The two most popular teams of superheroes from Marvel Comics are the Avengers and the X-Men. These two teams are now in the hands of rival movie studios. There are many aspects of the teams that are radically different but they are remarkably similar in several important ways.
1. Alien Involvement
There is a sense of alien involvement within the Avengers. The Avengers have members who are not human. There are two that come to mind immediately. The first is Thor who is from the mythical realm of Asgard. Thor comes to earth and is recruited to assist the Avengers battle his brother Loki. The new movie will introduce another new member of the Avengers, who is non-human, the Vision. The Vision is a synthetic android with the ability to change density at will.
The X-Men unknowingly took on an alien member in the Phoenix. The Phoenix Force came upon Jean Grey while the team was crash landing from orbit. The Force copied Jean’s DNA and made a clone of her. The X-Men assumed that Jean had been transformed into the Phoenix as a result of the encounter. However, Jean Grey was safe in a cocoon on the ocean floor and their team member was an alien being.
2. Battling Aliens
The Avengers are faced with an oncoming alien invasion spurred by the Asgardian menace Loki. Loki sets events in motion that allow the aliens to invade earth. Loki’s goal is to rule earth and his first obstacle is Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Thor actually fights with Loki in hand to hand combat but is separated after Loki stabs him with a knife. The alien invasion is stopped after Iron Man redirects a nuclear missile through the portal into alien space.
The X-Men are a team of highly powered mutants and none of their members are aliens, there has been a great deal of alien involvement. The X-Men were forced to endure an ongoing conflict with the Shi’Ar Empire due to the actions of the dark Phoenix. The X-Men battled with the Shi’Ar Imperial Guard over the trial of the Phoenix. They believed her to be Jean Grey but instead she was an alien being who duplicated Jean’s DNA to produce a clone for the Phoenix Force to inhabit.
3. Mutant Involvement
The X-Men are a team of mutants trained by Professor Charles Xavier. These heroes are often hated because their powers are from their genetic structure. The mutants have powers from birth but take time to develop. The X-Men were formed from mutants with the X-Gene and provides a safe haven for mutants.
The Avengers also have mutants in their roster. Two that immediately come to mind are Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The fact that they are mutants is not going to come out in the Age o Ultron because of licensing agreements.