With 7 movies under its belt and more on the way, X-Men has proven itself to be one of the most successful and enduring comic book movie franchises. The movies draw from the comic book’s huge roster of characters and many of the most popular mutants have made their way to the big screen. However, there are still countless characters who have been ignored by the filmmakers for one reason or another, even though some of them have played vital roles in the comic books and could be excellent additions to the cast.
Grant Morrison’s New X-Men comics introduced many weird and wonderful new characters to the series, but none were as intriguing as Fantomex. Another mutant from the Weapons X program which also experimented on Wolverine, Fantomex possesses superhuman speed, agility, intelligence and marksmanship. He also has an external consciousness called E.V.A which floats around in a machine-like form. This gives Fantomex the ability to create reality-bending illusions which can dupe even telepathic characters. Although he would probably have to be toned down to fit into the cinematic universe, Fantomex could make for some visually inspired scenes if he were to be used in the movies.
With the exception of Wolverine and Magneto, few of the characters in the X-Men movies are given much backstory. Although the latest prequels seem to be rectifying this, giving Professor Xavier a more significant story arc than just clashing heads with Magneto/Mystique would greatly benefit the character. In the comic books, Xavier has a son called Legion. Legion has telepathic skills which rival those of his father, but he is also suffers from multiple personality disorder which means that he cannot properly control this massive power. This deranged villain would be an interesting antagonist for the X-Men and the movies would probably benefit from having a true telepathic adversary to the professor.
Elixir has been a pivotal character in many important story arcs of the X-Men comics. Possessing omega level powers (which means he is one of the most powerful mutants), Elixir has the ability to manipulate biological matter. This means that he can heal other mutants as well as boost or restore their abilities. Although his powers have the potential to be used as a rather lazy plot device to suddenly heal any character who is dying or injured, Elixir could be an interesting, conflicted character who is burdened with the pressure and responsibility of this enormous gift.
The Legacy Virus was a deadly man-made disease which spread throughout the mutant population in the X-Men comics. One of the first mutants to fall victim to the virus was Magik, Colossus’ younger sister. The two shared a close bond and he was always fiercely protective of his sibling. Magik’s death had a huge effect on Colossus and led him down a dark path, but he was redeemed when he sacrificed himself in order to find a cure for the Legacy Virus. Although Magik’s powers would probably need changing for the big screen (the character has a convoluted history but the easiest way to describe her would be a sorceress who dabbles in magic) this close, family dynamic is something which is severely lacking in the X-Men movies. Although the X-Men see each other as being part of a big mutant family, it would be interesting to explore this special type of relationship rather than have each mutant in the movies turn to Xavier because they have been completely ostracised from their real families.
Cypher was a somewhat contentious character when he was first introduced in the ‘junior X-Men’ series The New Mutants in 1984. With the ability to speak and understand any language (including computer code and dead languages) he wasn’t exactly the most dynamic of characters. However, Cypher seemingly redeemed himself in the eyes of many unconvinced fans when he died taking a bullet for his girlfriend Wolfsbane. Cypher didn’t really get a chance to stand out amongst the hundreds of mutants past and present in the comics, but he could be a more interesting character in the movies. The X-Men movies are keen to paint mutants as outsiders, but it’s slightly harder to accept that fact when all of them seem to have exciting powers. The cinematic version of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngster almost entirely focuses on mutants with the flashiest and over-the-top powers, but introducing ‘support’ characters like Cypher with intelligence-based powers would show that sometimes there needs to be more brain than brawn when it comes to taking on the bad guys.
5. The Brood
Marvel Movies are literally expanding their cinematic universe with Guardians of the Galaxy, but the X-Men series is considerably grounded in comparison. Of course, the movies aren’t necessarily aiming for realism, but over the years the comics have taken the mutants through time and space and the X-Men have tangled with all sorts of extraterrestrial races and cosmic beings. One of the most interesting of these antagonists are the Brood; a clever, insectoid alien species who are able to infect and control other races by laying eggs into their brain.
Aside from Banshee in First Class, none of the movie mutants can really fly. Storm occasionally levitates and Magneto awkwardly floats around, but it’s surprising to see such a wide variety of superpowered characters without any of them being able to properly fly. Cannonball is one of the founding members of the New Mutants and he is able to generate thermochemical energy which he can turn into the power of flight. Cannonball can also absorb the impact of other character’s blows or punches so his powers could make for some action-packed scenes in the movies.
Yes, Cyclops has appeared in four X-Men movies, but his appearance on this list is for good reason. There are movie characters like Juggernaut, Colossus, Angel and probably several others who just don’t work as well onscreen or aren’t as important as they are in the comics. However, none of these characters can match the disappointment of seeing Cyclops in the X-Men movies. Fans of the comics have blasted Cyclops cinematic appearances and there’s good reason why. In the comics, Cyclops is to the X-Men what Captain America is to the Avengers. Forget Wolverine, Cyclops is the leader of the group. An excellent tactician, Cyclops is a smart and powerful force to be reckoned with. His energy beams are much more damaging and useful than just being used to stun an enemy or throwing them back a few feet, and he is an indispensable member of the X-Men. In the movies, he just feels like the third wheel in the Wolverine/Jean Grey love story and he has almost no presence. Here’s hoping future X-Men movies get the opportunity to reintroduce the character in a better way.
Forge has a very unique mutant power which could help explain some of the inconsistencies in the movie universe. Despite jumping back to the 60s/70s in First Class and Days of Future Past, the movies haven’t really explained how the X-Men have such advanced technology like Cerebro and the Blackbird jet. Having Hank McCoy/Beast be solely responsible for these amazing creations doesn’t quite work as he’s busy enough with his chemical and biological experiments, but a character who has the power to build any type of technology would make much more sense. Forge can invent almost anything he can think of and he was also a love interest to Storm. His appearance could explain away some of the more niggling anachronisms in the movies and could also give Storm something more to do in the movies.
1. Mister Sinister
It’s clear that the X-Men series is in dire need of some new villainous blood. For too long the focus has been almost entirely on Magneto and his crew of mutant outlaws, so it would be interesting to introduce a new antagonist who would force the entire mutant community to rally against. Mister Sinister could easily be that character. A genius geneticist and biologist, Mister Sinister was obsessed with human evolution and feared the rise of mutants. He made a pact with Apocalypse to be reborn as a genetically altered superhuman with super powers of telekinesis and telepathy, but he completely lost all of his humanity in the process. Over the years, Mister Sinister has captured mutants for testing and even succeeded in cloning Jean Grey. Dedicated to cracking the mutant genome and unravelling the secrets of its DNA, Mister Sinister could be the X-Men’s most twisted villain on the big screen.