With Disney now (possibly) at the helm of the X-Men Cinematic Universe they might be able to give the franchise a fresh start. Hopefully a more comic book-like, colorful, and fun start that could bring some of the more unique villains in their universe to the big screen.
At the moment 20th Century Fox is finishing up the latest X-Men movie, “Dark Phoenix” and I couldn’t be less thrilled. There is talk of bringing some of the Shi’ar Empire aspects to the film, so if that is handled properly I might change my mind, anyways. Over the course of the X-Men movies helmed by 20th Century Fox, we have tread over the same structure time and time again and their use of heroes and villains have been a tad bit disappointing. Most of the villains have been disposable and merely there to have us marvel (no pun intended) at some new CGI “thing” without having any substance or real ties to their comic book counterparts. The mutant heroes they parade around do one or two things and then hide in the shadows with zero dialog or interaction for the rest of the team for the duration of the film.
and to be honest I’m still pissed about how they handled Mystique. How come no one calls out how F’ed up her being nude is? And scales…WTF…..
Anyways, enough about the past, lets think about the future. Disney have brought a ton of things into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Space, Magic, Mythology, Aliens…the list goes on and on and it only grows bigger with every new movie. The great thing about the X-Men is they have done “all the above” and at one time their little pocket of the Marvel Comics Universe was a little more “independent” and little more “underground-ish” to mirror the comic landscape of the 60s,70s, and 80s. A lot of the characters still could work today because they drew inspiration from some of the fringe ideas of pop-culture and the landscape of the world that are still lingering today. Lets take a look at some I think would work.
1. Star Jammers (and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard)
If the new movie does bring in Lilandra Neramani, the Empress of the Shi’ar Empire as is rumored then we should see the Star Jammers eventually (hopefully).
Of course the biggest drawback of the Star Jammers is how close they resemble the modern cinematic version of The Guardians of the Galaxy. They were a rag tag group of escaped prisoners that were lead by an Earthling. Only in this case the Earthling was Scott and Alex Summers’ father, Christopher. I could go on about the whole backstory, but that’s a story for another day.
With the inclusion of the Star Jammers we could get a ton of new alien races and cool characters because they would be a bridge into the “other side” of Marvel’s space mythos. Throw in the Shi’ar’s “Superman”, Gladiator and the other members of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and you have a true space opera super hero movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love Guardians of the Galaxy but it’s mostly guns and ships…I want super powers damnit.
Man, wouldn’t it be cool to see Wolverine face off against Fang? and see him take his costume after he kills/kicks the crap outta him.
2. Arcade (and Murder World)
With the inclusion of the villain Arcade we could achieve a few things. One, Arcade can be super creepy in a Jigsaw from Saw kinda way. Arcade fancies himself a twisted carnival barker that beckons his victims to his Murder World, a sinister game that is littered with death traps and murderous robots.
Secondly, Arcade has access to an almost limitless supply of robots. Some look very life-like while others are just metal automatons created to kill. Robots would be great advisories for the X-Men to showcase their powers by not really killing human beings. Picture Wolverine (in costume) really going full-tilt berserker on a swarm of robots or Colossus ripping robots in half or punching through them. Sounds like a winner under the new Disney banner. Hell, you could get some extra creep factor because Arcade has used clown robots before and people just love clowns. Hey, come to think of it Arcade has many robot versions of a ton of other Marvel characters, so you could have a cross-over without really having a cross-over. Cool.
Lastly, to counter balance the deadly nature of Murder World, Arcade uses a lot of bright colors and neon. That would look amazing on the big screen. It would be a great departure from the drab and dark pallet of the other X-Men films. Remember kids, X-Men weren’t all black leather and brooding assholes…they used to have pool parties for Christ’s sake.
3. Captain Britain (and Excalibur)
Not truly a mutant, Captain Britain has ties to many mutants in England and across the pond in America. Captain Britain (Brain Braddock) was given his powers by Merlin, first with magical artifacts and later by absorbing the magic from the artifacts. Brain’s twin sister Betsy is the mutant known as Psylocke (who has a hellava back story), which gave him direct ties to the X-Men even before forming Excalibur. Captain Britain was always either a solo hero or would adventure with his mutant girlfriend Meggan, but after the X-Men were thought dead, the recovering Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde, and a recently freed Rachel Summers joined Brain and Meggan to form Excalibur.
Excalibur covered so many different genres. Magic, horror, humor, and the one thing it excelled at, Multi-dimensional adventure. For a period in the comic series, Excalibur bound from dimension to dimension and had many different adventures. In many of the realities they came face to face with their doppelgangers and even fought “Nazi” versions of themselves.
Add TechNet as the villains and you could have a movie that would mix elements of Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and Doctor Who. Also, TechNet are a fun bunch of villains that are more foils than down-right evil villains. After the hit movie spin them off as a Saturday morning cartoon on Disney XD or Disney’s streaming service. It would be madcap silly fun that kids would love.
4. The Marauders
Speaking of down-right evil, the mutant murdering group known as the Marauders fit the bill. Introduced in a storyline that began in the X-Titles and extended into the Mighty Thor called Mutant Massacre, the Marauders pulled no punches and wiped out a large number of mutants called the Morlocks. The Marauders didn’t leave the battle without loses as three members were also killed.
As the Inferno story arc carried through to all of the X-Titles in 1989, the Marauders became a very deadly group as they hunted down the X-Men as hell itself was erupting in New York. Mister Sinister along with the clone of Jean Grey, Madeline Pryor were behind the Marauders using them as shock troopers to attack the X-Men. Most of the members of the Marauders died in the battle.
The Marauders would be a good way to introduce Sabertooth back into the X-Men movie franchise as well as Gambit as it was later (much later) revealed that he acted as a scout for the group. Also using a group like the Marauders would add a bit of grit to the movies and maybe even give it an R rating if Disney wants to continue that course.
5. Sauron (and The Savage Land)
Lets be honest shall we, Dinosaurs are awesome. Now add the X-Men and you have a perfect storm of radical proportions. The Savage Land is a primordial world nestled beneath the artic circle and the X-Men have had many adventures there over the decades. Amongst the dinosaurs, monsters, and tribesman is also a healthy dose of super science as this is the place the High Evolutionary calls home. With the help of the High Evolutionary, the Savage Land has its own mutants and animal hybrids known as the Ani-men.
Another person to call the Savage Land home is the mutant known as Sauron. Sauron is an energy vampire that turns into a humanoid pterodactyl. While in his pterodactyl form, Sauron forgets about his human alter ego, Karl Lykos and becomes a energy hungry mad man.
Heck, why stop there. Add the Tarzan-like Ka-Zar (which a large number of Marvel heroes have worked with before) and you could have spinoff after spinoff focusing on the primitive world of the Marvel Universe.
Hey, these are just the things I’d like to see one day. As you could tell most of my mentions come from the 80s or earlier, which is my favorite time period of comics. Let me know what you think and some of the things you would like to see in a Disney owned X-Men movie.