Never is this more evident than in the curious case of Quicksilver. Joss Whedon added him and his sister Scarlet Witch to his “Avengers” sequel because of their worldview, believing that these two characters would present the established team with dramatic philosophical conflicts. When Fox heard that Whedon was including mutants to his 2015 “Avengers” film, they hastily added Quicksilver so they could get there first. According to Bryan Singer, he has an action sequence that needs Quicksilver. That’s the difference, and that’s the problem. Whedon wants Quicksilver because of who he is, Singer wants him because of what he can do.
Kids gravitate towards characters because of powers, sure. Wolverine has knives that come out of his hands! That’s awesome! But that attraction is superficial, and it almost always gives way, pretty quickly, to a deeper connection. We like characters because of who they are. People aren’t mad at “Man of Steel” because Zack Snyder did something wrong to Superman’s powers (I didn’t notice if he did); they’re mad because he changed something about his character. Whedon gets this. That’s why every character in “Avengers,” even characters with little screentime like Maria Hill, resonated. I can tell you who Maria Hill is. Colossus had as much screentime and I can’t tell you anything about him. And he’s Colossus. Dude’s been an A-List Marvel superhero for almost forty years.
My ideal “X-Men” film, and one that I think would get to the heart of what makes the X-Men special, would focus on family. Because when these characters are done right, that’s what they are. You can’t get that feel if half of the family members are relegated to superficial cameos, either. A real X-Men film should focus on a small group of A-List characters (I’m partial to the Paul Smith-era “Uncanny” team or the Fox cartoon lineup) that get equal screen time and all get treated as if they are as important to the franchise as Wolverine is – because a real X-Men movie can’t be mistaken for “Wolverine and Those Other Mutants.” It has to treat the mutants as metaphor angle as essential and with respect, and they would come up against a big time threat (Apocalypse).
I’m looking forward to the next two “X-Men” films, for sure. But now that I’ve started thinking about what an X-Men film really should be, and what I want out of an X-movie, I can’t stop. I know what I want and I’ve seen it done in “The Avengers.” I know it can be done for the X-Men. I want a great movie that’s also a great X-Men movie.
Brett White is a comedian living in New York City. He co-hosts the podcast Matt & Brett Love Comics and is a writer for the comedy podcast Left Handed Radio. His opinions can be consumed in bite-sized morsels on Twitter (@brettwhite).