“Logan” was a major success for Fox, not just commercially, but also on a storytelling level. It proved to be a fitting finale for Hugh Jackman as the titular character, but it also took the studio’s R-rated stance up a notch, quite possibly topping the blockbuster that was “Deadpool.” It also reignited a fire that comic book fans didn’t quite have for mutants after “X-Men: Apocalypse” failed to deliver on its promise.
With a “Dark Phoenix Saga” reboot rumored to be next in Fox’s stable, these fans are further hoping that the popularity of the recently introduced X-23 would see them test the waters with even more new faces, as well as improve how they handled the X-Men properties in the past. As a result, CBR decided to dive into 15 movies that the studio needs to make in the wake of “Logan!”
SPOILER WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for several “X-Men” movies and comics
15. HOUSE OF M
Marvel Comics’ “House of M” event was a huge deal as it dealt with Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) being manipulated by her brother, Pietro (Quicksilver) into creating this new world for heroes and villains to live in under the rule of Magneto’s monarchy. It also ended with the de-powering of almost every mutant on the planet. With Quicksilver dead over at Marvel Studios, but still alive and kicking in Fox’s continuity, this could provide an opportunity to explore Magneto as his father, which “Apocalypse” hinted at.
Imagine the revelation that an unstable mutant sister existed and suddenly shaped this new world for her family. This would be a great dynamic as it would add depth to the Maximoff’s relationships as seen in the comics. Even though they were later retconned out of being Magneto’s kids, Fox is clearly interested in the family thread of Magneto, and given the popularity of him and Pietro on screen, it could be a big opportunity for them to feature new mutants, as well as a new spin on the X-Men in an alternate reality.
14. THE STARJAMMERS
Fans were shocked when Havok was killed in “Apocalypse” because they thought this was the right time to have him and his brother, Cyclops, usher in a new age of mutants on the big screen. Havok was a leader in the Marvel Comics’ Avengers Unity Squad, so it was a left-field killing because many calls were made for him to return from “X-Men: First Class.” Hopefully Fox could find a way to unite him with the Starjammers, a team of space rogues, that are similar to the “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
They’ve been more altruistic over the last few years, as opposed to just being pirates, but what’s crucial is that they’re led by Corsair, father of Cyclops and Havok. Fox needs to step up their space saga game and this team could be an integral step into “X-Men’s” galactic world, which includes the Shi’ar, and perhaps even tie in to the Phoenix Force and the M’Kraan crystal used to contain it. With or without Havok, the Starjammers would be a bold move to show it’s not just about mutants and mercenaries for the studio.
13. RISE OF VULCAN
Gabriel Summers (a.k.a. Vulcan) debuted in “Deadly Genesis,” which saw him added to the Summers legacy as a brother whom Xavier mind-wiped from the team after a botched rescue attempt saw Vulcan’s squad die. He returned enraged, exacting revenge on the X-Men, and eventually ended up in space as the leader of the Shi’ar. He governed their empire with a bloodlust seen in events such as “Realm of Kings” and “War of Kings,” even going at it with Black Bolt of the Inhumans.
This could be a big test for Cyclops and Xavier onscreen, but it could also see Fox looking at Vulcan’s secret X-Men team that perished on Krakoa. Vulcan is also a gateway to the cosmic realm, so if they wanted to flip the Summers’ mythos on its head, he could be a big player, and maybe even the one who saved Havok from death in “Apocalypse.” His energy-based powers would also make him a very formidable opponent to unleash against mutants, as he usually bases his ideals on genocide, enslavement or revenge, similarly to Magneto.
12. ONSLAUGHT UNLEASHED
When Magneto ripped Wolverine’s adamantium off his skeleton in the ’90s, it infuriated Xavier, who launched a psionic attack that resulted in the darker parts of the psyches of himself and Magneto combining to form Onslaught. He was one of Marvel’s biggest villains, often incapacitating the X-Men and Avengers alike. We already saw Apocalypse take Xavier on in the astral plane on the big screen, so to get a dark reflection of Xavier with Onslaught’s mindset would be quite something.
Fox could even cast someone new to take over this role, instead of using either James McAvoy or Michael Fassbender. If they do Onslaught, it would also see Xavier needing a lot of mutants for the war, which could lead to more recruitment. Onslaught is the worst of Xavier and Magneto, so this is the chance for the studio to make villains like Apocalypse and Sebastian Shaw pale in comparison. He represents their leaders at their darkest, which would make for great cinematic conflict, especially with Jean Grey as a foil for telepathic battle.
11. THE SINISTER SYNDROME
Mister Sinister was teased in the “Apocalypse” end-credits, as Essex Corps. was collecting Wolverine’s blood (Sinister’s real name is Nathaniel Essex). Sadly, he didn’t pop up in “Logan” to address the cloning drama and X-23. With Sony doing a “Venom” spinoff, this delay could be an opening for Fox to make a villain-centric film. Imagine seeing him as Nathaniel Essex in his Victorian-era days conducting genetic experiments on mutants, helping push the species forward, perhaps even building his obsession with the Summers family and Gambit.
This could also be a nice chance of pace to see the ancestors of mutants and X-Men back in the day, and even hint that Sinister may have had a hand in playing God and shaping the modern breed. He’s always been one of Marvel’s most interesting villains, so focusing on him as a Dr. Frankenstein type would be an intriguing concept. Other mutants such as Exodus and Apocalypse could also be tied in, as it’s very apparent he loves working in the shadows and is willing to take decades to make his plans come to fruition.
10. YOUNG X-MEN
Apart from Spider-Man, both Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. don’t really bank on young superheroes in their current film stable. Fox, however, took a big step with X-23 in “Logan” and, given how it ended, “Young X-Men” could be a great gamble, given how well the studio did with obscure properties like “Deadpool” and the “Kingsman” franchise.
“Logan” introduced Rictor and X-23 as they led the new batch of mutants to a supposed haven called Eden in Canada, so this presents an opportunity to perhaps craft them as leaders of a young team similar to “Young X-Men,” written by Marc Guggenheim in 2008. It ran for 12 issues, with the new team not being bogged down by continuity and having been trained by Cyclops, Dani Moonstar and Cannonball in a way similar to how things were done in “New Mutants.” Fox could carve a new path with the faces of Ink (who got his powers through tattoos), Dust (a young Muslim girl with the ability to manipulate sand particles), the reptilian Anole, and Rockslide (who’s very similar to The Thing) to freshen things up in their mutant-verse.
“Necrosha” was a 2009 Marvel event that saw Selene, the former Black Queen of the Hellfire Club, take her vampiric aspirations to a whole new level by using the techno-organic virus to resurrect dead mutants. She also used the derelict Genosha as her base, as she felt it embodied death, sending her zombie armies to wage war on her enemies, including the X-Men.
This could be a very dark alley for Fox to pursue, but one that would bring emotional turmoil to the X-Men and show them how high the stakes really are, especially if dead mutants like Emma Frost, Azazel, Havok and Darwin are revived. This story also saw “X-Force” brought into play because aggressive and murderous measures were needed to fight off Selene’s threat, so once Fox decides to pull that trigger and go gritty, this is the perfect place to start. It’s a horror-filled take on the X-Men, but it also painted Selene as a truly intimidating and scary opponent who was willing to go the extra mile for her revenge.
8. CABLE: ORIGINS
We’re not sure how much of Cable’s origins we’ll see in “Deadpool 2,” but if Fox ever did a solo series with him, witnessing the arc from the ’90s animated series involving his son, Tyler, would be quite dramatic. It focused on the youngster contracting the techno-organic virus, which led Cable to jump back to the present and meet the X-Men, as well as Apocalypse. This movie could also tie in the tech-genius and time-travel engineer, Forge, as well as future sentinels, in a story reminiscent of the “Terminator” franchise while also improving on what we saw in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
Other elements that we could see Cable battling are his evil clone, Stryfe, a legacy as the son of Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (who in turn is a Jean Grey clone), the mad experiments of Sinister, as well as Tyler’s potential future as the evil Genesis. These could all stitch a narrative together that drives him back in time to meet Wade Wilson and even catalyze the formation of “X-Force” to prevent chaos in the future.
7. AGE OF APOCALYPSE
The “Age of Apocalypse” storyline replaced Marvel’s continuity for a bit in 1995, dealing with Xavier’s son, Legion, botching an assassination attempt on Magneto and killing his father instead. Without the Professor, the world was conquered by Apocalypse with Magneto replacing Xavier as leader of the resistance. This would be a “What If” story on a grand scale, but given how “Logan” was a left-field story, this could also present Fox with a chance to use Apocalypse better or even his Twins, recently introduced at Marvel.
A big plus would be Fox could now shape this alternate reality with even more teams. Magneto led the alpha team, Nightcrawler led X-Calibre, Gambit led the X-Ternals, Generation Next was led by Shadowcat and Colossus, while Astonishing X-Men was led by Rogue. These were just a few of the teams that were operating, which could see Fox use faces from the old movies, such as Anna Paquin (Rogue), in this new timeline.
6. BISHOP: ORIGINS
A Bishop solo film offers Fox the chance to redeem themselves for how underused he was in “Days Of Future Past,” while making big strides in terms of diversity via having a black lead in an “X-Men” movie. He’s always been one of Marvel’s most headstrong characters and events like “Messiah Complex” and “Messiah War” could come into play where he hunted Cable and Hope Summers (the first mutant born since Wanda’s de-powering), thinking that he needed her dead to keep the future safe.
“Xavier’s Security Enforcers,” a.k.a. the X.S.E., could also be tackled as his military unit from the future, following Xavier’s ideals. Their job was to protect humans and mutants from Sentinels with the likes of Forge and Trevor Fitzroy all playing key roles in Bishop’s life as a warrior. Fitzroy turned out to be evil and fled to the past of the 616 mainstream Marvel Comics universe, where Bishop and a couple X.S.E. members tracked him to, all in order to preserve the timeline. These are the ingredients for a badass time-travel sci-fi flick along the lines of “Looper,” which could end with Bishop and his squadron joining Xavier’s team.
5. X-MAN: NATE GREY
Nate Grey was the “Age of Apocalypse” version of Cable, born from genetic tampering at the hands of Sinister. He wasn’t subjected to the techno-organic virus, so his full power set evolved, giving him telepathic and telekinetic powers. He eventually made his way into the 616 mainstream universe as X-Man, and over the years, fans saw him as one of the most powerful mutants in existence, which may have been why he was used in limited runs.
This would be a great character for Fox to play with as it could be similar to “Logan” in terms of the loner vibe, and Nate traversing timelines to get back to the past. In the books, he featured in events such as “Schism,” which tore the X-Men apart, and also ran afoul of Norman Osborn’s “Dark X-Men,” so there’s a chance to also send a mutant team to find him as the runaway product of Sinister’s experiments. Due to his lineage, he would definitely be a target that multiple people would want to control.
4. THE NEW X-MEN
As “Days Of Future Past” offered that soft reboot for the X-Men, another route Fox can go is using Emma Frost (who is now presumably alive again), as a counter-headmistress to Xavier and assembling her own team, as she did in the comics. The Stepford Cuckoos (triplet telepaths) are a must, but maybe she could go after other mutants that Xavier didn’t recruit yet such as Shadowcat, Rogue, Angel and Iceman. The former White Queen of the Hellfire Club is very manipulative and could be a strong middle-ground to Xavier and Magneto’s ideals.
In 2001, Grant Morrison wrote the team as an experienced one with the likes of Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine and Beast involved, but Fox has an opportunity to expand their roster of mutants, without packing them into Xavier’s school. It’s likely Xavier’ll end up redeeming and taking them in, but Emma as a foe of his and Jean Grey’s could be very exciting in terms of astral plane battles, as well as with Scott looking on (due to his comic history with Emma).
3. SABRETOOTH: REDEMPTION
Fans were disappointed that we didn’t see Sabretooth after his origins story with Wolverine. We thought he would have appeared in “Logan,” but he was cut for an X-24 clone (a younger Logan). Assuming he died by then, Fox has a window of opportunity to look at what Marvel did with him in “AXIS” and turn him into a hero, and maybe one who’s trying to do right by Logan and redeem himself.
We never saw villains like Omega Red, Cyber or even Daken, so maybe the writers could shape it as Stryker wanting Victor Creed (retconned as Logan’s brother) back in their stable as they can’t land the Wolverine. Making him the new version of Wolverine, hunted and on the run, would flip the script and allow him to evolve into a more feral being while staving off these attacks. The stuff we won’t get to see Jackman do can definitely be added in here, making Sabretooth a relevant character once more and filling the gap between now and “Logan.”
With Rictor in the mix, “X-Factor” needs to happen. The modern team was led by Jamie Madrox (Multiple Man) as an investigative agency that dealt with incidents that could harm the mutant species. With a new bunch of genetically engineered mutants heading to Eden, it would be pretty cool to see their future mapped out with Rictor helping to guide the agency’s mission to protect and serve mutants, using X-23 as his muscle.
Mutants would be few and far between, and we’re not sure if they can procreate, so Fox could fiddle with the continuity a bit and use a surviving duplicate of Madrox here to help the team preserve the new generation. Rictor descended from Avalanche in “Logan,” so things can be retconned for the new narrative. It would also give fans the chance to see new mutants in a post-apocalyptic world with the likes of Strong Man, Monet, Siryn (Banshee’s daughter), and even Layla Miller (who was tied to “House of M”) getting a chance to be what the X-Men were in the past.
“NYX” was a very emotional and non-typical miniseries from Marvel in 2003, written by Joe Quesada. It dealt with homeless teenage mutants in New York City, with X-23 being a major character. She joined the time-freezing Kiden, shapeshifting Tatiana, body-shifting Bobby, his mysterious brother, and Cameron, a woman with no powers. X-23’s arc was very mature and powerful as it focused on her being a prostitute, with other issues such as murder, suicide and human trafficking being featured.
This could be the bold direction she goes in with some of the other refugee friends if Eden doesn’t exist. It would be very dark and fit “Logan’s” tone of a world with no hope, but it would also mimic what her father went through in terms of struggle. This could be a gritty road but one that really shapes her as Fox’s new Wolverine in an irreparable society. Dafne Keen’s performance as X-23 showed that she can handle just about anything and she would perfectly bring Fox’s vision to life of a superhero movie that is as grounded and brutal as can be.
Thoughts on our picks? Let us know in the comments what new mutant-based movies Fox should make after Logan!