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Off My Mind: Is Spider-Man Considered a Mutant?

Let's get to the bottom of this debate.

What is a mutant? Depending on what comic universe you live in and who you ask, the answer could vary. Mutants and the X-Men are almost interchangeable. I've always wondered who was the first to use the phrase. Was it Charles Xavier? Did Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse use it in the 1800s? (It first appeared in a different context in a Marvel comic in 1959's Tales of Suspense #6). If you subscribe to the X-Men's thinking, a mutant is an individual born with the genetic trait, or x-gene, that allows them to develop powers naturally, usually at the time puberty hits.
 
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a mutant is defined as "of, relating to, or produced by mutation." Another definition is "the act or process of being altered or changed."  
 
The big question is, is Spider-Man a mutant? His powers are definitely related to and produced by a mutation. He has been altered and changed. It's time to settle this once and for all. 
== TEASER == 

Let's think about the biggest user of the word mutant: Professor X. He may be the leading authority on genetics and mutation but he's also a big jerk. He may have been the one that coined the phrase and adopted it for his kind, but in doing so, he pretty much set up an exclusive club. He's made great strides for mutants but he's also isolated them from others with powers. It shouldn't matter if the individual had a genetic quirk that gave them powers or if it was some other wacky accident. The Fantastic Four mutated when they were hit by cosmic rays. The public doesn't dwell on that and has accepted them as heroes. Life could have been different for the X-Men all these years if he chose a different way to discuss mutants in his early speeches. Professor X was a hypocrite in keeping his mutants isolated from others that have mutated and should have focused on unifying them with those that were different.
 
Spider-Man has had his own problems over the years. Often branded as a menace, I don't recall him being accused of being a mutant. The word has become a dirty word or label in the Marvel Universe and Spider-Man doesn't need another reason for people to hate him but it's time for a change. Spider-Man is a mutant. Professor X might argue but by definition, Spider-Man should be one. He has changed on a genetic level. His body has mutated. End of story. Just because he may be an expert in his field doesn't mean Professor X can simply changed the definition of a word. This isn't saying Spider-Man should join the X-Men any time soon but let's see the word used as it was meant to be used. Spider-Man is a mutant.
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Posted by Hamz

If Spider-Man is a mutant because of genetic alteration caused by a radioactive spider bite then so is any other hero or villain that has been altered or changed on a genetic level. 

Posted by Theodore

Wouldn't that make Hulk a mutant too?

Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

He's considered a mutate

Edited by Beatrix

The way I see it, Mutants in the Marvel Universe are a separate cousin-species to Humans
  (i.e. Homo Superior and Homo Sapiens ).
Whereas, Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Captain America etc, are Mutates, that is, they are people whom have been mutated. In the dictionary form on the word they are mutants, but they are not Mutants. The capitalised term denoting the species.  
 
So, Cyclops, Xavier, Rogue, Emma Frost, Magneto = Mutants 
and, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Daredevil = Mutates 
 
I think Beast might actually be a Mutant Mutate, to add confusion to the mix because he drank a serum that turned him blue, while his strength, intellect and dynamic posture predates that as a result of his X-Gene. 
 
Basically, Mutant should be capitalised in the same way as Human is when talking about the species, or in particular a member of the species. But not if it's a characteristic, who are most likely known as Human Mutates.  
 
=]

Posted by stenchlord

No, I don't think Spidey is because mutants I believe are meant to be born as such. Their powers are meant to manifest due to some kind of emotional trigger. As has been mentioned if Spidey is considered a mutant then so would the Hulk and many other characters.

Posted by Xichro

Mutation is the manipulation of DNA, therefore Spider-Man is a mutate not a mutant. 
@Hamz - Agreed.

Posted by spiderguylll

Spider-Man isn't a mutant. He's a enhanced human (I read that in a Spider-Man comic during the Onslaught storyline.) Spider-Girl and her brother are Mutants

Posted by Alaric

Gotta agree, he falls under the Mutate label. Mutants are synonymous with Homo Superior (with Marvel anyways).

Posted by marvelunivers_deleteme

no it has been sttled in spiderman: House of M

Posted by OmegaDynasty

He most likely is a mutant, although Professor will beg to differ and label him a Metahuman or something like that. 

Posted by tigerex78

The dictionary defines a mutation in the genetic sense.  The term mutant in the marvel universe refers to a person undergoing the mutation in the womb.  That distinction means that all the heroes in the marvel universe that have undergone any alteration after birth are not mutants.  Therefore Spider-man is not a mutant.  The classic definition of mutation makes all superheroes with powers mutants.  Professor X, whether you like him or not made that distinction and everyone in the marvel universe accepts that. 
Posted by InnerVenom123

He's a mutate. Big difference. It's the same reason Deadpool isn't a mutant.

Posted by .o0Johnny0o.
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" He's considered a mutate "
Posted by oldgum

Is May “Mayday” Parker Mutant?

Posted by thiagofonseca

What intrigues me is that ordinary people in the Marvel Universe (thus, people who don't know Spider-Man's origin) seem to know that he is not a mutant - but how could they?
I mean, the guy shows up in a TV show sticking to walls and all, how would anyone know that he was not a mutant? He sure looks like one.
And finally, people hate him for being a "menace" but not for being a "mutant" (i mean, most ordinary people in Marvel Universe hate mutants).
It's odd.  Anyway, i agree with the "homo superior" argument.

Posted by SupremoMaximo

The reason for the hatred of Mutants was supposed to parallel that of America's own racism at the time of the X-Men's debut in comics.  Ignorant America hated blacks because they were born different because of the color of their skin.  Ignorant Americans in comics during the early 60s hated mutants because they were born different with possibly destructive powers.     
 
Sure the X-Men were trying to stop Magneto from taking missiles from a nearby base, but all the headlines read are Mutants Battle on Base.   
 
Base = Good guys.
Battle = Bad.  
Mutants who Battle must be bad. 
 
Coming out as a mutant during that time would have been a bad idea, which is the reason why Xavier created the school to teach them to use their powers as a testimony saying... "Hey I may be a jerk according to Kitty Pride, but mutants can get along." 
 
And people hated Spider Man because the Main Stream media (Daily Bugle) told them too.  Just like it does today. 
 
And also.. Spider Man is not a mutant...  
 
Lady Gaga on the other hand...

Posted by staceydillon

I thought being a mutant meant you were born with the mutant gene. It laid dormant until puberty (or sooner) But it was something in the genetic code you were born with. 
I could debate there should be another class for mutants who became mutants later in life, but I would consider those to have superhuman power and not be mutants per say.

Posted by The Velvet Rabbit

in the Marvel Universe, he would be a Mutate - of course, this isn't a real term and has no real-life connotations, so outside of the Marvel Universe, he would definitely be a Mutant.  then again, so would most all metahumans :)

Posted by Fantasgasmic
This is the most glaring plot hole with the X-Men, and it's been around the whole time! It's never made sense, it's never gonna make sense, unless they get rid of the whole "humanity hates mutants because they're different" angle. There, I said it. 
 
It doesn't make sense that humans would blanketly fear and oppress mutants for having potentially dangerous powers, but to NOT fear, and in some case idolize humans who gained the SAME POWERS through other means. "Oh my god Colossus has weird skin so he's nigh-involnerable and is super strong. Boo! what a freak, let's get him... Oh look, it's the Thing who has weird skin so he's nigh-involnerable and is super strong. Yay! he's our hero."
Edited by saiyan_earthling

He's not a mutant, because he was born a human.

Posted by Mainline
@G-Man said: 

"Professor X can't simply changed the definition of a word. . . . let's see the word used as it was meant to be used."   

This is a long time pet peeve of mine because the X-Men co-opted the word from real life such that real people have a misunderstanding as to what mutation means... I've had to tutor biology students (okay just one ages ago) or debate genetics or discuss evolution and waste time and energy up-front just deprogramming them as to what "mutant" means because of the X-Men. :P 
 
That said, it's a holdover from decades past and not going to change anytime soon.... 
 
If we have to apply modern rationales and standards to the ancient doctrine, it's quite possible for a word's colloquial meaning to get away from its dictionary meaning... but it doesn't really make sense for Xavier to have co-opted that word for his species.  Given his proclivity for code names and academic background, it's much more believable that he would have coined a new phrase, word, or term rather than rob the Marvel public domain of an otherwise understood term.

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure Ultimate Spider-Man was accused of being a mutant on more than one occasion. 
 
But I'm off to get myself amongst family so I can see a giant friendly neighborhood mutant inflatable floating Spider-Man tomorrow... so, Happy Thanksgiving! ^_^
Edited by Mortein

He doesn't consider himself to be a mutant, however his genes have mutated after he was bitten, therefore he is a mutant. Not the same kind of mutant as the mutants who were born mutated, but still a mutant.

Posted by blaakmawf

The X-men mutation is based off a cartoonish version of evolution. Spiderman and the fantastic 4 are victims of radiation. Both are mutants, but in a very different sense.

Posted by Ms. Omega

No Spiderman is a mutate or metahuman a person that recieves superhuman abilities through an outside source(Ms. Marvel, Hulk, The Fantastic Four etc)

Posted by Mighty Thorion

I am happy to be wrong, but my understanding of a mutant is someone who is born with latent powers that manifest themselves at some stage during that person's development. Since Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive Spider which then led to him gaining Spider - like powers, he doesn't qualify as a mutant in my book. But what do I know?

Posted by karrob
@Fantasgasmic said:
" This is the most glaring plot hole with the X-Men, and it's been around the whole time! It's never made sense, it's never gonna make sense, unless they get rid of the whole "humanity hates mutants because they're different" angle. There, I said it.  It doesn't make sense that humans would blanketly fear and oppress mutants for having potentially dangerous powers, but to NOT fear, and in some case idolize humans who gained the SAME POWERS through other means. "Oh my god Colossus has weird skin so he's nigh-involnerable and is super strong. Boo! what a freak, let's get him... Oh look, it's the Thing who has weird skin so he's nigh-involnerable and is super strong. Yay! he's our hero." "
I think that they have elaborated on that in recent years. To be considered a mutant you need to have the X-Gene. This gene is synonymous with mutants. and according to CV, "  Mutant refers to any individual in the Marvel Omniverse with a functioning X-Gene. Mutants mark the next step in human evolution: from Homo Sapien to Homo Superior. Mutants are conceived and born with their unique DNA, but it takes puberty or extreme stress to awaken their powers.
 
Anyone who receives their genetic enhancements outside of that is a mutate, Spiderman, Hulk, Ms. Marvel, etc....
Posted by Dfense75

I love a good fanboy debate as much anyone. But has this not been resolved now for almost 20 years? Spiderman is not a mutant.

Posted by CaptainUseless

Because he is in the Marvel Universe he is a mutate. 
Mutants are born with their powers.

Posted by thedez

Either way, he deserves Mutant Social Security.
Posted by N7_Normandy
@CaptainUseless said:
" Because he is in the Marvel Universe he is a mutate. Mutants are born with their powers. "
yep
Posted by NightFang
@Emperor Gonzo Noir said:
" He's considered a mutate "
Posted by Moomin123

Spider-Man isn't a mutant, he wasn't born with his powers, but then again, he was bit by a mutated spider so who knows.
Edited by Metatron_Da_Don
@N7_Normandy said:

" @CaptainUseless said:

" Because he is in the Marvel Universe he is a mutate. Mutants are born with their powers. "
yep "
@oldgum said:
" Is May “Mayday” Parker Mutant? "
yes, she was born with x-gene and powers
Posted by Jotham
@thiagofonseca said:
" What intrigues me is that ordinary people in the Marvel Universe (thus, people who don't know Spider-Man's origin) seem to know that he is not a mutant - but how could they? I mean, the guy shows up in a TV show sticking to walls and all, how would anyone know that he was not a mutant? He sure looks like one. And finally, people hate him for being a "menace" but not for being a "mutant" (i mean, most ordinary people in Marvel Universe hate mutants). It's odd.  Anyway, i agree with the "homo superior" argument. "
That's a pretty good point, I never really thought about it.
Posted by grufaine

Just think in terms of Marvel being an alternate universe to this one. An alternate universe with sometimes alternate definitions. 

Posted by strangeling

If Spider-Man was a mutant, I would have read it in the Daily Bugle.

Posted by emptytomb

he is a mutant, a human with powers. He also mutated into spiderman so he is a mutant. He isn't a regular human anymore and no different than wolverine or any mutant in the Marvel Universe.

Posted by Mr.Hulk_Smashin'!

Spider-Man's a mutate, X-men are mutants.

Posted by JEdThing
@Dfense75 said:
" I love a good fanboy debate as much anyone. But has this not been resolved now for almost 20 years? Spiderman is not a mutant. "
^I agree. Spiderman is not a mutant...
Edited by emptytomb

the question is how come people don't see spiderman as a mutant or think he is a mutant in the Marvel universe because they don't know spiderman's identity or background. He has super powers in a universe full of mutants.

Posted by Black Lantern Mar-vell

Well the TMNT were normal Turtles who got exposed to mutagenic ooze.  Now they are the Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles.  Not the Teenage MUTATE Ninja Turtles.  Spider-man is a MUTANT.
Edited by Avenging-X-Bolt

Spider-Man is classified as a science/magic-based mutate not a mutant
Posted by lastdrag0n89

no, mutants are born with their powers

Posted by joshmightbe

Technically all living things aside from a few single celled organisms are mutants

Online
Posted by GalvanInk

The 90's Spider-man cartoon had an episode where the X-men made a cross-over/cameo.  Spider-man was trying to find a way to reverse his worsening mutation.  Beast considers Spider-man a mutant even though he wasn't born with the powers, but Spider-man thinks that is an important distinction and wants to get back to his normal human state.  Not sure if there was any comic book equivalent to that.
 
Also one could argue that Xavier made the distinction between mutant and someone who gains powers because mutants shouldn't have to hide who they are.  Mutants just want to have their own public identities even if they were born with powers.  Spider-man (at least in the past) wanted to completely separate his normal life and super hero life hence a secret identity.

Posted by Mutant God
Posted by Omertalvendetta
@Fantasgasmic: Even though you responded in page 1, and I'm on Pg. 3, I fully agree with you.  It has been the biggest bother I have had with the Marvel universe.  I understand the reasons as to why it was established, but it's about time humanity realizes that mutants or mutates are no different.  Either you hate them both, or neither... well said.
Edited by Adam Michaels

Like others already said, if Spider-Man is a mutant, so is every other superpowered character (hero or villain). The question shouldn't be "Is Spider-Man a mutant?" because he's not the only one who wasn't born with his powers. We shouldn't just focus the question on him because he's not the only one in the "receiving powers later in life" boat.
 
Beatrix said:

"The way I see it, Mutants in the Marvel Universe are a separate cousin-species to Humans
  (i.e. Homo Superior and Homo Sapiens ).
Whereas, Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Captain America etc, are Mutates, that is, they are people whom have been mutated. In the dictionary form on the word they are mutants, but they are not Mutants. The capitalised term denoting the species.  
 
So, Cyclops, Xavier, Rogue, Emma Frost, Magneto = Mutants 
and, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Daredevil = Mutates 
 
I think Beast might actually be a Mutant Mutate, to add confusion to the mix because he drank a serum that turned him blue, while his strength, intellect and dynamic posture predates that as a result of his X-Gene. 
 
Basically, Mutant should be capitalised in the same way as Human is when talking about the species, or in particular a member of the species. But not if it's a characteristic, who are most likely known as Human Mutates.   =] "


To me, this sums it all up. This is a simple and educated explanation that I believe is the answer to the question of this debate.  
 
Mutant is one born with powers manifested during puberty.  
Mutate is one who isn't born with any powers, but receives them through whatever means they receive them through (accidental or not).  
  
Good stuff, Beatrix.
Posted by XFan616

Technically yes. Spider-Man, by definition, is a mutant. He has alterations to his DNA. HOWEVER he is not a mutant as in Cyclops, Magneto, Wolverine BECAUSE he does not have an X-Gene. You're not homo superior (mutant) just by having an alteration in your DNA. That's what separates the mutants from the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and yes Spider-Man as well. No X-Gene = Not a mutant
Posted by iAmZero

Didn't they address this in the Ultimate Spider-Man story, where they define mutants as people who were born with the potential to develop superhuman abilities whilst Spider-Man is considered to be an illegally mutated human?

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