Proving that beauty is only skin deep, the cast of the X-Men movies have represented the good and the great of Hollywood glitterati. There is just something about someone with superpowers that exudes a special kind of attractiveness, and the world of mutants is no different. Whether a furry, blue beast, a slimy toad or a man with chemical burns covering the entirety of his body, the characters of Fox have never shied away from their comic book origins. Seemingly going hand in hand with being one of Charles Xavier’s Gifted Youngsters — or even crossing paths with the X-Men — are some of the most attractive superheroes and villains out there.
Heading to the movies, things were exactly the same with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, Famke Janssen as Jean Grey and Anna Paquin as Rogue — there were some fan favorite sex symbols across the series. However, with each of their characters being equally gorgeous on the pages of the various X-Men comic books, their paper counterparts were also blessed with good genes. So, whose leap from paper to the silver screen gave them a boost in the looks department? Read on!
It should be the face that only a mother could love, but even with a mug smothered in prosthetics, Ryan Reynolds is still one of Hollywood’s most attractive actors. Sure, Deadpool may look like a charred scrotum, but there is no denying that under all that scarred flesh, there is still something attractive about Wade Wilson. This is mainly because we know that it is Reynolds sporting that red and black lycra, but who wouldn’t want to curl up with the Merc with a Mouth?
Looking at the comics, it is rare that we get to see Mr. Wilson without his mask on and with good reason. However, brought to life by Reynolds on the screen, Deadpool’s cheeky persona comes across to let us look past the facial disfigurement. They say that laughter is the key to love, so consider us smitten!
14. WILLIAM STRYKER
Who doesn’t love a homicidal maniac? While they may not be perfect boyfriend material, people just can’t help falling for the bad guy — with Willam Stryker being no exception. Looking back over the history of X-Men movies, Fox has pitched Stryker as the most deadly non-mutant foe to cross paths with the gifted youngsters. First played brilliantly by Brian Cox in X2, Danny Huston picked up the reins for Origins: Wolverine, followed by Josh Helmen in Days of Future Past and Apocalypse.
Comic book fans will be used to the no-nonsense and rather plain looking Stryker form the page, but Helman brings a certain chiseled charm to the role. With Stryker usually depicted as a slightly older man, Helman shows that Bill could’ve been a bit of a looker in his younger days. Perhaps it is his maddening thirst for power or that some have a soft spot for a man in uniform?
13. LADY DEATHSTRIKE
Bryan Singer’s X2 is usually thought of as being one of (if not the) best X-Men movie, which was thanks in part to newcomers like Kelly Hu’s Lady Deathstrike. Alongside the already beautiful roster of girls from the first movie, Hu slipped right in as Wolverine’s long-nailed female counterpart — it is just a shame that Singer wrote her off in a single movie.
In the comics, Yuriko Oyama first appeared in Daredevil #197 before going in search of Wolverine. Heading some tech-savvy upgrades, Oyama bonded adamantium to her own skeleton and received several cybernetic enhancements to give her a cyborg appearance. X2 did away with all the backstory and robotics to gave us Deathstrike as the unwilling servant of Stryker. The movies thankfully simplified her into a deadly assassin who sure knew how to pull off a PVC pantsuit.
Another early casualty of the movies, audiences didn’t have too long to get attached to Edi Gathegi’s Darwin in Matthew Vaughn’s rebooted X-Men: First Class. Just like the comics, Gathegi portrayed Armando Muñoz, a mutant with the handy power of reactive mutation. You might think his powers would make him nearly indestructible, but one quick energy blast from Sebastian Shaw and it was lights out for Darwin.
His comic book appearance is a little more frightening, to say the least, making Darwin look more like some sort of intergalactic threat than anything else. The comics actually describe him as bald, with abnormally long arms and bulging eyes. A million miles away from the Darwin from the comics, the character from First Class was a muscular jock who was good at sports and seemed popular among his peers.
11. MULTIPLE MAN
Fans are already swooning over the casting of James Franco as Jamie Madrox for a Multiple Man movie, but can you blame them. Known for his cheeky grin and coming from the frankly superb genes of the Franco family, James will be suiting up for his very own X-Men solo movie. Luckily, he is no stranger to the genre, having played the suave but shadowy Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.
It’s not that the Madrox we have seen in the comics isn’t attractive, but being played by both Grey’s Anatomy actor Eric Dane and now Franco, it is easy to see how his live-action portrayals haven’t skimped in the looks department. While one James Franco would be enough to send pulses racing, now just imagine a whole screen of them packed into that green and black lycra.
10. AGENT ZERO
There wasn’t much to see of Agent Zero in the movies, and apart from his dramatic helicopter death, does anyone really remember Daniel Henney’s sharp-shooting soldier? Often working as part of Team X with the likes of Wolverine, Sabretooth and John Wraith, this storyline was loosely adapted for Gavin Hood’s maligned X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Originally under the comic book alias of Maverick, David North eventually adopted the Agent Zero persona and became one of the deadliest assassins in the Marvel-verse. North is largely shown to be a faceless grunt hiding behind a mask, but in Origins, Agent Zero cast off the mask to show his true identity. Here Zero was played by Henney as Stryker’s second in command. This time, we actually got to see his face instead of just staring at an emotionless mask throughout the movie.
9. MOIRA MACTAGGERT
There have been some great love stories on the pages of the X-Men comics, but few women can claim the honor of seducing Charles Xavier. As his most famous lover, Prof and Moira MacTaggert even share a son together. With her sharp wit and brilliant intelligence, it is easy to see why Charles Xavier might fall for Moira, but in the movies, a whole bunch of fans did too.
Olivia Williams played a minor part as the famous geneticist in The Last Stand, but the character got something of a revamp for First Class. Changing her origin to an undercover CIA agent, MacTaggert also adopted an American backstory. Away from the bookish Scottish version of Moira from the ‘90s cartoon, actress Rose Byrne certainly sexed Moira up for the 21st Century. Now, let’s see where Byrne and James McAvoy take the newly-reunited pair in X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
8. Donald Pierce
As possibly the most hipster character to ever to grace a superhero movie, Boyd Holbrook certainly looked the part as Donald Pierce in James Mangold’s Logan. The tyrannical leader of the Reavers trod that fine line between hillbilly and hot with his gold tooth and neck tattoos. The rough ‘n’ ready cowboy certainly went with Logan’s noir aesthetic, while Holbrook would’ve have looked out of place on a Johnny Cash album cover.
As Logan’s secondary villain behind Richard E. Grant’s Dr. Zander Rice, this version of Pierce was a suped-up bodyguard set on bringing back Laura Kinney. Along with his cybernetic arm, he had the muscles and swagger of a gritty character reboot. Given that co-creator John Byrne apparently modeled Pierce’s original comic book look on Donald Sutherland, we think most fans would opt for his movie interpretation.
Apart from the name Francis, you have to admit that there was something particularly attractive about Ed Skrein’s tenure as Ajax in Deadpool. Similar to the comics, Ajax was a mercenary for hire to reign in those failed Weapon X projects — most notably, Wade Wilson. The comic book version ended up as a horrifically scarred version similar to Wilson, but even a bloody Skrein managed to keep his roguish good looks during the movie.
Co-writer Rhett Reese said he chose Ajax as the villain of Deadpool because of his sadistic quality; however, there was still something loveable about Francis Freeman. Also, while the enhanced Ajax of the comics was largely seen as little more than assistant, the movie gave Skrein an expanded role as a scientist as well. Now with the looks and the smarts to boot, who wasn’t imagining their life as Mr. or Mrs. Ajax?
6. CHARLES XAVIER
They say that bald men are more virile, but there is something just a little wrong about having a crush on Charles Xavier. As the fatherly (or grandfatherly) figure of the X-Men, romantic feelings toward Professor X is a bit like dating your best friend’s dad. Thankfully, Fox fixed this, and with a jump back in time, Charles became something of a heartthrob — consider Moira a lucky lady indeed.
Casting Wanted’s James McAvoy, the long, flowing, hair of Charles was a stark contrast to his chrome dome we were used to. Still retaining his intelligence, there was something carefree about young Charles compared to his stoic future and the burden of running a school. While some think that McAvoy suits the bald look for the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, most will agree young Prof is sexier with his hair.
5. SILVER FOX
It takes quite the woman to tame the beast that is Wolverine, but Kayla Silverfox did just that. Actress Lynn Collins may have become just one of the many reasons that Origins was a bit of a dud, but you can’t say she didn’t look good, even while the movie tanked. Thankfully, at least we did manage to get some of the character’s Native American backstory in there.
With Collins’ Evangeline Lilly-esque beauty, it looked at times like Fox just couldn’t afford the LOST star, but it is easy to see why James Howlett was drawn to her — and it wasn’t just her powers of persuasion. Not that the comic book character is unattractive by any means, but Gavin Hood went for more of a natural beauty rather than sticking Silver Fox in a yellow and green leotard.
The whole idea of the Hellfire Club is to be a sexy bunch of villains coming together to quaff brandy and scheme their evil schemes. X-Men: First Class may not have been the best representation of the club — while Days of Future Past butchered them all — but you can see where Matthew Vaughn tried to take them in his reboot.
Among Hellfire was Álex González’s Riptide as another wasted opportunity. However, with those come-to-bed eyes, his floppy hair and dapper dress sense, González looked like he had just been pulled off the cover of GQ. In contrast, the Riptide from the comics looks like some creepy wizard with a penchant for violet. With no affiliation to anyone featured in First Class, Riptide was a bit of a strange inclusion, but with González sitting there looking pretty, is anyone really complaining?
As one of the biggest actors currently in Hollywood, any franchise would be lucky to get Michael Fassbender on board. While some will argue he would make the perfect James Bond, he’s currently a little busy slipping on his helmet to play Magneto. There is definitely a silver fox vibe to Lehnsherr in the comics, but Fassbender and his muscular physique have added a suave new layer to the character.
The Erik Lehnsherr from Marvel’s pages has always been a tragic anti-hero, but the prequel X-Men movies have made into an even more complex villain. A lot of us became used to Ian McKellen’s frankly brilliant work as an aged Magneto working against/alongside Xavier, but Fassbender has allowed us to see Erik in a different light. Most prominently, Erik’s devastating family arc in Apocalypse made us a see a more caring side to Magneto.
As one of the best comic book villains of all time, here’s hoping that some future of the X-Men movie franchise can get the unstoppable Juggernaut right. Being truthful, Vinnie Jones’ portrayal in The Last Stand didn’t exactly do Cain Marko justice. It is a little sad that we only remember Jones’ role for that awful costume and one single line, “I’m the Juggernaut b*tch.”
There is no escaping that Jones’ performance was anything less than diabolical, but his ripped version of Juggernaut was at least more appealing than the slightly Hulk-like comic book version. That isn’t to say Last Stand’s character is any better. In fact, with Marko from the comics having a convoluted backstory as the step-brother of Charles Xavier, it is a crying shame that Brett Ratner and co. didn’t at least try and portray this in the threequel.
Let’s get one thing straight first, Mystique from the comics is a foxy lady and a sex symbol in her own right, but the blue-skinned siren is soooo much hotter in the movies. Discarding her conservative white dress, Bryan Singer quite literally stripped down Rebecca Romijn’s version for a nude illusion. With those blue scales and buckets of body paint, the first three X-Men movies didn’t leave much to the imagination.
The actress was such an icon in the role, Vaughn even brought her back for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in First Class. Alongside the likes of Charles and Erik, Mystique was easily one of the best characters to grace the “original” X-Men movies. Sure, Jennifer Lawrence looks great as a younger Raven Darkholme too, but it is hard to see how anyone will top Romijn’s portrayal.
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