All the rage on the Internet right now, memes have taken the online world by storm. Exploding in popularity over the past few years especially, memes are everywhere you look online. Whether they’re filling up your social media news feeds or being posted on dedicated pages, there is no escaping the Internet’s obsession with these image macro jokes. Comic books have been around for decades, and with countless stories, television shows and movies there are hundreds of millions of jokes that can be made. Thus, not even comics have escaped the wrath of memes. With two specific subreddits dedicated to DC and Marvel memes and a plethora of other pages and articles all about memes based on comic books, it has become a staple of the online community.
The X-Men have one of the richest histories in comics and have the longest ongoing film franchise, having made their feature film debut in 2000. With multiple TV shows, 10 movies and more on the way, and a countless number of comic books published about them at any given time, the X-Men have their fair share of ridiculous moments worthy of satire. Whether it’s making fun of some insane storyline or character, or simply an opportunity to laugh about your favorite mutants, here are 20 X-Men memes for the true fans!
20. MAGNETO’S CLOTHES
Magneto is the X-Men’s arch-nemesis/best asset, and also one of the most beloved and popular characters Marvel has ever created. He has appeared in almost every film in the franchise and has retained much of his iconic look from the comics, including his helmet, robes and cape.
However, his costume in the original trilogy is one of the many examples of the common criticism that the character’s uniforms lack the color they were known for in the comics. In the prequel / reboot / sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, Magneto’s outfit gains a purple-fuchsia color, which is similar to the color magenta. Also, Magneto’s name is one easy typo away from spelling out Magento. This meme has gained so much traction, even Ian McKellen posted it on Twitter in 2014!
19. DEADPOOL SNICKERS
It’s hard to forget the disaster that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Possibly the most hated of all the X-Men films, and one of the most hated comic book movies ever, it has become the laughingstock of the superhero world. One of its biggest criticisms was its inaccurate portrayal of Deadpool. He is now one of the most popular characters in comics, but his first live-action appearance will always be derided by fans.
Thankfully, Ryan Reynolds returned to the role seven years later and redeemed the character’s film portrayal by remaining true to the comics and being all around hilarious. This version has become one of the most acclaimed superhero movies and it is universally agreed upon that it is the superior adaptation of the character. This meme, of course, is a riff off of the Snickers advertising campaign that presents hungry folks as not being their best, until they have a Snickers bar, of course.
18. WOLVERINE’S LOVE LIFE
Jean Grey and Cyclops are one of the most iconic couples in comic book history. The two have been through so much, and yet their relationship and love for each other has remained a focal point of many of their stories over the years (at least whenever Jean isn’t dead). Wolverine was a later addition to the X-Men and he too fell in love with Jean, but unfortunately for him she was still with Cyclops.
Wolverine’s feelings for Jean have become very prominent in X-Men media, being the focus of some episodes of the animated series, as well as a major plot point in the original movies — so much so that his emo pining has become its own meme. Wolverine might be one of the most popular characters of all time and have one of the strongest healing factors in comics, but he sadly never had his love for Jean fulfilled.
17. XAVIER LOGIC
Charles Xavier is known for being one of the smartest people in the Marvel universe, which is why many people have called out his flawed logic when going up against his friend-turned-foe Magneto. Professor X sits in a metal wheelchair and has many allies who are made out of metal or have metal permanently bonded to them, including prominent X-Men Wolverine and Colossus. And yet, he still confronts the evil mutant who can control metal? Smart.
Magneto has used his power to his advantage many times when he is fighting the X-Men, especially the many times in the films he has manipulated Wolverine’s entire body, or the time in the comics when he removed Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton. It still remains to be seen why Xavier has never tried to find substitutes for the many metal items (and students) he uses.
16. THE PROFESSOR, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
The X-Men movies have always made some of the best casting decisions in Hollywood. From Hugh Jackman as the perfect Wolverine to Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler, and of course the double threat of Sirs Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, these films can truly boast an excellent cast. When it came time to cast younger versions of already established characters, it was not easy, but once again the movies prevailed.
James McAvoy was a budding star in Hollywood and nowhere near the household name he is now, but he did have a few memorable roles to his name before he was cast as the young Professor X. One of these roles was the faun Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia franchise, where he sported a pair of goat legs, hence this weird little meme.
15. THE “M” WORD
Mutants have been discriminated against for as long as they have existed in the public eye, with many different characters becoming spokespeople for the species and their rights. Cyclops has been a mutant leader for decades and has fought for their equal treatment time and time again. He has also saved the world and his friends countless times throughout his career as a superhero. One time he even saved his own brother, Havok, from a plane crash, back when they were just small boys.
Havok has fought for mutants rights as well, but has taken a different approach than that of his brother. Going so far as to deem the word “mutant” derogatory, he annoyed many fans by calling it the “M” word after it had been widely accepted by the world and mutant community for decades. This meme, of course, is a riff on the Batman and Robin image that has become ubiquitous online.
14. QUICKSILVER SCENES
While the original trilogy featured many mutants, they were largely focused on a select few. The newer films have tried to fix this issue by highlighting more characters, giving fans the chance to see more of their favorite characters come to life. One of these characters is Quicksilver, the X-Men’s resident speedster.
Quicksilver made his big screen debut in Days of Future Past and quickly became one of the most remembered characters to appear in an X-Men film. His slow-motion scene brought a sense of humor to the heavy film, while also showcasing some of the best visual effects on film. When he returned for X-Men: Apocalypse, Quicksilver once again stole the show with an even bigger slow-motion scene that has become one of the highlights of the entire franchise.
13. NO MORE MUTANTS… IN THE MCU
While the X-Men movie rights belong to Fox, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch exist in a grey area where they can be used by both Fox and Marvel Studios. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, however, they are no longer mutants but are instead the products of Hydra experiments. To the dismay of fans, X-Men characters and the word mutant cannot be used in the MCU, prompting many fan-made canon explanations for the absence of the species.
In the infamous House of M event, Scarlet Witch used her powers to wipe out all of mutantkind simply by uttering the phrase “no more mutants” which in turn became a meme all of its own. Of course, this never actually happened in the MCU, but it is fun to think about.
12. THE DRESS
The dress was a meme all of its own in February 2015. It took the Internet by storm when no one could agree if it was white and gold or blue and black. In the end, the dress was eventually confirmed to be black and blue, but it was impossible to not be involved in a discussion about its color during the height of its popularity.
Cyclops’ mutation has caused him many difficulties in life, as he cannot open his eyes without optic blasts emerging from his eyes. In order for him to be able to control his powerful laser-shooting mutant eyes, he is forced to wear a ruby-quartz visor at all times. Therefore everything Scott Summers sees is colored by a red tint. At least he didn’t have to argue about that damn dress.
11. THE THIRD FILM IS ALWAYS THE WORST
X-Men: Apocalypse is set in 1983 so it only makes sense that the younger characters go to see Return of the Jedi. Upon leaving the theatre, Jean Grey says that “the third film is always the worst,” a self-aware line meant to elicit a laugh from the audience since this was the third film in the prequel trilogy.
It was also a subtle jab at X-Men: The Last Stand, the third film in the original trilogy, which was by far the worst of the bunch. Unfortunately, Apocalypse turned out to be the worst received movie of the prequels by both fans and critics, so this line became all too true. Instead of a fourth-wall breaking joke, the line ended up making fun of its own damn film!
10. COMIC BOOK TIMELINES
It is no secret that the X-Men movie timeline is pretty messed up. Filled with inconsistencies and time frames that don’t quite add up, the continuity of this franchise is basically non-existent. With the emergence of the shared cinematic universe, it has become a frequent complaint of fans that the timeline of the X-Men films makes little to no sense and pales in comparison to the established continuities of rival franchises like the MCU.
Despite the lack of continuity, the film timeline is nothing when compared to the comics. After decades of stories being published, it is well accepted among comic readers that the timelines of their favorite characters make no sense. When it comes to the X-Men specifically, their comic book history is so convoluted that it is better just not to think about the timeline. The comic book continuity makes the movies look simple.
9. DARWIN’S DEATH
After two disastrous films, Fox decided to do a soft reboot of the X-Men franchise and in 2011, released the prequel X-Men: First Class. This film took place in the 1960s, almost 40 years before the original movie. It detailed Professor X and Magneto forming the first class of X-Men at Xavier’s school. After recruiting young mutants to be their students, Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club attack these new recruits.
Of all the students, Darwin is the only one to die during this attack, or even in the film. While it was obvious that important characters like Mystique or Havok weren’t going to be killed off, it was somewhat ironic that the only mutant to be killed was the one whose power was to adapt to his surroundings in order to survive.
8. CASTING CHOICES
The X-Men franchise has had tons of A-list Hollywood actors play roles throughout the 17 years of its existence, with the upcoming films boasting impressive casts featuring the likes of Josh Brolin and Maisie Williams. These big-name actors are so well known that it sometimes gets distracting to see them in roles other than the ones they are most remembered for.
However, when it comes to Hugh Jackman, he will always be Wolverine. We mean no disrespect to Jackman as his acting career is impressive even without the Canadian mutant, but it will forever be his most iconic role. The only actor to appear in every film so far (yes, the Deadpool cameo counts), Jackman’s name will be synonymous with Wolverine for years to come.
7. APOCALYPSE’S HORSEMEN
The most recent entry into the main films in the franchise, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse contained a few questionable creative choices. On such choice that confused fans were the four characters selected to be Apocalypse’s horsemen. While it made perfect sense for Angel to be a horseman, as it fuels his transformation into the metallic-winged Archangel, the other choices baffled fans.
Many felt that Magneto’s characterization in previous films would negate him wanting to be a horseman and they would have preferred to see Storm and Psylocke appear as heroes. In the end, the four horsemen were far from the movie’s biggest flaw, but it is still common opinion that there were better options for the characters that would have posed a larger threat to the X-Men.
6. MUTANT REGISTRATION
The X-Men have been used as an allegory for civil rights, gay rights and many others over the course of their existence. Constantly facing discrimination and hatred for being different than regular humans, mutants are always facing political threats that could result in their registration, deportation from the United States or worse. It is a recurring element of their stories and has been largely prominent in the films as well.
Putting all politics and political opinions aside, Mike Pence does bear an uncanny resemblance to a politician who would try to fight mutants in the comics, especially in the picture of him above when compared to that specific panel. Based entirely on looks alone, the current Vice President is a prime candidate for the X-Men’s next political villain.
5. QUICKSILVER MEETS QUICKSILVER
While some Marvel characters’ film rights might belong to different studios, Quicksilver and his sister Scarlet Witch exist in a weird purgatory where they can be used by both Fox and Marvel Studios. Due to the fact that they are mutants, but are also commonly associated with the Avengers, their film rights are shared by both studios.
This has led to some minor confusion, since Quicksilver has appeared in two separate franchises played by two different actors with wildly different characterizations. Aaron Taylor-Johnson portrayed the speedster in the MCU and Evan Peters was his X-Men universe counterpart. Oddly enough, both actors had previously appeared alongside each other in the Kick-Ass films where they played classmates and best friends.
4. DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
In a perfect world, we would have all the Marvel characters in the same cinematic universe. Sadly, we do not, but we do have some hilarious imaginings of Deadpool interacting with the MCU. Known for his sense of humor and breaking the fourth wall any chance he can get, Deadpool is entirely different from any other characters in comic book movies.
Deadpool is one of the most popular characters in comics right now, and has received many different series, one of which, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, has become a fan favorite. The story takes place out of continuity and involves Deadpool being brought to an asylum by his fellow X-Men. There, his doctor is the evil Psycho-Man and his treatments lead to Deadpool killing nearly every character in the comics, until eventually killing the writers and artists themselves.
3. AVENGERS VS. X-MEN
Movie rating guidelines have become pretty regimented over the years. Most superhero movies tend to aim for a PG-13 rating, meaning that their language must be somewhat toned down. PG-13 movies are only allotted the use of one “f-word” and this was put in expert use by X-Men: First Class, where Wolverine’s only line was telling off Charles and Erik.
In contrast, the MCU has strayed from dropping any f-bombs and even included a joke where Captain American tells Iron Man to watch his language after the use of a naughty word. These two different approaches to the PG-13 ratings of their films highlights the difference between the two franchises and even puts them at odds, similar to 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men comic book event.
2. THE X-AVENGERS
After Darwin’s death in X-Men: First Class, the characters decide what to do in terms of their enemies. Mystique, who was friends with Darwin, is rightfully appalled by his murder and hopes that the newly formed X-Men can do something about the Hellfire Club. Magneto responds to her concerns with a line about avenging their fallen ally, which admittedly, he does mean earnestly.
Of course, all this took place in an X-Men film and not an Avengers film, resulting in the line becoming an odd moment since the two teams exist in different universes — then again, maybe Magneto’s superpower is copyright infringement? Or just trolling super hard? While it was meant to be a powerful moment that exemplifies Magneto’s differing philosophy, it has instead become a moment for fans to turn into a meme.
1. XAVIER LOGIC II
The original X-Men trilogy made heavy use of Cerebro, Professor X’s machine that enhances his telepathic abilities so he can locate every mutant on Earth. To escape detection, Magneto wears a helmet that blocks his brainwaves from telepaths and Professor X cannot locate the leader of the evil mutants. While this sounds like a great idea on Magneto’s part, he is almost always seen alongside his right-hand woman, Mystique.
So, why did Xavier never try to locate Mystique and send the X-Men to her location, assuming Magneto would be there too? Does Charles just assume Magneto’s whole crew rolls with that fetching headgear, or is Charles just overthinking and under-delivering again? We may never know the answer to these questions, but it is a deep flaw in the logic of one of the smartest men on the planet.
Do you have any other dank X-Men memes to share? Light it up in the comments!
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