A long time ago the X-Men universe used to have a lot of rules on how mutants worked. Chief among them was when they got their powers. Typically, mutant abilities wouldn’t catalyze until after or around puberty. That is unless they were Morlocks – which is a term that holds zero weight now seeing as 60% of the mutants on Krakoa look like inanimate objects and zoo animals.

However, other than our subterranean friends, puberty’s not always the case. Sometimes mutant powers emerge in “normal” looking mutants early in life – from birth or after to some sort of traumatic life experience. Today, we’re going to talk about 10 mutants that developed their mutant powers sooner than they were supposed to.

1. Polaris

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Suffering a traumatic situation is one of the more popular ways mutants discover their powers. The one true daughter of Magneto is no stranger to this. During a heated argument between her parents (her mother and the man presumed to be her father), Lorna’s powers uncontrollably lashed out for the first time ripping everything metallic around her to shreds – it also turned her hair green.

Unluckily, at the time the three were airborne inside their family’s plane. The plane crashed, killing both adults – Lorna survived. She instinctively used her powers to shield herself from the impact.

This would be the first and last time Lorna would use her powers for years – the only evidence of her mutancy being her trademark green mane.

2. Jamie Madrox

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Do you know why doctors used to slap newborn babies? It was to help clear their airways of debris leftover from the birthing process. Funny – when the doctor that delivered Jamie Madrox slapped his bottom, his mutant power to duplicate himself immediately activated. Where there was one child – was two.

The Multiple Man is a special type of mutant. He’s what’s called a ‘metamorph.’ Upon absorbing kinetic impact his cells instantly duplicate and create another independent clone of the prime Jamie. So as long as Jamie has been alive, he’s had to avoid impact with people, objects and himself less suffer creating a duplicate of himself.

3. Gambit

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Years before Remy Etienne LeBeau was able to make objects blow up with a single touch he was wrapped up in a prophecy. Diablo le blanc, or “the white devil,” was someone that the Thieves Guild believed would unite them with the Assassin’s Guild and bring about a paradise… or destroy the world. Wasn’t ever clear.

Related: X-Men: 10 Most Deadly Mutant Predators

This prophecy was pegged on Gambit from a young age due to the presence of his black eyes highlighted by bright red irises. It’s more than his signature look. It’s something that’s defined him and made it pretty clear his whole life what side of the human/mutant line he resided on.

4. Hope Summers

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

The life of the mutant messiah was never going to be easy. From the moment Hope was born, her life had been saturated with violence. No less than four factions wanted to control her for their own purposes. Cyclops and the X-Men cherished her as the first mutant born since M-Day. Mr. Sinister wanted to experiment on her. The Purifiers wanted to kill her, and Cable just wanted to protect her.

Though she was just a baby, her mutant powers which allow her to interact with the abilities of others, were active. Without an inkling of what was happening and still an infant – Hope was able to do what every mutant healer was unable to – wake Rogue from a coma and purge her mind of thousands of absorbed minds.

5. Nightcrawler

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Kurt Wagner, otherwise known as the X-Man, Nightcrawler doesn’t see his demonic appearance as a curse. For him, it’s quite the opposite. He looks at it as a testament of faith. It’s something he’s had to deal with since his birth – he’s looked like this his entire life.

Though his ability to teleport didn’t come until later in life – his mutant agility and dexterity have been around as long as his furry skin, gold eyes, and devilish prehensile tail. Kurt may have made peace with his appearance– but it’s for sure the reason for the tragic life he’s led.

6. Cable

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

The life of Nathaniel Summers has never been easy. Much like his adopted daughter, he was fought over almost from the second he entered the world. First off, although he was raised by Jean Grey (sort of), she’s not his mother – not exactly. Cable is the son of Cyclops and the Jean-clone, Madelyn Pryor – the woman Cyclops met and married after Jean’s apparent death following the events of the Dark Phoenix saga.

Related: X-Men: 10 Mutants That Can Still Be Resurrected

Though it’s not obvious due to how Cable chooses to fight – he was born as one of the most powerful psionic beings on the planet. Possibly even beyond that. This was made evident by his ability to instinctually erect a protective telekinetic bubble around him in times of danger… as an infant. His vast psionic abilities are constantly dampened by having to keep his techno-organic virus at bay.

7. Jean Grey

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Much like her would-be sister-in-law, Polaris, Jean’s psionic abilities manifested during a time of trauma. As a child, Jean’s playmate – another young girl – was struck and critically injured by a passing car. Jean was present and tried to comfort her dying friend. Little did she realize that her telepathic powers would manifest at that moment.

Jean latched onto her friend’s fading mind and with it her life force. In an unconscious desperate attempt, Jean staved off death for just a moment – a feat that should be beyond the reach of any mortal. This would impress any member of the cosmic pantheon – but none more than the Phoenix Force. That was the moment the great firebird took notice of Jean Grey.

8. Apocalypse

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Nightcrawler isn’t the only mutant on the planet that had to grow up with their genetic make-up on display for the world to see 24/7. En Saba Nur, best known as the long-lived, mutant-human, Apocalypse, was born looking much like he does now. Gray- skinned, with strangely colored lips and face markings.

He looked so freakish, in fact, that it led to his birth parents abandoning him in the desert. He was eventually found by a nomadic tribe called the Sandstormers. It is with them he adopted his doctrine of “survival of fittest.” It’s also most likely why he installs so much pride into his fellow mutant brethren. Often the stranger they look, the more interested in them he is.

9. Wolverine

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Despite debuting back in the 1970s, we didn’t know much about Logan’s, or James Howlett’s, past until just a few years ago. We knew he was old and that he’d fought in both world wars, but he turned out to be even older than that. Born as James Howlett in the late 1800s to (supposedly) a wealthy Alberta businessman, John Howlett – James was a shy, kind boy destined to take over his father’s business and riches.

Related: The X-Men’s 10 Most Powerful Mutant Psychics

His mutancy may have never developed had he not witnessed his father’s murder by a former employee, Thomas Logan, a man that looks astonishingly like Wolverine. Without having to say, it’s hinted that he’s James’ true father. In a rage, he killed Thomas. He couldn’t have been any older than twelve at the time.

10. Franklin Richards

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

The baby boy of Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards and Sue Storm is more than just a genetic overachiever. Franklin Richards is a god amongst gods. He’s so powerful that cosmic beings as ridiculous as Galactus, Lord Chaos, and even the Living Tribunal abide by one law when dealing with him – don’t antagonize Franklin Richards.

X-Men: 10 Mutants that Got Powers Early

Franklin has made Galactus his herald, traveled in time, recreated the Avengers after they died fighting Onslaught and, oh yeah, seeded the multiverse with new realities. There’s probably no mortal being in the Marvel cosmos as powerful – and all this before hitting 10 years old.

  • About The Author

    Phillip Pratt

    Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Phillip is the first-generation American son of a Jamaican mother and a Bahamian father. His interest includes sports, cars, gaming and most things comic book related, the latter a passion of his since 1993.