Marvel's First MCU X-Men Movie Doesn't Need 'Men' – There Are Other Options – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The mutants may be rebranding their iconic name in order to be more inclusive, leaving many future possibilities for the X-Men of the MCU.
The X-Men brand name has been in talks to potentially drop the “Men” from the iconic team name for the mutants’ MCU debut in order to be more socially inclusive. Recent comments have suggested that X-Men is an outdated group name since many of the X-Men team members are women. While a radical change — such as rebranding the classic comic book — remains to be seen, let’s speculate the options Marvel could take if they were to embrace a more universally progressive title.
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In broadening the horizons beyond the “Men” of the X-Men, the first element to recognize is undoubtedly the female characters. From its 1963 debut issue, the classic comic had always featured Marvel Girl AKA Jean Grey as part of the starting roster, but the 1970s saw a surge of female characters including Storm, the series’ first African-American woman, as well as Kitty Pryde, the comic’s first Jewish female. Of course it was the 1976 Dark Phoenix saga that formed Jean Grey into one of the most powerful mutants of the franchise, and nearly unmatched since. Women have since taken strong hold of the X-Men spotlight all the way into the 21st century — notably in Brian Wood’s 2013 X-Men #1, which focused on an all-female team including the likes of Rogue, Jubilee and Psylocke. While it’s unlikely that the MCU will debut their mutants under the brand “X-Women,” Wood’s modern-day classic comic at least shows potential for the possibilities of a female-driven future for the X-Men.
Another direction the franchise could take would be in the more universal sense, as seen with the team X-Force. Originally debuting in 1991, X-Force didn’t make a big splash until Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force — the 2010 comic that saw Deadpool and pals span the multiverse under a more broad group of lesser-known mutant fugitives. The X-Force team was revamped for the 2018 Deadpool 2 film, and although mostly embraced for slapstick, the group brought a fresh sense of diversity that had been lacking from the X-Men. Between Domino and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, X-Force opened the doors for multi-racial and LGBTQ-friendly characters. Given the enormous success of Deadpool’s second outing, X-Force very well could be the way of the future if the mutants do end up being rebranded.
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Of course the X-Men title may not be modified at all. Given its expansive history of contrasting characters, the iconic franchise has transcended its comic book name beyond a brand — it has remained a statement for all types of individuals coming together as a team despite their differences. Part of the uniqueness of the X-Men is the bonding of multiple races and genders under the same household name, but even despite the iconic franchise title, characters like Wolverine and Deadpool have proved with their solo outings that these films can still earn massive achievements without relying on the X-Men title, so does the franchise ultimately even need it in order to thrive?
The future for the mutants of the MCU still looks cloudy, but with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige reportedly agreeing that the name X-Men is old-fashioned and not progressive enough, the title could most likely be phased out over time — but not without roping in the fans first. Given the affiliation with the name, the X-Men title will probably appear in the first entry of the new franchise, but as the sequels progress, the films will presumably adapt and evolve into something else — be it X-Force, X-Team or something brand new. With the current introduction of the multiverse to the MCU, perhaps fans will have the best of both worlds and will be able to witness the union of an old world of mutants with that of a new. Until that time comes, the X-Men brand will continue to represent some of the most diverse and extraordinary characters in the history of comic books.
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Joshua Paige is a Features Writer for CBR. Having raised himself on the film industry (and cartoons), his plethora of useless movie knowledge has swallowed his identity. Superman is Josh’s favorite comic book character, solidified by a childhood of renting the Christopher Reeves VHS tapes from the library, followed by an adolescence of defending Smallville to his peers as the most superior of all Superman stories.

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