The mutants, despite their human nature, feature many distinctive aspects in biology, physiology and genetics from their evolutive predecessors, but also within them.
The Human mutants Homo superior possess the X-Gene, mutant gene, X-Factor chromosome, or (chromosomal) X-Factor, "mutator gene", positioned on the 23rd chromosome (sexual chromosome).
- Please consult this section for more details.
On the other side, it is often clearly stated that the mutant gene truly exist.
This gene leads (via transcription and translation) to an exotic protein. This protein produces chemical signals inducing mutations on other genes, ending up with mutant organisms, variously empowered. The activated mutants, once went through a mutation or X-Mutation, are told to be "mutated", which is also told of mutants who suffers further mutations through experimentation.
Puberty, stress, traumas
Solar radiation has been tied to dramatic rises in mutant birth rates.
Beta particles and irradiation may as well affect the mutation, possibly turning unborn children into mutants when their pregnant mothers are irradiated, enhancing mutant powers for active mutants. The only sure effects of it was the Collective formed in Russia during an experiment involving those issues.
Some mutants, among them the "Homo Killcrop" (or Changelings), are activated at birth. Powered beings activated at birth or before puberty are witnessed with surprise or even defiance towards their mutant status.
Some factors may as well inhibit and prevent the activation of an X-Gene:
- Rhapsody (Rachel Argosy) was described as a "late bloomer", a case of meningitis slowing her activation until she turned around twenty.
- On Earth-13270, two mutations can't grow and develop alongside: Peter Parker had his mutant genes repressed during his adolescence and adulthood, until he lost his mutate powers, and that his mutant status popped out.
The mutations have been shown to be really variable, "can be benign or malignant", from little physical mutations (Jazz's mutation consisted in a simple blue skin pigmentation) to vast psionic or reality manipulation capabilities. The physiology of some subjects could also be drastically modified. For example, Beast once met a mutant with brain-bladders.
The feral gene (manifesting in animalistic mutations such as the ones of Feral or Sabretooth) is stated to be more common in mutants than other powers such as flight or telepathy. See the list of characters stated to carry the feral gene.
Doctor Lucius Kleinstein has presented a theory supposing correlation between personality and the mutations among the mutants, with as example Match's fiery temper and mutation. Similar statements and theories exist about the Gamma Mutates' physical transformations and the Inhumans' Terrigenesis.
Generalities by Type of Mutation
Effects of inhibitors
According to Storm, "fine talent like psi tend to be affected before gross ones like metamorphosis", reacting to the fact that Emma Frost had lost her telepathy while being able to use her Secondary Mutation to shift to her diamond form, when she entered the range area of an Inhibitor mutant.
The Secondary Mutation is a phenomenon in which an existing mutant gains additional powers, or a change in appearance.
Viability of the breeding
Wakandan scientists even stated that even if there was never been found a proven case of a genetic incompatibility between humans and mutants, every mutation was different and some effects could perturb the reproduction process.
Influence of the mutations
It was stated by Beast that "X-gene-positive parents with radically altered reproductive physiology" could result in unimaginable offspring, speaking of Beak and Angel's larvae hatched after only a few days of pregnancy.
Variability of offsprings' powers
Children of members of the Homo superior race, most often have very similar, exact duplicates, or advanced versions of one or both parents' powers (example: Lady Mastermind, Wallflower, Polaris, Daken, Nightcrawler, Ruby Summers, Pixie).
Neither of these results are uncommon when crossbreeding between Homo superior and Homo sapiens. Familial power similarities are not only passed from parent to child, but can also be common between siblings in first generation mutants families (examples: Frost Family Tree, Xavier Family Tree, Summers and Grey Family Tree). Though less common, powers can also vary widely within first generation mutants (examples: Guthrie Family Tree and Rasputin Family Tree) just as with parental power inheritance.
It has been stated that second generation mutants could be mightier than their parents, as they possess often the addition of their parents' powers. A similar statement was made by R.C.X. scientist Nicolas about Nightcrawler, but he was at that time confusing mutants and Warpies.
On Earth-1018, it has been stated by Beast (Dr. Henry McCoy) that the second generations aren't in fact mutants despite their mutant DNA. This statement is however apart from the species statements, but only to be related to the term of "mutants". Similarly, Tom Brevoort considered that if Jean Grey's children had the same powers as herself, "they wouldn't be mutants in the truest sense (though they might still possess an X-gene)".
Factors on mutants conception
Allegedly, the X-Gene can always appears within a human child, but many factors can increase his chances of apparition.
There was a strong belief that mutants' were born due to the exposure of their parents to mutagenics like chemicals and radioactive rays, like Dragoness, or Hank McCoy, leading the mutants to be be thought as the Children of the Atom.
It was also advocated to stay away from organic vegetables and rather consume produces treated with MGH and non-filtered water as various environmental factors (while increasing bacteria and viruses spreading) could had positive effects on the human genome.
It is stated that if one or both of the parents are mutants, the mutant birth is almost guaranteed.
Mutants from mutates parents
General beliefs and facts
On a quite similar concept, it has been speculated that mutates were more likely to give birth to mutant children, or that the abilities transmitted by their parents made those children mutants because they were born with those abilities. Some mutants' mutations were stated to be "conditioned by [their] parents' altered genetic structure".
It is stated that with one or both meta-humans parents, the chances of generate mutant offspring is increased.
Mutants born from mutates parents include:
- Persuasion (Kara Killgrave) (Purple Man and Melanie Killgrave's daughter), who possess the same kind of powers than her father.
- Ben Parker of Earth-88896 (son of Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy). Ben was stated to possess an extra chromosome, making him a trisomic mutant but displaying the exact same powers than his father.
- Franklin Richards, born from two mutates, who has been noticed to possess an "extremely powerful genetic mutation, conditioned by his parents' altered genetic structure".
- Eleanor Camacho, daughter of the mutate Deadpool (although Deadpool's mutation is due to via the implantation of a healing factor derived from the mutant Wolverine.
The Purple Children (Purple Man's other children from other women with similar powers and mutations) genetic status is currently unclear but they were stated by Matt Murdock to be the "next evolutionary step", and later said that he made calls to a school that specializes in "Gifted Youngsters". In other words, it is possible that Purple Man procreation develop always mutants gifted with similar powers than his.
That statement has been proved wrong with the case of Daisy Johnson (Quake) who was at first believed to be a mutant, because she developed powers without direct mutation, or "born with abilities". It was hypothesized that she might "have altered cell structure or brainwave activity", and then confirmed that she doesn't have the specific mutant gene, and that their abilities come ""technically [from a] genetic damage, handed down from [her] jerk of a father". It was later revealed that Quake's powers come from Inhuman genes she inherited from her mother and activated by her father's genes that were mutated by the Hyde Formula.
Opposed to the example of Ben Parker, Spider-Girl (May "Mayday" Parker) (daughter of Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson on Earth-982) was often though (by fans) to be a mutant for possessing powers (similar to her father's) at birth, but it was stated that she was not a mutant, as she wasn't technically "born with her powers" but "inherited [them] from her father" and was bred true".
Many mutants have alien legacy and it is sometimes stated that this genetic particularity may be involved in the apparition of the X-Gene in babies.
Some powers can act as catalyst or mutagenic, and lead to the birth of mutant children while they are still in the womb.
Homo superior have been shown to successfully crossbreed with several other genus Homo species (Homo sapiens, Homo inhumanus, Homo mermanus, etc.), gods (Asgardians) and other humanoid aliens (Shi'ar, Dire Wraiths, etc.).
Localisation and Transmission
The localization of the X-Gene alternate from an universe to another.
On Chromosome 23
On Earth-616, Hank McCoy states they were set on the 23rd chromosome, which appears to be the sexual chromosomes, or gonosomes (as there is in humans 22 pair of regular chromosomes, or autosomes, and one pair of sexual chromosomes, X and Y). The X-Gene has to be on the chromosome X so, to be carried by both males and females.
X-Gene Carried by Female ?
Storm stated it was carried on the female genome, intending that the mother transmitted the mutation, that intend, in genetics, possibly as a mitochondrial localization of the X-Gene or a transmission by the chromosome X. As Wolverine or Magneto have had children mutants, with both of them two different sapiens women, and female children for Magneto, we can suggest that the mutation is based on a X-linked Dominant disease model, but this not fit for male children, and both examples had male mutant offspring, who can't receive the chromosome X from their father.
A Wakandan scientist also stated that Nezhno Abidemi (Gentle)'s X-Gene was originated from his father. (Although that might be a simple xenophobic statement, as his father wasn't Wakandan but Russian)
The case of X-23 prove that Wolverine's X-Gene is positioned at least on the chromosome X, as the chromosome Y her creators possessed wasn't usable and was replaced by a human chromosome X of Sarah Kinney (leading to a female "clone").
There is so to be more than one factor of transmission, or the X-Gene has to be present on both X and Y chromosomes, or some of the statement is false or incomplete. The many genetic statements on genetic heredity of the X-Gene seems to be incorrect, looking at the diversity of mutants' family trees and the distribution of their powers. Also the mutation have shown to be some based on fate, and somehow appears on baseline humans (or "latent mutants") without mutant parents.
X-Gene Carried by Male (Earth-10005)
On Earth-10005, Pyro stated from his learning that it was the male who carried the mutants genes and transmitted them to their descendants (that intend, in genetics, possibly as a localization of the X-Gene on the sexual chromosome Y).
No "Mutant Gene"? (Earth-58163)
On Earth-58163, it was stated by Dr. Henry McCoy that the "mutant gene wasn't a reality, that it wasn't "one stand of DNA [but] millions strung together. It's a combination so complex that it [wouldn't] be figured out in [his] lifetime."
Although, it is possible that it is part of a lie to discorage attempt on duplicating it (the subject who led McCoy to that statement), considering that Moira MacTaggert, the one who won a Nobel Prize for being the first to properly identity the mutant phenomenon and then tried to cure her son (sick by his mutation) "by isolatin' and neutralizin' the mutant gene itself.". The other way could be that Moira is wrong and the mutant gene doesn't exist on Earth-58163.
That can also be due to a lack of coordination between the authors.
Mutant Trisomic & X-Factor Chromosome (Earth-88896)
See the whole article here (upper in the article).
Blood Types (Earth-11052)
On Earth-13270, two mutations can't grow and develop alongside: Peter Parker had his mutant genes repressed during his adolescence and adulthood, until he lost his mutate powers, and that his mutant status popped out.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Secrets of the House of M #1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 X-Force #86
- ↑ Uncanny X-Men #380
- ↑ What If? Vol 2 #74
- ↑ Excalibur Vol 3 #7
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #27
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Marvel Universe 2001 Millennial Visions #1; Spider-Man: Topping the Clone Saga
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 What If? Vol 2 #88
- ↑ X-Men Vol 2 #100
- ↑ New X-Men #122
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 New X-Men #118
- ↑ Spider-Man and the X-Men #1
- ↑ X-Force Vol 4 #13
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Marvel Apes #1
- ↑ Origins of Marvel Comics #1; Wolverine's page
- ↑ New Mutants Vol 3 #18
- ↑ Alpha Flight Vol 3 #1
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Uncanny X-Force #3
- ↑ X-Men Phoenix Warsong #1
- ↑ Journey into Mystery #40
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #7Jack Winters's Appendix entry
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #8
- ↑ New Mutants #94
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 X-Men #49
- ↑ Amazing Adult Fantasy #14
- ↑ Wolverine: First Class #8
- ↑ X-Factor Vol 3 #11
- ↑ Cable & Deadpool #18
- ↑ Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1
- ↑ New X-Men #121
- ↑ Generation Hope #7-8
- ↑ X-Factor #79
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 New X-Men #141
- ↑ 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 X-Men: The 198 Files #1
- ↑ X-Men: The 198 Files #1; Cable
- ↑ X-Men: The 198 Files #1; Richards, Franklin
- ↑ X-Men: The 198 Files #1; Braddock, Jamie
- ↑ 38.0 38.1 38.2 Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #28
- ↑ Civil War II: Ulysses Infinite Comic #1
- ↑ Heroic Age: X-Men #1; Blindfold's entry
- ↑ Avengers Vol 4 #29
- ↑ Wolverine Vol 2 #312
- ↑ X-Men: The 198 Files #1; Match entry
- ↑ World War Hulk: Gamma Files #1
- ↑ Silent War #4
- ↑ Black Panther Vol 4 #16
- ↑ X-Men Vol 4 #2
- ↑ New X-Men #116
- ↑ X-Men: Apocalypse vs. Dracula #2
- ↑ X-Men: Millennial Visions #2000: "The Offspring"
- ↑ Excalibur #63
- ↑ X-Men: Millennial Visions #2000: "Mutants, Mutants, Everywhere!"
- ↑ Tom Brevoort's statement
- ↑ 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 54.5 54.6 The Pulse House of M Special #1
- ↑ X-Factor #77
- ↑ Deadpool Vol 3 #34
- ↑ Daredevil Vol 4 #9
- ↑ Daredevil Vol 4 #10
- ↑ Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury #1
- ↑ 60.0 60.1 Secret War #5
- ↑ Secret War #2
- ↑ S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #7
- ↑ May Parker (Earth-982)'s Marvel Database page, the 27 november 2014
- ↑ May Parker's Comicvine page
- ↑ Tom Brevoort's statement on Spider-Girl ("Mayday")'s mutancy
- ↑ Alpha Flight #54
- ↑ Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #25
- ↑ Black Panther Vol 4 #17
- ↑ X-Men Divided We Stand #1
- ↑ X2 (film)
- ↑ Exiles #70
- ↑ X-Men: Millennial Visions #2000: "The Big X-Change"
- ↑ X-Men: Evolution Season 3 11
- ↑ Uncanny X-Men #427
- ↑ All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
- ↑ X-Men: Earth's Mutant Heroes #1