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SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for X-Men: Apocalypse. If you have not yet seen the film, and don’t wish for any details to be revealed before your screening, we recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles.
Like the X-Men movies that came before it, X-Men: Apocalypse is another massive ensemble blockbuster that takes a mix of familiar and new characters and navigates them along different arcs that take them to different places by the time the story ends. Taking place 10 years after the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the new movie has the responsibility of continuing the brand new continuity, and establishes heroes who will be absolutely key to the series’ future. But where does the film leave them all individually when the credits roll? That’s what we’re here to break down.
Across the next few pages, we’ve singled out the various heroes of X-Men: Apocalypse, established where they are at the end of the fight with the titular villain, and speculate where we might see them all go in the next few years of the X-Men franchise. Read on, and hit the comments section on each page to tell us where you want to see all of the characters go in the future!
Professor XJames McAvoy’s Professor Charles Xavier sported a beautiful quaff of brown locks through most of his screen time in X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and X-Men: Apocalypse, but those times are over. Thanks to the kidnapping plot orchestrated by the titular villain in the most recent film, and his attempts to transfer his consciousness into Xavier’s body, the professor is now just as hairless as both his comic book counterpart and Patrick Stewart’s iteration of the character
Professor X went through a hell of a lot through the events of X-Men: Apocalypse, but being one of the most resilient people on the planet, he will stop at nothing to help and protect mutants and teach them to live in peace with the rest of humanity. With key individuals (who we will discuss soon) now under his tutelage and the Xavier School For Gifted Youngsters rebuilt, he’s ready to ascend to his most iconic role as the leader and mentor of the X-Men – cue-ball head and all.
MystiqueWe’ve seen the post-Days of Future Past timeline affect the trajectory of numerous heroes and villains, but none have been more changed than Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique. While she served as a mostly-mute villainous agent for Magneto in the original X-Men trilogy, the more recent three movies have seen her actually become a key and founding member of Professor X’s team. From what we see at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, it doesn’t seem like her run as a hero is ending any time soon.
Mystique’s involvement in the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past have made her an icon for mutants around the world (including the young Storm), and after X-Men: Apocalypse it seems like she is finally ready to fully embrace that role. While Professor X is certainly still the leader of the X-Men, Mystique is the one positioned as the one giving shots on the ground during battle. Whether she’ll still be in this same station in the next X-Men movie – set approximately 10 years later – is unclear, as she may find herself handing the reins off to one of the younger members of the squad.
MagnetoLife has never been too kind to Erik Lehnsherr a.k.a. Magneto (Michael Fassbender), from his childhood in Auschwitz, to witnessing the death of his wife and daughter because of an errant arrow. As a result, it’s not a stretch to understand why he wound up teaming with Apocalypse and just trying to end Planet Earth. By the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, however, he does understand that there are reasons to live on in this world, and winds up assisting Professor X’s team in the destruction of En Sabah Nur.
In the final scene of the film, Magneto continues to help the X-Men, working alongside Jean Grey to rebuild Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, but part of the work doesn’t involve building a room for himself. Instead, he turns down Xavier’s offer to stay on as a teacher, once again venturing out in the world to start a new life for himself. Understanding how this franchise operates, we can probably expect him to pop his head out sometime in the early ‘90s, just as the events of the next X-Men adventure begins to unfold.
BeastIn the X-Men movie franchise, you won’t find a character more loyal than Nicholas Hoult’s Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast. After meeting Charles Xavier in the early 1960s, McCoy understood that the would-be professor was a man that he would follow to the gates of hell – and he has. Not only does he find himself regularly fighting by his friend’s side on the battlefield, but he also entirely believes in the mission of Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngers, and has spent years helping mutants (like the young Cyclops) hone and understand their abilities.
In the wake of what happened in X-Men: Apocalypse that won’t change. Not only will Beast continue to serve as a teacher in Professor X’s school, but he will also fight alongside Mystique and the other young X-Men who are now assembled into a squad learning to work as a team – occasionally providing the group with the technology, weaponry and transportation needed to accomplish the various missions that lie ahead.
CyclopsThanks to Wolverine’s emphasized presence in the original X-Men trilogy, we never really got to see Cyclops’ full potential on the big screen – but that could change very soon. With actor Tye Sheridan taking over the role from James Marsden in X-Men: Apocalypse, and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine exiting stage left after Wolverine 3, we expect the future to be filled with Cyclops-heavy stories that paint him as more than an annoying jerk who gets in the way of the romance between Logan and Jean Grey.
Remember what I was saying earlier about Mystique eventually passing the torch and eventually choosing a new leader for the X-Men? Well, that choice should be Cyclops – though he’s not quite there at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse. While he does get the more comic book-inspired duds that you see above, he is still a nascent in the world of fighting for peace and mutant equality, and has quite a bit to learn from Professor X, Mystique and Beast. That being said, by the time we catch up with him in the 1990s, we expect him to become much more of a leader.
Jean GreyIn the end battle between the X-Men and Apocalypse, Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey unleashes a taste of her power’s full potential – giving us all a quick preview of her connection to the Phoenix Force – but the truth is that she has a long way to go. It’s true that she has been a student of Xavier’s longer than most of her teammates, but her mutation is still far from stable, as evidenced by the fact that she still tends to shake the mansion when she dreams.
On beyond her Phoenix-related future, X-Men: Apocalypse seeds a lot of interesting things for Jean Grey, from her tight bond with Professor X, to her romantic entanglements with Cyclops. These relationships will surely all progress greatly in the timeline gap between the new film and the next sequel, and eventually we do expect them to try and take another crack at the Dark Phoenix Saga.
StormComic book fans know Storm as one of the most important and heroic members of the X-Men, but X-Men: Apocalypse establishes her as having a bit of a villain streak in her origin story. Played by Alexandra Shipp, her first real interaction with the members of Xavier’s school is facing off against them on the battlefield, having been manipulated by Apocalypse to become one of his Four Horsemen. By the end of the movie, however, the presence of her idol, Mystique, helps her recognize the error of her ways, and she becomes a powerful warrior for the side of good.
Professor Xavier was obviously willing to accept Storm into his school with open arms, and presumably the other members of the X-Men are going to be able to get over the fact that she once tried to kill them. It’s true that fact may cause a bit of tension in the early days, but we expect that by the time we catch up with the characters in the 1990s all will be forgiven and they will be functioning as a group like a well-oiled machine.
NightcrawlerMovie fans fell in love with Nightcrawler thanks to Alan Cumming’s performance in X2: X-Men United, but sadly the character completely disappeared from the franchise after that point. Thankfully, Kodi Smit-McPhee has brought the blue teleporting mutant back into the fold in X-Men: Apocalypse, and based on what we saw at the end of the film, it seems that he will be a character who is around for a long time.
Unlike the original franchise timeline, Nightcrawler will now go down in history as part of the classic X-Men team that also united legendary heroes like Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Storm. Being a part of the group will certainly improve the status of his life, as he goes from being locked in boxes and thrown in cage matches to being a student in Upstate New York who lives in a mansion. Due to the opening scene of X-Men: Apocalypse, we are wondering if the future may reveal a deeper connection between the young Kurt Wagner and Mystique, as she is actually his mother in the comics, but that may be a detail the movie franchise just skips over (again).
QuicksilverEvan Peters’ Quicksilver became a fan favorite character after his fun performance in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but his part was also a bit controversial given that he was kept out of the action at the end of the film when he would have been quite useful. Fortunately, Bryan Singer and Simon Kinberg learned from his mistake, and it seems that after X-Men: Apocalypse, he isn’t going anywhere.
Quicksilver has an exciting future ahead of him, not only being one of the core members of the X-Men, but also because of the identity of his father. While X-Men: Apocalypse does confirm that Magneto is his dad, the speedy mutant fails to actually share this information – even when it meant potentially giving the master of magnetism something to live for and a change of heart. Presumably it will take another 10 years in the timeline for Quicksilver and Magneto to talk about their connection, but we look forward to seeing how that interaction goes down.
PsylockeIt’s true that Olivia Munn’s Psylocke doesn’t exactly become a "hero" by the end of X-Men: Apocalypse, but given the character’s anti-hero history in the comics, we figured we’d include her on this list. By the end of the movie, she certainly finds herself escaping Apocalypse’s sway, escaping while the First Mutant is being destroyed, but she also doesn’t exactly seem to be a big fan of the X-Men either.
Psylocke is definitely one of the more under-developed characters in X-Men: Apocalypse - having only been written into the script shortly before production started – and there’s definitely plenty of potential avenues to take her in for the future. For example, she was notably a member of the Uncanny X-Force alongside Deadpool, so with some time travel action we could possibly see that adapted for the big screen. Of course, she’s been a member of the X-Men as well, and it’s entirely possible that she could find herself aligning with the team when a new threat rises in the ‘90s.