The Ninjabot

Snackbar’s Top 10 X-Men villians

Posted on October 10, 2012 at 9:12 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson

The Mighty Jerd and I thought it would be fun to make dueling lists of the top 10 villains in the X-Men universe. We did this before with our differing views on the Batman’s top 10 foes.  Should be fun, and please let us know in the comments what your list is.  You can check out The Mighty Jerd’s list here.

Honorable mention: Homo Sapiens

While most of humanity is not steadfast trying to eliminate mutant-kind, their inaction and prejudice is the cornerstone of why the mutants have to struggle day in and day out. In particular William Stryker has been a constant thorn in the X-Men’s side. Taking out his personal grudge against his son’s mutant affliction on all mutant kind. Not all humans are the problem though Moira McTaggat for example is one of Professor X’s most trusted allies.

#10: Stryfe

  • First Appearance – The New Mutants #87
  • Real Name – Stryfe
  • Abilities – Telekinesis, Telepathy, Super Strength

A clone of Cable, he was created by Askani as a back-up in the event the techno-organic virus killed Cable. Apocalypse, thinking that the clone was the real Nathan Summers kidnapped him with the intent of using him as a host for his essence. Upon learning the truth Apocalypse discarded the clone before being defeated by Cyclops and Jean Grey. Stryfe grew insane, and his only purpose in life was to seek revenge against his parents both real (Cyclops and Jean Grey) and adoptive (Apocalypse.) After capturing and brainwashing Cable’s son Tyler, Stryfe travels back in time 2000 years to the time of the X-Men and forms the Mutant Liberation front. He posed as Cable in an assassination attempt on Professor X. Cable eventually “kills” Stryfe by opening a temporal rift that destroyed Styfe’s physical body. Stryfe possessed several high power mutants until he was finally defeated at the hands of Cable and Nate Grey (The X-Man).

#9: Onslaught

  • First Appearance – X-Man #15
  • Real Name – none
  • Abilities – Telekinesis, Telepathy, Super Strength, Magnetic Manipulation, Reality Warping

After the events of the “Fatal Attractions” storyline, which culminated with Magneto removing Wolverine’s adamantium through his pores, Professor X wiped Magneto’s mind. The dark part of Magneto’s mind latched onto Professor X’s mind, and after an encounter with Nate Grey, Onslaught discovered how to manifest itself physically. Onslaught held Magneto’s goal of taking over the world to make it a safe haven for mutant kind as it’s primary goal until Dark Beast showed him that mutants were capable of the same evil. From then on Onslaught decides that humans and mutants should both be exterminated. Onslaught abducted Nate Grey and Franklin Richards using their psionic powers to greatly increase his own.  Onslaught fights the Avengers, Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and the X-Men. After the Hulk is able to destroy Onslaught’s armor, Onslaught exists as pure psionic energy. This resulted in many of the non-mutant superheroes sacrificing their lives by entering Onslaught’s form, disrupting the villain from within and weakening it, enabling the X-Men to finally destroy Onslaught. In the aftermath of the battle, all the combatants are presumed dead except Franklin Richards, Nate Grey, Quicksilver, the Hulk (somehow separated from his alter ego Bruce Banner during the fight), the Magneto clone known as Joseph, and the X-Men.

#8: Mystique

  • First Appearance – Ms. Marvel #16
  • Real Name – Raven Darkhölme
  • Abilities – Shapeshifting, Superhuman Agility, Healing Factor, Ageless

Cunning and lethal, Mystique began her career as a spy.  It seemed the perfect occupation for a shapeshifter.  She could infiltrate places most could not.  Eventually she discovered the bigotry and hatred that was harbored towards mutants such as herself.  She was a founding member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and has been integral in many of their more diabolical ploys.  She has maternal links to both Nightcrawler and Rogue, having raised Rogue for several years, and birthing Nightcrawler.  Mystiques exact age is often debated but we do know that she was involved with Destiny at the turn of the 20th century.  On a mission to infiltrate the X-Men, she posed as a mutant named Foxx, and attempted to seduce Gambit in an effort to break he and Rogue up.  When he rebuked her advances, she revealed herself to him.  Later when Emma Frost deciphered her true identity, and outed her to the rest of the X-Men she made a plea to join them.  She was allowed to join as a probationary X-Men where she served for a long time.  She may have turned from her wicked ways, but because of her past, she will always be a villain to me.

#7: Sabretooth

  • First Appearance – Iron Fist #14
  • Real Name – Victor Creed
  • Abilities – Healing Factor, Retractable Claws, Fangs, Superhuman Strength & Agility

Sabretooth was a recurring villain for Iron Fist and Spiderman, but it wasn’t until creator Chris Claremont brought him to the X-Men universe that he took off.  Originally brought in as Wolverine’s father (later proved false), Sabretooth became Wolverine’s arch nemesis.  This was primarily due to their similarities and the fact that Sabretooth knew more about Wolverine then he did.  He was a founding member of Team X (later renamed Weapon X) alongside Kestral, Wolverine, Maverick, and Silver Fox.  During a mission involving Omega Red, Sabretooth proved to be too unpredictable to be on a team when he killed a Russian scientist in cold blood.  Although he occasionally teamed with other villains, most notably The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, he primarily stalked the X-Men and Wolverine solo.  Jealous of Wolverine’s adamantium, he had this skeleton coated with the metal after Wolverine had his torn out of him by Magneto.  When Apocalypse was looking for his new Death to lead his Four Horsemen. he pitted Wolverine and Sabretooth against each other.  After Wolverine bested his nemesis, Apocalypse removed Sabretooth’s adamantium and applied it to Wolverine.  Wolverine would eventually kill Sabretooth by decapitating him with a special sword that interrupts his healing factor.  You can’t keep a good psychopath down though, and Sabretooth has since returned. Only time will tell how Sabretooth returned from the dead and what his plans for revenge entail.

#6: Juggernaut

  • First Appearance – X-Men #12
  • Real Name – Cain Marko
  • Abilities – Superhuman Strength, Virtually unstoppable when moving

Charles Xavier’s step brother Cain Marko discovered a hidden temple dedicated to the entity Cyttorak while stationed in Korea with his army unit.  Inside was a large ruby, and when Cain read the inscription on it aloud, “Whosoever touches this gem shall be granted the power of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak! Henceforth, you who read these words, shall become … forevermore … a human juggernaut!” he absorbed the ruby’s energy into him.  Thought dead following a cave in at the same temple Cain resurfaced many years later to confront the X-men on the lawn of the X-Mansion.  Juggernaut is virtually unstoppable when he gets going, only someone with immense strength like the Hulk can stop him, and that broke Hulk’s arm.  Susceptible to Xavier’s telepathic abilities, Juggernaut wears a helmet to keep his step-brother out of his head. Juggernaut is mean to the core, often times taunting his opponents before annihilating them.  My favorite example of this is when he burned the only hard copy of Wolverine’s past one page at a time while doing battle with him.  Giving him little bits of information before destroying any record of Wolverine’s past.

#5: Mr. Sinister

  • First Appearance – Uncanny X-Men #221
  • Real Name – Nathaniel Essex
  • Abilities – Superhuman Strength, Longevity, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Molecular Manipulation

Chris Claremont, the father of the modern X-Men conceived Mr. Sinister as the next big X-Men villain, stating that that he was tired of always relying on Magneto.  Mr. Sinister has extended his life through a pact with Apocalypse, and has dedicated his life to the pursuit of the “perfect mutant.”  His quest has led him to the realization that the perfect mutant would be a genetic combination of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey. Unwilling to wait for nature to run it’s course, Sinister cloned Jean Grey and was rewarded when Nathan Summers was born. Sinister was the architect for the massacre of the Marauders, enlisting the help of Sabretooth and Gambit to do the dirty work. He also helped bring “The Twelve” together to defeat Apocalypse by manipulating The Living Monolith’s genes allowing him to access Havok’s powers.  After Apocalypse’s defeat, Mr. Sinister has continually attempted to improve upon mutants, even going so far as to try to turn all humans into mutants to increase the pool of his potential test subjects.  So what if only 1% of all humans would survive the transformation. You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

#4: Dark Phoenix

  • First Appearance – Uncanny X-Men #101 (as Phoenix Force)
  • Real Name – Jean Grey
  • Abilities – Omniscient, Telepathy, Telekinesis, Cosmic Awareness, Matter and Energy Manipulation

No storyline effected me emotionally like the Dark Phoenix saga. The tragic end to Cyclops and Jean Grey’s happy life together was an emotional tale not often seen in comics.  Just when it appeared that Jean Grey had the Phoenix Force under control, The Hellfire Club with Mastermind’s help made her believe she was destined to be with Jason Wyngarde (Mastermind in disguise) by implanting images in her dreams.  They eventually succeeded and Jean Grey became the new Black Queen of the Hellfire Club.  When she witnessed Mastermind “kill” Cyclops psychic image, The Phoenix Force’s full powers manifested.  She had become a living entity capable of destroying the universe. She gained the attention of Shi’ar Empress Lilandra who devised a plan to destroy the a whole solar system to kill the Phoenix Force.  Professor X, in an attempt to stop the Shi’ar from destroying the Earth tasked his X-Men to stop The Dark Phoenix, no matter the cost. During a battle with the X-Men, Professor X was able to put mental blocks in place to subdue the Phoenix Force. Unhappy with Xavier’s precautions Lilandra was still set on destroying Jean Grey and the Phoenix Force.  The X-Men and Imperial Guard did battle on the moon, and after seeing Cyclops struck down, The Phoenix Force broke through the psychic barriers.  Laying waste to everyone in her path, Jean Grey was able to momentarily gain control of her body, and after a tearful and emotional goodbye to Cyclops she committed suicide with the hopes of finally removing The Phoenix Force from the world.  The Phoenix Force would come back several more times over the years, sometimes fighting alongside our heroes, but it is her clashes with them and the emotional toll it takes on the team to fight one of their own that makes her such a great villain.

#3: Sentinels

  • First Appearance – X-Men #14
  • Real Name – N/A
  • Abilities – Flight, Energy Weapons, Reinforced Exoskeleton

Created for one purpose, the elimination of mutant-kind. Created by Bolivar Trask, they stand three stories tall and shoot energy beams out of their hands, chest, and sometimes their eyes.  When live mutants are needed Sentinels are equipped with restraining coils that shoot out of their hands.  Once they have their prey they administer an electric shock that incapacitates the mutant.  The most popular story involving the Sentinels has to be Days of Future Past where they Sentinels are tasked with wiping out all mutants following the assassination of Senator Kelley at the hands of a mutant.  They nearly succeeded, only the intervention of the time-traveling mutant Bishop eliminated the timeline by saving Senator Kelly in the past.  Here’s hoping to seeing Sentinels in the next X-Men feature which is to be based on the Days of Future Past storyline.

#2: Apocalypse

  • First Appearance – X-Factor #6
  • Real Name – En Sabah Nur
  • Abilities – Immortality, Telepathy, Teleportation, Cosmic Awareness, Molecula and Energy Manipulation, Superhuman Strength

This is where the list gets hard for me.  My prized comic book is my X-Factor #6 which showcases the first appearance of Apocalypse.  He is also the central character in the greatest comic event/crossover/alternative timeline story ever with Age of Apocalypse. If you haven’t read it, go do it now… I’ll wait.  At least wiki it.  It turned the Marvel universe upside down and flips the script on a lot of heroes; Cyclops is a bad guy, Wolverine and Jean Grey are together, Magneto is leading the X-Men, etc.  He has enlisted numerous heroes as Death, the leader of his four horsemen including Angel, Spiderman ,and Wolverine.  He is several thousand years old, and possesses nearly limitless power.  It took a prophesied group known as “The Twelve”, consisting of Xavier, Magneto, Cyclops, Cable, and more to take him down.  This proved to be a ruse created by Apocalypse to get together a group of incredibly powerful mutants to transform himself into a god.  He’s been lying low recently, but to use a sports analogy; it’s a rebuilding year, and next year he’ll be ready to contend.  After all he is as superior to mutants as they are to humans.

#1: Magneto

  • First Appearance – X-Men #1
  • Real Name – Max Eisenhardt
  • Abilities – Master of Magnetisn, Genius, Master Strategist

And here you go, my number 1 X-men villain, and also my top comic character of all time, Magneto.  Magneto is a complex character who has allegances and tendancies on both sides of the moral compass.  He is the antithesis of Charles Xavier, but was also a close friend.  His power goes well beyond moving metal with his mind.  He is capable of; rearranging matter at the subatomic level, creating forcefields, altering gravity to fly/float, much more.  Magneto survied Nazi incarceration that claimed the lives of his parents and sister, and seeing the worst of humanity shaped him into the person he would become.  Xavier and he would cross pathes in Isreal, and debate the place of mutants in our world.  Magneto, going by Erik Lehnsherr at the time firmly believed that mutants should rise up and take the world as their own.  After the two defeted Hydra together, Magneto decided it was time to part ways with his friend.  He took a cache of Nazi gold and left.   Magneto was the antagonist for the X-Men’s first mission and has been their most troublesome villain.  He founded the Brotherhood of Evil mutants which included his son Quicksilver and daughter The Scarlet witch.  His psychi is one half of Onslaught alongside Professor X’s.  He ripped Wolverine’s adamantium out of his body. His bond with Professor X compelled him to take up his old friend’s cause after his death in the Age of Apocalypse storyline.  It’s his long and rich history with the X-men that make Magneto my numer one villain in the X-Men universe.

That’s my list, what’s your?  We would love to hear your list.  Don’t forget to check out The Mighty Jerd’s list as well, and let us know where you lean.

You can follow Snackbar  on Twitter @Snackie_Cakes

    • thejerd

      You make a worthy foe Editor-in-Chief Snackbar… time to let the geeks decide who stands victorious!

      • Smitten

        It's amazing that 2 people could have 2 very different lists… And both be right. Great job guys.

    • You are fast! Post was up for all of 2 minutes before you tweeted and commented. You made a great list!

      • thejerd

        You kept me hanging! Lol. I can see most of your entries, got to say Sabretooth being on there was a big shock though!

        • Snackbar

          I think he's been a persistent and fun villain for many years. I figured he or Juggernaut would surprise you. 🙂

          • thejerd

            Yeah, I just don't think of him as an X-Men villain. To me he is more of a Wolverine solo-book enemy. *shrug*

    • Excellent list Snackman, I do declare. I would change Mistique to #6, bumping Juggernaut to #7, and Sabretooth to #8. I totally forgot about Onslaught and Stryfe. I do think the Hellfire Club and Homo Sapiens should round out the top 10. Humans ruin everything haha.

      Both of you have made wonderful lists and the internet is likely to explode. It's quite possible these lists are the reason behind the power going out in Revolution. I have to say I agree more with Snackbar's list. Especially the top 5.

      • thejerd


    • Not the Blob

      What no love for me… I mean The Blob.

      • Tiny

        Did you call me…Blob?

    • Patrick

      X-Cutioner Song was my first comic book. Glad to see some love for Stryfe. He's cable with an awesome helmet.

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