Mutants make a big song and dance about humanity being the ones who will one day wipe them out, but they’re actually their own worst enemies. Sure, the X-Men comics feature plenty of villainous homo sapiens going after the superiors – the U-Men, Sentinel creator Boliver Trask, the God Loves, Man Kills Guy – but they’re still just humans.
Humans can only do so much damage to a species which includes people with optic blasts, phenomenal physic powers, and healing factors which essentially mean they can never die. In that case, some of the most formidable enemies the X-Men have encountered over the years are fellow mutants or super-powered people.
And they’ve made a considerable amount of said enemies over the years. Whilst the mutant minority allegory often gets played up with the intolerant, protesting humans and politicians, the large majority of X-Men stories see them pitched against bad guys who are on a level playing field, powers-wise. Sometimes, they even have an advantage.
What with fiery space gods who can destroy entire planets in seconds, ancient mutants who can reconfigure themselves into other shapes and have apparently limitless power, and alien races that infect and destroy everything they come across, you have to wonder where the humans even figure in.
20. The Danger Room
Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run was a breath of fresh air which also riffed on a lot of classic themes, characters and concepts for the mutant team. Claremont fan Whedon reintroduced Kitty Pryde to the Xavier School, and made it…well, like a school again. They also reinvented the Danger Room.
It was revealed the mechanical death-trap used to put the X-Men through their paces was actually a sentient intelligence Professor X had trapped and forced to become a deadly, high-tech gym. All of a sudden it managed to break free of its restraints and went loco, beating Emma Frost to a pulp and convincing a student to commit suicide.
Along with being scary because, well, the Danger Room is a familiar concept and seeing it made into a lady-shaped robot with all its usual lasers and circular saws directly attacking people is messed up. Ultimately it couldn’t over-ride its programming and actually kill anyone directly, but still. It was essentially a Terminator molten lava didn’t work on.