The X-Men universe features some of the most powerful characters that Marvel as ever created and a variety of phrases have been invented to explain and categorise the power of mutants. Omega level mutants are meant to be at the top of the list, and while the phrase sounds suitably intimidating, what defines an ‘omega level’ mutant and what exactly does the term mean?
The concept of omega level mutants was first introduced by Chris Claremont, Dan Green and John Romita Jr in 1986’s Uncanny X-Men #208. The phrase was meant to imply an unlimited potential of power for certain mutants, but there was no obvious explanation as to what the term meant.
This lack of clarity led to a debate about which mutants could be considered omega level. Based on the fluidity of the phrase, characters like Wolverine could have been thought of as an omega level mutant because of the potency of his healing factor.
In Johnathan Hickman’s 2019 House of X storyline, the phrase was finally given an official meaning that can be defined as:
“A mutant whose dominant power is deemed to register – or reach – an undefinable upper limit of that power’s specific classification.”
Hickman explains that there can only be one omega level mutant within a classification of a single power e.g. telepathy for Jean Grey. Hickman goes a step further by comparing Magneto and Forge’s powers.
“Both Magneto and Forge are the most powerful mutants of their power types on the planet Earth [Magnetism and Technopathy, respectively], but what makes Magneto, and not Forge, an omega level mutant is that the upper limit of Forge’s measurable powers could hypothetically be surpassed [and, in fact, has by multiple humans on the planet], while the upper limit of Magneto’s power cannot be surpassed in any measurable fashion.”
And while some mutants can develop multiple abilities, the omega level reading is still defined by one power. For example, Jean Grey has both telepathy and telekinesis, but she is only an omega level telepath because there are other telekinetics that have surpassed her power, such as Exodus/Bennet du Paris.
Which mutants are omega level?
Based on Hickman’s definition and the House of X arc, the following characters are omega level mutants:
- Jamie Braddock/Monarch – Reality Manipulation (Quantum)
- Bobby Drake/Iceman – Temperature Manipulation [Negative]
- Josh Foley/Elixer – Biokinesis
- Jean Grey/Marvel Girl – Telepathy
- David Haller/Legion – Power Manifestation
- Max Eisenhardt/Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto – Magnetism
- Abaslon Mercator/Mister M – Matter Manipulation
- Ororo Muroe/Storm – Weather Manipulation
- Bennet Du Paris/Exodus – Telekinesis
- Quentin Quire/Kid Omega – Telepathy
- Gabriel Summers/Vulcan Gabriel Summers/Vulcan – Energy Manipulation
- Hope Summers/Hope – Power Manipulation
While there are likely to be more mutants that fit into the omega level class, Hickman has done an incredible job of simplifying a term that has caused fans to speculate for years on an official definition. Check out the complete infographic below: