While Marvel is cranking out the movies of its Cinematic Universe and steadily working its way towards the big finale of Phase 3; and DC is trying to figure out its shared universe; and Spider-Man reboots for the hundredth time; Fox is making their X-Men franchise work all on its own. Though there have been rough times — we're looking at you X-Men: Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine — the franchise has been pretty solid overall.
With X-Men: Apocalypse getting ever closer to release, it looks like Fox will have another solid X-Men film on its hands as it continues to work its way through the expansive mythos of the franchise. Even with eight films down, there's still a lot more X-Men stories left to be told. We've gone over a few individual villains for our favorite team of mutants to war against next, but should Fox start borrowing a few more pages from the comics than they have in recent years, we had a few ideas on where they should start.
Here's 11 X-Men Storylines That Could Follow Apocalypse.
11 Riot at Xavier’s
This idea actually might work better as a subplot in a larger movie, but it’s a storyline that’s worth exploring regardless, one that looks at the teachings of Charles Xavier in a different light. Plus, seeing Quentin Quire in an X-Men film would be amazing in almost an circumstance.
Quentin Quire is a super intelligent, and super powerful, mutant student at Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. Thrown by finding out he’s adopted (and by the recent death of Jumbo Carnation), Quentin begins acting out. He begins to question Professor X’s pacifist teachings, grows to idolize Magneto, and starts to abuse the drug “Kick.” All this leads to Quire and some of his classmates — known as the Omega Gang — banding together to kill humans, after being made even more volatile and powerful by Kick.
Luckily, the X-Men are able to subdue Quire and his gang after a battle, but it’s not without loss. A couple of students are killed in the process, and Professor X ends up resigning after the whole debacle.
10 Mutant Massacre
This storyline is one worth seeing on screen as it includes the Marauders, the Morlocks, and introduces the long-awaited Mr. Sinister. It would really help to show that there’s a whole lot more mutants out there than just the ones that suit up for Charles Xavier. Thor played a pretty significant role in the comic story, so Fox would have to work around that, but it’s entirely doable. The story is pretty significant for not only Sinister appearing, but also because it left multiple X-Men gravely wounded, including Angel, who had to have his wings amputated.
The Marauders attack a mutant and her boyfriend in LA specifically so they can follow them back to New York and find the underground mutant community known as the Morlocks. Upon finding the Morlocks, the Marauders kill hundreds before the X-Men and X-Factor arrive and fight them off, saving the Morlocks from complete destruction. Still, the two teams each suffer losses, as X-Factor Angel is crucified by the Marauders, while Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Shadowcat are all injured on the X-Men side. The injuries for X-Factor weren’t worse simply because Thor and Power Pack stepped in, helping to mitigate casualties.
In the tunnels, Wolverine and Sabertooth fight, with Sabertooth following Wolverine back to the X-Mansion after the brawl. While there, Sabertooth destroys Cerebro and is fought back by Psylocke before falling off a cliff, with Wolverine in pursuit. If Fox wants an action-packed follow-up to Apocalypse, this is a fine choice.
9 Fatal Attractions
A crossover that served as a way to commemorate the X-Men and their then-30 years of existence, this storyline featured the return of Magneto and his Acolytes. During the events of the story, Professor Xavier is tempted to cross a moral line and go against everything he believes in. This story is also notable for that classic scene of Magneto ripping all the adamantium from Wolverine’s body, which absolutely has to be in an X-Men film at some point.
Presumed dead after the fall of Asteroid M, Magneto shows up in Cable’s old base when Cable returns to retrieve some technology and destroy the facility. He’s ultimately unsuccessful in destroying the base, and the time-travelling hero (who we'll soon see on the big screen) barely escapes with his life.
While the X-Men bury Illyana Rasputin (Colossus’ sister), Magneto and his acolytes crash the funeral, voicing their plan of wiping out the human race with their orbiting satellite. Distraught over his sister’s death, Colossus joins up with Magneto. With the threat of Magneto looming, the UN activates the “Magneto Protocols,” which creates a barrier around the Earth that would prevent Magneto from using his abilities. In retaliation, Magneto unleashes an EMP that causes havoc on Earth’s electrical systems. A battle about the satellite follows, during which Magneto rips the metal from Wolverine’s body after nearly being gutted by him. Enraged, Professor X crosses a personal moral line and mind wipes Magneto, leaving him in a coma.
8 Trial of Magneto
This could prove for a fun movie as it will give Fox another chance to explore that respect that Charles Xavier has for Magneto, and also Xavier’s belief that Magneto could be truly good if he just tried. Granted, it would likely have to be simplified a little bit, because it has the likes of the Von Strucker twins, Corsair and the Starjammers, and Madelyne Pryor all popping in it and playing roles of varying importance.
The story begins a bit in media res, as Magneto is put on trial in Paris after being captured. The English Prime Minister acts as the prosecution, while Professor Xavier and Gabrielle Haller act as Magneto’s defense. Before the trial can begin, mysterious terrorist attacks calling for the freedom of Magneto begin to happen in other parts of Europe, and are passed off as being done by the X-Men. Looking to clear their name and get to the bottom of things, the X-Men begin their search for these terrorists.
The next day, the trial begins, and the terrorist attacks continue. Eventually, the X-Men are able to track the terrorists to a boat in the Seine River, but find out it’s just a diversion. The Von Strucker twins then attack the courtroom with the intention of killing Magneto and avenging their father. During the battle, Magneto saves various people, including Charles Xavier, who is near death. After the battle, Xavier tells Magneto to continue his mission and keep his school going, which Magneto wearily accepts.
As with many of the big X-Men storylines, this one involves characters — namely Norman Osborn and members of the Dark Avengers — that Fox doesn’t have the film rights to. Still, with some tweaking and some character used in creative ways, things could easily be done to make Utopia an interesting story and one that actually uses Cyclops in a big way, after his less than stellar treatment in his previous film appearances.
In a big move, the X-Men leave North Salem and relocate to San Francisco. While the mutants were welcomed into San Francisco, events involving a mutant child that left a city in Alaska razed to the ground served as cause for many to cry out for restrictions on reproductive rights for mutants. With Hank McCoy and Professor X both being held captive by Norman Osborn, San Francisco becomes embroiled by riots and fights between pro-mutant and anti-mutant groups.
The X-Men soon face off against the Dark Avengers as Osborne attempts to either kill the X-Men or capture them, with the X-Men ultimately emerging victorious. After the battle, nearly every mutant, including Magneto, unites behind Cyclops as they make their home in Utopia, an artificial island off the coast of California.
6 Eve of Destruction
This could very much work as a follow up to the events of E is for Extinction (which we'll get to in a minute), as it’s driven by the loss that mutants experience and features the Genosha massacre as a driving force. Things would probably have to be simplified for the movies of course, as it deals with the Legacy Virus and other such things, which would require an inordinate amount of explaining for movie audiences.
After Colossus sacrifices his life to cure the Legacy Virus, Magneto becomes obsessed with killing the X-Men and the thought that Xavier had failed to keep Colossus from dying for the sake of larger mutantkind. Because of this, Magneto attacks the X-Mansion and kidnaps Xavier, taking him to the island of Genosha and crucifying him. Magneto then begins to recruit mutants for the armies of Genosha, declaring that with the Legacy Virus now gone, Genosha and its mutant army will begin a campaign of securing the world for mutants, daring humanity to attack the island.
With many of the X-Men either absent or off on other missions, it falls to Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean Grey to deal with the threat of Magneto and the kidnapping of Xavier. While Cyclops and Wolverine infiltrate the island to get civilians out of there, Jean Grey forms a hodge podge team of various mutants to help take down Magneto. In the ensuing battle, the X-Men outsmart Magneto and rescue Xavier, leaving Magneto bleeding on the ground as they leave Genosha.
2016 is the year of superhero beatdowns, what with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War dominating the box office (we're taking a shot in the dark on the latter). The X-Men missed out on the trend by not fast tracking a movie based on the Schism storyline.
Wolverine and Cyclops always had a nasty rivalry in the X-Men comics and movies, mostly over the affections of Jean Grey. Things finally came to a head when the two began to disagree over how to lead the X-Men and the young mutants they were responsible for taking care of and mentoring.
When a giant Sentinel attacks while the rest of the X-Men are busy defending other parts of the globe, it’s up to Cyclops, Wolverine, and the children they teach to defend the X-Men homebase of Utopia. While Wolverine would rather the students get out danger, Cyclops is more than fine with letting the children fight if it’s what they want. In the middle of fighting the Sentinel, Cyclops and Wolverine also fight each other over the perceived safety of the children and their differing opinions. After the battle, each go their separate ways, taking along any mutants willing to follow them.
4 E is for Extinction
This is a story that could be very cool on the big screen, as it introduces Cassandra Nova — the previously unknown twin sister of Charles Xavier — and could introduce the whole Genosha massacre into the film franchise. Both are pretty important parts of the X-Men mythos for various reasons.
As a new generation of mutants is appearing around the globe, a mysterious woman named Cassandra Nova uses a relative of Bolivar Trask to activate a Sentinel factory. Using this relative, Nova orders the Sentinels to kill all the mutants on the island nation of Genosha, committing genocide and wiping out nearly the entire population of the island. The X-Men discover Nova thanks to Cerebra and defeat her, but not before the Sentinels have decimated Genosha.
After the battle, Beast is studying the powerful new villain they’ve captured. Nova easily breaks out of her confinement and begins to hunt for Professor Xavier. Before the other X-Men can find her, she swaps bodies with Xavier and shoots him, now in Nova’s body, before he can reveal what’s happened to the other X-Men. Hollywood loves a twist ending, right?
3 House of M
Here's another X-Men story that involves a lot of characters that Fox doesn’t have the rights to, but it could still work if they get creative enough with the adaptation. Granted, it would also require Fox to introduce the non-Avengers version of the Scarlet Witch into the X-Men franchise — or come up with another mutant that could conceivably fill that role.
Wanda Maximoff is having a mental breakdown and the only thing keeping her from accidentally using her powers to warp reality is Charles Xavier, and he can’t do it much longer. After a meeting between the Avengers and the X-Men, it’s reluctantly decided that Wanda must be killed rather than risking the chance of having her powers inadvertently do something terrible. Upon hearing the news, her brother Quicksilver raced to warn Scarlet Witch. What followed was an outburst of her powers, which resulted in a newly formed reality.
In this new reality, mutants are the dominant species, making up over 50% of the Earth’s population and occupying many key positions all over the world. Rather than being the persecuted, the mutants now look down upon the human races, now known as “sapiens”. The most prominent of the mutants are Magneto and his family, including Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. In her outburst, Wanda had given those present what they most desired, most notably for Magneto and his dreams of mutant superiority. Eventually, Wolverine and others would work to destroy this alternate reality, but not without major casualties along the way.
2 Age of Apocalypse
The most 90s of the 90s X-Men events, Age of Apocalypse could be a fun storyline to adapt if Fox was interested in exploring different timelines in the X-Men franchise. It features Magneto as a good guy, a one-handed Wolverine, and a world where Apocalypse won.
In an alternate timeline, the mutant Legion traveled back in time to kill Magneto, but accidentally ended up killing Professor X, his father, instead. This turn of events caused Magneto to take up the cause of the friend who saved his life and form his own version of the X-Men. These events also led Apocalypse to attack ten years earlier than he would in the main timeline, allowing him to conquer North America and eradicate large swaths of the human population, since the only real resistance was an Xavier-less X-Men team.
It would be a gamble, but should the upcoming Apocalypse decide on a non-Hollywood ending where the heroes actually lose to the big bad En Sabah Nur, it could set up an adaptation of this spectacular comic, something X-Men fans would be dying to see.
1 Second Genesis
This would essentially adapt that 1975 Giant-Size X-Men issue, which introduced a whole new team of mutants to readers. It could serve as an easy way to introduce a new team of mutants following the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, or any future installment of the franchise. Plus, things could really weird in the X-Men movies with the introduction of Krakoa, the living island.
After the original X-Men team is captured while on a mission to a remote island, Cyclops is the only member to make it back to the X-Mansion. Professor Xavier recruits a new team of international mutants to head to the island and rescue the MIA mutants. Sunfire, Banshee, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird are sent to the island, only to find that the island itself is what captured the original team. The two groups team up to defeat Krakoa and save the day.
If Fox really wanted to make things interesting, they could play up the Deadly Genesis storyline, which has Xavier sending another team before the Second Genesis team. All those members are also captured or killed, and Xavier erases the memory of it from Cyclops and the other mutants’ minds.
Frankly, we'd be psyched to see any of these comics influence the final product, because as solid a job as the X-Men franchise has done thus far, they haven't exactly been loyal to the source material. Which storyline would you most like to see in an X-Men film? Sound off in the comments section.