You did what to who for how many jellybeans...?

The Marvel universe can be a twisted, confusing place, and the X-Men's exploits are no exception. With alternate realities, a variety of possible futures, numerous companion series, movies, and animated series, things can get pretty wild. And as some mutants are apparently always mutating, it's hard to keep track of who can do what exactly. So just in case you're not totally immersed in every aspect of the X-Men, I've included relatively brief, somewhat oversimplified, descriptions of the characters appearing in my fanfics. If you come across someone you're not familiar with, or you didn't think a character's powers enabled them to do something, come here for an explanation. Characters are listed alphabetically based on the alias they use as X-Men.

Because I'm merely a fan, and not even close to being an expert, I have described each character to the best of my ability, using a variety of resources. If you feel that I've misrepresented, or forgotten to include, anyone, please let me know.

Angel/Warren Worthington III - As his name suggests, Angel has a pair of wings, which originate from his shoulders. He was recruited by the X-Men after they learned of his activity as a crime fighter in New York City. Since then, he has been a member of several super hero teams, including the Champions, the Defenders, and X-Factor. His wings were lost during a battle against the Marauders, at which point the evil mutant Apocalypse altered Angel's genetic makeup, causing metallic wings to grow out of his back and his skin to turn blue. In return for the favor, Angel briefly served Apocalypse, but eventually returned to X-Factor. His wings have since returned to their feathered appearance (they had been regenerating beneath the metal ones), though his skin has remained blue.

Beast/Dr. Henry McCoy - Beast is a renowned scientist with an extensive vocabulary. He's also covered with blue fur. An intellectual, he tries to think his way out of situations, but also puts his considerable strength and agility to use. Recently, he was recruited as a member of the X-Treme X-Men, but left them to recover after Sage "jump-started" his mutation in order to help him heal from injuries.

Bishop - Bishop is a mutant from the (possible?) future. In his time, mutants are held in prisons, and the X-Men are merely legends. He chases mutant outlaws into the past, landing in the present time, which results in his meeting up with, and joining, the X-Men. His mutation allows him to absorb kinetic energy and redirect it. He is currently a member of the X-Treme X-Men.

Colossus/Piotr (Peter) Nakiolaievitch Rasputin - Colossus would be a formidable opponent even if he didn't have the ability to change his body into an organic, steel-like substance that renders him incredibly strong and practically invulnerable. Recruited by Professor X from Siberia, he left the X-Men when his sister died from the mutant-exclusive Legacy Virus. He then joined Magneto's group, the Acolytes, but was unable to accept Magneto's harsh, pessimistic outlook, and eventually went back to the X-Men.

Cyclops/Scott Summers - Cyclops emits force beams from his eyes, a power he is unable to control. As a civilian he must wear special ruby quartz glasses to cancel out the beams, and as a member of the X-Men he wears a visor with a similar lens that allows him to regulate the release of the beams. He is married to Jean Grey.

Dazzler/Alison Blaire - Dazzler's powers enable her to convert sound into light, which can blind, stun, or even slice through objects.

Destiny/Irene Adler - Destiny is a blind mutant with the ability to see the future. She was Mystique's good friend and companion until her death, and played a part in Rogue's upbringing. Destiny authored a number of "diaries" that contain a convoluted version of the future as she saw it. These diaries are scattered around the world, and believed by some to be a curse, ruining the lives of those who read them...after all, how could you see the future and not try to change the bad things? Then again, maybe the diaries aren't accurate...(See also Destiny's Diaries).

Gambit/Remy LeBeau - Gambit possesses the ability to change potential energy to kinetic energy, or "charge," objects so they will explode. His weapons of choice are playing cards. His eyes are unique - red irises on black scleras that glow when he uses his power. He's also an accomplished thief, trained by the best of the New Orleans, and a member of the Thieves Guild headed by his adopted father. Additionally, he can use his "charm" to influence others...whether this means he has a certain degree of telepathic powers, or is just good with words, is a much debated issue. He married his childhood sweetheart, Bella Donna Boudreaux, but left her when he was exiled from the Thieves Guild. He and Rouge are...well...they are. In Bishop's time he's the sole surviving member of the X-Men. Calling himself Witness, he witnessed the betrayal of the X-Men by one of their own. He is currently a member of the X-treme X-Men. (See also The Many Faces of Rogue and Gambit.)

Jubilee/Jubilation Lee - Jubilee joined the X-Men after several of its female members saved her from mutant hunters. Jubilee can create and control what she often refers to as "fireworks," or globules of energy. Professor X eventually moved her to Generation X, a group of teenage X-Men.

Lifeguard/Heather Cameron - Introduced in X-Treme X-Men, her alias describes what she does - Lifeguard's powers allow her to change depending on the situation at hand...whatever it takes to save to save someone. Recently, she has seemingly permanently changed into a gold-skinned, winged Shi'ar with royal markings, although she doesn't know how this came about. She is currently a member of the X-Treme X-Men.

Rogue - Rogue absorbs the memories and abilities of whomever her skin touches. In the comics, she is super-strong, practically invulnerable, and can fly...abilities she accidentally, and permanently, absorbed from the super heroine Ms. Marvel. Although she started out as a bad guy under Mystique's guidance, she left the brotherhood and joined the X-Men, with the hope that Professor X could teach her how to control her power. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so. A series of events culminated in the memories and powers of people she had previously absorbed randomly surfacing. Recently, as a member of the X-Treme X-Men, Sage "jump started" her mutation, allowing her control over the powers she's absorbed over the years, though she is still unable to master her own power. She loves Gambit, but their relationship is difficult because of her inability to touch him. (See also The Many Faces of Rogue and Gambit and Stolen Powers.)

Mystique - Though her gray-black/blue skin, yellow eyes, and red hair are characteristic of her natural form, Mystique is a shapeshifter...she could be anyone. She uses her powers to create new people, or impersonate existing ones. Foster-mother to Rogue, and birth mother to Nightcrawler, Mystique will take whatever side serves her purpose, either with her own Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, or by working with the government as a member of Freedom Force.

Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner - With his demon-like appearance, complete with tail and pointy ears, the blue-furred, yellow-eyed Nightcrawler is no reflection of his personality. In fact, he is a kind, gentle, religious man. Nightcrawler's mutation allows him to teleport from place to place, an act that's accompanied by a puff of smoke, a whiff of brimstone, and a "bamf" sound. Raised by members of a traveling circus, in which he performed acrobatic feats and participated in the high-wire act, he was saved from an angry mob by the professor, he then joined the X-Men, and was a member of the British-based Excalibur for a short period of time. As an adult, he discovered that he was Mystique's son (she threw him over a waterfall and changed her appearance to escape yet another angry mob), and therefore, Rogue's foster-brother.

Phoenix/Jean Grey - Jean Grey took on the alias Phoenix when she returned to the X-Men when the whole "Phoenix Saga" was over, and the part of her consciousness that the Phoenix Force (see below) had borrowed was returned to her. She has both telepathic and telekinetic powers, though she has abandoned the latter to focus on the former. She is married to Scott Summers, but part of her is strongly attracted to Logan.

Phoenix Force - Phoenix Force is a cosmic force that saved Jean Grey's life when she was exposed to a lethal dose of radiation. While Jean's body recovered in a cocoon at the bottom of a body of water, Phoenix Force took on Jean's form and some of her consciousness to create Phoenix. Eventually, this Phoenix was brainwashed by one of the X-Men's enemies and went insane, destroying galaxies. When the part of Jean's psyche Phoenix had borrowed is able to take over, it forces the being to commit suicide, and results in her psyche returning to her body, and the Phoenix Force returning from whence it came. (See also Absolute Power.)

Professor X/Charles Xavier - Professor X is the founder and leader of the X-Men, and is one of the most powerful telepathic mutants alive. He created a machine called Cerebro that allows him to find mutants anywhere on the planet. He does not have use of his legs, using a hoverchair to get around. But Professor X's psyche has a dark side that has manifested itself as a separate being called Onslaught on a couple occasions. Though he tries his best to keep that part of him repressed, there's no knowing if and when Onslaught will return.

Sage - Once known as Tessa, a member of the evil Hellfire Club (it has been revealed that as Tessa, she was acting as a spy for Professor X.), Sage is part of the X-Treme X-Men team. The combination of her telekinetic powers and iron will make her a force to be reckoned with. She is the "living computer" of the group, able to recall anything she's ever seen or experienced. She's also able to "jump start" latent mutations, and has done so on several occasions, either forcing mutations that had not yet surfaced to do so (Slipstream), or hasten the development of already present mutations (Beast and Rogue). (see also Sage's Sanctum.)

Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde - Shadowcat's ability to "phase" through solid objects emerged when she was 13, at which point two separate institutions tried to recruit her - the Xavier Institute, and the Hellfire Club (through Emma Frost, the White Queen). When the White Queen kidnapped the X-Men who had come with the professor to see Kitty, she was quick to participate in their rescue. Soon thereafter she became a member of the X-Men, and Wolverine's protégé. She has been a member of Excalibur, a British-based super hero teem, but has since returned to the X-Men.

Slipstream/Davis Cammeron - Slipstream is Lifeguard's brother, also introduced in X-Treme X-Men. When his sister is kidnapped, he asks Sage to "jump start" his dormant mutant powers so he can contribute to her rescue. He has the ability to ride something that he calls a "warp wave" that allows him to jump between dimensions, and go pretty much anywhere he wants instantaneously. After a particularly complex battle, he leaves the X-Treme X-Men and his sister, unable to accept the physical changes her body has experienced.

Storm/Ororo Munroe - Storm grew up in Africa, revered as a goddess in a number of villages. With pure white hair and eyes that roll over white when she uses her power, she controls the weather. She is the leader of the X-Treme X-Men, a group of mutants she recruited to search for Destiny's diaries, in order to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

Tessa - See Sage

Thunderbird/Neal Sharra - Neal is the second man to adopt the identity of Thunderbird, the first having died. His power allows him to create plasma. He had a short-lived relationship with Psylocke before her untimely death, though he seems to have a crush on Lifeguard now. He is currently a member of the X-Treme X-Men.

Wolverine/Logan - Wolverine is a man with a past...if only he could remember it. His skeleton was grafted with the indestructible metal adamantium, a feat he managed to survive due to his power to heal. He has a set of retractable claws that have also been coated with adamantium. With animal impulses that are sometimes difficult to repress, Wolverine has a mean temper. But he has a gentler side too, becoming a father-figure to many of the younger recruits. He is fiercely loyal to the X-Men, and would do anything for them. In fact, Rogue's first mission as a member of the X-Men was almost her last, but Wolverine touched her, allowing her to absorb his powers so she could heal herself...this act also gave Rogue her own pair of claws. He is passionately in love with Jean Grey, but she is already married to Cyclops.