Headscratchers: X-Men

  • How did Bobby prove to Rogue that it wasn't him (and that it was actually Mystique, disguised as Bobby) who told her that she should leave the school? It's shown to be incredibly difficult for someone to prove that he/she isn't a shapeshifter while standing right next to someone who's skeptical— one can imagine it'd be almost impossible to prove it after the fact.
    • Rogue has a working brain and can figure out that when she's abducted when she leaves the mansion, maybe the boy who just told him to leave the mansion wasn't the boy who obviously had a thing for her in every other scene.
    • Rogue knows that Magneto planned to use her for his machine. She knows he has a minion that can shapeshift. She knows that someone told her to leave the mansion - acting a little differently to how they usually did. It's not unreasonable to think she asked Bobby about 'what he said' and he told the truth - that he never said it. If he was that desperate to make her believe him, he could get Jean to read his mind and prove he's telling the truth.
  • As shown in the x-ray of Logan's arm, his Adamantium claws reside safely between the bones of his knuckles when not "in use." This means that they actually extend from his forearm and PAST his wrist. So... wouldn't they tear through his skin any time he bent his wrist without popping the claws?
    • Why do they have to come through the flesh and skin instead of natural tunnels like animals usually have?
    • Maybe they retract all the way past the wrist.
    • They do indeed retract past his wrists. He has to keep his arms and hands in straight alignment or the claws won't release. Same thing with his bone claws, he's already got natural sheathes/channels that house the claws when not in use. I seem to recall Jean demonstrating based on the X-rays that the claws end up displacing some of the bones in his wrists before they fully emerge.
    • Comicvine.com had a debate on it; they decided the X-ray was wrong.
  • Magneto stopping the bullet millimeters from the cop's forehead when leaving the train station. Assuming that he could stop the bullet fast enough, that strong of a magnetic field would have stopped the bullet's rotation as well, as imperfections in the bullet would have lined up with the magnetic field he was projecting. Sure, after stopping it he could rotate the field for effect, but why waste the energy?
    • Didn't he grind it into the guy's forehead a little? Spinning helps it grind better than simply pushing it against the skin.
    • The magnetic fields Magneto uses rarely make sense. It's more like he simply has telekinesis that only works on metal, rather than generating magnetic fields.
    • Magneto's power is ridiculously fine-tuned magnetic fields. He can generate tiny little fields all around an object, holding it in place or manipulating it as he sees fit.
    • Also, when he stops the bullet it's no longer accelerating, so how is it a threat to the cop? If Magneto quit stopping the bullet, it would just fall to the ground.
      • It wasn't a threat, the cop was just freaking out. The threat was that he could shoot all the guns off at once but couldn't stop all those bullets from killing everyone at once.
      • It was still a threat, as Magneto was slowly pushing the bullet into the cop's forehead.
    • I figured he was torturing the man. Notice how the skin on his forehead was reddening around the bullet? Magneto was pushing and grinding the bullet ever so slowly into the man's head, knowing that Xavier would sense the man's pain and terror, and possibly hear his groaning. Magneto wanted to hammer home to Xavier what was at stake.
    • Guys, wasn't it Xavier that stopped the bullet? Magneto was the one that fired it, and Xavier was stopping it from killing the cop. Magneto then goes on to say that he could not stop all of them.
      • No. Xavier is telepathic, not telekinetic. He can read and influence minds—that's all. He has absolutely no ability to manipulate matter with his mind. Listen to what Magneto says more carefully.
      • I thought Jean stopped the bullet.... *** And you're wrong.
      • as I recall, Magneto said I don't think I can stop them all when he cocked the rest of the guns, suggesting that it was Magneto stopping the bullet using his powers.
    • Magneto was using the cops as hostages, threatening to start killing them if Xavier didn't let him go. He was perfectly capable of stopping all of the bullets; he was giving Xavier the implied threat that the next time he pulled a trigger, he wouldn't stop the bullet and the bodies would start to mount.

  • Magneto let Rogue touch him for several seconds, yet he had enough magnetic power to stop Wolverine from disabling that machine. Later Rogue touched Wolverine for just a couple of seconds but she absorbed his powers and his manners for days while sending him into a coma. It just bugs me that her powers are more dependent on the plot rather than logic...
    • Magneto is both much more powerful than Wolverine and has a much stronger mind. Wolverine's powers are passive; Magneto manipulates energy on a grand scale. Wolverine is an amnesiac drifter with no purpose; Magneto is a visionary and a death camp survivor. There's also the fact that Wolverine was actively trying to give her his powers, while Magneto was trying to control her.
      • Don't forget that Wolverine's power is to heal himself (which is exactly what he was giving to Rogue, and she needed a lot of it), meaning that her absorbing his power would cause his rather brutal injuries to start catching up with him, as well as her own damaging effect. Magneto was simply giving her enough of his own power (which has nothing to do with maintaining his health) to her so that she could work the machine, without needing to worry if she would survive.
      • Uh, there's also this thing that his healing factor is the only thing keeping him alive as he has lots of foreign substance between his bones and rest of his body. That's a lot to compensate.
    • It happens in the comics all the time. According to the Marvel Universe handbook (volume 6!), her power is supposed to work on a 1:60 ratio. I.E., one second of contact means sixty seconds of abilities. One minute would be an hour. However, Plot!Power seems to go into effect whenever anyone writes her nowadays, so the film isn't any different.
  • How did Cyclops get into the Cerebro room, since the door opens through a retinal scan?
    • I don't recall anybody saying that only Xavier has access. Jean has to have access so she can fix the thing, and as heir apparent Scott would have to have it as well.
      • The point isn't who has access. The point is retinal scan on a man whose retinas would instantly destroy the scanner. Presumably he's got some kind of bypass, but still.
      • Cerebro's door lock looks to be covered in a red filter, I'd imagine it wouldn't be hard to have covered the scanner in the same ruby quartz that Cyclop's glasses/visor are made from, to protect the scanner from him. Alternately, why couldn't it scan him directly through his glasses?
      • Maybe the door is set to open whenever Scott lightly shoots it.
      • That idea is much more hilarious than it probably should be when you read "shoots" as "coughs at" as I did at first...
      • Voice override. Charles would have the foresight to make sure Scott could get in without a retinal scan in an emergency.
      • Or a chip in his visor that triggers the door in combination with a spoken command.
      • I always thought that the doors opened automatically when the user was finished. Since Jean had finished using cerebro, they opened to let her out.
    • After the doors were closing when he saw Jean he started slamming on the doors and loked pretty frantic. It would seem that he doesn't have the ability to open them and that it only opened after Jean was finished using Cerebro to let her ie. the user out.
  • Storm's powers seem a little inconsistent in the first film, especially in the final fight sequence. In the first part of the fight with Toad, she basically gets her ass handed to her, which I'm fine with. After all, they're inside, and Toad (in this universe) is a competent martial artist. Then comes the moment where Toad kicks her down an elevator shaft. She suddenly becomes insanely powerful. Sure, this could be her Berserk Button since she's claustrophobic and all, but it's never mentioned that this is the cause of her sudden Phenomenal Cosmic Power. Then she manages to strike the railing Toad is hanging on to with lightning while standing several feet away. I'd think you'd need a pretty good handle on your powers to be able to do something like that. You'd have to be pretty accurate, and such. Yet, a few scenes later, she tells Wolverine that she can't use her wind powers to blow him over the torch because she can't 'control it like that'. I was annoyed with movie-Storm in general, so I may be a bit biased, but did anyone else spot this?
    • There's a bit of difference between making lightning strike a particular (metal) target and controlling wind with enough precision to make someone else fly accurately. They're more or less entirely different skillsets. You'll recall, when she used wind against Toad, it wasn't with any sort of precision beyond "Blow in this direction a lot."
  • So... Where did Mystique put Senator Kelly's cell phone? Watch the scene, and then see if you can answer me.
    • On that note, where exactly did she hide that tube of coma-inducing poison when she infiltrated Xavier's Hogwarts for Mutants?
      • People, it's frigging Mystique. You KNOW where she hid it. She's the type who isn't squeamish about things like that.
      • So she kept it in her hair?
      • With the Tube-o-Coma (tm) maybe, but I'll tell you where she put the cell phone: In her jacket... which was made of her skin... so.....?
      • ...so hypothetically, her pockets are bodily orifices?
      • No, factually.
      • If they are using the same abilities from her comic book appearances, she is just creating pockets inside herself. She's hidden a pistol in her abdomen and even shifted her internal organs to prevent internal damage from gunshots.
  • Why didn't Professor X, upon taking control of Sabretooth and Toad's mind, make them rip off Magneto's helmet instead of making them grab his throat/walk away, that way he could take control of Magneto?
    • Fun fact: The helmet prop couldn't be put on and taken off like a normal hat. It came in two pieces, which had to be fitted together around Sir Ian's head. From this we can infer that Magneto created a helmet that can't be removed by anyone but him (or someone with heavy-duty cutting equipment). It's too bad they didn't give us an on-screen helmet removal to demonstrate this.
    • Alternatively, why not have Sabertooth just slug Magneto and knock him out?
    • Well, since no attack could be instantaneous, there would be the worry of Magneto using the moment before he got taken down to pull all those triggers.
      • Xavier's something of a pacifist, and being Magneto's former friend, he thinks he can talk him down and wasn't going to resort to violence unless he'd exhausted the option of peaceful surrender.
  • So Magneto's entire evil plan revolved around getting Rogue to take on his powers to power the mutant machine, but how does that FORCE her to make the rings spin? I guess theoretically, the Machine might forcibly draw power from the mutant in question, but why wouldn't they tell us that?
    • It looked to me about half Magneto used what power he had left to put her hands on the machine, and half Power Incontinence on Rogue's part; since she'd never used the power before and was generally untrained and panicing, she just couldn't turn it off.
    • When Rogue touches Colossus in the third film, she immediately turns metal - meaning she probably uses whatever powers she's picked up instantly. She's had no experience with the powers she's absorbed so she has no idea how to control them.
  • Okay, Magneto's helmet prevents telepaths from entering his head. But why can't Xavier do it at the beginning when he isn't wearing it?
    • He does go in. As he himself admits, looking for hope. Presumably he also looks to try to find out what Magneto's plotting, but Magneto's mind is disciplined enough that he can carry on a conversation while thinking really hard about, I don't know, Mel Brooks films. And as to why he doesn't just mind-control him at that point — Xavier's too ethical to just walk up to someone and control their mind. Foolish, perhaps, but very much in character, and there's nothing in the film to suggest Magneto's done anything spectacularly evil to that point.
    • He did, I assume. That's how he knows where Magneto's sending Sabretooth and why he's able to send Cyclops and Storm to rescue Wolverine and Rogue. And as to why he doesn't just mind-control him at that point — presumably because Erik's his friend.
  • The entire final act of this movie makes no sense at all. Magneto's goal is to cause mutations in the world leaders which will basically force the most powerful people in the world to take a more sympathetic stance regarding mutants and herald a new age of mutant rights. Before he goes to Liberty Island, Magneto knows that the artificial mutation killed his one and only test subject. He proceeds with his plan anyways with full knowledge that he will not, in fact, be mutating the world leaders thus forcing them to change their views. He will be committing a mass murder of world leaders which would of course result in every important country in the world declaring full-out war on mutants. A mutant genocide would most likely not take very long.
    • He doesn't know that Kelly is dead. All he knows is that the X-Men claim he is dead. From his perspective (that of a visionary megalomaniac on the verge of triumph) that would sound like the desperate lie of a defeated foe. And even if he thought they were telling the truth, he might have told himself that only some of the heads of state would die — others would take the mutation, and then he'd have half the world as allies and the other half leaderless.
    • In addition to the previous response, it should be noted that Magneto's response to Storm's claim was "Are you sure you saw what you think you saw?" Although it wasn't followed up in the sequels, it is possible that was meant to be a Sequel Hook—consider the nature of Senator Kelly's mutation. He became some kind of squishy, gelatinous fish-thing, probably akin to a humanoid jellyfish (note the first shot on the beach before he emerges from the water, apparently unharmed). The fact that his death was the result of turning in to water, it's possible there were considerations made that he would reappear with a mutation similar to the comic book character Hydro-Man (a Spider-Man villain). How they would have shoehorned him into the sequel, I've no idea.
      • I always understood it to mean "are you sure MY mutation thingy killed him?" because senator Kelly may have used his powers to kill himself. He was disgusted and distraught by what he had become. he even tells Storm she has one less bigot to worry about before dying... meaning he was still a bigot after seeing what he was.
      • No, he told her she had one less normal person to be afraid of. Bigotry wasn't mentioned in that conversation.
    • Something else to consider: although we never see it, it should be assumed that Magneto had tested the machine prior to using it on Senator Kelly; otherwise, how could he know it would work at all? If all it did was kill people, there would be no good reason to assume it could be used as anything more than a weapon of mass destruction. The X-Men's assumption that the machine kills was based on only one example, and possibly a very atypical one at that. Of course, if the movie didn't play out the way it did, Magneto's plan might have actually made sense to the audience and painted Magneto as either a Sympathetic Villain (which wouldn't have been hard, given he's a Holocaust survivor), and/or worse, a Designated Villain.
      • 1. The X-Men established that the unnatural-ness of Kelly's mutation made it unstable; his dying was just the end result of that. 2. If the test subjects took as long to die as Senator Kelly, Magneto might have not waited around long enough to see them die.
      • Another option is that Magneto has done multiple tests, and has observed that the effect is fatal (or, in other words, the mutation is rejected and unstable) some of the time, but not all of the time. Since his plan is to use it against so many people, he would have enough survivors for his aims, and considers the losses acceptable. He doesn't bother sharing this information with the X-Men, because he knows they wouldn't agree with the 'acceptable' bit anyway.
      • Another possibility is that his test subjects were latent mutants who had 1 allele for mutancy that enabled them to survive. This happens sometimes in the comics because the gene is recessive. Kelly had no alleles for mutancy, making the mutation fatal.
    • Actually, its highly unlikely that he tested it on anyone before Senator Kelly. When he first built the machine, he probably used it to find out if it worked at all (ie. can he turn it on), and would have discovered, assuming he hadn't already theorised, that while it does work, it also nearly kills him. So, if he wants to see if it does its job and turns humans into mutants, he is probably only going to have time for one test run since the more tests he does, the more likely he will die before he can complete his objective. And for his test subject he decides to pick the leader of the anti-mutant lobby for reasons of Laser-Guided Karma.
  • While giving the tour of the school to Rogue Xavier makes an off hand comment that one of the things he teaches his students is to maintain a low profile, or as he puts it "Anonymity is the best defense" or something to that effect. However the entire school is filled with mutants that look perfectly normal. They have that option. The most outlandish any of the X-men have to look is wearing a pair of goofy sunglasses, and hell even then only when he's in combat, since it's established that Scott routinely wears normal sunglasses most of the time. Xavier, Orono, Scott, Logan, all the students we see... none of them are physically obvious mutants. All the "evil" mutants save Magneto himself don't have the option of simply "blending in." Sabertooth is giant and hairy, Toad is green and scaly, Mystique is flippin' blue. Yeah she's a shapeshifter, but I'm assuming there is some limit to how long she can hold a shape and even if there isn't as she said in the second movie, she shouldn't have to. How exactly are those three just supposed to blend into a normal crowd Charles? You can spot their mutation from across the street. At night. Through heavy clothing. Now to be fair maybe this was an intentional subtext the film makers were going for, and in the later movies in the series abnormal looking protagonist and normal looking antagonist characters were introduced, but still in that moment in the first movie it made Professor X seem really naive.
    • It might not be fair to those three but for what appears to be most mutants anonymity is really the best option.
    • I expect that the more conspicuous mutants being part of the Brotherhood was intentional; they would realistically be less likely to favour an accommodationist perspective because normal society's rejection of mutants is more apparent to them.
      • As later films show, Mistique and Sabretooth can easily blend in if they want to, it's just that they don't. Yes I know they shouldn't have to but as we see in First Class Mistique can hold her form indefinitely and Sabretooth just needs to shave a bit then he's just another tall guy.
      • The writers brought Nightcrawler out in the 2nd film presumably because they realized this dichotomy. Also, it may be a minor case of Adaptation Explanation Extrication because in the comics, Charles has given some of his freakish students image inducers and other tech to enable them to blend in.
  • Why did Magneto decide to use the machine on Senator Kelly? Even if he did want to inflict an ironic fate on the man wouldn't it have made much more sense to test the machine on someone completely unknown and then transfer his powers to Rogue for the main event? It's not like he couldn't have gotten Sen. Kelly after the events of the movie.
    • Kelly's a good target to get rid of even if Magneto didn't want to use the machine on him: He's the leading activist for the Mutant Registration Act, so if he's missing, then the Act is that much less likely to pass. Also, turning Kelly into a mutant is a poetic microcosm of his larger plan: Bring leaders around by making them the "mutant problem." He was basically not just telling Kelly to walk a mile in his shoes, but nailing the shoes to his feet permanently.
  • When Rogue absorbed Wolverine's healing factor, she touched him long enough to render him unconscious. That seems to imply she absorbed quite a lot of his power what with adamantium adding well enough stress on that healing. Exactly how did he survive that?
    • Artistic License - Biology: Wolverine has healed his injuries but they magically open up when Rogue takes his powers. Why are healed wounds reopening fresh?
    • You're assuming all of his healing is actually instantaneous. The most advantageous part of a wound to heal first is the entry point to prevent infection or foreign bodies from infiltrating the body. It's entirely possible that his healing factor was still working on internal injuries and when she deprived him of it, the wounds reopened.
  • So how does Magneto learn about Rogue? during the opening she is nothing but a drifter traveling from place to place - and yet somehow the Brotherhood learn of not only her location in some random truck stop but also of her powers?
    • They learned about her through the 'putting her boyfriend in a coma by kissing him' event (especially with all the anti-mutant feeling, it's not unreasonable to assume it was in the news), and then they tracked her.
      • But the boyfriend wasn't a mutant. Until the Wolverine incident, how would they have known her power included sapping mutant powers?
      • Maybe they arrange for a mutant to test her powers and then tell me? As to why she didn't catch on despite the stolen memories...when you have a strangers thoughts in your head, would you focus on them or push them aside and try to ignore them. I could be wrong though.
    • What was Magneto's plan before he learnt about Rogue? Did he come up with his Mutant Making Machine after learning about her, or had he already come up with it and was going to sacrifice himself and just chickened out of the plan when he worked out he could stuff Rogue into it instead?
      • Most likely, he built the machine and was trying to work out the "using it is a form of suicide" glitch that it had developed. Whilst trying to hammer that problem out, one of his minions saw a Fox News report about a half-fairy in the Deep South that put a boy in a coma by touching him. Mags put 2 and 2 together and figured that she could be used to power his machine without causing him more trouble than a bit of bedrest and a spot of tea could fix.
    • But at what point would anybody think that just knocking out a non-mutant for a while would mean she could "borrow" mutants powers?
      • Rogue intentionally stole Wolverine's powers in order to heal herself. In other words, she already knew that she could do that; ergo, there was probably some other off-screen incident where she touched a mutant and borrowed their powers. Magneto learnt of this (maybe even engineered it if he'd heard of her before to test that theory) and acted accordingly.
  • Professor Xavier claims that he can't find Magneto using Cerebro; but he wouldn't need to - surely all he would need to do would be to scan for Toad, Sabretooth and Mystique given how they very clearly have no way to block his powers.
    • Presumably they have a larger hiding spot, as Magneto is seen without his helmet and Xavier isn't always actively searching for them because he has a school to run.
    • Most likely, Magneto has made sure his entire base is protected from Xavier's telepathy.
      • Probably, but what bugs me is that he actually had Toad and Sabretooth under his influence, yet he never realized "Hey, what if I just looked into their memories to find out where Magneto's hideout is?" Especially since Toad had already piloted a helicopter there.
      • When Xavier controlled Toad and Sabretooth, he wasn't exactly in a position where he could focus on finding out Magneto's hideout, moreso he was concerned about beckoning Magneto to spare those dozen-or-so cops from being executed right there and then. On top of that, as evidenced by Xavier looking into Kelly's mind, he can't really just pull co-ordinate precise locations out of a person's head, even when in close contact.
  • When I first watched the film, the opening scene was Jean describing junk DNA and how that was where the mutant gene came from. The home versions start off with the end of the speech and Kelly asking about mutants and there's no deleted scene for it. Was there any reason given for why it was cut?
  • How did Logan manage to sheathe his claws during the final battle after Magneto bent them the wrong way? This was the scene at the climax when Logan was about to cut Rogue out of the machine before Magneto caught him.
    • Magneto didn't bend them. He pushed them back, and the lightshow the machine was giving off just made them look warped.
  • Assuming Magneto didn't kill Senator Kelly and Mystique impersonated him to revoke the bill at the end, what was Xavier's plan for a) stopping the Mutant Registration or b) ensuring that it wasn't abused against harmless mutants? Magneto said "Let them pass that law and they'll have us all in chains." Xavier says it won't come to that; did he have a plan for stopping that? Assuming that he wasn't going to use his telepathy to Mind Rape Senator Kelly into changing his position of course because that would be wrong.
    • Quite simply, Xavier isn't as paranoid and cynical as Magneto and doesn't think that Mutant Registration is designed to legalize death camps. And his plan for stopping it passing was, you know, through the power of law and democracy- he was counting on Jean and opponents of the Act to win the vote (and failing that, get the courts to declare it unconstitutional), and the film never tells us which side is winning the argument (though in the helicopter scene, Kelly is trying and failing to convince another Senator to back him, so he doesn't sound guaranteed to win) so for all we know, Xavier's strategy would have worked. Magneto is a crazed, paranoid terrorist with delusions of grandeur and traumatic memories of Auschwitz, so even if he makes convincing arguments, he is not exactly an objective observer and his reading of events is likely to be biased and flawed.
  • Why did no one (besides the X-Men) notice a senator's eyes suddenly turning bright yellow on national television?
    • Because it was over in less than half a second, and they weren't looking for it. If they did see it, they'd probably chalk it up to just their TV or the video feed being on the fritz. It's not like everybody on the planet knows of Mystique and her particular shapeshifting quirks.
      • Maybe lots of people did see it, but faster than you can say "Conspiracy Nut" they were all mocked and made fun of for thinking a trick of the light meant anything odd.