Comic Book / X-Man

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/xma26_cover1_9028.jpg

X-Man was a Marvel Comics Comic Book series starring Nate Grey, a psychic of near-cosmic levels of power who was an Alternate Universe version of Cable of the X-Men.

The character first appeared in X-Man #1 (March, 1995), created by Jeph Loeb and Steve Skroce. X-Man was originally planned as a four-issue miniseries that was part of the Age of Apocalypse crossover. It was later promoted to an ongoing series thanks to Popularity Power. Initially written by Jeph Loeb, it changed several writers before Terry Kavanagh came aboard; he wrote the book for most of its run. The series lasted for 75 issues (March, 1995- May, 2001).

Nate was created by his universe's version of Mister Sinister using DNA taken from Cyclops and Jean Grey (in the main universe Sinister had to manipulate Cyclops into marrying a clone of Jean Grey to achieve the same result) his final goal being the same: to create a being powerful enough to destroy his nemesis, Apocalypse. Nate was one of four beings that were accidentally transported from the Age of Apocalypse reality to the main Marvel Universe after it was destroyed due to a combination of changes to history and the explosion of a Cosmic Keystone. (The other survivors being Sugar Man, Holocaust and Dark Beast- all villains.)

The book followed Nate's exploits at finding his own place in this new world as well as dealing with various villains trying to manipulate him for his vast superpowers. In 2000 it was heavily Retooled and a year later cancelled because Joe Quesada thought that there were too many X-Books. Nate was killed off in the last issue and stayed "dead" until a point during Dark Reign where he under went a Unexplained Recovery and went up against Norman Osborn and his team of Dark X-Men, before being captured. After Osborn's defeat, he was captured again by Sugar Man but rescued by the New Mutants and then joined the team.

As of Marvel NOW! he seems to be at a loose end, with a brief appearance in Fearless Defenders and a mention in All New X-Men being the only hint that the Marvel editorial staff even remember that he exists.


This series contains examples of:

  • Adorkable: He starts off with No Social Skills (like his father), but with all the warmth and passion of his mother (though, at first, it can be a little difficult to find) and, on his arrival in the 616 'verse, is a Fish out of Water.
  • All-Loving Hero: Has shades of this in his Shaman era and again after his return from apparent death. Norman Osborn regards this attitude as amusingly quaint.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: The Protectorate (heroes of an alternate earth) to The Authority. Curiously, several members were actually versions of pre-existing Marvel characters.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: He was this, in some respects, to Cable, who occasionally tried to help him, even risking his life to save Nate, seeing him as being the kid that Cable could have been and therefore being determined that he'd get the chance to live his life. Nate, partly suffering from an inferiority complex and mostly just wanting to be left alone and have nothing to do with Cable - and it didn't help that being close to each other or getting into telepathic contact was physically painful - at least at first.
  • Arch-Enemy: Apocalypse by design. Thereafter, a case could be made for either Sugar Man or Holocaust, with Dark Beast being a close runner up.
  • Badass Adorable: As a physically five or six year old child, he casually displays the sort of psychic powers that would challenge Jean Grey at her Non-Phoenix peak.
  • Back from the Dead: Madelyne Pryor, and eventually Nate himself. Twice.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Against Ares himself, no less
  • Berserk Button: Trying to control or manipulate him. He really, really does not like it.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Peter Parker takes on this role to him.
    • And Nate in turn takes on this role to Franklin Richards.
  • Breakout Character: Arguably the most popular character to come from the Age of Apocalypse, as even Blink (the other big Breakout Character from that series) didn't get a title so popular it lasted a whole five years.
  • Bullying a Dragon: This happens to him fairly often, as his extremely high power level combined with his unassuming appearance makes him a dragon very few see coming. The bullies range from people who know full well what they're getting into (Holocaust, Dark Beast) to the more traditional jerks who just come along with no idea of the power they're messing with (the Purple Man and Mysterio being among the jerkiest).
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Neither the Dark Avengers nor the Dark X-Men particularly faze him, and when both teams attack him at once he proves more than capable of holding them all off while verbally dissecting their powers and explaining why they won't work.
  • Cape Busters: The Gauntlet, a team of low-level telepaths dedicated to taking down Nate. They proved to be formidable enough threats thanks to psi-blocking armour and the fact they didn't care much about casual victims or collateral damage.
  • Cassandra Truth: During the Onslaught Saga he sensed very early on that something was wrong with Professor X (as this was in their first meeting, this led to a distrust of the Professor and his X-Men in general) and tried to warn the Avengers. They more or less brushed him off, even if they were polite about it, only to quickly regret it as the Onslaught persona assumed full control and seized control of New York.
  • Character Development: Nate gets this in pretty epic fashion, going from scared Fish out of Water with far too much power under too little control, his powers flickering on and off near at random, who regards most issues as not being his problem, to a Knight in Sour Armour hero and cocky teen, still very aware that he's nearing the point where his body is going to burn out, to an incredibly powerful, controlled, kind and rather messianic hero. Then, after his De-Power, his Deadpan Snarker tendencies resurfaced, coming to terms with his drastic loss of power, find somewhere he belonged and trying to do some good along the way.
  • Charm Person: His high-order telepathic powers make him very capable of this, though he only ever uses it unconsciously. This is still more than enough to turn him into a...
  • Chick Magnet: Whether by accident or design, most of Nate's supporting cast of characters were women. This becomes especially pronounced in his "New York street messiah" phase, where a Power Trio of party girls all fall for him and move in with him, helping him to manage his newfound fame.
  • Child Soldier: He started out as a Laser Guided Tyke Bomb and quickly grew into this during his time with Forge's Outcasts.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He hides it well behind his Knight in Sour Armor attitude, but when push comes to shove Nate will never stand by and not act when an innocent person's life is in danger.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: None of the members of Nate's supporting cast were ever seen or mentioned again after the series ended, save for the very thin exception of Threnody who was given a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as a potential recruit in Avengers: The Initiative. And of course Madelyne Pryor appeared again, but she was also an established character long before Nate himself arrived on the scene.
  • Cloning Blues: Played with. He's the artificially created son of Scott and Jean, and while he doesn't noticeably angst about it - he saves that for his Living Weapon status and justified fears that he's accidentally going to rewrite reality in his sleep - his lack of life experience informs his character.
    • Amusingly, Nate is the source of this trope for another Summers family clone, Stryfe. Essentially a flawed clone of Cable (who is himself flawed compared to Nate), Stryfe regards Nate's existence as something of a personal affront, and wastes no time capturing him and hooking up to one of Doctor Doom's power syphons upon his return in order to steal Nate's power, which he believes to be rightfully his. To further heighten the irony, Stryfe's scheme is largely derailed by Madelyne Pryor, who is herself a clone and frequent sufferer of Cloning Blues.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Whenever he's not acting like a teen his dialogue tends to end up like this. This has increased exponentially since he lost most of his powers and joined the New Mutants.
  • Destructive Saviour: Due to his take-no-prisoners fighting style Nate's fights tend to have a high collateral damage quotient - for instance, he once practically leveled the city of Dublin.
  • De-Power: Nate has gone through a lot of these at one point or another. The most spectacular happened after his resurrection, he is captured by Sugar Man and used as a power source to the point of being nowhere near his previous abilities.
    • And it looks like it's wearing off. Slowly. Very slowly.
    • Or it was until Marvel NOW! At present, he was last seen as a minor character in Fearless Defenders #9 and mentioned in All New X-Men #31. He hasn't been seen since Secret Wars (2015).
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A purpose other than "killing Apocalypse", to be precise.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In one what-if tale he literally liquifies Apocalypse by mind-melding with Owen Reece the Molecule Man and forcibly unlocking the full potential of the latter's Reality Warper powers.
  • Dimensional Traveler: At the height of his powers, after the Shaman Reboot, he can achieve this with almost insulting ease, treating the Multiverse as his personal stepladder.
  • Divided We Fall: The first encounter with Professor Xavier (who had been long dead in his universe) going bad led Nate to keep his distance from the X-Men for a long time.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Following the Shaman reboot. This becomes a problem once he undergoes a De-Power and can no longer just levitate over mud and stuff like that.
  • The Dreaded: To many of the people in the 616 universe, at first. Since he was outright stated to be equal to Dark Phoenix in power while he was still a teenager, and isn't the world's most stable individual, this isn't overly surprising.
    • Dark Beast is terrified of him. With good reason.
    • Sunspot explicitly states in Unfinished Business that he's not too keen on finding Nate because he finds him scary. Considering that he's seen Nate on more than one bad day, this is not entirely surprising.
  • Energy Being: Has become one on several occasions.
  • Expy:
    • Literally an in-universe one to Cable, as they are essentially the same person from different realities and they have an identical genetic makeup (though Nate's genesis was slightly different from Cable's and he is much more powerful, due to not being infected with the T-O Virus).
    • He also might have spawned an Alternate Company Equivalent one in the form of the New 52 version of Super Boy, who has the same power set, the same Living Weapon backstory, the same development from nigh sociopathic Reluctant Hero with mild kleptomaniac tendencies into a genuine Nice Guy (though Nate was a fair bit nicer to begin with, if grumpy), the same difficult relationship with his elder counterpart and the same nature as The Dreaded to most of those he encounters.
  • Fashion Dissonance: While the whole shirtless leather jacket thing might have worked in the early noughties, it generally leads to Nate being the butt of jokes about his fashion sense.
    • His Age of Apocalypse leathers got this treatment too, even back in the nineties, with Pete Wisdom of Excalibur calling him an 'MTV clone'.
  • Femme Fatale: Madelyne Pryor.
  • The Fettered: Had a period where he begrudgingly became this by necessity due to his Power Degeneration literally putting his life in danger every time he used it.
  • Fish out of Water: Due to his forcible transition from the utter Crapsack World of the Age of Apocalypse to the comparatively more peaceful and sane reality of Earth-616.
  • Forgot About His Powers: From time to time Nate forgets about one of his powers or another.
    • Considering the sheer number of them, this is far from surprising.
  • Freudian Excuse: Not a villain, but between Madelyne Pryor, AOA!Jean, 616!Jean and Queen Jean, he could quite easily be the poster child for this trope.
  • Friend to All Children: Something he shares with Cable, and that they both get from their mother. Despite his occasionally gruff exterior, he's particularly nice to and good with children, as best shown when he affectionately tickles a small baby that he'd just saved from a building that an arsonist had just set on fire (after downloading the baby's terrified memories of choking to death into the arsonist's head).
  • Generation Xerox: Everyone's reaction to him are comparable to their reaction to his mother Jean and the Phoenix Force, with emphasis put on his destructive potential underlined by his power readings matching those of the Dark Phoenix.
    • A What If? reveals that he will grow up to look exactly like Cable, leading to an elderly Sunfire mistaking the two.
    • His ability to play Norman Osborn and his cohorts like a harp is highly reminiscent of his dad. Unlike Cyclops, however, he made a crucial mistake - he underestimated the Goblin personality's capacity for rationality. If he'd adjusted his plan, he'd have succeeded in bringing down the entirety of Dark Reign in a matter of days - and considering that Osborn very quickly snapped and went full Green Goblin, in public, just as Nate planned, it's arguable that he ultimately had the last laugh on that one.
  • Genius Bruiser: When he gets past his temper, he's actually very clever and very resourceful, using his power creatively and effectively. On his return, he proves that he's very much Cyclops's son by promptly out manoeuvring Norman Osborn, the entire Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men, teams including Karla Sofen, Daken, Mystique and Ares and very nearly ends Dark Reign in the space of a couple of issues. If he hadn't misjudged the Goblin persona, he'd have won. And this is with a plan that he came up with on the fly.
    • He also knows, it seems, everything there is to know about reality warping and dimension jumping. He's certainly done enough of it.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Refers to 616 Cyclops as this, almost word for word, to 616 Havok. He's on better terms with him later - though he still likes his mother better.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Nate's basically what you get when you give a grumpy teenager Chronic Hero Syndrome, a raging case of PTSD, and a reputation as The Dreaded that means that pretty much everyone is scared witless of him. This trope is the unsurprising result.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Nate is a hero through and through, but he can also be bullheaded and abrasive to the people around him. And when it comes to combat, he does not hold back, expressly rejecting the traditional Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy of the X-Men due to coming of age in a much more hard and brutal world than the one they know.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Nate's only video game appearance (as of 2017) in X-Men Legends II sees him play this role. Unfortunately, he only appears in the PSP version of the game.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Nate dispersed his essence to every living being on Earth to prevent an alien parasite from consuming them killing them both.
    • It lasted eight years real time, surprisingly enough.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: With no TO virus like Cable, keeping him from using his immense power to solve problems in a flash requires his powers to frequently be burned out, somehow blocked, or on occasion held back by having him pick up the Idiot Ball.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: As epitomised by his 'Greyville' fantasy under the influence of Mysterio.
  • Improvised Weapon: During one story arc late in the X-Man run when he fought the Crusader Nate decided to fight him on his level and assembled a sword and set of armor for himself with his telekinetic powers.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: As a small child. When he's older, during one of his rare moments of wonder and joy, they look like this. Thanks to the art of Roger Cruz, it's absurdly adorable.
  • Invincible Hero: By the end of his series it takes a planetary or universal (even multiversal) scale threat to challenge him or an outright sucker punch. On his return in the Dark X-Men miniseries, he can singlehandedly assault a HAMMER complex and take a moment to stop and tell a HAMMER Agent that yes, she should take that UNICEF job she's considering, and take on the Dark Avengers and Dark X-Men simultaneously without breaking a sweat and explaining exactly why their attacks won't work all the while.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even at his most dickish and grumpy, it's very clear that Nate inherited heroism from both parents, particularly his mother's compassion.
  • Kid From The Alternate Universe: Nate for Cyclops and Jean Grey.
  • Knife Nut: Jackknife, one of the few original villains from Nate's title, was essentially a mutant version of this, as his Psychic Powers manifested as crimson Energy Weapon blades.
  • Knight In Shining Armour: To Threnody in particular.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: for much of his series, at least until he met Peter Parker, he was fully convinced that people, human and mutant alike, sucked. Since he was regularly persecuted, never thanked and most people were utterly terrified of him, it's hard to argue against this. But he still saved people, because that's what heroes do.
  • Large Ham: Early on, it seems like he can't do anything without all volume control being off and, usually, a large explosion of power and a barrage of Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. Even after he calms down and evens out a bit, he still retains a penchant for dramatics. This makes a lot more sense when you remember that he was basically raised by stage actors.
  • Laser-Guided Tykebomb: Nate was created by the Sinister of the Age of Apocalypse timeline, for the express purpose of killing Apocalypse, who Sinister currently served as a Horseman.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He's particularly adept at this, even early on, downloading the memories of a terrified baby who'd been caught in a blaze into the mind of the arsonist that set it. He also punished Ao A!Domino, Apocalypse's assassin, by restoring her previously defunct conscience.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Nate's acquaintance with characters from the main Marvel Universe usually started from trading blows.
    • Not overly surprising since his power levels made him The Dreaded (something Cable notes) and he had, at least at first, a rather nasty temper.
    • Notably averted with Spider-Man. When Peter finds the 'street prophet', Nate picks him out, calmly walks up to him and suggests that they just talk things through. Peter accepts.
    Nate: I know it's practically a requirement in situations like this but is there any chance we could pass on the gratuitous fight?
  • Like a Son to Me: To the Forge of his home reality.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Rogue had a certain degree of Big Sister Instinct towards him, intermittently keeping an eye on him from a distance and trying to help keep him out of trouble. Since Nate was The Dreaded, a Weirdness Magnet even by X-Men standards, and none too eager to join up with the X-Men, there wasn't too much she could do - though she did give Bishop a memorable dressing down when he wound up picking a fight with Nate over concerns that Nate was an irresponsible threat to everyone around him. Nate, for his part, played the role of grumpy little brother to perfection. Remarkably, she was also one of the few people who the Hot-Blooded Nate grudgingly listened to, and actually liked.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: Mostly averted - he has his mother's power set, her compassion and her explosive temper (the latter being most obvious). On the other hand, he also has his father's cynicism, snark, looks, and tendencies towards being The Chessmaster.
  • Love Triangle: With the introduction of Threnody one of these developed between Nate, Thren, and Madelyne Pryor. Nate himself was largely clueless of this, to the frustration of both women. Extra awkwardness would come from the In-Universe revelation that Nate and Maddie were related, even if neither of them knew this for a long time.
  • Messianic Archetype: Every now and then, starting in the Age of Apocalypse when he's the one meant to destroy Apocalypse (which he does - or rather, beats him to a pulp and leaves him for Magneto to finish) and later during his days as the Street Prophet of Washington Square, in which he shows something of a knack for playing the messiah role. However, it really comes in when he gets the Shaman upgrade.
  • Mind over Manners: Frequently disregards this early on, though he gets called on it just as frequently, including by himself. He discards those tendencies as part of his Character Development.
  • Mind over Matter: His telekinesis is probably his go-to ability, and considering it is powerful enough to qualify him for Reality Warper status, it well should be.
  • Mind Rape: Generally avoids this, especially as he gets nicer. However, he's also capable of getting very nasty and very creative with the Laser-Guided Karma when pushed - note what he did to Ao A!Domino, Apocalypse's assassin (restored her long withered conscience), and to a random arsonist during his New York hero days who set fire to a building containing a lot of homeless people, including a small baby (transferred the baby's traumatic memories of choking to death to the arsonist).
  • Momma's Boy: A positive example. Nate gets on with his father fairly well, but unlike his 616 counterpart Cable, he's closest to his mother. They only meet briefly in his native universe and don't realise who they are to each other, but this is sufficient to form a connection which leads to him subconsciously reaching out on arriving in the 616 'verse and resurrecting Maddie Pryor. He and 616!Jean develop a close bond and she's the one who inspires him to be a real hero. Needless to say, he is pissed on his return to find out that his mother is dead and that Mystique had been impersonating her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Quito incident. Specifically, while under the control of Queen Jean, he flattens Quito.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: When he first arrives in Earth 616 he is baffled by the prospect of a world that is largely at peace.
  • Name's the Same: The Gauntlet, a bunch of psychic Cape Busters are not the same as the Gauntlet, a group of psychic mutants who use their powers for their own gain.
    • And neither of them have any relation to Gauntlet, the Dark Rider and one-eyed mutant mercenary.
  • Nature vs. Nurture: His encounters with Cable generally explored this.
  • The Needless: By the end of his series, he doesn't actually need to eat, drink, sleep or breathe, and does human things mostly to reassure humans and mutants alike. However, following his depowering, he does seem to need to do all of the above.
  • Nice Guy: After his character development, all he really wants to do is help people. Even early on, he shows signs of this, pulling a Moses for Wolfsbane just to show her the sunken ships that she dreamed about seeing, even though it hurt him to do so.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Surprisingly, (especially considering that his 616 counterpart, Cable, was pretty much the Trope Codifier) not all that much. He's never had much compunction about killing, and even as a teenager he's so built that it's perfectly obvious that he's Cable's brother, but even at his worst, he's just been in a Knight in Sour Armour.
  • Nom de Mom: He is Nathan Grey while Cable is Nathan Summers. Unsurprisingly, he's always been much closer to his mother, regarding his father with a certain degree of ambivalence - though he does warm up towards Cyclops when he joins up with the New Mutants.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Rocked this look during his return in the Dark X-Men miniseries, before returning to his previous leather jacket.
  • Not So Different: He spends a long time distancing himself from Cable, but he turns out quite a lot like him, with the two going through nigh-identical character developments - Nate becomes a Shaman, while Cable goes through his 'Saviour Cable' phase (though in Cable's case, it was part of a complicated Genghis Gambit. For Nate, it was apparently genuine.)
  • Odd Friendship: With Peter Parker, as at first glance a cynical, brooding character like Nate doesn't seem like an obvious fit for the wisecracking and free-spirited Spider-Man. That said, both men have been forced by tragedy into growing Wise Beyond Their Years, and that common bond draws them together. Additionally, Nate honestly looked up to Peter as a mentor and older brother figure.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The people controlled by Threnody.
  • Papa Wolf: Cyclops seems to have developed a degree of this towards him after he was rescued from the Omega Machine, making it clear that Nate is family and that he is coming back to Utopia whether Captain America and SHIELD like it or not.
    • The Age of Apocalypse version of Forge had this towards him, protecting him at all costs.
  • Parental Incest: Although combined with Fridge Logic. Nate had a relationship with Madelyne Pryor who is a clone of Jean Grey, an alternate version of the woman whose DNA he was created from, making her essentially his genetic mother. The relationship mercifully lost its romantic overtones once Nate found out who she was, at least on Nate's part. And it got worse when she was killed and impersonated by Jean Grey from yet another alternate universe.
  • Parental Substitute: Age of Apocalypse Forge and Cyclops in the father column, Jean Grey and Moira MacTaggert in the mother column.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Nate was considered to be the most powerful mutant in the world with Dark Phoenix-level power.
    • If his powers had killed him as planned, it would have wiped out a quarter of the planet.
    • He says that he was born to destroy planets. The being he is fighting at the time does not dispute this.
  • Popularity Power: after the Age of Apocalypse ended, he was sufficiently popular to get a self-titled series that ran for 75 issues, a key role in the Onslaught crisis crossover, essentially a miniseries of his own in Dark X-Men (albeit after an eight year real time gap), then a spot on the New Mutants.
  • Power Degeneration: Nate's power put a huge strain on his body and would kill him before he turned 21. This was eventually revealed to be a fail-safe put into place by AoA!Sinister, because he didn't want Nate to be around to destroy him after he took out Apocalypse.
  • Power Tattoo: He received the traditional "X" symbol as a large tatoo covering the left side of his chest after assuming the role as Mutant Shaman.
  • Power Trio: Jam, Bux and Rita, a trio of streetwise party girls from Nate's New York hero period.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: A frequent sufferer of these, as most psychics tend to be. In his case, however, it was usually a sign of degenerating powers.
  • Reality Warper: His Mind over Matter power is so great that it makes him this in all but name. Prior to his Shaman upgrade he was perpetually worried that he might accidentally rewrite the world around him, even in his sleep. As he had already restored a one-armed man's arm to him (completely subconsciously), literally resurrected Madelyne Pryor during a fever dream, and accidentally turned his clothes into his Age of Apocalypse gear in his sleep this concern was not at all unwarranted.
  • Refusal of the Call: Early in the X-Man run he is met by Charles Xavier, who senses his enormous psychic presence immediately upon his arrival in Earth-616, and wastes no time tracking him down and making an offer to him to join the X-Men. Wary of men like him and not knowing that Xavier is alive on this world, consequently thinking that Xavier is feeding him a line, Nate refuses. Violently. Ten issues later, he refuses the call a second time, this time from Jean Grey.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Early on, he was very verbose, and a bit of a ham too. This probably had quite a lot to do with the fact that the people who wound up raising him were posing as a theatre troupe, performances and all, meaning that he picked up a lot, including showmanship.
  • Shout-Out: Harvester's arrival to Earth is very clearly a twisted reflection of Superman's. First his spaceship destroys a military aircraft. Then an elderly couple who are married (but not to each other) witnesses its crashlanding and goes to investigate. They are turned into stone. Yeah, what we have here is the opposite of a saviour.
  • Skunk Stripe: His lock of white hair is probably his most notable distinguishing feature.
  • Story-Breaker Power: The main reason why he doesn't have very many appearances outside of his (admittedly long running) solo series and decades-later revival in the pages of New Mutants. Even in the pages of his solo title, almost none of the villains were anywhere close to his level of power and the only way for the writers to maintain a sense of dramatic tension was to either play on his Power Degeneration or have him be depowered (as evidenced by the sheer number of times he suffered from the latter).
  • Super Weight: Mostly operates at a Type 3 level at first owing to a lack of experience/control/one of his powers switching off/genetic degeneration, spiking to Type 4 more and more as he gets better control of his powers. Grows into a Type 5 following the Shaman Reboot, then drops down to borderline Type 2 following his De-Power.
  • Tagalong Kid: Roust, a street-savvy kid from Nate's New York hero period.
  • Take a Third Option: The Gauntlet explained to Nate that they refused to side with Professor Xavier or Magneto because they were not interested in mutant politics, and because they believed that both sides had worldviews that were too narrow. Given that they were able to operate for God knows how long without either side learning about them, the Gauntlet may have had a point.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He takes after his dad.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Part of a particularly tangled bit of the Grey-Summers family tree. This is lampshaded by Dani Moonstar when a therapist comments on Hope's attitude towards Nate.
  • Token Good Teammate: He was a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants for a very brief time (Havok and Dark Beast's version of the team, which they called simply "The Brotherhood") and during this time Nate was very much this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Takes several. At his first appearance in the 616 universe, he's basically a scared kid in an adult's body. Many levels in badass later, he can comfortably take on opponents like Hybrid, Maddie Pryor, and the Great Beasts, who are historically threats to entire teams of X-Men. This level of capability is demonstrated when he comes Back from the Dead, he immediately takes on all of the Dark Avengers at once. The only one who even slows him down is Ares, and even then, he still has the time to verbally dissect the abilities of the entire team and explain why they won't work on him, while being surprisingly polite about it. He then pulls a Batman Gambit worthy of the trope namer in possessing Norman Osborn and only loses because he misjudged the Green Goblin persona's capacity for rationality - and since Osborn went nuts, Goblin style, shortly afterwards during Siege, just as Nate had intended, it's arguable that he had the last laugh on that one.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Steadily grows nicer throughout his ongoing series. The Shaman reboot just cements this... mostly. He's a bit otherworldly and weird. Plus, if you cross one of his lines, he's even more uncompromisingly ruthless than before - and he wasn't exactly a devotee of Thou Shalt Not Kill before, either.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: One alternate reality comic set in the future shows that he'll grow up to look exactly like Cable, to the point where an elderly Sunfire mistakes him for Cable. Conversely, a deaged Cable looks exactly like Nate, Skunk Stripe and all.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Not a villain, but it is a little startling to contrast his Knight in Sour Armour personality to his very first appearance as a kid no more than five or six years old who manages, without saying a word, to elicit a little bit of Cuteness Proximity from Sinister himself!
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: After the retool, his standard outfit becomes a open jacket with no shirt.
  • When He Smiles: It's rare, but when he does genuinely smile, it is absolutely adorable.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: is, or was, this to an extent. He's under absolutely no illusions about what humans and mutants are capable of, but he believes in a better world and is absolutely horrified by what he missed, i.e. Civil War, Secret Invasion and the beginning of Dark Reign. Norman Osborn remarks on it and mocks him. Considering Siege, it looks like Nate had the last laugh on that one.
    • He also notes that he believes in Hope as the Mutant Messiah - which is pretty impressive, since he'd done the Mutant Messiah gig himself - and consequently takes Cyclops' side in Avengers vs. X-Men.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Being a force-grown Living Weapon who's biologically 17 and chronologically only a few years old, if that, he mixes this with profound immaturity. Early on, all he knows how to do is fight, and on Muir Island during one manifestation of his not unreasonable paranoia and his Hair-Trigger Temper, unleashing his vast power, how is he stopped? By Team Mom Moira MacTaggert giving him a loud scolding. Wolfsbane noted that he just didn't know how to argue back. Moira herself said at the end of the issue that Nate had absolutely no life experience and worried for him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Apocalypse sees him as this, as shown in a what-if scenario when Big Blue makes him a We Can Rule Together offer. Nate's response is very memorable.
    Apocalypse: Cease this posturing. Accept your legacy and claim your rightful position at my side. You have earned this.
    Nate: Earned... yeah, I forgot your credo that only the strong deserve to survive. Well, meet Owen Reece, with me in his head— he's stronger than you.
    • Apocalypse's son Holocaust wants to be this to Nate, but Nate consistently dismisses the psychotic little bugger as "small fry". Since every single fight between the two ends in a Curbstomp Battle in Nate's favour, malfunctioning powers and all, this is not especially surprising.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: He becomes very, very good at this after his Shaman upgrade.
  • Younger Than They Look: Despite being for all intents and purposes in his late teens Nate actually is only a few years old due to accelerated ageing by Sinister.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/XMan