Our own Rob Keyes has already envisioned a more likely scenario – one that could mesh the Lost X-Men mythos with the early history of the Hellfire Club’s inner circle. As told in the comics, the inner circle’s leader, powerful businessman Edward Buckman (possibly the role Ray Wise plays in the film?) and his partner Steven Lang (possibly Oliver Platt’s role in the film?) enact “Project Armageddon,” a program designed to destroy mutants (through the use of The Sentinels in the comics – not sure if that exact doomsday scenario would carry over to the film).
The X-Men ultimately defeated Project Armageddon; meanwhile, Inner Circle member Sebastian Shaw (a mutant himself) overthrew Buckman with help from allies like Emma Frost, and ultimately seized control of the Hellfire Club. Soon after breaking away from Xavier’s school, Magneto ousted Shaw as leader of the New York Hellfire Club and established himself as “The Grey King,” using the club as a base from which to raise his Brotherhood for the coming war against humans. Magneto was also responsible for sinking a Soviet sub armed with nuclear warheads (a sequence that is referenced in the First Class trailer).
See where we’re going with all this?
The “Project Armageddon” scenario is certainly evidenced by the not-so-subtle wording of the X-Men: First Class official synopsis, as well as by hints that both Kevin Bacon and January Jones have dropped about their respective roles in the film. It would also be a very practical approach, one that could allow Xavier, MacTaggert and Magneto to train a young team of X-Men for a mission – one that costs the lives of some of their students – while still allowing for the subplot of The Hellfire Club’s power grab, and even Magneto’s eventual takeover of the Club (as hinted at in the Russian trailer). I’m especially interested in the psychic action sequences Vaughn has described, which could be the same sort of psychic training Xavier gave the Lost X-Men in Brubaker’s Deadly Genesis miniseries.
Best of all: The Lost X-Men angle, and Xavier ultimately wiping that incident from memory, would also be the perfect hinge that connects X-Men: First Class to Bryan Singer’s X-Men – arguably even Wolverine – without a whole lot of continuity knots.
While the plot details of X-Men: First Class are still largely unknown, there are plenty of hints in the trailers and images suggesting that bits and pieces of established X-Men comic book cannon are being used for this film, and that the story is not the “bastardization” of the X-Men comics that a lot of fanboys have been claiming.
Are there liberties being taken? Certainly. In the comics Havok is Scott Summer’s younger brother, but Lucas Till’s character in the film would be much older than James Marsden’s Cyclops from Bryan Singer’s X-Men. But in the larger scheme of things would it really be a deal-breaker to make “the lost Summers brother” Havok instead of Kid Vulcan? I don’t think so.
Does the notion of X-Men: First Class drawing its story from the comics make you more open to the film? Or is it still too different from the source material for your liking?
X-Men: First Class will be in theaters on June 3rd.