June 12, 2011

X-Men flick inconsistencies

I was under the impression that Marvel was supposed to build a unified film universe? Are the X-Men supposed to be part of that? Sure doesn't seem like it, and even if that was never supposed to be the case, shouldn't the five films try to be more consistent with what are actually very easy to eliminate continuity snafus? So here we go -- because absolutely nobody demanded it, here are some of the major continuity gaps/head scratchers of the five X-Men films in no particular order.

Warning! Some spoilers below the fold (due to the inclusion of "X-Men: First Class" material)!

  • In "X-Men," why is there no mention of Sabretooth's relationship with Wolverine? A major plot element in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" is the kinship between the two (they're brothers). It's understandable that Logan doesn't remember (based on the end of "Wolverine"), but nothing at all from 'Tooth? And how come there's little-to-no resemblance between the Sabretooth from "X-Men" and the one from "Wolverine?"

  • In "First Class," Magneto and Xavier go their separate ways in October 1962. But in "The Last Stand," we see (a digitally enhanced) younger Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart (Magneto and Xavier, respectively) still working together when they visit the home of Jean Grey. In fact, wasn't Xavier still walking in that clip, too? But at the end of "First Class," we witness the accident that cripples Xavier. In 1962.

  • At the end of "Wolverine," we see a mutant who is very obviously Emma Frost -- a very young woman (teenager, possibly) at the time. But there she is in "First Class," an adult woman. Yet "First Class," again, occurs in 1962. Wolverine occurs in the 70s and 80s.

  • Why doesn't Xavier ever mention to Wolverine that he once attempted to recruit him in 1962? This was the classic cameo in "First Class" where Logan tells Xavier and Lehnsherr to "F*** off." Yet, in the first three X-Men films, Xavier mysteriously plays dumb.

  • Hank McCoy, aka the Beast, was shown to have mutated to "hairy" form in "First Class." Continuity works in "Last Stand" where Kelsey Grammer plays the mutant acrobat. But ... what was that in "X2?" Check out the bar scene where Mystique douses Magneto's guard's beer with a sedative. Who's that on the TV? It's a non-hairy Hank McCoy. (OK, in the comics Beast sometimes wore a mask of his former "human" face, but this ain't the comics ...)

  • In "Wolverine," one of the mutants Logan rescues near the end is Scott Summers, aka Cyclops. Not only were Cyclops' eye beams shown to act like lasers (heating/melting objects, but his beams generate force, not heat), but Summers doesn't acknowledge already meeting Logan in "X-Men." (It's understandable Logan doesn't recall, based on "Wolverine's" ending.)


For the uninitiated, the X-Men films threw out a lot of comicbook foundation. This is completely understandable, of course, but you may not know just what. Here's a basic primer for you:

The original team. It wasn't what we saw in "First Class." The original X-Men were Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman and Marvel Girl (Jean Grey).

Wolverine wasn't an aimless drifter. On the contrary, when Professor X wanted a new team of mutants in Giant-Size X-Men #1, he had to go through the Canadian government to get Logan. That's right, Wolverine was a Canadian government agent, and he actually made his comics debut in the pages of The Incredible Hulk, not X-Men. When the Canucks object to Wolvie leaving, well, see the pic at left!

Phoenix committed suicide; Wolverine didn't kill her. In "Last Stand," the threat from Phoenix (Jean Grey) was ended when Wolverine impaled her on his claws. But in fact, Wolvie was unable to do just this in the comics -- because of his feelings for her. In the epic X-Men #137, a depowered Phoenix and the X-Men were abducted by the alien Shi'ar, and fought a duel-like battle for Phoenix's fate. The X-Men lost, but Phoenix regained her power. In order to save Earth (and perhaps the universe itself), Jean decides to kill herself.

Rogue was actually one of the most powerful of the X-Men. In the films, Rogue played a very minor role. However, in the comics she was once a member of Mystique's (yep, not Magneto's) Brotherhood of [Evil] Mutants, and she once attacked Ms. Marvel, a highly powered superhero. Rogue held onto Marvel for too long, and as such permanently absorbed her powers. As a result, she became super-strong and could fly.

Professor X actually lost the use of his legs due to a falling rock. In 1966's X-Men #20, we see how Xavier once fought the alien Lucifer. In the course of their scuffle, the alien dislodges a huge piece of rock which falls on the prof's legs, rendering them useless. In "First Class," Moira MacTaggert fires a pistol at Magneto to distract him, but in the course of diverting the bullets, Maggy accidentally deflects one into Xavier's back, paralyzing him.

Mystique, Pyro and the Blob once worked for the US government. Believe it or not, in the 1980s Mystique, Pyro (John Allerdyce in the films), and the Blob (Fred Dukes from "Wolverine") were once members of Freedom Force, a US government mutant action-team.

Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Banshee and Nightcrawler all joined the X-Men at the same time. This occurred in the previously mentioned Giant-Size X-Men #1 from 1975. After the original team (also previously noted) was captured by an evil mutant, Prof X goes about recruiting a new team. As noted, Wolverine was then working for the Canadian government; Storm was revered as a goddess in Africa; Banshee was a part-time criminal; Colossus was working on a collective farm in the USSR; and Nightcrawler was being pursued by a hateful, frenzied mob determined to kill "the demon."

Posted by Hube at June 12, 2011 10:36 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

In the X-men Comics, I think mid to late 90's. Forge built a Holographic device that made obvious mutants look like normal people. I remember seeing Beast and Archangel use this device in a certain comic I own.... just saying, but I do disapprove of these inconsistencies.

Posted by: jesse comeau at June 12, 2011 03:29 PM

Don't worry. This can all be solved by Xavier's mental programing classes.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 19, 2011 05:45 PM