Welcome to another installment of what I hope is an enjoyable, extended look at a series of films that I’d like to see used as a way to bring the X-Men and Fantastic Four universes into the MCU. I’ve spent a troubling amount of time in my own mind thinking about this and figured that if I was going to spend that much time, I might as well write it up and feel accomplished! In doing so, I know that I’ll push some buttons with some readers, so let’s be clear about a few things: these are only MY ideas and do not, in any way, represent insight into what we should expect; of all the films I end up writing about, there’s a very small chance ANY of them get made; you’re free to write your own fan-fiction about films you want to see.
With so much time between now and when we will first see the X-Men enter the MCU, there’s a lot of time for things to change (including my own mind); however, this “blueprint” is my current idea and one that I’ve attempted to base both in the kind of decisions Marvel Studios has made to date and on the types of changes we’ve seen recently. Unfortunately, in writing these I’ve discovered I am NOT cut out to do screenplays, so some of these stray from convention in a few ways.
In the first installment, I took at look at how Starjammers could potentially kick off Marvel Studios’ inclusion of the X-Men characters into the MCU. Then I took a shot at introducing Charles Xavier to the world and explaining just why he needed the X-Men in the first place. Next, we introduced arguably Marvel’s greatest character, Victor von Doom. We then caught up on the adventures of Corsair and crew and met the poweful Shi’ar Imperial Guard. We finally gave Marvel’s first family the film they deserve and then brought the X-Men into the MCU, making good on our several movie long build up to a true-to-comics Scott Summers. Yesterday we investigated the origins of the universe and took a look at the threat nature poses to us all in the Silver Surfer. Yesterday, we reunited the Summers’ boys and took the X-Men into space and faced off against Kang the Conqueror. Now it’s time to catch up with our old friends the X-Men and bring some significant new faces to the mix.
We last saw our team of X-Men a little fractured and left off with Charles, Cyclops, Beast and Storm attacked by Deathbird as they returned to Earth following Lilandra’s crowing as Majestrix. As we catch up with them in space, they have reached out to the Starjammers and are being aided by them. In the battle, the X-Men’s ship is damaged and we’ll see them crash on a hostile alien planet while the Starjammers continue to do battle with Deathbird before sending her away (she’s not going to factor into any more of my plans, but I like bringing her back in for the opening of this film and leaving it open that another Shi’ar drama could unfold). As the X-Men check the ship and begin to do repairs, we see that the they have landed on a planet that appears uninhabitable and, well, sleazy…The Starjammers, having run Deathbird away, locate the team and determine that the ship can easily be repaired and allow them to head home with just a few hours work. While on this planet, I’m envisioning homages to Alien and The Empire Strikes Back; I want it to be spooky, I want the threat to be obvious to the audience, but I don’t want the X-Men to be stupid enough to go out wandering around an alien planet for some R&R. The ships’ crash landing has sent some shockwaves through the planet and some small, winged insectoids have made their way out to scout the situation. Once they’d seen enough, we follow the small scouts back to a cave where we meet the big bad of the film: the Brood queen.
As the crew prepares the ship for departure, the Brood attack the X-Men and Starjammers. As the battle rages, the queen draws nearer to the ship and the smaller scouts fight harder. During the battle, we see one of the scouts employ their stinger on Ch’od, who quickly falls ill from the venom. While the teams kill off many scouts, the queen makes her grand entrance and Charles immediately makes telepathic contact with the beast and can only make out its evil intentions. Charles calls out to the team to get onboard the ship but as they attempt to do so, the queen boards with them. A battle ensues and while the queen is eventually blasted off the ship by Cyclops, we find that not everyone escaped without incident: Scott and the Professor were stung by the queen. As the team heads home, a sense of uncertainty hovers over them.
Back on Earth, summer is ending and the students are returning from their trips and preparing for school. We see familiar faces in Iceman, Petra and Sway and then meet some students new for the year: Kurt Wagner, Piotr Rasputin, Anna Marie and Katherine Pryde, the daughter of Charles’ old army buddy Carmen Pryde. As school begins for the X-Men, we also catch up with Jean Grey, who we learn has enrolled in college and has put her days as Marvel Girl behind her. While much more aware of her power now, Jean is also much more in control and has continued to choose to ignore any and all things X-related…until now. As the team returns from space, Jean cannot ignore the strange new sounds in her mind no matter how hard she tries.
Back to the school, Scott and Charles have seemingly recovered from their stings but Beast remains concerned and wants to run a full battery of tests. Charles agrees, though he’s very concerned about getting the school year off to a good start first. Cyclops and Storm resume training in the Danger Room and we learn the the new recruits show a good deal of promise despite being young. In many ways, they may be more ready than the original team ever was. When everything is looking just fine, both Charles and Scott fall ill and, over the course of a couple of days, go into comas. Beast, finally given the chance to examine them, finds something horrifying: the queen, he reasons, must have implanted embryos into their bodies when she stung them. If his data is correct, the embryos seems to be growing very fast and, if left unchecked, could begin destroying organs in the pair within a week. Best reaches out to Jean in desperation and she answers his call. A scan of the bodies shows that they are, in fact, being overrun by parasitic aliens. As Jean reaches deeper and looks more closely, she finds that these embryos are connected, telepathically, with the queen that stung them. We get some nice exposition here about the Brood and their intentions and find that when these embryos hatch, the queen will come for them and the Earth will be in danger.
Scattered and lost, the remaining team convenes and formulates a plan. It’s at this point that the final new character gets added to the film. In definite Harry Potter style, the school is getting a guest teacher for the new year on loan from Alpha Flight: now we get our Wolverine. You can imagine the hilarity that ensues when Logan arrives to find out that the Professor is unconscious and he’s now the de facto leader of a group of kids, but that’s where it goes. Jean will stay back to monitor Scott and Charles; Bobby will stay with her and work to keep the body temperatures of the two down to slow the progress of the embryos. Logan and Storm will lead a team back to the Brood’s homeworld and take out the queen. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, only students with suitable skill sets are going. Colossus seems safe. Nightcrawler can BAMF out of the way of harm. Kitty can phase when they try to sting her. Rogue can kill them on contact. Wolverine…well, it’s a killing spree for him.
The third act will take place entirely on the Brood home world. For a Marvel Studios film, it’s going to be violent, but we get to see some fantastic action and Wolverine at his absolute finest. The new team gets to show off all their shiny powers and you know what else we get: Kitty is gonna come home with Lockheed because why not? In the final showdown, we get our first fastball special and Wolverine kills the queen. Her shrieks reach all the way to Earth where we see her embryos die and shrivel. Bobby and Jean slowly wake Charles and Scott and all’s well that ends well. The new team comes back from space and as we roll the credits we see Charles ponder the question of what to do with all these X-Men!
Post-Credit Scene #1: We start close in on Kurt Wagner’s face. He sweating and clearly distressed. We’ve seen during the film that he can be subject to self-doubt and that seems to be the case now. As he closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, Logan yells, “Throw the damn ball already, elf!” Yep, the X-Men are playing baseball on the grounds of the school. I always thought as a kid that being an X-Men must be awfully hard. They just go from one adventure right to another (much like what’s happened to them in these films) and there’s never any time to rest and bond. This scene would be as important to me as any other scene in these films.
Thanks for reading! 10 down, 2 to go. Tomorrow I think it’s time to get around to what happens when an ancient devourer of worlds comes to Earth.