X-MEN: DAYS OF CONFUSING TIMELINES
– Temzy, ABH Press
It has been almost two decades since X-Men first hit the big screen, the first movie coming in 2010 with a star-studded cast of Patrick Stewart (as Professor Xavier), Hugh Jackman (as the Wolverine), Ian McKellen (as Magneto), the stunning Halle Berry (as Storm) and many others.
There was a lot of skepticism about superhero movies then, but the box office success of X-Men (2000) paved the way for many other successful superhero movies, all thanks to Bryan Singer at the helm.
After the third movie in the series, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), many fans wondered “what next?” as many major characters were killed off by the phoenix, a powerful cosmic entity, in Jean Gray (played by Famke Janssen).
It took five years for that question to be answered afterwards with X-Men: First Class being released in 2011, depicting a prequel that showed exactly how the X-Men was formed.
This was then followed by X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014 and so on, all featuring a younger cast. The issue being that although it was meant to be a prequel, some parts didn’t add up. The story lines have not been exactly the same. In the newer X-Men, there have been notable absences (e.g. Wolverine and Rogue) and notable additions as well (e.g. Quicksilver, who was only in the animations and comics initially).
If you’ve been getting confused with the entire franchise lately, it is important to note that you’re not the only one. However, the first step towards appreciating the series is understanding the time line. The movies were not released in chronological order, i.e. X-Men (2000) is not the beginning of the story, neither is Logan the end.
Below is a compilation of the list of movies in order:
Release Order: X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)(, X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), X-Men: First Class (2011), The Wolverine (2013), X-Men: Days of the Future Past (2014), Deadpool (2016), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), Logan (2017), Deadpool 2, (2018) X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019), New Mutants (2020), X-Force (TBA), Deadpool 3 (TBA).
Chronological Order: X-Men: First Class (1962), X-Men: Days of Future Past (1973 sequence), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (1979/1981), X-Men: Apocalypse (Alternate 1983), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Alternate 1992), X-Men (2000, X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), The Wolverine (2013), Deadpool (2016), Deadpool 2 (2018), The New Mutants (2019) X-Men: Days of Future Past (2023 sequence), Logan (2029).
Delving deep into the prequels has helped non-comic readers understand exactly how the X-Men started, as well as the motivations for various characters. The major issue however, is that the story line isn’t exactly the same anymore as there have been many changes, some subtle and others not so subtle.
With the turning point being X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) where the timeline was altered by Wolverine going into the mind of his past self to prevent Mystique from killing Trask (Peter Dinklage), leading to her capture, after which her DNA was used to advance Trask’s Sentinel robots, giving them an ability to adapt to any mutant power.
This alteration has led to two timelines, the old one where Mystique killed Trask and the new one, where she didn’t, which is the timeline the current movies are being released on which is the key to understanding the entire movie franchise.