Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X2

Is X-Men Marvel or DC?

The X-Men franchise has spawned over a dozen films since the early ‘00s and has cemented itself as a pop culture staple, with actor Hugh Jackman at the forefront as the iconic Wolverine. Its comic book counterpart and source material has been around for much longer and dates all the way back to 1963, which begs the question, who between the two comic book publishing titans—Marvel or DC—actually created the X-Men?

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The X-Men in film

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men

Fun fact: X-Men #1, which was published in 1991, is the best-selling American single-issue comic of all time. So why is the X-Men’s film presence complicated enough that their origins aren’t clear? Well, the answer involves a lot of history and red tape. 

Back in the ‘90s, Marvel Comics had hit a bad slump financially and filed for bankruptcy. This would ultimately lead to the selling of their rights to some of their biggest titles, which included Spider-Man, Deadpool, The Fantastic Four, and of course, X-Men. Years later, when they finally started to delve into the creation of their own cinematic universe with the release of Iron Man in 2008, Marvel was left with having to work with some of its then lesser popular characters. And as the universe grew with the various crossovers in what became the Avengers movies, it seemed inevitable for the the four lost franchises to stay isolated from the bigger narrative Marvel was weaving. 

And so, Disney (who has owned Marvel since 2009) struck a deal with Sony and came up with a sharing agreement, which allowed fans and audiences to see Tom Holland’s take on everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man with the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, marking the return of these lost heroes back home. 

We have yet to see an incorporation of X-Men into the MCU timeline, which now raises the question, does this mean there’s going to be a reboot? Or are they somehow just going to come up with an explanation why they were gone for the last decade which covered events like, oh, I don’t know, The Snap and that huge battle with Thanos? Think: The Eternals.

The Future of the X-Men

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X2

Patrick Stewart recently reprised his iconic role as Professor Xavier during a surprise cameo in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but does this mean we’ll be seeing the rest of the cast coming back? 

Producer Simon Kinberg, who worked on several films for the original franchise, which include the screenplay for X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse, and the production for X-Men: First Class, Logan, and both of the Deadpool films, stated that he personally has no idea but believes in Marvel boss Kevin Feige’s vision. 

Speaking to IGN, he said, “The honest answer is, I have no idea. And the other answer is, Kevin [Feige] knows what he is doing with the MCU. I would argue he’s the greatest producer in the history of cinema. Truly. I mean, if you look at it pound for pound in terms of quality and in terms of obviously commercial success, there’s no question the latter is true. So I don’t know.”

He further expressed what everyone collectively probably feels towards the idea of a reboot: a hesitate towards recasting the role of Wolverine.

“I love those actors. I love them as human beings, and I love them as the characters,” Kinberg said in the same interview. “So obviously, there’s a part of me that would be incredibly nostalgic and would be excited to see them. And certainly, I can’t imagine another person playing Wolverine, but I also couldn’t imagine another person playing James Bond. And I think that there’s an aspect of some of these characters where it’s like, there are a lot of great Hamlets over time. And I think even Hugh felt that with the end of Logan.”

Jackman has, of course, been confirmed to be reprising the adamantium-clawed Logan via a viral video Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds posted of the two of them explaining how Deadpool 3 will be set years before 2029—the year Logan died in his last film back in 2017. A prior tweet from the actor containing another clip where he explained his absence in D23 also included Jackman “agreeing” to come back one more time as Wolverine has since amassed over a million likes as of this writing. 

This comeback, however, doesn’t exactly answer if it’ll cover any other future appearances like, say, a new X-Men movie. Maybe if we ask nicely like Ryan Reynolds did, he’d agree. Maybe. Although several actors have been rumored this year to be taking on the claws after Jackman prior to the viral Deadpool 3 announcement. Some of whom include names like Daniel Radcliffe and Taron Egerton, who have both individually set the record straight regarding said rumors.

So who originally created the X-Men, DC or Marvel?

Walk on the Wild Side S2, 10th episode X-Men Evolution

But who created the X-Men in the first place? The iconic superhero team of mutants was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby at Marvel Comics, back in the ‘60s. According to the late Lee, the idea was to come up with a group of superheroes that he didn’t have to provide an exposition as to how they got their powers.

“I couldn’t have everybody bitten by a radioactive spider or exposed to a gamma ray explosion. And I took the cowardly way out. I said to myself, ‘Why don’t I just say they’re mutants? They are born that way,” Lee recalled in an interview back in 2004. He’d come up with the idea after the respective successes of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four.

Initially, the team was supposed to be called “The Mutants,” which to me sounds great, but publishers at the time felt different. They eventually landed with “X-Men” given that these heroes possess an extra gene and, well, are led by their telepath mentor and leader, Professor Charles Xavier. 

Do you want to see the X-Men in the MCU timeline? Let us know in the comments below!

(featured image: 20th Century Fox)

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Danielle Baranda
Danielle is a twenty-something writer and postgrad student based in the Philippines. She loves books, movies, her cat, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting 35mm film and going to concerts.