Secondary Mutations in Marvel Comics:
When a mutant with an active X-gene hits puberty, he or she undergoes the mutation process that ends up granting the individual superpowers. But sometimes, the X-Gene activation happens twice throughout a mutant’s life span. Termed a secondary mutation, they normally entail enhancement of the powers a mutant already has but they can also be pretty random and varied. Over the years, the number of secondary mutation events amongst the mutants has seen a marked increase. And some of them are truly remarkable.
10. Gambit – Future Sense
Gambit is a master thief and a veteran X-Men member. He has lived a life of thrill and adventure. His primary power allows him to charge any object – living or non-living, with kinetic energy. Starting from playing cards to bowling balls, anything he touches can become a powerful explosive. Gambit even uses this ability to charge up his Bo-Staff, which gains an incredible explosive ability during single combat. But that is not all.
There was a time Gambit went blind and lost the ability to see. In the very next issue, Gambit underwent a secondary mutation. This ability allowed him to gain the power to see the future. The ability was reminiscent of precognition with the difference being he was able to sense events before they happened and well make out if they were good or bad, much like Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense.
9. Angel – Regenerative Healing
Angel had some pretty visually appealing powers but they were pretty much useless in battle. Who would want to have such huge wings that were just a huge white feathered Bull’s eye whose only ability was that they allowed him to fly? But Angel soon became Arch-Angel after becoming a Horseman of Apocalypse and he got some pretty nifty upgrades. He could now use his feathers as sharp projectiles. But he also got a secondary mutation of his own. Angel’s blood had a regenerative healing factor. That was what helped him heal from injuries. His secondary mutation allowed Angel to use his own blood to heal others. It did have some drawbacks though. The recipient needed to have the same blood type and people who were grievously injured could not be healed with Angel’s blood.
8. Beast – Felinity
Hank McCoy was a genius-level scientist who specialized in genetics and biology. He is also a prominent X-Man. Once while in the middle of battle, Beast was lethally injured. Sage, who has the power to jump-start mutations, decided to use her power to reactivate Beast’s X-Gene for a second time, giving him a secondary mutation in the process! Sage’s intentions were to revive Beast by allowing his body to develop its own ability to treat those injuries via the mutation.
Beast gained feline physiological characteristics as a result of that mutation. He did manage to survive those injuries because his body developed a regenerative healing factor that was at least half as quick as Wolverine’s. He also gained superior physical attributes that were much more enhanced than his original base form. His durability and agility also increased way beyond comprehension.
7. Black Tom Cassidy – Floro-Kinetic Anatomy
Black Tom Cassidy had rather unusual power. He could discharge blasts of powerful energy, but he required wooden matter to do so. Like we said, pretty peculiar. But his secondary mutation was even stranger. Black Tom Cassidy’s secondary mutation turned him into an actual plant! Black Tom Cassidy was now composed of plant matter, and he could assimilate him-self with any plant form available nearby. As a result, he was practically un-killable since his consciousness could just jump from one plant to another. He could even use this ability to create copies of himself. These copies would pretty much act like his slaves and would do his bidding. With his secondary mutation, this guy truly became an Omega Level Mutant.
6. Wolverine – De-Evolution
Many think that Weapon X gave Wolverine superior abilities. To an extent, it is true. The adamantium fused to his skeleton did end up making him an unstoppable killing machine. It also gave him an amazing healing factor. But do not for even a second think that Wolverine is nothing without it. He is actually more powerful without the adamantium in his body. Adamantium, by nature, is poisonous. Wolverine’s healing factor is constantly at war with the Adamantium in his bones, to keep the poison at bay. One time, Magneto ripped apart all the Adamantium out of Wolverine’s body. Without any Adamantium to fight, Wolverine’s X-Gene went full-on berserk. His healing factor ended up initiating a secondary mutation that turned Logan more feral and amazingly powerful. He was a one-man army.
5. Emma Frost – Diamond Form
One of the most popular secondary mutations to ever exist in the Marvel Comic Book Universe is Emma Frost’s Diamond Form. Before she developed this ability, Frost was just a telepath and was more or less supportive of the team. After Genosha was bombed by the Sentinels, every mutant in the island nation died except Emma Frost, whose secondary mutation kicked in, giving her an invulnerable diamond skin that helped her survive the immense heat and pressure. For now, her diamond form has become just as iconic an ability as the rest of her powers. She can change into this form at will. When in this state, she is also invulnerable to telepathy and mind control.
4. Shadow Cat – Time Travel
Her primary ability is turning into an incorporeal state and phasing through objects. This has come in handy lots of time for not just Kitty Pryde but for all the X-Men. During the Days of Future Past story arc, we come to see that Kitty Pryde has one more power as a result of undergoing another mutation. She can now send consciousness back in time. In the alternate timeline, every time the Sentinels attacked, Kitty would send her allies’ consciousness back to the past and that would help them avoid the mutant hunters in the future. In the Days of Future Pats movie, it was Kitty Pryde who would send Wolverine back in time, and that would eventually lead to the various events within the movie itself.
3. Iceman – Ice Physiology
It was in Uncanny X-Men #415 that we first saw Iceman show that he could turn parts of his body into ice at will. After Black Tom Cassidy gave him a serious injury, Iceman covered the entire wound with ice. He later revealed that he could encase himself with ice and develop an Ice Physiology. Iceman is also an Omega Level Mutant. His secondary mutation gives him the power to command ice and snow. If he willed it, he could push the world into a perpetual ice age. His Ice physiology also gives him enhanced durability and invulnerability since he no longer has flesh or bones for someone to damage.
2. Elixir – Golden Skin
Elixir has the ability to control all biology. But initially, his only ability was that he could heal people. After being wounded in a fight with Wolfsbane, Elixir developed a golden hue to his skin. Elixir’s abilities exploded sky high. His ability to control biology now extended to bringing people back from the brink of death, cure cancer (or give people cancer or any other disease for that matter), and control all biological matter. Whenever Elixir uses his powers to kill, his skin turns from golden to pitch black. Prodigy claims that Elixir’s secondary mutation is a result of not a physiological but a psychological change and he always had that Omega level ability in him.
1. Quentin Quire – Hyper Telepathic Link
The Bhagwad Gita says that the only thing faster than light is the mind itself. None would concur stronger than Quentin Quire. You might call it a boon or a bane but Quentin’s secondary mutation is near-legendary because of the unlimited potential it holds. Quentin ended up turning into an incorporeal entity that had a telepathic link to each and every sentient being in the universe that ever was is and will be. This meant that no one could ever hide from Quentin no matter where and when they are. Quentin became a literal God. The Phoenix Force even considered making Quentin its next host because of the level of power the guy held in his hands. His secondary mutation is undoubtedly the most powerful of the lot.