I’ve been doing these mutant power lists every two years, once in 2014 and another in 2016. However, as long as Marvel Comics continues to produce such ridiculous powers for the characters, I’ll always have fodder. Some of these characters listed here don’t even have powers, they just have physical mutations that make them just as lame. Some of them made only one appearance, so it was difficult to form a pseudo-science explanation for their powers or physical deformities. Anyway, here’s my 3rd edition of Marvel’s top 10 dumbest powers:
Real Name: John Arthur Zander
First Appearance: District X (Vol. 1) #2, August 2004
Powers: Jazz was a mutant whose active x-gene mutation was a blue pigmentation of his skin.
WTF?: The Eiffel 65 lyric that goes “I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa” is the one thing that comes to mind when I think of Jazz, especially since he was an aspiring rapper. To clarify, an active x-gene means by definition that the individual has a mutation. It could be an extremely meager or lame mutation (like Jazz) or a godlike mutation (like Franklin Richards). So while Jazz didn’t have powers, he was still a mutant. Even so, he just has blue skin with no special capabilities. He was one of the many characters from the 2004 comic book series, District X. Located in Manhattan, District X was a predominantly mutant neighborhood with residents ranging from the dirt-poor to crime bosses. With his “power”, I’m surprised Jazz survived as long as he did. He met his end post-Decimation when he was choked to death (ironically, he did not turn a different shade of blue in the process).
Real Name: William Hanover
First Appearance: New X-Men #140, June 2003
Powers: Longneck is a mutant with a superhuman elongated cervical vertebrae with the sole outward sign of his mutation being an elongated neck. Presumably, his neck muscles were enhanced to support the weight of his skull and had a certain degree of enhanced flexibility as well.
WTF?: A Grant Morrison creation, Longneck is additional proof that being a mutant doesn’t always mean having a power, it does always mean that you have a mutation. But all he has to show for his mutation is a an elongated neck. Like Jazz, he has no superhuman power that goes with his mutation (he also looks like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo). He lost his mutation on M-Day, but what could he even do with that neck? Peer over a fence or a wall? Bat people down like a giraffe? Deep-throat? NEXT!
Real Name: Hanna Levy
First Appearance: District X (Vol. 1) #2, August 2004
Powers: Hanna Levy’s mutant power was an altered digestive system and metabolism. Her tongue is both elastic and prehensile, allowing her to stretch it to a few dozen feet long, guiding it like a whip or lasso towards a given target. The rest of her digestive system is mutated for a strict diet of insects. Her body’s gastrointestinal tract can only process insects, breaking them down for their high levels of protein, calcium and iron, zinc until her cells utilize those elements absorbed from the insects during digestion.
WTF?: Longtime District X resident Hanna Levy has a degree in social history and is a researcher for a prominent historical journal. But no one cares about that because her power gave her an appetite for bugs. She catches bugs in mid-air with her tongue and snacks on them. Maggott may have had a mutated digestive system too, but at least it was never relegated to metabolizing only bugs. She got used to her power, though. So much so, that when she lost her power on M-Day, she went crazy. She didn’t treat herself to a prime rib dinner, but rather allowed herself to be driven insane, deluding herself into thinking that insects would attack her as revenge for her eating so many of them. She was cured eventually, but I wonder what her opening line is when she goes speed-dating…”Hi, I’m Hanna! I like social history and used to LOVE eating bugs“?
Real Name: Francis Zapruder
First Appearance: X-Men Unlimited (Vol. 2) #2, June 2004
Powers: Filthy Frankie’s mutant power constantly generates volatilized chemical compounds in high concentrations that humans and animals can perceive by their sense of smell. As a result, he produces an intense body odor at all times from his pores, which changes depending on his emotional state. In a content mood, his body will emanate pleasant fragrances, scents, and aromas. When angered, his body would generate a putrid odor.
WTF?: A Jewish New York City mob boss based in District X who’s also a mutant and (I’m only guessing) a big music fan. His favorite songs are “Funky Drummer”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Play that Funky Music White Boy”. He never weaponized his power, he was just that one gangster with some turnt-up body odor. He was often angry, so he stunk like literal crap. When he was happy, he smelled like CHANEL No 5. Thankfully M-Day happened, so he’s no longer got the funk.
Real Name: Arturo Falcone
First Appearance: District X (Vol. 1) #2, August 2004
Powers: Arturo Falcone was born with the mutant power to produce quasi-sentient creatures out from inside his body, creating different lifeforms depending on his mood and emotional state. In his youth, he had a happy disposition, so his power spawned small, beautiful creatures. As he aged, his disposition became jaded which was exacerbated by alcoholism, causing his creatures to be more deformed and monstrous.
The creatures he later in life came to produce accumulated under his skin in blisters that aggressively released the lifeforms when popped. The blisters formed anywhere on his body, causing him to painfully release the creatures once when the blisters popped. In his downtrodden middle age, his power and the accompanying blisters caused him constant physical agony.
WTF?: Like most District X residents, ex-garbageman Arturo Falcone didn’t manifest any cool and glamorous mutant powers. But when M-Day hit, I know he was down on his knees every day thanking God (or Wanda Maximoff, really) for taking away his power. He was a pimple popper’s nightmare! The picture above shows him manifesting a creature from out of his shoulder, but what if it happened on his chest or genitals? His power had some possibilities though: He could have potentially created an army of sentient beings, or perhaps a new species. Of course, he didn’t seem to be able to consciously dictate what exactly came out of him, only his mood determined that. But, thanks to the Scarlet Witch, he got depowered. If I had that bad of a power, I’d be happy AF!
Real Name: Fabio Medina
First Appearance: The Uncanny X-Men (Vol. 3) #1, April 2013
Powers: Goldballs’ mutant ability produces solid energy spheres of gold coloration, not composition. They tend to manifest in motion, though it’s likely that he can control their size, velocity, direction, and force of their appearance with time and practice.
WTF?: When Brian Michael Bendis was ready to bring his talents to the X-Men books five or six years ago, I thought that this would be good. However, while Bendis is dope as a writer, he wasn’t fit for the x-books and creating Goldballs is one of those reasons why. All his power allows him to do his project an unlimited supply of golden…balls from his body. It’s got some useful applications, yeah, but it just looks dumb. It’s like when Archangel fought the multi-limbed Forearm and stated “You know, in my younger days…I’d sit and think if there was any mutant power more stupid than just having wings that flap around.” Well, here’s another answer for ya, Warren.
Real Name: Axel Cluney
First Appearance: X-Force (Vol. 1) #116, July 2001
Powers: Zeitgeist III was born with the mutant ability to generate large amounts of gelatinous, energized bio-plasma from within his throat cavity and expel it through his mouth. This “gunk” is as corrosive as acid and highly volatile, capable of dissolving and eating through solid matter. It can also cause explosive releases of force if even slightly stimulated. He had difficulty controlling the release of his mutant power and constantly wore a face-mask over his mouth.
WTF?: Most mutants remember when their powers first manifested, but Axel Cluney manifested his when he was at a beach getting drunk with a girl and hurled his corrosive vomit all over her face. He wore a specially-designed mouthpiece to control his power from then on. He was the leader of the media-skewering incarnation of X-Force and enjoyed the fame and female groupies that came with it. He got so used to the good life that he forgot the name of the girl he first vomited on. It took being killed (literally shot in half) for him to finally remember. But corrosive vomit? I’d like to see whose was more acidic, his or Jeff Goldblum’s from The Fly (1986)?
Real Name: Reuben O’Hara
First Appearance: X-Treme X-Men (Vol. 1) #20, March 2003
Powers: Tantra II possessed an elephantine mutation, making him considerably larger and more massive than a normal human. He had various elephant-like features including dry gray skin, large ears, a trunk, tusks, stubby fingers, and thickly padded hands and feet. His mutant power was the ability to cast energy flares that manipulated the libidos of other people around him, causing them to experience increased sexual arousal in response to any specific stimuli of his choice.
WTF?: Tantra II was one of the many teenage mutants attending Xavier’s school during the early 2000s run of X-books. He’s an elephant-boy who can make people horny over anything he chooses. It wasn’t shown how long his power would affect someone, but he could’ve commercialized it as a form of Viagra. However, with this elephantine mutation, getting depowered on M-Day was the best thing for him.
Real Name: Unrevealed
First Appearance: Wolverine & The X-Men (Vol. 1) #31, August 2013
Powers: Snot’s mutant power is a superhuman nasal cavity that contains mucus of exotic properties. The only outward sign of his mutation is that his nose is now a semi-pronounced snout with superhuman nasal bones, cartilages (including the septal cartilage and the upper and lower lateral cartilages), and mucosa.
He can sneeze or snort in order to propel his mucus a much greater distance than any normal human. He also produces far more mucus than normal. Snot’s mucus is abnormally elastic and adhesive. It can cling to his targets, restricting their movements and gluing them to the floor or anything else they touch. It absorbs force which, combined with its slippery and adhesive properties, makes it difficult to remove. A targeted snotball can block off orifices, potentially asphyxiating and killing an opponent.
After passing through the mystical portal of the Siege Perilous, Snot was reborn on Earth. He now seemed to have aged at least 10 years with a muscular physique and was much more proficient in the uses of his powers.
WTF?: He’s got a superhuman nose and boogers. I think Snot was released at a time when X-Men writers were running out of ideas. He reminds of the Toad from the first 2000 X-Men film, but not as gross. As a child, the corporation that makes Kleenex must’ve LOVED him! He also reminds of something that a middle school kid obsessed with scatological humor would create, like prehensile pubic hair.
Real Name: Ledbetter (last name unrevealed)
First Appearance: Wolverine & The X-Men (Vol. 1) #20, January 2013
Powers: Mudbug’s mutation grants him a crawfish-like physiology. His physical characteristics are a hybrid of both a human and a crawfish. Though he stands upright and moves by his two legs, they now resemble those of a crawfish. He has retained his human shaped torso and arms, however the rest of his physiology is mutated, giving him the appearance of a bipedal crawfish. The majority of his body is covered with a hardened exoskeletal armor, including his head, limbs, and backside.
In addition to his bipedal limbs, Mudbug has four pairs of additional walking legs. They are used primarily for walking and gathering food. He has five pairs of swimmerets used in swimming. He has enhanced speed swimming in the water and the swimmerets allow him to catch food as well as to bear his own gills. He has additional arms as giant pincers able to exert vise-like pressure, along with a pair of normal human arms extending from his sides, which act as smaller supplementary limbs to his larger crawfish claws.
He has a carapace to protect his internal organs and gill, he has three maxillipeds which aid in oral food consumption, a soft underbelly and cephalothorax (which, respectively has a tail fan at the end of it, allowing him to steer as he swims and holds support for both his head and walking legs and functioning similarly to a human torso and neck).
He has acute senses of hearing, sight, taste, and smell due his superhuman attenule, attenae, and a stalked pair of eyes which allow him to detect fast movement and navigate in murky waters. Mudbug possesses a degree of augmented strength in his larger crawfish limbs and his external crustacean structure protects from harm to a certain extent.
WTF?: WTF indeed. Given that he’s a human crawfish, how does he fit into those regular clothes that he has on? Like Forrest Gump, Mudbug is from rural Alabama and loves the sea. He had better hope that hungry mutants like the Blob or Cajun mutants like Gambit NEVER set eyes on him. Get a pot of boiling water, some Old Bay seasoning, corn on the cob, some boiled eggs and Mudbug could feed A LOT of people. Like Snot, he will never be a beloved character. He’ll just be remembered by obsessive comic book readers like myself for having one of the dumbest mutant powers ever.
All images appear courtesy of the Marvel Entertainment Group.