So many Marvel Comics characters have become international icons that it’s easy to overlook the fact that the X-Men universe alone comprises a significant percentage of the company’s most popular heroes and villains. United by the mutant gene that grants them any number of uncanny abilities, X-Men fast became one of Marvel’s signature titles upon its introduction in 1963, and ever since, the franchise — along with its many off-shoots and spin-offs — has become one of the most beloved comic book properties of all time. Here are five characters from the extensive Marvel mutant history that are among the very best, listed by their introduction in the comics.
1. Professor X
Without Charles Xavier, there would be no X-Men in the first place. So it stands to reason that this telepath — who is among the most powerful figures in the world of the X-Men — is an obvious selection for this list. In addition to the influence he wields as founder and de facto leader of the X-men, Xavier possesses unparalleled levels of mental energy. Over the years, he has demonstrated immense skill with telepathy, hypnosis, astral projection, empathy, mind-reading and memory alteration, among other abilities. If Professor X held ill will toward humanity, we wouldn’t stand much of a chance.