The X-Men franchise has been around for sixteen years. It's been around longer than the MCU, the first Spider-Man, and the Dark Knight trilogy. Heck the X-Men fought off Magneto and his Brotherhood BEFORE 9/11! My point is that the X-Men are the longest running superhero franchise. We owe all superhero franchise relevancy, and success, to the X-Men franchise. It came first, it paved the way for realistic stories, new fans and pushed the superhero genre into mass acceptance!
Even with this high honor, the series is seriously not without faults, however there is so much potential inside this unique universe. With the recent release of X-Men Apocalypse, lots of fans are begging for re-casting or reboot, but we can't write it off yet! There are still so many wonderful and exciting stories and characters yet to appear on the big screen!
I'm an X-Men fan and here's my top seven things I'm still dying to see in the X-Men film franchise!
In both the comics and the 90's cartoon Genosha has played a huge part in the ongoing stories. In season one, episode six of the cartoon, several X-Men go to Genosha in hopes for a vacation. Genosha has been boasting of it's wonderful beaches, economy, but most of all how much they accommodate mutants. However, much like the comics story of Genosha, the economy has boomed because of mutant slavery. Storm, Gambit and Jubilee are fitted with bomb collars, and are told if they run or use their powers they'll be detonated.
In the comics the small island country is eventually attacked by Magneto, as he frees the mutant slaves. He allows all homo sapiens to leave and states that Genosha is now a country where mutants can be free. This is a common plot point in different X-Men continuities including: House of M (comic, alternate reality), and Wolverine and the X-Men (cartoon).
Eventually, in the comics story, Genosha is seen as a sovereign country by the United Nations, and Magneto its leader. Much Later, the villain Cassandra Nova sent Sentinels to the island where they reduced the country to rubble, killing sixteen million mutants.
This would be an amazing thing to see on the big screen! I know we've seen so much of Magneto in the franchise, but it would be something totally new and fun to see him in the role of leader of a mutant nation! It would be really exciting to see the X-Men dissolve (maybe in Xavier's absence, or disappearance?) and several of them make their way to Genosha to live with mutants, and be free. We've already seen the Sentinels in Days of Future Past, and it would be epic to see them move in and destroy this country. How could this translate to film? Well one common thread in the Genosha story is that Magneto is not satisfied with just Genosha, and he knows mutants are still, throughout the world, being tortured and killed. Imagine seeing a beautiful mutant Utopia on screen! Awesome!
2. Young X-Men
These X-Men books had several breakout students who would become much larger characters, and who would have great potential on the big screen. Many had powers that had never been seen before, including: Surge, Hellion, Dust, Anole, Pixie, Mercury, Stepford Cuckoos, Armor and many more. For more info on some of them read this previous article.
Many of these characters had rich backstories, and great relationships with not only each other but also their X-Men leaders. Anole, specifically, would be a great character to introduce with his unique reptilian features and powers, but also because he could become one of the first homosexual superheroes to appear on the big screen. Another character, Dust, could be a great addition with her minority status as a Muslim who always wears her traditional niqab. It's time we make way for minorities in our superhero films!
3. Young X-Men Squads
For a brief time in the comics, the staff at Xavier's split the students into small squads to be trained in teams. It was a short-lived experiment, but it would be really fun to see as part of a Young X-Men film.
During their time on their individual squads the students competed against the other squads in competitions as well as their regular studies. This promoted much animosity and rivalry within the student body even outside their field days. I would love to see this translate the big screen, it would be pretty exciting to see established X-Men such as Colossus, Iceman, Rogue and Kitty training their student squads, and competing with each other. Plus who doesn't want to see these characters from the original trilogy return?
4. House of M/Decimation
Even though this story was possibly the best Avengers and X-Men crossover stories of all time, there's still great potential to adapt it to just an X-Men story!
After struggling to control her powers, and mind, the Scarlet Witch takes refuge in the destroyed city of Genosha with her father, Magento, and Xavier who is attempting to "heal" her mind, but they fail. Instead, the Witch re-aligns the entire world, and its history, to make mutants the dominant species on the planet. All of the X-Men and Avengers have their minds erased, and new memories implanted over their old lives. Each has been given everything they want in the Witch's hopes to satisfy them within this new world. The Witch has made her father and family rulers of the world, and several X-Men lead the mutant run S.H.I.E.L.D. However, as the heroes find out about their world they come together to attack Magneto and his castle. Instead the Scarlet Witch, distraught and angry that her friends still can't stop fighting, she utters the three famous words "No more mutants..." and the world goes back to the way it was before, but she's erased the x-gene from millions of mutants across the globe. The only reason some remain is because of Emma Frost's psychic barriers, and Doctor Strange's magics fighting against the Witch's.
During this "Decimation" many prominent mutant characters lost their powers with the majority of the globe including: Xavier, Magneto, Blob, Iceman, Polaris, Jubilee, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch herself. This was a very dark time in the X-Men's history as the humans who hated and feared them believed it was their best opportunity to move in and destroy the few hundred mutants that remained.
Even though this film is currently "in production" no cast, and no release date has been announced. It's unknown as to which mutants will appear, or which part of the timeline across the X-Men universe it will take place. Personally, I hope it takes place in the future we saw at the end of Days of Future Past where Wolverine woke up to find he's successfully saved the future, this is also the same point in the timeline which Deadpool takes place so he could anchor this team film.
There have been several incarnations of X-Force, and dozens of mutants that have been a part of the team. The ones that I'd especially love to see on screen are: Deadpool (already introduced), Cable (appearing in Deadpool 2), Bishop, Blink, Warpath (all appeared in Days of Future Past), Colossus (appeared in X2, The Last Stand, DOFP and Deadpool), and X-23 (hopefully appearing in the upcoming Wolverine 3, but teased at the end of Apocalypse). Other characters from the Young X-Men such as Elixir and Hellion would be excellent additions too.
Immediately following the House of M/Decimation stories when mutants became a minority it was an incredibly scary time to be a mutant. Many factions were hunting down anyone left with the x-gene in hopes of killing off the entire species. At this time Cyclops reorganized X-Force under leadership of Wolverine took this dark ops team to permanently deal with these threats in whatever way he deemed necessary.
6. Religious Purifiers
William Stryker is known to X-Men fans for his appearances in X2, Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse, where he was introduced as a military man who was responsible largely for the creation of the Weapon X program that gave birth to Wolverine. However, in the comics, Stryker is also well known for creating a group of Religious Purifiers who pride themselves on murdering mutants.
After the House of M/Decimation stories when very few mutants remained, the Purifiers saw it as an act of God and planned to carry out his will that all mutants would die. They successfully attacked the Xavier Institute and blew up a bus of forty-two children, most of which had been de-powered during M-Day. The Purifiers even used Sentinel technology to further their cause, making them extremely formidable.
If the House of M/Decimation and Young X-Men stories ever play out on screen, adding the Purifiers would create a unique enemy the X-Men need to defeat, not just another mutant or super villain, but the enemy of hatred and intolerance.
7. Messiah Complex
Out of all the X-Men story lines this is one of my very favorites because it brings so many of the beloved characters together and it really succeeds as an ensemble piece!
The Messiah Complex story comes several years after the House of M/Decimation where the mutants are still an endangered species. No new mutants have manifested since M-Day until one is born in Alaska with energy levels off the charts. Cyclops quickly rounds up several X-Men to investigate the child's birth, but when he arrives he instead finds a destroyed town, dead Religious Purifiers and Marauders, but no baby. (The Marauders are a team of mutant villains led by Mr Sinister, who was teased at the end of X-Men Apocalypse). The X-Men realize there will be a scramble to find this child and quickly take to action!
Cyclops creates a team of Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Angel and Nightcrawler to search for the Marauders, who also have captured a comatose Rogue. The Young X-Men decide to go after the Purifiers themselves as they're angered that not only these religious nuts are looking for the new child, but that their friends were killed by them after M-Day. Instead the Purifiers nearly kill several members of the Young X-Men and are only preserved because of a mole that Cyclops had placed among them, Rictor, who used to be a mutant before M-Day.
It is eventually revealed that Cable has the mutant baby, and he knew where to find her because of his time travelling. Cable rescues the baby and holds off all those who want to take her and turn her into a science experiment - including the X-Men who wish to learn why she has been born with powers when no others have. In the end everything comes to a climactic battle between the Purifiers, Sinister's Marauders, the X-Men, Young X-Men as well as a Weapon X monster that was created to hunt and devour mutants. It's pretty amazing how well it ties together, and it's an excellent read I highly recommend! Eventually Cyclops sees Cable's point of view, and Cable leaves the present to raise the girl somewhere out of time so that she will not be hunted.
Well there you have it! Seven amazing stories that would strongly add to the longest superhero franchise ever! Who wouldn't want to see the former student Iceman become a professor, or see a group of evil mutants led by Mr Sinister? Did I miss any of your favorite X-Men stories? Tell me in the comments!