Previously, Matthew Vaughn had announced his intention to further integrate mutants into American history, such as showing that Magneto was the one behind the bullet that killed President Kennedy. Just because he’s no longer on the project doesn’t mean his idea can’t be aped by Singer for a pre-movie credit sequence showing all the ways in which mutants have covertly influenced the way of things. It’s an easy device to make the audience go “Aha!" at the opening of a movie, depending on how well it’s used. (It was the best part of “Watchmen," sadly.)
Here are some of the events that occurred in 1973 that could be attributed to the X-Men, should Singer do what’s right.
The Vietnam War ends. Though he’d previously pledged his intent to never use his powers to overtly influence someone’s actions, Professor Xavier breaks edge and manipulates President Richard Nixon into signing documents that effectively cease America’s offensive involvement in Vietnam following a decade of failed policies and military engagements. The move is reportedly triggered when the government secretly recruits a group of mutant specialists to fight a guerilla war in the jungle, despite refusing to officially acknowledge the rights of mutantkind. (Wait, this might kind of be a good story on its own.)
Similarly, the Watergate scandal breaks. Deep Throat is actually Moira McTaggart, acting individually to reveal Nixon’s indignities for what she sees as America’s unfair policy toward mutants. Also, Bob Woodward is really a low-level telepath -- how else could he chase the story the right way? (Please, good journalism is a myth.)
The Sears Tower is completed. It’s hard funding a mutant insurgency, which is why Magneto agrees to accept money in exchange for completing the last round of construction on what becomes the tallest building in the world. “This is degrading," he mutters to himself while willing the metal beams into their proper shapes and patterns. “I should’ve just robbed a bank."
Led Zeppelin plays before the biggest crowd in American history. Nothing special here, except to note that several of Xavier’s students get busted for commandeering the X-Jet to fly them down to Tampa Bay to catch Zep in their hard rock prime. Xavier, sadly, has always been more of a Who guy, and thus has no sympathy for his rule-breaking charges.
"Gravity’s Rainbow" is published by Thomas Pynchon. “Pynchon" is just a pen name for the prodigiously intelligent Hank McCoy, in attempt to avoid attention because of his furry demeanor. “Pynchon" refuses to give interviews or be photographed, which makes it a lot easier to maintain the facade.
Secretariat wins the Preakness. Unbeknownst to everyone, the famous racing horse Secretariat is simply a shapeshifted Mystique, because even mutant terrorists need to get some exercise every once in a while. “I didn’t know you liked horse racing," Magneto asks her when she returns with trophy in hand. “You never asked," she pouts!
Miller Brewing Company introduces Lite Beer. And Wolverine would never be out of shape ever again. Sadly, the introduction of lite beer is why he rejects Xavier a second time when he comes a-calling.
This Mutant Life explores all corners of the cinematic X-verse, from the kids of "First Class" to the berserker rage of "The Wolverine." Suggest topics for future columns in the comments or on Twitter!
Previously on This Mutant Life: