The X-Men might be Marvel's mightiest mutants, but that doesn't mean they have it easy. These characters have suffered some of the worst traumas the Marvel universe could throw at a superhero — and then some. From brutal backstories to chilling childhoods, these are the X-Men's tragic origins.
Born into privilege as the son of renowned nuclear scientist Brian Xavier, Charles Xavier's life took an unexpected turn when his father died in an accident. Brian's work partner, Kurt Marko, married Charles's mother Sharon, bringing his son, Cain, into the family alongside him. This all seemed innocuous enough at first, but Charles's psychic abilities made him aware of Marko's ulterior motives — namely, that he married Sharon for her money.
Kurt soon began to slip into alcoholism, abusing both Charles and Cain, though Cain remained embittered toward his new step-brother. Charles attempted to learn more about Cain through telepathy, but ultimately ended up furthering the chasm between them. Cain eventually became Juggernaut, his deep antagonism acting as a constant reminder to Charles that he failed to heal his stepbrother's trauma.
After serving in the Korean War and having his heart broken by his fiancée, Moira MacTaggert, Charles decided to travel around the world. In the Himalayas, he disrupted the plans of an alien calling himself Lucifer, who was intent on colonizing the earth. As punishment, Lucifer dropped a stone onto Charles's legs, resulting in Charles using his signature wheelchair. Regardless of these traumas, however, Charles understands the privileges he has been given — and how to use them to make the world a better place for mutants. Keep watching the video to see all the tragic backstories of these X-men explained.
Professor X | 0:00
Cyclops | 1:40
Havok | 2:43
Jean Grey | 3:37
Wolverine | 4:32
Storm | 5:51
Rogue | 6:58
Nightcrawler | 8:07
Gambit | 9:33
Emma Frost | 10:38
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