All men are created equal, but all X-Men aren’t. For every Wolverine, there are countless lame characters — lame not necessarily because their powers are useless, but because the character themselves are useless. Comic writers can’t use them, so they disappear, die, or constantly change in an unending bid to somehow become relevant. Here are a dozen X-Men whose main power was wasting everybody's time.
Slipstream‘s power sounds appropriately weird and mutant-y when you read the official description: he can “generate a warp portal in the fabric of space and ride the resultant warp-wave… Slipstream could use this ability to travel to virtually any point on Earth at faster-than-light speed, and can ferry others through the portal with him.” Unfortunately, this translates to “surfboard-based teleportation,” which is less useful and not at all cool. Slipstream can teleport, but only when he’s on his little surfboard and making an appropriate surfing-like pose, meaning he has to carry along an official X-Men boogie board with him wherever he goes if we wants to catch those waves, dude. It’s ridiculous that the Silver Surfer hasn’t beaten him to death.
Co-created by Rob Liefeld, Shatterstar’s power is mainly being badass in that peculiarly Liefeldian, supremely ‘90s-type of way. His mutant power is basically being super-strong, super-fast, and super-good at fighting people with his ludicrous double swords (because we all know a sword is cool, so a sword with two blades next to each other must be twice as cool!). He can regenerate, but he can also rearrange the organs in his body so he’s even harder to kill than Logan. You might as well say he has all the powers a 14-year-old boy in 1992 can think of. Really, he’s just one of the many attempts to out-Wolverine Wolverine during the '90s, which is why no one gives a shit about him any more except when Jeph Loeb said he was gay and Liefeld got pissed off.
3) Stacy X
Here’s a clue for all aspiring X-Men out there. Does your code name have an X in it? Then you are trying way too hard. An X-Man has an X in his or her name is certain to be trying to be cool, and Stacy X, whose hilariously “extreme” upbringing included her being part of a mutant brothel. This was actually fortuitous, since her mutant power was using pheromones to make people have orgasms (or vomit, or other things) — well, that and having snake-skin. Stacy X is clearly someone’s attempt to make the X-Men seem more adult and edgy by including a character who once had sex for money. Doubt me? Here’s what she did upon leaving the X-Mansion: “She left behind for [Archangel] a video of herself jumping rope naked, stating that she didn't want to stay around them and taunting him that he missed the chance to have had someone as sexy as herself as a girlfriend.”
Magneto’s pretty cool, right? You know what would make him even cooler? Making him young and giving him long hair. That must have been the discussion in the Marvel offices when they created Joseph, who was supposed to be a mysteriously young, amnesiac Magneto who joined the X-Men. Eventually someone thought better of this and made Joseph a clone… who got implanted with Magneto’s memories, decided he was Magneto and turned evil until the real Magneto kicked his ass, doing everybody a favor. Look, if the only way you can describe an X-Man is with the name of another X-Man, they are clearly not needed.
Skin’s mutant power is having six extra feet of skin. He can manipulate it a bit, but he’s no Mr. Fantastic — he can’t extend it past six feet. It’s stronger than regular skin, but it isn’t invulnerable or anything. He can change his looks a bit, but not his bone structure, so all he can really transform is his face. His official Marvel profile page contains exactly zero references to him using his powers in any significant way. And then he was crucified by the Church of Humanity. You know who wasn’t crucified? Useful X-Men.
Jubilee’s mutant power is to shoot fireworks. These can be used as offensive weapons, in the same way regular fireworks can be used as offensive weapons, and that if you light one and throw it at somebody and it hits them it’ll hurt. But when your team is full of dudes with metal claws, guys who can fire concussive blasts from their eyes, or control people’s minds, the girl who’s effectively carrying a bunch of bottle rockets around with her isn’t going to be of much use. That’s probably why Jubilee has gone through more uniform and codename changes than Jean Grey has had resurrections, because 20 years later still nobody has figured out what to do with her.
There have been a few characters in pop culture who have super-powered tattoos; it should be no surprise that the X-Men have one, too. But Ink is unique among these characters in that 1) he has no powers, because there’s another mutant named Leon whose powers is giving power-bestowing tattoos and Ink is just a moron; 2) Ink has, literally, seven tattoos, when he could be covered in them and become the most power dude on the planet; and 3) his tattoos are really fucking ridiculous. A caduceus on his hand lets him heal people, while a tattoo that vaguely resembles Colossus’ metal skin gives him super-strength, which is complete nonsense. If the tattoo designs can be that vague, then he could get the same powers with tribal armbands, a tramp stamp or a Tasmanian Devil. For the record, I have no idea why he's punching that maid.
Doug Ramsey often makes the list of “lamest” X-Men, and… well, he should. His power to understand languages is completely worthless from a storytelling standpoint, because the X-Men rarely need to read anything, and when they need to talk to aliens and so forth, letting Cypher translate would take up way too much time and space. Which is why he pretty quickly turned into a programmer and hacker, because computer is a sort of language, I guess, and then he could read body language, and then he died. He’s been resurrected since — he’s an X-Man after all — but he’s still only pulled out when someone needs the X-Men equivalent of the IT department.
Remember what I said about Stacy X? Well, if you’re a member of the X-Men and your name is actually X-Man, you should just walk into the nearest Sentinel factory and lay down. Really, his name should really just be Gary Stu, since he’s the ludicrously powerful son of Cyclops and Jean Grey from another reality — really, another version of Cable. He has all of Jean Grey’s ridiculous mental and telekinetic powers except even moreso, which is saying something. Then he started calling himself a “mutant shaman,” which is insanely obnoxious. Eventually he sacrificed himself to save the world, got resurrected (he is his mother’s son) and is now back with diminished powers and no one cares about him.
Lifeguard is actually Slipstream’s sister, which is an immediate point against her. But her mutant power is even more ludicrous in that when people are in trouble, she saves them, either by transforming or developing a situation-specific mutant power. Basically, her mutant power is to be a walking deus ex machina — well, that and the power to destroy any sense of tension that an X-Men story might be trying to generate because they have a member whose power is actually to negate it. Bleh.
Beak has a beak. He also has feathers. He is a birdman, which could theoretically be useful except he cannot fly. He can glide a little, and he wore a suit that allowed him to fly, but without the suit he is literally just a dude with a break. So really, if the X-Men had some kind of situation where they needed corn pecked off the floor quickly, Beak would have been vaguely useful.. until you remember the telekinetics who could grab the corn with their minds, or Storm, who could blow the corn away, one of any other thousands of mutants with the ability to move corn kernels more quickly than Beak could peck them.
There is an X-Men whose codename is X-Treme. He is not to be confused with the comic/team named X-Treme X-Men, although he frequently is. Much like Shatterstar, his powers are being a total badass like Wolverine, although all of this pales next to his “cybernetic”, retractable throwing blades and the fact that he wears a backwards baseball cap on purpose. There is no way this dude was not first drawn on somebody’s Trapper Keeper during Algebra class. The only thing he’s missing is a BMX bike with big-ass spikes coming out of the wheels. Besides being lame, he was going to be the third Summers brother there for a while until somebody at Marvel realized this would have been the worst idea ever, at least the worst idea since creating X-Treme in the first place. X-Treme has made a few exceedingly minor appearances since the ‘90s ended, but he spends most of his time at home collecting pogs and listening to The President of the Unites States of America’s song “Lump” on repeat on his Discman.