There are various things that have been left unexplained in this world; animal migration, the Bermuda triangle, the Tunguska event, but none of these mysteries will raise the brow of a geek in the way the X-men franchise has. With a semi-reboot, prequels, sequels, and even spin-offs, no wonder continuity has been reoccurring issue. Also, with 4 different directors and 8 story writers, how could you expect any other outcome? Now, with time travel being the focus of X-Men: Days of Future Past, I would be confident in putting money on the line, when I say, the confusion in this superhero franchise will, most likely, not be clearing up.
So where does the continuity falter? Am I just being an over critical geek, or are these mistakes truly irreversible and unforgivable? Well, let’s start with a time line of the X-Men films, in an attempt to keep things collected (unlike the writers).
X-Men First class- 1962
X-men Days of Future Past- 1972
X-men Origins: Wolverine- 1981 (Various Time Periods)
X-Men 2- 2003
X-Men: The Last Stand- 2006 (Also 1970’s during Professor Xavier’s flash back)
In the 1960’s Erik Lensherr, while ricocheting bullets using his ability to control metal causes one bullet to bounce, lethally hitting Charles in the spine, thus paralyzing him. I have no problem with the idea of Magneto being liable for Xavier’s life sentence to a wheel chair – also Magneto was the reason for his being paraplegic in the Ultimate Universe. What I have a problem with is, this happens in 1962, making him the wheel chair bound Prof. X we see in the first film. Yet in X-Men 2, while divulging in a flashback to the mid 1970’s, he is seen walking into a young Jean Grey’s house with Erik! We also witness him on foot, while telepathically reaching out to an adolescent Scott Summer’s in Origins, which is based in 1981. So, was he just having debilitating back spasms in First Class and later on he actually became paralyzed?
Lawyer Up! We Have Copyright Problems!: Who Built Cerebro?
In the first film Charles takes credit for building Cerebro, with the help of Magneto. But in X-Men:First Class they show Dr. Hank “Beast” McCoy as the inventor of the technology.
Such a Strong Mind, Yet Weak Memory: When Did Xavier and Magneto Meet?
In the first X-men film Charles explains to Wolverine that when he was 17 he meet a young man named Erik (Magneto). Although, during First Class, Charles meets Erik in what seems to be their mid 20’s, unless a 17-year-old is putting the finishing touches on his thesis on mutation for Oxford University and relaxing at the pubs drinking.
Love Thy Enemy: When Did Charles and Erik Part Ways?
First Class ends in 1962 with Charles and Erik already enemies, taking different philosophies of homo sapiens/homo-superior coexistence. With Charles obviously fighting for peace and Erik leaning on the extinction theory. Yet, we see him and Charles, collaborating, in Jean Grey’s parents house in the 1970’s during the flashback in The Last Stand, as though scouting for a university, recruiting her talents to their school.
When does Beast actually go through the second phase of his mutation? In First Class he has already undergone this second phase and is the furry blue feline, but then in the midst of X-Men we see him as human, pre-second phase. Then in X2 he’s that lovable, scientific, genius, fur-ball again.
Two issues cyclone around this character. When we originally meet him, he is a senseless, mindless, animalistic villain, but in Origins he is collected and scheming. Tracking down his half-brother Logan and striking up a deal with Stryker, in an attempt to fuse his bone structure with adamantium. Let’s say he becomes stupid as the years progress, that’s fine, but there is no way he forgets who his half-brother is (Logan) during their first encounter in X-Men. Logan, according to the Origins film, tagged alongside his older half sibling for more than a century. You don’t forget something like that, unless you take an adamatium bullet to the head, which would be ridiculous, even laughable.
Class of 1963?: When Did The School Become Established?
In First Class, Xavier began his school in 1963. Completely contradicting the time line set up in the first film when Charles says Scott and Jean Grey where among his first students. There is no sign of Cyclops or Jean Grey in First Class, most likely due to the fact that they weren’t even born yet. Charles recruits these young mutants in the 80’s.
Unless his mouth is sewn shut, he has samurai swords coming out of his hands, and he can shoot optic beams out of his eyes, which he can control, – Sorry no one taught poor little Scott Summers that trick – there will be issues in a stand alone film for this character. And if he is able to do these things, then there’s still issues! There is no winning with the continuity with this because of the writing on Origins.