X-Men In The MCU - Part 2: "Sinister Implications" - The First Trilogy

A further look into my ideal version of the X-Men in the MCU. This time we delve into my approach of the first trilogy, the overall direction of the franchise, and some important character breakdowns.

Features Opinion

Welcome back everyone! Before we dive in I wanted to take a minute and mention a few things. First of all, thank you all for the overwhelming support and positive comments from the first article. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my ideas would have garnered so much support. Even the people that didn't agree with everything I would do, you kept it respectful and the comments had absolutely zero negativity toward anyone in them. So thank you again, it means more than you know. This is the CBM.com comments section I miss!

Second, this article is not meant to be a full outline of events in these movies, nor is it meant to serve as a script. Each movie I describe is an overall plot synopsis with some important events and themes mentioned. Think of it as a description of the movies themselves, rather than reading the actual movie. 

And for anyone that missed the last article I highly recommend reading that first, as it sets the stage for this article. I try not to repeat too much here, so you'll be missing out on a lot if you skip the first one. You can see that article here: X-Men In The MCU: A Possible World In An Infinite Multiverse Of Worlds (comicbookmovie.com)

Film #1 - The Uncanny X-Men

The Sentinels Gets an Upgraded Look [X-Men Gold # 4] - The Fanboy SEO

Our first film serves as an introduction of mutants to the wider MCU. This is done in a highly questionable manner and presents the mutants to society in a dangerous and threatening way which leads to a negative perception from the start. While we're mostly all eager to see something a little different from the X-Men this time around, like the more outlandish story lines of The Brood, The Shi'ar, Arcade, or even the Savage Land, I think its important that our first trilogy (or phase) deals with the mutants vs humans side. This is what really separates our heroes from any other superhero team. This is what makes the X-Men unique. This is also something that would have a larger impact on the MCU as a whole rather than just sending them off into space in their first adventures.

Having said that, our first film will show us Xavier's Institute before the chaos. It is our first look at normal every day life at the school, as well as the relationships formed between our characters that we haven't seen since their individual introductions in "The Mutants". Here we see Scott and Jean's relationship for the first time. Beast hanging upside down in his lab, hard at work. Other future X-Men like Gambit, Rogue, Iceman, Angel, and others playing baseball in the yard. And even some easter eggs, like spotting the N'Garai Demons Cairn Stone in the background as we see Logan hunting in the woods on Xavier's grounds. (Could this lead to an X-Mas D+ special about Kitty Pryde being left alone at the mansion on Christmas Eve?) Xavier's school appears to be a mutant utopia.

The meat of our story would involve Bolivar Trask. He is the head of defense and a close advisor to the president. He also has many friends and allies within the FBI and CIA. Trask would be approached by an unknown individual named Michael Milbury. Milbury would tell Trask about our black budget research sites across the country. He would tell him about mutants and how they are a threat to the world. He would also explain that mutants are the next step in human evolution and would begin outnumbering humans in 3-5 generations. After this conversation, Trask will never see Milbury again.

Trask would then relay all of this information to the president and convince him to begin building and deploying the Sentinels. Again, I want to lean heavily into the message that would be sent just by the very existence of the Sentinels. The Sentinels' first priority would be using facial recognition to scan all humans in an effort to identify mutants so they can store their information in a central database for future monitoring. They would also be armed with defensive measures to apprehend or kill any violent mutants. 

The Sentinels are not just big robots. They are a symbol of the worst parts of humanity. They are a representation of the fact that humans are willing to give up their own freedoms in the name of "protection". And while they may appear to be a symbol of protection to humans, they are the ultimate symbol of fear and hate for mutants. While talking to Luke Cage in a comic Wolverine once described Sentinels as the equivalent of the KKK burning crosses in the yards of African American homes. This always hit me rather hard, as I never really put that together before. But it adds so much more to these enemies than just big, cool murder robots.

Much like one of the Sentinels' earlier appearances in comics, our climax would end with the Sentinels determining that mutants ARE humans. (This would also serve as a sad reminder that even a cold machine based entirely on logic can realize that we're all just humans at the end of the day) Sentinels would begin attacking mutants and humans alike and the X-Men would need to stop them. The X-Men would also come face to face with Bolivar Trask. Jean Grey would read his mind and learn about the black budget sites, as well as Michael Milbury. Though Milbury's face would be obscured to Jean due to psychic shielding, leaving him a mystery to the X-Men moving into our next film.

Film #2 - The Uncanny X-Men: Mutant Genesis

Magneto: His 10 Most Powerful Acolytes, Ranked

A year will have passed since the Sentinel incident in New York. The X-Men are fully aware that the government will continue trying to perfect their Sentinel program, but nothing has come of this as of yet. The X-Men have spent most of the past year helping mutants that are being attacked in the streets. Xavier has held pro-mutant conferences to the public and Beast has nearly finished rebuilding an old decommissioned SR-71 Blackbird to help the X-Men travel quickly to more places around the country. Xavier's school is still kept a secret as far as being a school of mutants. It is simply known as a high level school to the public.

This film would be our first introduction to Magneto. You may have noticed in the last article that I compared our black budget research sites to Nazi Concentration Camps. This is due to the horrible, painful experiments taking place in these facilities that often lead to death, as well as the complete mistreatment of its mutant inmates. Scientists here learned about mutants being the next step in evolution a long time ago and this only adds to their contempt for mutants as well as their mistreatment. Magneto, known as Max Eisenhardt in these films, would stage an escape, kill all of the guards and scientists in the facility, and release all of the mutant inmates. 

In the MCU I feel its important to separate Magneto's presentation from his Fox-Men appearances. In my opinion the Fox-Men leaned too heavily into Magneto being a good guy at heart. While he would still have a completely sympathetic and justifiable history, we are dealing with a true villain in this version of Magneto. Is there room for redemption later on? Maybe. But for now and the foreseeable future of these films, Magneto is almost as bad as they come. Which is why I feel its important to use his original name of Max Eisenhardt, and also to stray away from the Brotherhood, instead going with the Acolytes as his team.

The Acolytes would be formed from several inmates he frees in the black budget site, similar to how Magneto saved the lives of the original Acolytes in the comics in order for them to serve him and view him as an almost god-like master. This team of Acolytes would include Exodus, Fabian Cortez, Joanna Cargill (Frenzy), Unuscione, Milan, Senyaka, and the Kleinstock Brothers. These members have a very diverse set of powers that would be a great foil for the X-Men's diverse teams they would face.

By making Magneto a prisoner of these test facilities, he gains the same motivations he would have from a World War 2 concentration camp, while bringing him into modern times. He's witnessed his people being tortured and killed, just like he did in WWII. We would learn that his wife Magda, and his daughter were both killed when the government came and apprehended him. And we would also learn that he and Xavier were great friends before his disappearance. 

 Throughout the movie we see Cyclops trying to learn more about Michael Milbury. He would be lead to an old orphanage and inside he would find a run down children's home that hasn't been used in a long while. He would also find files on several of the kids that were held there, including his own file and one for his long lost brother, Alex. Scott would not remember much of his time here, but the files prove without a doubt that he was held there, and that whoever kept him there knew that the kids were all mutants. Finding this information leaves Scott with more questions than answers.

Our climax would involve Magneto and his Acolytes taking control of a nuclear missile site. Using the communication system he would send a warning to the government that he views the Sentinel incident as an act of war against mutants, and he is giving the government one chance to allow mutants to live in peace or he will unleash the nuclear missiles on the country. 

The X-Men would show up and attempt to stop Magneto. They are able to win a long and hard fight against the Acolytes, but when faced with Magneto they are easily beaten. This is the first time they've faced enemies not only as powerful as them, but a single enemy that can overwhelm them all at once. Xavier enters and comes face to face with his old friend just as Magneto is about to kill the X-Men. Both men are shocked and conflicted about how they should feel. They have obviously missed one another a great deal, but they are also much different now, mainly due to the horrific things Magneto has endured. 

Xavier would use his powers to defeat Magneto causing him to retreat. Magneto would almost beg Xavier not to interfere with him ever again, or he would not hesitate to kill any or all of his students. Magneto's actions would provide an opposite response from the people of the world and only serve to fan the flames of humans' fear of mutants.

Film #3 - The Uncanny X-Men: Sinister Machinations

Mister Sinister - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemy - Profile - Writeups.org

As we begin our third film we see that humans' fear of mutants has grown to a whole new level. Magneto proved that some mutants have the power to destroy entire countries if they so desire. Society is on the brink of war and becoming dangerously close to a tipping point. The X-Men can do little to stop this, but thankfully the government has not made any further actions against mutants.

As Cyclops continues to understand who Michael Milbury is, the mansion is attacked by the Marauders. This team would include Scalphunter, Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Vertigo, Riptide, and Sabretooth. The X-Men are split up throughout the mansion and are barely able to beat this team. Several lesser known characters are killed but a few major events take place. During the fight, Blockbuster and Harpoon break Angel's wings and staple them to a wall, leaving Warren hanging helplessly. We would also see Wolverine and Sabretooth fight it out for the first time in the MCU. Due to several deaths in the mansion, the X-Men resort to winning through any means possible, including killing several Marauders. Even Colossus, who is the most kindhearted member of the team resorts to breaking the neck of Blockbuster, which was also a major event from this story in the comics.

I want this to play out as the MCU's version of the Mutant Massacre. Unfortunately in the films we wouldn't have time to focus on all of these stories and characters, so I would stray away from the Morlocks as a whole. Having this take place at the mansion and to actual residents there feels like a more personal experience and a good compromise, while still keeping the major theme of the event intact. Much like the comics, this event serves as a means to show how dangerous the X-Men are when their backs are against the wall. 

The X-Men would learn from the Marauders that they were sent by their leader, Mister Sinister and that his lab is hidden below the very same orphanage that Cyclops visited in our previous film while looking for Michael Milbury. As they arrive at the orphanage, they are full of rage for the events that took place at the mansion. This is the X-Men as we haven't seen them in films before. A hidden entrance leads them down to Sinister's lab where they face Mister Sinister. But Sinister wouldn't be Sinister without a long explanation of what he's been doing all this time. 

We learn that Sinister has tested on several mutant children at this orphanage over the years and that Cyclops was one of his favorite subjects. He explains that the Summers' line of X-Genes is unlike anything he's ever seen before. It is extremely strong, and if combined with the right DNA, Sinister could produce the most powerful mutant to ever live. We also learn that everything Sinister has done, beginning with the outing of mutants, was in preparation for the coming of Apocalypse. Apocalypse wants the strongest race to inherit the earth, and with mutants finally beginning to manifest their powers on a larger scale, Sinister was sent to test the abilities of mutantkind by laying the foundations of a human/mutant race war.

Sinister only seems to be vulnerable to Cyclops' Optic Blasts, but the X-Men are able to defeat him. The film would end with a heavy cloud hanging over their heads, including several deaths at the mansion, an injured team member, and the promise of a coming threat that will make everything else they've faced so far look pale in comparison. Oh, and we also learn that Jean Grey is pregnant...

Conclusion

Another long one here!  I apologize for that. It took several re-writes to shorten it up, so I appreciate anyone that was able to stick around for this in its entirety. The overall purpose of this trilogy is obviously to set up an Infinity War type film for the first phase of X-Men movies that would culminate with the X-Men taking on Apocalypse, while at the same time helping to somewhat resolve the issues of the humans vs mutants storyline. That will always be present, but I also don't want the MCU to constantly focus on an all out war between humans and mutants forever. So thank you all again!  If you have an appetite for it, I'm thinking of doing Part 3 as an individual character breakdown of all the major players and what they would be like in the MCU. Let me know if you want more. Thank you all again, and I'll hopefully see you in the comments!

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