Wednesday, November 29

‘X-Men’ timeline: where and in what order to watch all the movies and series

Although it has far fewer films to its credit, the mutant universe first owned by Fox, now under the definitive mantle of Disney, unfolds much less clearly than Marvel’s. The MCU is structured in phases, each with a backbone: The Avengers movieswhich serve as a guide, while the rest of the films expand and enrich that main story, which in the first three phases has been that of the Infinity Stones.

On the other hand, the X-Men movies are much more chaotic, among other reasons because they have not all had the same reception. If there’s a comparable backbone to Marvel in Marvel’s mutant movies, it’s Wolverine. He has been played in 9 of the 12 films by a single actor, Hugh Jackman, and brings unity to films that have nothing to do with each other. Even so, there are different ways to watch the X-Men movies: from the release order to the small sagas that group each other. We have prepared this small guide so that you are clear about how to deal with the films of the second most important Marvel supergroup.

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Release order (and where can I see them)

The first X-Men movie dates back to the year 2000. Indeed, along with ‘Blade’, from 1998, they kicked off the modern superhero cinema, and is responsible for much of the aesthetics and style of the Marvel movies, as much as ‘Iron Man’ and ‘The Avengers’ swept it all away. This is the release order of the movies, along with the viewing link. Since they are all from Fox, they belong to Disney, so you have them accessible on Disney +.

Two series are added to all of them:

Chronological order

But then there is an internal order, the chronological order, which exposes the films in their own order, and even proposes different actors to play characters at different stages of their lives. Again Wolverine can serve as a compass to settle the moment in time in which we find ourselves, and we must bear in mind that we have time travel, flashbacks to the past and alternative futures, so the order is not exactly simple nor is it exact, since there is no intention to create a solid chronology. And as we see below, that does not mean that there are many inconsistencies and contradictions

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What is clear is that the movie most obviously set in the past is ‘X-Men: First Class’, in the sixties and making good use of that time, as we recognize it as the years when Lee and Kirby invented the group in the Marvel comics. From there, and dodging flashbacks, we have the half of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ that takes place in the past and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, both at different points in the seventies.

All these prequels to the original saga continue with ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’, set in the eighties (again Wolverine helps us to determine the time, after his origin film) and with ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’, back in the nineties. From there we go to the original saga of the X-Men, with its three films set in “the near future” from the perspective of its release date, the year 2000. Spoiler alert: we are in the near future and there are no mutants.

After the trilogy, we have Wolverine’s solo movie, where the hero already talks (in a non-canonical way) about the death of Jean Grey. The end credits show us Xavier and Magneto giving clues about what will be the scenes set in the future of ‘X-Men: First Generation’, with its mutant apocalypse. Finally, in 2029 we have ‘Logan,’ when mutants don’t exactly live in a glorious future.

  • X-Men: First Class (in 1962, with flashbacks to World War II)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (sequences of the past in 1973)
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine (in 1979, with flashbacks to the 19th century and World War II)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (in 1983)
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix (in 1992)
  • X-Men (in the near future of 2000, with flashbacks to World War II)
  • X-Men 2 (after X-Men)
  • X-Men: The Final Stand (after X-Men 2)
  • Wolverine: Immortal (after X-Men: The Last Stand, with flashbacks to World War II)
  • The New Mutants (in the present, possibly before Logan)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (future sequences in 2023)
  • Logan (in 2029)
  • The Gifted – The Chosen Ones (possibly out of chronology: we’re in a post-X-Men world, but not necessarily the same one described in ‘Logan’)

Completely impossible to determine the chronology, finally, we have ‘Legion’: its setting sometimes it has an air of the sixties, but its unreliable narrator makes it difficult to specify a time. What we do know is that its protagonist is Xavier’s son, which doesn’t make it easy to place either, considering the age of Professor X in most of the movies.

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And yes of course we have contradictions, and the least of them is that Jean Gray suffers from the Dark Phoenix saga twice. In the original trilogy, Xavier says that he met Magneto when they were 17 years old, but in ‘Days of Future Past’ it is revealed that they met as adults. In ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ we see a bald Xavier using his powers in 1972, but he is already paralyzed in 1962’s ‘First Class’ and losing his hair in 1983’s ‘Apocalypse’.

X-Men 2 1558627334

Even in films that clearly belong more or less to the same continuity, there is not much rigor: In the post-credits sequence of ‘Wolverine: Immortal’ we see Xavier and Magneto with powers. One had been disintegrated in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and another had lost his powers, and no one bothered in later movies to explain it. Wolverine also gains and loses his adamantium claws like that: in ‘Wolverine: Immortal’ he loses them and uses bone claws, but in ‘Days of Future Past’ he has his trademark adamantium claws again.

Order by timelines

The way to solve all these errors is by ordering the franchise by sagas or by time lines. The one with the timelines has the advantage that it allows us to contemplate the franchise as a whole, only that the time travel of ‘Days of Future Past’ has created a multiverse. When the X-Men prevent the creation of the Sentinels in the 1970s, they prevent the apocalypse and create an alternate future that leads to ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Dark Phoenix’. In ‘Days of Future Past’ we already see that future we don’t know, with Cyclops, Jean Gray and Beast played by the actors from the original trilogy.

The Future Team In X Men Days Of Future Past

These would be the two timelines:

Main X-Men Line

  • X Men First generation
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • X Men
  • X Men 2
  • X-Men: The Final Stand
  • Wolverine immortal
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (the 2023 part)

Apocalyptic X-Men Line

  • X Men First generation
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (the 1973 part)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (the “good” future, with Cyclops, Beast, and Jean Grey)

And ‘Logan’ where does it fit? It’s unclear – there is a sequence deleted from the movie, which is not considered canon, that references the death of Jean Grey, which makes it better understood in the Main line. But there’s also talk of Logan and Jean getting married before he had to kill her, which references the Dark Phoenix Saga, and hints that we’re talking about a third multiverse. Like ‘Deadpool’, ‘The New Mutants’ and the series, which in order not to end up with a headache, it is better to consider each one within its own alternative Earth.

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Order by sagas

And finally, the order that will allow you to keep your sanity: divide the franchise into mini-sagas that do not have to respect each other’s continuity. It is possibly the most sensible and allows you to understand the films with their direct sequels without complicating your life. It’s as simple, for example, as after the original trilogy, Fox wanted to squeeze Wolverine with a prequel to his most famous character and made ‘Origins’, and that’s it. This could be understood, along with ‘Wolverine: Immortal’ and ‘Logan’, despite its contradictions, as a whole about the same character, since it is played by the same actor.

Looking for formulas to retake the ‘X-Men’ brand (not the original films), ‘X-Men: First Class’ can be seen as a reboot of the original trilogy, not as a prequel. This reboot would have two sequels: ‘Days of Future Past’ and ‘Dark Phoenix’. The return of the actors from the original trilogy to the first of the sequels can be understood as a nod to the origins as much as a sequel/prequel to the original trilogy.

Finally, ‘Deadpool’ and ‘The New Mutants’ exist in their own sagas. The first of these miniseries can be understood as a saga of sequels to ‘Origins: Wolverine’Yeah, since the Ryan Reynolds character was featured in the ‘X-Men’ prequel, but they work in their own universe, and the standalone movies don’t reference the Wolverine timeline.

Original X-Men Saga

  • X Men
  • X Men 2
  • X-Men: The Final Stand

Wolverine Saga

  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine
  • Wolverine immortal
  • Logan

Prequel Saga

  • X Men First generation
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • X-Men: Apocalypse
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Deadpool Saga

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