When the X-Men franchise started in 2000, it already had a great deal of backstory to deal with. In X-Men, the elderly Professor X and Magneto have already had a life-time of being frenemies, the X-Men have been operational for years and Wolverine had lost all his memories.
Over the years, we have learnt all about many of these origin stories. While some of these should have been left unexplored (see X-Men Origins: Wolverine, for example), others made for great viewing. In particular, X-Men: First Class proved to be a highly effective revamp of the franchise that filled in the gaps and had a lot of fun doing so.
The main members of the young cast – James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence, in particular – are all spot-on replacements for the previous stars and the answers to long sought after questions are mostly satisfying. Even if they leave the continuity in knots.
7) Captain America: The First Avenger
Marvel faced a tough challenge in bringing such an old-fashioned hero like Captain America to the big screen in 2011. Previous attempts (wartime serials and TV movies) had removed various aspects of his backstory, even his status as a man out of time, in a failed bid to modernize him. Thankfully, Marvel didn’t follow suit and offered up an entirely faithful version of the character in Captain America: The First Avenger.
From director Joe Johnston, First Avenger fully embraces Steve Roger’s roots. Rather than making him moody or gritty, the movie wears Cap’s heroism on its sleeve and plays up its period setting by being an out-and-out war movie. Just with crazy comic book bits added in. Fast forward to 2016 and a film with Captain America in the title has smashed box office records. Though the subsequent work of the Russo brothers should not be underrated, the character’s success is all down to The First Avenger.