If you missed this week’s big news, it appears that the long-bitter-rivals of Marvel Studios and Fox are at last attempting to bury the hatchet and come to some type of agreement to share the various Marvel properties that the rival studio has owned the rights to the for the past decade-and-a-half – exactly what Marvel and Sony recently came to terms with over the inclusion of Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It doesn’t seem like this type of deal will be completed – if, indeed, it even goes through – until the next few years or so, when Phase III of the MCU will be wrapping up with The Avengers: Infinity War, Part II. But that actually works out perfectly – Phase IV is poised to start in July 2019, making for a clean slate to introduce all those wonderful mutant characters into the cinematic fold.
Should that come to pass, here are the 15 X-Men Who Should Join The Avengers In The Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Originally created for the (relatively) short-lived Generation X spinoff series (which followed the next generation of mutants as they were trained to become the newest class of X-Men), Hollow (who was originally introduced as Penance) is a character whose mutant ability is apparently to generate red-colored, diamond-hard skin that extends to razor-sharp points on her fingers, toes, and, even, her hair, making her nearly impenetrable and dangerous to touch (she also is immune to telepathic detection, completing her rather formidable defenses). Such a power set would not only provide a striking visual contrast with the likes of Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) or the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), but her personality would, as well. Unable to speak, Hollow would have to be played off of her teammates, potentially providing for a different dynamic to the scenes she’s in, at the least, or a different style of storytelling, at the most.
There’s one more payoff to having Hollow on the Avengers: it is eventually revealed in the comics that she’s actually an individual that’s been trapped in the Hollow body, and though she’s eventually freed, others end up residing for a time there, as well. Used by Marvel Studios, the narrative possibilities here are nearly endless.
Warren Worthington III is one of the very first X-Men dating back to the team’s (and the comic’s) founding in 1963, and he’s been present in the various titles ever since. As one might imagine, this leads to a convoluted storyline, having become one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen (changing his name from Angel to Archangel, his skin is turned blue and his wings are replaced by techno-organic metal constructs that can slice through nearly anything), then returning to being a hero, and then flipping back to a baddie; he’s alternated between the names Angel and Archangel intermittently through his 50 years of publication, and his wings have similarly switched back and forth between their physical and technological versions; and he’s even had his memory/identity wiped and had a “time-displaced” version of his past self brought forward to the current X-continuity.
All of which is to say that there is no shortage of iterations, visual designs, or, even personalities for Marvel to choose from while adapting him to the big-screen, and that his malleable characterization could lead to some truly intense scenes with his fellow Avengers – especially if he were to leave the team and become a villain, something which the MCU hasn’t seen (yet).
X-Men founder Professor Charles Xavier’s estranged, superpowered (yes, even for a mutant) son, David Charles Haller is something of a rising star in the filmic side of the superhero blockbuster world: FX has just ordered a television series based on the character, one that looks to be edgier or, at the least, more psychologically based than Fox’s standard X-fare thus far.
So, what’s the draw of Legion? Namely, that he is one of the single most powerful characters in all of the X-mythos, and that he’s also one of the most insane – essentially the victim of multiple personality disorder (the result of childhood trauma, compounded by his powers first manifesting themselves during this incident), he can also absorb others’ consciousnesses, resulting in a schizophrenic mess of a mind. Different personas control different power sets, which can range from telepathy to telekinesis to shapeshifting to flight to – most intriguingly – time travel.
The mysterious Rogue might be a well-known entity to movie fans – Anna Paquin has portrayed the power-absorbing mutant since the first X-Men 16 years ago – but she has an extra link to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that will make the character more interesting to explore, as well as providing the perfect opportunity to provide a different outlet for her superpowers.
In the comics, Rogue is originally introduced as a villain, though this is later revealed to be the result of her being raised by the shapeshifting mutant Mystique, who has been a constant thorn in the X-Men’s side for the past 35 years. The foster mother orders Rogue to absorb the powers of Carol Danvers, better known as Captain Marvel (who will be getting her own feature film in February 2019), though the process goes awry and results in a permanent transfer of her superpowers, allowing Rogue the ability to fly and possess super strength. The resulting difficulty in attempting to deal with her new mental and physical status quo leads her to turn to the X-Men, who accept her as one of their own in short order.
Another creation for the Generation X spinoff back in 1994, Chamber once again provides some fresh variations on the superhero template that would contrast marvelously against the now-standard Marvel Cinematic Universe template: the first manifestation of his power (which is to generate extremely powerful energy blasts from his chest cavity) resulted in his being permanently physically damaged – namely, his chest and lower face are vaporized, resulting in his inability to speak (he communicates exclusively via telepathy), eat, drink, or, apparently, breathe. Such massive disfigurement has led many to conclude that he’s some sort of alternate form of life – either the psionic energy that churns inside him gives him all the nourishment he needs, or he’s some type of psychic entity simply inhabiting a dead body (not unlike Hollow, to a certain extent).
The accident also results in a great deal of emotional damage, as well, as he has a great deal of difficulty in communicating or establishing relationships with those around him. This might make his membership on the various X-teams tenuous, at best, but it would also provide for some terrific chemistry on the filmic front.
Less an X-Man and more a superhero in the greater Marvel Universe in the 46 years since his introduction, Shiro Yoshida takes something of a page out of the Tony Stark playbook: arrogant, self-absorbed, and temperamental, it takes a good portion of his life to figure out how to play nicely with others. His mutation – which resolves around solar radiation, allowing him to control superheated plasma and (of course) to fly – is the result of his mother having been present at Hiroshima when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city at the conclusion of World War II. This fact would fuel Sunfire’s hatred of America for years to come.
Although his short-lived run as a member of the X-Men proved to be a rocky one, he has since found much greater success joining the Avengers. Which isn’t to downplay his many connections to the sprawling mutant (sub) universe: he is the cousin to both Mariko Yashida, Wolverine’s late fiancé, and Kenuichio Harada, Mariko’s half-brother and the supervillain better known as the Silver Samurai.
Although not introduced until the (comparatively) late year of 1975, Ororo Munroe has since gone on to dominate the various X-titles as the weather-controlling Storm. This has not only led her to become the X-Men’s leader on several different occasions over the decades, but also to cross over into key positions in the greater Marvel Universe, resulting in her membership in both the Fantastic Four and, more importantly to our interests, the Avengers. She even fell in love with and eventually married T’Challa, the king of Wakanda and the formidable superhero Black Panther, which made her the queen consort of the most advanced country in all of Marvel Comics – until they divorced, that is (since, in comics, nothing lasts forever).
Of course, she’s also a well-established entity in Fox’s X-Men film franchise, having been in half of the nine installments so far (being originally portrayed by Halle Berry before having Alexandra Shipp take over for the just-released X-Men: Apocalypse). Given the success that both Marvel Studios and Tom Holland have had with the character of Spider-Man – and given the template they have established for all such seceding situations – it is doubtless that more of the character’s potential can be tapped in Phase IV.
Time travel and a post-apocalyptic future? Check. Authority problems and anti-hero tendencies? Check. An energy-absorbing superpower that allows him to project concussive blasts from his hands? Check. The character of Bishop seems tailor-made to make a splash – in more ways than one – in the Avengers franchise.
The original hook behind the character was his time-travelling back from a dystopian future in which the X-Men have been defeated and mutants are rounded up in concentration camps. When the young man learns that his heroes, the legendary X-Men, were killed due to a traitor within their midst, he decides to travel back in time approximately 80 years, to ferret out the individual responsible and prevent the holocaust that mutantkind was experiencing in his timeline from ever coming to pass.
Although this event was prevented from happening – no, we’re not going to tell you who the traitor was, as it’s too cool a story to causally reveal here – other events conspire to make that now-alternate future reassert itself as the definite future. Such developments are what help to make Bishop into something of an antagonistic force to the X-Men leadership, resulting in his becoming something an ambiguous hero, at best – exactly the kind of figure Tony Stark needs to clash with next.
Since his first appearance 26 years ago, Remy LeBeau has been one of the most dynamic X-Men, with his thick Cajun accent, his colorful (read: villainous) past, and his flourish of using simple playing cards as his (deadly) weapon of choice.
With the ability to manipulate kinetic energy, Gambit can convert the potential energy of any object into kinetic energy, essentially making even the most innocuous of items into something of a bomb. This also bleeds over into his physical attributes; his body constantly generates bio-kinetic energy, which heightens his agility, strength, and endurance. When combined with his staff and his Southern charm, he is quite a force to reckon with – and should make for quite the on-screen presence.
Actually, Fox already knows this, and has long been in development on a standalone, Deadpool-esque spinoff film, though it’s more than seen its fair share of delays. With the recent news of a possible franchise-spanning deal between Marvel Studios and Fox, it just may be that the studio holds off on this release and allows its new partner to work its magic on the troubled project.
6. Jean Grey
Jean Grey, originally introduced as Marvel Girl back in 1963 as part of the very first X-Men lineup, is simply one of the most-utilized characters in all of Marvel Comics, let alone the X-universe or the big-screen franchise. But as is the case with other such heavy-hitters (such as Wolverine, who is one of the most effective characters in the Marvel roster), there is good reason for her abundance of appearances – and like other now-ubiquitous movie presences (such as Spider-Man, who is now in his third] cinematic iteration), there is absolutely room for further appearances and greater, more dynamic material.
One of the strongest telepaths and practitioners of psychokinesis in the world, Jean is a formidable mutant – a status only reinforced by her being part of the metaphysical Phoenix Force, an “immortal, indestructible, and mutable manifestation of the prime universal force of life,” according to Marvel. She has several long-standing relationships with a whole score of other X-Men – married to (and divorced from) Cyclops, mutually attracted to Wolverine, mother to the time-travelling Cable – which helps underscore her fundamental importance to the X-mythos, specifically, and the Marvel Universe, generally.
Much like Jean Grey, Dr. Henry McCoy has a long-running and deep-rooted connection to the very heart of the X-Men franchises, thanks in no small part to his being another founding member of the original team 53 years ago. In addition to bouncing around the various X-teams, Beast has also joined the likes of the Avengers, the Defenders, and, most recently, the Inhumans; his superhuman strength and agility, along with his deep background in medicine, biochemistry, and genetics, makes him one of the most influential – and valuable – characters in all of Marvel’s pantheon.
At times being presented as a normal human with enlarged hands and feet, Beast is more well-known in his current blue and furry incarnation, the result of various genetic tests (and further mutations, which heighten his animalistic senses). His acrobatics, gentle spirit, and ability to thrown down with any denizen of the Marvel Universe, from mutants to meta-humans to cosmic entities, more than earns him a place in a future Avengers (or Inhumans) installment.
Cable is easily one of the most popular characters Marvel has created within the last 25 years, and this popularity, unsurprisingly, has led to some rather memorable storylines within both the present and the future of the X-universe, starting with his introduction. Much like Bishop, Cable is a product of time relocation; he was sent to a distant point in the future shortly after being born to Cyclops and Jean Grey in the hope that there would be a cure for the techno-virus that Apocalypse infected him with. With the virus attempting to spread liquid metal and organic steel throughout his body, it could only be held at bay by telekinetic means – which Cable himself has been more than capable of providing, given his vast strength in the psionic domain (thanks, mom!).
Having traveled back to the present, Cable has since proven to be one of the most accomplished – and most superpowered – fighters in the Marvel Universe; possessing telepathy, time-travel, matter alteration (including the ability to deconstruct technology and reassemble it at will), and astral projection, among scores of other specific abilities, the so-called Soldier X is nearly an unstoppable fighting force all by himself.
Ever since Bobby Drake’s first depiction as Iceman in 1963 (yes, making him yet another founding member of the X-Men), the character is seen as something of a walking, talking snowman; with the ability to manipulate the ice and cold (by freezing the water vapor around him instantly, he can literally generate ice out of thin air), he is able to cover his body in a protective snow “armor,” and he eventually learns how to summon an ice bridge of sorts, allowing him to “skate” all around the landscape at super speeds.
Even as fantastic as these powers are, it’s not until some 30 years later that Iceman realizes that he’s been subconsciously holding back and has only been scratching the surface of his mutant skillset. He is now able to reconstitute any part of his body at will into “organic ice,” and he’s even able to create semi-sentient ice structures that can assist him in battle.
But arguably the biggest change to the character in the past five decades has been his coming out of the closet, with his homosexual identity being even more heavily repressed than the full extent of his superpowered abilities. It is this chief personality quirk, along with all of his massive powers, that all but demand his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where each constituent part can truly shine.
2. Kitty Pryde
Much like Iceman, Kitty Pryde has had an outsize role during her decades on the various X-teams, and again like Bobby Drake, she has only grown in both power and stature during her time. Originally introduced as a 14-year-old girl – the youngest mutant to officially join the X-Men – she serves as the sidekick to a number of other characters, most notably Wolverine. In the present-day Marvel Universe, Shadowcat is an adult, an onetime professor at the Xavier Institute, and, even, the fiancé of Star-Lord from the Guardians of the Galaxy, making her the first lady of the far-off planet of Spartax.
Kitty is able to phase (or quantum tunnel) through matter by rearranging her atomic particles to pass through the spaces in between the atoms of whatever object is around her, and she’s even able to extend this nifty trick to those that she’s in contact with. It has proven to be one of the more versatile abilities within the X-canon – at the height of her powers, she’s even able to phase entire swaths of matter into an alternate dimension.
Wolverine is, without a doubt, the singularly most popular character ever introduced within the assorted X-Men franchise (a fact borne out by his being the only character to carry his own solo spinoff film series for several years, until Deadpool came along just a few months ago). His gruff-but-lovable attitude, his mysterious (and highly convoluted) past, his endless capacity for violence and redemption both, his feral mutant powers, and – but of course – his claws laced with adamantium, the strongest substance on the planet (sorry, vibranium and Captain America’s shield), have all combined to ensure his ongoing resonance with audiences of all ages.
But what’s perhaps the most exciting about the character is the direction that Marvel has taken him within the past few years, presenting an entirely different take for the big screen: having been killed off in the present, a clone of his, named X23, has taken over his mantle, while an alternate-future version of the character affectionately referred to as Old Man Logan has also taken up residence in the mainstream Marvel timeline. Given that the upcoming third Wolverine film has already been speculated to include Old Man Logan, the door is wide open for this different, fascinating depiction of the character alongside the ranks of the Avengers.
Did we miss your favorite X-character? Is our top pick somehow off? Share your thoughts in the comments.