Earlier this week Fox continued to make their post Jackman X-Men plans clear with the announcement of The New Mutants from The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone. It’s a fantastic idea, especially to revitalize the X-Men franchise. But what young X-Men are left to still adapt to the big screen? A lot!
One thing about this franchise is that it’s would be primed to not only introduce the “classic” New Mutants team, but a lot of young mutants who have yet to get their due on the big screen. This list could easily balloon up to twenty or thirty. Here are some of my favorites.
Megan Gwynn was raised by her grandparents in a small mining town in Wales, when a car accident caused her to manifest her mutant powers- rainbow colored wings and a hallucinogenic “pixie dust.” Not long after, she joined the Xavier School.
For the first couple years of her existence, Megan was just a cute background character. In her earliest appearances she wore a bicycle helmet as she flew just in case, and that was about it. However, her breakout moment came when several young Xavier School students were kidnapped by demons and dragged into Limbo. Pixie had a chunk of her soul ripped out and fashioned into a soul dagger, and also learned magic. Since then, she’s been one of the most popular young X-Men, a girl balancing the darkness in her soul with her general cheery attitude and upbeat personality. She doesn’t just have a great personality that would be fun to see on the big screen, but her journey from sweet, timid girl to hero is perfect movie fodder.
Victor Borkowski was another cool background character with a fun design at first. However, when Victor took the spotlight, he quickly became a fan favorite and one of the best characters of his generation of young X-Men. He was actually accepted by his small Illinois town, but his parents sent him to the Xavier School to protect him unless that changed. Once there, he grew close with his advisor Northstar, who helped him accept that he was gay.
Anole was another the new mutants kidnapped and taken to Limbo. There he lost his right arm in a fight with demons, but it soon grew back, this time stronger and armored, an ability he didn’t know he had. Another notable trait was his close platonic friendship with Rockslide, who was extremely accepting of his best friend’s sexuality.
Xi’an Coy Manh (alternately spelled Shan or Shian) was one of the first round of New Mutants, a young Vietnamese telepath with the ability to possess the minds of others. Along with her younger siblings, she escaped her uncle, a powerful criminal, with the help of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, and soon after joined Professor Xavier’s New Mutants. Xi’an was one of the team’s stalwarts until her siblings were kidnapped and she left to find them.
Xi’an is another great character. She’s fiercely protective of her young brother and sister, but was forced to kill her twin brother to save them and escape her criminal uncle’s influence. She’s always shown incredible strength of character and resilience. She’s also another LGBT character, something the on-screen X-Men franchise has been missing.
Warlock is a member of the alien Technarchy,a race of techno-organic beings. He fled his planet to avoid a trial by combat from his father and king of his homeworld, the Magus. He found the Xavier Institute thanks to the Shi’Ar technology in the school’s basement, and tried to make a home there. He was first mistaken as a threat, then was befriended by the team, Douglas Ramsey in particular. He joined the team and became a valuable asset thanks to his shapeshifting abilities.
Warlock was a child-like and eager friend. He was also fiercely loyal to the team. His presence would also finally open the X-Men franchise to the cosmic elements that have been lacking so far in the films. His visual alone makes him worth putting on screen as well- a constantly shifting, giant yellow alien who can assume multiple forms.
Paige Guthrie is the second oldest of a large Kentucky family, and also the second mutant. She’s an omnimorph, who can assume any form, any substance, by shedding her skin. Also it’s kind of a gross power, it has nearly unlimited applications.
Paige has aspired to be an X-Man her entire life, since her brother Sam left home to join the Xavier School. She’s incredibly intelligent, particularly with technology, and led the 90’s version of the New Mutants, Generation X.
Between her visual, her aspiring personality (think the Alex character from Modern Family), and her romance with long-time teammate Chamber (did you think I was going to say Angel or Toad? Ew!), she has plenty of potential as an on-screen New Mutant.
This one should be painfully obvious. Laura Kinney is the female clone of Wolverine. She has a checkered history, but essentially she was cloned, trained to be an assassin, then escaped Weapon X.
She’s incredibly popular, she has the Wolverine connection, and with her redemptive journey, it’s almost a no-brainer to include her.
Jonothon Evan Starsmore was an aspiring Scottish rockstar when his mutant powers manifested. Depending on which version of his origin you read, the manifestation of his bionuclear powers blew a massive hole in his chest instantly, or each use of his powers gradually wore his body away. Either way, Jono ended up with a bionuclear furnace in place of his upper chest and lower jaw.
Jono was the breakout star of Generation X, with a fantastic visual, a brooding personality, and incredible powers. He was the first of the Generation X kids to graduate to the X-Men after their series ended, which was unfortunately short-lived. His visual alone makes him worth adapting for the big screen, while his personality and powers would make him an asset to the big screen team.
Illyana Rasputin was the young sister of the X-Men’s Colossus, a sweet young girl who idolized her brother and befriended the New Mutants. Then the demon sorceror Belasco kidnapped her, trapped her in the Hellscape known as Limbo, and trained her for years as his heir. He also stole a portion of her soul to forge the Soulsword, a weapon she is known for. Illyana defeated him and returned to our realm, learning she’d only been gone a matter of seconds. Now the same age as her friends, she joined the team as Magik, offering her sorcerous talents and her sword.
The war between Limbo and the X-Men is one of my favorite New Mutants stories, and Illyana’s story is a big part of why. Her pathos at coming of age in Hell, while trying to atone for her demonic acts, is a great journey worthy of a movie.
Sam Guthrie is the oldest sibling of the Guthrie family (he’s Paige’s older brother). When his father passed away, he attempted to help the family by working in same coal mine that his father had worked in. On his first day, he manifested his mutant powers after a cave-in trapped Sam and a friend. He turned into a human projectile, with a blasting field that turned him nigh invulnerable.
Sam is one of two characters that is an absolutely must for an adaptation for the New Mutants. He was the team’s most consistent member, and co-led the team for much of its life. His powers are very unique from anything we’ve seen as well.
Danielle Moonstar was a Native American girl from the Cheyenne Nation. Her powers manifested young, showing people their worst fears, and alienating her community. After her parents disappeared, she was raised by her grandfather and her community’s chief Black Eagle. Black Eagle asked Charles Xavier to take Dani in and help train her in using her psychic abilities.
Dani was the team’s other leader, and grew from a girl scared of her abilities to a confident woman skilled in their use. She also comes with an archnemesis- the Demon Bear, a strange curse that turned her parents into a demonic bear, and desired to do the same to Dani. She was also a SHIELD agent, one of the Valkyrie, and continued to serve as an X-Man after being depowered in the House of M event. She’s easily the strongest candidate to be included in the New Mutants film. The movie just wouldn’t be complete without her.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Wolfsbane, Magma, Synch, Penance, Hellion, Rockslide, Mercury