The X-Men are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Marvel Studios has no small task ahead of them in making sure that the iconic team can lead the franchise in Phase 7 and beyond. Marvel Studios is also sure to make every effort to separate their adaptation of the team(s) from what came before. To celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, we’ve decided to put together a list of which characters might play a key role and how Marvel Studios can ensure nobody will confuse them with their Fox counterparts.
One of Fox’s most mysterious decisions in rebooting their own X-Men franchise in 2011’s X-Men: First Class was the choice to make Alex Summers the older brother of Scott and a member of Xavier’s first team of X-Men only to sideline him fairly quickly. Without being able to access the depths of Simon Kinberg’s mind, it’s impossible to know why Alex was underutilized but it really just seemed like Fox didn’t have a long-term plan for him. That’s good news for Marvel Studios because it allows them to make the easy choice to introduce Alex alongside Scott and then set him on his own path; a path that sets him on course to become the leader of his own team: X-Factor.
Telling the best version of Alex’s story means having him separated from Scott. Rather than being given the advantages provided to Scott by Xavier, Alex’s struggles with his self-confidence and his emerging powers result in an alpha-level mutant whose lack of control makes him fairly dangerous. Ultimately though, like Scott, Alex is a born leader and allowing him to grow into his powers and then put together his own team would be a fantastic way to set him apart from Lucas Till’s forgettable version.
Among its many failures, foremost of Fox’s foul-ups was that it never allowed its X-Men universe to grow and evolve beyond the core X-Men teams. The comics are loaded with mutant teams outside of the X-Men: X-Force, Excalibur, Generation X, hell even X-Statix all exist. Other than the brief assemblage of X-Force in Deadpool 2 and the ill-fated New Mutants, Fox stayed away from these teams. That means Marvel Studios can (and almost certainly will) dive headlong into developing them and Havok’s X-Factor should be one of the first and most important. While the team was originally just Scott’s X-Men working with the government, Alex put his own squad together and that squad is among the most memorable and powerful versions of X-Factor to have existed.
Marvel Studios would be wise to let Alex grow into a leader of X-Factor and ultimately come into opposition to his brother and his more authoritarian approach to leadership. Though the brothers can’t harm one another with their powers, they could certainly go toe-to-toe and break out the fisticuffs should Havok still be around long enough to see his brother cause a schism among mutantkind. Marvel Studios certainly loves brother vs. brother drama. Beyond that, a Havok-led X-Factor team provides a fantastic way to grow the mutant-corner of the MCU beyond the adventures of the core and introduce some other incredibly important characters who were criminally underused by Fox: Polaris and Jamie Madrox. Whatever it is Marvel Studios has planned for the mutants, they should certainly make room for a proper portrayal of Alex Summers.