Jonathan Hickman is one of comicdom’s most prolific creators. Whether fans agree on his methods or not, his ability to world build and turn seemingly inert characters into huge plot points cannot be denied.
Since his arrival into the X-Men franchise, he’s followed his M.O. and made X-Men characters we hadn’t seen used in years (some due to being dead) important parts of his story. It’s probably wise to know at least a little bit about these lesser-known individuals as they receive more and more panel time. Here are 10 minor X-Men characters that have been transformed into major players for the franchise going forward!
10. Sebastian Shaw
The Black King of the Hellfire Club was always sort of big deal. I mean, when writers would remember he existed. He debuted alongside the rest of the original Hellfire members for the Dark Phoenix Saga back in the early to mid-’80s.
He was one of the puppeteers manipulating the Phoenix causing it to go bat#$#% crazy and eventually eat a star, which resulted in the deaths of millions or billions of innocents. Due to his use in the animated series as well as being part of the live-action film “X-Men: First Class,” he’s hardly unknown to the masses.
Since his Dark Phoenix days, Shaw has only been sparingly used as a foil, but never a major component in any big X-Men stories. He’s most commonly utilized as someone behind the scenes but rarely got too involved.
However, he does have a son named Shinobi Shaw, who has powers similar to Kitty Pryde, though he can harden his body as well as phase it. Since House of X/ Powers of X, Shaw, at the request of Xavier and Magneto, became a member of the Quiet Council as part of the “Spring” table.
9. The Gorgon
The name may be confusing as there is already an Inhuman using the same. While it would have been interesting to see the Krakoa ally with their cousin species, The Gorgon is very much a mutant.
Chances are, you’ve never heard of him. That is unless you’re well-versed in Wolverine lore, which most aren’t. The Gorgon or Tomi Shishido is a member of Logan’s rogues’ gallery with the ability to petrify people with a stare.
Not scare people, literally turn them into stone. He also has a host of other abilities like telepathy, super strength, durability, and speed thanks to magic.
Currently, as a citizen of Krakoa, the Gorgon has been made one of its four captains. What that means exactly hasn’t been spelled out, but the fact that he’s among Bishop, Magik, and Cyclops, should say something.
From the moment of her inception in the mind of Tom Taylor, Trinary had been mostly over-hyped canon-fodder. She wasn’t trained to be a hero and had no prior experience in anything outside of searching Facebook it seemed.
Her mutant power to psionically hijack computer systems came in handy during X-Men: Red, but after that series, she was bound for limbo-land.
Enter Jonathan Hickman and all that changed in House of X #4. She, along with several other tech-type mutants and telepaths, were able to use their powers to establish and maintain a connection to the strike team sent to dispatch the Mother Mold located at the Orchis facility, the Forge.
In Excalibur #1, she seems to be functioning as the adjutant to a member of the Quiet Council, Apocalypse. Which means we’ll probably be seeing more of her for the foreseeable future.
7. Omega Sentinel
Karima Shapandar is one of those seesaw characters that have bounced from one end of the spectrum to the other on several occasions. Without her knowledge and against her will, Karima was one of the unfortunate innocents that were made into a Prime Sentinel during Operation: Zero Tolerance.
Her origin is also wrapped up in former X-Man Neal Shaara aka Thunderbird, though before he became a full-fledged hero. Karima eventually encountered Xavier and Magneto who was able to rid her of programming but was unable to reverse the changes to her body.
She’d go onto become an X-Man herself, taking part in at least two different teams. She did this even after having her Sentinel technology deactivated, but has also been manipulated into joining Sinister’s Marauders.
At some point following the “All-New Marvel” era, Karima’s tech came back online and took over. She’s set-up to be a prime figure in humanity’s battle against mutantkind as far into the future as 100 years! In the present-day Karima seems to be guiding mankind towards the goal of Homo Novissima as a high-ranking member of Orchis.
After the end of Bendis’ Uncanny X-Men, there seemed to be little chance we’d ever see most of what he put to paper during his run mentioned, much less used again. He wrote two books in the franchise and authored two or three mini-events, but it all came off pretty hollow. Nothing that occurred during his run made a difference. That is until the House of X.
Not one, but two of his creations are now very important.
Though surrounded by cannon-fodder characters like Triage, Xerox, and Goldballs, Tempus (Eva Bell) always stood out as his most impressive. She also received the most individual development.
Like her classmates at Cyclops’ institute, she discovered her powers late into her teens. The Aussie was able to create time bubbles that could accelerate and slow down time to a halt. As a member of Krakoa’s ‘Five’, she’s been seen using that ability to help mature the cloned bodies of fallen mutants to repopulate the earth with its rightful inheritors.
Who would have thought a Bendis creation would have been dusted off and utilized in such a high-profile way? Fabio ‘Goldballs’ Medina was one of the first mutants to appear on earth following the X-gene’s reawakening after Avengers Vs. X-Men. He was recruited to Cyclops’ X-Men faction alongside several other mutants that had recently discovered their powers.
Fabio’s powers were silly, but caused enough trouble to get him in trouble with the police and attracted the attention of the X-Men.
Originally, Fabio’s mutant ability was simply to project gold balls from his body at high speeds. They were bouncy yet still attached themselves to people and things. During House of X, it was discovered that these balls were, in fact, nonviable eggs. Xavier and company developed the means to turn those non-viable eggs into fertile ones with the help of the rest of the ‘Five.’
Fabio has gone from hardcore comic relief to being a major component in mutantkind’s ambitions to replenish their population.
The classic member of the Brotherhood of Mutants has never been much of a spotlight seeker, but her impact on the X-Men franchise can’t be ignored either. Destiny’s been dead in the books for more than 30-years but has managed to not just create the plot for first volume of X-Treme X-Men but put Moira on the path which led to the happenings in House of X and Powers of X.
When her foster-daughter, Rogue, stumbled upon the existence of her future-telling dairies, she and a group of X-Men set out to find them, kicking off a considerable Chris Claremont comic run.
Years later… or years prior, depending on how you look at it- Destiny came into contact with Moira during one of her past lives. There, Moira was actively trying to eradicate the X-gene. Destiny, with assistance from Pyro, dissuaded her from such activities and inspired her to reach for nobler aspirations.
Destiny also informed Moira that she didn’t have all eternity, but only about 10-11 tries before she’d meet a permanent death. She’s also such a big security risk, Xavier, Magneto, and Moira have banned her resurrection.
The only superhero that’s been made fun of more than Cypher, is Aquaman. Cypher can decipher and speak any language, and Aquaman talks to sea-life. While Arthur can also breathe water and has a measure of super strength and durability- Cypher can only speak and decipher languages.
Some writers have come along and attempted to make him cooler by adding in the ability to mimic body language, thus insta-learn things like martial arts, but Doug’s never been too impressive.
That isn’t the case any longer. Cypher isn’t just a key member of the Quiet Council, he’s the only means of communication the mutants have with their living nation, Krakoa. He’s the nation’s chief communications officer, created their new native language, and also helps monitor their network of gateways.
Without Cypher’s service, the mutant-nation wouldn’t be able to sustain itself. Cypher instructs Krakoa to grow their miracle drugs for trade, food, shelters, and to create new portals, especially those used as evacuation points for their various missions.
2. Krakoa, the Living Island
From 1975 until around 2011 the only thing Krakoa was known for was being a plot device. From the beginning, it was known as a semi-sentient landmass responsible for abducting and sapping the life force out of the original team of X-Men, plus Havok and Polaris, until Cyclops was rescued by Moira’s team, and the rest after Xavier gathered his 2nd class of students.
Over the years parts of it have emerged, both as a friend and foe. It wasn’t until House of X and Powers of X did Krakoa finally realize it’s true potential as a home for all mutant kind
Another tidbit was the revelation that Krakoa itself is a mutant, which is why it’s willing to let ‘his kind’ live upon the various pieces of it. Krakoa isn’t limited to one landmass, but two large pieces- one located in the Pacific, not far from Australia, the other in the Atlantic. Outside of those are smaller habitats located in places across the planet as well as the Moon and Mars. Connecting all sites is a system of portals grown by Krakoa. Without having to say, Krakoa is now one of the most important resources of the mutant nation. Krakoa is even a member of the Quiet Council.
1. Moira MacTaggert
The importance of one Moira Kinrose MacTaggert cannot be overstated. That’s funny because before House of X and Powers of X she was no more than a minor background character that would pop up every few years to help solve a problem or move a plot along. She was also very much dead. So, there’s that.
Since the retcon of her timely passing being explained away using Shi’Ar technology to pull a switch-a-roo, Moira in the present day has become one of the most important figures in the X-Men comic franchise.
Her newly revealed mutant ability to reincarnate herself upon death has allowed her to live the same life more than 9 times! Each time she’s reborn, it’s with full knowledge of her past life. Since realizing this, she’s made multiple attempts at creating a world where her kind (mutants) can prosper. Her most recent attempt was depicted over the last summer and has led to the world we’re exploring today. The impact of this retcon hasn’t just affected her character, but also those of Xavier, Magneto, Mister Sinister, and even Apocalypse!
Which character do you believe has gained the most clout in the past couple of months? Let us know below!