On March 20, 2019, Disney acquired 20th Century Fox. This puts the rights to Marvel’s most famous superhero team, the X-Men, firmly in the House of Mouse’s hands. With references to the Children of the Atom being seeded throughout Phase 4 of the MCU, here are 5 storylines I would like to see them adapt for the big screen.
Spider-Man: House of M
This adventure might be tricky to pull off a live-action format but I still think it could work. In the comics, Scarlet Witch alters reality to create the House of M, in which mutants are the majority, humans the minority and Magneto the ruler. In Spider-Man: House of M Peter Parker is a celebrity and film star, which if adapted for cinema could be a way of subtly sending up on the real world celebrity of MCU stars such as Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland. What might make this work is if this reality’s Spidey keeps having recurring nightmares about a world in which he was unable to save the love of his life, Gwen Stacy, only to discover that the life he is living is a lie. The wall-crawler could then go on a Matrix-style search for the truth which would lead him to Wanda Maximoff AKA The Scarlet Witch causing Peter to be faced with a choice about which reality he wanted to live in. If the existence of mutants is carefully drip-fed throughout this series it could set them up as a potential threat and make them immediately interesting given Wanda’s immense power level and what she has done to the world.
This series saw Alex Summers’ consciousness swap places with an alternate universe version of himself and have to adjust to the strange new reality that contained different versions of his friends. I think Mutant X would work best as a Disney+ series where they would have many many episodes to tell the complete story. One disadvantage of adapting this storyline is that its universe would be completely self-contained and not fit into the main MCU at all. That being said there is a great deal of potential for a Mutant X live-action series to show a positive male role model in Alex Summers, as he attempts to care for his alternate counterpart’s son. It would be great to see Madelyne Pryor make her on-screen debut although the writers would have to be careful that her portrayal didn’t veer into the realms of misogyny. One thing that might have to change is the ending of the series as most if not all of the characters die in the comic version.
Nobody can deny that a 1602 adaptation would be utterly awesome. Put simply this comic takes the X-Men, the Fantastic 4, and the Avengers and puts them into 17th century Europe. It is revealed in the comics that the reason for the creation of this alternate reality is a time-traveling Captain America (which could be a way of getting Chris Evans to reprise his role as the First Avenger if they go through with this) who was sent back in time by the Purple Man, who by that point had become a totalitarian leader. Anything that can potentially have David Tennant and Chris Evans sharing the spotlight is a win in my book, as well as there being a massive opportunity for stories set in this world. Maybe the X-Men influence how European history plays out creating an even weirder timeline? Perhaps Tony Stark builds a steampunk suit of armour which revolutionizes technology in that world? The only problem is that like Mutant X this would not fit into the main Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men
The reason I think an X-Men live-action series based on Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men would work is that the story has a very strong main character in Kitty Pryde. Viewing the world that the X-Men inhabit from Shadowcat’s perspective would provide viewers with a likable audience surrogate in the same way that a Spider-Man: House of M or Mutant X show would. This live-action series could also introduce the organization S.W.O.R.D. which was teased at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as other characters such as Kavita Rao and Ord of Breakworld. Given the ending of Whedon’s run on this title, there would be plenty of potential for stories about what happened to Ms. Pryde after she saved the world, or they could add to the character’s mystique (no pun intended) by resting her for a while and then bringing Kitty back in Phase 5 or Phase 6 film, in which her abilities are key to defeating the threat once again.
Grant Morrison’s New X-Men
Adapting Grant Morrison’s New X-Men for the small screen would give Marvel creatives the opportunity to delve into the culture of mutants and what being different in a world that is not yet ready to accept them actually means. I’m thinking here about Morrison’s U-Men, (humans with grafted mutant organs) as well as seeing Charles Xavier’s dream from the standpoint of “ordinary” mutants such as Beak and Quentin Quire. I think an adaptation of the “Riot at Xavier’s” storyline would be a perfect way of showing a Child of the Atom who is not a squeaky clean paragon. This series could also show fans that superpowers do not make you a hero as we see in Beak’s confrontation with Magneto at the run’s climax. However, some people find the retcon of the Master of Magnetism into an utter villain controversial, as the nuances in Erik Lehnsherr’s character (put simply; a well-intentioned extremist for whom the ends justify the means) are to many what makes him so compelling. This is also what makes Magneto and his philosophy relevant to the real world.
Would you like to see any of these suggestions find their way onto the big or small screen? How would you introduce the X-Men to the MCU? Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to be awesome.