Summary

  • Marvel Studios can fix the mistakes made by Fox in the X-Men franchise once mutants and the X-Men are established in the MCU, giving audiences a better version of these characters.
  • Fox’s X-Men franchise introduced popular characters from Marvel Comics to mass audiences and revolutionized superhero films, paving the way for the MCU.
  • Marvel Studios has the opportunity to improve upon Fox’s handling of certain characters and storylines, such as Storm, Darwin, and the mutant cure, in order to do them justice in the MCU.

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Fox’s X-Men franchise had some very disappointing moments, but Marvel Studios can repeat these moments better once mutants and the X-Men are more established in the MCU. Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox back in 2019 meant that the rights to mutants and the X-Men reverted to Marvel Studios, allowing a whole host of new characters from Marvel Comics to be brought into the MCU proper. This effectively canceled Fox’s two-decade-long X-Men franchise, though 2024’s Deadpool 3 is expected to briefly revisit the now-defunct film series. While there were many powerful and exhilarating moments in Fox’s superhero film series, there are many moments that audiences would be happy to forget.

20th Century Fox’s mutant-centric franchise kicked off with 2000’s X-Men, and grew exponentially since then with a trilogy of spinoffs starring Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, prequels and reboots starting with 2011’s X-Men: First Class, and two TV shows, The Gifted and Legion. The X-Men franchise introduced dozens of complex characters from Marvel Comics to mass audiences, and helped to revolutionize the modern superhero film era, paving the way for Marvel Studios to develop the MCU. There is certainly a lot to love about Fox’s X-Men franchise, but with mutants and the X-Men coming to the MCU soon, Marvel Studios will have the chance to fix the many mistakes made by Fox.

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10 Storm Strikes Toad With Lighting (X-Men)

Storm hitting Toad with lightning in X-Men

2000’s X-Men featured Halle Berry’s debut as Storm, a mutant with the ability to control the weather. Storm is one of Marvel Comics’ most powerful characters, and was the first major female character of African descent in any American comic publication, so deserved far more recognition in Fox’s X-Men franchise. One of the most cringe-worthy moments in X-Men, which depicts Storm blasting Toad with a bolt of lightning, is symptomatic of a greater problem for Storm which must be fixed in the MCU. Marvel Studios’ handling of Thor’s lightning-based powers provides hope that the MCU’s version of Storm will actually be an incredibly powerful and significant hero.

9 Darwin Is Killed Off (X-Men: First Class)

Darwin dying in X-Men First Class

Marvel Comics’ Darwin has the ability to adapt to survive under any circumstances, which made it confusing in X-Men: First Class when a simple ball of energy killed him. Edi Gathegi’s portrayal of Darwin was strong, but he didn’t have any opportunity to show off his talents before being killed off, even though Darwin is key to many storylines in Marvel Comics. Marvel Studios should do Darwin more justice, especially since he is pivotal to stories involving the X-Men, X-Factor, and the mutants’ island home of Krakoa – which many suspect will be used to debut mutants and the X-Men in the MCU’s future.

8 The New Mutants’ Horror (The New Mutants)

The New Mutants cast

Prior to its release as the last of Fox’s X-Men projects in 2020, The New Mutants was billed as a horror spinoff of the franchise, with the film’s trailer even leaning into this brilliantly. However, The New Mutants failed to capture any horror-inspired elements whatsoever, which Marvel Studios should be careful of when bringing mutants, and especially the more troubled ones, into the MCU. Mutant stories in Marvel Comics have many horror elements, which should be cherished. Marvel Studios’ recent attention to genre experimentation means that more horror-inspired mutant stories could be coming to the MCU, which may redeem The New Mutants.

7 The Mutant Cure Is Created (X-Men: The Last Stand)

Anna Paquin as Rogue in X-Men The Last Stand

One of the many side-plots featured in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand was the idea of a “mutant cure”, a serum capable of blocking the X-Gene and ridding mutants of their abilities. This is an incredibly powerful and important storyline in Marvel Comics, as it underlines the discrimination and segregation that mutants feel on a daily basis, but The Last Stand completely fumbled the tenderness and impact of the story. Notably, Anna Paquin’s Rogue seems to forget the heart of any X-Men storyline and follows through with getting the cure, stripping it of any emotional punch. Marvel Studios must handle this storyline better.

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6 Wolverine Gets His Adamantium Upgrade (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine getting adamantium claws in X-Men Origins Wolverine

2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was the first spinoff from the main X-Men timeline, and was intended to kick off a series of Origins films focusing on the primary members of the X-Men team. Unfortunately, Hugh Jackman’s first solo project as Wolverine was an utter disappointment, butchering Wolverine’s lengthy and layered origin story from Marvel Comics. If Marvel Studios decides to give the MCU’s X-Men members origin stories screen-time, Wolverine’s needs to be developed in much more detail and with far better visual effects. Marvel Studios can also establish a clear timeline of events for these mutants’ origin stories, while Fox’s timeline was always very confusing.

5 Deadpool Interacts With Other Heroes (Deadpool & Deadpool 2)

Deadpool with Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus in Deadpool

2016’s Deadpool and 2018’s Deadpool 2 always existed adjacent to the main Fox X-Men franchise, but they are still perfect examples of what Marvel Studios shouldn’t do when bringing Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool into the MCU. It was a running joke in the Deadpool films that Fox couldn’t afford to include more X-Men members past Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, but this can’t be the case in the MCU. One of the most exciting parts about having Reynolds’ Deadpool in the MCU is his crossover potential with heroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil, so Deadpool needs to be integrated deeper into the MCU than he ever was in Fox’s X-Men franchise.

4 Magneto Meets His Children (X-Men: Apocalypse)

Magneto protecting Quicksilver in X-Men Apocalypse

Evan Peters’ Quicksilver revealed that Michael Fassbender’s Magneto was his father in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, taking beats from Marvel Comics which depicted Magneto as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch’s father for several decades. Unfortunately, in Apocalypse, this connection between Magneto and Quicksilver went nowhere, so perhaps Marvel Studios can develop Magneto’s family life further. Many have theorized that Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Quicksilver may have been mutants, so Magneto could potentially be retconned as their father in future MCU projects, even though this is no longer the case in Marvel Comics.

3 X-Men Costume Line-Ups (Various X-Men Movies)

Professor X, Banshee, Havoc, Magneto, and Mystique in costume in X-Men First Class

Many of Fox’s X-Men projects included a shot of the team lining up in full costume, though this unfortunately only gave the franchise’s heroes the opportunity to show off some questionable outfits. Whether it was black leather in the early X-Men projects, a black-and-yellow get-up in X-Men: First Class, or X-Men: Dark Phoenix’s lackluster shirt-and-trousers combo, Fox’s X-Men costumes were never comic-accurate, and always disappointing. Marvel Studios has delivered some brilliant, modernized versions of comic-accurate costumes for the MCU’s heroes, so it will be great to see the X-Men get this treatment when they eventually debut.

2 The Dark Phoenix Saga (X-Men: The Last Stand & Dark Phoenix)

Famke Janssen and Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in Fox's Dark Phoenix adaptations

Marvel Comics’ Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most memorable storylines involving Jean Grey, during which Jean becomes corrupted by the powerful Phoenix Force. Both The Last Stand and Dark Phoenix attempted to adapt this storyline, but both failed to deliver the true impact, emotion, and tragedy of the storyline. Marvel Studios would be smart to avoid adapting The Dark Phoenix Saga for some time, but there’s no doubt that the MCU’s Jean Grey will undergo this transformation in the future. Since the MCU’s cosmos has been explored more than it was in Fox’s franchise, the MCU’s Dark Phoenix Saga can be much more faithful to the source material.

1 All Those Mister Sinister Teases (Various X-Men Movies)

Essec Corp tease in X-Men Apocalypse

Throughout Fox’s X-Men franchise, the existence of the mysterious Essex Corporations was teased repeatedly, but the organization’s enigmatic leader, Nathaniel Essex, a.k.a. Mister Sinister, never made a single appearance. X2, X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool 2, and The New Mutants all teased Essex Corp, so Marvel Studios can finally pay off these years of teasing by finally debuting Mister Sinister. As a twisted genetic scientist obsessed with mutantkind, Nathaniel Essex is the perfect villain to introduce with the X-Men in the MCU, and his connections with the High Evolutionary in Marvel Comics means Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 might have already set up Mister Sinister’s debut.

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