Marvel writer Mark Millar was given the job of taking Fox’s Marvel X-Men franchise, and turning it into the powerhouse of Disney’s Marvel movies like The Avengers. He recently stated that he’s developed a long-range plan to develop at least ten movies based off of stories from the X-Men franchise. There’s no shortage of great stories to be told in the X-Men Universe. Here are 10 of them:
10. Days of Future Past – This story is already being told in the next X-Men movie, but it bears repeating, because it’s considered one of the best. In this classic storyline, we travel back and forward through time while the X-Men try to prevent a horrific future. In the present, Kitty Pryde awakens to reveal that she has traveled from a future where all mutants have been either killed or imprisoned, and the mutant-hunting Sentinel robots rule supreme. The X-Men have to stop the future from coming to pass. Hopefully, we’ll see all the elements that made this story great.
9. Where No X-Man Has Gone Before – Once Days of Future Past sets up the Sentinels, this next movie would put them into a full-on battle in our time. Originally released in 1977, the great thing about this movie would be that it would take the X-Men in another new direction: space. It’s too bad the movies already used the most significant part of this story, the death of Jean Grey.
8. The Nimrod Sentinel Saga – First appearing in Uncanny X-Men 207-209, this story arc was simple but jam-packed with fight scenes. The story revolves around mutant Rachel Summers (Phoenix II) going after the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle to kill their leader. Wolverine tries to stop her, which draws the X-Men into battle with the Hellfire Club in Central Park. Along the way, the mutant-hunting sentient robot Nimrod drops by to wipe out all of them. This would take a lot of setup to establish the Inner Circle, Rachel, and Nimrod, but the final three-way battle would be awesome on screen.
7. Mutant Massacre – In this crossover from 1986, a mutant group of assassins called the Marauders are sent to wipe out the Morlocks, a society of deformed mutants living under New York City. The X-Men rush to try to stop the genocide, and during battle with the Marauders, suffer heavy damage to their own. This story had a major impact in the comics, because (among other things) it caused Angel to lose his wings, Colossus to become a paraplegic, and Shadowcat to get stuck in her shadow form. It also nearly wiped out the Morlock community. Not sure how much of that they would put in the movie, but the sheer number of mutants fighting it out would put it on par with the ending of X-Men 3.
6. Broodfall – If you want to go in a different direction for an X-Men movie, Broodfall is the one to do it. In this epic 1988 storyline, a race of alien creatures called the Brood invade Earth. Picture H.R. Giger’s Xenomorphs, except they infect their victims with a virus that changes them into more Brood. This movie would be X-Men meets Aliens with the mutants battling hordes of hideous monsters. The key moment from the comic would be when Wolverine is among several X-Men infected, and faces an internal battle with the Brood virus trying to overcome his healing factor. Ultimately, the X-Men battle the Brood for control of Earth.
5. God Loves, Man Kills – In this storyline, an evangelical preacher named Stryker stirs up anti-mutant hatred. They took the name William Stryker for X2, but in this series, Stryker is a very different villain. In this story arc, he’s a televangelist who leads a fanatical group of mutant hunters called Purifiers. The story made the mutant’s analogy of racism starkly clear, and the religious overtones would be a compelling aspect. Much of what makes the story great is the characterization, including a climax where Kitty Pride tries to talk Stryker out of his plans. This which would make for a richer movie. But the fact that X2 cannibalized this story, including Stryker’s plan to use Xavier to kill all the mutants, and the X-Men teaming up with Magneto, means it would probably never be turned into a movie on its own.
4. The Fall of the Mutants – This story arc consisted of three separate story lines in three different books, but the best was the storyline of Apocalypse. Apocalypse is the oldest known mutant and one of the X-Men’s most powerful villains with enormous powers. Yet his most dangerous trait is his belief that mutants as well as humans must be culled and plunged into war to advance evolution. In Fall of the Mutants, Apocalypse unleashes his four mutant horsemen, whose powers reflect the traditional horsemen of Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death. One of the most powerful twists in the story is that Death is, in reality, a cybernetically-enhanced version of the mutant Angel. Angel made a Faustian bargain with Apocalypse after his real wings where surgically removed, replacing them with deadly metal knives instead of feathers. The horsemen try to destroy New York City, and battle X-Factor in the process. The concept of the Biblical apocalypse personified might be controversial, which is why I think he would work. Marvel has always incorporated religious themes into its comics, and seeing it play out on screen would be awesome.
3. X-Tinction Agenda – Imagine the X-Men at war with an entire country. That’s X-Tinction Agenda. In this 1990 storyline, some of the X-Men are captured and taken to the island nation of Genosha. Genosha is a nation opposed to mutants, but instead of trying to kill mutants, they have worked on ways to exploit mutants as slaves. While some of the X-Men are imprisoned and sent into the process of being turned into mindless drones, the other X-Men race to rescue them. This leads to an all-out war between the X-Men and the Genoshan army, and the X-Men ultimately topple the government of Genosha itself.
2. House of M – Published in 2005, House of M was one of the most epic stories of the X-Men comics. When the Avengers and X-Men try to control the renegade powers of reality-altering mutant Scarlet Witch, she creates an alternate reality where Magneto’s dream comes true. The mutants are the dominant race over humans, and Magneto rules over all. This storyline is noteworthy in that they succeed in restoring the real world with one terrible consequence: the majority of mutants are stripped of their powers, permanently. If this happened in the movie, it would radically change future sequels, so they may steer clear of it.
1. Age of Apocalypse – Once you’ve set up Apocalypse in Fall of the Mutants, you can do this story arc, which has consistently been ranked among the best X-Men story lines. When a mutant goes back in time and accidentally kills Charles Xavier, an alternate time line is created where Apocalypse rules North America. Humans have been rounded up and almost exterminated. Mutants aren’t safe, either – any mutants with psychic or time-altering powers are hunted, and Apocalypse sends mutants to brutal camps to test their worth. The story line could piggyback off of House of M and Days of Future Past, setting up a trilogy of the X-Men traveling to alternate realities. At least, that’s what I’d do. But what do I know?
Which of these story lines do you think would make the best movies? What other story lines would you like to see?
[Image Source: Comicbooktherapy]