X-Men Apocalypse of Continuity: Who did what to who and when now?

akb_dtlra_stills_120415089228_rgb.jpg

I wasn’t expecting much from X-Men Apocalypse when I went to a screening the other night. Our own Kyle ha-ha-hated it, and so did most other reviewers. And, literal truth, I’ve been on a sleep starved schedule this week and in the comfy theater seat and womblike 3d darkness, for about the first hour of the movie I literally kept nodding off. Especially every time Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse came on screen. Inconceivable! It may be an atrocity commited by director Bryan Singer – right up there with making Superman a deadbeat dad – that he managed to make Oscar Isaac boring!!! (And no Oscar, in real life i will never ever ever fall asleep.) This role could have been played by any halfway competent Hey It’s That Guy….or a Hey It’s That Girl.

The first hour’s shuffling of all the parts to get to the final half hour fight with pretentious on the nose dialog, titles to make sure we know where we are, and the reintroduction of characters that we all know from either the comics, DVDs or FX with new “Welcome to the school!” banter was also of minimal interest. Until Quicksilver came on screen that is! I perked right up! People are calling for a Quicksilver movie but really, this character is a soupçon, a garnish. Too much would not make a meal.

That said, the big fight was one of the prettiest superhero battles in recent years. The intro of Psylocke in action made up for the fact that she’d been standing around looking like a page from a 90s issue of Maxim for the previous part of the movie. The cast was extremely attractive, even when they did nothing. Magneto had nothing to do but hang in the air and look sad for about an hour, but I liked the new Jean Grey and Nightcrawler and Storm and the rest. As shoddy an actual film as this was, Singer does get the X-men character and that’s why he keeps coming back.

That said, perhaps the other thing that put me to sleep was trying to figure out how all 8 (9 if you count Deadpool) X-iverse movies fit together. Short answer: they don’t. The movies now have a continuity as convoluted as the comics and that’s saying a lot.

But twas ever thus. While searching for a write up of the current state of timeline chaos, I found Bryan Singer Is Hoping You Just Forget About Certain X-Men Continuity Problems and 8 Ways X-Men Movie Continuity Is Still Irretrievably F•cked from 2014 that’s jsut the tip of the iceberg.

For a comtemporary account of the problems, Tony Black at Flickering Myth offers a succinct account, if by succinct you mean you will only begin to get a headache about three paragraphs in. Suffice to say that taking into account the differing timelines from X-Men Days of Future Past, X-Men First Class, X-men Origins: Wolverine and everything else there are now at least three distinct timelines.

If we go by this thinking, where do the First Class crew fit in? This means fundamentally that if the X-1 timeline never happened, and X-2 now leads into the recently released Apocalypse in the 1980’s, with a roughly eighteen year old Jean (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) & Storm (Alexandra Shipp), then the events of X-Men, X2, The Last Stand and The Wolverine never happened. So how would Wolverine even know Jean in the first place? We can therefore only assume that the changed future in Days of Future Past should be classified as X-3, a third timeline which existed independently of X-1–which takes in X-Men: First Class, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men, X2, The Last Stand, The Wolverine & the original dark future of Days of Future Past–or X-2 which takes in X-Men: First Class, everything in 1973 after Trask survives in Days of Future Past, and Apocalypse so far. If that’s the case however… how do we reconcile the end of The Wolverine?


How…how….how…..

Of course, it’s really useless to try. As I watched Apocalypse I kept wondering a) how everyone looked exactly the same as they did 20 years ago in First Class and b) why the filmmakers had skimped on putting actual 80s fashions and hairstyles in the film. That would have been so tubular.

Despite this muddle, no one really cares as long as the fights are good. The NEXT X-men movie will be set in the 90s, presumably Singer will be back, and the story, as teased in the post credits scene, will bring back a villain beloved of X-men cartoon fans. And despite the rage of certain Marvel execs at the Mutants being locked in at Fox, the universe will move forward.

Sam Flynn at Heroic Hollywood has a good round-up of what’s still on tap for the Cinematic X-iverse. Commentary is my own.

hugh-jackman-wolverine-3-image.jpg

• Wolverine 3 – March 3, 2017: Hugh Jackman’s ninth and final outing will roughly adapt Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven, approximately the 248th Mark Millar story to be adapted for film.

• Gambit (rumored for October 6, 2017): Just because Channing Tatum must be in a superhero movie, but with the erratic Doug Liman at the helm anything can happen.

• Deadpool 2 (rumor: January 19, 2018): Probably the greatest film in the history of the universe.

• The New Mutants (rumor: July 13, 2018): Josh Boone is on hand to direct a film hat stars a whole new class of teen mutants, presumably played by more Game of Thonres ex-pats, while the now firmly coasting on this whole x-thing James McAvoy returns as Professor X and Alexandria Shipp plays Storm. And thus….the cycle is renewed.

• X-Men 7 (rumor: Summer 2019): Singer is supposed to return to a reshoot of the Dark Phoenix saga that Brett Ratner breezed through in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand/ A 13-year gap between retreads is a bit more palatable than the 10 between Spider-Man reboots.

At this point it’s worth reviewing the fact that the original X-Men film came out in 2000, meaning a full generation of moviegoers has passed into adulthood since this franchise began. As muddled as the film continuity is for people who care about that kind of thing, audiences are likely still hungry for mutants they can call their own. It will never end.

And here’s some stills as the exit music plays!

118_qr_2050_v20171021_rgb.jpg

190_mk_1050_v1454_left1063_rgb.jpg

190_xb_1620_v1121_left1049_rgb.jpg

192_mk_1080_v14231197_rgb.jpg

227_xb_8265_v10861027_rgb.jpg

227_xb_8625_v1060_left1092_R3_rgb.jpg

DF-07806_rgb.jpg

DF-13452_rgb.jpg

DF00100_rgb.jpg

DF00112_rgb.jpg

DF00144_rgb.jpg

DF02179_R_rgb.jpg

DF02536_rgb.jpg

DF04845_rgb.jpg

DF05105_rgb.jpg

DF08349_08350_R_rgb.jpg

df17640_rgb.jpg

dfsu09290_rgb.jpg

left1073_2_rgb.jpg

Comments

  1. Daniel says

    Regarding continuity, I haven’t seen “Apocalypse” yet, but “X-Men,” “X2,” and “Days of Future Past” make a nice, coherent little trilogy that allows you to forget the other films.

  2. comicsatemybrain says

    I haven’t seen Apocalypse yet, but I think that Tony Black makes some of the continuity issues for the franchise more complicated than they need to be (as some of the commenters for his piece explain).

  3. George says

    No interest at all in this movie. Go see THE NICE GUYS for a fun time at the movies!

  4. Remco van Straten says

    I liked X3, and considering that Brett Rattner was wheeled in at the last minute because Brian Singer got the Primadonnas and left, he did a helluva job!

    Just wanted to get that out there.

  5. Brendan Cahill says

    Yeah that Tony Black is tying himself in knots creating problems that don’t exist.
    If you can understand what happens in Back to the Future you can understand what happens in the X-men continuity.

  6. Oliver_C says

    “Go see THE NICE GUYS for a fun time at the movies!”

    This, times 1977.

  7. says

    Wait, is this where all the cool kids talk about how good THE NICE GUYS was?

    It was really good, you guys.

  8. Aaron Browne says

    and I liked how the storm continuity was kept together… BUT, ha! geekn out… after FIVE X-MEN MOVIES NOW, not counting the other spin offs…, yo man, wtf! Pietro was the best opportunity to have Magneto form his Brotherhood in that movie, and the whole lack of confidence telling him he was his son… F()c^ that…! No way, so lame… the ending as a SIXTH installment in the sage GLOBAL franchise: dud. I agree w/other reviews that say the whole ‘getting the band together again’s was using up the gist of the span of the film, the ending could had EASILY culminated in several kick ass battles, and the whole geek satisfaction w/your normal ‘consumer’ leaving the theater going -“Wow, Apocalypse is the S+!+, I want to go read comics about him…!” but no dice, and Magneto should had assembled some Brotherhood out of nowhere at one point w/Blob, Mystique, her oracle girlfriend, and Pyro w/Rouge… The fourth Horseman instead of Magneto could had easily been Kitty Pryde, or even Jean Grey -yeah, Jean: point being = regardless of who the fourth horse man could had been besides Magneto, You Do Not Have That Much Destruction And Then Think Just Ending That Guy Apocalypse Is Just Going To Lead To Anything Remotely Resembling Their `90s And Whatever Else Era B.S. -cities were disintegrating, and Nightcrawler is made out to be a ‘b!+(+, still with his ridiculous scars, and meek self pity praying -the comics, the REAL Nightcrawler always had grace, and class, and style, and he had confidence, and was never ever really able to get over people freaking out at him, this actually very civilized person -kind a decent extreme example how how someone from Europe would generally be considered ‘different’, and at the very least ‘alienated’ in most towns and suburbs where most ‘Americans’/consumers live. So, good job on the intro though for Jean and Scott -Scott Summers though should had been in a school for the blind when they first showed him, as he was hiding his ‘disability’/power after he and his brother fell from that plane, stick with the original plot(!) its easy -see how much cooler I could had made this movie… The ending was too ‘ephemeral’ and extreme with the level of destruction that it was anticlimactic -and there should had been Farouk there -maybe he could had been the fourth horseman, and he could had had the class psychic battle vs.. Xavier at the end -w/Jean Grey backing him up channeling the P-force…

    So the best thing about these new era pieces is the way they can show the parts of history that had never been part of the comics; Xavier and Eric’s history, and Hand, and Raven’s background… So this could had been a great way to have had the story of Magneto’s kid, Polaris, or even Wanda, and Pietro, and have him freak out about his baby’s’ mamma’s death and some similar shtick that would still work the with sequential mythos =because Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Chris Claremont, Join Byrne, and so on are all really THAT GREAT, and the movies should flow w/them, their story, OUR Mythos… Not a ‘brand’, or some set of metrics, and contract and marketing patter analysis crap weak over destructive ending -the world would still be in the dark ages, especially considering the oil crisis at that time in early 80s we were all coming out of, and everyone was fleeing the decay of the cities into sprawl and then this movie’s level of destruction made the dialog at the end with their ‘required’ levels of dialog completed to ‘tie up emotional and other b.s. plot threads’….

    ***
    Magnets was SERIOUSLY an act of God in this movie to an extent where everything else made no sense… Like him suddenly joining everyone at the end, and they are all like smiling and ‘meh, let help eachother’… it was just too tie things up that make no sense. After what Magneto did, AND HE IS LIKE ONE OF MY FAV’S YO, like geeking out and all, but PUT A BULLET IN THAT MO’FO’S H E A D yesterday, NOW -he needs to go, he just devastated the entire world, w/ no nukes it is middle ages,… sorry, I GET IT, this is a movie, but after all those movies there could had been character moments that were not just regurgitating the same plot threads and brand images that actors have required in their contracts and the producers will make money of the merchandising and licensing so the ending was just ‘fill’…

    FOX: It is OK to build upon past stories now, you have enough movies and merchandising crap that you can have your plots and characters flow into NEW STORIES AND BETTER MOVIE ENDINGS now… PLEASE

    Boycott all Fox X-Men movies, the ending of this was lame for something this ‘Epic’, and Moira or whatever her name is, should had always been from Europe, and a geneticist, and had a kid w/Xavier, and he never should had wiped her mind -he is not a coward, but MacAvoys over dramatic voice is also anti-climatic at the end… Sorry @$$ ending for something that is now only ‘epic’ as a merchandising / licensing franchise, and something movie stars use as a global stepping stone branding campaign -yeah, REWARD YOUR FANS, don’t f()^ w/out wallets and time while jobs are outsourced and automated, and everything is made to bread down and take money, and traffic, and asphalt, and Apocalypse movies that after SIX X-MEN movies turns out to ALMOST work =ME LIKE STORM SO MUCH, that gal his so amazing= Alexandra Shipp is about to EXPLODE, that white mohawk n her face is totally worth seeing the movie alone, I have to say… See that Alexandra Shipp movie that has the blue guy with the rebar sticking out his neck, and some guy that gets bald… List to Chemical Brothers during the movie n ‘chill “=)

  9. Aaron Browne says

    OK, – Age of Apocalypse has just f()ck!ng aswsome graphics, and I liked how the storm continuity was kept together… BUT, ha! geekn out… after FIVE X-MEN MOVIES NOW, not counting the other spin offs…, yo man, wtf! Pietro was the best opportunity to have Magneto form his Brotherhood in that movie, and the whole lack of confidence telling him he was his son… F()c^ that…! No way, so lame… the ending as a SIXTH installment in the saga GLOBAL franchise: dud. I agree w/other reviews that say the whole ‘getting the band together again’s was using up the gist of the span of the film, the ending could had EASILY culminated in several kick ass battles, and the whole geek satisfaction w/your normal ‘consumer’ leaving the theater going -“Wow, Apocalypse is the S+!+, I want to go read comics about him…!” but no dice, and Magneto should had assembled some Brotherhood out of nowhere at one point w/Blob, Mystique, her oracle girlfriend, and Pyro w/Rouge… The fourth Horseman instead of Magneto could had easily been Kitty Pryde, or even Jean Grey -yeah, Jean: point being = regardless of who the fourth horse man could had been besides Magneto, You Do Not Have That Much Destruction And Then Think Just Ending That Guy Apocalypse Is Just Going To Lead To Anything Remotely Resembling Their `90s And Whatever Else Era B.S. -cities were disintegrating, and Nightcrawler is made out to be a ‘b!+(+, still with his ridiculous scars, and meek self pity praying -the comics, the REAL Nightcrawler always had grace, and class, and style, and he had confidence, and was never ever really able to get over people freaking out at him, this actually very civilized person -kind a decent extreme example how how someone from Europe would generally be considered ‘different’, and at the very least ‘alienated’ in most towns and suburbs where most ‘Americans’/consumers live. So, good job on the intro though for Jean and Scott -Scott Summers though should had been in a school for the blind when they first showed him, as he was hiding his ‘disability’/power after he and his brother fell from that plane, stick with the original plot(!) its easy -see how much cooler I could had made this movie… The ending was too ‘ephemeral’ and extreme with the level of destruction that it was anticlimactic -and there should had been Farouk there -maybe he could had been the fourth horseman, and he could had had the class psycic battle vs.. Xavier at the end -w/Jean Grey backing him up channeling the P-force…

    So the best thing about these new era pieces is the way they can show the parts of history that had never been part of the comics; Xavier and Eric’s history, and Hand, and Raven’s background… So this could had been a great way to have had the story of Magneto’s kid, Polaris, or even Wanda, and Pietro, and have him freak out about his baby’s’ mamma’s death and some similar shtick that would still work the with sequential mythos =because Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Chris Claremont, Join Byrne, and so on are all really THAT GREAT, and the movies should flow w/them, their story, OUR Mythos… Not a ‘brand’, or some set of metrics, and contract and marketing patter analysis crap weak over destructive ending -the world would still be in the dark ages, especially considering the oil crisis at that time in early 80s we were all coming out of, and everyone was fleeing the decay of the cities into sprawl and then this movie’s level of destruction made the dialog at the end with their ‘required’ levels of dialog completed to ‘tie up emotional and other b.s. plot threads’….

    ***
    Magnets was SERIOUSLY an act of God in this movie to an extent where everything else made no sense… Like him suddenly joining everyone at the end, and they are all like smiling and ‘meh, lets help eachother now, there were people in all those THOUSANDS of building that were going down every ten SECONDS, but Magneto is on our side now…yaaaay, so all you consumers dont get it and we dont care’… it was just too tie things up that make no sense. After what Magneto did, AND HE IS LIKE ONE OF MY FAV’S YO, like geeking out and all, but PUT A BULLET IN THAT MO’FO’S H E A D yesterday, NOW -he needs to go, he just devastated the entire world, w/ no nukes it is middle ages,… sorry, I GET IT, this is a movie, but after all those movies there could had been character moments that were not just regurgitating the same plot threads and brand images that actors have required in their contracts and the producers will make money of the merchandising and licensing so the ending was just ‘fill’…

    FOX: It is OK to build upon past stories now, you have enough movies and merchandising crap that you can have your plots and characters flow into NEW STORIES AND BETTER MOVIE ENDINGS now… PLEASE

    Boycott all Fox X-Men movies, the ending of this was lame for something this ‘Epic’, and Moira or whatever her name is, should had always been from Europe, and a geneticist, and had a kid w/Xavier, and he never should had wiped her mind -he is not a coward, but MacAvoys over dramatic voice is also anti-climatic at the end… Sorry @$$ ending for something that is now only ‘epic’ as a merchandising / licensing franchise, and something movie stars use as a global stepping stone branding campaign -yeah, REWARD YOUR FANS, don’t f()^ w/our wallets and time while jobs are outsourced and automated, and everything is made to break down and take money, and traffic, and asphalt, and Apocalypse movies that after SIX X-MEN movies turns out to ALMOST work =ME LIKE STORM SO MUCH, that gal is so amazing= Alexandra Shipp is about to EXPLODE, that white mohawk n her face is totally worth seeing the movie alone, I have to say… See that Alexandra Shipp movie that has the blue guy with the rebar sticking out his neck, and some guy that gets bald… List to Chemical Brothers during the movie n ‘chill “=)

    BOYCOTT ALL FOX MOVIES OR I WILL KEEP POSTING THIS… (sorry-hahahhHAAAHaaaHaaa -seriously this movie is full of special effects that will look nice after you wait and watch it eventually on your own home flat screen…

  10. George says

    “Wait, is this where all the cool kids talk about how good THE NICE GUYS was?”

    Considering the amount of punishment that Crowe and especially Gosling take in NICE GUYS, and come back for more, they’re virtually superheroes. I had a blast watching it.

    It also has a 13-year-old taking part in the mayhem with the natural ease of a Robin or Bucky in the Golden Age. No worries about child endangerment here! If Kitty Pryde ever gets a solo movie, or if Nancy Drew is ever revived, Angourie Rice should get the role.

  11. jacob goddard says

    How much is Disney paying you Heidi, HOW MUCH ARE THEY PAYING YOU??

  12. Oliver Townshend says

    Well a homage/montash/mish-mash of what has come before.

    It seems to me that, in continuity terms, it was:

    Early part of Wolverine
    X-Men First Class
    1970 – Magneto and Mystique kill the President and become outlaws, Sentinal Program started
    Most of Wolverine
    Wolverine in Japan
    X-1
    X-2
    X-3

    but now with Days of Future Past, it comes in just before most of Wolverine, and resets everything. So Scott Summers isn’t a prisoner in Wolverine, and Deadpool isn’t whatever he is.

  13. Brendan says

    Kyle, i don’t think anyone needs vulture to point out the weirdness of the character ages. It’s so implicit that the films jokes about it at several points. But I’d argue it’s not ‘confusing’ anymore then it’s confusing to have, eg. Katie Holmes transform into Maggie Gyllenhall. The film’s aren’t claiming that the characters literally haven’t aged, it’s a creative compromise the films make & ask the audience to work around. If it’s too big a stumbling block for anyone I can’t say I blame them.

  14. MBunge says

    The issue isn’t continuity. It’s that Singer is clearly out of ideas and I’m not sure he even remembers what the X-Men are supposed to be about.

    First Class was actually a brilliant concept for a non-reboot reboot that rescued the franchise from the dead end of Last Stand. DOFP had one of the best X-stories of all time to work with and brought the old and new casts together. Apocalypse is nothing but a recycled hash of stuff from every previous X-flick except The Wolverine.

    Mike

  15. Chaos McKenzie says

    I think my expectations were extremely low. I kinda really enjoyed it. I’ve made peace with none of the film characters really representing their comic book counterparts, but I enjoyed the character arcs that were presented here. I wasn’t expecting to like young Jean at all, but I loved her and I thought the climax for her arc during the battle was breathtaking, I really enjoyed that. It was neat seeing the X-Men use their powers like the comics, if not act like they do in the comics.

  16. says

    Nice to see a superhero film not brimming over with portentous political commentary.

    It’s the best X-film since X2– and no, that’s not counting Deadpool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *