During their First Host on Earth, one million years ago, the Celestials collected the Wanderers, a tribe of Homo erectus. Gammenon the Gatherer collected the ape-men and sent them to Ziran the Tester who mutated them to have an unstable genome, creating the Deviants (Homo descendus), a race with various mutations, who were then released and went hiding in the caves. With other subjects, Nezarr the Calculator then created the Eternals (Eternals (Homo immortalis)), hairless, upright tall beings able to tap into the cosmic power. They were themselves released, flying out of the Celestials' laboratory-ship. Finally, Oneg the Prober created a latent gene for the expansion of human potential and those modified yet apparently unchanged ape-men were released.
A few X-Gene mutants occurred early in human history, with some controversy over the earliest. Included in those known early mutants are the Forever Man, Garbha-Hsien, Amahl Farouk, Nicodemus, and possibly Hungry.
For years, it was thought that the mutants were only a handful individuals at the first stages of humanity. That theory was proven wrong by the discovery, in 2003, of a mutant civilization at least 15,000 years old, antagonists of the Cheyarafim, another early group of mutants.
Egypt was later the birthplace-and-time of many mutants: The Man and others of his kind (named the same way), En Sabah Nur and his Clan Akkaba, one incarnation of the Forever Man, and Anath-Na Mut.
- Please consult the apparition and development of mutantkind here.
Despite those early mutants, around six to seven hundred years ago, a population of three hundred "Proto-Mutants" (an "early" form of mutants with "less evolved" X-Genes), a different species from mutants, like Neanderthals to humans, lived in mountains of Crimea.
At the same period, another form of "early mutants", the "killcrops", was characterized by early appearance of powers, and allegedly leading the way to the modern mutants with puberty-induced mutation.
In 1859,[verification needed] Nathaniel Essex presented his work and theories on the Essex Factors, illustrated by a cadaver he pieced together from human and animal remains. He was rejected by the Royal Society of London. He then looked for "freaks" and was shown a collection of some of them by the Marauders during his search for the ones with the Great Mutation, the right "Essex Factor", the "Essex Men".
Attempts at erasing it
Many attempts have been made to remove the X-Gene.
- Please consult the Mutant Cures page for more information.
The X-Gene is the major gene mentioned when describing mutants.
The localization of the X-Gene changes from one universe to another, but also from one statement to another within the same universe.
On Chromosome 23
In Earth-616, Hank McCoy states they were set on the 23rd chromosome, which appears to be the sexual chromosomes, or gonosomes (as there is in humans 22 pairs of regular chromosomes, or autosomes, and one pair of sexual chromosomes, X and Y).
Carried by female
Storm stated it was carried on the female genome, intending that the mother transmitted the gene for mutation. In the alternate reality of Wolverine: The End, White Ghost states that Wolverine got his mutant gene from his mother Elizabeth. If this fact applies to the mainstream continuity, it has not yet been revealed.
Carried by male
The case of X-23 proves that Wolverine's X-Gene is positioned at least on the X chromosome, as the Y chromosome her creators possessed wasn't usable and was replaced by the human X chromosome of Sarah Kinney (leading to a female "clone").
Other mutant genes
The feral gene (manifesting in animalistic mutations such as the ones of Feral or Sabretooth) is stated to be more common in mutants than other powers such as flight or telepathy. See the list of characters stated to carry the feral gene.
The Replicator Gene allows individuals to duplicate another humanoid or near-humanoid so accurately that even those closest to them couldn't tell the difference. This gene extends to the reproduction of another individual powers.[verification needed]
No "Mutant Gene"? (Earth-58163)
In Earth-58163, it was stated by Dr. Henry McCoy that the "mutant gene wasn't a reality, that it wasn't "one stand of DNA [but] millions strung together. It's a combination so complex that it [wouldn't] be figured out in [his] lifetime."
Although, it is possible that it is part of a lie to discourage attempts to duplicate it (the subject who led McCoy to that statement), considering that Moira MacTaggert, the one who won a Nobel Prize for being the first to properly identity the mutant phenomenon and then tried to cure her son (sick by his mutation) "by isolatin' and neutralizin' the mutant gene itself.". It could also be that Moira is wrong and the mutant gene doesn't exist in Earth-58163.
That can also be due to a lack of coordination between the authors.
A few ways exist to test people as mutants:
- Looking for readings with Cerebro,
- Looking for the X-Gene (and possibly for altered DNA helix or hereditary markers, although they are presumably not specific to mutants).
- There more extensive tests that could be done, involving cellular search in bone marrow.
In Earth-4935, similarly, Blaquesmith's genescan stated him to be X-Factor Negative and his appearance to be the result of a genetic defect and not an X-Factor mutation, but that test was seemingly wrong, as Blaquesmith exhibited a telepathic gift (he was later confirmed to be a mutant).
- Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1
- X-Men Annual #13
- Marvel Fact Files #8
- What If? #23
- New Eternals: Apocalypse Now #1
- All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update #2; Panther God's entry
- Blackwulf #7;Godstalker talked about such DNA complex to mutant Sparrow
- Fantastic Four #577
- Inhumanity #1
- Blackwulf #8; Godstalker stated that Sparrow's kind (mutants) was the fruition of genetic experiment performed one million years
- Avengers Assemble #1; Forever Man's entry
- Avengers #218
- X-Force #23
- X-Force #53
- X-Men: True Friends #2
- X-Force #10
- X-Force #20
- Wolverine: Weapon X Files #1
- X-Necrosha #1
- X-Men #1
- X-Men #60
- Uncanny X-Men #422
- Uncanny X-Men #433
- Journey into Mystery #40
- Marvel Encyclopedia #Fantastic Four
- X-Men (Vol. 3) #31: The DNA was estimated to 7 hundred years by Dr. Hunter
- X-Men Vol 3 #31
- X-Men Vol 3 #32
- X-Factor Vol 3 #10
- Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1
- Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #25
- Black Panther Vol 4 #17
- X-Men Divided We Stand #1
- X2 (film)
- X-Force #86
- What If...? #88
- Wolverine Vol 2 #312
- Spectacular Spider-Man Vol 2 #19
- X-Force #126-128
- Secrets of the House of M #1
- Exiles #70
- Cloak and Dagger Vol 4 #1
- Age of X Communiques: Basilisk, Legacy
- Runaways #6
- X-Men: Phoenix #1
- All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #2; Blaquesmith's entry
- X-Factor #235