Today! Because peace was never an option –
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon (x3), Rose Byrne, Oliver Platt, January Jones (x2), Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Lucas Till, Caleb Landry Jones, James Remar (x2), Don Creech, Ray Wise, Michael Ironside, Jason Beghe, Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Romijn, Rade Serbedzija, Glenn Morshower, Jason Flemyng
There was legitimate concern heading into the late ’00s that the mighty X-Men franchise was as good as dead. The Last Stand was pretty widely reviled among fans, and the Wolverine prequel wasn’t…good, so what sort of hope could there be? Even when this thing was announced, I don’t remember people being overly optimistic. What, no Storm? No Cyclops? Nightcrawler? Wolverine? Toad?! Concerns abounded.
But while none of these later prequel-centric cast X-films have been gigantic box office hits, this was crucial proof that they could work. The X-Men movies, even though they predated the MCU by many years, have never quite gotten their due – always overshadowed by the Raimi Spider-mans, the Nolan Batmans, and ultimately Iron Man and company. But overall this has to be considered the second most consistent comic book franchise ever, right? There have been, what, eleven movies so far, if you count the Deadpools, and eight of them are very good-to-great (depending on your opinion of Apocalypse, I guess) – that’s a pretty strong track record for a long-in-the-sabretooth series.