X2 was by far the best X-Men film of all and even with ALL of its inconsistencies, it was the consumer favorite. We saw the introduction of the Phoenix without the M'Kraan Crystal. Hmmmmm... For those who don't know, Emperor D'Ken of the Shi'ar Empire attempted to use the legendary power of the M'Kraan Crystal. His sister Lilandra, rightly believing such an attempt would destroy the universe, enlisted the aid of the X-Men to stop his plan. With the help of the Starjammers, D'Ken was defeated. The Crystal was repaired by the power of the Phoenix Force (who had taken the form and persona of Jean Grey) and the universe was saved.
But X-Men: Last Stand... Wow. So Bryan Singer left a successful X-Men run to do Superman Returns. (Superman Returns was that movie with an asteroid as the villain). Last Stand was just sad. We never got to see Jean Grey as the normal Phoenix and Magneto was already using the Dark Phoenix as his weapon. It was like Mortal Kombat 2 a sad display and waste of money. Halle Berry as Storm... Again... And oh yeah, Logan killed the Dark Phoenix by just stabbing her in the gut...
Fox then decided to focus all my attention on Hugh Jackman, The Wolverine. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was another waste of time. It was a character mashup, why gambit was in this movie I still don't know and this was the first step to destroying the Ryan Reynolds action hero career, this and of course the Green Lantern. they totally f***** over Deadpool don't even get me started with that.
X-Men: First Class was my second favorite X-Men movie. It paid Magneto some homage while showing how the original team was formed, no Marvel Girl or Cyclops of course, it was Havoc and Mystique. Was it me or did Bryan Singer have a massive boner for Mystique. We still never got the answers to why Jean Gray nor Scott Summers were in this movie. But now all of a sudden Havoc is Cyclops older brother!!!
The Wolverine was the third installment in the origins story. They blew it once again, not in action but on the actual story. It was the story of the Silver Samurai and they got that wrong. You would think just reading the actual comic book would help you create a masterpiece, but no, Yukio was a mutant, Silver Samurai was a man in a robot suit and Jean Gray looks kind of spooky. Only a few small things should ever have to change when doing comic book movies and that usually depends on contracts and time period.
Disney owns Marvel now. Fox owns the rights to all X-Men cinema. Marvel Studios, which has put out Iron Man 1-3, The Incredible Hulk, Thor 1-2, Captain America and the Avengers have done as much as possible to stick to the comic book roots with a few changes here and there, but I would rather watch Iron Man 2 then watch any other X-Men film except X2 and that is sad.
How Fox Saved Marvel's Ass
Before X-Men, there was Wesley Snipes in Blade, a Vampire action movie disguised as a Comic Book film. Singer's X-Men, for all of its outdated VFX and stale dialogue, is the first real Marvel movie and gave fans what they were begging for. Mutants trying to live in a world where humans fear them. The core theme of X1, was discrimination, the same as Stan Lee's first issue of Uncanny X-Men. Yes, Wolverine was scaled down and kind of soft. The Jubilee/Kitty Pryde new mutant on the block character was combined into Rogue. For fans of the 90's cartoon who saw Rogue as Jerk Off material, Sookie Stackhouse's A-cups and unsexy southern accent just didn't cut it. Halle Berry was cast as the sole sex-pot, given a bad wig, and asked to pull off an African accent that her acting skills weren't capable of delivering. Those were the big obvious flaws. But still, it gave us the X-Men, slightly different from the comics, but in a realistic way that left it open for improvement. X2 was far superior, but let's be honest, it was a Wolverine movie more than an X-Men film. X-3 stumbled in the same way Spiderman 3 did, a clear case of a studio thinking that bigger is better and putting VFX over storyline. It grossed the most out of all three, but the damage was done.
I give Fox credit, instead of rebooting the franchise, they choose to place it in the hands of Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn (who was supposed to direct Last Stand but pulled out) who besides Zack Snyder is probably one of comic's biggest supporters. First Class had to work within the parameters of Singer World, the same way Transformers has to work in the Bayformer Universe. Meaning, that the fans of the movies have no clue about the comic book most of the times, so in order to keep them from being confused you have to change the comic to fit the cinematic canon. Thus, Havoc is now the older brother. Mystique and Charles are in some weird brother/sister love affair. And Jean and Scott haven't even been thought of yet. This makes sense given that Iceman was already de-aged in X1 and Rogue lost all connection to The Brotherhood and Ms. Marvel as well. It's not Marvel's X-Men, it's Singer's X-Men, either you buy into that or boycott the movies all together because they will never get it right.
Bryan Singer has returned and Fox has publicly stated that they plan on doing things "the marvel way" by connecting all future X-Men films starting with Days of Future Past, moving into X-Men: Apocalypse, and the spinoff X-Force film. Unlike Sony Pictures which gave up on a Spiderman that everyone loved in Toby Mcguire, Fox knows that a generation of fans only know Fox's X-Men, and instead of going the easy route and rebooting, they are going to fix the wrong's that they've created. This is as close to an apology that anyone could ever get. The truth is without Fox, Bryan Singer, and his version of the The X-Men, Marvel comics would have never gotten to create their own film studio and we would have never gotten to Iron Man or The Avengers. Now if we could all get refund checks for sitting through those first Fantastic Four movies, all would be forgiven.