Doc leaves Einstein in a wicker basket, releases expletives, stirs up some boxes and lifts a wax-up. Chalk in hand, begins to cross the blackboard with a line, while saying. “Imagine that this line represents time.” On the right, paint a letter, “F” for the future. On the left, the word “past.” And more or less in the middle a date: 1985. Doc again attacks with the chalk and, while chattering nonstop, draws a segment diagonally and then continues it with a parallel to the first timeline: “At some point the past the time lines they went by this tangent creating an alternative 1985, for you, for me and for all the others “.
We are in ‘ Back to the future II ‘, for some the worst and most confusing of the saga, for me of course the best. And we travel to it, although today we are going to talk about another key franchise of pop culture, because I cannot think of a better moment in the history of cinema to explain in a simple way all this mess of time lines or multiverses.
Basically, there are three models. Or time travel does not change anything that happens in the past, as happens, for example, in ’12 monkeys’ or the first of ‘Terminator’. Or, the changes we made in the past have permanent effects, and this means that the present from which we come is modified; that is, the saga ‘Back to the future’.
Or we are in a multiverse, and consequently every decision we make, from throwing a sugar or two to coffee, to cutting with our partner, creates alternative timelines; The best example I can think of of this third option, although there are many, is the great and not very well known ‘ The possible lives of Mr. Nobody ‘. This infographic explains it to you wonderfully and with puppets, which are always appreciated.
The fact is that a few days ago we saw a trailer, looking like a horror movie, which in reality was also something else. The saga ‘X-Men’, which opens its eleventh movie, will be unmarked from everything seen to make our hair stand on end in 2018 with ‘ The new mutants ‘.
Taking advantage of the news, we decided to review all the films of these superheroes that premiered back in 2000 and in this 2017 have achieved their greatest critical success with an amazing western entitled ‘ Logan ‘, the swan song, or better the howl, from our friend Wolverine. But of course, it is not enough to remember the ten films that must be seen on the way to ‘The new mutants’. It is about proposing, and we are not the first, the best possible order to watch these tapes chronologically.
Our order is the best because it allows you to know the story in a chronological sequence . If you see the ten films as they premiered, the result is chaos, because the plots give leap to the past and the future in a hubbub that for the temporary spectator can give headache. Viewed as we propose, the story will follow a logical order. And you will understand the most risky pirouette of this saga, the moment in which this universe erases a whole time line from a very specific year: 1973. We rode the DeLorean and traveled to this date in three, two, one…
1973 Annus Mutandis
The key to Doc’s explanation of sometimes a bit of McFly’s zote was that there was a point in the past, to be determined, in which the timeline had been altered, leading to the disastrous 1985 with Biff as a world star. The detection of that point – which was none other than the famous November 12, 1955, in which Marty played for his parents while they fell in love on the dance floor – is what allows us to understand how an elastic time line varies.
Well, that key point with which to draw the timelines for X-Men is 1973. On that date, specifically on January 27, Mystic murders Bolivar Trask, inventor of the Sentinels, during the Paris Peace Accords that put end to the Vietnam War. That this murder happens or is avoided is the fulcrum that changes the ways of the X-Men universe in the cinema and that causes a radical alteration of 2023, the year in which the mutants are completely exterminated if that homicide is not avoided.
The movie that plays pinball between 1973 and 2023, half a century of nothing, is’ X-Men. Days of the future past ‘and becomes, therefore, the end of the first batch of movies that we propose to see. From there, you will have three more, plus the other three that are already confirmed for the time being. These are: ‘The new mutants’, ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘X-Men Dark Phoenix’. All three in 2018. I think that you today began to do the duties of reviewing the other 10.
A few notes before you start
Maybe it’s a little chof to start like this, but it’s the best advice that can be given to avoid unnecessary anger. Do not take the ‘X-Men’ screenwriters very seriously. We say it because, even with the order we propose, inconsistencies kick out. For example, that Emma Frost is a good-natured teenager in the late ’70s of’ X-Men Origins. Wolverine ‘and that nevertheless exerts of wicked twenty-year-old in the 60 in’ X-Men. First Class’.
Or that in the same Origins we find a William Stryker in his forties and many when in the 70’s of ‘X-Men: Days of the Past Past’ and in the 80’s of ‘X-Men. Apocalypse ‘has a face of a pimp. Or that Lobezno and Sabretooth turn out that they were brothers since the 19th century and that in ‘X-Men’ and ‘X-Men 2’ they do not even say … Well, wait, that incoherence can be fixed. Trust and keep reading, we do not lie.
Do not take the ‘X-Men’ screenwriters very seriously. We say it because, even with the order we propose, inconsistencies kick out
As the writers and directors like to pass the hot potato when there are cagadillas of this size, the most consistent attitude when it comes to enjoying this saga that has maintained a more than acceptable level in ten films, is that of ‘Deadpool’. Take it a bit as a joke. This does not mean that there is an optimal order to learn about the entire canonical history of the X-Men film universe exists and it is ours.
That said … There is another problem that complicates the equation of ordering X-Men movies chronologically. As it happens for example to Indiana Jones, a movie of X-Men usually begins with a scene that, although it is related to the rest of the plot, forms a kind of unit in itself. In the case of ‘X-Men’, he loves flashbacks. The first movie starts with a jump in time to 1944 in Auschwitz, probably the first scene of a superhero that catapulted us into the era in which Nolan’s Batman were possible.
‘The Wolverine’, for example, lets us witness the bombing of Nagasaki with a Wolverine captured in Japanese territory. In ‘X-Men Apocalypse’ we are going to the magnificent Egypt of 3000 BC and in’ X-Men Origins. Wolverine ‘we lived a brief scene in 1832, followed by a video clip of flashbacks that we chained a lot of key battles in the history of mankind until the Vietnam disaster.
This love for both flashbacks complicates the criteria when choosing what goes before and what goes next. And as there are also two temporary lines in play, under the dynamic timeline model, then turn off and let’s go. So the decision, nothing Solomonic, we have taken is that the historical present of the film, that is, the time frame in which the plot is developed to a greater extent, is the sovereign when it comes to choosing what goes first and what after.
But it should be mentioned, for the fussy, that the only way to see all these movies in order would be to pass them through a video editor and make the chronological montage scene by scene. There are crazy people who are in it for the Marvel movie universe, so who said fear.
First temporary line (1835 – 2023 AD)
The first round that we invite you to organize, popcorn and sofa in between, lasts seven films, a few comics and a video game, and covers almost 200 years of history. We started with a Wolverine of bone claws with paternity problems and ended up with a Wolverine bounced to the past by the very Juno all a trip.
‘X Men First Class the High Hand’
Surely we have caught you unprepared here. If you want to soak up the canon of X-Men, you do not have to start with the movies. First this comic goes. The story starts in Las Vegas, in 1959, and tells us how Emma Frost ended up knowing Kevin Bacon’s Sebastian Shaw. It comes as an extra in the Blu-Ray of the movie, although there are websites that have the cartoon to see online.
‘X Men. First Class’
In this film you will discover the origin of the friendship / enmity between Magneto and Xavier – brief spoiler -, they carry the meaning of a comment by Patrick Stewart of the first X-Men, who claims to have met Magneto at 17, and that the Professor X did not choke – and how good the creators of this saga doing casting are James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender can handle Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen without a problem.
The film starts, of course, with a flashback in which Matthew Vaughn rolls the creepy Auschwitz sequence and enlarges it. Then, the plot is intermingled with the missile crisis in Cuba; a Spanish actor comes out who does not say anything and Kevin Bacon looks like a villain.
‘X-Men Origins Wolverine’
Yes, the flashback goes before that of the previous movie. But, as we explained in the notes, what matters here is the heart of the matter. And this happens, without being fully clarified in the movie, in the late 70s, six years after William Stryker captured Logan and his brother Victor in a prison camp in Vietnam.
This movie, the laziest, is Hugh Jackman’s vehicle of brilliance and is the one that accumulates more inconsistencies with the rest of the saga that would have been easily avoidable. In addition, Ryan Reynolds debuts as Deadpool, but nothing has to do with the wonderful macarrada that would give us alone. Here they even seal his mouth. Who wants a silent Deadpool?
The first to shoot is the third we should see. Magneto comes up with a not so terrible idea, knowing the character, to end the human / mutant struggle a machine that transforms conventional individuals into superpowers. The problem, the transformation is not stable and causes the horrible death of those who suffer it. The X-Men will save the day and forge a team that will hold a couple more movies. It remains one of the best in the series almost twenty years later. Bryan Singer is full and his cast too.
‘X-2.X-Men United’. The prequels of the movie
Again, it’s time to get involved in the cartoons. The most punctilious will point out, and rightly so, that there were already three prequels of the first X-Men in comic format. But these are considered outside the canon because they contradict the films, despite clearly showing the movie-prequel in the title.
The same does not happen with these two chapters dedicated to Nightcrawler and Wolverine. Wolverine’s is especially important, because it makes up a bit of the incredible script hole in the Sabertooth / Wolverine plot. As we know in ‘Origins’, both were brothers. But X-Men do not show the slightest connection or wink to them. This comic plant us both, first with a clean sweep and then sharing a few beers.
While they drink and talk, they notice, surprised, that the same dog tags of Vietnam are chained to their necks. Obviously, they do not do Eureka and shout “dear brother, to my arms”, but they point subtly and unequivocally to the bond. At the end of the comic, Sabretooth sacrifices himself to save Wolverine and William Stryker says that with him, Victor, the adamantium fusion has not worked which fits perfectly with another comment from Stryker in Origins.
‘X-Men 2 X-Men United’
It is often called ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ of the X-Men. And, although perhaps it is an exaggerated hair, the truth is that few sequels are so good. Full of comings and goings, of betrayals and tragedies, ‘X-Men 2’ presses the accelerator with an overwhelming start, the assassination attempt of the president attacked by Nightcrawler and then entangles the plot with William Stryker, Brain – Xavier’s machine that allows to track all the mutants of the world – and the mysterious son of the military, Jason Stryker.
‘X Men. The Official Game’
Yes. You also have to play. Three times, too. ‘X Men. The Official Game ‘is three games in one to explain what happens between’ X-Men United ‘and’ The Last Stand ‘. PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube and Xbox 360 shared a 3D game divided into several chapters in which you could play with Wolverine, The Iceman and Nightcrawler. The Nintendo DS added Magneto and the Game Boy Advance to Coloso. If you cannot get them, you will have to shoot gameplay on Youtube.
‘X Men. The Last Stand’
If there is an X-Men movie that has generated real bad mood in the geek circles this has been ‘X-Men III’. Above all, because it is based on a series of comics considered the holy grail of X-Men: the ten numbers (# 129 to # 138) that lasts the Dark Phoenix Saga.
The problem with the movie is that it is directed by Brett Ratner, a correct guy in the best of cases and usually mediocre, vulgar, of those who complete the file and something else. After two powerful films, the X-Men saga was stuck on quality, not at the box office, with this film that still has its little things: like that great scene of Magneto crushing car after car every time he closes his fist.
Second in the Logan trilogy, ‘The Wolverine’ regained a good taste in the mouth with one of the best ninja movies that one can take to the queue. Wolverine travels to Japan to reconnect with a World War II veteran who wants to do him a favor, help him die. The movie plays with the Harada family created in the comic as the mythology of the villain Samurai of silver, but has little to do with what was told in the cartoons.
The final scene is a perfect coda that prepares us for the great cataclysm of the entire saga, that journey in time to 1973 in which it is decided to be or not to be mutants.
‘X Men Days of the future past’
At this point, the X-Men saga already had two complete castings of first level, those of McAvoy and Fassbender and those of Stewart and McKellen, with the Wolverine of Hugh Jackman as the only link between the two. So it was playing catch up, with the return of Bryan Singer, the director who started this whole saga.
The thing went really well. An apocalyptic future in 2023 in which the mutants suffer their extinction at the hands of Sentinels inspired by the powers of Mysticism and a past, 1973, in which Charles and Erik reconduct their relationship and ally again to save the future. This movie puts the universe to zero and erases all events from now on, starting the second time line of which there are already six films: three released and three to be released.
Second time line (3,000 BC – 2029 AD)
‘X Men. Apocalypse’
Maybe it’s the most annoying thing about ‘X-Men. Apocalypse ‘, which improves in the second viewing, is how it wastes its time frame. We see Cyclops, Jean and company leaves ‘The Return of the Jedi’ and discusses whether or not it is the best in the series and a little more. Come on, in the era of ‘Stranger Things’ and CIA, throwing the 80s with so much we like seems silly.
For the rest, this movie takes us back to the most remote past to date in the franchise, to witness the lethargy of a mutant with the powers of a God played by Oscar Isaacs, which is fashionable. The best of the movie, of course, Fassbender’s Magneto, which has a dramatic sequence of those who put the hair on end. His cry to the heavens, to God: “Is this what you want from me?” Is Oscar’s?
The creators of ‘Deadpool’ have gone so far as to say that theirs is “a separate chronology because the fourth wall is broken”. They have also warned that they have jokes in the sleeve on this subject for the second part of 2018. But, in addition to these comments, ‘Deadpool’ is given by integrated into the new timeline that arises after ‘Days of the future past’.
Yes, to Caesar what is of Caesar; if in a movie of X-Men we care less than in any internal coherence is in ‘Deadpool’. It is a fun prank with which you have a wonderful time. No more any less. And it is also, we cannot forget, the reason that the studios begin to bet big on movies not recommended to under 18s. Because Deadpool destroyed the box office.
A demented X junkie teacher who causes psychic storms if he does not shoot a drunk Wolverine, with cancer and limousine driver a near post-Trump future in which being an immigrant in the United States puts a bull’s-eye on your back. ‘Logan ‘ is a madness that was only possible thanks to the success of ‘Deadpool’ and that has also been a tremendous blockbuster.
The movie is more than good, but the best thing is his trailer with the Hurt version of Nine Inch Nails sung by Johnny Cash and some credit titles taken from a Scorsese movie. It is the second superhero movie, only behind ‘Wonder-Woman’, the most valued in history by critics, according to the aggregator of reviews Rotten Tomatoes.
Although the timeline of the X-Men film universe works according to model 2, the elastic that makes permanent the changes of the past in the present and future, Marvel has already taken care of integrating this canon into its infinite parallel universes in particular, the version of the Earth where all these films take place by number 10005.