With the recent purchase of 20th Century Fox by Disney, the first thing that came to just about everyone’s mind was whether or not the X-Men, whose rights are owned by Fox, would now be able to mingle with the heroes of the MCU. Of course, there is already a lot happening in the MCU, and it might not even be possible to integrate the X-Men. Even Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said that the inclusion of the X-Men in the MCU is looking fairly unlikely with how much is already going on in that world. Still, fans can cross their fingers and hope against hope that the X-Men will somehow get the chance to rub shoulders with the Avengers or maybe even the Guardians of the Galaxy.
That being said, there are so many characters in the X-Men canon that Fox was able to build their own film universe with just that one property. If the X-Men do end up being included in the MCU, there will no doubt have to be some major cuts made to just how many characters can be included in upcoming stories. So that means that, unfortunately, some of the X-Men are most likely going to have to be benched when the team is introduced to the MCU. That might be for the best, though. If there was one glaring problem with the entire X-Men film franchise, it’s that it was so overstuffed with characters that some of the more important ones didn’t get as much of a chance to really shine. So here we present ten X-Men characters that should be included in the MCU (and ten that should be left behind).
20 WANT TO SEE: DEADPOOL
Since making a big splash with his first two R-rated films, Deadpool, especially as played by Ryan Reynolds has become an on-screen fan favorite. So obviously, Deadpool fans are wondering how the merc with a mouth will eventually fit in with the MCU if he’s even given the chance at all.
It would be a lot of fun to see Wade Wilson going on adventures with the Avengers, especially if he changed his mind about being in the X-Men and decided to join up with them instead. Would his fourth-wall breaking antics fit in with the world of the MCU? We know we would like to see if they did!
19 LEAVE BEHIND: WOLVERINE
Wolverine was, at one point, probably the most popular Marvel character to appear in films (right up until Spider-Man came out just a year after X-Men). Still, he remained a major fan favorite, and Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the character will no doubt stand as one of the best on-screen portrayals of a superhero ever.
That being said, it would be really hard for Wolverine to be brought back in the MCU, especially since he had such a beautiful swan song in Logan. Hugh Jackman has said he is done playing the character, and recasting the part this soon seems like it would be disrespectful to the legacy Jackman built.
18 WANT TO SEE: BEAST
Henry McCoy, also known by his code-name Beast, is such a great character because he truly displays the plight of mutants. Though he has a blue, hairy, intimidating appearance, he is intelligent, well-spoken, and not particularly violent. That is unless he is provoked, in which case he becomes, well, a beast.
Beast is one of the original X-Men, and it would be nice to see him reintroduced into the MCU. He would be a great ally for Bruce Banner and Tony Stark, what with him also being a scientist. It would be funny because he sort of falls between the two: a man who is intelligent but able to keep his more animalistic side in check.
17 LEAVE BEHIND: SABRETOOTH
Without Wolverine in the MCU, is there really any reason to have Sabretooth in there? His story is so strongly tied to Logan’s that he couldn’t really exist on his own. Not only that, but he just wouldn’t provide a great foil to the Avengers or any of the MCU heroes, considering that his powers are not all that impressive.
While Liev Schreiber did a great job playing the classic X-Men villain in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (and, next to Jackman, may have been the best part of that film overall), there’s just no need for any version of the character to exist in the MCU. There are already enough opportunities to feature great villains.
16 WANT TO SEE: PROFESSOR X
What would the X-Men be without Professor X? They are, after all, named after him. Without their fearless leader, mentor, and father figure, the X-Men would be entirely lost. Obviously, if the X-Men find their way into the world of the MCU, they’re going to need Professor X to come with them.
The only real question is whether Patrick Stewart would play the role again, or if he would open it up for someone else. Stewart has said that Logan was his swan song as the character as well, so maybe it’s time for the torch to be passed to someone else. Who that may be, we don’t know.
15 LEAVE BEHIND: MAGNETO
On the other hand, Magneto, who has been played so well by both Michael Fassbender and Ian McKellen, is probably not going to need to be a major player in the MCU version of X-Men. Besides, there would already be some confusion, considering that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are supposed to be Magneto’s kids.
In the MCU, however, these two characters were just orphans who were given their powers through the use of an infinity stone. Adding Magneto into the mix and trying to explain all of that away would just make things more complicated. Its better if they’re just super-powered people in this world and not mutants.
14 WANT TO SEE: CYCLOPS
You may be noticing a pattern here, and that’s the inclusion of all the original X-Men in the ones we would like to see in the MCU. We just think that if you’re going to drop the X-Men into this established universe, why not start with the originals, the ones who made up the very first team?
That’s why we think Cyclops, despite his lack of popularity in the films overall, should be included in the MCU. Scott Summers is a born leader and someone whom the team can look to in tough times (especially if they’re away from the mansion and Professor X). Cyclops would be a welcome addition to the MCU, and his straightforward heroic demeanor would be a nice substitute for Captain America’s.
13 LEAVE BEHIND: JUGGERNAUT
We really don’t think we need to explain why Juggernaut should just stay very far away from the MCU, but it definitely has to do with his terrible appearance in the third X-Men film. While the big guy in the helmet got a little bit more of a fun treatment in Deadpool 2, there’s just no room for him in the MCU.
Juggernaut isn’t even a real mutant! He just got his powers from the Gem of Cyttorak, which, again, would be really hard to work into the history of the MCU. While he may have been fun in previous incarnations of X-Men stories, Juggernaut would be best left behind so that the other characters don’t have to deal with him.
12 WANT TO SEE: JEAN GREY
Jean Grey, next to Professor X, might just be the most important member of the original X-Men team. She is a powerful telepath and her telekinesis powers are practically unrivaled. Her transformation into Dark Phoenix is one of the most important story-lines in all of comic book history.
There would be no real X-Men team without Jean Grey. She needs to be there. Her relationship with Scott, though not her entire character arc, is important enough that leaving it out would really weaken the character dynamics of the team. Plus, it would be great to set her up as a villain in future films.
11 LEAVE BEHIND: PSYLOCKE
Psylocke is practically a B-list X-Men character as it is, so there’s really no need to include her in the MCU. Even when she was featured as a prominent character in X-Men: Apocalypse, it felt like she was barely there. Sure, her powers and fighting skills are impressive, but there needs to be more to a character than that.
Olivia Munn did a fine job playing Psylocke, giving her just the right amount of attitude, but ultimately she would not really fit in all that well with the MCU. Besides, there needs to be more room for the X-Men characters that people really know and love, which means that Psylocke gets benched.
10 WANT TO SEE: ICEMAN
Bobby Drake, also known as Iceman, has always been a central part of the X-Men films. He is also a member of the original team, which makes him alright in our books. Having Iceman included in the MCU would be great because his powers could make for some truly awesome set pieces in the films.
Iceman is also integral to the team in that he has always been humble and good-hearted. He has never tried to take over leadership of the team, and he is happy to just be helping the other mutants and saving the world. It’s the kind of personality that would fit right in and contrast just enough with other characters in the MCU.
9 LEAVE BEHIND: JUBILEE
Let’s face it: Jubilee is no one’s favorite X-Men. In fact, her powers aren’t even unique, considering that Dazzler has almost the exact same power, that being the ability to basically shoot a fireworks display out of her hand. sure, Jubilee’s personality may be unique, but how far can that go, really?
At the end of the day, Jubilee’s powers never prove to be that useful or important to the story, and as a character, Jubilee is pretty inconsequential. She is young, excitable, and rocks a pretty cool yellow jacket, but Jubilee being in the MCU would just feel like a pointless addition.
8 WANT TO SEE: COLOSSUS
Colossus may not have played a huge role in the previous X-Men films, but he became a major player in the Deadpool films, acting as a sort of rule-abiding foil to Wade Wilson’s anarchic mercenary. Colossus would be a welcome addition to the MCU if only because it would be great to have another super strong hero other than the Hulk.
Colossus would actually make a great opponent for the Hulk, or even Iron Man if they ever had to face off for the first time. As we have seen in the MCU, sometimes the heroes do end up fighting each other before coming to some kind of agreement. How cool would it be to see any of the familiar MCU heroes take on this metal-skinned titan?
7 LEAVE BEHIND: ROGUE
Rogue was a huge part of the original X-Men trilogy of films, and while Anna Paquin did an excellent job playing the young mutant, there’s not really any good reason to include Rogue in the MCU.
For one thing, her powers have never been all that impressive at the end of the day. Sure, she can absorb the life force of anyone she touches (which also gives her the power to absorb and use the powers of mutants), but how useful could that really end up being in the long run? Maybe it’s narrow-minded to write Rogue off completely, but it’s hard to see how she would fit into a newly reorganized team of MCU X-Men.
6 WANT TO SEE: SHADOWCAT
Kitty Pryde has always been one of the most popular X-Men in the comic books, and as played by Ellen Page in X-Men: The Last Stand, the character was made even more popular. Also known as Shadowcat, Kitty Pryde would make a great addition to the MCU.
Along with having the power to phase through solid materials, Shadowcat also has a great personality and attitude that would fit in very well with the entire feel of the MCU. Imagine her having a snark-off with Tony Stark, or rubbing any of the Avengers the wrong way, only to then phase out of the room when they get too annoyed with her. She could even trade some stories with Vision, who has similar powers.
5 LEAVE BEHIND: MYSTIQUE
Mystique has always been a fixture of the X-Men film series, but it might be time to leave the blue-skinned shapeshifter behind for good. Having now been played by Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence, Mystique has been given enough story on film to satisfy fans.
It just seems like giving Mystique anymore to do in the MCU would start to produce a fatigue with the character. There’s only so many times we as an audience can see the same character played by multiple actors. Mystique would best be left behind in the Fox X-Men universe in order to make room for some mutants who never got as much attention.
4 WANT TO SEE: NIGHTCRAWLER
Nightcrawler was introduced to the X-Men films in X2: X-Men United, but he had been a fan favorite long before then, having been included in some of the most important X-Men stories, as well as the television show and several video games. Alan Cumming and Kodi Smit-McPhee have done a great job playing him, and maybe it’s time for him to make an entrance into the MCU.
IT would be nice to have at least one other mutant (other than Beast) who has an appearance that cannot be altered in any way. Telling the mutant stories is much more effective when there are mutants who cannot hide their powers. Plus, Nightcrawler’s teleportation would be very useful to the MCU heroes.
3 LEAVE BEHIND: ANGEL
Angel only appeared in two X-Men films, and both times he failed to make any sort of lasting impression. While the character is part of the original team, and it would be nice to have that entire original roster show up in the MCU, there’s just no place for this winged mutant.
The problem with Angel is that there really isn’t all that much to his character. He has wings, but so what? Iron Man can fly without wings, and Angel has no other powers to speak of (except for when he is augmented by Apocalypse, which wouldn’t happen in the MCU, so it’s a moot point.)
2 WANT TO SEE: STORM
Storm might not be an original member of the X-Men team, but she has been around for a long time, and she is a beloved character that has been played by Halle Berry and Alexandra Shipp. Storm, of course, has the power to control the weather, which would be a lot of fun to see in the MCU.
After all, who else do we know in the MCU who seems to have the ability to change the weather and bring forth lightning and thunder? Thor! It would be a lot of fun to see these two characters interact with each other and try to compare their abilities to one another.
1 LEAVE BEHIND: GAMBIT
We’re just going to go ahead and say it: stop trying to make Gambit happen! The character has never been all that important to the overall X-Men story, and honestly, he seems to only exist in order to be cool and give kids a hero that they get to fight over when they play X-Men video games.
Yes, there has been talk of a Gambit movie happening for a long time, and Channing Tatum is still interested and attached, but the character is just a result of the ’90s trend in making cool characters who are actually pretty hollow when you look closely. Gambit is best left in the realm of obscurity.