15 X-Men Super Mutants: Who Will Be The Destroyer, Who Will Be The Savior?

X-Men’s power levels can be tricky. Here are the 15 most powerful mutants in X-Men movies and whether they lived up to the characters’ true potential.

A split image of Deadpool flanked by Magneto and Storm in various X-Men movies

The X-Men movies brought some of Marvel’s most powerful mutants from the comic book pages to the screen. For more than 20 years, the X-Men had their own movie franchise at Fox. Starting with X-Men (2000), Marvel’s mutants were at the center of 13 films. Fox’s X-Men movie universe includes seven actual X-Men movies, three Wolverine films, two Deadpool movies, and The New Mutants.

For this list, only what was shown in the movies will be considered. The X-Men comics have their own power levels and ranking system, yet those were not fully translated to the big screen. For example, neither Storm nor Emma Frost was ever as powerful in the films as they are in the comics. With that established, here are the 15 most powerful mutants in X-Men movies.

15. Colossus

Living Steel

Colossus looking down at Wade Wilson in Deadpool

There are two versions of Colossus in Fox’s X-Men movies. The first one, played by Daniel Cudmore, was part of the original X-Men trilogy. The second one, played by Stefan Kapicic, was part of the Deadpool movies. Deadpool’s Colossus was more comic-accurate in terms of just how big the character was.

That said, X-Men: The Last Stand also highlighted how powerful Colossus can be. Peter was able to throw out Wolverine’s Adamantium body as if it were a tennis ball. Colossus was never given time to shine in the X-Men movies. However, his scenes in both X-Men 3 and the Deadpool films make it so that Colossus joins the list of strongest X-Men.

14. Pyro

The Power Of Fire

Pyro Plays with Fire in X2: X-Men United (2003)

Pyro’s powers are quite straightforward, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. John Allerdyce has the power to manipulate fire, turning any flame into a devastating weapon. Given his fall from a student of Xavier to a member of Magento’s Brotherhood of Mutants, Pyro isn’t afraid to explore the extent to which his pyrotechnics can cause harm.

However, Pyro does have one notable drawback – despite complete control over manipulating fire, he can’t create it. As such, he’s forced to either carry a lighter or wear a flame-producing device. This doesn’t cause him notable trouble in the movies, but the potential is there for him to be effectively depowered if restrained without access to flames.

13. Mystique

A Master Of Espionage

Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique pointing a plastic gun at someone in X-Men: Days of Future Past

Although Mystique doesn’t have the raw strengths of many other mutants in the X-Men franchise, her incredible mutation makes her an unparalleled addition to whichever group she allies with. Though her default physical appearance in both the original X-Men trilogy and the prequel series sees her with blue skin, red-orange hair, and scale-like texturing covering her body, she has the uncanny ability to perfectly mimic anyone’s appearance. This makes her a master at espionage and manipulation.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique was firmly on the heroic side and didn’t use her shape-shifting to the same effect as Rebecca Romijn’s, whose allegiance with Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants saw her operate much more firmly in moral shades of gray. Appearing as known political figures to further her own agenda is a great example of how her powers can bestow significant influence. Of course, her weakness is the lack of increased physical durability – once her cover is blown, she can find herself in significant danger.

12. Iceman

Only Briefly Reached His Potential

Bobby Drake as Iceman in X-Men The Last Stand

Bobby Drake was part of the original X-Men trilogy and later returned in X-Men: Days of Future Past. While Bobby is part of the X-Men’s first class in the comics, Iceman was a supporting character in X-Men (2000). Bobby was given a bigger role in X-Men 2 (2002), yet he barely used his powers in the film. In X-Men 3Iceman finally showcased the extent of his powers. Bobby was able to defeat Pyro, who was already one of the strongest mutants during X-Men 2, after achieving his Ice form. It took three films, but Iceman finally got to use most of his comic book powers.

Even so, one key Iceman power was lacking from X-Men 3. It was only in X-Men: Days of Future Past that audiences finally got to see Bobby Drake surfing an ice bridge. Days of Future Past takes place in 2023, more than a decade after X-Men 3. If Bobby Drake was already powerful enough to defeat Pyro in 2007, his power level in 2023 must have been quite impressive. Iceman dies early in Days of Future Past, but he surely belongs in the list of the most powerful X-Men characters.

11. Storm

Weaker Than The Comics, But Still Powerful

Storm with lightning in her eyes in 2000's X-Men

The X-Men movies left a lot to be desired when it comes to Storm’s powers. Neither the original X-Men trilogy nor the X-Men: First Class timeline showcased how powerful Ororo, an Omega-level mutant in the comics, really is. In the X-Men films, Storm’s powers were limited to throwing lightning bolts and summoning wind. Not even Storm’s flying abilities were accurately adapted. Still, in terms of the X-Men movie universe, Storm was one of the most powerful and experienced mutants. In the original X-Men timeline, Halle Berry’s Ororo was part of Charles Xavier’s first class of students and eventually replaced Professor X as the head of the school.

Perhaps the two X-Men films that came closer to showing how powerful Storm should be were Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. In Days of Future PastStorm managed to take down a few Sentinels just by summoning lightning bolts. In Apocalypse, Alexandra Shipp’s Ororo was recruited by Apocalypse to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. With enhanced powers, Storm took on the X-Men despite not having any battle training.

10. Wolverine

Nearly Unstoppable

 Wolverine standing in the snow in X2: X-Men United

As the face of the X-Men franchise, from the original trilogy to the prequels and solo films, Wolverine got to show his strength a lot in the X-Men movies. Logan was front and center in at least four X-Men movies, not to mention the three solo Wolverine films. Wolverine’s set of powers is not that impressive compared to other mutants.

However, the combination of Logan’s mutant healing factor and the Adamantium skeleton make Wolverine one of the deadliest X-Men characters. Throughout nine movies, Wolverine fought Sabertooth, Mystique, Magneto, Sentinels, and countless unnamed mutants. Only a Wolverine clone, X-24, could kill Wolverine, and that’s because Logan lost his healing factor.

9. Magneto

The Master Of Magnetism

Michael Fassbender As Magneto holding arms out in X-Men Days of Future Past

Between Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender, Magneto appeared in eight X-Men films. Like Wolverine, Magneto had more than enough screen time to showcase the full extent of his powers. Seeing Erik Lehnsherr stop a bullet right as it was about to hit someone in X-Men (2000) quickly established how powerful the villain was.

Magneto’s mutant abilities meant that he could turn anything into a weapon. Moments like Magneto lifting the San Francisco bridge or raising a stadium as if they were nothing exemplify why Erik Lehnsherr was one of the strongest X-Men movie characters. In-universe, Magneto was widely considered the most dangerous mutant on the planet.

8. Jason Stryker

Power Without Raw Strength

Jason Stryker With Ice Particles On His Face Wearing A Hospital Gown In X2: X-Men United

Jason Stryker, William Stryker’s son, had a small but significant role in X-Men 2. William Stryker, who hated mutants and wanted to weaponize them, used his own son as the ultimate weapon against mutants. In this particular iteration of Jason Stryker, the character had telepathic abilities similar to those of Professor X.

Stryker’s psychic skills were powerful enough for him to trick Charles Xavier himself. Any mutant who can outmatch Professor X in a telephonic battle belongs in the list of the most powerful X-Men movie characters. The combination of Jason Stryker and Professor X’s powers almost killed billions of people across the globe.

7. Professor X

An Unparalleled Telepath

Patrick Stewart as Professor X Freezes Time in the X2 X-Men United Museum Scene

The X-Men movies showcased how dangerously powerful Professor X is. Both Patrick Stewart’s Xavier and James McAvoy’s Xavier always seemed to be holding off their powers simply because Professor X could shape the world at his will if he wanted to. For example, Charles could have killed Magneto in X-Men (2000) by controlling Sabertooth but chose not to.

In Apocalypse, Charles faced Apocalypse in a mind battle and survived. In Logan (2017), audiences learn that Professor X, who had developed dementia, accidentally killed most of the X-Men. Despite the tragedy behind Logan’s Xavier story, the film confirmed Professor X as one of the most powerful beings in the X-Men universe.

6. Leech

The Ability To Turn Off Other Mutant Power

Kitty Pryde helps Leech out from containment in X-Men The Last Stand

X-Men 3’s story was based on the “Mutant Cure,” a drug designed to suppress the X-gene. The Mutant Cure was created out of the blood of Jimmy, the mutant known as Leech. Leech’s powers had nothing to do with battles, yet Jimmy belongs in the list of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men franchise.

Any mutant, no matter how strong they are, would simply lose their powers just by getting close to Leech. For example, Kitty Pride could not phase through the walls when Leech was close to her. In practical terms, no mutant would get to defeat Leech in combat, simply because they would not have their powers. Leech’s live-action appearance was brief, but the character has also appeared recently in animated form in X-Men: ’97.

5. Apocalypse

Vague But Strong Powers

apocalypse stands triumphant as magneto destroys auschwitz in x-men apocalypse

Apocalypse, the first known mutant in Fox’s X-Men universe, made his live-action debut in X-Men: Apocalypse. The Days of Future Past sequel preferred to give Oscar Isaac a practical suit rather than making Apocalyse a CG character. While the practical Apocalypse costume had its advantages, it limited what the film could do with the villain. In his final form, Apocalyse should be a giant, all-powerful entity, something that X-Men: Apocalyse didn’t nail. Even still, Apocalypse was by far the strongest opponent the X-Men had faced up until that point, considering both the original trilogy and the First Class timeline.

Not even Magneto and Charles Xavier, the two pillars of the X-Men universe, were a match for Apocalypse. For En Sabah Nur, every other mutant born after him was necessarily weaker. In addition to Apocalype’s basic set of skills, the ancient mutant could enhance the abilities of other mutants. Apocalypse upgraded Magneto, Psylocke, Storm, and Angel, creating his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After multiple X-Men films in which Magneto and Xavier appeared to be unbeatable, Apocalypse changed the X-Men universe’s power scale.

4. Jean Grey

Telekinetic Powers And A Dangerous Upgrade

Famke Janssen as Jean Grey holding her hand out to use her telekinetic powers in X-Men

In X-MenApocalypse, Jean Grey was the one to defeat the villain. That moment alone is enough to rank Jean as the most powerful X-Men movie character. It is important to distinguish Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey from Sophie Turner’s, as their power levels were slightly different. It is also important to separate Jean Grey from the Phoenix, even though the most powerful version of Jean Grey in the X-Men films had the Phoenix Force attached to her. Lastly, it must be noticed that X-Men: Apocalypse hinted at Jean Grey being connected to the Phoenix Force, although she only encountered that entity years later in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

While X-Men 3 was loosely based on the Phoenix Saga, the film did not incorporate the Phoenix Force. Instead, Jean Grey lost control of her powers due to them being repressed for decades by Charles Xavier. X-Men 3’s Jean Grey was telepathically more powerful than Xavier and could reduce hundreds of people to dust in the blink of an eye. Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey did something similar in Dark Phoenix. However, in all of Jean Grey’s X-Men movie appearances, the battle against Apocalypse was her most impressive feat.

3. Deadpool

Virtually Unkillable

Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Deadpool and Colossus in 2016's Deadpool

Wade Wilson doesn’t appear in any of the mainline X-Men movies, but his self-titled movies are part of the same universe and contain some cheeky crossovers. Though Deadpool possesses incredible combat abilities with his favored weapons – pistols and katanas – neither is the result of his mutation. Instead, like Wolverine, Deadpool has an incredibly healing factor.

In Deadpool and Deadpool 2Wade Wilson is shown to be all but unkillable. Not only does he survive being shot, stabbed, and smashed, but he even tries to end his life intentionally by laying on barrels of gasoline and blowing them up. His body is blown to pieces, but he still fully recovers, growing a new body from his decapitated head.

2. Quicksilver

Too Strong To Always Be At Full Power

Evan Peters as Quicksilver looking satisfied while surrounded by confused X-Men in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Quicksilver is the only character to appear simultaneously in Fox’s X-Men movies and the MCU, though he’s significantly stronger in the former franchise. Much like DC’s The Flash, Quicksilver is capable of moving so incredibly quickly that time seems to stand still around him. However, this obviously creates narrative problems when one hero should presumably be able to take out almost any threat before they even realize he’s there.

Quicksilver does get one scene to flex the true potential of his powers in each movie, but beyond that, he’s toned down a bit to maintain stakes for the X-Men. Moreover, Quicksilver is held back from being completely overpowered by not having incredible super strength to match his speed. However, he’s still one of the most powerful X-Men without question.

1. Rogue

Unlimited Potential

Rogue smiling softly in X-Men

Given that Rogue can drain the powers of any mutant and use them herself by making skin-to-skin contact, she matches the upper potential of any mutant in the X-Men franchise. Being a hero, and given that her abilities can cause significant harm to the target, she doesn’t quite reach her full potential in the movies. However, Rogue remains a formidable mutant in her later film appearances.

In Marvel Comics and in several popular media interpretations (like the wonderful X-Men ’97), Rogue is shown with the ability to fly and possesses incredible super strength after absorbing the power of Captain Marvel. This wasn’t included in the Fox franchise, but even simply having the ability to de-power strong foes makes her a significant force. Perhaps her eventual inclusion in the MCU’s X-Men reboot will make her even stronger.

All X-Men movies are available to stream on Disney+.

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