Magneto... again? That's what I've heard from people who are upset that the X-Men movie franchise has yet to feature villains like Apocalypse or Mr. Sinister. As for myself, I don't mind the continued use of Magneto. I would be very happy if Apocalypse and Sinister never appeared on the silver screen, and if they faded into character limbo.
I know I'm in the minority on this, but I think characters like Apocalypse and Mr. Sinister are really, really lame villains. It took over a decade for either of them to be defined at all. Apocalypse was a great big powerful uber mutant who had this ill defined survival of the fittest thing going. Sinister, we didn't know what he was about for over a decade, then they connected him with Apocalypse, which came out of no where. The problem was, they were both introduced as "mysterious" villains, and nothing was revealed about them, hints that went no where, it was dragged out, creative teams changed, new ideas were added, and what we got was a jumbled mess.
I think the X-Men films did the right thing by sticking with Magneto for all three films. He is a compelling character, and he's not wrong. In fact, I've often argued that Magneto is right and Xavier and his merry band of mutants are hippy morons.
And you know what, it has always made for fascinating debates on morality and ethics when one is discussing Xavier and Magneto. Personally, I think making nice with those who are trying to kill you is stupid at best. If I were a mutant, I'd join Magneto's Brotherhood before I joined the X-Men. Which is why I thought Colonel Stryker was a great choice for the villain in X2. He represented what the worst of human kind would do to mutants. He was the face of human bigotry. Which is really what these movies, and what X-Men are about. Mutants and humans. Bigotry, tolerance and understanding. X-Men is not about cosmic entities, aliens, and ancient Egyptian all powerful beings.
So, yeah, keep the big, convoluted "OMG! KEWL MYSTERIOUS!" characters away from the movies. The long dragged out, often changing the mind mystery didn't make them cool, it made them dull.
The thing about Apocalypse is, pretty much every plan he's ever tried to enact (with the possible exception of his first appearance) has been complete crap. He's got a killer rep, but you have to look beneath the surface: is he actually an interesting character? Has he really done anything too villainous? His greatest success has been in an alternate reality, for crying out loud... what's our Poccy ever done? And sadly the answer is: not much. We're told frequently that his power is immense... but again, when is that evidenced? He doesn't fight hand-to-hand too often. His powers are entirely generic: shape-changing, getting bigger, super-strong, fire energy blasts.
Just as an exercise, stack Apocalypse up against Magneto: Mags has interesting, innovative powers; a deep, nuanced backstory; a philosophical stance that you can actually relate to, even support; and actual character development on his side. Poccy has none of those things, with the arguable exception of a mildly interesting back story. It's just not enough. When Apocalypse is due to appear, I roll my eyes and think, "Oh crap, three months of bellowing about 'Survival of the fittest!' and world-shattering events, at the end of which absolutely nothing will be different."
Which, frankly, is Apocalypse's other problem as a character- his rep is such that every appearance has to be a MEGA HUGE EVENT, after which the X-Men's lives "will never be the same!" And then the story comes and goes, and the status quo is exactly the same, except Cyclops is dead for three months or Wolverine is evil but will probably be good again in the other five books he appears in this month. You can do a one-off issue with Magneto, you can do a story investigating Mystique's past, or Sebastian Shaw's motivations for what he does. You try to do anything less than an ultra-big life-altering story with Apocalypse, it ain't happening. He's the summer blockbuster of X-Men villains... and like most summer blockbusters, the first one was pretty fun but most of the sequels have sucked, and sucked hard.
But why are Apocalypse and Sinister in such demand for the movies? I blame the X-Men cartoon from the early 1990s. That series, like the Batman series of the 60s, put the X-Men on the pop culture map. Apocalypse became the de facto main villain of the series because he happened to be the big thing in the comics at the time. Mr. Sinister had an entire season arc centered around him in the second season before returning as a minion of Apocalypse later on. And while Magneto appeared in the series, he did not take center stage as their primary antagonist and Xavier's philosophical opposite. They disagreed, but he helped them more often and was only in direct opposition to them in his first appearance. And later on, he too served briefly as a henchman for Apocalypse before again allying with the X-Men.
Before "Batman Begins" came out, a few years prior, there was a poll done in a magazine asking readers who they wanted the next villain to be. By now the Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Bane had all been featured. The next obvious two villains were Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul. Needless to say, they didn't win the poll. King Tut won the poll. That's right, King Tut. From the Adam West Batman show.
To me, that's what Apocalypse and Sinister have always been... King Tut and Louie the Lilac. Okay, that's an exaggeration since they've been in the comics, but for the most part Apocalypse and Sinister haven't factored into things much since the 90s... they were products of their era, and they need to go away.