A group of mutants appearing in Marvel Comics
. The concept of the Twelve first appeared in X-Factor #13
The Twelve were a mysterious group of mutants whose purpose has changed numerous times since their introduction in 1987. The Twelve originally were introduced as a group of mutants that would be key to the survival of mutantkind in the war between humanity and mutants in some undisclosed future. Members of the Twelve were targeted by the the Sentinel leader, the Master Mold. Hence, both the X-Man Cyclops and the son of Reed Richards and Sue Richards, Franklin Richards were both attacked by the Master Mold. The group as revealed at this point was to include such mutants as Professor X, Apocalypse, Jean Grey, Storm, Cannonball, Psylocke, Cyclops, and Moonstar. Later, images of the Twelve had other mutants instead, including Angel, the Beast, Iceman, and Cable. By this time, the group's purpose had changed to be a group who would help to usher in an era of peace and prosperity for all mankind.
Eventually, the Twelve were tied to rise of the mutant villain Apocalypse. It was revealed at this time that Apocalypse, who has been alive since the reign of the Pharohs, had planted the idea of the Twelve in writings, in hopes of bringing the most powerful mutants together for his use. One has to admire Apocalypse's fore-thought to have started a plan centuries before it was going to be needed. In the end, these twelve mutants were going to be used by Apocalypse as a source of power to raise him to godhood.
The Twelve consisted of:
Apocalypse intended to use the power stolen from the other mutants to take over the body of Nate Grey
, a refugee from an alternate reality who possessed near limitless psychic powers. Apocalpyse's plans went awry when Magneto
, whose powers were failing, caused the device being used to backfire. In the insuing battle, Apocalypse unintentionally bonded his mind to that of Cyclops
taking over the X-Man's body. Later, the two were separated by Jean Grey