Before Dark Phoenix, Check Out These X-Men Fun Facts

With ‘Dark Phoenix’ opening this weekend, it may be time to bone up on some X-Men history.  Check out these mutant Fun Facts below.


1. Hugh Jackman Wasn’t The First Choice To Play Wolverine:

If one superstar has emerged from the ‘X-Men’ film franchise, it’s Hugh Jackman who shot to stardom for playing Wolverine.  But that almost didn’t happen as Dougray Scott was originally cast in the role.  However, filming of ‘Mission: Impossible II’ ran over, forcing him to turn down ‘X-Men’.  (His ‘M:I II’ co-star, Thandie Newton also had to turn down a major flick, the first ‘Charlie’s Angels’.  She was replaced by Lucy Liu.)


2. The Comic Book Wolverine Almost Had The Stupidest Origin:

X-Men Hugh Jackson as Wolverine

Wolverine’s origin is a convoluted mess, but it’s still better than his original planned backstory.  Originally, he was to have been born as an actual wolverine, the small raccoon-like animal, whose mutant power enabled him to morph into a human!


3. Storm Was Initially Much More Catty:

The character that would eventually become Storm, was originally envisioned as the Black Cat and would have had the power to turn into a house cat.  But that’s not that impressive an ability, so luckily she was modified into the weather-controlling mutant we all know and love.


4. What Convinced Ian McKellan To Play Magneto?

Ian McKellan as Magneto

Ian McKellan signed on to play Magneto in the first ‘X-Men’ because the film was an allegory for being gay and discrimination in general.  That’s also what drew director Bryan Singer to the project but, uh… let’s not talk about him.

Speaking of being gay…


5. The Real Reason Why Gambit’s Costume Is Fuschia:

X-Men Gambit

Gambit was originally supposed to be gay, which is why his costume is hot pink.  The triangles on his kneepads were supposed to be colored the same shade of fuschia, which, at the time was a symbol for gay pride.  He was heavily influenced by the Vampire Lestat, from Anne Rice’s novels, a character with heavy homoerotic overtones.  Instead, he is heterosexual and is usually coupled with Rogue.


6. Mystique Was Supposed To Be Nightcrawler’s Father:

X-Men comic panel mystique

Mystique is extremely old, but thanks to her shapeshifting powers, remains youthful to this day.  In the late 19th century, she was living as a man when she met and fell in love with her longtime companion Irene Adler, who possessed precognitive abilities and would eventually operate as Destiny.  While Nightcrawler was later revealed to be Mystique’s son, the original plan was for her be his FATHER not mother.  The original plan would have been for Mystique in her male form to have impregnated Irene, leading to Kurt Wagner’s conception.

The revised origin is that Mystique was Kurt’s mother and the demon-like Azazel was his father.


7. Storm Almost Left The X-Men To Lead Her Own Team:

X-Men Storm and Cyclops comic panel

There is one cliffhanger from one of the “All-New, All-Different X-Men”s earliest adventures that was never resolved.  In ‘X-Men’ #94-95, the fledgling team of new X-Men fought Count Nefaria and his Ani-Men– human-animal hybrids.  At the end of the adventure, one of the Ani-Men, Dragonfly was unaccounted for.  The original plan was for Storm to leave the X-Men to found her own team of female heroes and Dragonfly would have been a member.  But that never happened.  Considering how important Storm became in the ‘X-Men’, that’s probably for the best.  Dragonfly has appeared since, so it looks like she simply went into hiding after that encounter with the X-Men.


8. Kitty Pryde = Teenage Dream:

X-Men Kitty Pride

Kitty Pryde is considered the first teenage comic book character that acted like a real teenager.  Previous characters like the Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes were viewed as young adults, while Kitty was kind of ditzy and hormonal.  She has had more aliases than most superheroes, starting out as Sprite, then Ariel, and finally Shadowcat.  But no one calls her any of those.  To most, she is just “Kitty Pryde,” which opened the door for other X-Women to simply refuse to use a code name, whether it’s Jean Grey or Emma Frost.


9. One Long-Running X-Man Isn’t A Mutant At All:


Longshot was introduced in his own miniseries in 1985, and joined the X-Men the following year, despite not being a mutant.  Longshot was an artificially created being, whose superpower was that he was extremely lucky.  Designed by illustrator Art Adams, he wore a utility belt and bandolier to hold his weaponry, tiny razor-sharp throwing knives.  This design aesthetic was whole-heartedly embraced by all sorts of superheroes during the late ’80s and early ’90s to the point where it became a bit of a joke.  His signature “mullet” was inspired by singer Limahl, formerly of the New Wave band Kajagoogoo.

He became romantically involved with Dazzler.  Though they are no longer together, they do occasionally still “Sext.”


10. The Secret Origin Of Dazzler:

X-Men Dazzler

Dazzler was created as part of a deal Marvel Comics made with Casablanca Records.  The character would have been introduced in a film, with Bo Derek eyed to star.  In this fantasy film, Dazzler would have found herself caught in the middle of a war between a good queen, played by Donna Summer and her soldiers, the Village People, and an evil queen, played by Cher, and her army, KISS.  But Casablanca Records went out of business because disco died by the later 1970s, and its owner LOVED cocaine.  The fact that this campy X-Travaganza never got filmed is a crime against humanity.


11. The X-Men Almost Got Their Own Cartoon In The 1980s:

X-Men cartoon

The ‘X-Men’ Saturday morning cartoon was a massive hit during the 1990s, but that was the culmination of about a decade of attempts to bring Marvel’s Merry Mutants to the small screen.  They appeared in a few episodes of ‘Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends’ in the early 1980s, with plans for them to spin off into their own series.  In the episode “Education of a Superhero,” the Spider-Friends encounter a young character who transforms into the electronic Video-Man.  At the end of the episode, they drop him off at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and had things gone according to plan, he would have been the focus of an ‘X-Men’ cartoon, but that didn’t come to pass.

Marvel tried again with a pilot ‘Pryde of the X-Men’ (minus Video-Man), but as excellently as that was animated, it was also not picked up as a series.


12. That’s Not The Scarlet Witch:

X-Men Quicksilver and who?

In ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, Peter Maximoff/Quicksilver (Evan Peters) is shown having a younger sister.  While most pegged her as being the Scarlet Witch, she isn’t.  Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are twins, and in a deleted scene, there is a reference to an older sister being upstairs.  That would make this young girl Polaris, if she is a mutant at all.

Hopefully, this gave you a little bit of information you didn’t already know!  For more X-Men fun, ‘Dark Phoenix’ opens this weekend!