10 Dark Decisions That Haunted The X-Men

The X-Men have faced a more difficult time than any other superhero team. Not only have they had to deal with the common problems that superheroes have, like supervillains, but also that the governments of the world want them dead. Even the civilians the X-Men save often hate them, making being a member of the mutant team a very difficult proposition for the team’s members.

In order to keep themselves and the mutant race, the members of the X-Men have had to make some very hard decisions to save the day. The X-Men have more on their shoulders than most heroes could imagine, but the choices they’ve made have had terrible consequences. The X-Men do their best to be heroic, but survival means making brutal decisions.

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10 Wolverine And Cyclops Brought Back X-Force As A Secret Mutant Death Squad

X-Force Vol 3 #2 Cover featuring Wolfsbane, Wolverine, and Warpath battling the Purifiers

X-Force is the black ops mutant team. Cable formed the first X-Force out of the ashes of the New Mutants, and the team was his own personal strike force. Eventually the first X-Force would disband, but that wasn’t the end of the team. During the Utopia Era, with mutants numbering less than two hundred, Cyclops and Wolverine decided mutants needed more protecting than most X-Men were willing to give.

Cyclops let Wolverine choose his own team of killers, and a new X-Force was born. This group hunted down the X-Men’s enemies and slaughtered them. However, the team was a secret, as most X-Men weren’t okay with killing. Of course, they were eventually found out, but Wolverine would recruit a new X-Force team, continuing the old team’s mission with his own secret death squad.

9 Professor X Replaced Himself With A Shapechanging Villain To Fight An Alien Invasion

X-Men (vol. 2) 53 - Z'Nox Cropped

Professor X is a complicated person and has long believed that he can pretty much do whatever he wants. Back in the early days of the X-Men, Professor X made a decision that would traumatize most of the team. Professor X constructed a special room in the X-Mansion’s basement that hid him from telepathic detection. Then Xavier got the mutant villain Changeling to stand in for him while he battled the Z’Nox invasion from his telepathy proof room.

Professor X told Jean Grey the truth, but she had to keep it all a secret. However, things got out of hand when Changeling was killed in Xavier’s guise. There’s nothing wrong with fighting an alien invasion, but keeping it a secret from his students led to death and pain for the group.

8 The Xavier Protocols

The Xavier Protocols being used against the X-Men in Marvel Comics

Superheroes often become evil, and that’s why making plans to kill the most powerful ones is a good idea. Charles Xavier knew that if any of his X-Men went evil, it would do tremendous damage to human/mutant relations. So, Xavier used all the information he had gathered about his X-Men to create the Xavier Protocols, which were strategies that could kill any members of the X-Men.

Xavier coming up with ways to kill people he’d poured into for years is as dark as it gets. It makes sense, of course. An out of control superhero could do a lot of damage. However, the whole situation shows how Xavier’s pragmatic tendencies can create serious problems for the X-Men.

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7 Xavier And Moira Sent A Team Of X-Men To Their Deaths

Vulcan, Petra, Sway, and Darwin standing in front of Professor X's face from Marvel Comics' X-Men: Deadly Genesis

X-Men: Deadly Genesis revealed a dark truth that no one expected. After the X-Men had been captured by Krakoa, Xavier went to Moira MacTaggert and asked her to use her students to rescue them. Xavier used his powers to give them months of training in a few days and sent the team to Krakoa. Vulcan, Sway, Petra, and Darwin rescued Cyclops, buying him time to get away, and they were savaged by the island’s defenses.

Sway and Petra used their powers to save Vulcan and Darwin, who merged with each other. Meanwhile, Sway and Petra’s energies became a part of Vulcan. Xavier lost contact with them and figured they were all dead. So, he mindwiped everyone of their existence. This dark decision came back to haunt the X-Men when Vulcan showed up again, bent on revenge against Xavier.

6 Xavier And Magneto Used Mystique’s Love For Destiny Against Her

Mystique and Xavier discussing Destiny

Professor X can be pretty shady. His tendency to play his cards close to the vest was a huge part of Krakoa, with Magneto helping him keep multiple secrets. The two mutants agreed to Moira MacTaggert’s decree to not resurrect any precogs. However, the two leaders promised Mystique they would resurrect Destiny if she did what she was told.

Xavier and Magneto had no intention of bringing Destiny back, but still wanted Mystique to do their bidding. They would constantly tell Mystique that she hadn’t succeeded in her missions, so she couldn’t get Destiny back. It was a monstrous decision, but Xavier and Magneto had no qualms about it.

5 Cyclops’s Plans For The Phoenix Nearly Doomed The World

The Phoenix Five holding Hope Summers in Marvel comics

Avengers Vs. X-Men was a dark time for everyone. Mutants were at their lowest ebb, with barely two hundred of them in the world. Cyclops learned that the Phoenix Force was coming to the Earth and set up Hope Summers so she could become the new host of the Phoenix, hoping she could use its power to reignite the spark of mutantkind.

Of course, Wolverine found out about this, told the Avengers, and that led to the war between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the X-Men. The battles led to Iron Man splitting up the Phoenix Force, causing the Force to possess Cyclops, Emma Frost, Colossus, Magik, and Namor. This did some good for the world in the short term, but the Phoenix Five soon became evil and fought among themselves, turning Cyclops into the Dark Phoenix.

4 Xavier Enslaved The Sentient Danger Room Computer

Wolverine ambushing Danger as Cyclops blasts her from Marvel Comics

Professor X created the Danger Room to train the X-Men. The X-Men practiced teamwork and mastered their powers in the Danger Room. As time went on, the Danger Room’s technology got better and better. Eventually, Professor X added Shi’ar technology to the Danger Room, upgrading its computer to run the more sophisticated holographic tech. One day, the computer became sentient and approached Xavier.

Instead of respecting the Danger Room as a new lifeform and giving it freedom, Xavier enslaved the Danger Room computer. The Danger Room was too important to the X-Men’s training, so Xavier couldn’t allow it its freedom. This came back to bite the X-Men when the Danger Room broke free and plotted revenge against Xavier and the X-Men.

3 The X-Men’s Attack On The Orchis Forge Was A Suicide Mission

Wolverine destroys the Mother Mold battle station in Marvel Comics

The first weeks of the mutant nation established on Krakoa were fraught with danger. The Orchis Initiative was creating powerful weapons to destroy the island, like their solar orbiting space station, the Orchis Forge. Because of Moira MacTaggert’s multiple lives, Xavier and Magneto knew Orchis would create a Nimrod at the Forge, which was home to a Mother Mold. Xavier, Magneto, and Cyclops sent an X-Men attack force to the Forge.

The team consisted of Wolverine, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, M, Archangel, Mystique, and Husk led by Cyclops. Everyone must have known this would be a suicide mission, and while the team was successful, they were all killed. Luckily for them, Krakoan resurrection was a thing, but even then a suicide mission is always dark.

RELATED: 10 X-Men Comics We Wish Were Canon

2 Xavier And Magneto Kept Moira MacTaggert’s Powers A Secret

Charles Xavier and Moira MacTaggert meeting with Magneto from Marvel Comics

Krakoa has become supremely important to X-Men lore. The mutant island became the home to the mutant race, all of which was possible because of plans made by Xavier, Magneto, and Moira MacTaggert. Moira was always thought to be human, but she was a mutant who was reincarnated with all of her memories at the moment of her birth. Together, the three laid the groundwork of the mutant nation years before the X-Men were established.

Xavier could have told the X-Men the truth about Moira, but didn’t. Everyone thought Moira was a human and Xavier helped her fake her death with a Shi’ar golem. When Krakoa was established, Xavier and Magneto still kept the truth about Moira secret, a decision that would come back to bite both of them.

1 Xavier Decided To Mindwipe Magneto

Xavier mind wipes Magneto in Marvel Comics X-Men-25.

Xavier and Magneto are great friends, but their relationship was strained for a long time. This came to a head when Magneto returned in control of the space station Avalon. Magneto’s servant Exodus began recruiting worthy mutants to move to Avalon and eventually Magneto would detonate an electromagnetic pulse, crippling the Earth. The X-Men took him down, and Xavier donned a psi-powered exoskeleton to lead the team into battle.

The X-Men almost killed Magneto, but the mutant master of magnetism was able to take down Wolverine by ripping out his adamantium skeleton. At that moment, Xavier made a terrible decision and mindwiped Magneto. This ended Magneto’s threat for a time, but also was the genesis of the powerful psychic entity, Onslaught.

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