This week, Dark Phoenix hits theaters and brings the mainline Fox X-Men franchise to a close. New Mutants is still due to release next April, but the second attempt at the Dark Phoenix Saga ends the main franchise series that’s been going on since 2000.
Kevin Feige has said it’s going to be a very long time before the X-Men show up in the MCU, up to five years, and after the Dark Phoenix reviews that’s probably a good thing. But once they do appear in the MCU, what could a Marvel Studios X-Men series look like?
I’ve been reading X-Men comics for my entire life. As much as I loved the Jim Lee 90s relaunch and the animated series it spawned, Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s run on X-Men will always be the X-Men that fills me with nostalgia. Along with Fantastic Four, the X-Men are my favorite comics of all time. That’s why I appear to be so harsh on the FoX-Men. I love these characters and I want to see them done right, not driven into the ground like the current franchise has done.
One thing about X-Men that people have been saying is that they doubt that Marvel will touch Dark Phoenix after two failed attempts. The problem with that is avoiding Dark Phoenix is like trying to avoid the Infinity Stones. It’s inevitable. It’s part of Jean’s character, and it’s something that’s always there threatening to show back up in X-Men comics. The key is doing the Dark Phoenix Saga right, and that means not limiting it to a one-off movie. It’s something that has to be built to.
My personal ideal MCU X-Men run would look something like this:
Uncanny X-Men: Use the first movie to introduce just the original 60s team: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, and Iceman along with Professor X, Magneto, and the Brotherhood.
Uncanny X-Men: Mutant Genesis: Borrowing the title from the 90s relaunch overall arc, the sequel can introduce characters like Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler as well as the Hellfire Club with Sebastian Shaw.
Uncanny X-Men: Phoenix Rising: As you can’t avoid the Phoenix, you have to start introducing that threat. In the comics, the big betrayal doesn’t come from the cosmic space force, it’s when good-girl Jean turns bad. Here she can do that, join the Hellfire club. End the movie on a cliffhanger, just like in the comics, with her blowing up the Blackbird.
Uncanny X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga Parts 1 and 2: Here’s where the real Phoenix saga can be done, and done right in a two-parter. Leave most of the on-earth stuff with the X-Men in the first part, while part 2 goes completely bonkers cosmic with the Shi’Ar, Kree, and Skrull empires like in the comics.
Uncanny X-Men: House of M: Six movies is the normal for most contracts, so the original X-Men will need to be retired much like in Endgame. A House of M movie could remove them, while introducing New Mutants to carry on the franchise into the future of the MCU.
Again, this is just my ideas for what I’d like to see as the MCU X-Men. Kevin Feige is going to do something we’ve never seen with the characters before, and even with Dark Phoenix bringing down the current franchise, we have good X-Men movies to look forward to.