The X-Men are one of the most well known of all comic book superhero teams. The various members are constantly fighting to make the world a safer place for humans and mutants alike. It is hard to find a group of heroes more selfless and heroic than the X-Men. Except for all of their members who have turned evil at some point or another. There are kind of a lot of those.
1. Jean Grey
Jean Grey is one of the founding members of the X-Men, and also one of the most powerful. Back in the eighties, Jean had to push her powers to the limits, exposing herself to massive amounts of space radiation to get the rest of the X-Men back home safely. Since this the comic book world, instead of killing her the radiation only served to make her stronger and green. Well, her new costume was green anyways. Along with the new threads, Jean started calling herself Phoenix.
As the saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Considering how much power she had, it was no surprise that Phoenix decided it would be more fun to be Dark Phoenix and turn to evil. And by evil I mean destroying an entire solar system and eradicating billions of sentient aliens. This officially made her the X-Men villain with the highest kill count.
One of the X-Menâ€™s most dangerous foes is the mutant known as Apocalypse. As you can probably tell by his name, he is not the friendliest guy. He is also ridiculously powerful and has the power to turn others into his henchman, to help him rid the world of those he deems weak. One of the most famous of these henchman is Archangel.
Archangel is, of course, the X-Man known as Angel. Apocalypse just caught him at a bad time in his life. Angelâ€™s wings had just been cut off him, his formerly massive fortune was no longer his, and the plane he was in had just exploded. Not the best day. Before the explosion, Apocalypse took Angel from the plane and offered him his wings back if he agreed to become his horseman, Death. Archangelâ€™s first action as Death was to use his new metal, knife-firing, wings to defeat his former teammates in battle.
Magneto has long been known as the premier X-Men villain. He leads a group called The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, so not much ambiguity there. That is why it came as so much of a surprise when Colossus decided to join up with Magnetoâ€™s gang.
Colossus has always been the honorable strongman of the X-Men, but it seemed like recent events had pushed him over the edge. He was stuck in his big metal man form and his sister Illyana was killed by a virus specifically targeted at mutants. Thus, the rational course of action was to join the most extreme group of mutant extremists around, whom he had spent most of his adult life fighting against. Needless to say, the rest of the X-Men were shocked by this team change.
Cyclops has been the unquestione leader of the X-Men for a while now. He is the straight laced, comparatively, guy on the X-Men who is often the one most unwilling to things he sees as morally wrong. Sure, he created the mutant hit team X-Force, but then he felt bad and tried to shut them down. Thatâ€™s just the kind of guy he is. Thus it might come as a surprise to you that Cyclops was once Apocalypse.
Alright, a little more information might be needed here. Apocalypse put together a plan where he would transfer his essence into the body of a strong mutant, namely Cyclopsâ€™s son, Nate, and become an unstoppable engine of destruction. Cyclops wasnâ€™t about to let that happen, and he threw himself into the merging process, allowing Apocalypse to come together with him. Luckily for the world, while Cycopalypse was extremely powerful, he was not invincible.
5. Scarlet Witch
The Scarlet Witch AKA Wanda Maximoff started out as a member of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but that can be forgiven. After all, she is Magnetoâ€™s daughter. She eventually rebels against her father, realizing he is kind of a jerk, and joins the X-Men for a while. Things are hunky dory, and she even has two kids. Thatâ€™s when things go downhill.
It is revealed to Wanda that her children arenâ€™t really her children, but in fact little pieces of Mephisto, sort of the Marvel universe version of the Devil. Luckily her memory of those children is erased from her mind to make things okay again. That is until Wasp happens to mention the fact that â€œHey, didnâ€™t you have two kids or something?â€ and breaks Wandaâ€™s brain.
Wanda and her now broke brain respond to this by using her crazy mutant powers to alter reality, getting rid of almost all mutants, bringing her children back to life, and becoming public enemy number one.
Gambit has always been one of the shadier members of the X-Men, a byproduct of the fact he made his living as a thief before joining the team. His moral compass seemed to be a little bit skewed to some team members, and his womanizing ways rubbed some the wrong way. Still, he was generally viewed as one of the good guys. At least until he willingly joined Apocalypse as the new horseman of Death.
In Gambitâ€™s defense, when he joined Apocalypse he wasnâ€™t planning on being an evil henchman. He wanted to plant himself close to the Big A to be an inside man and keep his teammates safe. Unfortunately, he miscalculated Apocalypseâ€™s mind warping abilities. Instead of pretending to be a bad guy, Gambit became a full fledged villain.
It seems that Apocalypseâ€™s favorite hobby, besides trying to take over the world, is turning X-Men and former X-Men into Horseman of Apocalypse. Sunfire only had a brief membership with the X-Men, but he firmly established himself as a hero, if somewhat headstrong. Then Wanda Maximoff went crazy and took away everybodyâ€™s mutant abilities, Sunfireâ€™s included.
Much like with Angel, Apocalypse offered Sunfire his powers back if he joined team bad guy. Sunfire agreed to become Famine, and Apocalypse threw him in a cell to await his transformation.
It was around this time that Sunfire realized this might not be such a good idea, and attempted to get the hell out of there. Apocalypse caught him and decided that he still wanted Sunfire to be one of his horseman, and thus the new Famine was born and set loose upon the X-Men.
By this point, I am convinced that every single member of the X-Men is destined to become a Horseman of Apocalypse. Polaris is no exception to this rule. There is a slight twist to Polarisâ€™s story though.
Previously, Apocalypse like to offer X-Men something in return for them becoming his horsemen. Apparently this was getting hard on Apocalypseâ€™s pocketbook or something, because he abandoned that whole â€œsweeten the dealâ€ thing with Polaris. Instead Apocalypse kidnapped her, forcibly restrained her, and made her into Pestilence. Watch out X-Men, the rest of you are next.
Bishop came from the future to join the X-Men and soon became one of their most valuable members. He worked closely with Professor X to make peace between humans and mutants a reality. Then, suddenly, that changed and Bishop decided to go start doing evil stuff. Just so youâ€™re clear on everything, Bishopâ€™s â€œevil stuffâ€ was tracking down and killing a baby.
Bishop wanted to kill this baby to save the future where he came from, as killing the baby would, hopefully, prevent a war that led to mutants being rounded up in concentration camps. In that way, Bishop was kind of justified. But still, dude was trying to kill a baby. It doesnâ€™t get much more villainous than that.
10. Dark Beast
Dark Beast is an interesting case. He is an alternate dimension version of the beloved blue Beast, but Dark Beast is quite a bit more sadistic than his X-Men counterpart, whom he kidnapped and impersonated for a while. What was intriguing about this was that living as Beast seemed to be having a positive effect on Dark Beast. In essence, by acting like a good guy, he was starting to become more of a good guy.
At first, Dark Beast was killing everybody with a connection to the real Beast who could reveal him as an imposter. Then he got around to the real Beastâ€™s parents and found that he couldnâ€™t bring himself to kill them. Instead he settled for killing a random guy on the way back to the X-Menâ€™s base. Believe it or not, this was some real progress for him.
Unfortunately, this progress did not last. He was discovered by the X-Men and chased away to continue his evil experiments on unwilling test subjects.