The X-Men don’t get the benefit of the doubt like other hero teams do. A team like the Avengers can harbor a reality-altering mass murderer and no one bats an eye. If it was the X-Men, that would be the end of the world. When the Fantastic Four go too far, the public looks for excuses. When the X-Men do it, everyone is looking for the Sentinels.
That said, the X-Men often go too far, even by unbiased metrics. The X-Men have a tough road to walk, trying to keep mutants safe and protect a world that hates and fears them. It’s definitely not easy, so they’ve had to pull out all the stops many times in order to win.
10/10 The X-Men’s Very Existence Dooms The Future Of Humanity
The future of the X-Men isn’t the best. Humanity always reacts badly to the existence of mutants, leading to genocidal wars that do as much damage to humans as mutants. In the end, the world is reduced to concentration camps for both races, as humanity’s AI “protectors” work to limit the birth of more mutants by any means necessary.
The X-Men’s very existence goes too far, because multiple futures reveal that humanity reacts to them with a genocidal zeal. This isn’t their fault, but the fact that the world burns because of them in many futures can be looked at as too far.
9/10 The Team Dating Among Themselves Reached New Lows With Archangel and Husk
Everyone expects superheroes to date among themselves. It’s a feature of the system. It’s written into the X-Men’s DNA, as the relationship between Cyclops and Jean Grey proves. However, there’s always times when it’s the best for the team of those involved. And then there’s the time when it’s probably illegal.
That’s the relationship between Archangel and Husk. Archangel was an adult, in his mid to late twenties at least, and Husk was a teenager. Even if she was eighteen, and that’s a big if, there was definitely something rotten in Denmark. It’s not the first time the X-Men overlooked an illegal relationship, but it’s the most recent.
8/10 Everyone Was Cool With Cyclops Abandoning His Family When Jean Grey Came Back
Cyclops is X-Men royalty. He’s the team’s greatest leader and everyone respects him. After Jean Grey’s “death” as Dark Phoenix, he left the team to be with his new wife Madelyne Pryor, the two of them having a son named Nathan. And then Jean Grey came back and Cyclops decided that families were lame, so he formed X-Factor to hang out with her again.
Everyone has been surprisingly cool with this ever since it happened. No one batted an eye at the time, and it’s rarely brought up in the present. Cyclops’s action caused a lot of problems down the road, but it always gets blamed on Madelyne and Mister Sinister.
7/10 Beast Has Done Terrible Things As Head Of X-Force
The X-Men are used to betrayals, but what Beast has been doing on Krakoa is worse. For years, Beast was the team’s fun scientist, quick with a joke and a kick to an enemy’s face. Recent years have seen growing hard and unreasonable, and he was chosen as leader of X-Force when Krakoa was established as a mutant nation. This made him the leader of the mutant CIA.
Beast has been taking a page out of the CIA’s book in practice as well. He’s tried to overthrow a nation in secret, almost opening Krakoa up to worldwide retaliation, killed Wolverine and experimented on him, making into a mindless killing machine, and created a black site prison space station. He’s doing it all in the name of mutants, something that is definitely going to haunt them.
6/10 Professor X Erased The Memory Of His Second X-Men From Everyone’s Minds
The X-Men have some rather dark secrets, many of them involving Professor X’s mental powers. Xavier hasn’t ever had much problem mindwiping people when it benefited the team, but he’s also done it to them. When the X-Men first discovered Krakoa, Xavier sent the team there and everyone but Cyclops was imprisoned by the mutant island.
Xavier went to Moira MacTaggert for help, and she let him use several of her mutant students. Cyclops led the group in, and it went even worse than before, with Cyclops believing the whole team had been killed. Professor X erased everyone’s memories of them and brought together another team, consisting of mutants from around the world like Storm, Colossus, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and more.
5/10 The Quiet Council Punished Sabretooth For Breaking Laws That Hadn’t Been Made Yet
During the early stages of Krakoa as a nation, Mystique, Sabretooth, and Toad raided a US government facility to get intelligence. Sabretooth is a brutal killer, so he murdered some guards. He was taken into custody by the Fantastic Four and later freed when Krakoans got diplomatic immunity. However, that modicum of punishment was just the beginning.
The Quiet Council made their laws, one of which was not to kill humans. Although he had done it before the laws were created, they threw him in the Pit as a warning to everyone else. He worked for them, and they punished him just to prove to others they would punish them too.
4/10 Wolverine And Cyclops’s Schism Weakened The Fragile Mutant Race
The X-Men’s internal rivalries have sometimes been as bad as their external ones. Wolverine and Cyclops long had a working animosity towards each other. However, the two heroes eventually softened and respected each other. All of that changed when Cyclops had a mutant teen named Oya kill some Hellfire goons instead of waiting for Wolverine to get there to do it.
The two had a violent falling out, one that led to the rest of the diminished mutant race choosing sides between them. This weakened mutants as a whole and helped lead to the conflict between Cyclops’s X-Men and the Avengers, since Wolverine badmouthed him to his Avengers friends.
3/10 Xavier Mindwiping Magneto Had Serious Consequences
Magneto’s return in “Fatal Attractions” saw him establishing Avalon, a new space station for mutants, and renewing hostilities with humanity and the X-Men. After he detonated a massive EMP that knocked the Earth into the Stone Age, Xavier led a strike team of X-Men to Avalon to stop him. By the end of the battle, Wolverine’s adamantium had been forcibly removed and Magneto’s mind had been wiped.
Xavier’s mindwipe of Magneto had major repercussions, as it led to Onslaught’s creation. There were other ways to take care of Magneto that would have worked just as well and not led to such widespread devastation in the future.
2/10 Beast Almost Destroyed Time By Bringing The Original X-Men To The Present
Marvel’s heroes and time travel aren’t strangers, something that’s done damage to the fabric of time itself. After the conflict between the Avengers and X-Men, Beast wanted two things: for Cyclops to see the error of his ways and help with his mutation. So, he went back in time and brought the original five X-Men to the present.
This was supposed to allow Cyclops to see their younger selves and remember how it used to be, while young Beast helped the present Beast save his own life. Beast did save his life, but Cyclops didn’t change at all and the whole thing nearly destroyed time itself.
1/10 The Phoenix Five Went From Benevolent To Malevolent Very Quickly
The Phoenix Force is difficult to control, something Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus, and Magik found out first hand. Iron Man’s attempt to destroy the Phoenix split it, and it took root in those X-Men. At first, the Phoenix Five used their might for the good of the world, but that began to change when they decided the world needed to give them the Avengers.
Namor attacked Wakanda, killing countless civilians, Magik used Limbo as a prison for Avengers, and Emma traveled the world murdering people who hurt mutants. It all culminated in Cyclops becoming Dark Phoenix, killing Professor Xavier before being beaten.
NEXT: 10 X-Men Who Need To Make Their MCU Debut ASAP