Posts Tagged ‘GenerationX’

Generation X (2017) VOL 1 & 2

Posted: June 30, 2018 in Comics
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Ah 90’s MARVEL. Everything was bigger and bolder. I came of comic book age in the mid 1990s and it was awesome. I have never looked back. By chance, just as I was getting into my comic book groove, Marvel was getting ready to launch their hot new team book, a spin off from the main X-Men titles, Generation X. Basically this was the 90’s version of the New Mutants. The comic centred on Jubiliee and boasted a whole host of brand new mutant characters such as Chamber, Husk, M, and Penance. Not to mention a terrifying villian in the form of Emplate. You got Emma Frost and Banshee running the team with art from Chris Bachalo and fun writing from Scott Lobdell. The comic was fun and it was very much of the decade that it debuted in. Last year Marvel relaunched Generation X for a brand new generation and the results are outstanding.

Generation X (2017) is written by Christina Strain and features awesome art from a variety of talented artists. I was not familair with Strain’s work before this book and I’m happy to say she has crafted a tale that not only honours its source but pushes long time fan fave characters forwards in their growth and introduces (just like the original book did) a new bunch of X-Kids for readers to fall in love with. I’m gonna go and just get this out of the way right now. Ready? Okay. This is MUCH better than the original Gen X. And I mean no disprespect with that statement. It just is and I’d reckon that even Lobdell and Bachalo would agree Strain and her fellow creators have crafted one hell of a book here. This book is X-Men as its strongest. It’s fun, it’s colourful, it has strong characters, great writing and deals with a variety of themes that relate to real world issues young people all over the wolrd are going through. Simply put this book is vital and long may it last.

The new blood – Bling!, Kid Omega, Nature Girl, Eye-Boy, Hindsight and Morph – may have code names that are a bit too on the nose but rest assured they have the depth of character and complex interactions to add weight to their existance. First loves, jealousy, loners, looking different, acting out, single parenthood and sexuality are all focal points and never in a way that talks down to the reader. These kids look and act real. Where’s as the original Generation X could have stepped off the set of Beverly Hills 90210 these new kids look like your everyday teenager just trying to get by. At first I was a little big gutted this team was missing its diva but then it hit me HE was present all along. Kid Omega AKA Quentin Quire, who made his debut in Gran Morrison’s fantastic New X-Men, more than gives Emma Frost and M. a run for their money when it comes to attitude and sass!

For long time fans of Generation X fear not! The old team is still a core part of this series and are present and accounted for. Right away, depsite a focus on what’s new, this comic reminds constant reader of its roots and how they will never be forgotten. Jubiliee, Chamber and Husk have taken on more mentor like roles but neither has lost what made them likeable to start with and get just as much love as the new characters. Then we have M. The original Gen X diva who gets a great arc. It’ll be interesting to see if any other old faces pop up in future issues. Honestly there’s no rush either, I’d rather classic team members are featured organically and have strong arcs.

So far I am two volumes in into the new Generation X, which would be around 12 issues. Hopefully it continues its seemingly effortless balancing act of highlighting what’s new while showing how some things, thankfully, never change. They just get better. Right now has never been a better time to be an X-Men fan. For the haters who celebrated the notion Marvel had abandoned their mutants last years relaunch shows that was never the case. They were simply taking their time to make sure the X-Men’s return was everything the fans could hope for.

 

Generation X (pilot/TV movie)

Posted: April 25, 2018 in Movies
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In 1996 FOX was riding the wave of X-Men on the small screen thanks to it’s massively popular cartoon series. The cartoon, which is awesome, was my gateway into the world of not only the X-Men but comics in general. I leaped into comics just in time to get excited about the launch of Generation X, created by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Chris Bachalo, the series was to be the latest comic spin-off from the main X-Men titles. Think New Mutants but for the 90’s. I got into Generation X big time and had tons of issues. The series fosued on popular X-Men character Jubilee who joins a new class of mutants at the Xavier Institue with both Banshee and villain turned hero Emma Frost as thier co-headmasters.

FOX saw an oppertunity with the Generation X property to test the waters with a live action version of Marvel’s mutants. This TV movie, from Jack Sholder, the director of The Hidden and Eric Blakeney, one of the writers behind 21 Jump Street (the show) , was to act as a pilot. It didn’t work. Which is a pitty because had this come out post 2010 I think the show would have got a series order. Faults and all.

Generation X is quite faithful to it’s comic roots. Jubilee, Banshee, Emma Frost, Mondo, Skin and M made the cut from the comics. Sadly, due to serious budget woes, popular characters such as Chamber, Husk, Penance and Synch got cut, replaced by two new characters Buff and Refrax. For established fans of the comic that must have been a blow. I know I was slightly gutted those characters weren’t included. Chamber is a boss, he has this fire that grows from his mouth and has to keep it covered at all times, unless he’s kicking someone’s arse. Husk sheds her skin (!) and Penance was this awesomely odd mutant. Her whole body was razor sharp. It made sense then that Skin (his skin stretches) and Jubilee, along with her firework looking light powers, would lead this pilot in displays of power budget wise.

After a prologue that sets up the threat the film focuses on Jubilee and Skin as they discover their mutant abilities. Faced with a choice of a government placement camp or the Xavier School the two teens agree to go to enrol at Xavier’s school so they can learn to better use their mutant abilities. At the school they get to meet their class mates, get into fights with one another and the locales and must learn to work as a team in order to bring down the pilots big bad Russel Tresh, an over the top but good Matt Frewer, who is a mad scientist mixed with a dose of Freddy Krueger.

I know I’m delluded when it comes to 90’s nostalgia but in hindsight this pilot works more than it doesn’t. The cast is good. Finola Hughes is probably the best live action Emma Frost/The White Queen we’ve had to date. Better than any of the other live action attempts. She’s shockingly good. Annoyingly Jubilee isn’t Chinese-American. The actress, Heather McComb, is caucasian but she does a solid job of bringing Jubilee to life. The director has stated the casting sheet that went out didn’t specify Jubilee’s race. To lay the blame for that at the actress wouldn’t be right and she does good. Obviously I would have liked to have seen a more racially accurate Jubilee though and clearly that sort of careless casting wouldn’t fly today.

The rest of the cast do good work.

It’s the look and feel of the film that I liked. The previous year Batman Forever had made big bucks at theatres, with it’s crazy colourful sets and over the top celebration of it’s comic roots and Generation X, whether this is for you or not, follows suit. Contrasting with those comics asthetics is more adult themes and in some scenes this pilot gets quite dark. Jubilee drops the F bomb TWICE and IĀ gasped each time! Haha. The special effects aren’t that bad either. Remeber this was a TV show in 1996. Be kind. Sure the dreamcapse showdown showed off the low budget but it got the point across and added to how weird it all is.

I think I’m clued up enough to wade through what had potential and what was outright shite. Generation X had potential and I still reckon had this come out now the show would have went to series in the blink of an eye. Yeah…this pilot is rocky. Some of it is a bit TOO weird but had it been given room to breath and develop I think it would have been a great ride. Parts of it deal with racisim, abandonment and body issues. Stuff teens could relate to and WAY more compelling than any of the romance of the week stuff the current CW shows are full of.

Imagine watching an episode of this back to back with the X-Files back in good old ’96. That would have been a cool TV night. Sadly comics weren’t as mainstream as they are now back then.

If you read Generation X back in the day check this out. I honestly don’t think you’ll find it as bad as some people make out. It’s no Legion. I’m not trying to say it’s great but it had a fun foundation to build upon. Or, if you don’t like it, like a lot of fans don’t, I guess you can say FOX learned a lesson on how not to do mutants in live action and the pilot was a lucky mistake. Either way this is worth a look in the history of the X-Men on screen.