Marvel has given The X-Men a complete re-invention in the recent “Dawn of X” reboot from writer Jonathan Hickman. Dawn of X has unfolded in Marvel Comics over the last year, starting with the “House of X” event in fall 2019, up through the recent “X of Swords” crossover. Meanwhile, as Marvel is completely revamping X-Men on the comic book page, Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios are having “long and ongoing discussions” about how to bring the X-Men into Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Well, Dawn of X has provided the X-Men mythos with a number of key new elements that we think Marvel should definitely consider including in the MCU adaptation.
Here are 7 things an X-Men MCU Movie Should Borrow From the Dawn of X comic reboot:
Krakoa: The Mutant Nation
One of the most worn tropes in X-Men is the Xavier School/secret superheroes framework of the series. The version of the team that exists as an independent mutant nation is far more intriguing.
Dawn of X has set a new framework where all mutants on Earth are a welcome part of the mutant nation of Krakoa, a living mutant island. The island has its own full-fledged mutant culture, government, laws, language, and religious rituals. It’s a strange new world that would definitely give the MCU X-Men a very distinct feel from other superheroes – and more importantly, that unfortunate Inhumans stumble.
Prof. X + Magneto
Like Uncle Ben’s death or the murder of Batman’s parents, X-Men movies have done the Charles Xavier/Magneto rivalry enough times to fans to watch it all over again. Dawn of X has offered a much more interesting alternative: a version of Xavier and Magneto that have been partnered up all along.
As you can read below, the “House of X” event series redefined the timeline of the Xavier/Magneto rivalry in a big way, not to mention the characters themselves. Xavier is now more sinister, with half his head always hidden in a helmet version of Cerebro; Magneto wears clean white and acts as a noble head of state, rather than a villain. The MCU could benefit from exploring the characters and their relationship from these new angles.
The Uncanny Moira X
Kevin Feige already has the ultimate cheat code to introduce a rebooted version of X-Men into the MCU, and still, recognize the Fox X-Men films as canon: Moira X
Jonathan Hickman’s new version of X-Men hinges on House of X’s reveal that longtime mutant ally Moira Mactaggart is actually one of the most powerful mutants that have ever existed. Moira’s power allows her to live a Groundhog Day-style life, wherein she starts her life over and over again after each death, with full knowledge and awareness of her previous lives. “Dawn of X” was created as Moira’s most recent (10th) attempt to help steer mutants (and the world) toward a brighter future than the dark times she’s lived through.
If Moira X is part of the MCU X-Men, it would allow the character to be a bridge between the MCU and old Fox X-Men movies. Two versions of Moria have been featured in the films already; one in Bryan Singer’s original X-Men Trilogy (a scientist), and one in the X-Men: First Class timeline (a CIA agent). It would be so easy to turn those old continuity snags into an exciting MCU multiverse story – since we’re headed that way already. It would also explain the X-Men’s absence if the “classic” version of the team (the ones that allied with The Avengers) was explained away as one of Moira’s failed lifetimes, and mutants didn’t make the same mistake again.
God-Like Mutant Combos
Dawn of X has brought mutants together as one nation – and also brought their extraordinary powers together to achieve god-like feats. First, the X-Men created “The Five,” a group of five mutants that combine their powers to essentially resurrect any dead mutant in a cloned body, with all their powers and most of their memories intact. Mutants no longer die. The concept of = combined powers has been taken further, with the X-Men’s “astronaut” program creating “The Six,” a group of mutants that have the power to venture through space, dimensions, and maybe even the multiverse.
If Marvel Studios is asking the question of how X-Men can offer unique action and spectacle as an MCU blockbuster, Dawn of X’s concept of coordinated mutant powers is it.
One of the biggest surprises of Dawn of X has been its major overhaul of classic X-Men villain Apocalypse. The arch-villain with the militant “Survival of the Fittest” mantra has been re-framed as an ancient anti-hero of the Marvel Universe, and a key pillar in the story of mutantkind’s past, present, and future, right up there alongside Xavier and Magneto.
After Fox’s X-Men movie did Apocalypse so wrong (sorry Oscar Isaac), the MCU could greatly benefit from the much deeper version of the character Dawn of X has introduced. Apocalypse is now one of the key figures in the entire timeline of the Marvel Universe as a whole, and there are so many ways the MCU can connect him to other franchises and characters that are on the way (The Eternals, Kang The Conquerer, Fantastic Four).
The Arakko Connection
Along with the MCU taking on Dawn of X’s mutant nation of Krakoa, and the all-new Apocalypse, Marvel’s X-Men should also get their new comic book rivals, the ancient mutant nation of Arakko. In Dawn of X it’s revealed that Krakoa and Arakko were once joined as one land, but separated when a demonic realm tried to invade ancient earth. It turns out Apocalypse a leader of an entire race of powerful ancient mutants, who all sacrificed themselves to hold back the demons while Apocalypse sealed Arakko away in the dark realm.
The MCU could skip a lot of the fantastical nonsense from X of Swords; the reveal that a race of war-forged ancient mutants is out there provides Marvel’s new X-Men franchise with a perfect backstory of why mutants aren’t part of recorded MCU history – and with a perfect long-term “big bad” threat to introduce. And why not? Supernatural/demonic threats seem like the next stop for the MCU, following films like Blade and Doctor Strange 2.
The X-Tinction Agenda
The latest issues in the Dawn of X line have revealed that the X-Men’s new mutant nation is hiding a dark secret (one of several): mutants have a focused agenda to commit genocide. Sort of.
Krakoa’s new “Hesiod Protocol” is a doctrine by which the X-Men identify emerging A.I. and swiftly eliminate it. That ruthless act is tied to “Moira X” and her knowledge of how mutants and A.I. are destined to become enemies. It’s a new twist that would work well in an MCU setting where characters like Vision and Ultron have already left their mark, while Tony Stark and others (Reed Richards) have pushed A.I. to a point that could be a real threat to the X-Men. If Marvel Studios needs a reason for the X-Men and Avengers to clash (in a way that’s much better than the comics)…