Over the last 50+ years, the X-Men have become one of Marvel Comics’ most-read comic books. And for good reason. The stories are great, the heroes are courageous, the art is outstanding, and the enemies, well, the enemies are world-class. In fact, they’re so world-class that of all of the superheroes at Marvel, none save for except Spider-Man are as well-known.
From Mojo to Magneto, the X-Men are littered with some of the most obscure and memorable enemies in comic book history. This is why we’re here today. After sitting back and enjoying a couple of, shall we say, adult drinks, some friends and I got onto the conversation of who are the greatest X-Men enemies. After hours of debate, I’d like to bring them to you. Here are the top 10 best X-Men enemies of all time.
Mojo is one of the “spineless ones” and no different than the others in his species is unable to move without the help of technology. He is the ruler of the Mojoverse and the Mojoverse is a dimension where the beings are devoted to watching his gladiator-inspired televised events. Mojo doesn’t ask his participants to participate in his events. Instead, he believes in the slave trade and his participants are slaves.
So as to drum up business, Mojo sent Longshot to Earth to join the X-Men. Shortly after his arrival on Earth, Mojo felt that the X-men could grow his fan base…and he was right. The X-Men caused a rating spike and he wanted more.
Over the years, Mojo has tried time and again to replicate his first encounter. It’s this very reason that he finds himself on this greatest X-Men enemies list.
The Avengers are on this greatest X-Men enemies list for two reasons. First, there was an entire story arc that saw the two groups come to blows. Second, if any group in the Marvel Universe has the firepower to stand up to the X-Men, the Avengers do.
The story I referred to saw Cable travel back through time to warn the X-Men that Hope Summers (the savior of the mutants) was killed in his timeline by the Avengers. After arriving, Cable began to systematically take down each of the Avengers. He would’ve succeeded had he not been stopped by Hope and Scott Summers.
Shortly after, Captain America arrives at the doorstep of the X-Men requesting that he take Hope into custody. Scott, unwilling time let Hope go, blasted Captain America with his eyes. With that, the Avengers landed on this list.
8. Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Realizing that he couldn’t defeat the X-Men alone, Magneto (we’ll get to him) grouped together a few other mutants and named them the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The original team consisted of Toad who was able to jump incredible distances, Mastermind who could create illusions around the five primary senses, Quicksilver who could move at unbelievable speeds, Scarlet Witch who could affect the probability and, of course, Magneto.
The Brotherhood has undergone multiple roster changes over the years. Some of the additions to the group include Sabretooth, Juggernaut, Mystique, Pyro, Blob, and Avalanche. Although it may seem as though the group has a revolving door of members, know this. No matter who’s on the roster, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants has and will always be considered one of the greatest X-Men enemies of all time.
7. Emma Frost
Even though Emma Frost has become one of the greatest X-Men in existence, she wasn’t always this way. In fact, in her first appearance, she took hostage the entirety of the team.
Emma Frost was the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. As the White Queen, she commanded a group of extremely powerful mutants. In addition to her role as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, Emma is also a very gifted telepath and can turn her body into a diamond-like substance. When in her diamond form she becomes nearly immune to all forms of attack. To say that she is extremely powerful doesn’t do the character justice. The X-Men should be thankful that she decided to join them rather than keep battling them.
Although Mystique is occasionally depicted as a friend of the X-Men, make no mistake she is as evil as they come. Mystique is a shapeshifter. Her ability has allowed those who write her to craft some really good stories…many of which include the X-Men. For example, Mystique is the mother of Nightcrawler, has dated and conceived a child with Sabretooth, altered the history of Ms. Marvel, and helped raise Rogue.
Mystique has also been the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, a member of the Marauders and Hellfire Club, and fought for mutants’ rights. None of these, however, land her on this list. Mystique is one of the greatest X-Men enemies because she believes in mutant supremacy and won’t stop until it happens.
5. Mr. Sinister
What do you get when you take a man who is a surgeon, geneticist, and biologist and cross it with someone who has superhuman strength and durability, can live for hundreds of years, is able to control the molecular level in his body, possesses telepathy, and can project concussive energy from his body? You get one of the greatest X-Men enemies, Mr. Sinister.
Mr. Sinister is a mutant addicted to bringing down his master, Apocalypse. His addiction is so much that he cloned Jean Grey so as to get her to mate with Scott Summers. And why? Simple. Mr. Sinister believed their baby would be Apocalypse’s undoing.
Speaking of Apocalypse…As one of the oldest mutants in existence, Apocalypse has seen his fair share of trouble. I mean, he has survived the Black Plague, the 1918 Flu Pandemic, Cholera, the Plague of Justinian, mullets, parachute pants, disco, and so much more.
Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) was born on the edge of Egypt to a group of settlers known as the Akkaba. Born with grey skin and blue eyes, he was quickly discarded and left to die in the desert sun. Luckily for him, a band of passing-by raiders made short work of the Akkaba. Bal, the leader of the raiders, took Apocalypse in and raised him as his own.
Eventually, Bal died but not before telling Apocalypse that the Pharoah of Egypt was a fake. Looking for revenge, Apocalypse defeated the Pharaoh and took control of Egypt. This was the taste of power that he needed and from that point forward, he worked to eradicate all who opposed him.
Of all the greatest X-Men enemies, none have caused as much pain to the team as the Sentinels. The Sentinels are the creation of Dr. Bolivar Trask. Trask created them in an effort to save humanity from the mutant “problem”. This means that the sole purpose of the Sentinels is to hunt down, capture, and kill mutants all over the world.
And how do they do this? The robots are equipped with more weapons than necessary and are over 20’ tall. This makes them one of, if not the biggest of all the greatest X-Men enemies.
The Sentinels are also responsible for one of the greatest X-Men stories of all time in Days of Future Past. Days of Future Past saw the robots cripple the mutant population and nearly bring it to extinction. The story is so popular that Fox turned it into arguably their greatest X-Men movie a couple of years ago.
2. Jean Grey
Wait a second. Why is Jean Grey one of the greatest X-Men enemies?
Well, technically it’s not Jean Grey who’s one of the greatest X-Men enemies. Instead, it’s the world-destroying alien known as the Phoenix Force that’s one of the greatest X-Men enemies. It just so happens that the first time it appeared, it took control of Jean Grey and transformed her into the Dark Phoenix.
Although she couldn’t have known it, when Jean sacrificed her life to save her teammates, she inadvertently bonded with the Phoenix Force. Once bonded, she was recruited by the Hellfire Club. As a member of the team, the vengeful nature of the cosmic entity was unleashed and the X-Men were forced to battle their longtime friend for the fate of the galaxy. Of all the great X-Men stories, very few have had as many far-reaching ramifications as The Dark Phoenix Saga.
If it comes as a surprise that Magneto is on this list, you clearly aren’t a fan of the X-Men. Of all the greatest X-Men enemies, none are as great as Magneto. Magneto is the antithesis of what the X-Men are. While they believe in peace and harmony between humans and mutants, Magneto believes that mutants are superior and therefore are meant to rule.
Like the X-Men, Magneto has lived a life filled with discrimination and unjust hate towards him. Unlike the X-Men, Magneto has let both get the better of him. He’s responsible for some of the most heinous attacks on humans and has aligned himself with powerful mutants who believe what he believes. For reasons that are all too obvious, when considering who the greatest enemy of the X-Men was, it was always Magneto.