With Disney’s recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox, all X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four characters are now back under the MCU banner. This acquisition marks a major shift, as people like Wolverine and Jean Grey can now appear alongside the Avengers, just as they do in the comics. This also means that the current run of X-Men films will come to an end, likely to be rebooted at Marvel Studios with an entirely new cast.
However, some of the Fox X-Men movies have still yet to come out. Dark Phoenix releases this weekend and New Mutants keeps getting delayed. Regardless, Dark Phoenix is the last major X-Men movie to come out for a while. While the future of the X-Men franchise is still unclear at the moment, it is very bright. Here is our list of 10 X-Men storylines we want so see in the MCU.
10 Age of Apocalypse
While director Bryan Singer already tried to adapt the popular story with 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, most would agree that there was room for some much needed improvements. This interpretation would stray very far from the source material and turn Apocalypse into a very non-threatening villain. It would definitely be very nice to see a more faithful adaptation come to life in the MCU, though this storyline would not make a good starter for the new franchise.
Despite the fact that the story has already been adapted in some form, the X-Men franchise is no stranger to doing retellings. Both X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) saw changes made to the status quo of the Wolverine character. Furthermore, the upcoming Dark Phoenix is the studio’s attempt to redo what unfortunately became X-Men: The Last Stand. Though the Age of Apocalypse storyline may take a minute to reemerge in the franchise, it is still something that fans would love to see, if done properly this time around.
9 Fatal Attractions
The comic book version of Fatal Attractions was a massive crossover event that put several mutant teams against each other and Magneto. This story would also see Wolverine stripped of the adamantium that lined his skeleton for so many years. There’s also a very wide cast of characters that could be utilized for this event and even a bunch of other key moments that would allow some new characters to shine.
Really, the only drawback to adapting Fatal Attractions would be that Magneto is once again the villain. While Magneto is a fan favorite antagonist for the team of mutants, he has held a massive presence in all main X-Men films thus far. While he can be expected to show up at some point, it would be nice for the MCU to explore some of the team’s many other villains for awhile.
8 “E” Is For Extinction
Comic book legend Grant Morrison kicked off his run on the X-Men with the wildly popular “E” is For Extinction storyline. This story would see a new generation of mutants arise and introduced the concept of secondary mutations. It also served as a great jumping on point for new readers and focused on a smaller version of the team with some more popular characters.
“E” is For Extinction would be a great place for the MCU films to start with the franchise, as it was a great place to start reading in the books. Most audiences have a general idea of the X-Men characters already, meaning that some more popular characters and a few new, smaller ones would fit nicely on the team. The story is also not so complex that viewers would have a hard time following along.
7 First Class/Season One
Both of these comic runs focus on the original 5 members of the X-Men. Likewise, both of them serve as a great introduction to X-Men lore. While nothing too major happens in these stories, their fun nature and classic feel would be perfect for reintroducing the X-Men in a more comic accurate fashion.
Though it is unlikely that the MCU will start with this version of the team, there are many elements from both runs that could be used in the movies. If they expand the roster to include some more popular characters, they’d have a great, light-hearted take on the X-Men that would be perfectly suited for the MCU.
6 First To Last
While it is a lesser known comic book story, X-Men: First to Last would be a great story to adapt going forward. When a group called the Evolutionaries appears and declares Mutants as genetically superior to humans, it is up to the X-Men to stop them from wiping out all of humanity.
What makes this comic so perfect for a movie is the scale of the threat and the fact that there are many flashbacks to the original team. The MCU could easily use this as a way to catch readers up on X-Men history while still telling a fun, action-packed story in the present.
Schism is a comic story that saw the X-men split into two separate, main divisions. After a falling out between Wolverine and Cyclops, the X-Men pick sides leading into 2 main branches of the team. Though this wouldn’t make the best storyline to relaunch the franchise, it is definitely something that could be used as a second or third film in the new series.
Once again,this story has a wide cast, but keeps the main focus on the conflict between Wolverine and Cyclops, making it a more grounded and easy to follow X-Men story. The events of this would also play a major role in the popular Avengers Vs X-Men event that followed shortly after.
4 Avengers VS X-Men
Speaking of the popular storyline, any fan of Marvel Comics is now eagerly awaiting the eventual adaptation of Avengers Vs X-Men. Now that the two teams can finally appear side by side, it is only a matter of time before there is a falling out. The comic saw the feud take place over how to protect the planet from the return of the Phoenix Force, an all-powerful cosmic entity that relies on a host. After narrowing down the most likely mutant the Phoenix would choose, the Avengers and X-Men fight over how best to handle the situation.
AVX features a massive cast and is filled with twists and turns that left major changes to the status quo of the main Marvel Universe. Though the franchise can’t really start with this, it would make a great event for the MCU to build towards, much like they did with Avengers: Endgame.
3 Uncanny X-Force
Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force was one of the more popular iterations of the X-Men. While it was definitely a much darker and more violent approach to the characters, it had a stellar lineup featuring Deadpool and Wolverine together. While it is unfortunate that audiences will never see Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds together as the two, Deadpool and Wolverine still have a chance.
At the moment, Deadpool’s fate in the MCU is still undecided, with rumors that he will get his own show, his own movie, or just appear in other films, etc. While it is unlikely that the MCU would go for a story and cast as dark as the one in Uncanny X-Force, it doesn’t stop people from wanting to see the team in some form or fashion.
2 Astonishing X-Men
Author Joss Whedon (Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is no stranger to the MCU at this point. His take with the first Avengers film proved that he knows how to handle a franchise and a large cast of characters. Furthermore, his run on Astonishing X-Men further proved that he is more than capable of handling Marvel characters. Should Marvel Studios get him to return, there would be no better candidate to handle the X-Men.
Astonishing X-Men brilliantly juggles a large cast without making them feel overcrowded. It also tells an overarching story that could easily take place across several films if need be. Furthermore, the series sees an excellent balance of dark and light tones that could satisfy a larger audience, making it one of the better selections to pull from going forward.
1 House Of M
To this day, House of M remains one of the most acclaimed and important X-Men stories in Marvel history. Following an emotional breakdown after the Avengers: Disassembled story, Scarlet Witch snaps and remakes reality as she sees fit. Here, Mutants and humans live in harmony with mutants as the dominant species. After Wolverine realizes something is wrong, it is up to him to help everyone remember and change everything back.
During Avengers: Endgame, it is alluded that Wanda is much more powerful than she may realize, already setting the stage for a House of M adaptation. While this not only has a great cast, it could also be a great way to showcase the Avengers and X-Men working together while also building tensions between the two.