Series / Mutant X

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A television series created by Marvel Studios (a division of Marvel Comics) and Canada's Global (airing in syndication in the US), Mutant X centers around the eponymous team of "New Mutants" who possess extraordinary powers as a result of genetic engineering. Like hundreds of other unsuspecting people, the members of Mutant X were used as test subjects in a series of covert government experiments by Genomex, which now wants to control these New Mutants for its own purposes. The mission of Mutant X is to seek out their fellow New Mutants, help them come to terms with their abilities and protect them from those who want only to exploit their powers.

Mutant X is also unrelated to the Comic Book series, that ran from 1998 to 2001, of the same name, or anything else involving mutants and X-es. However, according to Volume 5 of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcovers, the Mutant X TV series takes place on Earth-704509, making it an Alternate Reality in the Marvel Multiverse.

Even though the series had high ratings and was renewed for a fourth season, it was abruptly canceled in 2004 due to the dismantling of Fireworks Entertainment, one of the production companies.

Tropes:

  • All Your Powers Combined: Season 2 Big Bad Gabriel Ashlocke is the first New Mutant ever created, and also has several powers from each of the 4 power categories recognized by the show, as opposed to all other mutants, who only get a single power from a single category (although for some reason, after the first few episodes he mostly limited himself to throwing energy balls). Too bad for him, a side effect of all that power is he's eventually going to explode into bits.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Adam keeps kissing Emma's head.
  • Differently Powered Individual: The series uses the slightly strange term "New Mutants". No mention is ever made of "Old Mutants". Maybe it's to distinguish their differences from actual mutations.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading: The empath character on had to ask teammates to stop thinking such thoughts about her on (oddly only a few) occasions.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In the episode "Deadly Desire", an evil mutant puts Brennan under her pheromonal control and then has sex with him. No one treats this as rape. A bad thing that he's working with her, but not rape. In fact, they criticize him for "acting like a jerk" after he's cured.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The titular has a fairly spacious and comfy facility inside a mountain with a hologram covering the entrance. It looks more like a loft than a secret base.
  • Fainting Seer: Happens a few times in with Emma, who although isn't a seer is said to have constant headaches because of it.
  • Fake Guest Star: Tom McCamus as the villainous Mason Eckhart. Despite appearing in every single episode (not to mention the show's title sequence montage) of the first season, he was billed as a guest star.
  • Faux Action Girl: Emma DeLauro. Frequently described as one of the strongest New Mutants in the world and deemed a good enough allrounder to be included in the Mutant X team and yet she very rarely does anything useful, especially compared to Shalimar Fox, the resident Action Girl. Granted she was also there for her psionic powers but if Adam was wanting a psionic why did he not just use Vanessa, a minor psionic character who showed she, at least, could kick some GSA butt.
  • Flying Brick: Gabriel Ashlock (AKA Patient Zero), one of the only two New Mutants (the other being the Child) who combines all four categories of mutants in this setting: Elemental (fires energy balls), Feral (catlike speed and enhanced strength), Molecular (regeneration), and Psionic (empath). This turns out to be a case of Blessed with Suck, as he eventually explodes from the sheer energy of these combined powers.
  • Forgot About the Mind Reader: The show had an episode where Emma had to fully open her mind, Jesse's thoughts are never shown explicitly but we're shown imaginary-Emma had also stripped off her shirt, leaving just the tank top underneath.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: In the episode "Possibilities", a mutant with the power to travel back a short period of time is trying to stop a bomb from being detonated. When Brennan is caught in the explosion with her, he is sent back as well.
  • How Do I Shot Web?:
    • One episode has a young boy kidnapped for ransom. It turns out that the boy is an Elemental New Mutant capable of throwing fireballs. However, his is young, so he's not sure how to control his ability. The first time it manifests is during the kidnapping, when he accidentally burns a hole in a kidnapper's hand. At the end of the episode, he finally learns to produce fireballs on demand by copying Brennan's Pstandard Psychic Pstance when he's charging his electric powers.
    • There's also a bit of this when the team receives an upgrade. Brennan learns he can create a continuous blast akin to an ion engine with his hands, enabling brief flight. Shalimar becomes even stronger and can hear someone sneaking up on her while working out with loud music in her earbuds. Emma's Psychic Powers are boosted Up to Eleven. Jesse learns to make other things intangible.
  • Intangible Man: Jesse. Unlike most examples of this trope, he could also reverse the process to the point where he was Made of Diamond. He later learns how to make other objects (or parts of them intangible. This becomes incredibly useful to getting his teammates into locked areas.
  • Light 'em Up: Lexa Pierce manipulates light to blind her foes, generate lasers, and even become invisible.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: The character whose powers were lightning-based could do near anything he wanted with them. They disabled car alarms, started the car, unlocked purely mechanical locks, and anything else that needed to be done. All they needed to do was have him walk on water with the low-budget lightning effect going on around his feet, and he could have been Electrical Jesus. Those are all things you could do with complete control over electromagnetism (see Magneto and Polaris); maybe the lightning was just his way of focusing his control.
  • Literal Split Personality: Happens with Emma. She's split into her aggressive side and her passive side. They can't live without each other.
  • Magic Genetics: All powers come from genetic experiments conducted by Genomex and the Dominion. These powers include generating electricity, density manipulation, throwing energy balls, time travel, etc.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: In the final episode of season 1, new Big Bad Gabriel Ashlocke imprisons original Big Bad Mason Eckhart and takes over his mutant-hunting facility for his own ends.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Emma is an empath but later "evolves" to a more powerful version. One of her new abilities is full-blown telepathy, although she tends to block out people's thoughts unless necessary. In one episode, she is forced to use all her abilities to keep their Cool Plane hidden from an army looking for them. She warns Jesse that she will be unable to block out other people's thoughts, as all her concentration is required for the "psychic cloak" and asks him to think happy thoughts. Then he accidentally glances at her low-cut cleavage, and she frowns at the unavoidable thought in his head.
  • Murder, Inc.: Blue Bolt from the episode "Under The Cloak of War" is a group of Badass Normal Assassins with high-tech weapons.
  • Mutants: The series despite the name, is mostly about people modified after birth. There is one who was modified either before or immediately after his birth... he didn't grow up so well. Some mutants also have children, who naturally fit the first part.
  • Mysterious Past: In practically every other episode, someone from one of the main characters' mysterious past would turn up. How many ex-lovers does the typical young mutant-on-the-go have, anyway? Or never-before-mentioned siblings or parents?
  • Myth Arc: A different villain each season.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mason Eckhart is pretty transparently an eeeevil Andy Warhol.
  • Noodle Incident: In the episode "The Shock of the New" a character states that Eckhart blames Adam for having caused the loss of his immune system in an incident that is never explained throughout the series.
  • Not Quite Flight: Brennan's electricity-throwing power turns into an ion engine coming out of his hands after the Mid-Season Upgrade.
  • Opening Narration: Later seasons had Adam explaining the basic premise of the show, replacing the first season's "random words superimposed over the credits" approach.
  • Power Degeneration: Gabriel Ashlocke is the first of the so-called "New Mutants". Unlike the others, he has Combo Platter Powers from all four of the categories (elemental, feral, molecular, psionic) and is insane to boot. However, as revealed by Adam, his body is slowly breaking apart due to all these powers together. Ashlocke's final attempt to save himself involves awakening an ancient sorceress, but the interference of the titular team results in Ashlocke exploding and taking his base with him.
  • Power Nullifier: Tags (called Subdermal Governors) bolted into the back of the neck were used to nullify mutant powers, though it seems more to torture them when they try to use them than to truly nullify the powers.
  • Shock and Awe: Brennan Mulwray can generate electricity by running one hand over the other. The longer he does this, the more powerful the charge. Depending on the charge, a hit can go from a stun and a mild burn to deadly. As expected, it's inadvisable for him to try to use his powers while he's wet, although grounding helps. Later, his powers evolve to him being able to sort-of fly with his hands working like ion engines.
  • Superhero Speciation: There were several broad categories of mutant power, and the team never consisted of more than one member in each category.
    • Lexa and Brennan, both elementals, were briefly on the team at the same time, but most of the time, the trope held true. Their powers were also different enough to maintain the trope in spirit.
    • One of the Big Bads was a Super Prototype with powers from all four categories (feral, elemental, molecular, psionic).
  • Super Power Meltdown: Gabriel Ashcroft (AKA Patiant Zero). The first person to be experimented on by Adam Kane and the first known new mutant. Unlike all other new mutants, which are separated into categories (elementals, ferals, moleculars, and psionics), Ashcroft has powers from all four categories (although not all possible powers). He's also a murderous psychopath. However, so many powers cause his cells to slowly destabilize. When his plan to summon an ancient goddess to cure him was thwarted by the titular team, his body exploded, taking out his entire base.
  • Super Senses: Ferals have animal-level senses, especially Shalimar, once she "evolves". Said "evolution" results in her hearing Jesse sneak up on her while listening to loud music on her MP3 player.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Averted when Lexa replaced Emma at the start of the final season after Emma's death in the previous finale. Rather than the new character being designed to fill the superpowered gap in the team the old one had left, telempathic Emma was replaced with light-manipulating Lexa, whose personality, loyalties, and storyline were radically different to Emma's.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Seemingly every time Mutant X wanted into Genomex (the Big Bad), they waltzed right in with basically nothing to stop them. Unless the plot called for one of them to get captured, of course. It's partially justified since one of their members does have the ability to phase through walls and the Sixth Ranger who joins in the third season has invisibility as her main power.
  • Technopath: Emma's friend in the episode "Interface" is a technopath. She further gets enhanced by GSA to become a Wetware CPU but is restored at the end of the episode. According to Emma, she is the only New Mutant who managed to counteract the effects of the subdermal governor (presumably, she disabled it before they even activated the device). Many years before, both of them used to use their powers to cheat bartenders out of free drinks with Emma's empathy and, when the bartender eventually caught on, use her friend's power to shut off the lights and run away.
  • Territorial Smurfette: As ferals are notoriously territorial, Shalimar did not take kindly to another feral joining the team. Per the trope, the new girl was a joy bringer everyone else liked. Worse, Shalimar was ordered to stay at Home Base due to an injury but was normally the I Can Still Fight type without two layers of jealousy for extra motivation. It turned out the new feral was even more territorial. She staged the accident that injured Shalimar then joined the team to finish her off.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The show has a guy who can shoot lightning from his hands, a girl who is crazy cat-like, a dude who can either ghost himself or make himself as hard as a statue and a girl who... has weak telepath powers. The last is often kept back at base. In later seasons they all get upgrades, and the telepath gains a weird "mental missile" attack that does manage to take out whoever it hit (but having no effect on the surrounding area); she still gets left behind, though. Emma's powers eventually grows to the point where she can erase memories with a thought and ca keep an army from discovering a weird-looking jet in a jungle clearing. As she explains to Jesse, to do this she has to remove all safeguards from her mind, meaning she won't be blocking anybody's thoughts. While she's saying that, she's wearing an outfit with lots of cleavage, which Jesse just happens to look at. Her reaction to his thoughts shows that she's not pleased. Apparently, the writers thought this made her too powerful, requiring a bridge to be dropped.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Shalimar with fire

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/MutantX