Is ‘X-Men: First Class’ Closer to The Comic Books Than Fans Think?

Published 3 years ago by , Updated April 13th, 2011 at 7:04 am,

x men first class trailer Is X Men: First Class Closer to The Comic Books Than Fans Think?

Ever since the first details of X-Men: First Class started hitting the Net, fans have either been wary or downright upset about the film, claiming that it is presenting the origins of the X-Men in a manner that is seemingly dismissive of the continuity established in X-Men comic books, or even the X-Men movie trilogy.

While the X-Men: First Class trailer and recent Russian trailer have both served to sway some fans over to the possibility that First Class may in fact turn out to be a good film (against all odds), there is still a substantial amount of concern about the movie’s plot, and how seemingly different it is.

Yesterday I was writing an article questioning whether or not Hollywood should cater to the fan community when it comes to superhero movies, and in that process, I found myself focusing on the case of X-Men: First Class in some detail. As I dug into the topic, one question quickly emerged: Is the plot of X-Men: First Class as far removed from the comics as some fans seem to think it is?

In case you aren’t yet aware, here’s complete breakdown of which actors are playing which roles in X-Men: First Class. Click on any name for more info on the character:

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We know that this First Class movie has been described by director Matthew Vaughn as a quasi-reboot of the X-Men franchise – one whose center would be the relationship between Charles Xavier and Erik “Magneto” Lehnsherr and how a rift formed between the two men, leading to the warring factions of Magneto’s brotherhood and Xavier’s X-Men. In the film, Magneto is seemingly a part of Xavier’s school, teaching young mutants to master their powers. This is, of course, also part of X-Men comic book canon. In fact, Magneto was the first headmaster of Jr. X-Men squad The New Mutants, until the loss of several team members and continuous conflict ultimately turned him away from Xavier’s school and pacifist ideals.

x men first class professor x and magneto Is X Men: First Class Closer to The Comic Books Than Fans Think?

Frenemies Xavier and Magneto

There are hints that X-Men: First Classhistory-meets-comic-books storyline is also drawing from Ed Brubaker’s miniseries X-Men: Deadly Genesis, which retconned the classic story told in Giant-Size X-Men #1, the issue that brought fan-favorites like Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus into the X-Men fold. In that story, the first class of X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, Angel) were sent to investigate and island called Krakoa; however, upon arriving there, they are ambushed and captured. Only Cyclops escapes, but seemingly has no memory of his ordeal. He and Professor X recruit new X-Men (Wolverine, Storm and others) to save the captured team members. On the return trip, they discover the island is in fact alive, having gained sentient life as a result of Cold War A-bomb tests in the area. Krakoa is beaten, and the combined team of X-Men is formed.

X-Men: Deadly Genesis “re-imagined” the X-Men’s Krakoa mission by introducing the story of the “Lost X-Men,” a team of mutants tutored by Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne in the film) and psychically trained by professor Xavier. The Lost X-Men’s first mission was to rescue the original X-Men from Krakoa, but the team was only able to save Cyclops and seemingly perished in the line of duty. This “Lost X-Men” team included Darwin (Edi Gathegi), an elemental-powered X-Man (Riptide (Alex Conzalez) instead of Petra) and a new Summers brother (a re-imagined Havok (Lucas Till) instead of “lost” Summers brother, Kid Vulcan).

Brubaker’s “Deadly Genesis” story even features a young Emma Frost graduating from stripper to queen of the Hellfire Club; she was approached to join the Lost X-Men, but turned the offer down. Ultimately, the demise of these Lost X-Men proved too traumatic, and Professor X used his power to wipe the memory of the encounter from the minds of those involved.

X Men Deadly Genesis Is X Men: First Class Closer to The Comic Books Than Fans Think?

The Lost X-Men

Clearly there is room to suggest that the inclusion of characters like Darwin, Riptide – and to a certain extent, Havok – could be First Class‘ tweaked version of the Lost X-Men team. Having a roster of essentially expendable characters would also negate the problem of why the old X-Men in Vaughn’s film would have little influence on the newer X-Men presented in Bryan Singer’s films: Hard for the old class to influence the new class if most of the old class is dead…

It would be especially interesting to see Xavier and Magneto try to lead a young generation of X-Men, only to have the children meet a grisly fate trying to play hero – a trauma which would potentially cause Magneto to split from Xavier (like in New Mutants). Will that mission be to stop (or save) Krakoa, the mutant island? Judging by some early set photos it’s possible…but all the same, it’s unlikely that this film would go so far as to feature a living island as the villain. (Unlikely, not impossible.)

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How the Hellfire Club factors into this…

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TAGS: x-men, x-men: first class

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  1. I gathered the same conclusion. It’s why I’m going to give it a chance. Vaughn is passionate in making a good X-Men picture.

  2. Vaughn > Singer

    • Vince Vaughn > Swingers

  3. Hmm ill admit you mustof done some major research. didnt even know about this storyline ill check it out though then pnder and com up with an argument…. just kidding about that last part. but im sure everyone eles here will haha

  4. Kofi and Rob, This potential story synopsis is great! Sounds like you’re describing an entire trilogy instead of one movie. Submit your script to Fox! I want to see their movie more than ever. But I would also see your movie too. Keep up the good work!

  5. Why are people trying to say that “First Class” isn’t taking liberties with the comic book X-Men continuity? All of the X-Men movies have taken extreme liberties with some success (of course I’m not counting the last 20 brain-numbing minutes of “X-Men Origins”. Ruined a decent flick w/ the adamantium bullets garbage. Shoot him in the eye or ear w/ regular bullets for God’s sake if it’s about brain damage). That’s what Hollywood does. The X-Men comics that started in the ’60′s & continue to this day is THE continuum, not these “re-imagined” comics that came out in the ’80′s & ’90′s when Marvel was pimping Wolverine & The Punisher hard. With all that said, I loved the 1st two X-Men flicks, enjoyed the 3rd & really liked that Wolverine origin movie up until the “unbreakable bullets beats unbreakable skull” ending & “Fist Class” looks like it may be really good.

    • What? The movies are the “re-imagined” versions, not the other way around.

      Personally I can’t say I enjoyed any X-Men movie besides X2: X-Men United, after that they just totally derailed from Marvel Comics roots and made there horrible adaption.

  6. They might be following the story to some extent, but they aren’t exactly getting anything right besides the soon to be rivalry between Xavier and Magneto (as far as I can tell from the trailers).

    Mystique never joined the x-men until way later into the comic books
    Havok never even met Xavier until Cyclops was already in the X-men
    Riptide was a marauder and was a enemy towards the X-men

    etc. etc.

    It is different from the source material (nobody can deny that), but that doesn’t mean it is not worth the watch. If they followed the source material perfectly I honestly do not think it would be as good as others might want to believe. They are just trying to make it more modern, which isn’t that bad seeing as X-men #1 was made in 1963.

  7. An interesting synopsis that clearly allot of work went into on the writers part. As someone who has not read comics in probably ten years I am only slightly aware of most of the new characters and retcon story-lines as I really couldn’t get into the whole Ultimates deal that Marvel did a few years ago.

    The ideas you set forth seem solid on paper but, still bring up the fact that it requires people to have allot of knowledge about the characters and story arcs, not unlike the original films. So if they just throw random characters on the screen without building them at all then people are not going to be able to care about most of them and they are going to be back to square one with these movies.

  8. Very good article. Articles like these are why I love this site. In-depth, thought-provoking and duly researched.

    I was already planning on seeing it. The last (russian) trailer cinched it for me. But I like the ideas you guys are putting forth.

  9. This is a really great article. I can see you have really taken time and consider all the factors and possible story elements and it all sounds legit to me. I mean i wouldnt be surprised if everythign you said is teh truth. We have seen magneto conspiaring alot with Sebastian Shaw in the trailers, he has that grey helmet, whihc the links to the grey King thing you were saying. I wish you could post this article on that ridiculous comic book movie website. Their ar esome much whiny idiots on that site its unbeleivable and most of them are grown men. In fact you should post this article their. Help them see things clearly.

  10. With this I might watch it but I’m still not sure. My questions are:
    Why does Emma Frost go from 16 to 28 in a span of a few years (from XO:W to X:FC)?
    Why is Beast going back and forth between the no fur and fur in the movies?
    Xavier and Magneto would wait about 20 years before the started recruiting the 2nd team (Jean, Scott, etc). That also means that if he became the Grey King that his and Xaviers split came a few years before recruiting Jean not in the 60s.
    I’m just not sure about this movie.

    • cuz, maybe things that work in comics, dont work well in film? i dunno ima give this a chance. i think itll be a good movie to watch, in the least. everyone else should do the same.

      • It can work well on film, and I’m mainly talking about the film verse here. This whole movie so far doesnt sound right as a prequel,the 3 things I listed are a few of the things that doesnt mesh with the other films. But like I said, I’m not sure about this film. Untill i here from friends or read the review on here and say that it does work, I wont go see this.

  11. i am happy to hear that they are putting in more continuity from the comics. but i myself have been excited to see this movie since its inception. i love all the xmen films. yes even origins. it was good but of course lacked much. but i think that each new interpretation of something should be different than what came before. i would really hate to see the same thing over and over just in a different medium. liberties with story and plot and continuity are expected but everyonce in a while its just to much and destroys that persons interpretation.

  12. You sir are brilliant!

  13. Most of them end up dead and the survivors won’t remember it, you say? All right, I’ll give it a shot. I’m not too happy about losing Havok, but Scott won’t remember. Still, I liked their brotherly chemistry in Evo, but I guess I can get over it if there’s still another brother . . . no, no. I’m sorry, I’m not happy at all with a dead Havok, but it it makes more sense than him being the older brother or Scott’s dad. Ugh, they should’ve just went with this Vulcan kid. Also, Beast and Mystique apparently won’t age that much I’m guessing?

  14. Lol i was waiting for someone to bring up Deadly Genesis, which was horrible by the way, But good for the writer to find it, I was kinda wondering when someone would have but here again is the problem with that it still doesnt work time wise, first off the Xmen are already a team, consisting of the original team, oh yeah and they had already been a team for a while, The Original team is captured on the island, with no one left Xavier calls Moira and uses her students that have never been trained and sends them Xavier does his mind thing and gives the skills in order to carry out the mission but the whole team gets wiped out except for Darwin and Valcun, but Xavier does know they survived and leaves them behind, Valcun later is revived during Mday and come back to get revenge on the xmen and kills Banshee in the process. However I got off track as to why it still doesnt work time wise Scott isnt an xman yet the first class hasnt been put together and trained which is how Xavier trains his Lost Xmen.

    • I see your point. However this article has made me optimistic so I say they get some sequels that has it end in a way that allows for it to make sense in connection with the other movies

    • This is the funny double edged sword with comic book films though. People say they can’t always follow the books to the letter (which is true) and can’t always cater to so-called “fanboys”. Problem is only a fanboy could attempt to even explain this stuff to someone who either has just seen the movies or hasn’t read every X-Man comic printed since the 70′s.

      The thing with these movies at this point is that they have become muddled and they have thrown so many characters out there that most of them really don’t even matter to people watching the films at this point. Look at the lack of time they took giving any depth to most of the characters in the first three movies and you have a situation where people will look at this movie with allot of even lesser known characters and really have a hard time getting invested in another set of throw away plot device characters that will be gone by the next film.

      As much as the film makers are at odds with the die-hard fans of this material at times they do fall back on the fact that there is allot of familiarity with the material and use that to do allot of the story-telling work for them. This article is case in point of how fans will fill in the holes these projects have with great enthusiasm which is what helps these movies in the long run.

      • Yeah, they don’t care about any of that. The heads are allowing a thin veneer of legitimacy to be slapped on to the crap to get it down our throats…

  15. Also, Havok is giving me Bobby Drake vibes.

  16. You know what I don’t give a rats you know what about anything Fox does! HAND the property back over to its proper owner Fox. You had your chance, you’ve blew it with the first set of movies. Why on earth should I support a completely crippled effort to present the franchise?! You don’t have access to everything Marvel, your trying to crutch things up.. Forget about it and move on already you’re just prolonging the pain…

  17. Azazel, Darwin and Angel Salvadore are more recent additions to the x-continuum and I stopped collecting around Uncanny 300ish.

    Can some explain to me who they are and what their powers are?

    • I only know Azazel, he is a demon with powers like Night crawler (I think some comic said he was Nightcrawlers dad but i think that is a lie). If Angel Salvadore is the girl with the fairy wings, that all I know but if that is the mutant with the fairy wings I dont know.

      • Nope, that’s correct. Nightcrawler is the offspring of Azazel and Mystique. I firmly believe that’s the reason why both were put into this blasphemous POS; to play up the whole love angle and Kurt’s origin.

        • Yep, Azazel and Mystique have an affair even though she’s married to some other dude but neither of them raise Kurt. He’s raised by some sorceress who’s name I can’t remember and he grows up in a circus. Nightcrawler is one of my favorite mutants so if they’re going for that angle I won’t complain.

    • Azazel is Nightcrawler’s dad who lives in the brimstone dimension, Darwin can adapt to any situation, and Angel has wings that are sort insect like but I can’t remember if she has any other powers.

  18. Nice theory.
    But,I think Ray Wise was quoted somewhere as saying he was playing The Secretary of State.

  19. Azazel is Nightcrawlers Dad.
    Angel has abilties similar to
    that of a housefly(No joke.)including wings .
    Darwin was actually part of reactive evolution.
    His body adapts to survive any situation.

  20. as I was trying to explain, Darwin was part the First Team the article talked about.
    He has the power ofReactive Evolution.
    His body adapts to any life threatening situation.

  21. hmmm

  22. Sounds good to me.

  23. i don’t care really what story they based this film on..The fact that they are trying to even hint on wher Nightcrawler is from but neglect the origins of Cyclops and Havok’s family is ridiculous..Also if Fox plans on keeping this franchise even at all they will have to recognize the fact that these characters even though they are mutants,are considered superheroes as well which if anything will mean that the Shiar and other space entities will have to come into play..It just seems pretty lame if you own the copyrights to “The Uncanny X-men” and that 90% of the characters you’re using are characters made up for the film…For what was originally an origin film for Magneto and Xavier has turned into a totally different film all together..Hopefully this ends with the formation of a new team..at least reference Cyclops in some way!!

    • That is pretty much the problem with this franchise at this point, they haven’t really attempted to give any depth to any of the characters outside of Xavier, Magneto and Wolverine and by some accounts they haven’t done that well. Storm’s past was shown in the directors cut of the Wolverine movie, as was what I guess supposed to be Scott Summers first using his powers but, according to Singer that movie never happened.

      Jean Grey was given a weird angle that tied into their total mishandling of Dark Phoenix and her even being a doctor made little sense and it seemed they were trying to merge aspects of the Hank McCoy character with her to save space and money in the first movie.

      Rouge was just a shell of the comic book character and over three movies did pretty much nothing. Colossus and Nightcrawler were given bit moments in the first three films and that was about it. Iceman was involved in a waste of time angle with Pyro who was never an X-Man at all. The list kind of goes on and on. Angel was another, “Hey who haven’t we used yet?”, addition.

      So now they want people to get all jazzed about a younger Xavier and Magneto surrounded by allot of second tier characters at best. So I hope for their sake they have come up with something as clever and logically connected as the author of this article has attempted to do for them or it’s just going to be another confused chapter in the series whether they want to call it a re-boot or not.

      • I totally agree…

      • I completely agree! good comment!

      • i completely agree with what you have to say. If you look at the comics and compare it to the movies, you can only see the surface of the characters and not their entire origins as an x-man or how their past was.

        And then the fact that they want to put havoc into their deadly genesis version in the movie won’t make the movie enjoyable when it comes out and i go watch it seeing as in the back of my head i’ll know that they’ve got almost the whole story wrong.

  24. I think there is little chance in hell that this film is going to be anything like the comics. Other than Xavier and Magneto, the thing is pure Hollywood castoff, and must be accepted as such, by the fans, or this wont fly at all.

  25. Congratulations Kofi on doing all this digging and research to attempt to tie enough tiny threads together to explain this movie. Fact is though all the research in the world doesn’t come close to explaining all the continuity flaws that exist.

    Taking liberties is one thing but X-People: No Class goes well beyond what I would call a ‘liberty’ and falls more into the realm of mindlessly pillaging the X-Men IP because they can. Re-imagine all you want but this movie is complete BS. My only hope is it falls flat on it’s face so we don’t have to endure any more of them.

    To apply what the article attempted to do however, lets examine another more venerable IP: Superman. He was “re-imagined” back in 1998 and dubbed the Electric Blue Superman with electric based powers. It was a colossal flop however and Supes was once more restored to his original glory and powers. Why? Because no one bought into the idea.

    So technically, because the story was put out there at one time, they could do a Superman franchise based on this blue version but do you think anyone would buy into it? My guess is no. Now would it possibly be a great movie by iteslf? Maybe, but that doesn’t change the fact that once you alter the story/character too much they stop being who they are. So changing Supes to an electric power set, in a blue and white suit, makes him essentially another character entirely.

    Now admittedly, the reason why the Superman idea would not work is everyone and their dog knows Superman’s powers and origin. X-Men, on the other hand, most people know about only through the last 3 movies but the principal is the same…..you can only change so much before they stop being “the X-Men”.

    So do all the thread splicing, straw grasping and logic leaping you want to try and make it work but X-Men: First Class is not the original X-Men. End of Line.

    • Agreed! That was a nice article to try and make the fanboys feel like they are wrong and don’t know the comic history, but there are many alternate reality comics that have been made over the years and I certainly wouldn’t make a movie based off one of those few “what if” story lines.
      Now don’t get me wrong, many of those have been great stories,but some are better left in the comics and shouldn’t be used for movie material IMO… But that’s just me…

      • What If was a great series and probably let people get all their wild ideas off their chest and still keep the peace in the main titles. Marvel Team-Up and Marvel Two-In one were also good for some off storyline action back in the day. I mean using that line of thinking they could do an Age of Apocalypse movie, which might come out cleaner since it was a short run idea itself.

        What about those Amalgam one-offs DC and Marvel did together, who would technically own the rights to those ?

        And using the Superman line of thought they could do a movie version of Doomsday and have all the fakes running around or do an Azrael version of Batman since those were main story-lines that did cause panic among fan-boys while the stories were running.

        • @Slayer
          What point are you trying to make? And I don’t mean this as a sarcastic or rude question, I just honestly didn’t quite understand the point you getting at? :)

          • I was just comparing what you were talking about to the old What If comic series which were stories that had nothing to do with the continuity of the titles at all and were presented as an alternate dimension take on stories. The other things were just examples of drastic changes in an established comic that either were side deals that people excepted as cool one-offs or attempts at retooling characters that went over bad.

            I agree with you that revisionist or alternate time-line or event stories might not make for the best film ideas, especially when they have already spent three (four if you count Wolverine, which they don’t)establishing a time-line. Whether they are happy with where the series has gone is another matter.

            • Ah, okay, I see now. Thanks for clearing that up.

              If they do want to take an alternate take on these movies than what’s been established in the comics(the ones that have been running since the 60s) and take so-called “liberties” with the characters and storylines then they should at least stay true to the cannon they’ve created and not just make up even more stories that don’t add up when you look at the previous movies in their series.

              • In the end their main problem is their own lack of focus with these movies whether they stuck to things in the comics or not. Even if the scenario the author came up with is nearly accurate it still doesn’t explain any of what Singer did in the first two movies which lead to the debacle of the third movie.

                • Very true. It’s all just a big confusing mess now that continues to do well at the box office.

    • AMEN…

  26. Okay, give Professor X hair(tho he lost it when he was a child), put, Havok in it(though he’s the younger brother of Cyclops), add Emma Frost (tho she was in Origins that comes after this movie), don’t just, reboot the whole, thing and, free themselves from the HORRIBLE continuity the movies have dug themselves into and keep going down this pointless road of telling us what happens before they end up killing just about all the characters we loved in the massacre known as X3, but the thing I just don’t understand about this movie… Why do they have to make backstory for Nightcrawler by showing how his parents hook up(which they will most likely not be how it happened in the comics…. Big surprise!) when he just disappeared after X2 and isn’t even part of the X-Men according to the movies/video game(X-Men game that came out when X3 did claimed he left the X-Men for religious reasons)?????? Anyone know the answer?…. Didn’t think so -__-

    • Night Crawler left because his father wanted him back……….bub

      • But they never explained that in the movies and just pretended that he never happened in X3. That’s why I don’t understand why they need to screw up the movies even more by saying Mystique and azazel were X-Men……………. bub

    • I think Nightcrawler left because Alan Cummings didn’t want to work with Singer again, who then actually left the project ironically. Don’t quote me on that but, I recall some rumblings about that at the time.

      • I heard he left because he didn’t like having to wear the uncomfortable makeup and he said he would never do it again. Idk why they wouldn’t recast him tho(tho I hate when that happens).

  27. @ Kofi Outlaw

    Can’t remember if i asked this already. But is there gonna be a X4? Or is this X-men: First Class gonna open up a prequel-like trilogy instead?

  28. I wouldn’t really mind either of these plots at all, I just hope if they make a First Class 2 that they use the originals. Other than that, I would love to see this. Genius.

  29. I dont Think Kofi was trying make the fans thik they are wrong,
    He just believes there is a method to the maddness and he might be right.