X-Men Universe, Past & Present – Who Played Who Better?

The X-Men Universe is an ever-expanding collection of films based upon Marvel Comics’ Mutants. Many of the nine films in the X-Men Universe have featured different iterations of the same beloved characters. We’ve even seen these different iterations tackle the same storylines- and lines of dialogue!

It’s easy to get somewhat lost trying to follow who’s playing who- but which actor played them best?

1. Professor X – Patrick Stewart Vs James McAvoy

Old School V New!

Old School V New!

If McAvoy and Stewart’s character’s existed in the same timeline, it’d be almost impossible to choose, but as McAvoy plays a younger version of an already established Professor X, his portrayal simply adds to an already amazing character! Both actors have done a brilliant job and McAvoy’s portrayal in the revised X-Men timeline has allowed us a much closer look at a character we wanted more of.

Winner: Gotta say this one’s a tie!

Which Professor X gets your vote?0 Votes

2. Magneto – Ian McKellan Vs Michael Fassbender


These two bare an uncanny resemblance to one another, and have very similar portrayals of Magneto. One thing I think we weren’t afforded with McKellan’s portrayal is a look at the emotional depths of Magneto- besides his hatred of the human race. Fassbender’s younger Magneto has done wonders for the character’s on screen arc, giving us more insight into his motivations, and the reasons he becomes the ruthless McKellan Magneto.

Winner: This one has to hands down go to Michael Fassbender!

Which Magneto gets your vote?0 Votes

3. Storm – Halle Berry Vs Alexandra Shipp

Which accent is worse? lol

Which accent is worse? lol

In the comics Storm is a badass, a natural born leader, and a member of the X-Men. Raised in Cairo (& Harlem), Storm was born in Kenya, which explains why both Berry and Shipp decided to try their hands at accents for Storm. Neither actress did a good job; Berry slipped in and out of her accent, and Shipp’s was not great, to say the least. Though she looked closer to her comic book counterpart, Shipp’s portrayal of the legendary Storm was just as far removed from the Ororo we know and love as Berry’s.

Winner: Neither. I await patiently for a faithful iteration of Ororo.

Which Storm gets your vote?0 Votes

4. Jean Grey (+ Phoenix) – Famke Janssen Vs Sophie Turner

Phoenix V Phoenix!

Phoenix V Phoenix!

In the comics, Jean Grey is a founding member of the X-Men and Omega level mutant. The Phoenix Saga story-line is one of the most famous and successful in Marvel Comics history. Famke Janssen spent the majority of her Phoenix Saga story-line staring at things with a strong gust of wind to rattle her hair and costume about, so although Janssen’s portrayal of Jean had always been good – if a bit mediocre, they didn’t give her a lot to work with – the climax of her story felt lacking.

For X-Men: Apocalypse, Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner took on the role of a young Jean in the X-Men Revised Timeline. Struggling to control her powers, this Jean wasn’t as finessed as the one we’d seen in previous X-Men films, but with the culmination of her tapping into the Phoenix Force to kill Apocalypse, we got at the kind of Jean we’d been waiting a HELL of a long time to see.

Winner: I’m going to go ahead and give it to Sophie Turner, purely for the new and improved Phoenix Saga storyline! Would love to see Famke Janssen return though!

Which Jean Grey gets your vote?0 Votes

5. Cyclops – James Marsden Vs Tye Sheridan


In the comics, Cyclops is a founding member of the X-Men. James Marsden did a good job at bringing the character to life for the big screen, but not quite enough to be memorable. Tye Sheridan took on the role of a young Scott Summers for the revised timeline, in a portrayal that I think was more interesting than Marsden’s. It’s also worth noting that Tim Pocock played Cyclops, albeit briefly, in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Winner: I’m gonna make this one a tie between Tye Sheridan and Tim Pocock, as I liked both portrayals.

Which Cyclops gets your vote?0 Votes

6. Mystique – Rebecca Romijn Vs Jennifer Lawrence

Battle of the blue gals!

Battle of the blue gals!

Raven a.k.a. Mystique is a supervillain , often seen as an enemy to the X-Men, and member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. The insistence on having younger Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) at the forefront of the franchise has led to some pretty mediocre storytelling, and an almost unrecognisable portrayal of the character.

The age-old saying “Rebecca Romijn was a better Mystique” will live on for years to come, as although Lawrence did a good job playing Raven, her stint as Mystique has been less than impressive. It’s still the ruthlessness, nonchalance and lethal ability of Rebecca Romijn’s Mystique that makes me love the character even more. I also much prefer the darker blue of Romijn’s Mystique, to Lawrence’s garish bright blue.

Winner: Absolutely no contest, this one’s going to Rebecca Romijn! Would love to see her play the character again in future films!

Which Mystique gets your vote?0 Votes

7. Beast – Kelsey Grammer Vs Nicholas Hoult

Original Beast V New Beast!

Original Beast V New Beast!

Beast is a Mutant with superior intellect and is also a founding member of the X-Men. He was played in earlier X-Men films by Kelsey Grammer and by Nicholas Hoult in later films, portraying his younger counterpart. Both actors have done a pretty good job at playing Beast, but seeing the origins of the character with Hoult have been especially interesting and a real draw for the character.

As with Mystique, I do prefer the darker blue colour of the original Beast, but it’s the personality of younger Beast that I think gives Hoult’s Beast that slight edge.

Winner: It’s a close call, but I’m going to give this one to Nicholas Hoult!

Which Beast gets your vote?0 Votes

8. Nightcrawler – Alan Cumming Vs Kodi Smit-McPhee

Grown up Kurt V Emo Kurt

Grown up Kurt V Emo Kurt

Nightcrawler’s been a pretty small character in the X-Men universe; his first appearance was in X2 as a brainwashed assassin, tasked with killing the President. Portrayed by Alan Cummings in this movie, and by Kodi Smit-McPhee in X-Men: Apocalypse as his younger counterpart, Nightcrawler’s been a fan favourite and has remained fairly consistent throughout.

he’s very vocal about his religion, something which translated well to screen in both performances. He’s a pretty consistent character, and hasn’t changed too drastically, though I would love to see more of him in future movies.

Winner: Going to make this one a draw, purely because I think both actors have done a solidly good job!

Which Nightcrawler gets your vote?0 Votes


9. Angel / Archangel – Ben Foster Vs Ben Hardy

X-Man V Henchman of Apocalypse

X-Man V Henchman of Apocalypse

Angel is also a founding member of the X-Men, and had a fairly significant role in earlier X-Men films, where he was played by Ben Foster. His character came across as a little lame in those films, and had it not been for his character’s revival in the Revised Timeline at the hands of Ben Hardy, it’s likely he would’ve remained less than impressive. Archangel’s appearance in X-Men: Apocalypse was a significant improvement on what we’d seen in previous films.

Winner: Ben Hardy!

Which Angel gets your vote?0 Votes

10. Moira McTaggart – Olivia Williams Vs Rose Byrne

Bare with me folks, this one gets weird.

Bare with me folks, this one gets weird.

In the Original Timeline, Moira is a doctor caring for Charles’ brain-dead twin; she later shows up for Charles’ funeral. In the Revised Timeline Moira is CIA, and meets Charles when she comes to him for help on genetic mutation. The original Moira didn’t really do much- however, Rose Byrne’s Moira has shown a significant portion of her character, and a lot more personality.

Winner: Rose Byrne’s Moira has to take this one!

Which Moira gets your vote?0 Votes

11. Psylocke – Mei Melancon Vs Olivia Munn


As excited as a lot of us were to hear of Psylocke’s inclusion in X-Men: Apocalypse, this character had actually already appeared in the X-Men Universe. Played by Mei Melancon, Psylocke appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand and was responsible for the attempted murder of Warren Worthington II. She later becomes a casualty of Phoenix’s destruction. Olivia Munn’s Psylocke is the more easily recognizable of the two, with her costume being almost an exact replica of her one from the comics. Though she looks the part, and fights the part, Munn’s Psylocke wasn’t given a ton to do.

Winner: For obvious reasons this one has to go to Olivia Munn. Though the leotard costume seemed out of place next to her fully-clothed fellow mutants, she remains the closest in look to her comic book counterpart.

Which Psylocke gets your vote?0 Votes

12. Sebastian Shaw – Charles Siegel Vs Kevin Bacon


Don’t all scream at once, but I am not a fan of the bacon man we call Kevin. Having said that, his portrayal of Sebastian Shaw – supervillain, leader of the Hellfire Club (NY) and businessman – was significantly better than the two seconds of footage we got in X2 with Charles Siegel.

Winner: The bacon man himself, Kevin.

Which Sebastian gets your vote?0 Votes

13. Colossus – Daniel Cudmore Vs Andre Tricoteux / Stefan Kapicic


Colossus is a pretty badass character that’s graced our screens a few times in the X-Men Universe. Initially played by Daniel Cudmore, he appeared in earlier films as an art student at Xavier’s school. Though he packs a hell of a punch, he’s never really given the chance to do anything significant, until his reincarnation in the form of Andre Tricoteux (body) and Stefan Kapicic (voice) in this year’s Deadpool.

Winner: A much more faithful portrayal, Deadpool’s Colossus was TONS better than his previous iterations, and a 1000% more faithful in looks, personality and origin to his comic book counterpart. This one goes to Andre and Stefan!

Which Colossus gets your vote?0 Votes

So that’s it! Almost every duplicated character in the X-Men Universe side by side with their counterparts, do you prefer the Revised Timeline, or the Original?

Sound off in the comments and let me know!

Note: This post omits smaller, less important characters like Emma Frost, Toad, Kitty Pryde & Jubilee!

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