Danielle 'Dani' Moonstar / MirageA tribal Cheyenne girl raised by her mutant grandfather after her parents were apparently killed by a giant demonic bear (no, really). Was taken in by Xavier after her grandfather's death. Initially, her powers were creating illusions (often using a person's greatest fears or desires as a template, but not always) and animal telepathy. These and other abilities have fluctuated over the years. Currently she has the powers of a Valkyrie and is a member of The Defenders.
Ambiguously Evil: Despite being a member of the MLF the worse crime she commits is knocking out Sunspot with an psychic arrow. Outside of her reveal most scenes that feature her, have her as a background character.
Captain Ethnic: The... the feather is bad enough, but the braids? Really?
Characterization Marches On: Early depictions show her as: racist, vengeful, angry and highly flirtatious. For example she refuses to join Professor X because he's white and imagines her grandfather being beat to death because he's making her join, although she is horrified by it. Still she demands blood and tries to kill Pierce. She hits on everyone, gets annoyed that Sunspot is paying more attention to Magma than her. Lastly while in Brazil, while trying on a Carnival Dress she comments it was to modest for "her tastes." Over time she slowly grew more mature and responsible to being a fully competent leader. It should be noted that is averted in flashbacks, one issue before a date she remarks there was a time she never would have let a white man in her life.
Cool Horse: Specifically, the winged steed of an Asgardian Valkyrie.
Older than They Look: In her first appearances she was drawn as a pre-teen despite being sixteen. When Bill Sienkiewicz took over her appearances was brought up to date.
Psychic Link: When communicating with Wolfsbane in her wolf form.
Shipper on Deck: Tried to set Karma up with coffee shop barista Luna DePaula. While the two were friendly, Luna was much more interested in Dani while Karma was pissed that Dani thought they'd hook up simply because they're both lesbians.
What Happened to the Mouse?: In the second New Mutant Series, Dani becomes Elixir's guardian and acts maternal to him. At the end of this series this is dropped and never mentioned again. Her parents have also vanished since the end of New Mutants.
Younger than They Look: In the second New Mutants series Dani becomes a teacher as is drawn and acts like she is in her mid-twenties despite the book stating she is twenty one.
Your Mind Makes It Real: For a while, she could literally conjure solid objects with her illusion powers, depending on how strongly she or her target wanted or feared said object.
Samuel Zachary Guthrie / CannonballThe son of a coal miner from rural Kentucky, and felt obliged to take his place at the mine himself after his father died. After his powers emerged during a cave in his employer Donald Pierce gave him a new job as a bodyguard, but left and joined the New Mutants after it became clear the man was a murderer. Despite being a salt-of-the earth and often naive young man he is quite intelligent and well read by ordinary standards. Comes from a large farm family, and all of his many siblings are also mutants. Cannonball releases extremely powerful blasts of chemical energy from his feet and arms that allow him temporary flight and invulnerability and energy blasts. Currently a member of The Avengers.
Berserk Button: Harming any of his old teammates and friends is the easiest way to make sure you get your ass handed to you by Sam and being a member of the X Men, his own side, won’t save you from his wrath if you dare touch those he hold dear.
Also, do not EVER insult his heritage or imply he's a dumb hick. Not only is this not true in the slightest, but it REALLY pisses him off.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He managed to beat Gladiator in a fight. Yes, THAT Gladiator. The MU equivalent of Superman. And he did it with VERY little effort.
Flying Brick (initially only for a couple of minutes at a time)
Genius Bruiser: He is far more cunning and intelligent than he looks and he is constantly using the application of momentum and physics in his powers to maximum effect. Not only that, but he is actually quite skilled at the use of both Xanatos Speed Chess and he has showed the ability to actually pinpoint The Plan of others.
Lightning Bruiser: Can fly at astounding speeds, and his secondary powers allow him to both hit like a truck and be immensely difficult to harm.
Massive Numbered Siblings: Sam has 11 siblings in his family...all of whom are mutants. Until recently, most of his mutant siblings were depowered while he, Paige (Husk) and Jay (Icarus) are the remaining mutant siblings.
Nice Guy: Sam, over all things, is a kind, chivalrous and warm hearted man trying to do the right thing
Nigh-Invulnerability: When he's blasting. It's also one of the most powerful force fields seen in the entire MU, as it was strong enough to completely No Sell Gladiator's blows and redirect them back at him. Gladiator, whose power levels depend on his confidence level, was so thoroughly shocked that he was almost completely depowered and was subsequently beaten with virtually no effort on Sam's part.
Only Sane Man: Among the X-Men as a whole he is one of the most down to earth and often the most pragmatic of the group, especially as a member of the New Mutants or X–Force.
Southern Fried Genius: Contrary to what his background would have you think, he's very, very smart, highly intuitive, and incredibly clever and creative when it comes to using his abilities.
Xi'an Manh / KarmaA Vietnamese refugee forced to raise her twin siblings after her parents were killed in the war. Joined Xavier's school to provide for her siblings. She's also a French-speaking Catholic. Her Mutant ability is the power to take control of other people's bodies and manipulate them at will.
Put on a Bus: She was thought-dead for a long time, and then vanished again to look for her siblings. Out of the whole original team, Karma had the least amount of exposure in the book, as no creative team knew how to use her.
Admittedly, in terms of powers she's plot-breaking. If there's a single villain, Karma would have to fail to take them over, because that ends the plot. But it makes her useless. If there's multiple villains, Karma can't take over her approved target, because that's too easy a victory. Again, she's useless. The only thing she can be allowed to do is take over mooks, who would then be useless in attacking their own boss, because they're mooks.
Ship Tease: With Kitty Pryde in Claremont's Mekanix miniseries.
Roberto da Costa / SunspotThe son of a very rich man from Brazil, Sunspot was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. Unbeknownst to him, his father was actually a corrupt member of the Hellfire Club (essentially the Mutant Mafia in Victorian clothing). His powers manifested during a soccer game after which he was targeted for assassination by Donald Pierce, and his girlfriend Juliana was killed. After graduating from Xavier's he took over his father's position in the Hellfire Club in an attempt to legitimize its criminal activities. Roberto absorbs solar radiation to give him flight, superstrength, invulnerability, and energy blasts for short amounts of time. Currently a member of The Avengers.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: In Avengers, Bobby manages to convert a few rank-and-file members of AIM to double agents by getting them drunk and promising to pay them really well.
Rahne Sinclair / WolfsbaneThe self-hating illegitimate daughter of a bigoted and abusive Presbyterian minister. Rahne was raised in a strict and abusive environment and mostly convinced she was damned to hell by the time she was 13. So she didn't exactly adapt very well when she found out she could turn into a wolf. Saved from a religious mob by Moira MacTaggart and taken to Xavier's where she became best friends with Mirage.
Abusive Parents: Her father, Reverend Craig, not only emotionally abused her from childhood, but led a mob to try and burn her at the stake when her mutant powers surfaced. He then became a villain involved in the Purifiers, an anti-mutant religious hate group. His Karmic Death was well-deserved, though unfortunately it screwed poor Rahne up even more.
Christianity is Catholic: Averted; she's a Presbyterian. Of course, a lot of readers see a religious character and assume she must be a Catholic. So do one or two of the writers.
Deus Angst Machina: She finally gets her head and life together, then she gets brainwashed into eating her estranged father... And then someone messes around with her head so she actually remembers doing so...
Hot for Student: With Elixir. To be fair, they were only three years apart and she was just a student teacher, but it still got her fired from Xavier's (read: Put on a Bus so Peter David could have her).
Took a Level in Badass: Cypher underwent some severe level-up after coming Back from the Dead. Originally, his mutant power was "read and understand any language", meaning he was simply an Omniglot when he died in the 80s. Revived in the 2000s, we learn that "language" includes "body language", meaning he can predict his opponents' moves and actually held off all his old teammates single-handedly. It also includes computer language, making him an imminently skilled hacker and programmer, as well as letting him "read" the structure of a building and discover the easiest way to destroy it.
Further remedied by Zeb Wells in the current series, extending his powers to cover all manner of communication — spanning the fields of linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, and art (to name a few). If there's a message or intention, he can potentially analyze and translate it. To say this has left him a bit....off is putting it lightly.
Amara Aquilla / MagmaThe daughter of a Roman senator of a lost city of Romans/Incans lost deep within the Amazon jungle. The New Mutants discovered the city while on an archaeological dig with Roberto's mother. Amara was targeted for sacrifice by the mutant witch Selene, but when she was tossed into a volcano her mutant powers manifested as essentially the ability to control earth and fire and transform into a living volcano.
Continuity Snarl: Even without counting the In Name Only versions seen below, within the comics her background has been subject to multiple retcons trying to explain away the previous version as an increasingly complex plot. British, Nova Roman, Brazilian, New Yorker... whatever.
In Name Only: Magma's appearance in the X-Men Legends videogame as essentially a Naïve Newcomer average girl from New York voiced by Cree Summer and intended to be a Relationship Sue for Bobby Drake and an expy of Kitty Pryde (who they couldn't work into the game because walking through walls would have been a Game Breaker power in a dungeon crawler). Treated similarly, and more extensively, in X-Men: Evolution, where she is an ordinary Brazilian girl - who talks like she's from upstate New York.
Illyana Rasputin / Magik / DarkchyldeColossus's baby sister. Illyana was an adorable little girl whose innocence drew the attention of the evil sorcerer Belasco. He kidnapped her and made her his apprentice that she might free his Eldritch Abomination patrons. She spent 7 years in a realm of Hell known as Limbo (while only seconds passed on Earth), during which she learned sorcery and discovered her mutant teleportation power. She joined the New Mutants and served as a member for some time, though the nature of her abilities and Anti-Hero attitude unnerved some of her more religious teammates (at least at first). Then she was de-aged back into a 7 year old and killed by the Legacy Virus. Then she came back as a demon. It's very confusing.
Anti-Hero: Type V, if that for the current version, who among other things gladly cut Pixie's completely innocent soul into two pieces, and admitted herself that she purely consists of "hurt and hatred given form". Possibly more of a type IV for the original, but seriously, she sent people to hell and was a legitimately genuinely evil being, fully accurately considered outright as far more so than several of the villains they fought by her own teammates.
Gambit Roulette: Her entire Evil Plan in the latest volume. After Amara warned her about Project Purgatory, she goes back in time. First, she finds Legion and strikes a bargain with him. Then, she shows up on Utopia to warn them about Legion and a horrible future they need to prevent. This causes the New Mutants to reform, and she simply waits for Project Purgatory to show up and capture them all. She saves Karma, convincing her to release Legion so he can fulfill his side of their bargain. By killing the Elder Gods and returning the bloodstones to Illyana, completing her revenge and getting her back her soul. She admits this was her plan from the beginning.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Before her corruption by Belasco, Illyana was a sweet and innocent young child, with the malice she later struggled with entirely absent from her character.
Heroic Sacrifice: To save New York from the Inferno crisis, Illyana cast a time spell that essentially erased her teenage self from existence, banishing all demons back to Limbo and reverting her to a 7-year-old girl.
Jerk Justifications: A rare case of arguably entirely valid ones. She didn't want to be that way, it was entirely forced upon her, and seriously legitimately not her fault. She generally did what she could to keep it at bay.
Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: The current version, and technically the original as well. She was a complete callous asshole in several instances, and it was not simply a facade, she was stated outright as far worse underneath.
Little Miss Badass: She was the most sexualized of the female New Mutants. She has never been seen pursuing a romance, but would wear the skimpiest outfits and a few times flirted with bad guys while threatening them with eternal torment. Her antics are mild by today's standards (well, except for the dental floss she'd wear as the Darkchylde), but it still becomes a little awkward considering her true age.
The Soulless: After she was re-created by Belasco as Darkchylde. She got better.
Token Evil Teammate: Magik spent her whole time on the team battling her demonic side, but that didn't stop her from being the first to suggest killing some bad guys. When the other kids would tell her they don't kill, she would compromise by sending the villain to Hell. Not quite sure how that was considered better.
The Cape: Originally Cyclops' protege, and stated to have to potential to become a significant leader/figure for mutantkind. He went to prison as part of a protest over the treatment of mutants... and then he got put on the first of many buses.
And That's Terrible: In his earliest appearances, the narration continually stated that Empath cared nothing about anyone and that he essentially viewed people as tools, which was apparent from his actions. Then again, Chris Claremont was the writer.
Emotion Bomb: Used this a lot, especially in the early New Mutants stories, where he demonstrated remarkably little subtlety and essentially flooded his targets with emotions until they did what he wanted. Generally, only powerful telepaths were able to resist.
Smug Snake: Manuel was incredibly arrogant about his powers and his noble blood, as well as being contemptuous of his teammates and enemies alike- but he wasn't nearly as powerful or skilled as he thought he was, was easily defeated by adult telepaths like Frost and Xavier (and even by the New Mutants when they decided to take revenge for what he did to Tom and Sharon).
Token Evil Teammate: Most of the Hellions were fairly decent; while several had their Jerkass moments, they were treated more as a rival sports team to the New Mutants than as genuine enemies. Empath, however, in his first appearance, not only tried to kill Cannonball but nearly killed his teammate Jetstream as well by forcing Magma to shoot lava at them while they were fighting; when Jetstream was justifiably angry about this, Empath controlled his emotions to make him apologise, then threatened to make him kill himself if he ever crossed him again. Later he forced Tom and Sharon to have sex, and tried to subject the female New Mutants to More than Mind Control during their stint in the Massachusetts Academy, failing only because they were too traumatized for his powers to have an effect on them.
Anti-Villain: The only "evil" thing about her was her loyalty to Emma Frost during the latter's period of villainy.
Catgirl: As well as transforming into a large cat, she usually had a cat's tail when in human form.
Evil Counterpart: Nominally this to Wolfsbane (they both had shapeshifting powers that worked very similarly; the main difference was that Catseye identified as a cat and Wolfsbane as a human). This suggests that they were rivals, but nothing could be further from the truth- their first meeting had each of them asking the other to join her team, and they remained very friendly outside of the mandatory super-battles.
Depending on the Artist: All of the Hellions suffered from this to a certain extent, being relatively minor characters- but Haroun was the only one whose skin color changed from his first appearance to his second. (Unusually, it didn't get lighter, but went from an almost grayish brown to the same color as Sunspot's.)
Evil Counterpart: To Cannonball. They had very similar powers, and were pitted against each other a few times.
Anti-Villain: Way back when he was a Hellion, he was one of the nicer ones. Also, his reason for staying on the team after deciding not to avenge his brother by killing the X-Men was that he wanted to be there for his friends, rather than any villainous inclinations.
Legacy Character: Like his brother, the above-mentioned Thunderbird, he has the same powers and wears the identical-looking costume after him during his early appearances. He still wears a nearly identical outfit to this day.
Warpath's powers are at a much higher grade than his brother's, and he has more powers than his brother as well. Furthermore, he hasn't worn an outfit resembling his brother's in quite some time, unless you count his time in X-Corporation, and considering he didn't tear Feral's arms out and beat her to death with them he wasn't really written in-character for that.
Magical Native American: Usually Warpath doesn't have magic but mainly superstrength and invulnerability. Recently, he learned some magic with the help of Ghost Rider in order to defeat Demon Bear and later on, he used his magic to help his teammates to defeat Selene at Necrosha finale.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Not, perhaps, in any individual case you find, but Warpath's motivation for joining every super-powered group he's joined has been revenge:
Hellions: His brother died fighting for the X-Men.
Donald Pierce / White BishopOne of the X-men's most loathsome foes, an evil racist cyborg who wants to exterminate all mutants - usually starting with the babies and children and working his way up. Totally repugnant and insane. Ironically, was a former member of the Hellfire Club until his political views changed.
MagusWarlock's brutal father, who chased him across galaxies to battle his son to the death, as is their tradition. Magus is a cosmic-level threat capable of destroying stars and crushing planets in his rage. He also indirectly caused the events of Inferno by following the New Mutants to Limbo and turning the demons there into techno-organic beings like himself, allowing them to overthrow Magik.
Other CharactersDavid Haller / LegionSon of Professor X and Gabrielle Haller. When he was a kid, he was nearly killed in a terrorist attack, which awakened his formidable Psychic Powers and gave him Split Personalities. Has an indeterminate number of personalities, each with its own power.
Since Xavier's dead, David decided he wants to realize his dream, but using his own methods.
The Atoner: One of his personalities, telepath Jemail Karami, was actually the psychic ghost of one of the terrorists who tried to kill him to begin with. After a while in the kid's mind, Jemail decided he'd been wrong and dedicated his existence to restoring David's sanity.
Blessed with Suck: Legion sure won the Superpower Lottery... Except that David, the core personality, can't use the powers that belong to his splinter personalities, and that several of the personalities are nasty customers indeed.
Blessed with Suck: Lila Cheney is a teleporter capable of traveling interstellar distance in a eyeblink. Where the suck comes in is that she can only travel interstellar distances. If she wants to zap herself from the east side of Cleveland to the west, she'd have to use Alpha Centauri as a halfway point.
David had a power to copy knowledge of every person around him for limited amount of time. He lost his abilities during M-Day but would stay at Xavier's and serve as New X-Men's tactican. Later he regained all knowledge he already copied before losing his powers, and become the head of X-Men youth division after Schism. During Marvel Now he joined Young Avengers - you should also see his entry on that team's character page to see what he's up to lately.
Discard and Draw: Discard his powers, draw all combined benefits they ever gave him before.
Drunk with Power: His deep fear what would happen if his powers had no restraint.
Future Me Scares Me: Temporal block that made him lose all copied knowledge after some time was apparently subconcious, as he was deep inside afraid having all the combined knowledge without having to earn it would turn him into a despot.
Genre Savvy: Started wearing bulletproof vest at one point, citing Doug's fate as a reason.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Josh after his romance with Rahne becomes public knowledge, breaking Laurie's heart and to Noriko after she kisses Julian in front of him, hoping it will make him quit the team.
Morality Chain: For X-23 when they went to save Mercury. And when the New X-Men went after Purifers, he was the only one to stop Surge from killing them.
Not So Different: He and Surge have more in common than they would like to admit.
Quickly Demoted Leader: After the formation of the New X-Men, Emma Frost demotes him and puts Surge in charge, as a punishment for him refusing her order to elliminate X-23 from competition for a place on the team
I Let Gwen Stacy Die : When forty students, including Tag, were killed Rockslide suffered Heroic BSOD and couldn't do anything. After Brain's funeral he is seen punching the ground and yelling Brian buddy, I'm sorry!
Love Dodecahedron: Cessily is in love with him, but he loves Laurie, who has feelings for Josh, unaware he's in love with Rahne.
Poor Communication Kills: After he accidentially destroys Laurie's hand he overhears Julian telling rest of his team he doesn't know what to do with him. He rus away from the school, not even waiting long enough to hear Julian assuring everybody that no matter what, Hellions will stand together.