Is Fox's X-Men Show Using Age of X As Source Material?

Art by Olivier Coipel
Art by Olivier Coipel

Since writing a post covering some character confirmations in Fox's Matt Nix penned new X-Men TV show, under the working title of Gifted, I have been building a bit of an idea.

Most X-Men films have loosely based themselves, or taken inspiration, or thematic ideas, from the comics story arcs as a source. X2 has elements of God Loves, Man Kills, The Last Stand used Dark Phoenix Saga and Gifted, Days of Future Past had, well, Days of Future Past. They are rarely slavishly adhered to, usually providing the bare bones of the plot, characters and events, which are then altered to fit the films as needed.

Also, Matt Nix has confirmed that the show will be more connected to the films than, say, Legion is. In an interview with IGN, Nix states

Question: That show isn't seemingly connected to the larger connected X-Men universe, but will your show be?

Nix: Yeah.

Question: Can you talk about that or how it will connect?

Nix: How should I put this? Without getting into specifics that I'll get murdered for getting into, I would say that a fan of the movies — particularly the movies, but also the comic books — would not be disoriented at all as to where this fits in the mythology. I guess I'd say that if you look at the movies, which take place from whatever, they started in 2000 to now… they don't all line up perfectly. You know what I mean? So it's not like, I'm not slavishly fitting myself into a particular slot. But at the same time, if you like that world, if you like the world of the movies, there are definite nods to it. It definitely exists in the same general kind of universe, if that makes sense.

However, the premise of the show apparently revolves around parents discovering their teen children are mutants with powers, and then having to go on the run from a government that will hunt them down. It is assumed the film is set in the modern day, and the X-Men films that take place in the modern day, whilst they included a world that hated and feared them to the extent that the world at large wasn't safe for mutants, didn't really see much in the way of a government hunting them down.

However, some of this seemed to change in Days of Future Past, which saw essentially a new timeline created where the present was certainly different to what we'd previously seen, and had included a more prominent Sentinel program.

So just what might Nix's new X-Men show use as a thematic source?

Art by Clay Mann
Art by Clay Mann

I think it may be looking to Age of X. Age of X was a line-wide X-Men event by Mike Carey and numerous artists, that saw a drastically altered timeline where mutants were more aggressively hunted down by the government until a rebel movement, in the comics led by Magneto, created a massive Fortress X that was the mutants last standing ground against a permanent, perpetual siege from the human government. This altered timeline would see numerous characters we all knew and love vastly different, many with new codenames.

Such as Sunspot, who in this reality went by the codename Eclipse. Eclipse is in the X-Men TV show, played by Sean Teale.

It is of note that Eclipse in the TV show is not named Roberto DeCosta, but Marcos Diaz. This could mean that he's meant to be a new character but using that particular codename or Marcos Diaz is a misdirect. However, I'm looking to the former, as there is also a New Mutants movie in the works, and that will likely contain Roberto DeCosta/Sunspot.

But certainly, parents having to take their kids on the run from an aggressive mutant-hunting government and joining an underground mutant rebel group does fit in thematically with the Age of X storyline. As I said, it could be a source inspiration, but what will be seen on screen would out of necessity drastically differ from the comics. After all, many of the characters in the comics are either already existing in the movies, with actors whose salaries would be far outside the budget of a TV production, and the comics also heavily included such characters as Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America, who cannot appear in a Fox show. Also, Legion is a prominent and important character in the Age of X comics, but I cannot imagine the Legion TV show crossing over with this new show.

It's obviously really early days in this production at the moment, so I could be way off base here, but there are elements which do lean in that direction. And it would handily open the TV show up to showing drastically re-imagined versions of characters we may already have met and know, and that is always fun.

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About Joe Glass

Joe Glass has been contributing to Bleeding Cool for about four years. He's been a roaming reporter at shows like SDCC and NYCC, and also has a keen LGBTQ focus, with his occasional LGBTQ focus articles, Tales from the Four Color Closet. He is also now Bleeding Cool's Senior Mutant Correspondent thanks to his obsession with Marvel's merry mutants. Joe is also a comics creator, writer of LGBTQ superhero team series, The Pride, the first issue of which was one of the Top 25 ComiXology Submit Titles of 2014. He is also a co-writer on Stiffs, a horror comedy series set in South Wales about call centre workers who hunt the undead by night. One happens to be a monkey. Just because.
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