The release of Matthew Vaughn’s reboot of the X-Men franchise has been what can comfortably called a success, both critically and commercially. And hopefully, Fox will see that that Marvel’s Merry Mutants are in good hands.
One of the reasons the film was so good was, in my opinion, the fact that it delved deeply into the diverse pool of mutants that have, over the past fifty years, fought and battled against those who fear and hate them. Vaughn and Jane Goldman went for the long shots in choosing who the right characters for their narrative should be, rather than the more obvious mutants on which to build the story.
They were also sensible enough not to try and cram nearly half a century’s worth of ‘canon’ continuity into a two hour movie, a move that may well have had some angry that Banshee and Angel were on the same team (as one appeared in 1975, the other in 2000). The result, though, was a movie that’s openly accessible to the new audience, because they used who and what was needed to get the job done to create a fantastic film.
With that in mind, hopefully there well might be a second movie building on the solid foundations of the first, showing the growing differences between Magneto and Professor X. This, of course, will need to have supporting characters and a veritable array of mutants to help on either side of the battle.
With that in mind, and the fact that comic continuity is, for all intents and purposes, ignored, it’s viable that any mutant from any comic from any time in the books’ fifty year run could pop up on a team.
While Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Gambit and some of the more popular characters have already made their screen debut, there’s still over one hundred-and-ninety-eight mutants for the filmmakers to play with, and if Riptide and Azazel can be made to look cool, then some more of these more obscure, yet visually exciting mutants can too .
Megan Gwynn is a Welsh mutant with a visually fun physical mutation. Sporting pink hair, largefairy wings and pointy ears, her mutant power is the ability to teleport and to sprinkle hallucination-based pixie dust on her opponents.
A current fan favourite, she’s a relatively recent addition to the X-Men team, having originally appeared in the continually re-titled X-Men Academy/New X-Men.
The addition of a bright, visually appealing and fun character with a jovial light-hearted ‘bubble gum pop’ personality would replace the flying character of Angel from the first movie. And having an upbeat, positive member of the team would make a break from the angst of the rest of the team.
As Pixie herself would say,”Tidy.”
Another UK-based mutant, Jonothan Starsmore first appeared in the mid 1990s as part of Generation X, a team put together to combat the computer-based Phalanx.
One of the most visually stunning mutants, Chamber’s power is bio-kinetic energy. The only thing, however, was that the first time he used his powers, he blew half his face and chest off, leaving a gaping hole in his body that continually spews out energy.
Usually seen wrapped up with leather bindings across his body and chest, Chamber is a tragic character that could be a key personality in the second film, to show the problems that unwanted and dangerous mutations could have on people.
Gorgeous George and Nasty Boys
A team used by the evil genetic engineer, Mr Sinister, the Nasty Boys are a group of runway teenage mutants who are adept at causing chaos and mayhem. While not really heavy hitters, the team of Furbag, Slab and Rukus are all colourful, and visually interesting enough to have cameos in X-Men: Second Class.
However, it’s the gelatinous Gorgeous George who would probably be best translated to screen. Essentially a huge mass of purple goo, George has the physical properties of silly putty, able to bend, stretch and reshape his form in any way he desires.
Similar to the X-Men character Morph, but with a bit more colour and attitude, putting Gorgeous George on the side of Magneto would make a real physical threat to the fledgling X-Men team.
One of the most useful, yet weird mutations, Paige Guthrie (sister to X-Men’s Cannonball) has the power to shed and remove her skin to reveal another element underneath. So, for example, she can rip off her skin to reveal stone, then again to reveal a gas or liquid, and so on.
While never really utilising this power to any great extent in the comics, the idea of Husk’s powers is fantastic and would be one mutation that would work wonderfully on-screen. A fantastic female replacement for Darwin, this Southern belle would be a great new recruit to the cinematic team of new mutants.
Not all mutations are either wanted or appreciated, and with Anole this is no exception. A mutant that not only has to come to terms with his reptilian-like mutation, this relatively new mutant also has the added dilemma of having to try to adjust to his own sexuality, not to mention having his arm severed and regrown.
While there are other gay mutants on the roster (Karma, Northstar, Greymalkin and Callisto, for example) Anole is unique as being one of the youngest and most inexperienced mutants on the team. His perspective of trying to ‘fit in’ and the concepts of tolerance and acceptance are something that, over the characters’ brief existence, have been tackled well by various writers and would make for a personal and interesting story arc on-screen.
A hot-headed Brazilian who first appeared way back in 1984 as part of ‘The New Mutants’, Roberto da Costa is able to absorb sunlight and convert it into physical strength, flight and energy beams.
When using his power, the character visually becomes a black void, pulsing with ‘Kirby krackle’ energy.
While there are other solar or heat manipulating mutants, such as Magma, Thunderbird or Sunfire, Sunspot, with his cocky attitude, dislike for authority and spoilt nature would make for a great student for Xavier to try and mould into a X-Men member.
A hulking member of Grant Morrison’s ‘Special Class’, Glob Herman takes physical mutation to a whole new level, essentially being a hulking, chunky teenager with completely see-through skin.
Able to throw napalm, Herman is one of the most grotesque mutants ever to attend the school of gifted youngsters, and although it would require an immense amount of visual trickery to pull off, having a mutant that has all his internal organs on show would be something to really look forward to seeing on a big screen.
Another Grant Morrison creation, this genetically engineered candidate is Morrison paying homage to the Italian James Bond, Diabolik.
A British international thief, Fantomex is a member of the elite black-ops X-Force team and has the power of misdirection and illusion. One of his more obscure and weird elements is that he has no nervous system and his internal functions are another character, E.V.A., an organic shape-changing UFO!
Weird, wonderful and just insane, seeing this character on screen would give the James Bond-styled Magneto a run for his money, as far as new king of cool.
The mutant formally known as Penance, Hollow is a mute female mutant cursed with razor sharp skin and pointed edges, essentially a female Edward Scissorhands.
Appearing in ‘Generation-X’, she has a convoluted history involving other mutants such as M and power siphoning Emplate. But, as with Riptide or Azazel, who both had little to no background revealed about them, having such a physically dangerous and visually stunning character who cannot touch or be touched would, once again, make this obscure mid-90s mutant return to the cool status that she deserves.
Stephen Lang is on speed dial for this role, and while the character recently ‘died’ in the comics and has one of the most insanely convoluted history of any Marvel character, not to mention the ability to wield insanely large weaponry, the actual concept of Cable is pretty cool. He’s a mutant sent to the past to stop an incident that will destroy the future.
While a play on Terminator in many ways, Cable could, if treated properly, offer a third outlook for the franchise, differing from that of Magneto and Xavier. After all, he could possibly come from the future that’s hinted at in the first film, where mutants rule. It could be that Cable’s there to stop this, or even potentially to stop the rise of major X-Men villain, Apocalypse.
Those are my suggestions, anyway. Leave yours in the comments below…