- Rogue’s complex character and powers dependent on other mutants might be better suited for a later introduction in the MCU.
- Emma Frost deserves redemption in the MCU, with her influence and power making her a potentially compelling character.
- Jean Grey’s character arc should be explored in a solo movie to rectify past failed attempts and delve into her potential as a powerful character.
Slowly but surely, the X-Men are on their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while anticipation for their introduction is reaching a fever pitch, there are a handful that could stand to wait in the sidelines a little longer. The way things are going, it looks like the X-Men will comprise a large part of the presumed MCU reboot. With that in mind, there are myriad ways that the mutant population of the new universe can come together and start forming the iconic storylines of the X-Men.
Some of these characters, however, depend on the pre-established storylines of other MCU mutants for them to make sense. Meanwhile, there are others who have already been the center of attention too recently to be re-imagined and rolled out as part of the MCU so soon. Then there are those who deserve a chance at a solo outing, whose characters are too intricate and interesting to be brought in as part of a group.
Rogue is one of the most complex X-Men characters in an already rich and nuanced narrative environment. As the original X-Men film franchise capably illustrated, however, her entire shtick depends on the existence of mutants as her power hinges on sapping other mutants of theirs. Having Rogue appear in a context designed to establish the presence of mutants in the first place could muddy that narrative, and run the risk of treading the same ground that 2000’s X-Men already covered.
10 Emma Frost
Emma Frost was one of the few disappointments in Fox’s X-Men franchise and deserves a decent shot at redemption as part of the MCU. Though Frost is a powerful telepath in her own right, she also boasts a more worldly power in the form of sheer influence, something that often comes with the most interesting of comic book villains. Frost should be given time to establish this influence within the MCU, and rise as a far more powerful and prominent figure than has been allowed in the past. She can truly be one of the MCU’s most compelling characters, if done right.
9 Jean Grey
Speaking of wasted potential, Jean Grey has fallen foul of two failed attempts at her main character arc. Both times she was introduced as an integral yet secondary character within the pre-established X-Men before taking a central role as part of the Dark Phoenix storyline several movies in. As this is one of Marvel’s most consequential arcs, any third attempt at Jean Grey’s story should follow a deeper exploration of her character as part of a solo movie. Jean Grey is comparable in many ways to Scarlet Witch, and with the MCU fumbling her exit as well, there’s a chance for Phoenix to rectify the situation.
Legion is an exceptionally powerful mutant, which, given that he is the son of Charles Xavier, is not surprising. There is a lot of depth to Legion that can be explored through a solo movie or series. The MCU has proven that it can tactfully tell compelling stories of characters with various mental health conditions, and there is a huge opportunity when it comes to the multiple personalities of Legion. Not only that, but as Professor X’s son, it makes far more sense to introduce this particular mutant way after his father has been well-established.
Vulcan is the brother of Cyclops and Havoc – two exceptionally powerful mutants whose abilities are nonetheless trounced by their tortured sibling. Given that Scott and Alex Summers should first be afforded the chance to demonstrate their own powers, it would be premature of the MCU to have Gabriel Summers – whose energy manipulation abilities are nigh-on unparalleled – join his brothers early on. As an as-yet unexplored mutant in the X-Men’s cinematic history, his involvement looks all the more likely.
6 Nate Grey
Nathaniel Grey is something of a Cable variant, and as such would be a pretty suitable addition to the MCU if Marvel wants to avoid using Cable again so soon. Plus, as the name suggests, he is the son of Jean Grey and Scott Summers. While their relationship has been suitably fleshed out in the past, a new iteration of the characters will first require a little exploration before this version of their “child,” – who has been genetically engineered into existence by Mr. Sinister – can be introduced. If and when he is, however, Nate would be one of the most powerful characters in the MCU.
For the last two decades, Wolverine has been the de facto main character of Fox’s X-Men franchise. While X-Men: First Class proved that the other mutants were more than capable of carrying their own movie, not even it could resist a Wolverine cameo. With Deadpool 3 seemingly set to place him in a starring role once more, Jackman’s Wolverine will have racked up nine total appearances across his career. With such an inordinate amount of time in the limelight, he could probably stand to take a backseat while the other mutants are introduced.
There is no guarantee that Jackman will not reprise his role as the MCU’s Wolverine. After all, at this point it is very hard to imagine anyone else taking it on. What is for sure, however, is that having Jackman appear alongside the MCU’s X-Men will no doubt shift focus from their introduction, making it more sensible to take a backseat – at least for one movie.
Apocalypse is one of the X-Men franchise’s most consequential villains, and unfortunately fell to a similar fate as Ultron. The gravity of Apocalypse is one deserving of the Thanos treatment, a villain whose presence should be felt over multiple movies rather than crammed into one. As such, the second stab at the “Age of Apocalypse” should be built up slowly rather than all at once, with the intimidating villain being given the proper fanfare upon his arrival.
3 Kid Omega
Quentin Quire’s story hinges on the existence of Professor X’s Xavier Institute, as he leads a revolt alongside like-minded individuals. Kid Omega is a thus-far unexplored character in the movies, opening up plenty of narrative possibilities with his omega-level psychic abilities. What is for certain, however, is that the X-Men and their headquarters must first be established before he can make his mark on the new X-Men trajectory.
As an amalgamation of Professor X and Magneto, two of the most powerful mutants in the X-Men franchise, it’s safe to say that Onslaught is pretty powerful, and should therefore comprise a pretty large part of any storyline he appears in. It is precisely because of him being a fusion of these two characters, however, that Onslaught can only be introduced much later down the line. Without first establishing the MCU’s Professor X and Magneto, there is little to justify just how powerful this omega-level mutant truly is and the sheer gravity of his presence.
One of the biggest payoffs the MCU could deliver with the arrival of the X-Men is the solo Gambit movie that has been desired for decades. As a standout part of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Gambit was teased only to be ostracized once more, placing his solo movie on the back-burner until it was too late. As a true fan favorite, the MCU is likely eyeing up the solo Gambit movie with relish, though it is one that would have to take place after the existence of mutants and the X-Men has already been well-established.