Three Ways That X-MEN: DOFP Could Reference The FF Existing In The Same Universe That Are Straight From the Comic Itself
With X-Men: DOFP on the horizon we’ve been hearing that the Children of the Atom will share a universe with Marvel’s First Family. Here are my thoughts on ways they can pull this off while paying respect to the source material
If y’all are anything like me, then you’re probably very excited about the fact that Fox has hired on Mark Millar to advise on how to build a cohesive universe out of the Marvel properties that Fox currently owns. X-Men: Days of Future Past has been said to be the first instance of Fox’s attempt to create a Marvel Cinematic Universe of their own. However, we haven’t seen any real proof of their plans to do this yet. Most fans assumed immediately that the announcement of a Fox-based MCU would mean that future X-Men and Fantastic Four films will begin to cross-pollinate and reference each other in the same way that Marvel Studios has done with their films. And hopefully that’s exactly what we have in store. Unfortunately it’s hard to be sure since the people involved in these projects have remained relatively tight-lipped and vague on the subject.
The best we can do for now is hope for some exciting things to come from these possibilities... and speculate as to how they may happen of course. Now I try to stay somewhat grounded in a sense of reality when it comes to these things so don’t expect a Patton Oswalt style rant on how we deserve to see a giant crossover event where the future seperate X-Teams and the Fantastic Four team-up to battle various cosmic threats in an action-packed, Avengers-scale, blockbuster epic! Sorry about that. Let’s all take a moment to calm down.
First the seeds need to be planted in order for more exciting concepts to grow and gain plausibility over time. Take for example how well the first Iron Man film laid the groundwork for a larger universe. It used such things as the Roxxon Corporation logo, a prototype of Captain America’s shield and a certain world peace-keeping organization to show that there were many possibilities for expansion of the world we were being introduced to. They don’t even have to throw these kinds of elements in the viewers face to get the point across. They will be discovered no matter how small and create mass excitement for a certain audience.
What I would like to mainly focus on here is how Fox, Mark Millar and Bryan Singer can start to show us that the X-Men inhabit the same world as the Fantastic Four in X-Men:DOFP. They don’t have to look far for ideas by the way because there are plenty of examples in the source material itself. I just recently re-read the classic Days of Future Past storyline and would like to point out a few direct connections to the FF that could be used in the film to start the expansion of Fox’s MCU. (Note: I recognize that we know very little about the plot of this film so a lot of what I suggest may not be applicable. This is especially important to keep in mind considering Fox has been making these X-Men films for 14 years now and it’s become clear that they rarely concern themselves with staying completely accurate to how things were portrayed in the comic book counterparts of the stories that are presented.)
1. The inclusion of Franklin Richards
- How it appears in the comics:
In the dark future of Days of Future Past there is a small group of mutant survivors from the superpowered community that make up a ragtag resistance cell. They are Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Storm, Magneto and Rachel Summers. There's one other member in this group: Franklin Richards. Franklin is the husband of Rachel Summers and the son of Reed and Sue Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. That’s right, the Richards’ son is a mutant.
- How it can relate to the film:
It’s pretty fascinating that a member of the small group that’s being focused on in the future storyline from the comic is a Fantastic Four character. There’s no telling at this point how a Sentinel restistence group in the future will be handled in the film but I’m sure it won’t directly mirror the one from the comic. As far as we know the filmmakers have no intention of including any Summers other than Alex (Havok) so it would seem like a stretch to think they’ll try to include anyone that could be considered a child of Scott Summers and/or Jean Grey such as Rachel Summers (not to mention Nathan Summers a.k.a. Cable – which opens up a whole other can of worms). Even if Rachel’s character isn’t included though I don’t really see why they couldn’t throw in a telepathic or perhaps telekinetic, blonde, male character named Franklin. This film is already kind of busting at the seams with characters and actors but this is not someone that would need a large role to fulfill his purpose. He could simply be there amongst the other characters and as long as his name is referenced the link will have successfully been made.
It’s also worth noting that since the exact timeline of this film is yet to be revealed (that I know of) we might only be seeing a “future” that’s closer to our modern day but acts as a dark future as it relates to the 1970’s characters of First Class. If this is the case and nothing is really set in the far future then it would probably make more sense to include a Franklin character as a child. Perhaps he could play something of a student role in the group and parallel the young mutants that used to learn from Xavier. I think this could be a great nod to the FF that would never even have to necessarily impact any other films considering this film will deal with what will most likely come to be considered alternate timelines.
2. The inclusion of the Baxter Building
- How it appears in the comic:
Also in the dark future of DOFP the Sentinels have taken control of America and mainly operate out of New York City. More specifically they have made their base of operations out of the former headquarters of the Fantastic Four: the Baxter Building. This becomes an important location as the mutant resistance breaks into the building in an attempt to take the Sentinels by surprise on their own turf.
- How it can relate to the film:
Frankly it would be very cool to see them use this element of the Fantastic Four mythos in the same way they did in the comics. Perhaps the Baxter Building could be some sort of technological hub for the Sentinels and it could also become a place that needs to be attacked or destroyed by the remaining X-Men for this reason. Obviously we don’t know the script for this film yet and have no way of knowing whether a location like this could even fit into the story appropriately. Another significant problem is the fact that if there’s even to be a Baxter Building in Josh Trank’s FF reboot we have no reason to believe they’ve designed what such a set would look like yet. That would make it very difficult to include in this film while trying to be consistent with its appearance in future films. It would however be interesting if they simply dropped the name of the building in a line of dialogue, perhaps as the site of a past battle or simply as a landmark for post-apocalyptic New York City.
3. Referencing the deaths of the members of the Fantastic Four
- How it appears in the comic:
There are two parts in the comics that specifically reference all four members of the Fantastic Four having died when the Sentinels attempted to purge all the superhumans from North America. The first is when adult Kitty Pryde is walking into a containment compound in the dark future. She walks by a series of headstones that have the names of various Marvel superheroes carved into them. The names include Reed Richards, Susan Richards, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm. The second is when the events of how this dark future came about are being recapped by the narrator. During this sequence a collage of crossed out heads are shown. Among the heads are Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, the Thing and Dr. Doom.
- How it can relate to the film:
These two specific visual references to the deaths of these characters aren’t exactly fitting for a direct adaptation to film. There are numerous other ways this information could be included though. A scene in X2 comes to mind as a similar style of Easter egg. The filmmakers had a bit of fun when Mystique broke into Stryker’s computer and the viewer briefly got a glimpse of a list of known mutants. Most of the mutants on the list had not even appeared in the series up to that point but were all taken from the comics. (UPDATE: Users commented to remind me that there is actually a folder that says "Franklin Richards" that appears in this scene. This makes a bit of a mess out of how they can tie this back in with the reboot continuity. This has been an unfortunate byproduct of certain Easter eggs they tried to include in the past and we might just have to let it go. I suppose one never knows though, they might try to make it work somehow within the new shared universe.) A simple written out list like this could be used at some point in the film to show the superpowered individuals that had lost their lives to the Sentinels. This type of thing could be used as a way to see the names of the FF appear onscreen. Certainly this is the type of thing that could also be communicated through dialogue as well though. It could even be vaguely presented and still be effective. Perhaps someone could mention when “The Four” fell or when they suffered a “fantastic loss.” It could even be as simple as a character or narrator stating that it wasn’t only the mutants that were targeted by the Sentinels but all the superhumans. That right there would have such a profound impact. It would suggest that genetic mutation is not the only way people have received superpowers in that world (leaving us all to imagine cosmic rays washing over our favorite space-exploring foursome). A reference to Dr. Doom would also be excellent but most likely difficult. It would at least be cool to hear or see a reference to the existence of Latveria in some way.
One more smaller link to the FF from the comic is when Wolverine mentions at one point that his costume is made out of unstable molecules. These are one of Reed Richards' inventions that allow the costumes that the Fantastic Four wear to adapt to the unconventional conditions of their various powers. A nod to any tech created by Mr. Fantastic would be a very fun inclusion such as the Ultimate Nullifier, the Fantasticar, H.E.R.B.I.E or even a portal to the Negative Zone.
Well those are my thoughts brought about by the Fox MCU news combined with my recent reread of DOFP. The possibilities are endless for how the filmmakers can start to hint at a larger universe but I thought that exploring these specific links between the two teams that were straight from the source material were a great place to start speculation. I don't know how Fox might bring these two powerhouse Marvel properties together but I'm excited to find out. Thanks for reading y’all - please sound off with your thoughts in the usual place!
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