How the ‘X-Men’ Will Change (For Better and For Worse) Under Kevin Feige

Following the Fox/Disney merger, the House of the Mouse gained access to several properties previously off-limits, most notably the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. Since this fateful day, fans have been wondering how the X-Men will join the Avengers — who will come to play first? Will the Fantastic Four join Spidey? Will Reed Richards serve as Peter Parker’s new mentor; will the two develop a professor-pupil dynamic? Will Hugh Jackman pick up the hat he has already hung and enter the ring as Logan once more? The questions — often directed at Kevin Feige — are endless.

X-Men
‘X-Men: First Class’, 2011. Actors Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Nicholas Hoult, James McAvoy, and Lucas Till | Murray Close/Getty Images

While determining specific narratives and character introductions may prove difficult, we can parse out general changes bound to ensue now that the X-Men are under Kevin Feige’s reign. The X-Men will definitely benefit in some ways; however, certain attributes akin to the mutants — that fans have come to know and love — may fall victim to MCU formula. 

For better: Narrative blunders will be less likely 

Kevin Feige and his group of creatives have proven quite competent concerning complex, interdependent storylines; thus, narrative blunders akin to The Last Stand should be less likely. Who doesn’t remember The Last Stand, at it abruptly tried to turn Jean Grey into Dark Phoenix, while stressing her romantic ties to Logan, while working to hint at Cyclop’s turmoil, etc?

In short, The Last Stand bit off more than it could chew. It was too ambitious for its own good and sacrificed the character journeys and dynamics integral to these movies. Without three-dimensional interrelationships, superhero stories succumb to action-packed spectacles lacking depth. And, The Last Stand wasn’t the last mistake in the X-Men franchise. Let us not forget that Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix struggled to hit home runs. 

Under Kevin Feige, character dynamics and individual growth will remain integral, as they did throughout the Infinity saga. Under Feige, hopefully, Marvel will not have to undo its own misguided actions with a sequel titled Days of Future Past. When it comes down to it, the X-Men narratives should benefit; the interconnected storylines inherent to the mutants will receive the home they deserve. 

For worse: Marvel may resort to a formula that doesn’t fit

Many of the X-Men movies have been dark and somber; a serious tone tends to reign supreme when it comes to X-Men movies, and many fans appreciate such. Under Marvel, will the X-Men transform to match the humor shtick tied to the Avengers?

The X-Men aren’t necessarily funny; the combat sequences aren’t so focused on the next great one-liner, and if Marvel resorts to its formula, the X-Men could lose one of their signature qualities. 

Comic relief in a film otherwise defined by sobriety is a great attribute; however, turning the X-Men films into MCU action-comedies may feel like shell-shock after a decade of watching these heroes fit within a different genre. If handled with care, Marvel can retain the X-Men’s legacy, retain the signature tone and aesthetic, but improve upon the previous owner’s faulty follow-through.