X-Men in the MCU: Make This Superhero Team Earn Their Mansion

After the Fox-Disney merger, it’s all but a matter of time until the X-Men join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fans have dreamed about this union for years, so they’re understandably excited about what it may look like. But what if Marvel decides to approach it with a different angle?

There’s a solid argument as to why the X-Men should start off in the MCU as being somewhat down on their luck. Here’s why they should have to earn their mansion. 

How the X-Men have been portrayed on film in the past

Kevin Feige
Kevin Feige | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

The Fox-produced series of X-Men films had two real casts/continuities. One was with the original timeline, with Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier. The second was the post-Days of Future Past timeline with James McAvoy as Professor X. In both of those continuities, the X-Men had a big mansion in upstate New York: Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. 

Throughout the series, we see the X-Men challenged not just by their villains, but also by society as a whole. Depending on where you are in the films, they’re met with varying levels of acceptance by society’s institutions. For example, in the first X-Men film, a powerful senator attempts to pass anti-mutant legislation. In other films, the X-Men work with the government. 

The struggle of mutants to fit into an intolerant society has served as a metaphor throughout the films. This has its roots in the comics. 

How the fight for social justice played a role in the creation of the X-Men

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Marvel has a long history of mirroring society within the pages of its comics. Here’s what Marvel impresario Stan Lee had to say about it in his 1968 column “Stan’s Soapbox” as captured by History.com

“Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today…[I]t’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if a man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill our hearts with tolerance.”

The echoes of the civil rights era within the pages of the X-Men comics aren’t subtle. The story of mutants protecting a society that outwardly rejects them reflects in many ways the experiences of Black Americans during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Other disenfranchised groups can see parallels to their plight with the X-Men storylines as well. For example, Magneto is a Holocaust survivor in the comics. 

Since the X-Men have always tried to mirror society and its injustices, there’s a theory right now that the next big-screen iteration of the mutant superhero team should do the same. 

Why the MCU should make the X-Men earn their mansion

A recent Reddit thread speculated on what the MCU’s version of the X-Men should look like. Now that the X-Men are going to appear alongside heroes such as the Avengers, Marvel will have to carefully integrate them into this universe. One fan said they should be made to represent the different classes of society, removing the mansion seen in past movie adaptations: 

“I can imagine the X-Men starting off as a grungey lowkey street level vigilante group who live and operate out of a rundown orphanage instead of a mansion. It would also make for a darker aesthetic and grittier tone. This would make them truly feel like the outcasts of the MCU….Explore why The Avengers are hailed celebrities but X-Men are outcast and freaks. Why are the X-Men treated differently from the avengers just cause they are mutants?”

With so many discussions going on today around economic and racial inequality in this country, this would make for an interesting dynamic. Marvel has shown a willingness to strive for diversity for its film casts and crews — let’s see if they’re willing to challenge themselves in terms of the themes they apply to their stories as well.