9 X-Men Mutants Whose Superpowers Are Completely Different From the ’90s

Magneto Can Turn Himself And Others Invisible

At some point in their lives, usually around the time of puberty or some earlier traumatic event, any individual in the Marvel Universe possessing an X-Gene will undergo significant change as mutant powers emerge. However, some don’t stop there. Mutant powers have been known to change over time – be it through some form of secondary mutation or some other, more story-driven method.

The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to the superpowered business, change is inevitable. That’s proved especially true in the case of the X-Men and other House of X-related characters, and it can leave some casual fans feeling a bit lost. After all, not every set of mutant abilities, even when it’s attached to a household name, is still the same as it was years ago

1. Iceman Went From Lobbing Snowballs To Controlling All Moisture

Iceman Went From Lobbing Snowballs To Controlling All Moisture

What You Thought He Could Do: In his earliest days, Robert Drake was a friendly snowman whose mastery over his abilities was limited to lobbing snowballs at the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Soon enough, Iceman upgraded to a more name-appropriate set of skills – namely, covering his entire body in ice, freezing stuff, and creating ice-slides to zip around on.

What He Can Do Now: Iceman has both undergone a secondary mutation and discovered his Omega Mutant potential; the end result is an X-Man who has come a long way from snowballs. Drake can still freeze things, but now he can do it down to the molecular level. He doesn’t just control ice and cold, but all moisture itself. Best of all is the secondary mutation that saw his entire body converted to organic ice, rendering him virtually indestructible. If you shatter Iceman, he’ll re-form. If you melt him, he’ll condense back again in no time. He can spread his consciousness out into multiple “ice golems.” Iceman can hop into the ocean and instantly transport himself to the other side by simply reconstituting himself out of the water molecules over there. In short, Iceman can do pretty much anything.

2. Elixir’s Skin Became Golden (Unless He Kills People) And He Can Resurrect The Dead

Elixir's Skin Became Golden (Unless He Kills People) And He Can Resurrect The Dead

What You Thought He Could Do: Josh Foley was a Reaver-turned-New Mutant with the remarkable ability to heal others with his touch through a gift known as biokinesis – a simple but useful superpower. Like Wolverine, but for sharing.

What He Can Do Now: Few mutants have seen abilities undergo greater gradual evolution than Elixir. First, he had to use his healing powers on himself, which turned his skin a golden hue – theorized as a secondary mutation. Foley then learned that his Omega-level biokinesis could also be employed offensively, an act that has come to be called the “Death Touch,” and which causes his skin to temporarily turn a deep metallic black whenever he uses it on an unfortunate opponent. Last, but certainly not least, Elixir discovered he was capable of resurrecting the deceased – including himself, somehow – rendering him essentially un-killable. He’s since put those resurrection powers to use as a member of the Five, a group through which all of mutanity has also achieved functional immortality.

3. Magneto Can Turn Himself And Others Invisible

Magneto Can Turn Himself And Others Invisible

What You Thought He Could Do: It’s right there in the name; Magneto is the master of magnetism. Through his absolute control over magnetic fields, the mutant born as Max Eisenhardt is capable of manipulating metal, creating an impenetrable force field, flight, and firing electromagnetic pulses. And that’s why it generally takes an entire X-Men roster to beat him. 

What He Can Do Now: Magneto’s self-titled magnetokinesis can actually be applied to the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and that opens him up to a whole host of exciting new applications. Magneto can outright defy gravity, he can absorb radiation, and he has a truly global perspective thanks to his constant connection to the Earth’s magnetic fields. He can even affect light itself, bending it to his will in order to make himself, or others, invisible. He’s even been seen making Dazzler punch herself in the face with her own light-based superpowers, as if he wasn’t already more than equipped to make fools out of the X-Men.

4. Gambit Could Briefly See The Future, And Still May Be Able To Disintegrate Opponents

Gambit Could Briefly See The Future, And Still May Be Able To Disintegrate Opponents

What You Thought He Could Do: Remy Lebeau has the mutant ability to convert the potential energy stored in an inanimate object into kinetic energy through molecular acceleration, readying it for detonation. Or, in layman’s terms, Gambit charges up items – usually playing cards – and then they explode. Believe it or not, he’s also had the ability to subliminally hypnotize others with his mutant charm from the get-go, though that power is rarely referenced.

What He Can Do Now: At one point, Gambit temporarily blinded himself with – what else – an exploding card, and during that time he developed the ability to see glimpses of the future by holding his cards in his hands. While that power disappeared before its origin could be determined, there was no ambiguity about the power set Lebeau acquired when he became the Horseman of Death for Apocalypse. As Death, Gambit could turn air into poison, corrupt others with his touch, and use his molecular acceleration on living matter, instantly disintegrating his marks. Though Lebeau has since renounced Apocalypse, he’s retained and suppressed the ability to transform into Death ever since – though it has been a while.

5. Rogue Can Now Control Her Powers, And She’s Got Wonder Man’s Abilities, Too

Rogue Can Now Control Her Powers, And She’s Got Wonder Man’s Abilities, Too

What You Thought She Could Do: Since her teenage years, Rogue has been cursed with the mutant ability to absorb memories, life force, and powers from anyone she comes into contact with, granting her access to scores of superpowers, but also preventing her from ever touching anyone she loved. Fans familiar with her time on X-Men: The Animated Series likely associate her with the flight and super-strength she had at one time permanently absorbed from Carol Danvers – but she eventually gave those powers up.

What She Can Do Now: Rogue’s powers didn’t change so much as she learned to control them. Through her work with Professor X, Rogue finally gained the ability to turn her absorption ability on and off at will, allowing her to at long last express her physical affection for Gambit, whom she married. For a time, when both were on the roster of the Uncanny Avengers, Rogue absorbed Wonder Man in his entirety, and though he has since been released, Rogue retains much of his power set – which conveniently replaces those trademark skills she once took from Captain Marvel.

6. Jubilee Can Generate Explosions Up To And Including Nuclear

Jubilee Can Generate Explosions Up To And Including Nuclear

What You Thought She Could Do: Long thought to be one of the X-Men’s weaker members, Jubilation Lee had two notable superpowers: shooting fireworks out of her hands, and wolfing down chili dogs. Her abilities could be used to distract and confound enemies, but that was about it.

What She Can Do Now: Over time, Jubilee developed her control of what turned out to be “lumikinetic explosive light blasting” to the point that she could do a lot more than make fireworks. At her most powerful, she’s capable of generating outright explosions – up to and including subatomic – and though she’s never explored her fullest potential, she has definitely blown up enough stuff to no longer be considered a pushover. Jubilee also spent some time as a vampire, but that was just a phase.

7. Angel’s Blood Can Now Heal People

Angel's Blood Can Now Heal People

What You Thought He Could Do: As Angel, Warren Worthington III was a founding X-Man despite his fairly limited power set: a big pair of feathery wings that allow him to fly. Then, Worthington became the Horseman of Death for Apocalypse and was transformed into Archangel, with techno-organic wings that could shoot razor-sharp, poisonous barbs at his many enemies, along with a whole host of other powers. It is in this form that the character reached its peak of popularity, but it was not his last metamorphosis.

What He Can Do Now: In time, Angel learned of his own personal healing factor, and then a violent set of circumstances led to him discovering that his blood could be used to heal others via transfusion, leading Worthington to a stint as a full-time blood donor at a children’s hospital. An encounter with a Life Seed enhanced Angel even further, granting him the ability to bring people – and puppies – back from the dead, though these powers have since been removed. He can still, of course, go into Archangel mode at any time – he just prefers not to.

8. Sunspot Is Nearly As Strong As The Hulk

Sunspot Is Nearly As Strong As The Hulk

What You Thought He Could Do: Roberto da Costa was a founding member of the New Mutants, but he also possessed the superpower of being born a billionaire long before his X-Gene activated. As a mutant, Sunspot has the ability to absorb solar radiation and re-channel it into myriad useful skills – super-strength, flight, and the generation of intense waves of light and heat. And that’s to say nothing of his charisma.

What He Can Do Now: An encounter with the illness known as M-Pox caused Sunspot’s powers to begin accelerating toward uncontrollable levels. Using his prodigious wealth, da Costa funded a series of technological advances that allowed him to harness his newfound power, eventually resulting in strength levels said to rival those of the Hulk. Tragically, Sunspot’s team of scientists also informed him that using his abilities to their fullest extent would prove lethal – and that’s exactly what happened when it proved necessary for him to go all out to save his teammates. Fortunately, da Costa was resurrected on the island nation of Krakoa – free of the M-Pox, but perhaps still retaining nigh-limitless strength.

9. Emma Frost Developed Diamond Skin

Emma Frost Developed Diamond Skin

What You Thought She Could Do: Emma Frost, who needs no codename or introduction, went from Hellfire Club baddie to head of the X-Men in rather short succession. She’s known as the Marvel Universe’s preeminent mutant psychic not named Charles Xavier or Jean Grey – though, if style were a superpower, she’d have it.

What She Can Do Now: For her own twisted purposes, Xavier’s sort-of-twin Cassandra Nova induced a secondary mutation in Frost that gave her the ability to transform her entire body into a nigh-indestructible, and yet still flexible, organic diamond form. In diamond mode, Frost can lift two tons and is impervious to psychic maneuvers – though she’s also unable to use her own telepathy or feel emotion. She also doesn’t need to eat or drink while in diamond form, and might just be immortal. After all, diamonds are forever.