The X-Men films had a relatively humble start with their first trilogy. By no means barren or underwhelming films, they’re nonetheless relatively conservative with the mutants they introduce and the powers on display, both because of technological limitations and for storytelling purposes.
Although they don’t reach the grand heights of the sprawling casts and more out-there powers of later films like Days of Future Past or Apocalypse, the first trilogy of X-Men films aren’t lacking in powerful characters. Among the mutants introduced in those films on both sides of the conflict, some are clearly more powerful than their fellows.
10 Wolverine Has Nigh-Unbeatable Durability
Despite being the main character of the trilogy and several more films in the franchise, Logan is far from the most powerful mutant. However, he’s also far from being weak. He’s one of the most accomplished fighters in the entire cast, despite his powers being relatively constrained. His claws are sharp and lethal, and he’s superhumanly strong, but these pale in comparison to the destructive forces thrown around by others.
Instead, Wolverine’s main power is his ability to take punishment rather than dish it out. Between his inherent durability, his indestructible adamantium skeleton, and his healing factor, there’s little that can keep Logan down for any length of time.
9 Iceman Grows In Power Throughout The Films
Bobby Drake is a constant presence in the films, and throughout the franchise, he grows in both power and prominence in equal measure. In the original X-Men, he’s simply another student at Xavier’s school. In X2, his powers have grown, and by the time of Last Stand, he’s a fully-fledged X-Men member with the skills to match.
What makes Bobby’s powers so effective is his versatility in using them. He can cause plenty of damage just by flinging ice everywhere, but he also has the mental agility to use them in a number of unexpected ways. This comes to a head in his fight against Pyro, where he turns his entire body to ice and easily overpowers the other mutant.
8 The Juggernaut Is An Unstoppable Physical Force
Many mutants have powers that are psychic, elemental, or mystical in some way. They’re more subtle than sheer brute strength. However, this isn’t the case with Cain Marko, the mutant known as ‘The Juggernaut.’ His power is to become almost unstoppable when he begins to charge, and he’s also superhumanly strong and durable.
Juggernaut demonstrates his power on a number of occasions in The Last Stand, most notably when he’s able to demolish Wolverine in a straight fight. When he’s taken down later in the films, it’s through other mutants’ creative use of powers, suggesting he’s near-impossible to beat through conventional means.
7 Nightcrawler Can Appear Almost Anywhere
Teleportation is a power with near-unlimited utility. It allows a person to appear anywhere instantly, bypass defensive measures, and reach others to aid them. As Kurt ‘Nightcrawler’ Wagner shows in X2: X-Men United, it’s also a perfectly effective offensive power.
Introduced to the franchise as he easily slaughters an entire Secret Service detail and comes very close to assassinating the President of the United States too, Kurt demonstrates his power early on. Many mutants would struggle to put up a real fight against Kurt, short of the most powerful simply overwhelming him.
6 Mystique Has An Immensely Subtle Power
When it comes to a straight fight, Mystique’s power is far from the most useful. Raven’s ability to mimic others doesn’t extend to their own abilities or even their physical strength, which means she’s overpowered unless she can win through sheer skill. However, it does put her in a prime position to make use of sneak attacks or other underhand means to bring down her foes.
More so than physical power, Mystique can use her abilities to wield political power. She’s seen impersonating more than one politician perfectly, and given enough time and the right motive, could bring the entire US under her thumb.
5 Storm Can Control One Of Nature’s Most Powerful Forces
Ororo Munroe has an incredibly powerful and diverse power: the ability to control the weather. This alone puts her in the top category for power levels in any superhero universe, and she’s no different in the X-Men films. Few other powers have as much utility or, when harnessed that way, as much destructive power.
By controlling the weather, Storm can weaponize lightning, wind, rain, and more. If so inclined, so could also destroy an entire city by simply affecting its weather. In a mass battle, Storm is one of the biggest assets of the X-Men team.
4 Magneto Has More Control Over His Power Than Anyone
On the surface, Erik Lehnsherr’s power of controlling metal isn’t among the most powerful in the X-Men universe. Far from trifling, it nevertheless seems less impressive than the ability to shoot fire or release concussive laser blasts. However, it’s Erik Lehnsherr’s mind and experience that make him as lethal as he is.
Lehnsherr proves he’s more imaginative and creative with his power usage than almost any other mutant. He’s able to use his powers to attack, defend, restrain others, transport, and do whatever he wants anywhere there’s metal. In X2, he even improvises an escape from an especially-created prison with nothing more than the iron in a man’s blood.
3 Rogue Would Be Powerful Even If Her Touch Wasn’t Fatal
Rogue has one of the highest potentials of power among the X-Men, but it’s a double-edged sword. Her power works by draining other people, and prolonged skin contact harms those she touches. Even a short touch can cause unconsciousness, and touching for any real length of time can be fatal for others.
As unhappy as this makes her, it’s one of the more powerful abilities on the team. It also lets her use the powers of others, which gives her almost unparalleled flexibility. The only negative is how she has less experience with those powers than others do, but that can be overcome with practice.
2 Charles Xavier Is A Telepath With Almost Limitless Potential
The human mind is an immensely powerful machine, and the X-Men’s Professor X is a man who could bend it to his will if he wanted. His telepathy allows him to do far more than just read minds. Throughout the original trilogy, he displays an ability to control people’s actions and even possess them.
Furthermore, he has an astonishing amount of raw power at his disposal. Plugged into Cerebro in X2, he has the power to cause the deaths of every mutant in the world, or even non-mutant human beings. For a long time, he’s unquestionably the most powerful character in the films.
1 Jean Grey Is Near-Omnipotent As The Phoenix
Jean Grey begins the series as one of the more powerful mutants in the world. She’s a telekinetic and telepath capable of great feats, despite her relative inexperience. However, this is only the merest hint of her true potential. Her full strength is buried by a mental block placed on her by Charles Xavier.
When Jean frees her alternate side, the Phoenix, in X-Men: The Last Stand, she becomes the most powerful being on Earth, bar none. She’s capable of killing and wielding enormous forces almost effortlessly, and there is no way to confront her on anything resembling an even footing.
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