By announcing X-Men: Apocalypse on Twitter this week, Bryan “Hey, I don’t actually need to read this stuff, do I?” Singer has firmly replanted his flag on the Fox-verse X-Men franchise. I’ve been pretty harsh on many of the films, but I have to pull back for a second because:
1. I haven’t actually SEEN Days of Future Past, so even if I’m worried about some of the changes, I can’t judge a film I haven’t seen. I stand by my comparison article between the films and the comics, but Singer has strongly hinted at a parallel history coming out of this next film.
2. Bryan Singer did not direct X3: The Last Stand or X-Men Origins Wolverine, which is where the wheels came off the X-Bus.
3. The franchise is in an upswing. First Class and The Wolverine were pretty solid.
4. Bryan Singer directed The Usual Suspects. Lifetime pass right there. It’s a damned masterpiece of cinema.
So, Bryan Singer, I sincerely wish you luck with your upcoming Fox-verse films. I am a huge fan of Apocalypse, I find him to be a fascinating villain because he actually thinks he’s doing the right thing. That makes him frightening, because the scariest and most evil men in history have all thought they were heroes. Here’s a brief look at the key Apocalypse storylines that Singer could mine through for his “AFOXALYPSE.”[divider]
1.) Early X-Factor Appearances:
Apocalypse first showed up in the pages of X-Factor #6 (technically #5), back when X-Factor was the original five students of Xavier’s, not the wacky adventures Peter David made famous, and not the “Original Five” that Beast kidnapped in All-New X-Men. He had painfully corny henchmen during this era, but he did have the Cool Ass “Ship” to tote him around. I would recommend anyone writing the Afoxalypse script to read the first two-year run and consider condensing it – this is when Apocalypse tries to destroy New York and conquer the world, but ends up just ripping off Angel’s wings and creating Archangel, his Horseman of Death. But,consider this: 20th Century Fox is gearing up for an X-Force movie. That means Fox-verse needs a Cable. So, it’s possible that we could mine the story about baby Cable being infected with the techno-organic virus, and subsequently sent into the future from X-Factor #68. I think their strongest bet is some kind of mashup of these story arcs.
HOWEVER…if you’ve seen the Fox-verse films (or read my article on how the Fox-verse X-Men films are BONED), then you’ll realize a rather extensive problem with the X-Factor film scenario: Cyclops and Jean are dead. It’s hard for dead people to make a baby, and it’s also illegal in most places for you to try to make a baby with a dead person, so that also means that the Foxverse can’t have Cable. Except…THEY JUST GREENLIT A CABLE MOVIE. So they’re going to 1) have to bring back Scott and Jean through some kind of alternate history trickery in the Days of Future Past film and 2) get Cable born and sent to the future with the Askani before the X-Force film. I think this scenario is the most likely one.[divider]
2.) The X-Cutioner’s Song:
The X-Cutioner’s Song, crossing over between Uncanny X-Men, X-Force, and No Adjective X-Men, is probably my favorite iteration of Cable vs Apocalypse. Plus it’s got Stryfe. However, bringing an evil clone into play of a character that hasn’t even been introduced yet is a lot to expect. I imagine Stryfe will show up in X-Force, or even an X-Force sequel. Don’t bet on this storyline for the script. But I had to mention it, because it’s an ass-whupper of a story, right up there with X-Tinction Agenda for Most Awesomest X-Men crossover, but that’s a different article altogether.[divider]
3.) Age of Apocalypse:
Originally I had been ranting that a couple tweaks of DOFP’s ending could give us the AGE OF APOCALYPSE. Now, I’d like to withdraw my petition for it to be so. The Days of Future Past film looks like it’s going to spawn an alternate timeline. So then the sequel Afoxalypse would ostensibly be an alternate timeline of an alternate timeline? I would recommend that Fox use the DOFP “reboot” to clean up some of its continuity errors and character deaths. Let’s play in a functioning sandbox for a few films. Then, after a few films done properly, widening the character base, if Singer wants to have Legion pop up and kill Xavier, leading into Age of Apocalypse? Fine by me. But it’s too wide and large of a tome to just jump into now with how narrow the Fox-verse is. Expand, solidify, then go ahead and knock the damn thing over and do a Age of Apocalypse trilogy.[divider]
4.) “The Twelve”:
There is no way in hell that The Twelve AKA The Ages of Apocalypse can be used. I don’t think Singer has 12 mutants left alive in the Fox-verse after X3. Also, The Twelve storyline dips into alternate realities and culminates SPOILER with Apocalypse possessing Cyclops, who’s dead in the Fox-verse. HOWEVER, if you look at the classic (My God, I’m old, a show from the 90’s is classic?) X-Men cartoon, there’s a oddly prescient watered-down precursor of the Twelve that could be tweaked into a screenplay much more easily than the comic storyline, avoiding troublesome plot elements like Logan joining the Fantastic Four. But, again, a lot of these characters are dead in the films. So using the same logic of avoiding an alternate reality of an alternate reality, this storyline isn’t likely.[divider]
Those are the major storylines. For laughs, let’s consider the following as longshots:
Rise of Apocalypse: Well, it’s pretty much the same story as the Scorpion King. Or Conan. Young En Sabah Nur was a slave, he becomes a king. So go watch one of those, and pray Singer doesn’t get all prequelly.
Apocalypse Vs Dracula. Yes, this is an actual comic. Yes, I seem to have paid money for it. No, not much, about a dollar per issue. That’s the ugly side of OCD and liking a character. You want to read this stuff, and then afterwards, you ask yourself why?
The Adventures, and Further Adventures, of Cyclops and Phoenix – these are two great mini-series, one set in the future around Baby Cable, the other set in Victorian England, dealing with the resurrection and demise the Ageless Mighty Blue one. Find these and read them.
So my bet’s on the X-Factor material. That could actually work, giving Singer a basis for adapting things a little more closely to the sources than he has so far, and expands his Fox-verse exponentially.
I am cautiously optimistic about the announcement of a film featuring one of my favorite villains. Now, go ahead and start asking yourself: “Who’s going to be his Four Horsemen?”