When the deal between Fox and the House of M(ouse) was announced, it looked like Marvel might finally get their mutants back. And most fans were obviously excited for the X-Men to finally appear within in the MCU. However, is this really a smart move or could it be too much of a good thing?
It could complicate the universe too much. As some non-comic book fans asked when Infinity War ended, why didn’t the X-Men help out? Rather than nerd-splain the industry specifics, this is a good story point, how would Marvel go about explaining where the mutants have been during the previous phases? Surely someone would have noticed a school of powered people hiding up near New York. They could reverse things with Scarlett Witch by uttering the word “Mutants” at the end of Avengers 4 with the Infinity Gauntlet but it seems a bit of a stretch, even for a story involving a talking tree, super-soldiers and Norse Gods. But it would also parallel the legendary ‘House of M’ storyline from the comics, which opens up even more potential with an alternate reality.
Speaking of alternate realities, let’s look at the X-Men Universe. After seeing the success of Deadpool and Logan, it shows that there is an appetite for an adult approach to comic book films. But since Disney clearly aim for family friendly content to appeal to a wider audience, a violent series of X-Men movies wouldn’t fit under their banner. But if Disney could be persuaded, the X-Men universe could be a place for the characters from all sides that don’t quite fit with the MCU’s PG tone. The New Mutants could be a perfect fit for this since the trailer seems to try something different; a horror/comic book hybrid.
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It’s fair to say that X-Men films have been hit and miss since their inception, and seem to be entering a time of diminishing returns. Apocalypse was a forgetful film which didn’t set the crowds running to the cinema. Plus, none of their villains bar Magneto and Mystique are particularly memorable. Apocalypse looked like Ivan Ooze from the original Power Rangers movie. Plus, is there anyone truly foaming at the mouth for Dark Phoenix? Maybe it’s time to give the world a break from the X-Men for a few years.
Although the X-Men have had a few high class films in their time, like X-2 and Days of Future Past, it’s Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four, that are still to have a film that does the characters justice. They would seem a more natural addition to the MCU than the mutants. The light hearted, adventurous nature of the team would certainly fit well with Disney’s family friendly approach. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a Human Torch/Spidey team up? It could even bring us a new legendary villain. This character is up there in the same class as Thanos as a ‘Big Bad’. Doctor Doom (of course) offers something different than what we have seen before and might be able to give us a relatable backstory in the same way that Killmonger did in Black Panther. He could be introduced without the FF through the sorcery element as a sting to the (unannounced) Dr. Strange sequel or even as a way to bring in the Dark Avengers.
But let’s be honest, if they use the FF as way of introducing the X-Men and keeping them separate, in a few years when the MCU needs a boost, we could have an adaptation of the Avengers vs. X-Men comics as a big tent pole film. Now that would be something to get audiences excited…
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