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Mutation: it is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet, and where the X-Men are concerned, it’s the source of their special abilities. However, while some mutants are born with extraordinary powers and still look like regular humans, others deal with mutations that alter their physical appearances too, making it harder for them to fit into regular society.
There are numerous strange-looking mutants within the Marvel universe, but looking at the main -- albeit still large -- cast of X-Men characters, a fair number of them are blue in some form or fashion. This is particularly evident in the recently-released Dark Phoenix, where nearly half of the X-Men who operate in the field are blue.
So what’s the deal? What’s the fascination with blue in the X-Men property? Sometimes these characters are simply born this way, other times they’re colored that way for different reasons. Below we’ve gathered the four main X-Men characters who are been blue in the comics and/or the movies and have provided reasons why they’re colored in such a vivid shade.
Why Mystique Is Blue
Whether she’s a villain or a hero, you can always count on Raven Darkholme, a.k.a. Mystique, to be blue in her natural form. Luckily for her, she’s a shapeshifter, meaning she can make herself look like anyone. If she wanted to, she could stay disguised forever and never be harassed or even attacked for her appearance, but usually, when not on a clandestine mission, she shows off her natural form.
As for why Mystique is blue, it simply boils down to genetics. Little has been revealed about her past in the comics, so it’s unclear if her parents were humans or mutants. Either way, she was born blue and her shapeshifting abilities awakened when she was a pre-teen. She's a character who longs for a world where she doesn’t have to stay disguised to live a normal life. Because Mystique also ages more slowly than humans, she has a long time to fight for her mutant equality or superiority, depending on the source material.
Why Beast Is Blue
Hank McCoy, a.k.a. Beast, wasn’t always blue and furry. Originally in the comics, he looked like a human with oversized hands and feet, which granted him incredible strength and agility. However, after he injected himself with a formula to increase his power, he sprouted gray fur and morphed to look animalistic. Then, because he kept this extract in his system for too long, the change ended up being permanent. Eventually Hank’s fur was changed to blue; in real life, the intent was to make Beast’s fur look black, but because the ink looked more blue, eventually the folks at Marvel decided to stick with the azure shading.
In the X-Men cinematic universe, Hank also developed his animalistic look thanks to a formula he designed, but the reason he’s specifically blue is due to Mystique. In X-Men: First Class, Hank believed that Mystique’s DNA could be the key to making both of them look normal. Mystique later decided to not take this cure, and when Hank injected himself with it, just like in the comics, he came out looking like a true beast. So we have Mystique to thank for Hank’s blue coloring in live action.
Why Nightcrawler Is Blue
Kurt Wagner, a.k.a. Nightcrawler, teleport extraordinaire, was one of the first X-Men characters who did not look like a normal human. Sure, Beast had giant hands and feet, and Angel had wings that were incredibly difficult to hide, but Nightcrawler looks like a straight-up demon! In his earliest appearances he used a device called an image inducer to make himself look like an ordinary human, but like Mystique, he’s since decided to let the world see him as he really is.
In the X-Men movies, there’s no explanation for why Nightcrawler is an extremely dark shade of blue. It’s just the way he was born, and he has to deal with people either accepting or rejecting him based on his appearance. However, in the comics, Nightcrawler is the son of Mystique and Azazel, the latter of whom is [a demonic warlord](https://marvel.fandom.com/wiki/Azazel(Earth-616) (in _X-Men: First Class, he’s a regular mutant). So, while Nightcrawler inherits his own demonic look and teleporting ability from Azazel, it’s Mystique who passed along the blue coloring.
Why Apocalypse Is Blue
En Sabah Nur, a.k.a. Apocalypse, is considered to be the world’s first mutant, and thanks to his base ability of controlling his molecular structure, he’s gained a lot of other powers, like immortality, super strength, shapeshifting, telekinesis, matter and energy manipulation, the list goes on. If this were the comics we were talking about, the only thing blue about him is his lips, as his skin is usually gray.
For his the character’s theatrical debut in X-Men: Apocalypse, however, he was changed to be a navy shade of blue. Continuity-wise, we can attribute this to another case of genetics, but it’s unclear why the Apocalypse crew decided to change the villain’s skin color. Perhaps they just felt that blue popped on the screen better than gray. Oh well, at least it’s better than him being purple, which is how one of the first photos of Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse made him look.
Dark Phoenix has wrapped up the main X-Men film series, and while the expectation is that these mutants will eventually be rebooted to fit within Marvel Cinematic Universe continuity, that’s years away from happening. Nevertheless, stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s next for the X-Men on film, including whether any of the above characters will be reintroduced.