Nothing is certain but death and taxes — and the rage of comic-book fans when movie adaptations fall flat. "There's no such thing as irreparable damage to a movie franchise, but X-Men Origins: Wolverine was as close as you can get," says Jonah Weiland, executive producer of Comic Book Resources. X-Men: First Class is set to put a salve on the remaining sting of the flop, which favored inflated action over substantive plots. Director Matthew Vaughn, franchise newbie and the man behind indie superhero flick Kick-Ass, takes viewers to the 1960s as future foes Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto form the uncanny team of mutant heroes. Here's hoping Vaughn has enough superhuman strength of his own to revive the series.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2011 issue of Fast Company magazine.