Warning: SPOILERS for Astonishing X-Men #14
Marvel's Astonishing X-Men series introduced the newest team of X-Men, led by Havok, and already the new lineup is setting a good example of how Marvel Studios should handle the X-Men in the MCU.
Last week, Fox and Disney shareholders voted in favor of a merger, which will allow Disney to purchase all of Fox's movie and TV assets. Among the properties Disney will have access to are the X-Men and Fantastic Four. It may be years before Marvel Studios can actually use any of the characters, but at some point in time fans may finally get to see the X-Men and Fantastic Four exist in a cinematic world that also occupies the Avengers, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
And the newest team of X-Men couldn't have arrived at a better time.
Over the years, the MCU has established a winning formula of superheroes for both Marvel and Disney. Fans have grown accustomed to watching powerful heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and many more heroes save the world. But what the MCU is lacking is a team like the X-Men, and the group presented in the latest arc of Astonishing X-Men may be the heroes the MCU needs.
In Astonishing X-Men #14, Havok (recently restored to his heroic roots) works with Beast to put together a new team of X-Men, even though they can't legally use the name. The trademark belongs to Kitty Pryde, the current leader of the fairly by-the-book Gold team. But with the X-Men in need of protecting after landing on someone's hit list, Havok and Beast are soon joined by Warpath, Banshee, Colossus, and Dazzler.
Havok is looking to redeem himself. Warpath is only there because he was sent by Kitty to keep an eye on them. Colossus is only interesting in "hitting things," since his heart was broken by Kitty Pryde's decision to call off the wedding. The strangest addition to the team is Banshee, who's been stuck in a coma and now appears to be more like a zombie who can fight and follow orders, but can't show emotion or talk to others.
The final character to join is Dazzler, struggling to make the most of her past music career, and may be joining Havok's team mainly for publicity purposes. Especially since she's wearing a long blonde wig just to please her fans.
What's interesting about Havok's new team is that each character—Havok included—comes to the table with some sort of baggage, or their own motivation for joining the group. The result is an ensemble cast of unique and compelling heroes - which matches the vision of what the X-Men were intended to be when they were first created back in 1963.
The original X-Men consisted of five teenagers born with unique abilities, each with their own relatable backstory and personal problems. They were a group of misfits who had nothing in common with each other, but grew into a family anyway. As the years passed, the X-Men also began to leave these beginnings behind to become more like the Avengers (to varying degrees in both comics and film).
The X-Men weren't supposed to be the Avengers, "Earth's Mightiest Heroes," devoted to saving the world from any threat. That's a fact clearly at the heart of Havok's new X-Men team, and it already seems that this ensemble of unlikely, scarred, or thrill-seeking heroes are exactly what Marvel Studios needs to look to when building their version of the superhero team.
Astonishing X-Men #14 is available now from Marvel.