X-Men Teams The MCU Should Introduce
The X-Men are one of the biggest groups of characters in comic history, challenging the Avengers for the numbers of characters who have been affiliated with the X Brand. Most media adaptations of the comics focus on the core team, that being Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm, Jean, Professor X and so forth. Sitting on the sideline is a small army of weird and fun characters that the MCU could easily develop into a movie or series. For example…
Although not technically an X-Team, this band of mutants has long been an essential part of X-Men lore. Taking their name from H.G. Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’, the Morlocks have identified themselves as mutants whose powers or appearance drive them out of human society to survive in the sewers beneath New York. With this starting point, we have a built in reason why the MCU haven’t noticed a bunch of mutants running around. Callisto often serves as the hard-edged leader of the group, with Masque challenging for leadership and using his power to deform people’s appearances ensuring members of the group don’t leave. There are dozens of Morlocks to use from the comics, including Caliban (who appeared in Apocalypse and Logan), Sunder, Leech (appeared in The Last Stand), Beautiful Dreamer, Skids, Tar Baby and Healer (who dresses as a wizard for some reason).
With the governments of the world being unable to control the Avengers, it stands to reason that they’d seek out an alternative group of powered individuals to put on the books. The second incarnation of X-Factor was just this, a government sponsored group of mutants kept on hand to deal with mutant threats. Typically lead by Havok (who we saw in First Class and Apocalypse), they answer to government liaison Val Cooper and often have to pick sides between their country and their own people. Among the line up we have Quicksilver, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (featured in The New Mutants), Polaris and Multiple Man – all visually interesting characters who could provide a good match for what the Avengers become next.
Long after the government team was disbanded, the name of co-opted by former member Jamie Maddrox (Multiple Man) who wanted to fulfil his dream of becoming a hard-boiled detective. His ability to create duplicates has endless possibilities, and his ability to absorb the skills and memories of returning dupes gives him an endless skill set to draw upon. Various other characters join X-Factor Investigations, such as Butterfly, Strong Guy, Syrin, M, Shatterstar, Longshot, Rictor and Darwin, creating one of the weirdest and dysfunctional groups in comic history.
It is all about the multiverse these days, giving us the perfect opportunity to bring in the dimension hopping eXiles. A group of six alternate versions of X-Men characters are pulled from their own realities by a being known as the Timebroker, who charges them with going to different universes and correcting problems in their timelines. The promise is that they will be returned home once they’d done their part, leading to a frequently changing roster of characters as team members die or leave. With Mimic and Blink at the core of the group, the rest can basically be any version of any character you want. Most interestingly is the rival group Weapon X, who the Timebroker uses for jobs requiring the deaths of innocents.
Absolutely one of the best teams put together by the legendary X-Men writer Chris Claremont, Excalibur switched the location to London with a small band of heroes left behind after the apparent death of the X-Men. Shadowcat, Nightcrawler and Phoenix II join forces with the mighty Captain Britain and nature elemental Meggan to form a group who spend a surprising amount of time partaking in ‘cross-time capers’. Along the way they battle bizarre and nonsensical aliens, Nazi versions of themselves, team up with British spy agency W.H.O. (Weird Happenings Organisation) and live an odd sitcom style life in a lighthouse. How can you not want this?
THE OUTBACK ERA TEAM
For a period of the 1980s the X-Men were forced to abandon their usual upstate New York home to hide out in a ghost town deep in the Australian outback. With the help of teleporter Gateway they’d travel the world performing heroic deeds in secret while battling the mechanically enhanced Reavers on the homefront. This secrecy surrounding their actions is a good way to introduce the mutants to the MCU, and it has a unique line-up of fan favourites and lesser known gems. Storm, Wolverine, Colossus and Rogue are joined by Dazzler, Longshot, Psylocke (seen in Apocalypse) and Havok, bringing out some interesting dynamics and rivalries.
We’ve long been a fan of Tom Taylor’s writing, and nothing made us happier than the announcement that he’d be assembling his own team of mutants! Not only that, but he’ s bringing in my favourite X-Man, Nightcrawler, and teaming him up with Jean Grey, Namor, Honey Badger, Wolverine (Laura version), Gentle and newcomer Trinary. The team travels to the UN with the intention of establishing a mutant nation. With the expanding cast of superhero characters in the MCU it would be interesting to see a some of the global political ramifications of the evolving world.
It’s not the core team of X-Men that would make this a good entry into the MCU canon, comprising of staples such as Cyclops, White Queen and Beast, but the young trainees that make up the student population of the Xavier Institute. It took a surprisingly long time before the comics leaned into the idea of the the X-Men running a school but when Grant Morrison went down this path he filled the halls with dozens of new characters. The casual comic reader isn’t going to know them by name, but Dust, Hellion, Wallflower, Pixie, Gentle, Elixir, Wither, Anole, Rockslide, Surge, Prodigy, Mercury and more would make for a colourful bunch of younger characters for a new audience. Plus you get Kid Omega as a villain, and that’s always a bonus.