31 May 2016

Mutants for Days! Filling X-Movies for Generations to Come

It's been a big year for X-Men movies, and this weekend saw the release of the highly anticipated yet coldly received Apocalypse (2016), which is a true crossroads for the franchise. Not only is it essentially the culmination of the trilogy begun with First Class (2011), but it also seems apparent that this will be the last go around for some of the stars that weren't such huge stars when it started. It's somewhat insane that despite its expansive cast of characters, we've zeroed in on Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique for the better part of eight movies, the only real exception being Deadpool (2016) for some reason.

That being said, we'd be in good shape to move forward not just focusing on the "new" characters of Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Nightcrawler introduced in Apocalypse, but on the ridiculous number of mutants we somehow haven't seen yet. Now, admittedly, these get a little rough. Not as rough as this, because there are thousands of terrible obscure mutants, but here are some of the more blatant bigger names we haven't approached yet:

Cable, Domino, and Other Shitty X-Force Mutants
X-Force is really just X-men with guns

This will supposedly be addressed in Deadpool 2 (2018), and the names tossed around like Stephen Lang, Dolph Lundgren, Ron Pearlman, or Keira Knightly are all spectacular choices. It's an even better choice to slot Cable into Deadpool, which will likely eschew an origin story, because that could take up a whole damn movie and waste a lot of fun time. Domino is probably the other biggest name mutant attached to the Deadpool mythos, and after also being played by Keira Knightly, ought to find herself on the big screen.

Outside of that, there's a slew of shitty X-Force Mutant that are super-90s like Shatterstar, Rictor, Boom Boom, and Cannoball that deserve background moments or just fights like Days of Future Past (2014) did. Some of these are really weird. Shatterstar is like, an interdimensional clone from the future. Why is that necessary in a comic about mutants?


We shouldn't doubt the influence of the 1990s Fox Kids X-Men cartoon on our public consciousness and canonization of the core X-Man team. There's a reason why we all know Jubilee more than Psylocke. Iceman seemed to never make show appearances, either, but as an original X-man that's well-regarded as the most powerful cryokinesis user, he's well-regarded in our memory.

The same can't be said for Sunfire. No one seems as interested in a Human Torch vs. Firefly vs. Pyro vs. Sunfire bout. I'll suggest it's his super-doofy squidface mask, and despite the phenomenal Age of Apocalypse re-design that never really stuck afterwards. His powers were mimicked by Sunspot in Days of Future Past, and even though his backstory is full of intrigue, I can't see him in any near future installments.

Mr. Sinister

His powers have been a mystery for 30 years
I never thought I'd see Apocalypse on the big screen, but I feel the same about Mr. Sinister right now. He's "too weird," "too campy," or "too obscure." He's certainly the kind of guy who you could center a film around, especially now that Apocalypse has been introduced into the cinematic world. Have a flashback to the 1800s geneticist's transformation into he insane Mr. Sinister and we're right there. Ultimately at this point though, he'd totally feel like a step down in terms of threat level. There's nothing really wrong with telling a smaller story, though, especially when you're leaning on Tye Sheridan's Cyclops going forward. Let's see him shoot some concussive blasts in the sewers and figure out his life. It'll be more fun than a barrel of Morlocks.


The worst thing about Sauron is that from then on, we'd refer to the big bad in The Lord of the Rings as "SOAR-on." He's also a giant pteranodon, which both has shades of this and the general insane baggage that the Savage Land brings. If we're really comic book-ifying everything, though, you can't get much campier than Ka-Zar and the Savage Land. I say go all in. Deadpool showed what staying true to comic goofiness can do. We really lack the insane mind-blowing super science stories in movies these days. Of course there's a line between knowing irony, meta-genre work and pure camp. Right? Who knows where that line is. It's Sauron turning the people of the Savage Land into Dinosaurs. Wait...that actually was the plot of Amazing Spider-Man (2012), right? Fuck me! Let's scratch that.


It's kind of weird that the X-Men movies have showcased nearly the entire Brotherhood, although they've never really managed to have everyone on screen at once. From Toad in X-Men (2000) to Pyro featuring prominently in The Last Stand (2006), and of course the other mutants popping up in weird places like the Blob in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), and Quicksilver bypassing his villainous past and going straight to the X-Men. Mystique has been everywhere. There's other weird Brotherhood of Evil Mutants characters like Destiny, Phantazia, and Mastermind (who I'd contend was a solid inspiration for William Stryker's son, Jason in X2 [2003, even though there is a basis for that character, his powers are super Mastermind-ish]). Throughout all of this, Avalanche is conspicuously absent. I always saw him with Blob and Pyro as a trio of BFFs, but the live action pretty much ignores him. He'd be a fantastic addition visually and could surely pad out any team of evildoer. He's surely more crony than big bad, but there's plenty of space for that.


Rumours of Taylor Swift appearing as Dazzler in Apocalypse were too good to be true. Relegated to an Easter Egg is fair, but why not implement one of the more bizarre product placements of all time? Originally a cross-promotional effort by Casablanca Records and Marvel comics, she somehow became the greatest rocker / superhero / whatever in the X-Men universe. Sliding her into Apocaylpse would have worked best since she's one of the most 80s Creations of all time, but there's still room for her to pop up elsewhere. Every generation has shitty music with bad weird stage light effects, and she could fit in wherever. I mean, Rebecca Black, Zendaya, Carly Rae Jepsen, Dazzler! Right? Only one of those is actually a great teen bob sensation. It's Dazzler!

Gladiator, Lilandra, and Other Shitty Space Mutants

There is some indication that the series wants to move into the 90s with a cosmological bent, which would make sense, since the X-Franchise seems to straddle the line between innovating in the superhero genre (period films, crossover films) and aping similar styles, with the possible advantage of needing only one series of films to bring together (internal hero wars, Big centralizing villains). As DC tried and failed to go cosmic with Green Lantern (2011), and Marvel was much more successful with Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), could X-Men do the same with Gladiator, the Starjammers, and all that other crap? There's certainly enough material out there to make a nutty space film, although they ought to use some caution in its construction.

I don't think a detached, ironic, Guardians-esque approach would be appropriate. A Green Lantern-style film that slams too much insane jargon is forced into a movie isn't a great situation either. An X-Men movie that implements a space opera starring an established set of mutants playing across the galaxy could be a fantastic idea if done right. Gladiator's not only a powerhouse mohawk'd Superman to put on film but Lilandra has the most bizarre hair ever and a weird Professor X relationship that would make an incredible yet really weird film.

Puck, Guardian, and Other Shitty Alpha Flight Members

Alpha Flight might be a stretch, but at least Puck and Guardian ought to make an appearance somewhere. Not only is Puck just about the only little person superhero ever, but Northstar is also one of the very few openly gay superheroes. These are all great opportunities to expand the variety of superheroes on screen beyond angsty white dudes, which is a nice shift. There's almost no way to do this without showcasing Wolverine again as the big connector, though, which is an awkward obstacle.

Chamber, and Other Shitty Generation X Mutants

He'll never taste bacon again!
Supposedly the New Mutants are evolving into a film of their own, and most of them are pretty forgettable, even though the eventually evolved into X-Force. A generation later, Generation X came up with a ton of young weirdos figuring out their powers, which included some great potential on-screen mutants like M and Husk, but I've always liked Chamber. He'd be quite the pain in the ass to put on screen, but that initial chest explosion would be a pretty sweet into to any film you could come up with.

Polaris, Strong Guy, and Other Shitty X-Factor Mutants

You may kind of get the point by now...there are plenty of teams that haven't really been fully exploited yet. The 90s incarnation of X-Factor has already seen Havok and Multiple man appear on screen, but padding it out with Strong Guy, Polaris, and Wolfsbane would be worth it. Out of that crop, Polaris is probably the most developed character, although her Magneto-like powers may prevent her from getting on screen until the film series finally gets away from the Metal Master. Strong Guy would be another real weird one of they went comic accurate, but considering how scared they are of featuring super-strong heroes, he could have a purpose.

Longshot, Mojo, and that Crap.

Ironically, the exact opposite of Austin Powers.
The last biggest gap is Mojo and the completely insane Mojoverse. This would really be the biggest stretch possible, and something I never really see happening. It's not like Mojo was ever a fan favourite. Apocalypse or Psylocke or Quicksilver finally appearing on screen inspires a lot of excitement and curiosity. Mojo does not reach those same levels of instant interest. It would be a much harder sell, especially with out serious the franchise is outside of Deadpool. Mojo is certainly a step in that Deadpool-like direction, and that film would be an extreme commitment to insanity in a completely goofy way. The benefit is Longshot, who could be played with aplomb by any young up and coming actor with plenty of room for some innovative action scenes. His power is luck, after all - what's better for film convenience?!

Honourable Mentions: There is a lot more to go through. There's a more recent wave of mutants including Dust, Elixir, and Rockslide. I've never really been into Morph, Magik, Mimic, or Madelyne Pryor, but those are all possibilities. Pryor would bleed into Selena, Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club, which was all touched on in First Class. The other big side is straight Wolverine-specific enemies like Omega Red and Daken, which you could even combine with X-23 to make a full movie, although Hollywood tends to make him mentor other random young heroines in training. I suppose we have Wolverine 3 (2017) to possibly run this last bit, but who knows.

There are also some really terrible villains, from Unis, to Vanisher, to the Shadow King, Garokk, oh, it's all pretty bad. And you wonder why the movies keep repeating Magneto...

So what do you think? What did we miss?


  1. Is it wrong that I want to see a Rogue in full blown 1990s amazon mode flying around in a green and yellow outfit and punching evil mutants into the next county?

    If it is, than I don't care if I'm wrong, I want it to happen! :)

  2. I'd argue that the first X-Men actually did Rogue right. That Ms. Marvel cop-out always seemed like a way to give her more traditional powers that would be easier to use in a fight rather than her running around absorbing people. But the latter can lead to more clever storytelling.

    Of course, X-Men could use a flying brick and that would be fun as hell lol


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