X-Men: Apocalypse is only coming out in theaters this week, but people are already getting excited for the sequel! Now that the best-known roster of mutants has made their way onto the big screen, comic book fans are hoping that the franchise can start to leave behind the world-building and backstory, and start to explore some of the storylines that we know and love.

Bryan Singer, who directed X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Days of Future Past (as well as several films from the franchise before the soft reboot), is also looking forward to the Apocalypse sequel. In an interview with Fandango earlier this month, the director talked about what we will see next, including a ‘90s setting and the possibility of seeing the X-men explore outer space! Aliens and interstellar travel are common elements from the books, and we cannot wait to see that translate to the big screen.

Ahead of the sequel, we rounded up 12 Cosmic X-Men Stories The Sequel To Apocalypse Should Explore.

12. Guardians of the Galaxy

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Admittedly, this one is highly unlikely, due to the fact that Marvel/Disney currently owns the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Fox owns the X-Men. Still, it would be pretty amazing to see the X-Men meet up with Peter Quill and the gang in outer space – not only are the Guardians an amazing team (and their movie was a huge hit), but a team up movie would be a nice change of pace.

In general, the next time the X-Men go up against a villain, seeing them co-operating with another team (and potentially struggling to do so) would be something truly different. On top of which, we just want to see as much of Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Drax, and Gamora as we can!

11. The Badoon (Or Another Lesser Known Alien Race)

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There are many, many different alien species in the Marvel universe, and while the X-Men primarily deal with the Shi’ar, they have met others along the way as well. The Badoon, for example, are a reptilian alien species divided by gender into the Brotherhood of Badoon and the Sisterhood of Badoon. Although they have gone up against the Silver Surfer more than the X-Men, they could be an interesting intro into the world of Marvel’s aliens, without requiring the kind of complex back-story that a deep dive into Shi’ar or Kree storylines might entail.

The Chitarui would be another option, although they are already a part of the MCU, which would make the practicalities of an appearance with the X-Men difficult. In general, any alien species could appear as an outer-space foe for the team, bringing them into outer space while leaving plenty of room for new storylines.

10. Mojo

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Mojo isn’t just from another planet… he’s from another dimension! Mojoworld is an extra-dimensional realm, bombarded with TV and radio signals and home to the Spineless Ones. Mojo is one of these beings, who is obsessed with television and has repeatedly captured Marvel characters, forcing them to take part in “shows” of his own devising.

At one point, he took Betsy Braddock prisoner – gave her bionic eyes after her sight was lost, and named her Psylocke. She became the star of a “show” titled Wildways, before being rescued by Warlock and Cypher. It was then that Psylocke joined the X-Men, staying at Xavier’s school to learn how to control her powers. With Psylocke now a part of the X-Men movie universe, we could potentially see her come up against Mojo in this way, although it would mean re-writing her history to place this story arc after her body-swap.

9. Magneto and Asteroid M

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Asteroid M is an asteroid in orbit around the Earth, serving as outer-space lair to Magneto. Primarily composed of various metals, the asteroid can be affected by Magneto’s powers, and has been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions. At times, he has lived on the asteroid, using it as a base of operations. He has even attempted to make Asteroid M a mutant-friendly nation, based on his long-held fears that the rest of humankind would rise up against the mutant race.

The asteroid is equipped with weaponry, including Russian missiles, in order to help protect it against his enemies (although this doesn’t always work, given the number of times that the asteroid has been destroyed. Although Asteroid M is now fallen to Earth and reclaimed by the X-Men in the comics, it would be a great way to move the films into outer space without having to introduce alien races just yet.

8. Free Charley

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From the early ‘90s, this particular storyline would take a lot of backstory to make sense to a casual viewer of the films. In it, Professor X has been captured, and the X-Men set off to save their mentor. On their adventures, they meet what appear to be the Starjammers, but are actually a group of Warskrulls. They battle Deathbird and the Imperial Guard of the Shi’ar, as well as the Warskrulls (once they are revealed as the enemy).

It’s a fantastic story, and Jubilee’s wisecracks are one of the best parts… but there is probably just a little too much backstory to bring this in right away. Not only do we have to meet the Starjammers, but the Shi’ar, the Skrulls (and the warskrulls – a sub-species of shapeshifting mimics) and Deathbird and Lilandra. It’s a lot to do all at once, but this would be a fantastic story arc to revisit in future.

7. Starjammers

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The Starjammers are usually described as “space pirates” and if that doesn’t make you want to see them on the big screen, nothing will! Christopher Summers, aka Corsair (Cyclops, Havok and Vulcan’s father) was a pilot, kidnapped by the Shi’ar along with his wife. Although imprisoned and despairing after his wife is killed, he and a few of his fellow prisoners were able to overpower their guards and escape. They stole a ship and became pirates, attacking the empire in revenge for their imprisonment.

Later, Corsair’s son, Havok, took over as the leader of the Starjammers, continuing to fight the Shi’ar Empire. As well as being a lot of fun to watch, the adventures of the Starjammers take place almost entirely in space, which would allow for them to become more of an X-Men spin off franchise, rather than remaining fully integrated with the main storyline. Havok also already exists within the X-men universe, and could be a perfect candidate for leadership of this new team.

6. The Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire

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Although Scott (Cyclops) and Alex (Havok) are the two better-known Summers brothers, there is a third – Gabriel (Vulcan). Raised from birth as a slave to the Shi’ar, he returned to Earth as an adult mutant, and was trained to use his powers as part of a team led by Moira McTaggart. All was going well, until his team was sent up against an island that was actually a sentient being. The island (Krakoa) consumed Vulcan’s team, including Vulcan himself (who managed to survive within the island).

After their loss, Professor X wiped the memories of the rest of the X-Men, a decision that drove Vulcan to fury. He murdered Banshee, and took to space to seek revenge against the Shi’ar – leading the X-Men to follow. Although he was originally out for revenge, Vulcan fell in love with Deathbird, and became Emperor at her side. This could make for an interesting introduction to the Shi’ar on the big screen, as well as connecting to Havok and Cyclops, who are already part of the X-Men universe.

5. The Brood Saga

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The X-Men have met many alien races, but the Brood are definitely one of the creepiest! Resembling nothing so much as a race of giant insects, the Brood live like typical colony insects with a Queen ruling each colony. They also require hosts in order to reproduce – they lay their eggs inside the hosts until they hatch… which is enough to give anyone nightmares!

They encountered the X-Men when a renegade Shi’ar named Deathbird brokered a deal with a colony – in return for their help in becoming the ruler of an empire, Deathbird “gave” the Brood her enemies (including the X-Men) to use as hosts. At first the Brood succeeded, but Wolverine was a bad choice as a host. His healing factor allowed him to expunge the embryo he was carrying and free the rest of the team. However, their battle with the Brood wasn’t over yet, as some of the Brood came to Earth – only the X-Men could stop them enslaving the human race to use as hosts.

4. The Phalanx Covenant

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If you are a Star Trek fan, the Phalanx may seem a little familiar to you, as they bear a striking resemblance to the Borg. A hive-mind of techno-organic beings, the Phalanx spreads through a planet by means of a virus that turns those infected into part of the Phalanx Collective.

Mutants, however, are immune to the virus due to their unique genetic material. When the X-Men went up against the Phalanx, it was the result of a group of anti-mutant humans, afraid that mutants would take over the human race (a common theme in the X-Men stories). They willingly infected themselves and joined the Phalanx in order to get an edge over the mutants… and quickly realized the problem with that plan! When the X-Men discover that newer mutants are being targeted by the Phalanx, it’s up to the old guard to try and save the planet from being drained by the Collective.

3. Breakworld

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Breakworld is a planet of warriors, ruled over by Powerlord Krunn. The planet believes in a prophecy: that they would one day be destroyed by a mutant from planet Earth. When it is revealed that this mutant is none other than the X-Men’s Colossus, the inhabitants of Breakworld build a missile capable of destroying their entire planet in order to try and save themselves.

Colossus, Kitty and the rest of the X-Men travel to Breakworld in order to try and stop this from happening, and uncover a complicated plot for power within the factions of the planet. Not only does this take us to an entirely new planet, but it involves existing characters, and the tragic death of one of the best-loved X-Men, Kitty Pryde. Shadowcat, after making things right with Colossus, dies saving the Earth from the Breakworld missile (which is actually a planet-sized bullet).

2. The Pheonix Saga/M’kraan crystal

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This is, without a doubt, the most likely direction for the X-Men. When Jean Grey is on a mission with the X-Men to a space station, their craft is damaged, and Jean (in an attempt to bring the team home safely) absorbs enough radiation to nearly kill her. A telepathic cry for help sees her saved by the Phoenix Force, and she becomes the Phoenix in the process.

In this form, Jean Grey goes on several missions with the teams, including one to the Shi’ar Empire, to stop the emperor D’Ken from using the M’kraan crystal for personal gain. Within the crystal, the Phoenix was able to heal a breach in its shield, saving the universe. As well as being one of the best-loved story arcs for the X-men, it would bring the focus onto the new team members introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse, especially Jean Grey.  This is also an excellent introduction to the Shi’ar Empire for casual viewers.

1. Dark Pheonix

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The other most likely arc, this is one that we saw some of already in X-Men: The Last Stand, and could also appear as a follow up to a film adaptation of The Phoenix Saga. Here, the Phoenix Force that had done so much good has become too much for its human host. Jean Grey goes rogue, becoming the Dark Phoenix and massacring an entire solar system.

The Shi’ar, believing that Jean has become too powerful to be controlled, seek to kill her. The X-Men, meanwhile, are desperate to bring Jean back and will go up against the Shi’ar to do it. It’s an epic end to one of the best story arcs in the X-men universe, and one that could translate perfectly to the big screen. Most believe that this is where Fox will take the X-Men, but we will just have to wait and see if that is the case.

What other cosmic X-Men stories could be turned into movies? Let us know in the comments!