I want to be hyped for X-Men: Apocalypse. I’d love to feel a return to the awe and amazement I felt when X-Men first came out in 2000. That was a time when comic book movies were brand new, and you had hope that movie runners would treat the characters you grew up loving with some kind of respect.
Instead, we got X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In fact, we got 20th Century Fox facilitating repeated, failed storytelling centered around Wolverine and often at the expense of the rest of the X-Men universe. How fitting then that in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wolverine would be bumped into the pivotal role (originally centering around X-Man Kitty Pryde) to rewrite history in an effort to stop the X-Men franchise from sucking.
Now we are allegedly starting off with a clean slate in Apocalypse, where we finally are seeing major X-Men villain Apocalypse make his way to the big screen. No, that post-credits scene featuring an entirely different actor in a scenario that grossly differs from what we were shown in the latest trailer doesn’t count.
But I digress.
We are getting Apocalypse and his Four Horseman — all of which are X-Men, and three of which are future X-Men. I could write an entire article about why this was an anti-climatic decision that will remove any and all suspense from this movie, but that is not the glaring flaw that’s driving me crazy.
Nor is it Jean Grey’s British accent. It’s also not the fact that Scott Summers (A.K.A. Cyclops) is now the younger brother (or son?) of Havok or Alex Summers. It’s not even how they decided how to explain Storm’s iconically white hair as something she wasn’t born with…even though anyone familiar with Storm knows that questioning the authenticity her naturally white hair is a huge gripe.
Do you want to know what’s actually making me crazy?
If you’ve never read the X-Men comics or if you just never knew this particular arc, then you’ll probably not know that (SPOILER ALERT!) Mystique is the birth mother of X-Man Nightcrawler. Yep, that’s where he gets his blue skin — from mom. His father? Well, it turns out you’ve already met him: He was the demonic-looking mutant Azazel in X-Men: First Class.
At least, that’s true in the comics. In the movies… he’s dead. He’s dead, having been one of those “throwaway mutants” revealed to have been experimented on and killed in Days of Future Past.
You know what’s funny is that they actually wiped multiple mutants out of existence with that stunt, including Banshee’s daughter Siryn. Siryn was a character we’d even previously seen, having screamed her way onto the screen in X-Men sequel X2.
Interestingly, Nightcrawler also appeared in that movie. Even though the new timeline wipes Siryn from existence, we still inexplicably get Nightcrawler.
While it’s true that Mystique ditched newborn baby Nightcrawler in the comics (he was rescued by Azazel), there doesn’t seem to be any indication they will be reunited as mother and son in Apocalypse. Given the franchise’s penchant for plot holes, this is not one I expect anyone connected with the movies to even address. Doing that would require knowing and caring about all of the film franchise’s X-Men characters, and not just Wolverine or Katniss Everdeen — I mean, Mystique.
Maybe I’m wrong, and we’ll have a shocking reveal in the movies. Of course, given the lack of reaction by Mystique to the death of Azazel specifically, something tells me this glaring error will be allowed to let stand with no explanation whatsoever. As such, this one aspect, this one massive oversight, would be something I’d treat as proof positive that X-Men as a franchise has permanently lost its luster.
At least when not featured in the Deadpool movies!
I think X-Men Apocalypse will be great if you know nothing about the comics, care very little about the characters, and are just there for impressive CGI effects. If you are a serious comic book fan, something tells me that this film will probably be a death knell for any sincere interest in these films.
[Image via 20th Century Fox]