Like the Franchise’s recent bright rebirth, another X-Men plotline is returning from the ashes of the films pre-dating X-Men: Days of Future Past. Yes, that’s right, bad puns aside I am referring to the upcoming film X-Men: Dark Phoenix, where hopefully Fox will finally do the Comic storyline justice. As Such, this seems the best time to list 6 things we want to see happen in X-Men: Dark Phoenix! In rare form for me, these aren’t in any particular order as I find it too hard to choose the importance between them all!
I am a huge Jubilee fan. This is a character sometimes overlooked in comics and I think it’s fair to say was massively overlooked in X-Men: Apocalypse. Whilst there in appearance in her iconic yellow Jacket, she seemed more of a follower in Apocalypse than someone fighting with her powers which I think is a real missed opportunity! What people do not realise is Jubilee is actually very powerful, described by the mutant Emma Frost as one of the most powerful mutants she had ever come across. The blasts she fires from her hands are scientifically explained as the ability to explode matter at a sub-atomic level. That is on par with the science of a nuclear bomb. It is an incredibly powerful ability that is normally under-used and overshadowed by more popular, mainstream mutants and I would love to see Dark Phoenix bring Jubilee into her rightful place on the X-Men team.
5. Magneto The Villain
This one is a criticism I have of the current re-incarnated X-Men Universe – Magneto needs to commit to his role in the X-Men Universe. He is a villain, yet too many times we see him decide to swap teams and fight alongside the X-Men. Whilst this has happened in extreme situations in the comics, the films are taking it to a whole new level. At the stage we are at Magneto must be responsible for thousands of deaths, and yet because of a change of heart last minute, he finishes every film walking off like some lovable rogue anti-hero. Magneto’s villainy in the comics knows no limits and has multiple times actively plotted to destroy all life on earth, unlike the films where to date he is typically a pawn in someone else’s scheme or just performing acts of villainy in a moment of heightened emotional pain.
Personally, I would like to see Dark Phoenix be the film that makes Magneto finally embrace his role as the villain and preferably open the door to the Genosha storyline from the comics; giving Magneto a storyline where he truly can show his true colours.
4. Mister Sinister
He has been hinted at and the after effect of his schemes has already been witnessed in the form of X-23 in Logan, but we are yet to properly see Mister Sinister himself. Will Dark Phoenix be the film to bring him out of the shadows? In the comic storyline of Dark Phoenix a mutant called Mastermind; working on behalf of the Hellfire Club; starts to manipulate Jean Grey and unknowingly unleashes the Dark Phoenix locked away within her.
We have seen Mastermind before a few times, with the character Jason Stryker being based on him and appearing in X2: X-Men United and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Similarly, we have also seen the Hellfire Club in X-Men: First Class! So with those options largely ruled out, I wonder if Mister Sinister with his genetically created physical and mental abilities might take up the role of Jean Grey’s manipulator.
If I’m going to mention Mister Sinister, then the easiest one for me to mention next is Cable. A time-travelling mutant trying to stop a horrific, apocalyptic-like future. We already know Cable is set to make an appearance in the X-Men Film Universe with an appearance set in Deadpool 2, and a rather bleak future for mutants was shown to us in Logan, it is more than possible Cable may start popping up in other X-Men films as he tries to “fix” the future. The reason I suggest his appearance in Dark Phoenix is in the comics his birth comes as a result of the Dark Phoenix storyline and Mister Sinister’s manipulation of the X-Men.
So with this story set in a prime position to explain the moment of Cable’s perception, it is highly plausible adult Cable might choose the Dark Phoenix storyline as a pivotal point to come back and influence towards a more positive ending.
2. A Non-Mutant Enemy
I’m starting to reach that stage where I’m a little exhausted with watching mutant vs. mutant films. The X-Men team was formed in the comics with the aim of winning hearts and minds, trying to combat the fear and hatred humans had of mutants by showing how much mutants can be a force for good. This is something in the films that I feel as of yet they haven’t lived up to. Their enemies are nearly always fellow mutants abusing their powers, or humans manipulating mutants into fighting the X-Men.
It is the time I think for Earth to face a bigger and larger threat and the X-Men be forced to step up to the mark not just to protect themselves or their fellow mutants, but all of Earth. On that note, it’s time for the Shi-ar to enter the scene! The Shi-ar are an alien race that the X-Men have multiple dealings with in the comics, but ultimately upon the emergence of The Dark Phoenix, the Shi-ar feel it necessary to fight the X-Men in order to kill the too powerful Jean Grey. Films always have to adapt storylines, so I would personally like to see the Shi’ar fully invading Earth in a bid to locate and destroy Dark Phoenix, forcing the X-Men to fight on a scale much bigger than a difference of opinions between mutants.
Well if I’m going to mention the Shi’ar then I have to mention Gladiator! Gladiator is an Elite soldier of the Shi’ar and power wise he is virtually another Superman – so strong he can shatter a planet, superhuman speed, stamina, and durability; he even has x-ray vision, super hearing, and the frost breath. Unfortunately for the X-Men, he is not a clean cut good guy like Superman. Instead, Gladiator is fiercely loyal to the Shi’ar which at times this has made him an ally of the X-Men, helping them fight off attacks from the Skrulls, and in other storylines, he is the villain implementing plans such as turning Earth into an intergalactic Prison. In the case of the Dark Phoenix comic storyline, Gladiator is chosen alongside other champions to fight the X-Men in a duel for Jean Grey’s fate. With his power line up, I for one cannot wait to see the X-Men try to fight him on screen.
Well, that’s my six big things I want to see happen in X-Men: Dark Phoenix! If I can add a cheeky additional one that I stand no chance in seeing happen, I would love to see Cable bring an older X-23 back in time with him to fight alongside the X-Men and I challenge anyone of you to tell me you wouldn’t also love to see that! Let her be The Wolverine in the films just as she is now in the comics. With the right actress, I think it could easily be pulled off. Whilst on the subject, I hope something is done to add some a sense of jeopardy back to the X-Men Universe!
An unfortunate side effect of their previous time flash backs and forwards is we as an audience know Jean Grey, Professor X and Cyclops are alive and well in the future shown at the end of Days of Future Past. We need something like Cable travelling back to suggest another change in the timeline, otherwise it will be hard to watch a film like Dark Phoenix without feeling confident that no main character is truly at risk – and for Dark Phoenix to work as a story we need to feel Jean Grey’s life is in the balance.