Wolverine is the most popular mutant superhero and X-Men member of the Marvel Comic Book Universe. With the MCU about to introduce the X-Men into their shared universe, let’s take a look at the mutants who can fill Wolverine’s shoes.
Piotr Rasputin has the power to cover his entire body in a metallic sheath. His body generates layers of organic steel that encases his body in an invulnerable cocoon, giving him the ability of super human strength, durability, stamina, and endurance. Colossus is a long-time member of the X-Men and is considered to the world’s strongest mortal. Like Wolverine, Colossus too had a very complicated past. He was only a child when his sister was kidnapped by the Demon Belasco and trapped in the limbo dimension. Rasputin has been on the run ever since he escaped from his home. Colossus and Wolverine are polar opposites in terms of personality. That is why we believe Colossus would make for a good Wolverine replacement.
Kitty Pryde started out as a supporting member of the X-Men. Her powers of intangibility allowed her to phase through buildings and people. This made her the X-Men’s greatest infiltrator. Her phasing powers could even short circuit electronic security systems. As time went on, Kitty developed other powers like the ability to send her consciousness back in time. There has been no mutant that has been able to have such an incredible comeback like Shadowcat. She is still young and she has already become a leader for one of the X-Men Squadrons. She is the embodiment of the vision of Professor X when he created his School for Gifted Youngsters.
Kyle Gibney, like Wolverine, was born to a wealthy family but was later kicked out because of his temper and rage. He was later captured by Secret Empire and was injected with the DNA of Wyre. This gave him superior human physical attributes but deformed his appearance and gave him extreme psychological problems for life, something he struggles with till this date. Kyle Gibney has been involved with Alpha Flight and Department H. After being further experimented upon, Wild Child gained additional super human powers and was termed Weapon Omega, a step above Weapon X. He is more or less an anti-hero within the Marvel Comic Book Universe. He is someone who would be very well-suited but a very unconventional choice the role.
Laura Kinney has appeared in a live-action movie. X-23 was one of the most crucial characters in the critically acclaimed Logan. X-23 is basically a clone of Wolverine with the same powers and better training. She was designed to hunt down and kill Wolverine when the time came. X-23 has had terrible bad luck ever since Logan. Fans have been teased with X-23 leading the MCU’s X-Men ever since the Disney-Fox merger but it was all part of some sadists’ definition of a cruel joke. In the comics, X-23 struggles with the notion of being a clone and thus lacking a human soul. While Wolverine mainly dealt with his amnesia and memory loss in the X-Men movies, this could be the prima facie of X-23’s journey in the MCU.
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Cyclops is to the X-Men what Captain America is to the Avengers. Both are tactical experts with highly strategic mind-sets. Both are expert leaders and are quick on their feet when coming up with a battle plan. Rogers has the Super Soldier Serum while Scott has his optic laser blasts. When Hugh Jackman portrayed Wolverine in the X-Men movies, he basically stole the spotlight from Cyclops. It is time for Cyclops to shine. When the MCU welcome the X-Men, we want the latter to be led by Cyclops. There is one more reason why Cyclops would make sense. With Captain America’s departure from the movie franchise, someone needs to take up a leadership possession. Cyclops is known to be a very good leader in the comics. He would be a good alternative to the Super Soldier.
Apart from Wolverine, the only other mutant superhero who got his shot at multiple solo movies is none other than the Merc With a Mouth – Deadpool. Deadpool and Wolverine have had a history going way back in the Marvel Comic Book Universe. Wade Wilson is already a hit with his R-Rated movie universe starring Ryan Reynolds as the eponymous character. Deadpool has brand value that the MCU could explore. Like Wolverine he is famous and is a more grounded hero. Even most of their skills and powers match – Deadpool’s healing factor is said to be better than Wolverines and both had a love for using bladed weapons in combat.
The Gambit solo movie starring Channing Tatum as the titular lead may or may not happen. But there might be a potential for Tatum to get into Gambit’s shoes as part of his excursion into the MCU saga. Gambit has a lot of potential as a solo superhero. He likes working alone and is known to be a womanizer. Gambit also has a past connection with a shady organization like Wolverine does. Gambit is a prodigious member of the infamous Guild of Thieves. Marvel should consider him as a Wolverine replacement. This gambit (pun intended) might pay off in the long run.
Warren Worthington III is the heir to the a billion dollar empire. He is also a mutant known as Angel. Angel, as the name suggests, has two giant wings that make him look his name-sake. He also has super human physical attributes and a superior healing factor. After becoming one of Apolcalypse’s Horsemen, Angel becomes the Arch-Angel. His wings are now made up of hardened organic material that can pierce steel and act as a shield. Angel could be a good way to explore another side of the mutant story. He has only a few similarities with Wolverine but is fairly popular with the fans. One defining attribute of Angel’s powers is his ability to lend his healing factor to others by virtue of his mutant blood.
It is not like Hollywood has not tried to make a movie out of a guy’s ability to teleport. Jumper was a cult classic but managed to rake in enough numbers for creating franchise out of. But Nightcrawler is not just a tele-porter. He has a tremendously intricate backstory. Kurt Wagner is the son of Azazel, a demon lord who is trapped in another dimension and sires off-springs in the hopes that one of them will be able to free him of his cage. In the end, it will be selling this character too hard if the MCU overdoes its backstory in the hopes that fans connect with Wagner like they did with Logan. But like Angel, he too is worth a shot.