The following contains spoilers for X-Force #45, now on sale from Marvel Comics.
The X-Men and their enemies are among Marvel’s most impressive figures. When they’re properly aligned and focused, the X-Men have been able to terraform entire planets or wipe out entire species. The full classification of their strongest characters has been codified in the modern Krakoa Era, giving certain mutants a formal title to reflect their true potential.
X-Force #45 (by Benjamin Percy, Robert Gill, GURU-eFX, and VC’s Joe Caramagna) goes a long way toward defining the true powers of Mikhail Rasputin. The mysterious and deadly mutant has always been one of the X-Men’s most dangerous foes, capable of rewriting reality to his advantage. But given these amazing powers (and the way even Doctor Strange believes they may be limitless) could Mikhail be considered an Omega-Level Mutant?
Mikhail Rasputin’s Powers, Explained
Mikhail Rasputin has been a uniquely dangerous wildcard in the Krakoa Era. The villainous brother of Colossus and Magik, Mikhail’s ability to reshape reality around him has always made him a particularly powerful character. Coupled with his grand ambitions for the world and the future of the mutant race under his command, he’s proven to be one of the modern X-Men’s most dangerous foes. When Sage and Domino come to Doctor Strange for help rescuing their captured teammates, they explain how his powers allow him to alter matter, build pocket dimensions, and manipulate energy.
Upon learning more about Mikhail’s abilities, Doctor Strange determines that it’s “equitable” but not equivalent to magic. It’s a unique level of matter manipulation on a subatomic level, explaining just how powerful he is. Mikhail can look at stone and turn it to water, and convert wood into flesh. In his personal telepathic notes, Doctor Stange at one point describes it and his ability to control places between places (the dark voids he’s trapped Colossus and the Chronicler in) as limitless. It’s an interesting definition, and raises a question about the full classification of Mikhail’s upper limits, and raises the question of if he could be considered one of Marvel’s most powerful mutants.
What is an Omega-Level Mutant?
An Omega-Level Mutant is considered the top tier of mutant powers in the Marvel Universe. Characters who are classified as such “register or reach an undefinable upper limit of that power’s specific classification.” This is to say, any mutant considered Omega-Level has reached a point where they are the most powerful of their specific power type, and possess a potentially limitless cap to their abilities. Both bars must be crossed to classify a character as Omega-Level. For example, there are many psychics among the X-Men, but only Jean Grey and Quentin Quire are the most powerful, with no clear limits. As a result, they are considered Omega-Level Mutants compared to other powerhouse characters like Charles Xavier and Emma Frost.
Similarly, Forge’s ability to build anything he thinks of gives him a power with no defined limit. However, other genius characters in the Marvel Universe with similar skills (such as Reed Richards and Tony Stark) have been shown keeping up with his inventive nature or even surpassing him. As a result, he’s not considered to be an Omega-Level Mutant. A good comparison point is Storm, whose control over the environment and weather classifies her as an Omega-Level Mutant. Thor also possesses similar abilities, but neither of them have ever been shown reaching their full limit, and Thor’s powers have never been shown to be more impressive or overarching than hers. Therefore, Storm is still considered to be an Omega-Level Mutant of her power type. Mikhail’s abilities being comparable to magic therefore offers a unique chance to explore the full definition of what a mutant needs to be if they are to be considered Omega-Level.
Is Mikhail Rasputin An Omega-Level Mutant?
On one level, Mikhail’s powers being limitless seem to cross a specific threshold of reaching Omega-Level status. Mikhail can naturally alter matter into any other form he can think of. As a result, his powers are technically limitless, seemingly clearing one of the bars for Omega-Level classification. Even his mortality doesn’t disqualify him, as other Omega-Level Mutants like Jean Grey and Magneto have been shown being killed while retaining their status. Mikhail being fatally wounded doesn’t disqualify him from being considered Omega-Level. However, the way his powers work and the fact that it can be compared to other figures does.
Mikhail’s ability to reshape reality is similar to magic, as well as the reality-altering powers of Legion and Mister M. The latter two are both considered Omega-Level Mutants, due to the sheer scope of their powers. Professor X even believes that Legion is the most powerful mutant ever born, with an ever-evolving stable of powers that make him perpetually adaptable and theoretically unstoppable. Meanwhile, Mikhail can create his own pocket dimensions, but Mister M’s work in Otherworld revealed he can manipulate and effectively become God to preexisting ones. Both of these feats surpass what Mikhail has been shown doing, even if the sheer limitless nature of reality-warping as a power makes comparison tricky.
There’s also the fact that Doctor Strange openly considers magic to be comparable to Mikhail’s abilities, if not equivalent. This draws attention to the fact that characters like Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom have been shown performing impossible feats. The former in particular is a Nexus Being, capable of rewriting reality with a flick of the wrist. Mikhail may be impressive, but this suggests that other people with similar powers have surpassed him. As a result, Mikhail isn’t the strongest of his power type, and can’t be considered an Omega-Level Mutant. This isn’t to decry Mikhail’s abilities. Even to be compared to Omega-Level Mutants is a massive feat, highlighting just how powerful the character is (and how chaotic things may become now that he’s been seriously injured in the attempt to create a spy in Orchis). But Mikhail doesn’t quite reach Marvel’s upper echelon of mutant powers, and likely never will be due to the competition in his field.
X-Force #45 reveals that the potential of a longtime X-Men villain may make them powerful enough to be an Omega-Level mutant. Read More