Who Should Be in the MCU’s First X-MEN Roster?

Although Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige might choose to give the old Fox X-Men a final victory lap in the upcoming Avengers: Secret Wars, eventually, he will reboot the mutant team for the MCU. It’s only a matter of time. But with dozens of X-Men as part of the comics over the years, which Marvel Mutants should make the cut for the first official MCU team? In our opinion, for their first outing in the 616, the students of Xavier’s school should go as iconic as possible. All killer, no filler. Sorry, all you fans of obscure mutants. We believe for the initial roster of MCU X-Men project, it’s “go big or go home” when it comes to creating its lineup.

The X-Men's most iconic members, by Jorge Molina.
Marvel Comics

We know there are lots of “cult favorite” members of the team, but we think sticking to the most iconic X-Men is what Marvel Studios should do for their first film. Characters that people think of whenever someone says “the X-Men.” These are the heroes we want to see on the poster. And in costumes that evoke the comics. And yes, we know that 13 X-Men is a lot. But remember how well Marvel Studios juggled the same amount of heroes in Civil War and later Avengers films? We know it can be done. Here are the 13 X-Men “big guns,” in addition to Charles Xavier of course, that we hope to see in the MCU’s lineup.

The Original 5 X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Angel)

The original five X-Men as X-Factor.
Marvel Comics

When X-Men debuted in the summer of 1963, they were comprised of five outcast teenagers who were students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Cyclops (Scott Summers), equipped with optic blasts, Marvel Girl, the telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey, Beast (Hank McCoy), the winged Angel (Warren Worthington), and the polar-powered Iceman (Bobby Drake).

The original “first class” would eventually make way for more popular team line-ups. But they always found their way back home. And in many ways, they remain the core of what Xavier’s dream of mutant/human integration stands for. Besides, the Fox X-Men films never had the “O5” together on screen as a team. The MCU would get off on the right foot by correcting that.


Wolverine drawn by Frank Miller.
Marvel Comics

Look, it’s really not the X-Men without the feral Canadian mutant, is it? The adamantium-clawed X-Man is easily the most popular member of the group, and has been since the ‘80s at least. He anchored the movie series and several animated television shows, and made a star out of Hugh Jackman. He may not be our personal favorite member of the X-Men, but it’s undeniable how wildly popular he is. If there’s an X-Men team in the MCU, then it needs to have Wolverine on it.


The many costumes of the X-Men's Storm.
Marvel Comics

Debuting in 1975’s Giant-Size X-Men #1, Ororo Munroe is Marvel’s most prominent Black female hero. She’s also one of the publisher’s most iconic women heroes, period. The Weather-controlling goddess has been a leader of the X-Men many times over, and is one of the world’s most powerful mutants. Along with Wolverine, she is probably the X-Man who is most definitely a household name to the general public, thanks again to TV and film exposure. Given her connection to the world of Black Panther as well, it sure would be a big mistake to have an MCU X-Men roster without her.


The metal X-Man Colossus.
Marvel Comics

The Russian metal man with a heart of gold, Peter Rasputin also joined Xavier’s class in Giant-Size X-Men #1. He has more or less been a mainstay of the team for the better part of 45 years (give or take a few times when he was dead). Although sidelined in the main X-Men films, he did finally get his due as co-star of the Deadpool films. In our minds, the kind-hearted “big lug” is the heart of the X-Men, and needs to have a spot in the MCU roster.


Kurt Wagner. the X-Men's Nightcrawler.
Marvel Comics

While some mutants can pass for “normal,” that cannot be said for Kurt Wagner, the German X-Man known as Nightcrawler. Looking like a blue demon, complete with a tail and all, Nightcrawler has the ability to teleport. Not to mention, he’s pretty agile and fast too. Despite his demonic appearance, Kurt is a devoutly religious man. He is often the shoulder for the rest of the team to cry on. He appeared in a few X-Men films, portrayed by both Alan Cumming and Kodi Smit-McPhee. But the MCU needs its own version of the former circus performer turned swashbuckling mutant hero in its X-Men lineup.

Kitty Pryde

Kitty Pryde, the phasing X-Man.
Marvel Comics

If Colossus is the heart of the team, then young Katherine “Kitty” Pryde is the soul. Kitty, who can phase through solid matter, joined the X-Men as a young teen, forging important bonds with each member. She provided the older X-Men a “kid sister” of sorts, and then, became something of a team mascot. She’s had many codenames, ranging from Sprite to Ariel to Shadowcat. But we know her best in the end as just Kitty. Although Umbrella Academy’s Elliot Page played the character in a couple of the Fox X-Men films, the MCU needs Kitty to be more front and center in its first lineup.


The mutant who can absorb powers, Rogue.
Marvel Comics

This Southern belle is both a no-nonsense powerhouse, and also a tragic figure. Rogue has the power to absorb other people’s energy, and in the case of mutants, their powers. But this gift makes it so she can’t touch anyone, or she might accidentally kill them. She overcompensates for her tragic circumstances with bluster and bravado, making her a fascinating contradiction of a character. (She also has super strength and flight, permanently absorbed from Captain Marvel). The Anna Paquin version from the Fox films is almost another character entirely. So an MCU Rogue would be a perfect chance to introduce the comics version of this X-Men into a live-action roster.


The Cajun X-Man called Gambit.
Marvel Comics

Here’s an X-Man who might have not made the cut, if not for two things. The Cajun mutant, who had the power to energize objects and make them deadly projectiles, was in the 1991 relaunch of X-Men, which sold some 8 million copies. He also became a main character in the ’90s Animated Series which launched a year later. These two things made him an iconic X-Man in the eyes of many fans, and most fans have been dying to see Remy Labeau in a proper X-Men film (X-Men Origins: Wolverine doesn’t count). While he’s not our most favorite mutant hero, he is viewed as a signature X-Man by many, and probably should be on the team.


The X-Men's Jubilee, using her fireworks powers.
Marvel Comics

Much like Gambit, Jubilation Lee, the Chinese-American teenager who was the team’s youngest member (after Kitty left) became iconic thanks to her inclusion in Jim Lee’s comics and the ’90s cartoon. But because of those things, the fireworks-creating mutant Beverly Hills mallrat is synonymous with X-Men. Especially to a whole generation who grew up with the character on TV. While some of the valley girl aspects are super dated now, they could easily update Jubilee to modern times. We think many fans want to see that yellow raincoat on screen.

Of course, some changes will have to be made. With the exception of Storm and Jubilee, it’s an overwhelmingly Caucasian lineup. But they could always diversify some of the characters for the big screen. Marvel Studios has already set precedent for that. Whenever it happens, we’re excited to see what form the X-Men will ultimately take in the MCU.

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