For these X-Men, their brains are bigger than their brawn.
Since their inception, the X-Men have always been one of Marvel’s most formidable teams in combat, but that’s not always due to their physical strength. More than any other action team out there, the X-Men are innovators. So they don’t always need to resort to punching their way out of tight spots. They employ some of the best and brightest minds in the Marvel Universe! Many of their members boasting multiple degrees, and Ph.D.s. I suppose that makes sense seeing as they operate out of a school! Here’s a list of the top-10 smartest, non-AI-based X-Men of all time.
10. Kitty Pryde
The current leader of the X-Men wasn’t gifted with a genetic disposition for acquiring and using knowledge. However, she has shown a talent for assimilating knowledge at a rapid pace. At a young age, with tutelage under Wolverine, she became a ninja of impressive aptitude. After years of X-Men training, Kitty has demonstrated a key tactical mind and the ability to adapt to the direst of situations. She’s also an expert in computer science, which is ironic as she often uses her powers to cripple most forms of technology.
Douglas ‘Cypher’ Ramsey’s mutant ability is the only thing that gets him on this list. The New Mutants’ ability allows him to interpret, speak and/or decipher any written, spoken, visible, or audible language. For Cypher, computer code and music notes are nothing more than syntax. He can even read body language to the point of mimicking and predicting the attack patterns of people around him. Basically, Cypher can master any form of communication and make it his own in seconds. He can just about figure out anything given time, but if he’s deprived of information, he’s no more intelligent than the next X-Man.
8. Monet (M)
Unlike most of this list, M will not hesitate to let those around her know she’s the smartest person in the room. Like Cypher, her intelligence is a part of her mutant ability. For all intents and purposes, Monet is the epitome of ‘superhuman.’ She’s super strong, agile, durable, has increased reflexes and senses, can fly, has limited psionic abilities and yes… she has super intelligence. Monet’s biggest drawback is her own arrogance. While she may sometimes be the smartest person in the room, she rarely offers more information than what is currently necessary. So, innovation and technological advancement aren’t high on her list of priorities.
Cable is a genius mostly due to circumstance. In a way, he’s no more intelligent than anyone else from his time. But look at it this way, if you drop a Navy Seal from 2018 into the year 1850, they’d probably be one of the smartest people in the world too. Cable has shown to be capable of advanced mechanical engineering including creating, maintaining, and repairing time-travel equipment, his techno-organic body parts, and an arsenal of both hyper-advanced and conventional weaponry. Cable is also an expert tactician, and an accomplished archaeologist, thanks to his intensive study of Apocalypse. He even singlehandedly manned and maintained the massive space-time ship, Grey Malkin.
One of the most innovative mutant minds to ever exist, Magneto has often used his mighty intellect to subjugate or instill fear in his foes. The might of the Master of Magnetism isn’t his powers, but the mind behind it. His powers wouldn’t be half as devastating if he wasn’t so darn clever. He’s more than well-versed in genetics having gone as far as creating mutates during his time in the Savage Land. In terms of technology, Magneto has had a hand in developing and improving upon much of the devices the X-Men use every day including Cerebro. Probably his greatest feats are both Asteroid-M and Avalon (formerly Cable’s Grey Malkin), orbital fortresses he developed to house mutants.
Not just the founder of the X-Men, but he’s also an accomplished geneticist, engineer, and fabricator. Xavier was raised privileged and received the best in education, and training from top educators. His schooling continued as he attended Oxford. Before he began training some of the best superheroes in history, Xavier was a professor in genetics and became the foremost authority in it in terms of mutants and the X-Gene.
At a very young age, Xavier earned several Ph.D.s including, but not limited to; psychology, physics, and of course, genetics. Other than his mountain of scholastic achievements, Xavier is directly responsible for the design and creation of the Danger Room, Cerebro, and even the original X-Jet as well as much of the equipment the X-Men originally utilized including their uniforms, and devices such as Cyclops’ ruby quartz visor. Whether Xavier’s incredible mental abilities had anything to do with his accomplishments is unknown, but it is unlikely.
The wielder of several psionic abilities, Sage is most well-known (in the comics as well as the Fox TV show ‘The Gifted’) for her computer-like mind. Much like a CPU, her mind functions similarly to a hard drive enabling her the ability to recall, cross-examine, and analyze just about anything. With unlimited data storage, she’s capable of completely recreating events in her mind like a film. The intense concentration and access to higher brain function also grant Sage total control over her body and a measure of photographic reflex, similar to that of Taskmaster. In short, she can copy just about any physical movement she observes. Sage can even go as far as manipulating her own cardiovascular system.
During her stint with Rogue’s team in the X-Treme X-Men book, Sage served as the team’s over-watch and even developed eye-wear that allowed the entire team to stay linked in battle. It also gave them access to some of her analytical abilities as she could see what they were seeing simultaneously. She even remotely hacked into outside computer systems. Sage is also a tremendous multi-tasker able to conduct all the above, all at once.
3. Doctor Nemesis
From this point on in the list, we’ll be highlighting those characters that can literally create day-saving or world-ending inventions out of junk! James Bradley, aka Doctor Nemesis, is much older than he appears. A mutant with a super-intellect who was born in 1906, Nemesis created a serum that has granted him an extended lifespan and allowed him to stay in peak physical condition. While living in New York City in the 30s, he took up being a physician and eventually began fighting crime wearing a surgical mask, thus where the name ‘Doctor Nemesis’ originated. He armed himself with a gun that fired hypodermic needles, a weapon of his own design.
During his long life, he has been involved in the creation of the original Human Torch android and worked under the Third Reich (a choice he came to regret). Many of his technological and biological achievements are a result of his experimenting on his own body. Other than increasing his lifespan, Nemesis also rebuilt his eyes enabling several ocular abilities including telescopic, microscopic, and x-ray vision. Through genetic manipulation, he’s granted himself increased immune and healing abilities, and molecular manipulation which allows him to augment his size among other feats. As a member of the X-Club, he has also had his hands in developing a means of time travel, as well as attempting to restore the X-Gene following the events of M-Day.
Tony Stark is one the best engineers in the Marvel Universe. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that could really keep pace with him on 616 Earth. Unless that is, you’re going to bring up the X-Man, Forge. Another mutant gifted with an advanced intellect, Forge can literally create anything he wants that is technologically-based given the barest of necessities. A Native American by birth, Forge was trained and raised in mysticism and spirituality. While most of his inventions are based in tech, he’s been known to use his experience with the supernatural to combat threats that are beyond the realm of corporeal understanding.
As a young man, Forge joined the Army. While fighting in Vietnam, Forge lost his right hand and right leg. Even in the days before the widespread use of advanced technology such as microchips, Forge replaced both limbs with cybernetic pieces. Since then he’s developed devices for time travel, global-scale power dampening technology, and redesigned/ augmented both the Blackbird and the Danger Room. Over the years he developed several pieces of life-saving devices for the X-Men such as Surge’s gauntlets that enable her to control her powers and a power regulator for Strong Guy. On more than one occasion, he’s even experimented with Sentinel technology to have it protect mutant life, rather than threaten it. Forge is only held back by his mental health and his imagination.
When fans think ‘smartest X-Man’ most minds will immediately be drawn to Henry ‘Hank’ McKoy, better known as the Beast. Unlike most of the higher ranked X-Men on this list, his intelligence isn’t a result of his mutation. His animalistic appearance is in stark contrast to his towering intellect. Since the inception of the X-Men, he’s been both the brains and the brawn of the group. Like Xavier, he’s as much of a geneticist and biochemist as he is a mechanical engineer and fabricator. However, it is true, one of his biggest blunders came by way of trying to suppress his furry appearance. It resulted in the big blue ball of fury we’re all accustomed to.
He’s often the most intelligent person in any group he’s part of, and that’s without having his brain being fueled by the X-Gene. While he didn’t invent the Danger Room or Blackbird, he was directly involved with integrating the hyper-advanced Shi’ar technology into them. When the X-Men reopened the school in Westchester, Beast installed components of the Danger Room into the mansion itself, turning it into a 24/7 obstacle course.
Each and every time the Blackbird has been destroyed, it was Hank who was responsible to piece it back together, and always better than it was. Like the other members of the top-3, he’s pieced together time travel devices, most famously to rip the Original five X-Men from the past. On more than one occasion he’s made it possible for the X-Men to enter space and return, performed complex surgery, and developed weaponry for use in the field. All this out of the comfort of his private lab!
There you have it, the 10 smartest X-Men in all of Marveldom. What do you think? Let us know!