These weapons are almost as famous as the characters holding them.
The X-Men are known for many things; outlandish outfits, super advanced technology, long drawn out soap opera-esque stories, red-heads possessed by world-destroying cosmic entities, and several varieties of giant, killer robots. What is often taken for granted are the character’s gear and weaponry. Sometimes it’s more panache than function, but quite often these items become synonymous with the characters that utilize them. To be considered for this list, the weapons have to be constructed of physical material, so Psylock’s psi-knife and Blink’s light-daggers don’t count. Here are the most devastating and famous pieces of weaponry in the X-Men comic franchise.
10. Shatterstar’s Double-Bladed Sword
There isn’t much to Shatterstar’s sword. There is no history that I’m aware of, but comic book fans and now moviegoers know who the savagely styled double-bladed weapon belongs to. It’s an unnecessarily flashy tool of devastation that Shatterstar brought over with him from the fighting pits of the Mojo Universe. Its design is very 90’s inspired, but so original, it’s easy to know what it is by just looking at its audaciously spiked hand guard. It’s been broken once or twice but seeing as it’s still faithfully at his side after all these years and at least one redesign- I think it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere soon.
9. Cable’s Psi-Mitar
By no means is this a very well-known piece of weaponry. Matter of fact, the only reason I put it above Shatterstar’s sword is that it was featured as his “rising uppercut” move in the legendary fighting game Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. Being utilized in that game gives it a level of familiarity among a certain demographic, that it has to be recognized. This weapon debuted in his solo series around the late ’90s. It was probably an effort to soften his gun-toting persona following the real-world Columbine tragedy, but it didn’t last long into the 00s. The Psi-Mitar originated in the distant future. A weapon of the Askani, its purpose was to help him focus his psionic abilities without allowing the techno-organic virus to advance, but it hasn’t been seen in recent years.
8. Dr. Nemesis’ Hypodermic Guns
Dr. Nemesis’ guns are probably the gimmickiest pieces on this list. They are a product of his genius, eccentricity, and experience as an actual doctor. In terms of personality, think Deadpool crossed with Forge. In his defense, he’s nearly 100 years old and has seen some of the ugliest sides of humanity. The guns are capable of firing needles that can penetrate armor and the thickest of hides. The needles deliver a wide range of drugs with a varying amount of effects including paralysis, truth serum, or even induce a coma. He started using them when he adopted his superhero persona, stalking evildoers by nightfall towards the middle of last century. He also wore a surgical mask. Told you he was eccentric. His lack of familiarity among non-comic book readers counts against him here.
7. Pixie’s Souldagger
Pixie’s supernatural blade (forged from her own soul) was accidentally created during a process that was ultimately meant to create a Soulsword similar to Magik’s own. Initiated by the Sorcerer Supreme herself, the process was interrupted and resulted in a dwarfed version of her own mystical weapon. Like Magik’s own, Pixie’s dagger disrupts supernatural powers and beings. It also can cause damage to non-supernatural beings. Not having nearly the same amount of control and experience as Magik, when Pixie uses her dagger, it draws out the darkness in her and can even change her physical appearance.
6. Deadpool’s Swords
Like Shatterstar’s double-bladed sword, there isn’t much to Deadpool’s pair of katanas outside of being well-suited to his needs and powers. Sword’s aren’t of much use to those who can’t get in on their targets without being filled with holes or incinerated. However, that’s not an issue for the ‘Merc with the Mouth’. He’s plenty fast, but he’s also been able to teleport, so in a way, he’s akin to Nightcrawler, who has also used swords in the past. But that’s not the best reason for his usage of the blades.
First thing, everyone knows he can regenerate from basically anything. So, having him bear down on a target wielding automatic guns isn’t much of a problem. The 2nd reason is something that’s only been talked about in the books. He loves using guns, but Wade isn’t the best shot in the world, despite what’s been shown in the movies. Deadpool might miss his target, but swords don’t run out of bullets. Besides, they fit his ninja-look very nicely.
5. Gambit’s Cards & Bo-Staff
You’re not going to find many illustrations of Gambit that don’t have one of or all three of the following; his trench coat, playing cards, and his bo-staff. These tools have become part of the character. So much so, the less educated believe that Gambit’s powers are throwing playing cards! But why does he use cards? Why not something else? Well, he has. In the much more brutal in nature Age of Apocalypse reality, Gambit carried thin metal razors. In the Age of X illusion, he charged bullets and deployed them by way of a specially-designed rifle.
So, back to the cards. Simply explained, Gambit’s powers allow him to release an object’s kinetic potential- often this results in an explosion. Gambit can also increase the objects force, much like a tornado can embed a blade of hay into hardened concrete. In essence, he’s carrying around decks of grenades that double as explosive blades. His staff is just darn useful for the way he fights. He’s only detonated the weapon on a couple of occasions, but he most often charges it enough to increase its kinetic output. This act gifts it the force of a wrecking ball and has put powerhouses the likes of his wife, Rogue, on their backside. It’s also collapsible and has hidden blades at the tips.
4. Magik’s Soulsword
Magik slashes her way onto this list through the same loophole that Pixie got in on. Like Pixie, Magik’s Soulsword, as the name may imply, is actually a piece of her own soul given form. It is both a spiritual weapon and a solid blade. The more often she wields it, the more powerful it becomes and changes, as it looks wildly different now than when it did after being forged in an eldritch energy pool. Like Pixie’s dagger, it’s most effective against magical and spiritual beings. However, it can still injure living beings and damage other objects as well as any giant sword, this side of Final Fantasy!
There is no shortage of Magik artwork available through any search engine, and you’d be hard press to find many of them without her holding some iteration of the saber. While it is her unique weapon, created from her life force, it can be used by others. Upon wielding the blade, any magic user will see their powers increased exponentially. Which was one of, if not the main reason Magik was taken into Limbo in the first place. She was always meant to be used as a weapon, but as fate would have it, with the help of her sword, she became it’s master and Sorcerer Supreme.
3. Archangel’s Wings
Less weaponry and more extensions of his person are the deadly wings of the Archangel, the former Horseman of Apocalypse, Death. After losing his wings following the Mutant Massacre, Warren Worthington III was ‘gifted’ a pair of technological units by the immortal mutant tyrant. In place of the feathers, Archangel was equipped with poisoned blades made of an unknown super-lightweight material. Warren has been seen capable of lobbing his blades (or flechettes) with shocking accuracy. He also appears capable of replacing them as fast as he can use them, which may suggest the presence of Nano-tech. But that’s just my theory.
No longer needing to flap his wings as he did prior to his transformation, I also assume his wings possess a form of anti-gravity technology that allows him to stay airborne and even hover. The upgrade also allows him to travel faster, and for much longer periods of time. The wings also serve double duty as he oft employs them for defense, as well as simply two large blades. He’s more than capable of slicing or decapitating while flying by a target or swinging his wings. His original wings may have originally sported the white, fluffy, angelic feathers, but the metal ones he utilizes in his deadlier Archangel form has far and away become more popular.
2. Cyclops’ Visor
Completely and famously linked to Scott ‘Cyclops’ Summers, is his ruby quartz visor. After taking a head injury as a child, Scott lost the ability to control his awesome mutant ability to project intense beams of concussive energy from his eyes. Short of closing them and living his life as a blind man, Scott must use ruby quartz to constantly keep his formidable powers in check. His visor has truly become part of his character. Traditionally, the visor is designed with a single slit in which he both sees out of and releases his powers from, thus the name Cyclops was born. Throughout his comic history, it’s taken a couple of different forms.
Sometimes it’s attached to his cowl, other times it’s a solid separate piece, ala Geordi La Forge. On more than one occasion, we’ve seen it in a completely different shape. As the Basilisk in the Age of X, it was less a visor and more of a mask that would split down the middle. In the Age of Apocalypse, Cyclops only had one eye, so his visor was configured into shades equipped with a single ruby quartz lens. Most recently, and infamously, after the death of Xavier (at his hands), he reshaped his visor into the form of an ‘X’ which was somehow integrated into his cowl. How this was done, is beyond my understanding of physics and fashion.
1. Wolverine’s Adamantium Claws
Despite its scarcity within the Marvel universe, the man-made alloy, adamantium, is a very well-known substance, especially among the super-types. Captain America’s shield at one point was even made of the metal but there is no application more famous than the three claws of Wolverine. Though his entire skeleton is coated with it, it’s his claws that get the most attention. By themselves, Wolverine’s claws are dense and already razor sharp, but it’s in their most known form, covered in adamantium, are they at their most deadly.
Backed by more than 200lbs of regenerating mutant muscle, they can cut through just about anything. The only substances on earth that seems to be able to stand up to it are carbonadium and vibranium, but the latter has more to do with how it dissipates kinetic energy, more than its tensile strength. Wolverine’s claws are so amazingly iconic, they even make other characters famous! Jimmy Hudson of the Ultimate Universe (though not adamantium), X-23 and Kitty of the Age of Apocalypse timeline (I believe she’s actually using the set that Wolverine lost in that world) all benefited from their existence.
There we have it. The most devastating and popular weapons in the X-Men franchise! Have a favorite? Something missing? Let us know!