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A mutant is a lifeform that has a non-trivial genetic difference between itself and its parent or parents.

See also: Mutation

In the fictional Marvel Universe, a mutant is one who has special powers that originate from genetic mutations. Within the Marvel universe most mutants are feared and reviled by the majority of humans. Some fear them simply because they are different, as Nazis viewed Jews. Many other people fear mutants because they are seen as the next stage in human evolution, who will make normal humans extinct; some can pass their traits on to their offspring.

Mutants play a tremendous role in the Marvel Universe. For one thing, some of the most well known superhero teams like the X-Men and X Factor are comprised of mutants and fight to protect mutants and humans. For another, some of the greatest villains like The Sentinels came about in order to eradicate mutants. Furthermore, some of the story arcs occurred because of mutants, like The Morlock Massacre[?] and Days of Future Past[?].

Even non-mutant superheroes are affected by mutant persecution as they have a chance of giving birth to mutant children. The leader of the Fantastic Four, Reed Richards, has a son who is a mutant. Franklin Richards's mutation may have come about due to his father's powers.

Mutants play a smaller, but still substantial role, in the DC comics universe, where they are known as metahumans. Mutants also are a frquent topic in other comic books, and in many science fiction stories.

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