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X-Men: Dark Phoenix and 9 unforgettable X-Men movie moments

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After almost 20 years, nine interlinked movies and countless classic characters, the current X-Men saga finally comes to close with the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

The movie is the franchise's second crack at Chris Claremont's hugely popular 1982 comic book arc, in which the telekinetic Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) begins her transformation into the most powerful being in the known universe.

So, before Jean takes her Dark Phoenix form and messes up the mutants once and for all, let's take a look back at nine of the greatest moments from the superhero franchise so far.

1. X-Men (2000) – the gates of Auschwitz

So powerful that the scene gets revisited in X-Men: First Class, Eric Lehnsherr's childhood capture and imprisonment at Auschwitz in the first X-Men movie is an horrific image, and goes some way to justify his eventual actions as Magneto (Ian McKellen).

The separation from his mother unleashes his powers of metal manipulation for the first time, which bend and break the wrought iron gates of the concentration camp. After a handful of soldiers fail to restrain him, it takes a rifle butt to the face to put him down. But not out.


2. X2 (2003) – the death of Deathstrike

Lady Deathstrike/Yuriko (Kelly Hu) comes on like Wolverine 2.0: quicker, deadlier and with deadlier claws. Her brutal scrap with Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) takes place in the chamber where he had adamantium grafted onto his skeleton by Colonel Stryker (Brian Cox).

And Deathstrike's own demise by adamantium lingers long in the memory, as she's pumped full of the precious metal that strengthens them. It pours from her eyes, ears and nose, before dragging her down to the bottom of the tank. Clunk.




3. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) – Juggernaut vs Kitty Pryde

Although Vinnie Jones' Juggernaut didn't get the seal of approval from fans of the comic book behemoth, his defeat at the hands of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) is a satisfying underdog victory.

Racing to rescue the power-sucking mutant known as Leech, Pryde phases through solid walls towards his cell, with Juggernaut smashing through the walls right behind her. Once they're in Leech's cell though, all their powers are gone, which leaves Juggernaut flat on his back with a migraine in the post, as Pryde adds insult to injury.


4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – Logan's history

Our knowledge of Logan's past had been as sketchy and unreliable as his own memory, until X-Men Origins - Wolverine came along and started to fill in a few of the blanks, including his age, military training and family background.

Alongside his newly-discovered biological brother Victor (aka Sabretooth, played by Live Schreiber), Logan fought his way through the American Civil War, World Wars I & II and Vietnam. The journey, which takes place over the opening credits, highlights Victor's growing ferocity and bloodlust in contrast to Logan's moral compass and magnificent bouffant.


5. X-Men: First Class (2011) – Magneto vs Shaw

Mutant Nazi scientist Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) tortures the young Magneto (Bill Milner) when the unfortunate boy is contained in Auschwitz. And the former hell is bent on proving the latter's metal-moving abilities, killing Magneto's mother in the process.

The entirety of Matthew Vaughn's stylish X-Men origin story builds to the final conflict between the two mutants, as Magneto (Michael Fassbender) eventually corners Shaw on his submarine, only to be paralysed by his superior abilities. As Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) manages to eventually control Shaw's mind, Magneto is faced with a choice: spare Shaw and take the high road, or take the coin that he'd kept from the concentration camp and drive it through his enemy's head.

His subsequent decision establishes the war-mongering path Magneto takes throughout the subsequent X-Men movies.


6. The Wolverine (2013) – bullet train fight

The Wolverine finds our titularhero caught up between the Japanese Yakuza and some seriously shady businessmen.

While defending his beau on Tokyo's high-speed bullet train, the action is dragged outside and onto the roof, where the wind, passing locomotives and railway-related obstacles present as much danger as the henchmen. Watch it and try not to duck.




7. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – introducing Quicksilver

Confusingly, there have been two big-screen incarnations of the lightning-fast Quicksilver in rapid succession. The X-Men version (Evan Peters) preceded the one seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron by a year – in the latter, he was portrayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson in his sole MCU appearance.

But it's Peters' portrayal that leaves the lasting impression, particularly when he joins forces with the X-Men in order to free Magneto from his concrete prison. When confronted by a security detail who promptly open fire, the audience is treated to a display of Quicksilver's super-speed, all to the soothing tune of Jim Croce's 'Time in a Bottle'.

While taking the opportunity to try prison food, he changes the course of the bullets, rigs guards to hit each other and flicks hats from their very heads. And he doesn't get hit by a single bullet.


8. X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) – Magneto loses his family (again)

Magneto has a rough ride, doesn't he? He's got a nice little cabin in the woods set-up with his wife and daughter, but his past keeps coming back to haunt him.

Having saved the lives of his accident-prone steelworker colleagues, the attention sees the authorities come calling. Although he surrenders to keep his family safe, a stray arrow pierces the heart of both his wife and his daughter in one shot. Magneto finds the nearest piece of metal – his daughter's locket – and exacts his bloody revenge.


9. Logan (2017) – X-23's first fight

As an ageing Logan and a dementia-ridden Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) shelter young mutant girl Laura (Dafne Keen), the Cyborg Special Forces known as Reavers get more than they bargained for when they try to take her down.

As the soldiers move inside to retrieve her, the camera stays outside until all you hear from the factory is their screams of agony and wasted gunshots. Laura, soon to be known as X-23, comes out carrying the severed head of the man they sent in. And then she gets her claws out.

The question is, which scenes from X-Men: Dark Phoenix will end up joining this list? Once it's released on 5th June, be sure to tweet us your thoughts at @Cineworld.

Robb Sheppard is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.