An Underrated X-Men Foe Beat Marvel’s Strongest Mutants With No Effort

Warning: Contains spoilers for X-Men #11,One of the newest, and strangest, X-Men villains just beat two mutant powerhouses with no effort at all. Cordyceps Jones may not look like much (he is, after all, a giant fungus), but his powers were enough to neutralize both Wolverine and Jean Grey when the X-women invaded his space casino.,The X-Men have a long list of villains, including some of the oddest looking creatures in the Marvel Universe. Mojo, for example, is a spineless, magical TV mogul from another dimension obsessed with turning the X-Men into reality stars. Krakoa, the living island on which the mutants now live, debuted as an X-Men villain too. Amongst the latest introductions into the X-Men’s rogues gallery, Cordyceps Jones stands out as a talking parasitic fungal spore, intergalactic casino proprietor, and notorious crime boss. Jones has entered the X-Men’s orbit after his casino, Gameworld, started running bets on who or what could destroy the Earth, which happened as a consequence of the mutants colonizing Mars. After several attacks from extraterrestrial threats (interested in collecting the bets from Gameworld), the X-Men realized they had to do something and sent a team to the casino, whose location was revealed by Rocket Racoon.,Related: The Phoenix Force Lore Has Been Secretly Rewritten in Marvel Comics,In X-Men #11, by Gerry Duggan, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia, Jean Grey, Rogue, Wolverine, and Polaris infiltrate Gameworld, planning to make clear to everyone that Earth is off-limits. While Polaris creates a distraction, Jean intimidates a group of alien gamblers showing them why they should not mess with Krakoa. However, Wolverine, who was aiming for Cordyceps Jones, was already taken out by the fungus’ parasitic spores, becoming one of his puppets. After using her to distract Jean, Jones attacks the former Marvel Girl too, who seems powerless and can’t avoid inhaling the mind-control spores.,Wolverine and Jean Grey are two of the most powerful and deadly X-Men. As Jean points out in this issue to scare the alien gamblers, she is a former Phoenix host, and not even the cosmic entity was able to break her will. Laura Kinney also has a history with mind-control, but her experience was useless and she fell under Cordyceps’ control. This means that the crime boss got better at using his powers: when Rocket and Wade robbed Jones in the past, the Merc with a Mouth was able to resist possession due to Deadpool’s healing factor, which flips Wolverine’s. That Laura was unable to resist means that the team of X-Women is in big trouble, especially if Cordyceps can control Jean, a former Phoenix host.,Despite the creature’s bizarre appearance, Cordyceps Jones’ powers are actually really scary. Being mind-controlled is always a big issue for superheroes in a world full of telepaths, but Jones’ abilities work in a very different way: as a sentient fungal spore,  once he is inside a victim’s body Jones can completely take control of his host on a biological level and overwrite their consciousness with his own. Cordyceps Jones is a unique and interesting villain, inspired by the real species of fungi called Cordyceps, known for parasitizing insects and other arthropods. It will be interesting to see how the X-Men will get out of this dangerous predicament, but for the moment they will have to live with the embarrassing fact that some of their most powerful members were defeated by a giant fungus.,Next: A Powerful Moon Knight Villain Was Actually Created by the X-Men,X-Men #11 is available now from Marvel Comics!