Today is the 230th anniversary of the United States’ Commonwealth of Kentucky being the 15th state to be admitted to the Union. In honor of this milestone, we wanted to give a well-deserved nod to some of the famous X-Men from the Bluegrass State, namely the Guthrie family.
Samuel “Sam” Guthrie hails from Cumberland, Kentucky, right in the thick of Harlan County. Sam’s mutant powers of jet propulsion and force field generation first manifested themselves when, as a young boy, he helped save a fellow coal miner from a collapsed shaft. After manipulation by the Hellfire Club—nemeses of the X-Men—Charles Xavier recruited Sam to join his New Mutants.
Since his days as a New Mutant, Sam has had a long and varied career as a superhero, being a member of every group from the X-Men to X-Force (where he served as leader) to the Avengers to the X-Corporation. The character has appeared X-Men cartoons and recently was portrayed by Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things) in the live-action New Mutants film.
Paige Guthrie is the younger sister of Sam, growing up in Cumberland, and, like Sam, is also a mutant. As her name somewhat suggests, she can shed her skin (or husk) to reveal different compositions—like durable elements—that will aid in battle. She’s been part of groups such as the X-Men and Generation X and has proven herself to be a formidable hero, despite human prejudice against mutants and some of her teammate’s jabs about her Kentucky roots.
Melody Guthrie has the mutant ability to fly due to an aura she produces, an ability that, at one time, was taken away when the Scarlet Witch, driven mad with grief, decimated the mutant gifts of 98% of the mutant population. Much later, due to resurrection techniques by a group of five mutants on the nation of Krakoa, as while as a ritual trial-by-combat with the mutant Apocalypse (above), Melody is able to regain her powers upon resurrection.
Joshua “Jay” Guthrie has the mutant ability of flight due to wings on his back, which is thought to be traced back to angel-like beings known as Cheyarafim mutants. After the aforementioned Scarlet Witch’s tragic actions, Jay lost his abilities and was later killed by mutant bigot William Stryker. However, like Melody, Jay was brought back to life on Krakoa.