This Friday marks the release of what is arguably the biggest X-men movie to date. Why would this stand above the original trilogy and two attempts at a Wolverine film? Because this is the first truly comic-inspired X-Men film that features the kind of insane storyline with time travel and giant robots plus a full on team of heroes that readers of the comic have come to love.
Days of Future Past features all the X-Men you’re used to as well as numerous characters only known to fans of the comics such as Blink, Bishop, Warpath and Sunspot. How these characters will be introduced and used, we don’t know, but one thing is for sure they were chosen specifically for what they could add to the movie in a way that certain other characters never could. Because, whether you know it or not, over the years there have been literally hundreds of characters on the X-Men roster (or X-Force, X-Factor, Generation X or whatever) and frankly, not all of them deserve to be on film. In fact, some characters are so lame they should never be on film. Like these guys!
Maggot may be the X-Men’s most popular loser thanks to his mind-blowingly terrible super power – Maggot has two stomach parasites (maggots) that operate as his digestive tract. The maggots could eat through nearly anything and then would return to Maggots body and transmit the nutrients to him which would in turn give him increased strength, stamina, agility and all the typical superhero stuff.
Try to imagine a director including a character like Maggot into the fold in a movie – not just introducing him but somehow making it both clear and not 100% revolting that he has these two gut slugs which can eat anything and then transfer power to Maggot himself. It took about four movies just to cover Wolverine’s origin which was “guy has claws, claws get covered in metal.” Something with semi-sentient gut maggots would break Hollywood.
The hardest mountain for any filmmaker to climb with Maggot would be actually making you care about him. Wolverine gets a tragic love story and all this heroism in his past, lots of anguish and isolation, all framed by Hugh Jackman’s cut body and cool haircut. Is anyone in Hollywood handsome enough to make women want to watch a man with maggots in his belly?
Have you ever seen someone lose a lot of weight really fast and end up stuck with a remarkable amount of loose, leftover skin? And have you ever thought “man, that’s awesome?” If not, you are not X-men writer Scott Lobdell who created Skin, a former gang member with 6 feet of spare skin hanging off him like some kind of gross, flappy tentacle matter. He was kind of like Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four, only so much more gross.
Putting Skin in a movie is basically asking audiences to be OK with a tragically misguided episode of the Biggest Loser being on screen next to the likes of Halle Berry and Famke Janssen. It’s offputting is what it is. Even the “ugly” mutants in the X-Men, like Mystique and Beast, are played by incredibly attractive actors. No one is going to look attractive when they have man boobs that sag to the floor. Also, not to split hairs, but Skin’s power is pretty much awful. He wraps people up in his extra skin, or maybe flops through the sky like a super unfortunate flying squirrel, and that’s about it. That’s not adding much to a fight against Sentinels.
Every single list of terrible X-Men invariably includes Cypher, which is ironic because in reality Cypher would have one of the best powers ever. Sure, super strength might have the odd benefit in the real world, but Cypher had the ability to understand any language he came in contact with. You’d be able to travel the world freely, read any book, get amazing jobs, impress the ladies and who knows what else if you had this insanely practical power.
Despite how cool it would be to exist in the real world with Cypher’s powers, in the X-Men’s world he was basically half a loaf of turds. If you’re running into battle and you had the choice, would you rather pick the guy with razor sharp claws who can heal himself, the guy who shoots lasers from his eyes, the woman who can make lightning and tornados, or the guy who can read a Greek menu?
Nothing about Cypher lends itself to battle at all, and on screen he would be a huge disappointment – even moreso than the senior citizen in a wheelchair, and that’s saying something. If you can’t outfight Captain Picard, you don’t deserve to be an X-Man.
Created by the bane of good taste, Rob Liefeld, Shatterstar is a guy with a 6 foot ponytail and a sword that somehow has two blades coming out of one hilt. His superpower was to be awesome, as near as anyone can figure, and this was realized on the page by having him jump a lot, and cut things. Later he was revealed to be gay. So he’s a gay guy who’s always jumping.
Rob Liefeld’s problem as a comic book creator was that he never had anything you could really describe as a vision. He just made things that he thought were cool and had either big guns or big swords and that was as deep as their creation went. His problems as an artist were far more egregious, but we’re not here to mock those atrocities just now. But do yourself a favor and Google his art when you get a chance, it’s so bad you’ll have to laugh.
Stacy here would probably look just fine on screen, she’s a hot girl with scales and Mystique proved that works just fine, but it’s worth noting that she’s also a hooker whose mutant ability is to stink. Maybe that’s an oversimplification – she has pheromone abilities. For instance, she could make you horny or make you vomit, just like the best of prostitutes.
While it’s arguably cool to have a sexified lizard girl on your team, the fact that her powers are basically a variety of stanks that cause different effects means, on screen, she’s just a poor man’s Mystique who can’t shape shift and around whom everyone would be sniffing constantly.
Dazzler was created in the 1970s as a cross promotion between a record company and Marvel, so already this story is not going anywhere good. Her mutant ability is to convert sound waves into light, so basically she’s a living disco party. This is arguably the worst thing ever.
Dazzler has bounced aimlessly from X group to X group over the last 30 years because no one really wants to have her on their roster as her power is kind of shameful and there’s the constant insistence that she be a singer looming over the character, whether she’s doing disco, rock n roll or adult contemporary. This character is so awful that last part wasn’t a joke, she really became an adult contemporary singer at one point. She was the X-Men’s John Tesh.
The Silver Surfer has somehow managed to survive for decades despite being a guy who surfs. This should be considered an anomaly never to be repeated as “guy who surfs somehow not on water” just isn’t very cool. Despite this, Slipstream exists, another guy who surfs. Only while the Silver Surfer surfs through space and has some kind of energy powers, Slipstream just surfs from one place instantaneously to another which means he’s kind of like Blink who is actually in the new X-Men movie, if she had to carry a stupid surfboard with her everywhere.
This guy’s name is actually Goldballs. That alone discounts him from being cool in any way, but then you find out what his power is. It’s gold balls. He shoots gold balls from his body. It doesn’t even matter what comes after that as seeing this on screen would degrade any X-movie to Howard the Duck levels of awfulness.