I wrote last week about a superhero whose shtick was, in part, she was a longstanding hero who was present for the big catastrophes but was generally hidden in the background between panels. Other heroes knew who she was, but the reader was meeting her for the first time. That was rather meta.
This week’s hero takes that up a notch with the X-Man ForgetMeNot. Even the other heroes couldn’t remember him.
That was actually ForgetMeNot’s whole deal: he was forgettable. Not in the sense that he was ordinary or dull. No, his mutant power was he was forgettable. Once he left a person’s line of sight, they tended to forget he existed. As a mutant, he even joined the X-Men, where Professor X gave himself a telepathic trigger to remind himself once an hour that ForgetMeNot was on the team.
As such, ForgetMeNot was a member of the X-Men even the other X-Men couldn’t remember aside from the Professor.
That lasted for six years.
Think about it: the X-Men would go on missions, and ForgetMeNot would tag along, but no one really noticed he was there and he’d quietly work and help save the day without anyone recalling he was there at all. And apparently he was mostly fine with that.
So, here was a character that played a key (forgotten) role against the likes of the Sentinels and the Brood, and not even the reader knew he was there. Heck, he never even got a real name. I mean, sure, if he left something disturbed in his wake, someone might notice, and then he could get in trouble if he couldn’t evade a pursuer’s line of sight, but that can’t be too hard for the man whose mutant power makes him forgettable.
ForgetMeNot may have come to a bad end when X-Force found him spying on them, and when a mission went badly, he was shot by X-Force member Fantomex. And he might have survived that. It’s hard to say. There are a relative handful of beings who remember he exists, such as maintenance drones, but for the most part, he takes a licking, keeps on ticking, and no remembers he did much of anything.
That may make him one of the epitomes of the Misplaced Hero now that I think about it.
He’s the most important X-Man you’ve never heard of.