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10 X-Men Comics That Would Make Perfect MCU Movies

CBR logo CBR 7/1/2022 Peter Cunis
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Ever since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019, thus regaining the rights to the X-Men for Marvel Studios, fans have been feverishly trying to guess how exactly the X-Men are going to be introduced into the MCU. It's not an easy task; mutants, in the world of the X-Men, are a well-known phenomenon, one that creates domestic and international controversy and that hugely affects day-to-day society.

Related: 10 Marvel Comics That Would Make Perfect MCU Movies (cbr.com)

​​​​​​​If mutants exist in the MCU, Marvel will need to explain why they have never been mentioned. This poses a problem for Marvel Studios, but thankfully, a number of storylines from the comic books offer ways for the X-Men to finally enter the universe.

Start With Academy X

The team from New X-Men: Academy X (2004) actually went through several runs with different titles and different creative teams, starting out as a New Mutants, spinning off into New X-Men, and then Young X-Men. A few core players remain consistent, though: Elixir, Surge, Prodigy, Dust, and their rivals, the Hellions. It's an uneven run of comics, but the strongest moments still land, and some deep-cut X-Men favorites are introduced.

One of the best Academy X stories comes after House of M when Wanda Maximoff depowered most of the world's mutants. Some of the teens grapple with suddenly losing their mutanthood, while others have to adjust to their smaller team. The MCU could adapt this into a similar storyline where an Academy X roster suddenly realizes that -- like Peter Parker -- the world has completely forgotten they exist.

The Mutant Massacre Brings Them Out Of The Shadows

The Mutant Massacre focuses on the Morlocks, a tribe of mutants who live secretly in the New York sewers. In this storyline, a team of mercenaries called the Marauders raids the sewers, killing off many of the Morlocks and forcing the X-Men, X-Factor, Thor, and Power Pack to come to the rescue.

Related: 10 Marvel Characters From The Comics Who Probably Won't Be In The MCU

Maybe the simplest possible explanation for why mutants haven't appeared in the MCU is that they have been in hiding. An event like the Mutant Massacre might force them out of the sewers and put them in contact with the Avengers.

Expand The Mutant World With E Is For Extinction

E is for Extinction begins with Xavier revealing his mutant nature and the truth about his school to the world. Meanwhile, Xavier's long-lost evil sister, Cassandra Nova, reactivates a dormant Sentinel factory and uses her newfound robot army to destroy the mutant haven of Genosha.

Genosha's existence in the MCU could be an explanation for the absence of mutants up until this point. If Genosha is as secretive as Wakanda, mutants could have been living there for decades without detection. Cassandra Nova's invasion would end this era of secrecy and put the mutants back in mainstream society.

Go Back To School With First Class

Not to be confused with the film X-Men: First Class, the comic First Class re-tells the story of the X-Men's first team, putting Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Angel in a modern setting and giving Jean a bigger role.

If mutants are a new phenomenon in the MCU, having Professor X find five of them and recruit them to his school could be a momentous event. Getting to see the first time somebody has tried uniting these unusual individuals and giving them an identity would make for a great X-Men debut.

Let Mutants Go Public Through X-Factor

The original 1986 X-Factor title was a way for Marvel to re-team the original five X-Men, who had been disbanded since 1975. This reunion required Marvel to resurrect Jean Grey, a move that famously infuriated Chris Claremont who had killed Jean off in The Dark Phoenix Saga, one of his best stories.

Related: X-Factor: 10 Essential Storylines From Each Roster

X-Factor hit its stride once Louise Simonson took over as writer, and it became a popular staple of the X-books. Unlike the X-Men, the X-Factor team engages with the public. Most versions of the team exist to boost PR and demonstrate mutants' value to society. Maybe the MCU just needs a mutant team that is in the public eye.

Go To Genosha With The X-Tinction Agenda

X-Tinction Agenda is one of the most important Genosha storylines, and it features one of the X-Men's best villains: the murderous cyborg Cameron Hodge. Genosha, at this point in continuity, was an island nation that forced all mutant inhabitants into slavery. The story follows the X-Men on a quest to save their enslaved friends and topple the Genoshan government.

The idea of a wealthy nation that is secretly reliant on mutant slavery -- an evil counterpart to the once-secretive nation of Wakanda -- is a compelling setup for a superhero story, and it creates an antagonist that Professor X has to form a team to combat.

Adapt A Classic with Giant-Size X-Men #1

Giant-Size X-Men #1 is a turning point in X-Men history. It begins with a series of memorable introductions to mutants who would become indispensable members of the X-Men, including Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and more. In the first act of the comic, Professor X travels the globe and forms an international team whose purpose is to rescue the original X-Men from the living island of Krakoa.

Following Professor X as he goes from country to country finding persecuted mutants would make for an exciting film with a wide range of locales, like a Seven Samurai with superpowers. The geographic disparity of mutants would also explain their lack of presence in the MCU.

Make An MCU Prequel That Changes With The House Of M

In one of the most significant Scarlet Witch stories, Wanda changes reality into one in which Magneto rules the world. But, like in Wandavision, things come crashing down and Wanda has to end the fake reality. With the words "No more mutants," Wanda takes away the powers of every mutant on the planet (except, conveniently enough, most of the ones who were popular with comics readers).

For the MCU, the story could take place in an alternate timeline, the "original" timeline before Wanda erased mutants from the world. The end of the story could once again conclude with "No more mutants" and also remove all memory that mutants ever existed. This could create the timeline that the MCU films have taken place in up until this point, explaining why nobody ever talks about mutants while creating a possibility for them to return (perhaps with the help of Layla Miller).

Get Cable Involved With The Messiah Complex

X-Men: Messiah Complex took place at the climax of the Decimation, the period that followed Scarlet Witch's spell that removed mutant powers from existence. Taking some inspiration from Children of Men, the story is about Cable recovering the first baby born since the start of the Decimation, and his fight to protect it from the different factions seeking to recover it for their own purposes, including the X-Men and the Marauders.

Related: X-Men: The 5 Best Alternate Timelines (& The 5 Worst)

A spell that removed mutant powers from existence would help explain why there are no mutants in the MCU, and Cable's time-travel capabilities open the possibility of multiple timelines and universes, which could in turn give Marvel an opportunity to bring mutants to the main MCU. Messiah Complex is also a compelling story on its own, and it works as a primer for the different groups and ideologies that make up the world of the X-Men.

Start Fresh With House of X/Powers of X

Jonathan Hickman's House of X/Powers of X was, in 2019, the biggest shakeup the X-Men line had seen in years. To summarize, Professor X and Magneto have had enough of trying to get human society to accept mutants, so they found a new nation on the island of Krakoa where mutants can live freely.

The key to this plan is Moira McTaggert, who turns out to be a mutant. Her power is that the moment she dies, the entire timeline around her resets back to the moment of her birth. A timeline reset like this could retcon the X-Men into the MCU; just say everything played out exactly as it did before, but this time with the X-Men in the mix.

Next: 10 X-Men Who Should Join The Avengers Instead

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