X-Men are one of the most famous groups of superheroes in Marvel Comics. We saw multiple different adaptations from comics all over media like movies, television, and video games. It is not uncommon for the general public to recognize these comic book characters since they’ve been part of every single media for decades. Most famous comic book mutants have infiltrated the very popular culture we know today. However, there are always the ones more popular than others and that’s why we at Fiction Horizon decided to rank our 10 most popular X-Men.
Most of the time, Mystique finds herself on the opposite side of the X-Men group. However, dangerous situations and saving the world made her team up with her fellow mutants in X-Men multiple times in the comics. One of the most compelling characters in comics history, Mystique is truly unique. Her storyline in comics and struggle with whom she is makes the reader really sympathetic towards her, and that ties closely to her powers of transformation.
What the creators did really cleverly is making her question her identity every time she transforms into another being. Her identity, sexual orientation, and the rest make fans speculate about her nonstop. Mystique was portrayed multiple times in live-action media – by Rebecca Romjin in the first X-Men trilogy that was running from 2000 to 2006 and by Jennifer Lawrence from 2011 to 2019. Her character still lives on and hopefully, we see the MCU version soon.
Kurt Wagner is one of the most popular X-Men ever. His unique ability to teleport and superhuman agility makes him a great opponent versus his foes. Nightcrawler is also a Catholic, and while that fact was not depicted that much in earlier comics, in recent years his faith is showed regularly in comics. As his name suggests, he is also German.
Besides X-Men, Kurt has been affiliated with other groups as well – Excalibur and Quiet Council of Krakoa. We saw him in multiple media adaptations – from X-Men movies in the 2000s to cartoons (one of the best cartoons of all time 1990s X-Men animated series) and video games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance. He is also Mystique’s son, which makes him even more interesting. Unfortunately, that fact wasn’t explored very much in the movies but hopefully, we see some of that more in future MCU projects.
This X-Men brawler is a pretty known character. Like the previous entry on this list, Nightcrawler, Colossus appeared in multiple different fictional media. He is a Russian mutant who transforms himself into a metallic form, making him the strongest on the team. Even when he is not in the metallic form, he is still very imposing – 6 ft 7 (200 cm) in height. He has been one of the most consistent X-Men mutants in comics. Moreover, we saw him in multiple other media like television, video games, and movies.
The most famous cameo is definitely the CGI one in Deadpool movies with Ryan Reynolds, where he was portrayed by Stefan Kapičić, who gave him the voiceover. Colossus is definitely one of the most popular X-Men since he has been part of the multiple lists by IGN and others, where he ended up pretty high. There is a huge possibility we see Colossus in other MCU projects since the rights over the X-Men franchise was acquired by Disney and that fact alone, gives us fans a great joy.
Gambit or Remy Etienne LeBeau is fairly a new mutant superhero on this list but he definitely earned his number 7 spot. Since his first appearance in The Uncanny X-Men in 1990, Gambit has been one of the coolest X-Men ever. His combat includes card throwing, hand-to-hand combat, and exceptional use of bō staff. Also, Gambit has the ability to mentally create, control, and manipulate pure kinetic energy which makes him a really hard opponent.
His story is really interesting and makes the X-Men fans really sympathetic towards him since he had a tough childhood and when he joined, only a few people really trusted him. In the comics, he always got a title of a “good looking ladies men” which eventually made ComicsAlliance rank him fourth on the “50 Sexiest Male Characters in Comics” list. However, in recent years he has shown a more vulnerable nature and he especially showed it when he married his X-Men colleague Rouge. We only saw him in X-Men: Origins, a live-action movie from 2009. All in all, we cannot wait for Gambit to get to MCU.
Scott Summers is one of the most iconic superheroes in Marvel Comics. He has been part of the X-Men from the very beginning and had many amazing moments in comic books. If compared to other superheroes of that era, Cyclops was a total opposite since he was portrayed as the archetypical character in American popular culture. For example, his teammate Logan was supposed to be a tough, rugged anti-hero that emerged in comics around the Vietnam War.
His relationship with Jean Grey has been told multiple times during comic book runs and is probably one of the most famous ones in Marvel Comics history. He is also the father of another famous X-Man, Nathan Summers known as Cable, who he got with a villain in the X-Men comics Madelyne Pryor. He was also involved with Emma Frost, another famous X-Men character. Cyclops had multiple cameos in live-action – portrayed by James Marsden in X-Men movies in the 2000s and by Tye Sheridan in X-Men: Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix and had a small cameo in Deadpool 2.
5. Jean Grey/Phoenix
Another OG X-Man, Jean Grey has been one of the most consistent Marvel characters ever. She was born with telepathic and telekinetic powers that got triggered when she saw her friend get hit by a car. She is a kind and caring woman but has to deal with being an Omega-level mutant, the one that has the most powerful genetic potential of their mutant abilities. She also has to deal with her physical manifestation of the cosmic Phoenix Force that made her turn into Phoenix multiple times in the comics.
Jean Grey is the character that probably has the most deaths in the comics, however, she always gets revived, one way or another. When she is in the Phoenix form, she is immortal, which makes her one of the most powerful beings in Marvel comics. She has been part of the love triangle between Wolverine and Cyclops, who she marries in the comics. We saw her in multiple live-action movies, video games, and cartoons, and those facts alone make her one of the most popular X-Men.
4. Profesor Xavier
“Father of X-Men” Charles Xavier is a comic book icon. He is a powerful telepath, who can read and control the minds of others. He runs a private school in the X-Mansion in Salem Center, located in Westchester County in New York, which is a shelter for young mutants from all over the world. His efforts to establish coexistence and equality between mutants and humans are frowned upon by his once close friend and nemesis Magneto, who has a more extreme idea of how mutants should live in the men’s world.
He is a pacifist, and that fact alone makes him a target to other mutants. Professor X was always popular in the comics but after Sir Patrick Stewart portrayed him in 2000s X-Men movies, Charles Xavier became a cultural icon. Besides him being in the X-Men movies, Patrick Stewart came back to portray an alternate version of Professor X one more time in Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness, and people lost their minds. For a very good reason. James McAvoy also portrayed Xavier in the “second batch” of X-Men movies and he did an amazing job. Hopefully, we see more of him in future MCU projects.
One of the biggest anti-heroes/occasional supervillains in Marvel comics is definitely Max Eisenhardt aka Magneto. As mentioned before, a close friend of Professor X, a leader of X-Men but their different philosophies can cause a rift in their friendship. He is not a pacifist like his friend – he wants to go more aggressively against the government to achieve civil rights for mutants. He is also a father to multiple mutants including the Maximoff twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, with whom he has a shaky history.
Portrayed by Ian McKellen and later by Michael Fassbender, Magneto’s character got even more popular with the general public. Magneto has Magnetism manipulation and genius intellect, which makes him one of the most powerful beings in Marvel comics. Like Jean Grey, he’s an Omega-mutant, whose powers reached the highest potential. To make a better case for Magneto on this list, he was ranked by IGN as the Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
With Jean Grey, every female fan’s favorite character and an idol. Storm aka Ororo Munroe is probably one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time. She was the first black female superhero in the comics, and that fact alone makes her really special. Her ability to manipulate the weather (in every meaning of that word) with other abilities like flight and expert tactician and a thief, makes her exceptionally powerful and unique in Marvel Universe.
Storm is another Omega-mutant character who reached her highest potential. In 2000s X-Men movies, she was portrayed by Halle Berry who made her even more popular, with Alexandra Shipp portraying her younger version in recent X-Men live-action movies. Storm is a popular culture icon and that is why she deserves to be near the top of this list. One more fact about Storm – at one point she was married to Black Panther in the comics.
At the top of the list needs to be Logan aka Wolverine. He is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical abilities, and a powerful regenerative ability known as a healing factor with retractable claws in each hand. He was the original antihero of the Marvel Universe – his broody, complicated and pessimistic behavior made him one of the most iconic characters of all time. He is so popular that multiple comic best-of lists are ranking him top 10 all-time comic book characters.
Of course, we are not delusional to put him anywhere else. He has been in every single fictional media – from video games to television and movies. Hugh Jackman made Wolverine even more popular with the general public, his portrayal of Logan is praised and respected by media outlets and fans. Wolverine is truly a popular culture icon.