6 Things I Want to See in an X-Force Movie
Initial reviews for X-Men: Days of Future Past are looking pretty good, so maybe this movie will wipe away any apprehensions I may have about the X-Men film franchise these days. I doubted X-Men: First Class, but quickly came to love it. Perhaps FOX really does have the X-Men’s best interest at heart.
So let’s let the apprehension of the proposed X-Force flick begin!
We haven’t heard much about the X-Force movie, only that there’s a script in the works. For those of you who don’t know, X-Force is kind of the rebellious younger sibling of the X-Men. Whereas the X-Men are this big, family-like team of noble superheroes, X-Force is the rougher, meaner, grittier squad that tries to be more proactive in their crime fighting. If FOX wants some X-spin-offs, then X-Force is definitely a great place to start.
Join me after the jump for my six suggestions for an X-Force film!
6. Use the black ops concept
There have been many iterations of X-Force in their 20+ years. They started out as an extension of the New Mutants concept from the 80s, where the next generation of mutants decided to go off on their own for a bit of teenage rebellion. X-Force was particularly popular in the 90s, when their outcast-attitude paired well with the ‘extreme’ ideology of that bygone era.
But if they’re serious about making an X-Force movie, I recommend using one of the more recent iterations where X-Force is the black ops squad of the X-Men. Dressed in all black instead of colorful superhero costumes, the members of X-Force are the secret kill squad, who use their powers to take down threats before they become a bigger problem. Disliked even among their fellow X-Men, X-Force does the dirty jobs that the squeaky clean superheroes don’t want to handle.
Sounds like a good premise for a movie to me.
5. Wolverine or Mystique as leader
When I first envisioned this list, I pictured using Wolverine as the leader of X-Force, because of course. Who else would they get to lead this black ops team? Not having Wolverine star would be unheard of in the X-Men franchise, apparently. But then Hugh Jackman had to go and say he was probably done playing the character…only to change his mind and claim he was getting back into the role.
Who knows what’s going to happen, but Wolverine would actually be a pretty great choice as leader of X-Force. He’s been an X-Man for all these years, but has really just followed everyone else’s lead. In X-Force, Wolverine would be in charge of picking the team, training the members and leading them into battle. That would be a neat new direction for the character.
But if Jackman really is done with the role, then FOX should use Mystique as their new franchise star. Jennifer Lawrence has never been hotter, and if she’s willing to keep going, then FOX should use her however they can. I’m fairly certain she’s going to be pretty badass in Days of Future Past, and it’s definitely within her character to make her own team of violent anti-heroes.
Either way, FOX would be foolish not to use either Wolverine or Mystique at the head of X-Force.
4. Repurpose some old characters
But who is going to follow their lead? It’s going to be a team movie, and half the fun of each new X-Men movie is seeing what mutants show up. For X-Force, it should be a blend of new and old characters. It should be one solid, core team that sticks together (for the most part) throughout the film. And FOX shouldn’t be afraid to take some old characters from the previous movies and repurpose them for this new role. It happens all the time in comics. And it would probably be super easy if Days of Future Past messes with the timeline.
My picks would include Juggernaut, Psylocke, Multiple Man and Nightcrawler. The first three all got the short end of the stick in X-Men: The Last Stand, so why not dust them off and turn them into legitimately cool characters? And Nightcrawler was obviously the coolest damn part of X2: X-Men United, so bring him back and play on his friendship with Wolverine.
And while we’re on the subject: X2: X-Men United is the worst title ever.
3. New Characters: Anyone from X-Statix
Old characters are great, sure, but X-Force is definitely going to need some new blood. And that blood couldn’t possibly get any newer than grabbing some characters from the short-lived X-Statix series. Written as a satire of our reality TV culture before reality TV really became the beast it is today, X-Statix was about a team of preening, fame-obsessed mutants who were half celebrity/half superhero. It was a fantastic series with strong characters, gripping stories, biting satire and a unique look into a different corner of the Marvel Universe.
Plus, before they changed their name to ‘X-Statix’, they originally started out as a new ‘X-Force’!
There are a lot of great characters from X-Statix who would look amazing on the big screen. There’s Mr. Sensative, the humble, masked hero. There’s U-Go Girl, the sassy teleporter. The morose and gothic Dead Girl would have a neat look and power. I was always a personal fan of Phat, the wannabe Eminem with the power to expand his body and skin like a fatty balloon.
For a movie like X-Force, I think the writers will need to get really creative when introducing new characters. X-Statix featured some of the most creative and unique mutants in the history of the X-Men.
2. Villain: Mr. Sinister
The X-Men have one of the biggest and most varied Rogues Galleries in all of comics. Batman tends to fight mangled criminals. Spider-Man fights animal-themed super-villains. But X-Men villains are a special kind of insane. Once you get past the more realistic foes like Magneto, the Brotherhood, the Hellfire Club and the Sentinels, things get a little weird. There’s Apocalypse, who’s going to star in the next film even though he’s an Ancient Egyptian Mutant God with blue skin. There’s Mojo, the uber-obese slug monster who rules over a reality TV planet. There’s Arcade, the bow-tie wearing ginger who likes to build elaborate death traps. Or maybe Gladiator, the Superman-esque super alien who serves as the vanguard for an alien bird race.
Or what about Mr. Sinister, the effeminate, immortal biologist who loves weird capes.
Mr. Sinister should probably never appear in an X-Men movie…but he’s my choice for villain in X-Force. As weird as he may be, Sinister would actually be pretty perfect as the villain for a black ops squad of killers who need to take him out before he does something evil. Sinister is a geneticist who loves doing experiments on mutants, so that makes him a ‘thinking villain’ who is working in a lab, or running a company or something. That makes him a hard-to-reach target in a location that a team needs to breach. And he can be conducting gross, evil experiments on mutants, which would be perfect fodder for a darker, grittier X-Force adventure.
Also, just for kicks, why not make Avalanche his henchman? The movie will need some evil mutants that the team can fight, and Avalanche hasn’t been used yet. He has the power to make earthquakes…but called himself ‘Avalanche’. To each their own.
1. You can use Cable, but…
And so we’ve arrived at the elephant in the room: Cable. He’s the X-Man most associated with X-Force, and he’s actually pretty cool. Cable is a badass cyborg warrior with a glowing eye, a metal arm and a love of giant guns. He’s also a telepath, like Professor X. Quite frankly, Cable would probably be pretty perfect for an X-Man movie. His type of broad-shouldered, gun-toting hero hasn’t been seen in an X-Man movie yet, and he’d be perfect for a black ops team like X-Force.
But the producers would really, really, really have to cut down on Cable’s back story. That sort of thing really pisses off comic book fans, but there’s no other way around it. There’s no way the writers could keep Cable’s entire backstory in the movie.
Cable is the son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey. Not the real Jean Grey, but her clone. Then baby Cable was taken into the future, where he was raised by Cyclops and the real Jean Grey, who went into the future with him for a brief period of time. Then Cable grew up into an old man and became infected by something called the techno-organic virus, which is slowly trying to turn his body into a metal robot (hence the metal arm). Then old man Cable, and all of his guns, went back in time to the present day and joined the X-Men alongside his father.
Cable is a time-traveling, clone-born, virus-infused, old man mutant who is so screwed up it hurts!
But wipe away all of that complicated stuff and he could actually be a pretty solid character, so go ahead and use him in your movie, fans be damned.
Hear that, comic book fans? When it comes to a movie adaptation of Cable, you’re just gonna have to deal!