Summer 2011, the summer of the superhero movie. Green Lantern, Captain America, Thor and, of course, X-Men: First Class. Since this new X-Men movie is a reboot of sorts, I’ve decided to look back at the history of the X-Men and find the lamest mutants ever to walk within the pages of X-Men comics. I have always had a love/hate relationship with the X-Men because it can be such a convoluted and unnecessarily confusing series. Part of that seems to be that the mutant power creative well has run a bit dry over the years, leaving us with some of the absolute lamest heroes and villains ever. I’ve managed to reduce it down to ten; I do hope you enjoy my list.
I figure why not get the party started by going right for an old school character. Let’s leave all our nostalgic feelings out of this and just examine the reality of Toad for a minute. First appearing in X-Men #4, Toad has a really long tongue and can jump really far. This is a mutant we should be afraid of? Part Gene Simmons, part gymnast? While I’m sure there are frustrated ladies out there that would roll their eyes back at the idea of a guy with a powerful tongue, Toad pretty much sucks.
Being true to the truth, Toad was created because Magneto needed a shitty henchmen we could all hate. This guy is like Renfield without the charm, a villain that could be defeated by a gaggle of schoolgirls who think toads are icky and happens to be carrying that giant science book home with them from school. I know he kicks it old school but for me, Toad is a big lump of nothing.
I would love to know exactly what narcotic the creators of this mutant were on. I want to see how hard these guys were laughing when they arrived on the idea of having a guy with two sentient worms in his stomach that burst out and eat through anything. Really? Really? That’s it? That’s his power? This punk doesn’t even control the worms; they just burst out when they get hungry. Could there be anything more useless? How does this help in a fight exactly?
If Wolverine is kicking the shit out of you and your worm buddies aren’t feeling it, then tough tits, you’re gonna get slapped around. Some say it’s cool he can eat his way out of any prison. Those people are stupid. Any hero worth his salt can break out of jail and they don’t have worms bursting out of them. Seriously guys, puff, puff, pass. You needed to finish this script before the drugs wore off.
Not only does this mutant have the stupidest name ever, but her powers are the biggest cop out you can imagine. When her or somebody around her has their lives threatened, she can manifest the power to deal with that situation? So, um, she’s good under pressure? That’s an ability? I was also never really sure how her Vegas Gold Skin thing was a reaction to something. I also love how she has zero control over her powers and hasn’t really used them to defend herself.
What’s next for the X-Men? I know, it’ll be Lender, the guy who indiscriminately lends money to people when danger strikes. Currently, Lifeguard (I still can’t deal with how shitty that name is) is stuck in her wings, gold and claws persona since, as we know, she can’t control her powers. All respect due to Chris Claremont, this is just stupid.
I really can’t remember the last time I thought of fireworks as a threat. I’ve never been one to see danger coming and reach for my bottle rockets or M80s. So the idea of a mutant whose power is to shoot off fireworks that disorient her attacker is right up there with the idea of being able to spoil milk at will or psychically remove the stuffing from teddy bears. 'Oh dear lord, Professor X! Magneto and the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants are attacking, we’d better bring it with the fake lightshow and show them who they’re messing with.' I also hate Jubilee’s whole mall crawling bitchy teenager persona. I want my mutants to KICK ASS, not bitch about boys and clothes and try to slap bad guys around with a power anybody can buy in Chinatown with a hundred bucks.
Here’s a character that can call upon his tattoos as powers to defeat bad guys. Um… ok. I’m not sure what bothers me more about this. It could be the weak premise or maybe the fact that he only has a few tattoos. If I was going to step out on the dance floor to twist with major bad guys and my defenses were my tattoos, I’d be one covered bitch. I’d also be covered in ink featuring lasers guns, nuclear missiles, fire, electricity and so on. Nope, this guy has a few that he can use in limited situations.
Now there’s a guy you want on your team. It’s like having a blind kid on your side for dodge ball or somebody with one leg on the kickball team. Ink should be absolutely covered, with no skin showing through. If ever a bitch needed a Yakuza suit it’s this one. I don’t know if this concept would ever have worked. Most tattooed tough guys I’ve ever seen would end up fighting their battles with barbed wire, the fighting Irish Notre Dame guy and a Tasmanian Devil. Nice try Marvel.
Ever wonder what would happen if comic book artists did enough drugs to teleport back in time to the disco era? Well, look no further than Dazzler, the human disco ball. Dazzler can turn sound into light. So how does that work exactly? Sound is around you all the time. Does that mean for every single second of her life Dazzler is creating blinding light. What fun that would be to have around the old Xavier campus huh?
I also hate the name. Dazzler? What is she, the latest dance craze at a gay disco (don’t get mad, think of it as the sequel to Madonna’s "Vogue")? Being able to sing and make light or make light out of sound or make things with Lite-Brite or whatever the hell she can do just comes off as goofy. Plus all Dazzler is good for is confusing villains. If you’re stupid enough to fall for the bright and shiny light thing, then its time to re-think your career.
When I first read Pixie I thought it was a joke. I thought I’d accidentally picked up Mad Magazine instead of X-Men. Pixie has pixie wings and can spray pixie dust.
I will repeat that.
Pixie has pixie wings and can spray pixie dust. MAGIC? MAGIC ISN’T A FUCKING MUTANT POWER!!! This character is so frustrating that it becomes hard to wrap your mind around it. Not only does this Ferngully reject look stupid, her pixie dust doesn’t work when she needs it to. A magical mutant who’s broken? That’s killer, let’s keep that, that’ll the be the shit. It’ll tap into all that magic the kids are all about today. If Professor X wants a magician in his mutant gang, why not get Doug Henning, at least he looked like a mutant. I can hear Doug trying to explain that “a bucket is a hole with sides in the world of illusion” as Sabretooth rips his head off. I hate Pixie. Pixie sucks.
The only thing worse than Lifeguard is her brother Slipstream. Slipstream can open a teleportation hole and then uses a surfboard to surf through it. Well I’m stumped. I can’t figure out why Marvel would write a character that blends the worst parts of the movies North Shore and Point Break. Surfing is a cool sport but as soon as you bring it into anything else it looks stupid. Hey Slipstream, wanna hang ten and totally wipeout that Sentinel bro? It’s also a complete lack of trying on the part of X-Men creators.
Why not have it be a unicyclist? Hey, this guy can use a pogo stick, let’s have him pogo stick through time and space. Once Slipstream surfs in, what does he do? Does he surf back out again and confuse the bad guy? I would have respect if, during his surfing through time and space, Slipstream had to do battle with the Moby Dick Of Space. For that to be funny, go look up The Moby Dick Of Space.
I know. Blasphemy.
Don’t care. Fuck Gambit.
He can control kinetic energy and so he does it through playing cards and a bo-staff. Awesome, he’s like a combination between Kenny Roger’s "The Gambler" and some nerdy kid way too into ninja movies. Oh right, he also has hypnotic charm and that neat-o southern drawl. So we have a redneck womanizer that walks around with a staff and throws cards at bad guys.
This is another one of those filler mutants, one whose powers sound good on paper but really mean nothing. Gambit has kinetic energy, yeah, yeah, that’s it, he controls kinetic energy. Kinetic Energy is the energy an object has while it’s in motion. So how does this guy throw cards filled with kinetic energy before they start moving? It’s like the Marvel guys all watched the same episode of Mr. Wizard’s World and thought it’d be awesome to work “kinetic energy” into somebody’s power.
Cypher can read any language. Pause and think about that for a second. He can read any language. That is his power. His power is that. Are you fucking kidding me? That’s a skill, it isn’t a power. Language is something you take in college, not something you use to combat deadly evil mutants. What’s next for Marvel? Oh my God it’s the deadly combination of Psych 101 and Intro To Lit!!! Cypher can’t fight, he isn’t strong, nothing shoots from him nor can he control anything. He can translate languages.
If you’re failing Spanish, Cypher’s your guy. If you have trouble communicating during your vacation, Cypher is the JAM. When it comes to combat, turn to somebody else, somebody who can actually do something. This is, hands down, the stupidest mutant power ever. Sure, Cypher helped communicate with Warlock, be he had no business being on the team.
Well there you have it, my list of the ten lamest mutants ever. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it.