Omega-level mutants are the most powerful in the X-Men franchise, with their abilities redefined under Jonathan Hickman’s oversight.
In the Krakoan era, these mutants were considered the nation’s greatest natural resource that must be protected.
Below Omega-level, power rankings have been inconsistent, with terms like Alpha-level and Class One mutants used but never properly defined.

For half a century, X-Men fans have argued about the strengths of their various favorite characters. The franchise itself hasn’t done much in the way of grading mutant power levels, other than naming some mutants as “Omega-level threats.” Omega-level mutants gained new importance during the 2019-2024 Krakoan era, becoming the young nation’s most important natural resource, and topping the hit list of the enemy group Orchis.

The X-Men’s mutant abilities vary wildly from character to character, so Marvel needed to create a way to measure who the true heavy-hitters among the X-Men were. Over the years, the X-Men franchise has tried to categorize its mutant powers, but the measurements vary from comic to comic, and even comic to screen. Using Greek alphabet letters to sort mutants has popped up a lot, but X-Men has also used numbering systems, and sometimes even other words like “Dregs.”

We’re taking a deep dive into this sometimes contentious label, to see where it came from, how it’s changed, and who even outranks the Omega mutants.


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“Omega-Level” Took On a Whole New Meaning with Krakoa

A Mutant Can be Omega-Level with One Power, But Not Another

“Omega-level” has been the only fairly regular occurrence of mutant power organization, and even that came to be redefined under Jonathan Hickman’s oversight. While once used to mean “incredibly strong,” it now means a mutant who is at the top of their ability in their specific power type. For example, while Polaris, who inherited some of her father’s mastery over magnetism, is a strong threat, only Magneto can be labeled as Omega-level in that respect. Distinctions can also be made by power, as Jean Grey is a powerful telepath with telekinetic strengths, but only her telepathy marks her as Omega-level.

The mutant who beat out Jean for Omega-level telepathy is Stryfe, a clone of Nathan Summers, who is the son of Jean’s clone, Madelyne Pryor.

In the Krakoan era, Omega-level designations became important for the country to show it took its place in the world seriously. Omega-level mutants were labeledthe nation’s greatest natural resource, to be protected and fostered in order to ensure Krakoa could grow and thrive on the world stage. Not only were some of the most powerful people in the world tied to protecting a group of oppressed citizens, they were also somewhat “domesticated,” dealing with international politics instead of mutant vs. human fighting. This is partly why the Quiet Council that ruled the island had former X-Men villains in attendance like Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse.

Marvel’s Strongest Mutants Wield Their Powers in Interesting Ways

Ask any X-Men fan to name Omega-level mutants, and they’ll likely mention some obviously powerful mutants. Storm is Omega-level for her weather manipulation, and is so powerful, she’s often referred to as a goddess. However, in X-Men: Red #16 by Al Ewing and Yildiray Çinar, Storm herself says that “battle between Omega-level mutants has never been a matter of power…It’s about versatility.” Bobby Drake aka Iceman has long been thought of as just a guy who can freeze things. In his recent solo series, Astonishing Iceman by Steve Orlando, Vincenzo Carratù, Javier Tartaglia, and Chris Sotomayor, Bobby proves himself to be practically immortal, as his soul is able to leave his body and refreeze himself a new one.

There are mutants who have been called “beyond Omega-level,” more powerful than even the X-Men’s strongest. Most of these characters have some form of reality manipulation. Cyclops’ brother Vulcan was already Omega-level when he became even more powerful by fusing his powers with those of his mutant team. Age of Apocalypse’s Nate Grey, simply called X-Man, was so powerful that his subconscious thoughts could warp reality, making him a danger to the universe even if he didn’t mean to be one. It’s been suggested that Franklin Richards used his powers to create the Marvel Universe itself after Secret Wars.

This has also been played for laughs: the 2016 miniseries X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever by Max Bemis and Michael Walsh introduced Miranda, who has reality-altering powers at the level of basically being a Marvel Comics editor. She’s responsible for the Avengers staying generally the same age for the past 60 years, the return of Bucky as the Winter Soldier, and the reinvention of Nick Fury as a Samuel L. Jackson-type badass. Dr. Hank McCoy aka Beast labels her “Omicron-level,” then admits he just made up the term on the spot because Omicron is “the most ominous-sounding Greek alphabet letter.


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Even “Omega-Level” Wasn’t a Consistent Measurement of Mutant Power

What is a “Class Five” Mutant?

Custom image by Debanjana Chowdhury

Some attempts have been made at ranking power levels below Omega, but nothing has stuck or been consistent – it may be a much lower priority than keeping tabs on the galaxy’s most powerful mutants. In 1999’s X-Men #97 by Alan Davis, Terry Kavanagh, Mark Farmer, and Steve Oliff, Apocalypse seeks to unite The Twelve in order to attain godhood, hunting for “Alpha-level” mutants. His list includes Cyclops, but also Iceman, Storm, and Magneto – mutants now called Omega-level. Other bits of dialogue throughout the years have classified some mutants as Beta-level and Epsilon-Beta classes, but these categories have never been properly defined.

In 2007’s X-Men: First Class Special #1 by Jeff Parker, Kevin Nowlan, Colleen Coover, Nick Dragotta, and Paul Smith mutants were categorized by numeric level, with Beast and Iceman searching for a “Class One mutant.” This book came out just a year after the X-Men: The Last Stand movie, which used a similar scale: Xavier says Jean Grey is the only “Class Five mutant” he’s ever met (suggesting even he and Magneto are only Class Four). Callisto’s powers were also changed for the film to being able to sense others’ power levels, as she tells Magneto that he and Pyro are above Class Three. X-Men ’97, both the show and the comic, returned to using the traditional “Omega-level” designation.

As the famous saying goes, the only constant in life is change, something both X-Men fans and the X-Men themselves are familiar with. As the Krakoan era comes to a close, it’ll be interesting to see if the current “Omega-level” designation keeps, or if it becomes something more in line with whatever comes in the X-Men’s new future. The only people who can say are the writers, and maybe some Omicron-level reality warpers. Either way, the X-Men will live on, fighting for their right to grow and thrive towards that future.


The X-Men franchise, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, centers on mutants with extraordinary abilities. Led by the powerful telepath Professor Charles Xavier, they battle discrimination and villainous mutants threatening humanity. The series explores themes of diversity and acceptance through a blend of action, drama, and complex characters, spanning comics, animated series, and blockbuster films.

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