Jean Gray and Storm have always been the most powerful of the X-Men’s Omega mutants – and Marvel finally reveals the real reason for their powers.
This article contains spoilers for X-Men Red # 2.
Marvel has finally revealed the real reason the X-Men‘s Storm spirit Jean Gray are two of the most powerful mutants. Not all mutant powers operate on the same level; indeed, some mutants are essentially gods among their own kind, so-called Omega mutants whose powers operate at unfathomable levels.
For years, Marvel resisted the temptation to define Omega mutants, but finally in 2019 they relented. An Omega has officially been defined as “a mutant whose dominant power is deemed to register – or reach – an undefinable upper limit of that power’s specific classification.“Omega mutants are quite rare. Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men relaunch began by reducing them to only 14 in number (and it was not long until Marvel retconned Franklin Richards as a non-mutant, further reducing them). They’ve since increased simply because the X-Men transported millions of mutants to this reality from a Hellish dimension named Amenth, and these include an unknown number of Omegas. These mutants have since made their home on Mars, and every one of their ruling council are confirmed Omegas.
But X-Men Red # 2 finally confirms why Storm and Jean Gray have always been considered the greatest of the Omegas. Written by Al Ewing and featuring art by Stefano Caselli, X-Men Red # 2 sees two Omegas go to war on one another – Storm and Vulcan, Cyclops’ younger brother, who once conquered the entire Shi’ar Empire. Surprisingly, the confrontation is nowhere near as explosive as readers would have expected, because Storm is able to establish a mutant circuit between the two energy manipulators – and use that circuit to break Vulcan’s will. Later, Abigail Brand explains to Vulcan why he was beaten so easily. “You mostly use your power on a surface level,“she explains,”which is natural. Ororo was trained in the use of her powers at the highest level.“
This finally explains why even Omegas are not equal. Even the most formidable Omega only begins by accessing their powers on a surface level, and it’s quite likely many continue to operate at that level throughout their lives. A classic example is one of the X-Men’s strongest members Iceman, an Omega who is sadly nowhere near as accomplished as Storm in the use of his powers – largely because he was frightened of his own potential, and therefore avoided dipping into it. Other Omegas, however, have embraced their powers; the likes of Storm, Jean Gray, and even Magneto. When one Omega faces another, the battle is one of will not of power. In truth, this is probably for the best. If the battle between Storm and Vulcan had been one of power, then it is doubtful Mars would have survived the conflict.
The interesting question is whether or not Vulcan can ever catch up to Storm; whether he can sufficiently master both his powers and the strength of will to be a challenge to her. Given the contemptuous ease with which he is defeated in X-Men Red # 2, he has a long way to go. The X-Men‘s Storm spirit Jean Gray really are gods among their fellow mutants, the most powerful of the most powerful.
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Look for X-Men Red # 2 available now from Marvel Comics!
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