As great a position as the X-Men are in today following Jonathan Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X, there have been a few instances where they’ve behaved… not quite like themselves.
Nightcrawler, the Catholic campaigning for the immediate propagation of the mutant race; Wolverine seemingly agreeing to share Jean with Cyclops – in ways not yet disclosed; Cyclops willingly taking a team on a suicide mission; Professor X allowing Emma to mind-screw diplomats- just to name a few.
Though distracting and disappointing, it’s not the first era in which the X-Men have acted outside of their parameters. Without proper editorial oversight, writers have increasingly used characters under their control in ways that have made hardcore fans ask ‘what the @#$%?’.
Here are the top 10-times X-Men have acted outside of their established parameters in recent history.
10. Rogue and Magneto
After a chance encounter between Magneto and Rogue – following the X-Men’s journey through the Siege Perilous – the most impactful instance between them came during the Age of Apocalypse where we saw them married and leading the X-Men in an alternate reality. They even had a child together.
Years later, back in the real world, their relationship degenerated from respect to what should have turned into disdain, at least from Rogue’s side. After several amicable encounters in the ’90s, Magneto had committed several grisly crimes including ripping the metal from Wolverine’s body and also attempted to execute her lover, Gambit, just as a distraction.
There was also that little incident of him recording Rogue as she lost her virginity. Even with all this being common knowledge, after the Age of X – where Rogue and the rest of the X-Men were psionically manipulated by Legion – Rogue allowed herself to reason away sleeping with Magneto and enter into a longer than necessary relationship with him.
9. Kitty Pryde Shirks Her Responsibilities
Since her return to Earth following her confinement within the body of a giant planet-killing bullet, the good people from the X-Men office have consistently pushed Kitty Pryde to the forefront. When Wolverine took half of the X-Men with him back to Salem Center, he chose Kitty to operate as his co-headmaster of the school he opened.
After Avengers Vs. X-Men, she took it upon herself to personally teach and train the time-displaced original 5 X-Men which had been stranded in the present by Beast. When they broke ties with the school and joined Cyclops and Emma’s group, Kitty left with them to continue guiding them.
During the Black Cauldron arc – which saw X-Men return to space – Kitty met and fell for Star-Lord, the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Choosing to follow her heart, she abandoned her responsibilities to her students and the X-Men. To add insult to injury; the star-crossed relationship didn’t even work out.
8. Gambit, The Bumbling Low-Level Thief
In Gerry Duggan’s Uncanny Avengers, Rogue caught Gambit ripping off an art gallery alongside a no-name character that I can only compare to the McDonald’s mascot, the Hamburgler. Rogue exacerbated the disgraceful display by purposely tripping an alarm and left him behind.
Charles Soule didn’t do Gambit any favors in his run on Astonishing X-Men either. In his story, Lebeau is shown not just failing to quietly infiltrate the Louvre, but needing the help of Fantomex – of all people – to do it. Though it was never expounded upon further, Gambit was left financially indebted to the man. It didn’t make any sense seeing how rich and influential the Cajun is supposed to be by this point.
7. Beast’s Fall From Sanity
As part of the story Schism that saw the X-Men essentially split down the middle – half stayed with Cyclops on Utopia, while the rest followed Wolverine back to Westchester to open the Jean Grey School – Beast became one of the most outspoken against Cyclops. By the time Avengers Vs. X-Men arrived, Hank was in full revolt against his life-long friend.
Wanting to show Cyclops the error in his ways, Beast– one of the most intelligent and clever X-Men ever – thought it’d be a good idea to tamper with time. He ripped the younger versions of himself and the other four original X-Men from the past and brought them to the present.
The logic behind the action was less than inspired. He wanted the young X-Men to have a chat with Cyclops or at worst see themselves in the future and make different choices. Well, that could alter the future in unknown ways- and it did. Beast’s actions resulted in a dystopian future and led to the Battle of the Atom where twisted future versions of the X-Men traveled to the present.
6. Storm the Inept Leader of the X-Men
As a result of a battle between Black Bolt and Thanos, two clouds of Terrigen mist were created after the floating city of Attilan detonated. Though Terrigen had been harmless to mutants in the past, it was now deadly. The clouds began to freely roam the plane poisoning anyone with an X-Gene on contact while creating new Inhumans.
What was Storm’s genius response? Relocating the entirety of the X-Mansion – and any willing member of the remaining mutant population – to Limbo. Yeah, she decided to make a realm that was perpetually aflame the new home address for a large wooden structure filled with children.
Mind you, Limbo is lorded over by one of her X-Men – Magic – but it’s also populated by ravenous demonic-types. Before the end of the arc, she unsuccessfully attempted to broker a truce with the Inhumans – which were protecting the clouds – however, it resulted in an all-out war that could have been averted by ‘just asking for help’?
5. Wolverine Chooses the Avengers over the X-Men
In Avengers Vs. X-Men the Phoenix Force was making a beeline for Earth with Hope Summers in its crosshairs. Cyclops – intimately acquainted with the cosmic force – believed it was coming to help the mutant race by reawakening the X-Gene. The Avengers believed otherwise.
The most popular X-Man ever was currently working double-duty spending half his time or more at the Avengers mansion. Wolverine had a choice to make. And he chose to take the side of the World’s Mightiest over his own – all of which had taken up with Cyclops.
He did not just take the side of mutant kinds enemies; he participated in a raid of their island nation Utopia. For someone that split the X-Men down the center with the idea of protecting them from Cyclops, he betrayed the X-Men, possibly just to spite him.
4. Jean Grey and Child Endangerment
Jean dies a lot. At least 3 times by my count. As the name she’s often called – Phoenix – Jean again was restored to life in 2018 by the cosmic force. Almost immediately she began laying the groundwork for the mutants of Earth to gain a homeland of their own. Or something like that.
That wasn’t the weirder part of the story. I mean, it was still weird, but there were some other things to be more concerned about. Such as the team she assembled to help. I use the term ‘team’ loosely as it was more like a small army boasting the better part of a dozen members.
Gambit, Storm, Nightcrawler and even X-23 made sense. However, seeing Jean also allow children in Honey Badger and Gentle to take part in a fight against Cassandra Nova was… odd. While those two at least had some training behind them, it doesn’t explain why she then let Trinary tag along, even after taking a bullet.
3. Cable is Bested by a Teen Version of Himself?
As part of the X-Men story Extermination a younger version of Cable traveled back in time to perform several tasks; send the original X-Men back to the past, resurrect his father (Cyclops), and finally, kill his older self for allowing it all to go wrong.
It would have been a fitting story if he’d attempted and failed, but seeing Cable lose to kid – even himself as a kid – didn’t make much sense. Nor the fact that his younger self thought it was a good idea, or that anyone would accept it.
2. Rogue Murders a Teammate
The death of Professor Xavier following Avengers vs. X-Men affected each X-Man differently but it impacted no one more than Rogue. Everyone’s favorite flying brick essentially left the X-Men and joined the Avengers “Unity Squad” led by fellow X-Man, Havok. Being an Avenger is supposed to be an honor, but it seemed to twist her in an unforeseen way.
Her first spiral into madness came while interacting with her teammate Scarlet Witch. She blamed Wanda for creating the issue that led to Xavier’s death, thus she never trusted her. During a fight against the Apocalypse Twins, Rogue – believing Wanda was about to cast another spell – absorbed a portion of Wolverine’s powers and then ran Wanda through with claws.
1. Bishop Goes Off the Deep End
When Messiah Complex began and we saw Bishop turn into a bogey-man out to murder an infant girl- it was jarring. Over a couple of dozen issues, Bishop would go to dire straits attacking his friends, allying with Stryfe, and murdering a world’s worth of people – all in the hopes that he’d be able to put Cable and young Hope Summers in the ground.
He’d be given a small measure of reprieve when it was revealed that his sudden and drastic change was due to the presence of the Demon Bear. In Uncanny X-Force teammates, Psylocke and Storm would help exercise the evil from him, but the damage was already been done to his character.
Well, what did you think about the list? Which act was the most out of character to you? Let us know below!