While the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be currently basking in the cultural spotlight for being one of the longest superhero movie franchises, the X-Men franchise technically set the record first. Starting in 2000, this decade-old series of films introduced some of the concepts of a modern superhero film alongside the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies and the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. These elements include the gritty realism that early 2000s films exhibited in general in the wake of 9/11, leading to their serious tone which the Marvel films have disregarded to an extent, and a sense of character development regarding the main heroes. But what made the X-Men films stand out from the others was its continuity.
What started off as a relatively simple self-contained story soon evolved into a bunch of stand-alone films revolving around the series' main character Wolverine, with Deadpool being the current exception, and a set of prequels which have produced mixed results from the universally hated X-Men Origins film to the critically-acclaimed crossover Days of Future Past. Yet despite its setbacks, the series has produced a number of memorable characters who have spouted quotable lines and given us unforgettable moments to look back on. The question is: how well do you know them?
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1What are Wolverine's claws made of?
Arguably the main character of the entire X-Men franchise, Logan’s tale is long and spans across many centuries. It began in 1800s Canada where he was born, along with his brother Victor (aka Sabertooth). They discovered their Mutant powers at an early age, before becoming vagabond warriors fighting in all the major wars including World War II where Logan saved the life of a Japanese military officer when one of the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki. Then sometime in the 1970s, a man named Stryker took a keen interest in Logan before experimenting on him leading to his subsequent amnesia.
2Why did Cyclops not like Wolverine?
Also known as Scott Summers, Cyclops was enrolled in Xavier’s school right after his power manifested which caused significant property damage and possibly a few injuries at the high-school he was attending. Because he shoots powerful lasers from his eyes unless they’re closed, he has to wear special sunglasses wherever he goes and his costume comes with a visor that allows him to control the amount of energy the lasers produce. It was around this time that he met Jean Grey, and the two quickly bonded, causing him to become very protective of her.
3Which Mutant guy did Rogue end up with?
Before joining the X-Men, Rogue was an ordinary teenage girl named Marie D'Ancanto with loving parents and a boyfriend. However, when she and her boyfriend tried to kiss he passed out abruptly. For two weeks, Rogue’s boyfriend was in a coma causing her to run away as she felt responsible for it. She ended up in Canada and met Wolverine there, persuading him to give her a ride somewhere. The two then get ambushed by Sabertooth, before being rescued by Cyclops and Storm. There, Rogue meets several fellow Mutants including a boy named Bobby. What was his X-Men name?
4How did Iceman's parents react to him being a Mutant?
Though everyone calls him “Iceman” because of his ability to freeze things, Bobby Drake is actually fairly social and well-liked among his classmates at Xavier’s school. He tries to be friends with everyone, whether they accept him or not, and helps them whenever they’re in trouble. Yet he’s been keeping his parents in the dark about his Mutant nature since enrolling at Xavier’s, which they think is just an ordinary private school. But all that changes when the school gets invaded forcing him and the remaining Mutants to hide somewhere.
5Does Pyro need a source to produce flames?
Despite being in the same classes as Iceman and Rogue, Pyro tends to stick to the back and not participate in class discussions. He’s also a troublemaker, as seen during a field-trip to the local museum when a guy asks for a light from Pyro's lighter which he refuses to share. This causes the guy to get angry, and cause him to shove Pyro who sets the guy’s jacket on fire which forces Iceman to put it out with his freezing ability though they’re not supposed to use their powers in a public place.
6Where did the Mutant Cure come from?
Sometime after Colonel Stryker is killed during the flooding of a destroyed dam, a Mutant Cure is introduced by a private corporation called Worthington Labs. While neither Charles Xavier or Magneto are happy about this, their approaches to the situation are different. While Xavier chooses the diplomatic route by having his Mutant colleague Hank McCoy try to talk sense into the president who’s thinking of approving it nationwide, Magneto rallies large groups of Mutants to oppose the cure through acts of violence.
7Who is the Phoenix?
As a child, this mutant was one of the more troubled students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. She could barely control her ability to move objects with her mind, thus making her a Mutant, and on top of that she was also telepathic. But with the help of Charles Xavier, who was also a telepath, she found a sense of mental stability. She also craves companionship, which she found in Scott Summers (aka Cyclops), but was quickly drawn to Wolverine when he showed up.
8What type of weapon does Gambit prefer to wield?
After getting liquid adamantium injected into his bones, Wolverine leaves to get revenge on Sabertooth for killing his girlfriend. However, he gets targeted by an assassin sent by Colonel Stryker, who was the one that gave him the adamantium in the first place. Though Wolverine manages to defeat the assassin, two innocent civilians get killed in the aftermath of the fight. So Wolverine decides to go after Stryker and Sabertooth, locating his former colleagues from the mercenary team they were once a part of for information. They point him to a man nicknamed “Gambit” who knows where Stryker’s hideout is.
9Were Xavier and Magneto friends before they became enemies?
While Erik Lehnsherr (later known as Magneto) was taken to a Nazi death-camp, Charles Xavier was living comfortably in his English countryside home. From there, their paths only diverged further with Erik becoming the subject of experimentation by a Nazi doctor named Schmidt after his power to manipulate metal gets discovered, while Xavier attends the University of Oxford keeping his telepathic abilities a secret to everyone except his childhood friend Raven. Yet despite their differences, a series of events bring Xavier and Erik together.
10How many powers did Emma Frost have?
Now calling himself Sebastian Shaw, the former Nazi doctor known as Schmidt puts together a group of powerful Mutants to start another World War for the sake of eliminating all the humans so Mutant-kind can rise as the supreme rulers. Among this group includes Riptide, who has the power to create cyclones, a demonic-looking fellow named Azazel who’s able to teleport anywhere, and a woman named Emma Frost. She plays a pivotal role by seducing the Russian and American generals while persuading them to invade Cuba, thus leading to the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
11Who was Havok related to?
Using the experimental government machine Cerebro, Xavier locates several Mutants and tries to recruit them for the CIA’s experimental strike-team to take down Sebastian Shaw's Hellfire Club. While some, like Wolverine, weren't too keen on joining, others did. And among them was an army prisoner named Alex who had the ability to shoot lasers from his chest. However, he couldn't control their accuracy so he's given a chest-plate to go with his costume that focuses the lasers on a single point instead shooting everywhere which earns him the codename Havok.
12When did Beast's skin and hair turn blue?
Hank McCoy (Beast) was a scientist working for the CIA during the 1960s, but he was also secretly a Mutant. However, it turned out he wasn’t the only one after becoming acquainted with fellow Mutants Charles Xavier and Raven (aka Mystique). It was Raven, though, that Hank connected to the most because their mutations were physically noticeable with his ape-like feet and her true form involving blue skin and yellow eyes. But while Raven began to embrace her mutation, Hank sought to get rid of his.
13Which piece of metal did Magneto use to kill Sebastian Shaw?
Though World War II ended, Sebastian Shaw’s crimes were not recognized as he seemingly vanished off the face of the earth. So Erik Lehnsherr took it upon himself to look for him. Finding former associates of Shaw’s, Erik demanded information from them before promptly killing them. But this private war wouldn’t last long as Erik soon crosses paths with Charles Xavier who recruits him for the CIA Mutant strike-team. At first, Erik didn’t want to participate until persuaded otherwise, since he and Xavier both wanted to take down Shaw.
14What caused Xavier to become paralyzed?
Upon meeting Raven, a young Charles Xavier was happy to know that he wasn’t the only Mutant in existence. Of course, he caught her trying to steal food from his home disguised as his mother which he was quickly able to deduce with his telepathy. But instead of telling anyone, Xavier allowed her to live with him. Several years later, Xavier writes a thesis regarding his theory that Mutants are a by-product of the Atom bomb. This gets the attention of the CIA who ask him for help in taking down the Hellfire Club leading him to meet Erik (Magneto).
15Which group did Mystique choose to join?
Raven Darkhölme, also known as Mystique, had a very complex backstory which almost rivals that of Wolverine’s. As a child, she ran away and ended up in Xavier’s home who offered to let her stay. So she did, but after many years Raven started to develop feelings for Xavier who didn’t exactly reciprocate them. Then she had a brief romance with Hank (who later became Beast), but he wanted to repress his mutation for the sake of being normal. Meanwhile, Erik accepted Raven for who she was and encouraged her to see herself the same way.
16What was Viper capable of?
In the aftermath of Magneto’s attempted uprising against the US Government, many Mutants died including Jean Grey who was killed by Wolverine after she was possessed by the Phoenix. Feeling guilty for her death, Wolverine went into hiding until a young Japanese woman found him. She asks Wolverine to come to Japan at the request of someone he saved during World War II who is currently dying. So Wolverine reluctantly comes, but soon gets mixed up in a kidnapping attempt after a mysterious woman injects something into him.
17Apart from phasing through solid objects, what else can Kitty Pryde do?
During an exercise in the school’s Danger Room, where the students go to test the full capabilities of their Mutant powers, Kitty Pryde demonstrated her ability to phase through solid objects when dodging attacks by the holographic Sentinel robots, which became useful during Magneto's uprising against the US government. Later, when Mutants are being hunted down by real Sentinels, she plays a key-role in Xavier’s plan to reverse the events that led up to the Sentinels’ creation in the first place.
18Which country is Colossus from?
Though he hasn’t been focused on nearly as much as the other X-Men, Colossus is always hanging out in the background. For instance, he helped some of the younger Mutant children escape the school when Colonel Stryker sent a military strike-team to capture them. Then in the far-future, he was one of the Mutants who fought against the oncoming Sentinels while Wolverine’s conscious was being sent to the past to reverse the events that led up to that future. But in this new timeline, he’s made it his personal mission to recruit Deadpool to the X-Men.
19Does Deadpool still have cancer despite his regenerative ability?
Small-time mercenary Wade Wilson had a pretty easygoing life, despite his best-friend betting on whether he’ll live or die soon in the “Dead Pool” gambling racket. Yet he soon found love and everything seemed to be going great until one fatal day when he’s diagnosed with cancer. Around this time, a mysterious man offers him an experimental treatment that could get rid of the cancer. So Wade takes his chances, but it ends up being a cover for illegal Mutant experimentation where the test-subjects are put through extreme pain in order to trigger their mutation.
20How many Mutant followers did Apocalypse require to reshape the world?
Despite Xavier’s belief that Mutants came about after World War II with the Atomic Bomb, it turns out they’ve been around much longer than that. Apart from Wolverine, there is one other Mutant who is much older by the name of En Sabah Nur, who is considered by an Egyptian cult to be the first Mutant who ever existed. Legend has it that he could grant powers to other Mutants as well as accumulate them for himself. Typically, he picked a select number of followers who would help him bring about an “Apocalypse” of sorts to reshape the world.
21How did Storm's hair become white?
Back in the 1980s, the woman who would become known as Storm was an orphan by the name of Ororo Munroe. Along with her friends, she would wander the streets of Cairo, Egypt and use her Mutant power of controlling the weather to distract the street-vendors while stealing money from them. It was there that she met En Sabah Nur (also known as Apocalypse), who saved her from some attacking thugs by burying them in sand so she brought him to her home.
22Can Nightcrawler teleport anywhere?
With the existence of Mutants exposed after Mystique attempted to assassinate the future creator of the Sentinels, enrolment for Xavier’s school spiked up. But elsewhere, the treatment of Mutants is still not great. In Nightcrawler’s case, he gets dragged into a German cage-fight and has to fight another Mutant nicknamed “Angel” to entertain the bigoted audience at the risk of being killed by them. Fortunately, he’s saved by Mystique and ends up going with her to America to meet Xavier.
23When did Quicksilver officially join the X-Men?
Known for his incredible speed and ability to break into any building imaginable, Peter Maximoff gained enough of a reputation to catch Xavier’s interest when he and Hank decide to break Magneto out of the Pentagon prison. The reason for this is that Wolverine (whose future conscious inhabits his past body) claims they’ll need Magneto’s help to prevent the Sentinels from being created in the aftermath of Mystique assassinating their creator. Then later, Peter helped save most of Xavier’s students when the School for Gifted Youngsters exploded partially due to Apocalypse.
24Why does Caliban prefer staying in the shade?
Because of his ability to track other Mutants, Caliban becomes a valuable asset to both humans and Mutants alike. He has no preference for which side he works for, so long as he gets paid for his services. Such was the case when he helped Mystique find other Mutants, whom she saved from dire situations such as wars and cage-fights. But when he is forced to help Transigen locate the remaining Mutants for their twisted experiments, he decides to go rogue and join Wolverine.
25Who is Laura's father?
In the far-but-not-too-distant future, almost all the Mutants are dead and a new one hasn’t been born in 25 years. The only ones who remain are Wolverine, now older as his Healing Factor has gotten weaker causing him to not heal from injuries as quickly as before, Caliban, and Xavier who suffers from a unique brain-related disease where he has mental seizures that cause other people’s minds to suffer as well. Things only complicate further when Wolverine is left to care for a young girl named Laura who’s being targeted by Transigen.