Being a mutant may be enough for the spookiest time of the year, however, in honor of Halloween we’ve compiled a list of some truly frightening characters. Here’s the kicker; they’re all X-Men!
Over the years our heroes have been transformed into some of Marvel’s most fearsome beings. Often unwitting victims of circumstance, they typically take the affliction with class. Other times, not so much. Despite their challenges, they always come out of the experience intact. Without further ado, here’s our list of the 10 most monstrous X-Men transformations!
10. Gambit Becomes Death
There was this dark era after the departure of Grant Morrison where it appeared the X-Men had, for the most part, run out of ideas. A key indicator of this was Gambit forgetting everything he learned as an X-Man and voluntarily allowed himself to be turned into one of Apocalypse’s horseman. Not just any horseman, either. Death.
Despite having firsthand experience with two of his teammates going through the process, Gambit strangely believed he could beat the reprogramming and either spy on Apocalypse or even kill him. He was wrong.
Apocalypse’s Celestial machine didn’t just transform his body, but transplanted a whole new persona in his mind. As Death, Gambit’s skin was pitch black, and his hair turned into a stark-white mane. Along with his charging abilities, he also transmuted air into poison gas.
During a trip to Limbo, though his horseman powers were suppressed, Gambit’s Death persona and powers emerged and were amplified by the realm. Gambit was able to mystically transfer his horseman status onto some of his present teammates like an infection.
Gambit no longer shows any signs of his Death transformation or powers, something he thanks Mister Sinister for achieving.
9. Jubilee Vampire
Sometime after Jubilee lost her powers following House of M and Scarlet Witch’s “No more mutants” spell, Jubilee was infected by a vampire virus. While spending time in San Francisco she was caught within range of a vampire suicide bomber. The explosion carried with it the vampire-virus which successfully infected anyone in the area, including Jubilee. Though she was brought back to the X-Men, she still eventually transformed into a vampire.
As a vampire Jubilee was as ferocious and terrifying as any other blood-sucker in the Marvel Universe. Not to mention, sexual, which was new territory for the often light-hearted character.
They discovered Wolverine’s blood was able to counter-act the more volatile aspects of her nature, so she’d regularly dine on her one-time mentor. Fully transformed, Jubilee gained the abilities of a vampire; superhuman speed, strength, durability, and regeneration. Later, she studied under a group of vampires and learned to manage her need for blood and to even withstand sunlight.
At the end of Generation-X, Jubilee is restored to life and regained her mutant powers thanks to Quinten Quire and his remaining portion of the Phoenix Force.
During the X-Men story The Twelve, Apocalypse gathered together 12 mutants that when used as conduits would endow him with enough power to… well, do whatever he wanted to do at the time. He also planned to transfer himself into a form that would be able to withstand the power. That being the body of Nate Grey (X-Man). The X-Men were able to stop Apocalypse from becoming all-powerful, but at a cost. Cyclops sacrificed himself, saving Nate mid-transfer.
Instead of inhabiting Nate, Apocalypse merged with Cyclops resulting in a revolting amalgamation of the two men. It wouldn’t last long as Jean and his son Cable were eventually able to separate them and save Cyclops. However, the experience forever left Cyclops changed. The emotionally detached X-Men leader would go onto committing several questionable acts including having an affair with Emma Frost and playing a large part in the schism of the X-Men years later.
In less than one year, the X-Men have been through more drama than they have since the entirety of time following the end of Avengers Vs. X-Men. During Uncanny X-Men: Disassembled, X-Man attempted to bend the entire planet to his will. Even if that meant he had to plow through his former family and friends, the X-Men. Also standing in his way was Legion, arguably equally as powerful, but much crazier.
During a bout, Legion successfully entrapped X-Man within a pocket universe he created inside his mind. X-Man eventually broke free but instead of departing Legion’s mind, he merged with it and his body. What arose was a god-like mixture of the two nearly omnipotent mutants.
Possibly the most iconic, lasting and impactful transformation in X-Men history, is Warren Worthington becoming the Archangel. Worthington, a rich, handsome, playboy-type gifted with the wings of an angel was robbed of his most defining characteristic during the Mutant Massacre by Mister Sinister’s group of hitmen, the Marauders. Later, Apocalypse abducted Warren during a failed murder plot by Cameron Hodge. After offering to restore his wings in return for servitude, Apocalypse subjected Warren to his horsemen transformation process.
In the end, Warren is viciously violent, has augmented physical attributes, blue skin, and bio-mechanical wings which were far superior to his former pair in terms of speed and strength. They were also razor-sharp and could project metal flechette-like daggers laced with poison.
Angel regained his humanity but the death persona and transformation dog him to this day having resurfaced as recently as Uncanny X-Men: Disassembled. Even after the destruction of the Celestial death seed, Archangel remains a problem for the X-Men if left unchecked.
After witnessing the mauling of Wolverine at the hands of his longtime friend and enemy, Xavier reduced Magneto’s mind to nearly nothing. The brutal act left a scar in the Professor’s mind. The blemish grew into its consciousness that would come to call itself Onslaught. A being of pure psionic energy, Onslaught was essentially Xavier’s powers under the control of Magneto’s rage. Without Xavier’s knowledge, Onslaught would lash out from the depths of his subconscious, setting the world up for his eventual birth.
As time passed it grew out of Xavier’s body and into the material world using Xavier’s body as a host. Onslaught would go on to also abduct and adopt the powers of both Nate Grey and Franklin Richards. Even after the two and Xavier himself are removed from Onslaught, the entity would go onto being responsible for the deaths of dozens of heroes, including most of the Avengers. By story’s end, it took the combined efforts of all the X-Men to defeat it, but it still resulted in Professor Xavier being jailed and the creation of Operation: Zero Tolerance which gave rise to, Bastion, as well to Prime and Omega Sentinels.
4. Dark Phoenix
Jean Grey’s descent into darkness was a slow burn that took literal years to complete (though it turned out not to be Jean, at all.). When it did, what was left wasn’t the sweet, caring, Marvel Girl readers had come to love since the inception of the X-Men franchise.
After saving the entire universe from the ambitions of a mad space-emperor, the Phoenix would be seduced to darkness. The Hellfire Club hoping to use Jean as a weapon, exposed the Phoenix to the darker half of the human emotional spectrum.
It’d go onto ravage a sun in a nearby solar system which resulted in a supernova that destroyed an inhabited world. The Dark Phoenix would eventually take its own life, but the dark side of the Phoenix survived. Later it went on to inhabit and twist others such as Jean’s husband, Cyclops, and their daughter Rachel, to a degree. However, Rachel was able to manage the cosmic being better than anyone before or after her time with it.
3. The Unstoppable Colossus
If nothing else, Colossus is predictable. If there is an opportunity to put himself upon the altar of sacrifice, you can rest assured that he’ll readily hurl himself upon the nearest slab. The first time came with his willingness to inject himself with the Legacy Virus cure, knowing it would mean his death. The second-time arrived when the Juggernaut took on the power of Kuurth, vacating his title and powers. He became even stronger than he was prior, and abandoned his servitude to the god, Cyttorak.
Colossus, desperate to defend his friends from the new threat, made a pact with the shunned deity and became the new Juggernaut. The added strength boost gave him the upper hand against Marko, but it also made him Cyttorak’s new servant of chaos. With the powers came a drastic change in attitude. Colossus was cold and much more violent. When in full use of the Cyttorak powers, Colossus would sprout a shell-like armor and grow spikes along his arms. He’d eventually be freed of the burden by his sister, Illyanna.
Illyanna Rasputin’s story is interwoven with the aspects of both the mortal and mystical worlds. She’s seemingly spent as much time surrounded by demons as she has mutants. Before she contracted the Legacy Virus and died, Illyana was spirited away to Limbo. There, she was equally tortured and trained in both light and dark magics. One of the demons responsible for her predicament used a portion of her severed soul and resurrected her.
Sadly, the portion of her remaining soul was tainted. What returned was purely demonic, but vastly more powerful than she’d been. Magik came to dominate Limbo and became known as the Darkchylde. Even after reclaiming her humanity, Illyanna would fall to darkness if she left her guard down, especially while in Limbo. Recently, in Uncanny X-Men: Disassembled, Magik’s human side died and left her demon side to take over completely.
1. Feral Wolverine
At the end of Fatal Attractions, Wolverine was barely clinging to life. Magneto, in a fit of rage, had used his magnetic mutant powers to rip the adamantium off of Logan’s skeleton. He survived, barely. Other than being robbed of his indestructible bones, the ordeal also left his healing factor compromised. Sometime later, the villain Genesis attempted to restore Wolverine’s adamantium, but the process failed and left him in an even worse state.
Wolverine devolved into what can only be described as feral. Barely able to string a sentence together (well, less than normal), Logan was more animal than man. He drooled, grunted, growled, and barked. Wolverine even sort of lost his nose and walked about all hunched-over. He remained in this state until Apocalypse intervened. The tyrant restored Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton but also turned him into the horseman of Death. The process seemed to cure Wolverine of his de-evolution.