X-Men: Days of Future Past opens nationwide today. It is the fourth seventh movie in the X-Men series, and begins a new story arc in the world of X-Men: First Class. If you haven’t spent years reading the comics or if it’s been awhile since you did, you may need a crash course to understand how the new movie fits into the Marvel-ous world of the X-Men. But that’s not all you’ll learn.
1. When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby first created the X-Men, the “X” in “X-Men” stood for the mysterious “X-Gene” that gave them their abilities (which normal humans lacked). However, the letter eventually came to stand for the “extra” powers they possessed.
2. In the Marvel universe, the term “mutant” refers to characters that were born with special abilities or developed them later in life without any external influence. “Mutates” is the term for characters whose genetic makeup was altered at some point by outside forces such as radiation or chemicals. For example, Spider-Man is a popular mutate (because he gained his powers due to a bite from a radioactive spider), while the original members of the X-Men are all mutants (because they developed their abilities without external stimuli).
3. The original name for the team suggested by Stan Lee was “The Mutants,” but publisher Martin Goodman didn't think readers would know what a “mutant” was, so it was changed.
A list at mental_floss not only looks at the comic origins, but also has trivia about the movies, and a few tidbits that tie them all together for the new film. If you go see it today, go prepared!