While you may be excited, it looks like X-Men: Apocalypse isn’t getting a whole lot of positive reviews. Matthew Vaughn brought the X-Men franchise back into popularity with the very well-received X-Men: First Class, then Bryan Singer doubled-down on that success when he returned to the series to helm X-Men: Days of Future Past. But with this latest entry in the mutant franchise, it looks as if Singer, and perhaps the studio itself, is starting to reveal one of their best-kept secrets; that they do not truly understand these characters or this universe.
Marvel Studios understand their characters and the world that they live in perfectly. When watching a film like Captain America: Civil War, it becomes difficult not to immediately compare it – not only to Batman v Superman – but to the X-Men franchise. There are a number of reasons for these comparisons, and the result ends up illustrating just how better an ensemble group like the Avengers is handled better than the X-Men. At least as far as these big budget movies are concerned – in the comics, the two teams have certainly clashed and have equally great stores – but that’s another list for another day.
In just about every way, the Avengers are a better and more successful group of superpowered individuals than the X-Men. Not only because of their unique and perfectly designed costumes or their pitch-perfect characterizations, but also the fact that the Avengers function much better as a team, as opposed to the X-Men who have rarely ever exhibited any instances of teamwork in these films.
Don’t agree with me? I bet you will by the end of this list. Either way, here are 10 reasons why The Avengers are a way better team than the X-Men!
10. Captain America As Leader Makes Sense; Mystique…Not So Much
Cap is a soldier who is brilliant when it comes to strategy and tactics while in the field. He’s definitely earned the title of Captain. Bryan Singer referred to Jennifer Lawrence‘s Mystique as being the Harriet Tubman of Mutants and…it’s just not believable. First, it just doesn’t make any sense for this particular character to be such a positive role model for mutants, given her villainous history in the comics. If the trailers are any indication, she also doesn’t appear to be in her natural mutant form very much in X-Men: Apocalypse. How can you lead the mutants while choosing to ignore your natural mutant form?
Not to mention that Mystique has no real experience being in battle or understanding how mutants use their powers. It’s obvious that this character was elevated to being the lead because of Lawrence’s successful career, but it’s a betrayal of the actual character herself.
9. The Avengers Already Dealt With Outer Space and Aliens
X-Men are mutants but they have had plenty of encounters with aliens as well as numerous adventures in space and on other planets. Although, none of this has ever been explored in the films…that have existed for 16 years. In fact, there may not be even be one hint or reference to any kind of extraterrestrial life in these films. Jean Grey went from being the weakest member of the X-Men to the most powerful when she embodies the Phoenix Force, a transformation that occurred during interstellar travel. But no one has even so much as mentioned aliens in these films.
Meanwhile, not only does Thor come from another realm in the universe, but the Avengers battled the Chitauri – a race of extraterrestrial shapeshifters. They’ve also continued exploring space and aliens with Guardians of the Galaxy, and we will likely see more of that with Captain Marvel and the Infinity War films.
8. The Avengers Have Better Costumes
Everybody remembers the horrible black leather costumes in those early X-Men movies. Though it may have seemed like a more realistic approach all those years ago, it’s no longer strange or unbelievable for superpowered individuals to be wearing some bright colors and uniquely designed attire. For over a decade, Wolverine fans have been clamoring to see Logan in his classic costume – either the yellow and blue mix or the yellow and brown mix which sustained the longest run in the comics of any of Wolverine’s costumes. Still no appearance, and in contrast, The Avengers are kicking ass in style.
Captain America, Thor, Iron Man – everybody has their own individual costume, and that individuality is carried over into their costumes when they’re Avenging. Marvel certainly wasn’t afraid to give Cap a bright blue costume in the first Avengers film – and have since toned it way down. But you still see a plethora of color, and even Black Widow’s black bodysuit is accurate to her look in the comics. So even that works.
7. The Avengers Quicksilver Was Better
When X-Men: Days of Future Past came out, everybody was ranting and raving over that one sequence featuring Quicksilver – whose name was Peter in the film, played by Evan Peters. Rather than actually getting to see him run using his super speed, the scene is just slowed down and we see him running at regular speed. That’s interesting, sure, but it is not the best visual illustration of the character’s powers and abilities.
Joss Whedon handled it well, with Pietro Maximoff – played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. For one, the character wasn’t American, and we actually got to see him using his super speed – looking like a blur dashing across the screen, leaving behind this blue speed-streak. Because, after all, that’s kind of how it looks in the comics, which means it’s an accurate portrayal. He also had an arc in Age of Ultron and was a more well-rounded character.
6. The Avengers Characters Are Funnier
These X-Men movies are bleak and that was really cool 16 years ago when the first one came out, but not so much anymore! Starting your comic book movie in 1944, in a concentration camp in German-occupied Poland was a pretty bold move for Singer and it’s one he should be commended for. However, there has been a serious lack of fun in these movies, and with all of the constant and impending wars brewing, there’s not a whole lot of room for humor.
Marvel has put humor into all of their films, yes, and frankly, that’s one aspect that makes them better. Whedon’s first Avengers film could possibly pass for a straight up action-comedy, and that would only be another point in the movie’s favor. Even when there are dark and heavy moments and themes in these Avengers/Marvel movies, there’s always some equally rewarding humor to back it up.
5. Cap Is The Leader Cyclops Should Be
Steve Rogers and Scott Summers do have some similar characteristics as they are both excellent strategic leaders of their respective teams. At least that’s how they’ve been portrayed in the comic books. That’s carried over for Captain America, but Cyclops has never really emerged as the confident and wise leader of the X-Men. In fact, he’s always been pushed aside so the films can highlight Wolverine instead because so many people think he’s a better character – which is completely false.
Scott never leads the X-Men in the films, it’s always Professor X or Wolverine calling the shots or leading the way. Cap, on the other hand, has no problem grabbing the steering wheel and leading the pack. And to no one’s surprise, Captain America could easily take down any cinematic version of Scott Summers thus far. And it shouldn’t be that easy to do so.
4. The Avengers Make Better Use Of Their Powers
This particular point is so key, because it’s one of the biggest reasons we go and see these movies. We want to see these characters not only using their powers but demonstrating them in completely unique and amazing ways. For example, Cap became more and more surgical with that shield, as well as with his hand-to-hand combat, as each movie went on. In Civil War, there is just an incredible amount of detail put into how each character moves and functions in relation to their power/enhancement/tech, and we got to see more of that in Age of Ultron.
Cyclops’ optic blasts always looked more like thin Listerine strips and we’ve barely seen him exhibit any martial arts skills. We’ve never truly seen Wolverine in his berserker rage, and we’ve also seen very little use of his sense of smell and hearing. Given the extent of what Logan is capable of, there are any number of skills he could quickly use in any given moment.
3. Minorities Actually Get Speaking Roles and Are Important to the Avengers Plot
The X-Men have Storm, Jubilee, Bishop, Psylocke, Forge, Sunfire and a whole plethora of female characters and characters of color. It’s too bad a lot of these mutants – specifically those who are black or Asian – don’t get very much time on screen. People complained when Darwin, played by Edi Gathegi, was abruptly killed off in First Class. Most of the characters in these films who get big arcs and speaking roles happen to be white.
Sam Wilson/Falcon gets plenty to do and say when Cap brings him onto the Avengers, as well as James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine. Black Panther will be getting his own solo movie and it’s possible that he will be on the roster of a new Avengers team post-Phase 3. Even Wong is said to have a different role in Doctor Strange – aside from just being Stephen Strange’s stereotypical Asian servant.
2. The Characterizations Are Accurate in The Avengers
Tony Stark is an egotistical billionaire who ultimately has a heart of gold. Steve Rogers is a proud and noble American who always fights for what is right. The Marvel characters have largely all been quite accurate to their comic book counterparts, as well as the side characters that inhabit the worlds they live in. Of course, two of the best aspects of Captain America: Civil War – Spider-Man and Black Panther – have been receiving nothing but overwhelmingly positive praise, largely because the characters are handled so extremely well.
The characters in the X-Men films have rarely resembled what they are like in the comics. Wolverine is much too soft and talks way too much, Rogue is incredibly timid and barely speaks at all. The love triangles have never made any sense. As stated earlier, Cyclops is not the confident leader he should be. Storm was never given an accurate African accent and she’s never been as powerful as she should be. The fact that Mystique and Charles were childhood friends is incredibly odd and jarring.
1. The Avengers Show Better Teamwork
Communication is always a big part of teamwork and the Avengers have that in spades. This is just one element that allows that team to function so well. Captain America understands what everybody is good at and suited for, and he is always keeping his team together and informed on what needs to be done next. There have not been a whole lot of examples of teamwork in the X-Men films, you may think there are, but it just isn’t the case. The teamwork is barely hinted at and not emphasized strongly enough.
There is a difference between several characters being in one place together, fighting off villains, versus those characters bouncing information off of each other and assisting them whenever there is an opportunity. The X-Men have never felt like a functional team that understands how and what each member brings their powers to the table. Their powers are never used in unique ways to bounce off of each other, whereas The Avengers seem to compliment each other more and more in battle with every opportunity.