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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.

The main characters include:

  • Adam Kane (John Shea), a non-mutant scientist who created the New Mutants and leader of Mutant X.
  • Emma DeLauro (Lauren Lee Smith), a young Telempath who joins Mutant X after she's hunted down by the Genetic Security Agency.
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  • Shalimar Fox (Victoria Pratt), a "Feral Feline" member of Mutant X.
  • Brennan Mulwray (Victor Webster), a mutant forced by the GSA to hunt his own until he joined Mutant X.
  • Jesse Kilmartin (Forbes March), the technology and computer expert of Mutant X who can alter his density.
  • Lexa Pierce (Karen Cliche), an operative of the shady organization known as The Dominion who takes over the role of interim Mutant X leader in Season 3.

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 Universe 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 show's main production company, Fireworks Entertainment, being sold to brand new owners.

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Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Shalimar kicks plenty of ass.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Gabriel Ashlocke, the Big Bad of Season 2, is the first New Mutant ever created, and also has several powers from each of the four 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.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Shalimar (played by fitness model Victoria Pratt) has a very toned body and serves as the team muscle, but is still very attractive.
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Adam keeps kissing Emma's head.
  • Anyone Can Die: Emma in the beginning of Season 3.
  • Badass Normal: Adam is the leader of Mutant X despite not having any superhuman powers himself.
  • Brought Down to Normal: An episode of has a New Mutant with a Healing Factor (which makes his Death Seeker personality a little ironic) working for the GSA when an epidemic threatens to wipe out all New Mutants. He is forced by his boss to work with Adam (although ordered to shoot him as soon as he has the cure). When Adam extracts his DNA to use his Healing Factor to cure the disease, he inadvertently removes this ability. The guy is happy to be able to die.
  • Cape Busters: The main enemy in Season 1 was the GSA (Genetic Security Agency), Genomex's Private Military Contractor tasked with recapturing all the escaped New Mutants. Their ranks mostly comprised of non-powered stormtroopers, although they semi-regularly fielded one or two Superpowered Mooks (who were typically flash-frozen at the end of each episode by Mason Eckhart for failing him for the last time).
  • Cat Girl: Shalimar, being a Feral New Mutant, has feline DNA! No ears or tail, though.
  • Circus of Fear: An episode dealt with a traveling circus led by a man with the power to trap people inside funhouse mirrors.
  • City in a Bottle: In one episode, some of the group accidentally enter a pocket dimension that had been set up to be an agrarian utopia. All references to the outside world had been erased in the belief that human nature could be changed with a clean break from human history and all its violence.
  • Cool Ship: Mutant X uses the Helix.
  • 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: Emma has to ask her 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", Lorna Templeton, an evil New 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: Mutant X 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.
  • The Empath: Emma's powers allow her to sense, project, and manipulate the emotions of those around her.
  • Fainting Seer: Happens a few times in with Emma who, although she isn't a seer, is said to have constant headaches because of it. It's pretty much how the Season 2 episode "Reawakening" starts.
  • 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 is frequently described as one of the strongest New Mutants in the world and deemed a good enough all-rounder to be included in Mutant X, yet she very rarely does anything useful, especially compared to Shalimar, the resident Action Girl. Granted she was also there for her psionic powers but if Adam wanted a psionic, why did he not just use Vanessa, a minor psionic character who showed she, at least, could kick some GSA butt.
  • Five-Man Band: Mutant X.
  • 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.
  • 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, he 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 manipulates light to blind her foes, generate lasers, and even become invisible.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Brennan, whose powers are lightning-based, can do nearly anything he wants with them—disable car alarms, start the car, unlock purely mechanical locks, and anything else that needed to be done. All the showrunners 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 in "Double Vision." 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: There's 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.
  • One Person, One Power: Everyone except Ashlocke.
  • 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 first attempt to save himself involves awakening an ancient sorceress, then he tries to Make Wrong What Once Went Right, then he tries to bully Adam into helping... Ultimately, he explodes, taking half the team's 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.
  • Shameful Strip: In "The Taking of Crows," Lexa and Shalimar are forced to go through a strip search when infiltrating a women's prison.
  • Shock and Awe: Brennan 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 Ashlocke (AKA Patient 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. After three plans to cure him were thwarted by the titular team, his body exploded, taking out half their 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 to get into Genomex, 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." 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.
  • Team Dad: Adam is the moral center of Mutant X.
  • 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.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: At the end of the third season, it turns out Adam is a clone of the Ancient Conspiracy's leader.
  • Too Powerful to Live: Gabriel Ashlocke is introduced at the end of the first season, then starts the second season attempting to prevent his own Superpower Meltdown, then fails five episodes in.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Shalimar and Lexa when forced to strip search in "The Taking of Crows".
  • 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 is afraid of fire.

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