The X-Men are coming to the MCU. We’ve been expecting their arrival for some time, and now the first seeds of some version of the mutant team in the MCU have been sown with the latest Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer, which seems to include a cameo from Patrick Stewart as Professor X, reprising his role from the Fox X-Men movies in some capacity.
While that raises plenty of questions about how the X-Men will come to the MCU, we here at Newsarama are thinking mostly about the wide swath of cool and classic X-Men characters from comic books that haven’t made it to the big screen yet (and a few who got the short end of the stick in their minor appearances).
We couldn’t stop at just ten, so here are twenty X-Men characters from comic books who the MCU could finally bring to movies (and we’re still just scratching the surface!). Is your favorite on the list? If not, sound off on Twitter and Facebook and let us know which X-Men character you want to see make the jump from comics to movies in the MCU (along with your dream casting choice – just for fun!).
Cyclops was a central character in many of the Fox X-Men movies (though one could argue he’s never been the focus), and the legacy of Scott Summers and the Summers family looms large in X-Men comics. So if Disney wants to split the difference by perhaps moving away from Cyclops (or putting him in a slightly different role than we’ve seen so far) they could consider bringing in Rachel Summers, Cyke and Jean Grey’s super-psychic daughter from an alt-reality, who was the long-time possessor of the Phoenix Force. For that matter, the inclusion of Rachel Summers could be a perfect way to access the same comic lore provided by Cyclops and Jean Grey, while still moving in a brand new direction.
Must Read: Excalibur Vol. 1 (opens in new tab)
If nothing else, bringing Chamber, the former leader of teen-team Generation X, to the big screen would provide an intensely cool visual thanks to the effects of his mutant energy powers, which blasted his chest and jaw into a smoldering crater when they manifested. But there’s much more to the complex and charismatically brooding Chamber, whose struggles with the way his mutant abilities have altered the course of his life provides a compelling well of stories that still has yet to be fully tapped.
Must Read: X-Men Icons: Chamber (opens in new tab)
Former founding member of Generation X Synch is one of the most recent graduates to full-on X-Men status, and also one of the most recent mutants to seemingly attain ‘Omega’ level status with his ability to copy and enhance the mutant powers of others. The idea of a power-copycat takes a bit of thought to work your head around in a movie context, but it could make Synch a flashy and perhaps thematically relevant character for a new MCU X-Men. Think Rogue, but with an entirely different set of advantages and complications with his powers.
Marvel Studios is doubling down on its magical wing as one of the tentpoles of its current era, and there are few better mutants to connect a new X-Men team to that corner of the MCU than the ethereal, effervescent Pixie – whose fae codename is a perfect indicator of her powers, which include a pair of gossamer wings, teleportation, and a natural aptitude for magical skill. And not for nothing, if the MCU needs some youthful mutants for a younger-skewing X-Men team – or even some students in some capacity – Pixie makes for a spot-on addition as an ingenue for a team that always has at least one young, impressionable mutant in its ranks.
Despite being the age of many of their students (and starting out as one herself) Armor’s ability to create, well, armor composed of psychic energy fueled by the spirits of her ancestors made her one of the X-Men’s most unlikely powerhouses when she was unexpectedly graduated to the team during one of their adventures. In that regard, Armor (a fan-favorite to boot) could make a perfect POV character for viewers who are getting a crash course in MCU mutantkind right alongside the young hero. And as we said, she’s got psychic armor, which makes for an incredible visual – especially when she expands her constructs to full-on towering giant-robo size.
Must Read: Astonishing X-Men (2004) (opens in new tab)
As the younger sister of Cannonball (and sibling to a whole bunch of other mutants), Paige Guthrie/Husk is part of another of the X-Men’s longest-running mutant legacies, the Guthrie family. Cannonball and the rest of the main New Mutants got a shot at film in their ill-received self-titled movie, but Husk is just waiting in the wings for a shot at stardom. And with her strange powers which involve literally shedding her skin to reveal new abilities, Husk also has the potential for some truly interesting visuals. What’s more, her on-again-off-again relationship with fellow former Generation X member Chamber could be the kind of romance a new X-Men movie could hinge on.
Must Read: Generation X (1994) (opens in new tab)
The haughty and hasty Northstar is a French-Canadian mutant with the powers of flight and super-speed, and when in contact with his twin sister Aurora, the pair can also generate blasts of intense light. A former member of Alpha Flight, Northstar was a seasoned hero before ever joining the X-Men – but since he became one of the team’s staple members, his uniquely arrogant personality has made him a standout among the cast. Northstar also holds the distinction of being Marvel Comics’ first openly gay hero, an important milestone, especially in modern times. All of that adds up to a character whose time has come to make it to the movies, and who has a pitch-perfect template for the MCU to build off of.
The mysterious Chinese mutant known as Xorn has a complex history involving twin brothers, Magneto acting as an imposter in Xorn’s place, and more – but all of that could easily be boiled down into a more concise narrative for the big screen should Marvel Studios look to Xorn for their next X-Men team (and they should). Whether as a hero, villain, or both (or even something outside those simple moralistic terms) Xorn’s mutant status as a living black hole contained in a fearsome iron helmet makes for one of Marvel’s most unique X-Men characters, and that could easily translate into a new film.
The ill-fated John Proudstar was the first member of the X-Men to kick the bucket, way back in the early days of the ‘All-New X-Men’ which included Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Storm, and more. Though he’s stayed mostly dead in comics up until a recent resurrection, he’s remained a cult favorite mutant character with untapped potential as the team’s super-strong powerhouse. His younger brother Warpath made it into X-Men: Days of Future Past, but with the original John Proudstar now back in action on Krakoa, now’s the perfect chance to elevate his brief history with some new adventures – and perhaps a movie appearance.
Must Read: Giant-Size X-Men #1 (opens in new tab)
Gentle is definitely lesser-known than many of his fellow X-Men, as one of the team’s more recent recruits. But he holds a unique place in the Marvel Universe as the first member of the X-Men (and first publicly known mutant) from the hidden nation of Wakanda. Given the status Wakanda holds in the MCU, Gentle (whose powers consist of turning energy into physical size and strength) could be a fairly interesting addition to a new X-Men movie team, providing the X-franchise with a direct connection to the larger MCU.
Must Read: X-Men Red (2018) (opens in new tab)
Cecilia Reyes was one of a crop of several new mutants brought into the X-Men in the late ’90s with unique powers that set them apart from the rest of the team. And Cecilia – or Dr. Reyes, to you – does indeed stand out among the X-Men. Not only is she a trained physician, but she can also generate protective force fields, all adding up to make Cecilia one of the X-Men’s leading pacifists, who prefers to use her abilities and medical knowledge solely to protect and heal people. In terms of a film cast, those powers and that attitude could make Cecilia Reyes an interesting addition for a team that could need a leading mutant geneticist in its midst, especially if Hank McCoy takes a backseat after being front-and-center in several of the later Fox X-Men movies.
Must Read: X-Men Gold: Homecoming (opens in new tab)
We’re not gonna pretend the mutant known as Maggott, whose mutation manifests as a pair of living eels who replace his sentient intestines and have energy-absorbing powers, makes sense to everyone – or would make total sense to wide audiences. But on the other hand, he’s so bizarre that he’s cool as hell – and imagining how the visual aspect of his powers could be adapted to the screen makes the mind wobble. Fox tapped most of the core, classic X-Men with recognizable powers already, so maybe it’s time for Marvel Studios to get a little weird with the concept.
Must Read: X-Men #70 (opens in new tab)
Forge is a mutant super-genius with the power to intrinsically know how to build any device he envisions – for better or worse. That’s a bit reminiscent of how the Eternals film approached Phastos’ building powers, but Forge has a whole different approach to his work, not to mention he hasn’t got an Eternal spaceship to generate his creations. Forge is a long-running supporting X-Men character (and one of the most prominent Indigenous heroes in Marvel Comics), and especially if Krakoa and its organic technology are a factor in the MCU, Forge could be a perfect window into a totally different mutant world.
Must Read: X-Men: Lifedeath (opens in new tab)
Technically, Longshot isn’t a mutant in the same way as the rest of the X-Men. He’s a genetically engineered warrior from Mojo World, a dimension where TV ratings equate to political power, where he’s the star of that reality’s top TV show – and also a secret freedom fighter against the bizarre and monstrous ruler of Mojo World, the eponymous Mojo. As weird as all that is, veering into Mojo World (or even just adding Longshot to the X-Men mythos) would open up a whole new corner of essentially untouched comic book source material for the MCU.
Must Read: Longshot Vol. 1 (opens in new tab)
Dazzler is a cult-classic Marvel character with some serious kitschy appeal that goes well beyond her comic book following – and somehow, she’s only ever made it to movies in cameos that were ultimately cut from their intended films. But Dazzler’s power to convert sound into light, and her bombastic disco-punk-mutant style mean she could be exactly what the Professor ordered when it comes to populating a new MCU X-Men team with exciting and underused mutants. And, since she’s got a longstanding relationship with Longshot (who we just mentioned), she could form an emotional core for a new movie team as well.
Must Read: Dazzler Vol. 1 (opens in new tab)
So yeah, Psylocke has definitely been in movies before – notably (and somewhat unfortunately) in X-Men: Apocalypse, played by Olivia Munn. But these days in comic books, Psylocke has been separated back into two separate people, with Betsy Braddock, the original Psylocke, ceding the name and likeness to Kwannon, the mutant assassin with whom she once bonded into a single being (comic book science is wild, y’all). That means Betsy, who is now operating as Captain Britain in comics, is on the table for a totally different adaptation that draws on her re-established comic book roots.
Must Read: Excalibur (2019) (opens in new tab)
Technically Jamie Madrox, whose mutant power to create fully sentient physical duplicates of himself gives him the codename Multiple Man, appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, but his role barely amounted to more than a cameo to fill out an action sequence – did he even get any lines? Hardly a fitting film debut for one of the X-franchise’s most unique cult-favorite characters, whose recent reputation as the former head of X-Factor Investigations in the pre-Krakoa days puts him in an interesting position as one of mutantkind’s leading detectives. There’s a lot left to mine in bringing Multiple Man to the screen, especially if he’s given an actual personality and role in the story.
Must Read: X-Factor by Peter David (opens in new tab)
Jubilee technically had a minor role in X-Men: Apocalypse as one of a class of young X-Men including rebooted versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey, played by Lana Condor – but almost all of her scenes were cut, and her entire role was removed from the sequel Dark Phoenix. But Jubilee deserves so much better, especially considering how far comic books have brought her since her days as the X-Men’s kid sidekick as shown in X-Men: The Animated Series. It’s time she got her due.
Must Read: Wolverine & Jubilee (opens in new tab)
Gambit is just about the last major X-Men character from the ’90s cartoon (the avenue through which a whole generation of X-fans met Marvel’s mutants) not to get much if any exploration on the big screen. Sure, he had a cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it barely scratched the surface (and that movie was, uh, terrible). And of course, there’s the matter of Channing Tatum’s now-scrapped Gambit film that was in the works for years before the plug was officially pulled. What we’re saying is, he’s a shoo-in for whatever Marvel Studios is cooking up for the X-Men – which makes sense, ’cause his kinetic-charging powers and debonnaire cunning make him the perfect ‘wildcard’ for the team (pun fully intended).
Must Read: Mr. & Mrs. X (opens in new tab)
Kitty Pryde got a pair of small appearances in X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: Days of Future Past played by Elliot Page. But they barely registered as actually counting as Kitty – especially in DoFP where she had totally different powers. That said, Kitty – now going by Kate Pryde – has been a centerpiece of the X-Men franchise off and on since 1980, and with her ongoing role as leader of the Marauders, the Krakoan navy, there’s a whole new side of her in comics that hasn’t been explored yet on screen at all. And it just feels like an adult Kate in a prominent leadership role would be the perfect marriage of respecting the X-Men’s past while forging a fresh, less-traveled legacy for the MCU.
Must Read: Marauders (2019) (opens in new tab)