With the X-Men intellectual properties now officially “unofficially” owned by the house of mouse, fans are excited to see their favorite mutants get the MCU treatment. There are currently no details about what characters and stories will be seen, but given that Marvel has had great success translating some of the more popular stories to the big screen, we are optimistic of the X-Men getting the same treatment. Hoping that we get more Logan and less The Last Stand, here are ten storylines in X-Men canon we’d like to see in the MCU.
Let’s start with a wild one. The X-Men head to Dallas in search of a de-powered Storm, last seen there. Upon arrival, they encounter Freedom Force, and a battle begins. However, once it begins snowing (in the middle of summer) and cavemen, demons, and other strange creatures begin appearing, the two teams realize something serious is going on, and decide to put aside their differences for the moment. It turns out that during his stint in the Vietnam War, Forge had used his shaman powers to summon a demon to avenge his fallen comrades. However, in his naivety, he didn’t realize that the spell required the souls of his nine comrades, and unleashed a horde of demons he had no way to control, including the Adversary, the creature responsible for the chaos they now found themselves in – and it demands a sacrifice.
In one of the most iconic X-Men crossovers ever, the mutants venture into the sewers below Manhattan to save the Morlocks from extermination. Unlike many superhero epics, they weren’t entirely successful. “Mutant Massacre” is one of the more violent X-Men tales, with plenty of innocents falling victim to Sinister’s Morlocks and even an X-Men being maimed in battle. Several other Marvel heroes were dragged into the battle, including Daredevil and Thor.
The previous story “Messiah Complex” ended with Professor Xavier being shot in the head and mysteriously vanishing. This paved the way for X-Men Legacy, a significant revamp of the long-running X-Men series. Xavier was placed at the forefront of the book as the former head of the X-Men sought to rebuild his shattered memories and atone for the many questionable deeds he committed. The first arc, “Divided He Stands,” was easily the highlight of this run. Xavier was molded into a more sympathetic and conflicted figure. The series also made excellent use of X-Men history, providing numerous flashbacks rendered by a variety of top artists.
“Return of the King” finds the young mutants still reeling from their recent fight against the Ultimates. Meanwhile, Magneto’s minions are robbing museums and stockpiling priceless artifacts in preparation for total world annihilation. The stakes were high, and this was the point where the team finally came together and fought like the X-Men readers knew and loved. This fanatical, slightly unhinged Magneto was also a pleasure to read in his contrast to the classic interpretation of the villain.
In a grounded, noir-flavored take on the series, “The Longest Night” served as a fantastic introduction to this quirky bunch, from the slightly neurotic Jamie Madrox to the “I can out-bitch Emma Frost” Monet to the mysterious and all-knowing Layla Miller. The series continues on in fine form even today, though artistic shake-ups often plague the series. But that’s partly why we remember this opening arc so fondly.
The image of Wolverine writhing in pain and fighting off a Brood infection remains one of the most disturbing in the history of Uncanny X-Men. The Brood were morphed into a much darker and more sinister threat in this storyline as they set their sights squarely on Earth. And as Wolverine’s struggle suggests, they were very nearly successful in their goal. Broodfall set the standard for all “X-Men vs. monsters” storylines that have come since, with plenty of carnage, action, and a healthy dose of character drama.
The elements introduced in “Gifted” are pure X-Men, such as the introduction of the cure, and Joss Whedon plays up the characters personalities perfectly. In retrospect, after having read his entire run, you really see the beauty into how he sets up the many plotlines that come together in the end, still while leaving them subtle as to not have the story feel to heavy. Definitely one of the best X-Men stories.
A crossover may be the best way to introduce the X-Men into the greater MCU and this story would be a great way to do it. One of the first major event books of the modern era, this crossover teamed the X-Men and the Avengers as they struggled to deal with an out-of-control Scarlet Witch and her less than helpful family members. Their efforts led to an alternate reality where mutants were the dominant race and Magneto’s family reigned supreme. But just as quickly as it began, this world started to crumble, and the end result was one of the most devastating days in the history of the mutant race. Many alternate universe stories lack any sort of lasting impact on the characters in question. This is hardly a problem with House of M. The fallout of “no more mutants” continues to drive many of the X-books and ensures that life for mutants is more dangerous than ever.
Another possible crossover event is “The Asgardian Wars”. Loki’s latest scheme eventually drags the X-Men into Asgard itself, where, among other things, Storm found herself revered as a thunder goddess and Wolfsbane struck up a fateful relationship with a certain wolf prince. The Asgardian Wars isn’t as “important” as many of the crossovers on this list. However, it crackles with energy and imagination and remains an accessible gem from later in Claremont’s long X-Men run.
Magneto’s origin story hasn’t exactly been a mystery to readers, but “Magneto: Testament” proved that readers didn’t know the full story. This mini-series took a closer look at the young mutant’s life in Nazi Germany. Fans learned his true name – Max Eisenhardt. They met his family. They saw the first hints of romance bloom between Max and his future wife, Magda. But above all, they saw the terrible ordeals that shaped an innocent boy into a charismatic and terrible champion for mutant rights. Max’s powers barely factor into the story. Instead, Greg Pak paints a gripping picture of life in the Jewish ghettos and Auschwitz. Artist Carmine di Giandomenico is equally adept at rendering this haunted and painful world. The story is so captivating and heartbreaking that no reader can fail to understand the fury that drives the greatest of Marvel’s villains.