Mutants mark the next step in human evolution, commonly referred to as Homo Superior. Unlike other superhuman powers, mutation originates at conception as a result of the presence of a particular gene known as the X-Gene (a.k.a. the X-Factor or mutant gene). Mutant powers generally manifest around puberty, but can be catalyzed during periods of heightened emotional or physical stress. Often times, some superhumans are erroneously referred to as mutants because of unique genetic structure and/or their powers were evident at birth. The only true Marvel Mutants are those born with an X-Gene.
The X-Gene commonly lies dormant until puberty, when it manifests in a number of ways, but it can manifest at birth or lie dormant throughout life, or until triggered mechanically. Mutations manifest in varied and unexpected ways, and mutants may or may not look different than normal humans. A mutation will grant a member of the homo superior species either a psionic or physical ability or some combination thereof. Variations in appearance include abnormal body color, excessive hair or fur, disproportionate or additional limbs, extra appendages (such as tails, wings, or tentacles), textured skin (such as rock or scales) or an animal-like appearance. Powers vary in nature and and include (but are not limited to) superhuman strength, superhuman speed, superhuman senses, flight, telepathy, telekinesis, blast powers, shape shifting, mastery over particular energies/radiation, and control over particular elements.
Among the public, some humans show great fear or hatred towards mutants due to either their abilities, their appearance, or ignorance, but there are mutants (and humans) who make an effort to achieve equality among humans and mutants, but some feel that the humans will never change and will continue to oppress mutantkind.
There have been attempts to find a formula to neutralize the X-gene for those who wish to lead to what they feel is a normal life.
Marvel's First Mutant
Namor the Sub-Mariner is often labeled as Marvel's first mutant, which is true insofar as he is the first mutant character published by Marvel.
However, the first, as in oldest known mutant in the Marvel universe, would be Selene, being well over 17,000 years old.
Chronological list of Marvel mutants:
- Selene (over 17,000 years old)
- Forever Man (?)
- Saul (known to be older than Apocalypse)
- Apocalypse (born 3000 BC.)
- Azazel (several thousands years old)
- Sphinx (at least 3300 years old)
- War (Final Horsemen) (born in the 3rd century)
- Death (Final Horsemen) (born in the 4th century)
- Crule (over 1000 years old)
- Candra (over 1000 years old)
- Nicodemus (over 1000 years old)
- Exodus (born in the 12th century)
- Damian Tryp (Over 800 years old)
- Locomotive Breath
- Gideon (born in the 15th century)
- William Burke
- Gloria Knoblach (born 1673)
- Clarity (born 1675)
- Dark Mother (born 1680)
- Elias Bogan (over 250 years old)
- Pestilence (Final Horsemen) (born in ~1800)
- Famine (Final Horsemen) (born in ~1800)
- Cyber (born in ~1800)
- Graymalkin (born in ~1800)
- Absalom (over 150 years old)
- Margaret Slade (born in the 1850's)
- Black Womb (born in the 1870's)
- Hamilton Slade (born in the 1870-1880's)
- Frederick Slade (born in the 1870-1880's)
- Jack Starsmore (born in the 1870-1880's)
- Kabar Brashir (born in the 1870-1880's)
- Tobias Messenger
- Sabretooth (over 130 years old)
- Destiny (over 130 years old)
- Mystique (over 130 years old)
- Klara Prast (born in 1895)
- Wolverine (born in ~1900)
- Centennial (born in 1902)
- Dr. Nemesis (born in 1906)
- Spitfire (born in the 1910s)
- Namor (born in 1920)
- Namora (born in 1921)
- Magneto (born in the 1920s)
- Whizzer (born in the 1920s)
- Shadow King
Omega-level mutants are the most powerful members of the mutant race, with their psionic powers unlimited within the spectrum of their specific field.
The Omega-Level Mutation term was originally used to label mutants that were the biggest threat. Omega-Level Mutants are now known as mutants with potential for immeasurable power. The theory of the omega-level power was explained in the limited series X-Men: Forever.
It explained current human population in the Marvel Universe are the result of experiments by the Celestials eons ago. They were attempting to create humanity and have them evolve into new beings. Those that have achieved Omega-Level powers are nearing the final stage of evolution and often pass along this trait to their progeny.
The most common listing of qualities needed by these mutants is that they must have unlimited potential, be able to utterly control a substance (examples include ice, matter and energy) and that they can live beyond their physical form. However another way they can be judged to be Omega-level is if they are capable of hosting the Phoenix Force. Be aware, all these are speculations; there are no actual rules for what being an Omega means.
The confirmed Omega-level mutants that are cited below include:
- Rachel Summers was the first mutant referred to as omega-level in Uncanny X-Men #208.
- Mr. M shows spectacular displays of power throughout his few appearances but in is in X-Men: The 198 #2 that Val Cooper tells the X-Men that he is indeed an Omega-level mutant. This is quite possible since he can do anything he wishes and after his physical body was incinerated he still lives.
- Though Vulcan was first referred to as "beyond Omega-level", this is impossible since Omega is already unlimited. So this has often been seen as a error in the writer's judgment. In Uncanny X-Men #483 he is confirmed as being Omega-level.
- Iceman and Jean Grey received the title in the X-Men Forever (2001) series.
- Elixir and Franklin Richards were confirmed in the 198 Files.
- Quentin Quire was confirmed as an Omega-level mutant by the Phoenix Force within X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong, a series in which he briefly possessed the Phoenix Force.
- David Charles Haller confirmed in New Mutants #4 (2009)
- X-Man is identified as an Omega-Level mutant in Dark X-Men #2 (2009)
- Hope Summers confirmed in X-men: Phoenix Force Handbook (2010)
Also there is a character in the Marvel Universe who seems to have surpassed Omega-Level and may be the true pinnacle of human evolution, having evolved beyond death itself, and so he has been deemed Homo Supreme rather than Homo Superior. He has been promised that he will live to see the End of the Universe:
- Craig Hollis/ Mr. Immortal
- The Neo
- The Cheyarafim
- The Neyaphem
- Dominant Speices
Ex-Mutants and the 198
During the Marvel event House of M, mutants are decimated when Wanda Maximoff depowers 98% (actually is closer to 99.9997% by using mathematics) of the mutant population after being fed up with her father Magneto's mutant cause. This day went on to be known as M-Day. Notable depowered mutants (or Ex-Mutants) include Magneto himself, Quicksilver, Wind Dancer, Moonstar, Rictor, Chamber, Jubilee, The Blob, and Marrow.
It was initially estimated by the O*N*E* (Office of National Emergency) to only be 198 mutants left on Earth, although that number has since been refuted to be around 200-300 mutants. Nonetheless, mutants have used that number as a symbol of solidarity representative of their dwindled numbers.