The X-Men movie franchise has adapted many iconic moments from the pages of X-Men comics.
From “Days of Future Past” to “The Phoenix Saga,” many classic X-Men narratives have been adapted.
These adaptations brought the dramatic events to life on screen, highlighting Jean’s transition from a beloved team member to an entity of unimaginable power.

The X-Men movies frequently took inspiration from the numerous X-Men titles released by Marvel, and in some cases adapted moments and scenes almost identically. The X-Men movie timeline is littered with references to the source material, neatly capturing many characters’ motivations and origin stories. While many of these were altered to fit into the franchise’s tone and overarching narrative, some scenes were taken directly from the pages of X-Men comics.

The early X-Men movies attempted to foster a realistic appearance, toning down the typically vibrant costumes and characters. As such, very little from the first X-Men movie was lifted explicitly from the comics. However, as various Marvel movies became more prominent, a realistic tone was increasingly less important. As a result, many of the later X-Men movies contained direct references to the comics that inspired them, recreating specific panels and classic X-Men covers.


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10 Stryker Uses Xavier And Cerebro To Kill All Mutants

X2: X-Men United (2003)

Charles Xavier being manipulated into psychically attacking mutants was a chilling and pivotal moment in X2: X-Men United. Using a custom-built Cerebro, William Stryker tricked Xavier into almost killing every mutant on Earth by focusing his psychic powers too hard. This scene was directly inspired by the 1982 graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, from which several aspects of X2: X-Men United were adapted.

Written by legendary X-Men writer, Christopher Claremont, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills depicted the X-Men facing William Stryker. In the comics, Stryker is a religious zealot rather than a military officer responsible for experimenting on mutants. Stryker forced Xavier to use a duplicate Cerebro in his bid to destroy mutants, causing excruciating pain to nearby mutants who clutched their heads in agony. The scene was a potent reminder of Xavier’s impressive powers, which X2 accurately adapted to great effect.

9 Wolverine’s Fastball Special

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Wolverine’s “fastball special” is a famous maneuver frequently performed throughout X-Men comics. It features a stronger ally hurling the fearsome hero through the air at an enemy. It made a thrilling live-action debut in X-Men: The Last Stand during the memorable opening scene. While training in the X-Men’s Danger Room, Wolverine asked Colossus to throw him at an inbound Sentinel. While certainly a common occurrence in the comics, this rendition is particularly reminiscent of Uncanny X-Men #142.

Uncanny X-Men #142 featured the second half of the famed “Days of Future Past” story. In the post-apocalyptic future, Colossus launches Wolverine at an attacking Sentinel. Like X-Men: The Last Stand, Colossus and Wolverine were joined by Storm, who looked on helplessly. However, unlike in the movie, this caused the future variant of Wolverine to be disintegrated. Nevertheless, the fastball special is an iconic Wolverine tactic that was celebrated in this scene.

8 Mutant Queue For The Cure

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

X-Men: The Last Standadapted elements of “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and the ongoing mutant cure plot introduced in Astonishing X-Men (vol. 3). In The Last Stand, the mutant “cure” was developed by Kavita Roa for Worthington Labs. The remedy’s existence prompted a backlash among the mutant community, leading to mass protests. However, also among them was a group of mutants queuing for the controversial cure. This neatly recreated a panel from Astonishing X-Men #3.

Like X-Men: The Last Stand, the introduction of a so-called mutant cure in Astonishing X-Men divided the mutant population. While many were offended by the notion of its existence, some mutants viewed their abilities as an affliction and wanted to receive the cure. In the source material, this ultimately led to Wolverine and Beast fighting in the mansion, recalling the pair’s slightly heated debate in X-Men: The Last Stand.

7 Beast Triggers A Second Mutation

X-Men: First Class (2011)

In X-Men: First Class, Hank McCoy, also known as Beast, underwent a second mutation that turned him more beastly and covered him in blue fur. In the film, Hank McCoy, attempting to cure his mutant appearance, concocted a serum intended to suppress his physical mutations. However, instead of achieving his desired outcome, the serum accelerated his mutation, resulting in his famed blue form.

This moment was adapted from Amazing Adventures (vol. 2) #11, where Beast was experimenting with mutant genetics and accidentally triggered a secondary mutation. This resulted in Beast gaining a more ape-like appearance and being covered in gray fur – which later turned blue. The comic leaned heavily into Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde themes, where Beast’s self-experimentation backfired, causing a drastic physical change. The adaptation in First Class offered a more updated rendition, linking it to the overarching X-Men narrative in a more befitting tone.

6 Mystique’s Assassination Attempt

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

Mystique’s attempt to assassinate Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past was rooted in the Uncanny X-Men storyline of the same name. In the movie, Mystique’s assassination attempt is crucial to the plot, instigating the dire future which Wolverine is sent back in time to prevent. Mystique’s mission stemmed from her belief that Trask’s death would prevent his sentinel program from annihilating mutantkind.

In contrast, in the comic “Days of Future Past,” Senator Robert Kelly was Mystique’s target, and her identity as the would-be assassin was hidden until a dramatic midway cliffhanger. This delayed reveal added tension and complexity to the narrative, as the X-Men raced against time to prevent an unknown assassin and the catastrophic consequences. The movie adaptation, while altering some details, faithfully captured the essence of the original storyline’s stakes and urgency.

5 Magneto Reprograms The Sentinels

X-Men: Days Of Future Past (2014)

In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Magneto flaunted his awesome power to the world when he reprogrammed the Sentinels to target humans. Magneto surrounded himself with a ring of the very robots designed to hunt mutants. Magneto’s control over the Sentinels symbolized a reversal of power, transforming instruments of oppression into tools of retribution, demonstrating to the world that mutants will not be persecuted so readily.

This scene from Days of Future Past was directly inspired by Ultimate X-Men #5, where the U.S. government deployed Sentinels to eliminate Magneto. However, Magneto, demonstrating his formidable abilities, reprogrammed the Sentinels to destroy humans and sent them back. In both examples, Magento made humanity regret their actions, turning the tables on the would-be oppressors and reminding them that he holds far greater power.

4 Wolverine’s Weapon X Outfit

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Wolverine’s cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse was a standout moment, notable for perfectly recreating his iconic Weapon X look from the Marvel Comics Presents: Weapon X series. In the film, Wolverine’s berserker rage was unleashed as he rampaged through the facility, echoing the visceral imagery of Barry Windsor-Smith’s illustrations in the original comic series. More pertinently, as Wolverine was unleashed from the Weapon X facility, he wore the famed headgear, wires, and minimal clothing that readers recognize from the iconic comic book cover.

The scene effectively conveyed the horror and violence of Wolverine’s past, showcasing his animalistic nature and the traumatic experimentation he endured. By faithfully reproducing the Weapon X outfit and the chaotic atmosphere of the comics, X-Men: Apocalypsereferenced one of the most significant chapters in Wolverine’s history. It also proffered one of the few examples of a comic-accurate Wolverine costume, making it even more satisfying.


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3 Angel Becomes Archangel

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Angel’s transformation into Archangel in X-Men: Apocalypse was a significant moment inspired by a classic comic book storyline. In the movie, Warren Worthington III, known as Angel, was recruited by Apocalypse, who enhanced his abilities, transforming him into one of his Four Horsemen. This transformation replaced Angel’s damaged feathered wings with metallic, razor-sharp appendages, marking his rebirth as Archangel.

Angel faced a similar transformation in X-Factor #24, where Angel, having lost his wings, was offered a chance at redemption by Apocalypse. Accepting the offer, Angel endured a painful and dramatic metamorphosis, emerging as Archangel, with blue skin and metallic wings. In the comics, it was more obvious that Apocalypse manipulated Angel’s anguish and desperation, using his newfound power to create a formidable and loyal Horseman. While X-Men: Apocalypse accurately depicted the general story, it was a very brief nod to the far more detailed comic book original.

2 Jean Grey Is Possessed By The Phoenix Force

Dark Phoenix (2019)

The scene where Jean Grey was first possessed by the Phoenix Force in the divisive Dark Phoenix closely mirrored the event as originally depicted in Uncanny X-Men #124. In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men team was on a mission in a space shuttle when they encountered cosmic energy swirling around the craft. This energy was later revealed to be the Phoenix Force, which ultimately bonded with Jean Grey, instigating her transformation into the deadly Dark Phoenix.

In the comic, Jean sacrifices herself to save her teammates, only to be possessed/replaced by the Phoenix in the final panel. This panel boasts psychedelic, cosmic colors comparable to the Dark Phoenix rendition. This faithful adaptation of the scene “The Dark Phoenix Saga” brought the dramatic and transformative event to life on screen, dramatically highlighting Jean’s transition from a beloved team member to an entity of unimaginable power.

1 Professor Xavier Walks

Dark Phoenix

A haunting scene in Dark Phoenix depicted Jean Grey, wielding her incredible powers, forcing Charles Xavier to walk. This moment was profoundly powerful, demonstrating her newfound immense and frightening abilities. As Jean manipulated Xavier’s body, lifting him from his wheelchair and making him walk up the stairs, he finally comprehended the extent of her transformation and the loss of her moral boundaries.

This scene echoed a significant moment from Uncanny X-Men #100, where a version of Xavier who could walk orchestrated a conflict between two generations of X-Men. This occurred just before Jean Grey’s transformation into the Phoenix, symbolizing a dramatic shift and foreshadowing impending chaos. Although the circumstances differ, both scenes use the image of Xavier walking to signify a profound and unsettling change. Xavier walking underscored the disruption to the perceived natural order, serving a comparable function in the X-Men movie.

Upcoming MCU Movies

Release Date

Deadpool & Wolverine

July 26, 2024

Captain America: Brave New World

February 14, 2025


May 5, 2025

The Fantastic Four

July 25, 2025


November 7, 2025

Avengers 5

May 1, 2026

Avengers: Secret Wars

May 7, 2027

“}]] The X-Men movies featured perfect recreations.  Read More