Night of the Sentinels
The Moment: The X-Men discover that the Mutant Registration Program is deploying robot killers - Sentinels - to eliminate newly 'out' mutants. [From the X-Men animated series two-parter Night of the Sentinels .]
Cinematic Potential: X-Men versus killer robots. What's not to like?
Key Scene: Cyclops goes mano-a-mano with a Sentinel.
Days Of Future Past
The Moment: Timey-wimey shenanigans as Kitty Pryde travels back from the future to warn of a impending assassination. [From The Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142.]
Cinematic Potential: A parallel universe means parallel stories. While 'our' X-Men race to stop a killing, those in the future face a pitiless existence.
Key Scene: The alt-future shows the X-Men hunted down and slaughtered. Including Wolverine.
The Moment: The original comics' introduction of Wolverine and Nightcrawler saw them recruited to save a team of X-Men trapped on Krakoa, a living island. [From Giant-Size X-Men #2.]
Cinematic Potential: Forget the origins story and dive in for all-out action. This is an "X-Men on a mission" movie.
Key Scene: Krakoa reforms its terrain into an island-sized rock monster.
No More Mutants
The Moment: The Scarlet Witch, incensed by the X-Men's civil war, casts a spell that strips the powers from all but 198 of the Earth's mutants. [From House of M .]
Cinematic Potential: Think Superman 2 - the chance to redefine the humanity behind the heroes, by showing what happens when they have to adjust to civvie life.
Key Scene: Magneto, without the defence of his powers, breaks down in panic and horror.
The Moment: Mentalist Mr Sinister sends a team of mutant assassins - the Marauders - to slaughter New York's mutant underclass, the Morlocks. [From Uncanny X-Men #210-213, plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: A dark tale of ethnic cleansing, it's the kind of vision that we hope Darren Aronofsky will bring to the X-Men universe.
Key Scene: Angel is crucified and loses his wings to gangrene.
The Moment: The X-Men battle against the Phalanx, mutant-hating humans who have used alien tech to (ironically enough) mutate themselves strong. [From Uncanny X-Men #316 and crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: The chance to see an enemy that out-weirds the mutants. The Phalanx can assimilate organic matter to aid freakazoid shape-shifting.
Key Scene: The final infiltration of the Phalanx base, scope for an FX blow-out.
The Moment: Mutants are travelling to African island Genosha, which promises a mutant-friendly home - but those who arrive are turned into bomb-collar-wearing slaves. Cue the X-Men to save the day. [From X-Men animated series episode Slave Island .]
Cinematic Potential: A bit like Lost , with mutants: an Apartheid allegory in the tropical heat.
Key Scene: Storm blows up the dam that the X-Men have been forced to build.
Fall of the Mutants
The Moment: When Storm goes missing, the X-Men head to Dallas to find her... only for a precognitive vision to reveal they'll all be killed. [From The Uncanny X-Men #225-227, plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: A mental storyline mixing magic and parallel universes, but chiefly the shocking images of our heroes being wiped out.
Key Scene: Dinosaurs appear in the streets of Dallas. WTF?
Riot At Xavier's
The Moment: After a mutant is murdered by humans, militant pupil Quentin Quire leads a violent protest at the mutant school. [From New X-Men , #135-138]
Cinematic Potential: High-school movies are always best when they're playing at being something else. This one's If... with amazing special effects.
Key Scene: The riot, predictably.
The Moment: Moira MacTaggart's mutant son, Proteus, has been kept in isolation due to his excessive power. When he breaks free, the race is on - but how do you catch a mutant who can disguise himself by possessing other bodies? [From Uncanny X-Men #125-128.]
Cinematic Potential: A chase thriller with a difference, as Proteus decides to hunt down his politician father.
Key Scene: A revelation borrowed from Ultimate Marvel's alternative Proteus storyline - Proteus' dad is Charles Xavier!
The Moment: Omega Red, a Soviet super soldier created from a convicted serial killer, is resuscitated by power-mad generals. [From X-Men animated series episode Red Dawn .]
Cinematic Potential: A powerful threat based on real-world politics, for that classic X-Men blend of action and social comment.
Key Scene: Omega Red battles the X-Men with his carbonadium tentacles.
The Moment: Xorn - a Chinese X-Man with a "star for a brain" - is revealed to be Magneto in disguise, reveals his plan to repopulate Earth with mutants. [From New X-Men #146-150.]
Cinematic Potential: A twisty thriller with a dark Nazi allegory, as Magneto attempts to commit genocide.
Key Scene: Seeing Magneto lose it big-time thanks to his addiction to mutant power-enhancing drug Kick.
The Trial of Magneto
The Moment: Magneto is put on trial for his crimes, but terrorist sympathisers begin a reign of terror to ensure his release. [From Uncanny X-Men #200.]
Cinematic Potential: A courtroom drama with a difference.
Key Scene: Despite all the evidence stacked against him, Magneto is... acquitted.
The X-Men Adventure
The Moment: Spider-man, Iceman and Firestar visit the X-Mansion to use its facilities, only to bring an old foe along for the ride. [From Spider-man And His Amazing Friends episode The X-Men Adventure .]
Cinematic Potential: Spin-off alert! With The Avengers introducing the idea of crossovers to the Hollywood blockbuster, putting Spidey into the mix seems like a sound move.
Key Scene: The villainous Cyberiad tries to poison Spidey and the X-Men with nitride gas.
The Moment: A dimensional portal brings a group of invading mutants from another dimension. [From Astonishing X-Men #25-30.]
Cinematic Potential: A globe-trotting adventure that leads the X-Men to an abandoned temple in China.
Key Scene: Fighting a cool new mutant...who can fire lasers from his fingers.
Age of Apocalypse
The Moment: When Charles Xavier's son botches a time-travel assassination, he creates a parallel universe that allows immortal mutant Apocalypse to rule the Earth. [From the Age of Apocalypse comic books.]
Cinematic Potential: An epic 'wartime' actioner, as the X-Men - led by a non-evil version of Magneto - plot to overthrow Apocalypse's fascistic regime.
Key Scene: The shocking event that kickstarts the alt.universe - Xavier's death as a young man.
The New Mutants
The Moment: Five teenage recruits - Karma, Cannonball, Wolfsbane, Psyche, Sunspot - begin their training at the X-Mansion. [From Marvel Graphic Novel #4.]
Cinematic Potential: A complete spin-off, concentrating on a new bunch of kids.
Key Scene: The kids realise that the school has been infiltrated by the alien Brood.
The Moment: Mister Sinister kidnaps Professor X and Magneto to lure the X-Men into a trap. [From X-Men animated series two-parter Reunion .]
Cinematic Potential: An epic set in X-Men 's weirdest location, Savage Land - a tropical pre-historic nightmare hidden in (of all places) Antarctica.
Key Scene: The X-Men lose their powers in Sinister's Savage Land, and are attacked.
The Moment: The X-Men travel to the alien Breakworld, whose inhabitants intend to destroy the Earth with a giant bullet. [From Astonishing X-Men #19-24.]
Cinematic Potential: Based on a story by Joss Whedon, this one's got sleek sci-fi moves with smart characterisation and sharp dialogue.
Key Scene: Kitty Pryde saves the Earth but dies in the process, fusing with the bullet and flying off into space.
The Moment: Magneto wreaks havoc on Earth from an orbiting space station, Avalon. [From Uncanny X-Men #304, plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: X-Men...in space! Think Moonraker , only better.
Key Scene: Magneto tears the adamantium from Wolverine's back. Ouch.
E is For Extinction
The Moment: Xavier's evil twin, Cassandra Nova, sets in train a plan to wipe out the mutant island of Genosha. [From New X-Men #114-116.]
Cinematic Potential: A new villainness, and a disaster-movie set-piece.
Key Scene: The destruction of Genosha after an assault from Sentinels.
The Moment: A new, but strangely familiar, threat for the X-Men: a psionic entity created from the brainwaves of both Professor X and Magneto. [From X-Man #15 plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: A crossover featuring the Hulk and the Fantastic Four, this one's an epic.
Key Scene: The deaths of Bruce Banner and the Fantastic Four.
The Moment: Sequel of-sorts to Days of Future Past , in which it turns the X-Men prevented one possible future Earth only to cause another one. [From X-Men animated series two-parter Time Fugitives .]
Cinematic Potential: A Back To The Future Part II-style sequel, flipping back on itself with much head-scratching in between battles.
Key Scene: Having already seen the X-Men get incinerated, time-travelling mutants join the fatal mission again in order to stop it.
The Moment: Manhattan falls siege to an invasion of demons, uniting the X-Men with fellow Marvel crimefighters. [From New Mutants #71, plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: A crossover that brings Spider-man, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four into the fray.
Key Scene: Wolverine's soul becomes twisted under demonic influence.
The Moment: Battling against the alien Brood, the X-Men realise that Professor X has been infected. [From Uncanny X-Men #167.]
Cinematic Potential: A huge fight between two evenly matched foes takes on a new dimension when the enemy can defeat the heroes' leader. Gulp.
Key Scene: Xavier transforms into a Brood.
Operation: Zero Tolerance
The Moment: The assassination of a Presidential candidate, apparently at mutant hands, provokes a Government crackdown against the X-Men. [From X-Men vol. 2 #65-69, plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: A conspiracy thriller with political overtones - think 24 with superheroes.
Key Scene: Government-sanctioned Sentinels take the X-Mansion.
Whatever It Takes
The Moment: Storm's godson is possessed by psychic foe the Shadow King. [From X-Men animated series episode Whatever It Takes .]
Cinematic Potential: Based around Mount Kilimanjaro and African folklore, this is an unusual twist on X-Men that underlines how strange their world really is.
Key Scene: Storm reveals that she was once a slave to the Shadow King.
The Moment: An assassination attempt on Professor X kick-starts a deadly battle against Stryfe, Cyclops' unhinged son. [From Uncanny X-Men #294-297, plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: A huge story, devised to bring together several teams of mutants, provides a broad canvas for a movie.
Key Scene: The sequel-setting twist, as Stryfe unleashes a deadly plague, the Legacy Virus, into the mutant world.
The Moment: Sequel to the House of M storyline, as the first 'new' mutant for years is born. The X-Men are up against various rival factions to be the first to reach the baby. [From X-Men: Messiah Complex , plus crossovers.]
Cinematic Potential: Children of Men reimagined as a mutant brawl.
Key Scene: The X-Men arrive at the newborn's home, only to find it's been destroyed.
The Moment: Struck by a mutation, Spider-man seeks out the help of the X-Men. [From Spider-man animated series two-parter The Mutant Agenda / Mutant's Revenge .]
Cinematic Potential: Yet another cross-over, but one where Spidey is the enemy of the X-Men, which presents all kinds of movie magic.
Key Scene: Spider-man versus Wolverine? Fuck yeah.