Five X-Men Stories That Fox Would Have Done Worse Than Dark Phoenix
Once upon a time, before original graphic novels and “writing for the trade,” mainstream comics were monthly episodic fiction stories that ended up not making a lot of sense when you threw them together, especially as writers came and went. It’s impressive then that Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, John Byrne and others were able to follow the arc of Jean Grey to Phoenix and finally to Dark Phoenix in a time when collected trades and OGN’s were not even a concept in most American readers’ minds. This is one of the few ambitious stories that stands out from this era. So many hands in the pot, including one that led to a change in the ending, and the story still finished strong.
And Fox did The Last Stand and screwed their first adaptation attempt up. Badly.
Say what you will about the second try that just came out, but at least in that one the heroes went up in space a little.
Fox probably did the right thing with a looser adaptations the first time around, using the X-Men’s many concepts while ignoring or changing most of the story details. It’s a good move given nearly half a century of continuity (It’s certainly helped the main Marvel movies). Sadly, when Fox takes that approach, The Last Stand and other results are sometimes suspect. At least they aimed high, as some X-Men stories have ideas that are…better left to rest.
This isn’t very timely, but I’m not much of a clickbait list writer. I just want to have fun.
Below I list five X-Men tales I remember reading back in the day. They were fun reads at the time, but when you revisit them, you can’t help but notice some (shall we say) awkward moments. I shudder what would have happened if Fox had their hand in these. Let’s count them down and imagine what the movie executives would have done with them.
1. The Brood Storyline.
Exec One: So the X-Men are in space, and they have to fight off aliens that reproduce by laying eggs…
Head Exec: This is Aliens.
Exec One: What?
Head Exec: This is every Alien movie but with superheroes.
Exec One: But we own that franchise too, so maybe we can cross —
Head Exec: No.
Exec One: Wait! These aliens are different. They fly around in sharks!
Head Exec: Sharks…
Exec One: Yes!
Head Exec: X-Men: Sharkndado! Greenlight it.
2. The Morlocks
Exec Two: So it turns out there’s a whole underground society of mutants who aren’t able to blend in, so they live in the sewers of New York.
Head Exec: I love it! One of the them joins the X-Men and this will lead to other spinoff movie. The school can take them in as new students, and we can tie that in to the New Mutants movie…
Exec Two: None of them ever join the X-Men. Or the school.
Head Exec: None of them?
Exec: Two: No. Well, Wiki says one joins X-Force, dies later. Same guy who was in Logan for minute, then died.
Head Exec: Why wouldn’t the X-Men take them into a mansion, which is clearly better than a sewer?
Exec Two: Because…homeless people smell?
Head Exec: Yes, I’ve heard that they do. And they are in the sewers. We’ll put a pin on this one.
Exec 3: It’s basically apartheid Africa, but with mutants!
Head Exec: Yes! Take that Black Panther! So it’s an African country with African mutants?
Exec 3: Uh, no, it’s an island with a white population.
Head Exec: So it’s a white population of mutants standing in for apartheid Africa.
Exec 3: Yes.
Head Exec: And I assume that over the course of the story it’s liberated.
Exec 3: Yes.
Head Exec: By predominantly white mutants.
Exec 3: And…Storm?
Head Exec: I LOVE IT!
Exec 4: So there’s this whole —
Head Exec: Wait, is that Jean Grey?
Exec 4: No, that’s The Goblin Queen.
Head Exec: Jean Grey’s a goblin now?
Exec 4: No, she’s Madelyne Pryor. She’s actually Cyclops’ first wife.
Head Exec: Jean Grey’s not his first wife?
Exec 4: No.
Head Exec: He married someone who looked like his psychotic girlfriend?
Exec 4: Well, Wiki says she was a clone of Jean Grey.
Head Exec: So it’s very goofy instead of slightly creepy?
Exec 4: Well…
Head Exec: Can’t we just have her be Jean Grey? OG Jean Gey?
Exec 4: OG wha — ?
Head Exec: I just want to see Jean Grey die again! Please…?
5. God Loves Man Kills
Head Exec: Didn’t we adapt this?
Exec 5: Sort of. We used the villain, but maybe with the retconned universe, we can bring him back as a reverend, be all God Hates Mutants.
Head Exec: I like it! What’s that in your hand?
Exec 5: The book it’s based on.
Head Exec: You read comics?
Exec 5: My assistant gave it to me.
Head Exec: Your assistant reads comics?
Exec 5: I fired him.
Head Exec: Good.
Exec 5: But before that he gave me this. It shows Kitty Pryde being angry after being called a “mutie.”
Head Exec: Is that supposed to be a slur?
Exec 5: In the comics, I guess.
Head Exec: Is that a thing in the movies?
Exec 5: No.
Head Exec: So it’s a made up slur?
Exec 5: Yeah, and she compares it to the N-word.
Head Exec: What?
Exec: And says the N-word.
Head Exec: What?
Exec 5: To a black character.
(even longer pause)
Exec 5: She’s done it a lot, I guess.
(longest pause ever)
Head Exec: I! LOVE! IT!
Exec 5: Huh?
Head Exec: A white person educates a black person on racism? We’ll beat Marvel to the Oscar! Let’s Green Room this baby!
Exec 5: Huh?
Head Exec: We just have to kill her at the end.
Exec 5: What?
Head Exec: We can’t have her say the N-word and get away with it. She’ll have to die to appease the SJW’s. That’ll give them their reparations!
Exec 5: I don’t think you know —
Head Exec: You’re fired!
Bonus: Three storylines that should end Fox’s run on X-Men
which are excuses to include Deadpool
1. X-Cutioner’s Song
Exec One: Cable shoots Charles Xavier, but it’s not Cable. It’s Stryfe.
Head Exec: Stryfe?
Exec One: He’s a clone of Cable.
Head Exec: Another clone?!?
Exec One: That’s why we put in Deadpool.
Head Exec: Deadpool? Why?
Exec One: So he can do meta humor on the clone plot twist.
Head Exec: Is Ryan Reynolds in?
Exec One: When isn’t he?
Head Exec: and Josh Brolin?
Exec One: He was drinking when I asked him, so…yes!
2. Messiah Complex
Exec Two: So Wiki says there’s this child who is the first mutant born after —
Head Exec: It’s Jean Grey!
Exec Two: What? No! Her name is Hope Su —
Head Exec: She has red hair. She has fire around her! It’s Jean Grey! Not again!
Exec Two: She’s just a baby in this first story, and Cable takesher, and everyone tries to hunt down Cable.
Head Exec: To kill her?
Exec Two: No! Well, not all —
Head Exec: Is Deadpool one of them?
Exec Two: He…is now!
Head Exec: Good! Call it X-Men: The Hunt for Jean Grey!
Exec Two: I’m sorry?
Head Exec: Do it!
Exec Two: Poor Josh Brolin…
3. Age of Apocalypse
Exec Three: It’s a dystonia timeline. Someone goes back in time and kills Xavier, then everything goes wrong.
Head Exec: We end on another retcon?
Exec Three: Yes.
Head Exec: Perfect. But is Xavier really that important to the world? He seems to be either dead, in a coma or in space when half of everything important happens.
Exec Three: Did you…read the comics?
Head Exec: What was that?
Exec Three: Did you…know we put Deadpool in this too? He’ll hunt Cable for most of the movie.
Head Exec: What did Josh Brolin say?
Exec Three: He just cried for a while.
Head Exec: And…?
Exec Three: Our lawyers say that’s a yes.
Note: Chad Parenteau has never been an executive, but he has voiced acted one.