With a Cold War erupting between 20th Century Fox’s Bryan Singer and Marvel Studios’ Joss Whedon over casting Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, a duo both linked to the Avengers through longstanding membership, and the X-Men through their father Magneto and role in the mutant community, we look at 5 more Marvel mutants who could be the next flashpoint in the run-up to Avengers Assemble 2 and X-Men: Days Of Future Past…
1. Namor, The Sub-Mariner
One of the big guns of the Marvel universe is also its first mutant. Namor is perhaps the only character who could credibly appear in both and it be a major plot device, both as a terrifying adversary and an unpredictable ally.
Despite fighting alongside Captain America in World War 2, the super-strong Monarch of Atlantis more often found himself arrayed against more conventional superheroes than alongside them, making him prime territory for a bad guy in any Marvel Phase 3 movie.
A consumate outsider he joined the Avengers in issue 262 (1985) and left 10 issues later, and more recently joined Scott Summers’ X-Men, but with a history that includes both assisting and opposing the Fantastic Four, Invaders, and Defenders, Namor could effortlessly fit in any canon.
50% X-Man, 50% Avengers
2. Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green)
Awww Squirrel Girl.
Joss Whedon already brushed off jokes about including the meme-heavy Great Lakes Avenger, but as a mutant she’s linked to the X-Men mythos, to the point where legal action forced a namechange to the Great Lakes X-Men, and one of the highpoints of her comic-book career has been a brawl with Wolverine.
Debuting in a team-up with Iron Man to take down Victor von Doom, it would be a crime not to have her feature in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe where the tone is far more at home with her. Bryan Singer, we implore you, don’t steal Squirrel Girl – leave her be until James Gunn is done with Guardians Of The Galaxy and can make a Great Lakes Avengers movie with Rhian Wilson as Flatman.
5% X-Man, 95% Avenger.
3. Firestar (Angelica ‘Angel’ Jones)
Angel Jones, pretty uniquely, could pop up in most Marvel movies, but the strongest claimant would possibly be Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man series.
Created for NBC’s 1981 Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends animated series when the original Human Torch was unavailable, Firestar was a mutant member of the X-Men who enjoyed/endured a love triangle with Spidey and Bobby ‘Iceman’ Drake. Making her first comic-book appearance in Uncanny X-Men issue 193 (1985) as one of Emma Frost’s Hellions (the mutant teens opposed to the New Mutants, sort of like West Side Story only stuff burst into flame when they clicked their fingers), she had a short-lived miniseries before fading into obscurity as alternatively a member of the New Warriors, Avengers and Young Allies.
Despite being a mutant and having the X-Men crowbarred into her backstory, she spent more time in the wider Marvel universe, if not with the Avengers, than with Avengers affiliated groups like the Young Allies. Her real heartland though is with Spider-Man – it was under his banner she debuted, and when she arrived in the Ultimate universe in 2000’s Ultimate Spider-Man issue 118.
She might end up finding a home in Marvel Phase 3, or a future X-Men movie, but it would be truer to Angel Jones if she made her big screen debut crushing heavily on Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker.
60% Amazing Friend Of Spider-Man, 30% X-Man, 20% Avenger.
4. Beast (Hank McCoy)
Though now better known as an X-Man, the blue bouncing ball of fun only actually became blue and fuzzy outside of the X-Men – in a solo story in Amazing Adventures issue 11 (and even then he was grey and fuzzy at first). A founding member of the X-Men when he was fleshy with big feet, the erudite Hank McCoy left the team in xxx, celebrating his 20th birthday by declaring himself to no longer be one of the “strangest teens of all.”
Joining the Avengers in issue 137 (July 1975) as a provisional member, and then a full member in issue 151 (1976), he eventually leaves the team a whopping 6 years later in issue 211 (September 1981) – he may have reteamed with Cyclops, Iceman, Angel and Jean Grey in X-Factor (1986), but it wasn’t until X-Factor issue 70 and X-Men issue 1 (1991) that he returned to the title he started out in as a fully rostered regular fixture. Even then he left the X-Men in 2010, to join the Secret Avengers, returning a year later in Wolverine And The X-Men.
Throughout the late Seventies, McCoy may have rejoined his childhood friends for the odd adventure, but he was ultimately best known as an Avenger to a whole generation, with longstanding links to many of the characters – making him ripe for use in Avengers 2 or Marvel Phase 3, although they’d have to change the character radically to get around him being a mutant.
65% X-Man, 35% Avenger.
5. Wolverine (James ‘Logan’ Howlett)
Recasting the fan favourite X-Man for the Marvel movies would be a ballsy move, but not entirely out of Whedon’s reach, especially if he wants to get Bryan Singer back for that “before he was an Avenger” comment – Wolverine joined the Avengers in New Avengers issue 6 (2005) and has been a mainstay since.
More than that, his own Weapon X project is linked to attempts to replicate Captain America’s Super Solider serum, and he fought alongside Cap in World War 2. He also trained Black Widow early in her career, and has shadowy connections to SHIELD as well as Cold War-era run-ins with Nick Fury.
Logan’s relationship to the X-Men may be stronger, but he’d be easier to reinvent sans-mutation as a pure military lab experiment than Beast, and there’s certainly the source material to support a mutant-free adventure or two.
Would Whedon want to go there though? There’s war, and then there’s WAR.
85% X-Man, 15% Avenger.