Posts Tagged ‘X-Men’

Review: Death of Wolverine

Posted: January 11, 2017 in Comics
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I have made no secret of my love of the X-Men. For over twenty years I have followed the uncanny mutants through comics, animated shows, video games and movies. X-Men to this day remains my favourite comic title. Sure the mutants are going through a rough patch at the moment but Marvel looks set to do right by who were once their shining stars with a brand re-launch later this year.

Truth be told I’ve read little of the recent X-Men titles from the past few years since the whole original X-Men team traveling to the future mess. The whole situation just felt as if it needed a cap but it’s still on-going and just has me wondering why? One arc that did catch my attention was Death of Wolverine. Surely this was (and may yet prove to be) a publicity stunt? No way would Marvel kill off one of it’s most popular characters?

Death of Wolverine does not pull it’s punches. The four part series is plotted with surgeon like skill by writer Charles Soule. Wolverine is the target of a manhunt and someone has put a price on his head. It isn’t long before all sorts of trouble and danger zeroes in on him and this is what propels him and us to his fate. Soule weaves a lean tale that touches in on what made Wolverine the character he is today and factors in those smaller more emotional beats that gave him such depth and likability beyond just being some beserker killing machine.

Steve McNiven’s work on the art is solid. The action is clear, the feeling on the characters faces when confronted with an array of emotions from fear, surprise, anger and joy registers. You can see just how beaten up Wolverine is in Death of Wolverine. This is a guy who has given his all time and time again over countless decades and at this stage in his life the guy is just tired. It’s a refreshing look at a hero I see as immortal, almost more than human, to see this is just a guy, sure he has super abilities but at his core this is a man coming to the end of his road.

Going into Death of Wolverine I knew little. I did not know if the title of the comic would follow through or if it would be a big mislead. I’d rather not say what happens and that is why I’ve stayed vague throughout so you can go in and get surprised. If you’ve ever been into the X-Men comics and dropped off in recent years I got to say Death of Wolverine is an essential read. Remaining vague, I can’t wait to see how this finale page gets resolved whether it’s soon or years from now.

 

Logan teaser trailer

Posted: October 20, 2016 in Movies
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Get those tissues ready because Logan looks like it is going to be a tearjerker! I don’t think everyone is getting out of this movie alive. Director James Mangold and star Hugh Jackman look to be giving Wolverine’s last outing a sombre tone. Factor in that Johnny Cash ‘Hurt’ track and I’m loving what the trailer is showing.

X-Man fans can catch glimpses of many classic characters such as fan favourites X-23, Professor X, Caliban and the mutant killers the Reavers! I questioned the whereabouts of the rest of the X-Men while all this dark stuff is going down and a line of dialogue in the trailer pretty much clears that up. Don’t get your hopes expecting any Cyclops or Storm cameo’s folks!

Logan hits cinema screens next March. Get excited because I don’t think this one will be a letdown.

X-Men: Apocalypse (NO SPOILERS)

Posted: May 26, 2016 in Comics, Movies
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X-Men: Apocalypse. This is the most like the comics X-Men movie Bryan Singer has produced. I’m a X-Men nut. You can probably tell because I cover the comics a lot on here. I didn’t cover the new movie too much because to be honest I was weary. Nervous even regarding how it would turn out because I haven’t always been a big fan of how Singer has brought the mutants to life over the years.

Don’t misunderstand I don’t think Fox’s X-Men movies are bad films. I get they have a BIG fan base but I always find myself getting pissed off at bad continuity or what seems like a pick and choose approach to the source material. Basically it’s hard for me not to constantly imagine how an X-Men universe would look on screen if Marvel had the rights. But they haven’t. Yet. Haha.

Enough of me. How is the film? It’s good. I liked it. It’s not perfect. It’s a long film, around the same run time as Civil War but not as frantic which is weird when you consider how chaotic this movie could be given the subject matter. The opening sequence is set in ancient Egypt and it’s insane. Some really good stuff goes down during the opening scenes that I won’t give away and the same applies to the final showdown in the last act.

The cast do a good job. Cast wise there’s no weak link. Personally I wouldn’t have minded seeing a few more scenes focusing on the horsemen to flesh them out a bit more but the cast is big and Singer and writer Simon Kinberg choose to focus on the core X-men.  It’s a bit odd in a way though that the horsemen feature throughout the film but rarely have much to say in their scenes. On the flip side you get enough to get a insight into who these characters are and X-Men/horsemen alike all get a moment to shine.

The big guy himself is scary! Haha. Apocalypse’s powers truly freaked me out. I’m a man too so I don’t know how kids will find him but then I’ve seen feedback that wasn’t too impressed with him. I dun know. I’d run the other way if I came across him put it that way. Quicksilver’s big scene is very good. Won’t spoil it. It’s as good as his standout in Days of Future Past. It was nice to see Quicksilver play a larger role in this film because he’s a great addition to the series and works well. Oh OH and what took me off guard too was the scenes of…levity. Fun. It was neat seeing the school up and running and there’s even a small scene of Jean, Scott and co. just hanging out having fun. Nothing wrong with that. Let’s see more of that. It doesn’t always have to be doom and deadly serious.

I’d have gone a bit more nuts with the 80’s setting personally. Especially with the soundtrack but what the film does use works well in helping to establish the period setting/mood.

I get why Fox decided to reveal the big cameo in the trailer but I think that would have been a big surprise had they decided to keep it under wraps. I liked that sequence and the look of that character (I’m assuming you’ve somehow avoided who it is haha) which is very true to the comic.

I was surprised. It’s a good movie. If you’re not a massive fan of Singer or Fox’s vision of the franchise the film could surprise you. I haven’t seen Deadpool yet and I’m keen to see how New Mutants plays out given it will be a different creative team moving forward.

X-Men X-Tinction Agenda

Posted: February 22, 2016 in Comics
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For years I have been looking to get a hold of X-Tinction Agenda. I knew it was a big event and had solid word of mouth as one of the better X-Men arcs from the 90’s. Thanks to Ebay I was able to track down a copy of the trade.

X-Tinction Agenda is a crossover event from 1990 and ran through Uncanny X-Men, New Mutants and X-Factor. Everything kicks off as Genoshan Magistrates attack the X mansion and capture Storm and several of the New Mutants. The evil Cameron Hodge, once belived murdered by Archangel, is behind the attack and orders the captives brought back to Genosha which harbours terrible secrets regarding how the country is managed. This all provides the incentive for the teams to unite and launch a rescue mission to get back their team mates.

Cameron Hodge is a great villian. This is my first time encountering him. Although I am not too familiar with him it didn’t matter because the content of this tale brings you up to speed on who he is. He’s a twisted mind trapped in a horrific body, at times I was really freaked out by him. Especially during the last few pages of the story. Some of the art and panels are like somthing from a horror movie.

Always great to see my fave X-lady Psylocke and she has some cool moments, as do Wolverine and Jubilee but the real stand outs are the lesser known (at least for me) New Mutant members Boom Boom, Rictor and Wolfsbane. They pop out the pages with some funny exchanges and kick arse action scenes. Cyclops and his little bro Havok get a great arc too and play a larger role as the story progresses. It’s a big cast and a credit to the writers to say almost everyone gets a moment to shine.

Chris Claremonts contributions to the X-Men over the years can not be overlooked. Some of the best X-Men tales that continue to stand the test of time have come from his imagination. His work here, along with that of Louise Simonson is no exception. There is adventure, fun, humour, all out action, high stakes and tragedy. Equally as impactful is the wonderful variety of art on display from talent such as Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld.

X-Tinction Agenda is a very good addition to the X-Men lore and okay it may not be an all out classic along the same lines as Age of Apocalypse or The Dark Phoenix Saga but it is pretty much required reading for any X-Men fan. More so if, like me, this slipped by you or was before your time.

 

Comic Review: X-Men’92 Issue 1

Posted: May 28, 2015 in Comics
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Remember the awesome X-Men team from back in the 90’s? Do you remember the awesome X-Men cartoon from the same time period? Well this new digital series from Marvel, which links in to their massive Secret Wars/Battleworld event, is like a love letter to that time. Well worth checking out if you’re a fan. I’m not reading any of the other Secret Wars/Battleworld comics (yet) and I can say you don’t feel like you’re in the dark. It reads great as is. I can’t stress how good it was having womanizing Gambit back, fun and care free Rogue (woe is me Rogue, her current version, just doesn’t hold a candle to her amaze 90’s counter part). The art pops off the screen, the writing is solid and there’s a boss throwback to the first episode of the 90’s cartoon. One hell of a cliffhanger too. Can’t wait for issue 2.

Back in 1986 Marvel unleashed Mutant Massacre. A pretty dark tale in the X-Men’s history which saw a genetically enhanced mutant death squad known as the Marauders lay waste to the Morlocks, those sewer dwelling mutants who make lower Manhattan their home. Lives are lost and the era brought home just how unforgiving it could be to be a mutant.

This era of X-Books is still hazy for me. I’ve read The Dark Phoenix arc and some late 80’s stuff but yeah mostly I’m blind regarding this time peroid. Which is a shame because Mutant Massacre is one of the strongest X-arcs I’ve read.

Sure it can be a little confusing if you’re not familiar with this era, due to the different teams running around. For example we have a de-powered Storm leading the X-Men, while Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast and Angel are now going under the name of X-Factor. X-Factor – bear with me here haha – is a mutant liberating team POSING as a mutant hunting team whose overall goal is to track down and help high risk mutants. Then we have Mystique running around with her own squad who are working for the government in order to earn a pardon for past crimes, you also have the New Mutants who I guess were – at the time – meant to be the students who would be the next generation of X-Men moving forward. Cannonball, a favourite of mine, is amongst the that later group. Add in Thor – yes Thor – and Power Pack, who are like these insane kids who have super powers and run around at night like getting into all sorts of trouble, it’s a lot to take in. Oh AND my favourite X-Lady Psylocke gets her sort of intro into the main X-Men team. It’s pretty much jam-packed.

Writers Chris Claremont, Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson cover a lot of ground and don’t shy away from the deaths and the bleakness of the story. Characters die horrible deaths in this tale, it gets dark. We see Storm wrestling with her worth now that she has no powers (for now) which was cool and Wolverine gets an epic showdown with Sabertooth. It was good getting to see Psylocke’s journey too, as an initial outsider in awe of the X-Men and despite being ready and willing to step up and help she’s constantly knocked back until a fateful encounter with Sabertooth would seal her fate.

The X-Factor stuff is an eye opener aswell if like me you’re not that familiar with this era and with Angel in particular we get to witness the beginning of what will become a defining era of his life as an X-Man as well as the start of a bigger story featuring one of the X-Men’s most fearsome foes. All of the above held together by outstanding artwork throughout by John Romita Jr., Walter Siminonson and Sal Buscema.

Mutant Massacre is a vital part of the X-Men’s history and essential reading for any fan of Marvel’s mutants!