One of the franchises that kicked off the superhero movie trend was X-Men with the first movie released in 2000. After that, a series of X-Men movies came into being. The movies brought to life characters from X-Men comics, created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, published first in September 1963. Even though all the X-Men from the comic books were not brought to live action, many left an everlasting impression on all of us. So today, I rank the top 10 most powerful X-Men characters we have seen in live-action. So without any further delay, let’s dive right into it!
Bobby Drake, also known as Iceman, is one of those mutants whose powers are pretty much self-explanatory. He has the power to control ice and snow at will. He can make ice structures appear from thin air.
He has used his powers in live-action movies to temporarily immobilize enemies by trapping them in an ice enclosure, to create shields of ice as a mode of defense, and also to create multiple clones of himself using ice, making him a valuable defensive measure for the X-Men in combat.
However, his powers can be easily overpowered using high temperatures, making him slightly (yes, a smidge) inefficient in combat.
Throughout time, there have been several versions of Colossus appearing in the X-Men movies and Deadpool movies. Colossus (or Piotr Nikolayevich Rasputin) is a mutant who can turn his skin into solid metal. Colossus has a reputation for being the “Goody-two-shoes” of the X-Men, which we can see in the Deadpool movies. Even though Colossus is generally invincible in front of small firearms, what about high-powered ones?
When it comes to hand-to-hand combat, Colossus has always bought time for the X-Men in tight situations but having a body that can practically be melted or electrocuted, makes him vulnerable to a lot of things a twisted villain could be capable of doing.
One thing I will forever hold against Marvel is their representation of Quicksilver in Age of Ultron. The first time we got to see Quicksilver on screen was in X-Men: Days of Future Past and the jolly speedster became an instant fan favorite. He then made an appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse where we got to see his legendary feat of rescuing the whole Xaviers school along with the X-Men.
Quicksilver’s powers make him an unstoppable force against any enemy. However, even though he is extremely fast, we saw him fall weak against Apocalypse who was essentially a super-mutant. The speedster’s only drawback is that even though he is incredibly fast if someone somehow manages to hurt his legs, he can’t heal fast as well as The Flash does, which can prove to be lethal to both him and his team if they are stuck in a tight spot.
Nightcrawler is easily one of the coolest X-Men characters out there. Kurt Wagner or Nightcrawler has the unique ability to teleport to any place he can see. Other than this power, he is armed with a demonic tail and fangs. Nightcrawler has played a crucial role in a lot of missions X-Men have been on. He has often helped other mutants escape from threatening situations.
However, the live-action version of Nightcrawler was somewhat nerfed compared to the OG 2000’s version of X-Men. In later X-Men movies, he had little to no combat skills whatsoever. This is a huge life-threatening disadvantage if he is somewhere he cannot escape from.
As far as I think, Mystique was one of those characters who had a lot of potential but the live-action adaptation of X-Men did a slight injustice to the complexity of the character. Mystique is a mutant who has the unique ability to take the shape and form of any person she wants to along with every aspect of that person, including their voice and mannerisms. Other than that, Mystique is a lethal combatant equipped with training in multiple martial arts forms.
However, a great part of her abilities relies completely on stealth because she does not have any powers to protect her from being killed, except for her extraordinary combat skills. Mystique is one of those X-Men characters who fell victim to plot holes in the X-Men universe and its unnecessarily complex timeline, at least according to me.
Arguably one of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men universe is Cyclopse. Scott Summers or Cyclops is one of the original X-Men with the badass power of shooting high power beams of laser from his eyes. His power makes him a formidable force in a combat situation enabling him to take down multiple enemies with one sweep of his laser vision.
The only problem with the live-action version of Cyclops is the gradual decline of his screen time with every X-Men movie. I do not know about you, but James Marsden was the best Cyclops and deserved a better fate in the X-Men universe.
We know that the most loved mutant in the whole X-Men franchise is none other than Wolverine. Hugh Jackman’s adaptation of X-Men became a living legend dubbing Jackman to be born to play Wolverine. However, his standalone movies cannot be said to be the best but his role as Wolverine became an instant hit overnight.
There is no denying the fact that Wolverine is one of the most powerful X-Men characters and as long as Hugh Jackman is playing him, he will live on to be one of the best live-action superhero adaptations.
3. Professor X
Professor X or Professor Charles Xavier is the man behind the concept of X-Men. Charles Xavier is a powerful telepath whose full extent of powers is not incorporated in the mutant universe yet. However, in the live-action universe, we see him as the leader of the X-Men and the one responsible for grooming mutants to be good citizens in his “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.”
Charles Xavier can connect to any mind in the world using “Cerebro,” a machine invented by the Beast to enhance Professor X’s powers. However, Professor X’s biggest drawback is his disability. He is paralyzed from the waist down, giving him his signature look with a wheelchair we are all familiar with.
One of the few mutants who can evade Professor X’s telepathy is Magneto. One of the best hero-villain dynamics that I have ever witnessed on screen is that of Professor X and Magneto. Even though they are sworn enemies, they have a certain degree of mutual respect between them.
Magneto can kill Professor X anytime he wants using his powers, he doesn’t do it or let any of his followers do it. Magneto’s powers allow him to quite literally alter Earth’s magnetic field making him one of the strongest beings on the planet.
1. Jean Grey (Dark Phoenix)
There is no denying the fact that Jean Grey is easily the most powerful X-Men character out there. The extent of her powers is still unknown and no one knows how far it can go. If her powers alone were not enough, she accidentally got merged with the Dark Phoenix force, turning her evil for a short time and granting her the powers to quite literally reshape the whole planet on her will.
She is a psychic and is way more powerful than Professor X. She is also the one who killed him when she was possessed by the Dark Phoenix force. As far as we know, Jean Grey is dead in the current X-Men universe but since MCU is most probably reviving the X-Men franchise, who knows we get to see her once again?