Countdown to Apocalypse: Returning X-Men

It’s hump day, it’s comic book day, and it’s time for Day 3 of our Countdown to Apocalypse.  So far, we’ve given you the 411 on the films main baddie, Apocalypse, along with the history of his servants, the Four Horsemen.  Today, we’re going to take a trip to the greener side of the grass and look at the returning X-Men along with a few other familiar faces.  I say that because I realize that Mystique isn’t a traditional X-Men member, or hero for the matter, but in the spirit of the story being told on the screen she happens to be on the side of good this time around.

x-men-apocalypse-bald-charles-xavierProfessor Charles Xavier:  Professor X is the mentor and founder of the X-Men who is one of the strongest telepathic people in the world.  With them, they fight to achieve his dream of a world where mutants and humans live peacefully and in harmony.  Appearing first in X-Men #1, Xavier realized after his differences with his old friend Magnus, who would go on to become Magneto, that it was up to him to be prepared to meet the ever growing presence of dangerous mutants who would work against his dream.  In the comics, he’s dead thanks to  Cyclops who was under the influence of the Phoenix Force.  Now, his brain has been merged with the Red Skulls, who has been using Xavier’s incredible psychic abilities to instigate war between humans and mutants.  The current line-up of Uncanny Avenger’s have made finding the Red Skull their top priority.  There is no better casting now, or ever, then there was when Patrick Stewart was chosen to be Charles Xavier.  He has brought the character to a whole new level.  That’s not to dismiss James McAvoy’s performance in the recent films, which has been very solid as well.

HenryMcCoy-BeastHenry McCoy, Beast:  Hank has been there from the very beginning, showing up for the first time in X-Men #1.  His mutation comes from radiation his father was exposed to while working at a nuclear power plant before being born.  Born with above average intelligence, longer arms and legs, with larger hands and feet, Hank yearned to be normal looking and used his intelligence to do just that.  While initially working, it backfires growing blue hair all over his body along with some claws, teeth, and ears that come with being a wild animal.  Essentially giving him the exact opposite look he’d been searching for.  Another benefit of his accelerated mutation is the ability to run along and cling to walls which has led to his signature move of hanging upside down.  You can now occasionally find Beast in the pages of the Uncanny InHumans where he works tirelessly to discover a cure for the catastrophic effects the Terrigen Cloud is having on the mutant population.  While X-Men: The Last Stand was a mess, the casting of Kelsey Grammer was definitely spot on.  Now, Nicholas Hoult has brought his own beast, which is just as good.

anxm-11-uncanny-avengersAlex Summers, Havok:  Alex is the middle child of the Summers family with Scott (Cyclops) being the oldest and Gabriel (Vulcan) being the youngest.  After their plane was shot down by the Shi’ar, Scott and Alex were separated while the unborn Gabriel was taken captive along with their parents by the Shi’ar.  Later on, it’s revealed that their father is the galactic pirate Corsair of the Star Jammers, while Gabriel’s story is a whole other can of worms.  Alex’s energy blasts are, in nature, very similar to his brothers and have the potential to be wildly out of control as his energy can emanate from his body in every direction.  While he is more powerful than Scott, the nature of their powers negate each other should they ever have a dissagreement.  He first appears in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #54 where he is reunited with Scott, who he learns is Cyclops.   After his time with the X-Men he is chosen to lead the government sponsored team of X-Factor.  Much later he is chosen by Captain America to lead the Uncanny Avengers which is a unity squad comprised of mutants and humans whose purpose is to live Xavier’s dream by example and hasn’t been seen since the events of Secret Wars.  Lucas Till did the character justice in First Class with a disappointingly small role in Days of Future Past.  I sure hope the character can make it past the trilogy.

003Pietro/Peter Maximoff, Quicksilver:  Pietro and his twin sister Wanda (Scarlet Witch) were the children of Magda and Magnus, who eventually became Magneto, and is the fastest man alive.  He recruited them to be a part of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants that he would pit against Xaviers team of heroes, where they made their debut in X-Men #4.  After spending time apart from their father, the two become reformed and are recruited by the Avengers and becomes a regular member of X-Factor as well.  His biggest mark left on comics comes from the House of M arc where he convinces Wanda to use her powers creating an alternate reality where the mutants were the majority and the humans the minority.  During his time with the Uncanny Avengers it was revealed that Magneto was not their father and instead of being mutants they were experiments of the High Evolutionary.  This move was most likely inspired by Fox’s cinematic ownership of the characters.  In a race won by Fox, Evan Peters got to be the first to bring the character to the big screen and completely stole the show in X-Men: Days of Future Past.   Hopefully his part in the future of Fox’s Marvel Mutants will be anything but quick.

ss2016-01-22at04.55.42Raven Darkholme, Mystique:  Most of the reason we know little about Mystique’s true age and past lie with her shape-shifting ability that allows her cells to constantly rejuvenate.  We do know that she made her first appearance in Ms. Marvel #16.  Since then she has been mother to a few characters in the Marvel Universe.  Her first son, Graydon Creed, ended up as a human who grew to dispise his mother and father, Sabretooth.  After an affair with the mutant Azazel that ended in tradgedy, their son Nightcrawler was abandoned and raised by gypsies.  Rogue wasn’t the offspring of Mystique, but she was taken in and raised by her when she was a young mutant outcast.  She trained her and added her to her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants where Rogue obtained her powers from Ms. Marvel.  For the films, Rebecca Romijn nailed the character whose special effects were outstanding.  Now, Jennifer Lawrence has followed in Romijn’s footsteps leaving her own mark on the franchise and will hopefully be in it for the long haul.

comics-wolverine_00252856James Howlet/Logan, Wolverine:  Born James Howlet, Logan is a mutant with an accelerated healing factor and heightened senses.  As an experiment in the Weapon X program, every bone in his body became coated with the strongest metal on Earth, Adamantium, including his claws.  He’s the best at what he does, and what he does isn’t very nice.  Teased at the end of the Incredible Hulk #180 and with a full appearance in the Incredible Hulk #181, Wolverine would end up being one of Marvel’s most iconic character who was part of Alpha Flight, X-Men, X-Force, and Avengers who’s been there, done that, and has the t-shirt.  Though he’s currently dead in the comics his young female clone X-23 has taken up his mantle as the All-New Wolverine while Old Man Logan is a grizzly out of time character.  I consider Hugh Jackman to be an outstanding Wolverine who has no doubt been the centerpiece of these films, though it looks like for this film he will not be a focal point with Wolverine III, which had some big news drop today, being the last time to pop the claws.

Moira_Kinross_(Earth-161)Moira MacTaggart:  As a leading expert on genetic mutation, Moira’s path eventually crossed with that of Professor Charles Xavier.  The two have had an on/off again relationship but no matter what they were always friends who could count on one another in perilous times.  She first appeared in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #96 and operates out of her mutant research facility on Muir Island.  Aside from the X-Men, she’s had interactions with the England based team of heroes, X-Caliber.  Olivia Williams first portrayed Moira in X-Men: The Last Stand with Rose Byrne taking on a slightly different version of the character for X-Men: First Class working for the CIA.  While absent during X-Men: Days of Future Past, she’s back for round three and hopefully future installments.

So, Comic Nation, who has been your favorite X-Man since First Class?  Since X-1?  All time?  Let us know and check back with us tomorrow where I’m gonna be getting you geared up for the new X-Men that we will see when X-Men: Apocalypse opens May 27th.  Get your tickets today!

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