Robot 6

The X-Men family tree: (virtually) inbreeding-free since 1963!

Joe Stone's X-Men Family Tree

I’ve always been a lost cause when it comes to math and science, so usually my eyes glaze over when there’s any talk of “formula” or “coefficient.” But I perked up when at Wired.com scientist and author Samuel Arbesman took on the question of inbreeding in Marvel’s X-Men universe. (It was the X-Men part, not the inbreeding, that piqued my interest, thankyouverymuch.)

Using as a guide Joe Stone’s X-Men Family Tree, with its lines designating clones, offspring nemeses and so on, Arbesman has determined that — surprise, surprise! — “there is no inbreeding whatsoever among the X-Men.” He does, however, raise an eyebrow at Ultimate Quicksilver and Ultimate Scarlet Witch.

“Despite the clones, immortality, and occasional mind control of comic books, the X-Men lack inbreeding,” he writes, “at least according to this chart. If we delve a bit deeper though, it turns out that the twin children of Magneto do have a sexual relationship. While no children have resulted from the union of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, this would have resulted in an astonishingly high inbreeding coefficient of 25 percent, similar to a Pharaoh.”

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Ultimate Pietro and Wanda weren’t the only incestuous X-characters. Nate Grey (an alternate reality child of Cyclops and Jean Grey) had a sexual relationship with Madelyne Pryor (a clone of Jean Grey), too.

There’s also the possibility of Legion raping his mother and possibly being his own father, but the genetic problems with that makes my head hurt. Then again, maybe impregnating people with a clone of himself is one of his powers. If Madrox can do it, why can’t Legion?

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