparent that his powers far exceeded that of just healing. His real power is biokinesis, the ability to control the biological structure of living organisms. He can heal multiple people at once without needing to physically touch them, and he can resurrect the dead. However, he can also use his powers to achieve the opposite effect. Foley has what’s called the “death touch” and can cause diseases and organ failure in his victims. Oftentimes, just a few seconds of touch is enough for him to kill someone. In one instance, Foley formed a tumor in the shape of the X-Men logo in the brain of one of his foes. Foley could theoretically use his powers to resurrect or kill millions, but his powers do require an incredible amount of energy, often leaving him exhausted or comatose after.

4. Quentin Quire (a.k.a. Kid Omega)

Kid Omega (Quentin Quire) in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Quentin Quire, a.k.a. Kid Omega, is an Omega-level telepath whose telepathic powers are second only to Jean Grey. Kid Omega was a student of the Xavier Institute, where he often debated the policies and beliefs of Professor X. He always had a rebel streak, once attacking Professor X and leading his fellow students on a riot against humans. However, Kid Omega did become an X-Man—albeit a reluctant one—and later joined the West Coast Avengers.

As an Omega-level mutant, Kid Omega can read and communicate with other minds across vast distances, utilize mind control, mentally manipulate others, mask his presence from detection, create illusions, make himself appear invisible, induce paralysis, create worlds within his mind, and utilize psionic weapons. He also has telekinesis skills on top of his telepathy, which give him such powers as flight and the ability to conjure force fields. It has been suggested that he will one day act as avatar of the Phoenix Force and come into his full powers. For now, though, mutants like Jean Grey boast considerably more power than Kid Omega.

3. Gabriel Summers (a.k.a. Vulcan)

Vulcan (Gabriel Summers) in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Gabriel Summers (a.k.a. Vulcan) is an Omega-level mutant with the power of energy manipulation. The younger brother of Cyclops and Havok, Summers has an interesting history, being an unborn baby when his family was abducted by the Shi’ar. His mother Katherine was killed and Summers was removed from her body as a fetus and placed in an incubator accelerator, which propelled him into adolescence. He was sent back to Earth with little memory of his origins and was discovered by Professor X. He became an X-Man, but after nearly dying and being expelled into space, Vulcan returned to Earth as one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies.

Vulcan’s power allows him to control, manipulate, and absorb extreme amounts of energy. The level of his power far surpasses his brother Havok, despite both of them having similar abilities. He can absorb just about any kind of energy and can emit energy in the form of heat, light, electricity, and force from his hands and eyes. Vulcan can also use his powers to fly, create constructs out of energy, detect energy, and temporarily suppress the powers of others. There are very few mutants who can top his ability to manipulate every form of energy as he sees fit.

2. Franklin Richards (a.k.a. Powerhouse)

Franklin and Valeria Richards in Fantastic Four Secret Invasion #3
(Marvel Comics)

Franklin Richards, a.k.a. Powerhouse, is the son of Reed and Sue Richards, and was once an Omega-level mutant with reality manipulation powers. Of course, Powerhouse’s status as an Omega-level mutant has become a bit iffy after it was revealed that he wasn’t a mutant after all. Instead, he used his reality manipulation to make it seem as though he had the X-gene. Still, if he was a mutant, Powerhouse’s reality manipulation powers would be greater than that of any other mutant. Also, he’s still a member of the X-Men, so that gives him a place on this list either way.

As his moniker implies, Powerhouse is easily one of the most powerful characters in the entire Marvel universe. Reality manipulation is one of the strongest skills one can have, and he has it to a much greater extent than others. He has created entire universes, restarted the multiverse, and can make nearly any thought in his head come to fruition. Even cosmic entities such as Galactus and Eternity have thought Powerhouse’s abilities to be comparable to their own. Sadly, Powerhouse lost his powers completely while restarting the multiverse. He may get them back, but for now, the fact that his powers can disappear keep him from being the most powerful mutant of all time.

1. Jean Grey (a.k.a. Marvel Girl)

Jean Grey in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Jean Grey, an Omega-level telepathic mutant and avatar of the Phoenix Force, is the most powerful X-Man. Even before she was merged with the Phoenix Force, Grey was an incredibly powerful mutant. Her powers were ignited when she was just a girl, after she experienced the trauma of watching her friend die. Grey linked her mind with that of her friend, nearly dying in the process before falling into a coma. Her parents took her to Charles Xavier, who helped Grey recover and mentally blocked her telepathic powers until she could control them. As a teenager, Grey was recruited by Professor X to join the X-Men, and she took on the moniker Marvel Girl.

As an Omega-level telepath, Grey is an immensely powerful telekinetic, empath, and psionic. Among her powers, she can read thoughts and project her own thoughts into the minds of others, as well as interact with and manipulate the minds of both humans and animals across a great distance. She can restore, destroy, or implant memories in others, cloak her presence, cloak other mutants to conceal their presence, and create telepathic illusions. Grey can also manifest her telekinesis as a psychic firebird, generate force fields, manipulate matter, and control and manipulate the feelings and emotions of others.

When acting as the avatar of the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force, Grey is the most powerful of all abstract entities, second only to the One-Above-All. With or without the Phoenix Force, there is virtually no limit to Grey’s power. Additionally, her unique combination of multiple abilities make her nearly unstoppable to even the most powerful of Omega-level mutants.

(featured image: Marvel)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.