Posts tagged #x-men

Revisiting the Pages from X-Men Battle of the Atom

Past, present and future X-Men all come together to battle... okay, who brought the panther in the middle?

Doc Brown warned that seeing your past self seeing your future self could cause a temporal paradox of disastrous proportions. But Hank McCoy scoffs in the face of the Doc's interpretations of temporal displacement...

I'm a little behind on my reading, having just now turned the corner on a lot of the books in my read pile that have been there since Fall of 2013 (I know, I know). But highlight among what I'm reading right now are all of the various X-related titles that restarted with Marvel NOW. I might have been in the minority that enjoyed what Schism and AvX setup in terms of two very different factions of X-Men with two very different beliefs and values. I've actually never really cared for Scott Summers/Cyclops as a character, so pitting him into a role where I'm supposed to despise this guy actually works for me.

Truth be told, the Schism/AvX run leading into All-New X-Men has gotten me really back into the X-titles. Considering that it was published to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the X-Men, it was an interesting way to put past and present, and even explore the future, into one book that actually felt organic. Sure, one could argue that McCoy should be smarter than to know bringing past incarnations of the team into the future could have enormous consequences on the timeline, but let's let it slide for the purposes of the storytelling.

Deception from the "future X-Men" and the twists and turns that come with the story were unexpected and fun. I enjoyed the self-referential moments, especially those called out as Maria Hill monitors from afar, which call out the constant bickering and drama that's been present with the X-Men since their inception. 

But most importantly and worth noting, I enjoyed that Battle of the Atom was a fairly contained event. Right now, I'm catching up on Trinity War and Batman: Zero Year which have been incredibly frustrating trying to track down random issues of Justice League Dark or Constantine in order to get the entire story. Battle of the Atom was thankfully relegated to the All-New/Uncanny/X-Men titles with the couple of proper event books which made for easy and clear reading. 

Now that I'm (somewhat) caught up with the masses, did you guys read it? What were your impressions? Let's talk comics!

A Future Past and a Missing Link

Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) graciously lets Wolverine's consciousness go back in time rather than her own for the bottom line in X-Men: Days of Future Past. (Courtesy Fox)

We're being spoiled by the new trend in Hollywood to create "Cinematic Universes." Though, the trend is mainly spawning from each studio's desire to have a franchise mint that guarantees it will print money at least once a year, the creative teams behind films are having to find ways to connect everything and start looking outside of just one film for how they tell their stories.

Point in case, the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, which I finally got to catch on Wednesday night. Admittedly, I was on the fence about the film based on the trailers and promotional material that had led up to its release. While I had enjoyed X-Men First Class, I was curious how this retelling of one of my favorite comic arcs was going to fit into the whole world. And, let's be completely honest, Fox as a studio wanting to maintain control over their Marvel properties is still cause for hesitation sometimes (see: Sony and Spider-Man and the troubles brewing over there). 

But X-Men: Days of Future Past was brilliant.

The film had to serve so many purposes: it had to be a direct sequel to First Class, it had to retell a very known and beloved story from the comics but had to shoehorn that into the characters that had been established from First Class and had to focus on the bankable movie stars as the "leads" (hey there, Wolverine and Mystique). And, unknown to myself until after viewing, the film also served as a soft reboot of the previous X-Men films in a style very similarly to J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek film, which acknowledged the existence of the films that had preceded it, but made very clear that the future with the characters that we're now following is very much not set.

The structural changes to the story were seamless and the essence of the Chris Claremont/John Byrne run were essentially in place, but the alterations felt welcome and weren't all that jarring. Right off the bat, Kitty Pride's consciousness isn't the device we follow back through time, it obviously has to be Wolverine because Ol' Logan sells lots of tickets. Mystique and the assassination attempt from the comics get to carry over (again, thankfully for Fox so that they can put Jennifer Lawrence right next to Hugh Jackman on the art campaign) and setting the plot in the First Class universe allows for a great dynamic between the 1970s characters and the future characters. In fact, the film gets to play in the sandbox of themes established in First Class (Mystique's relationship with Xavier, Beast's desire to be more human) and they all also fit seamlessly into the two hour story as well.

Essentially the film boils down to one big advocate for writers to use the crap out of their note cards. To weave elements and character developments into the story so well that it all keeps the audience moving forward rather than tying them up in the minutia. As I was watching, I couldn't help but continue thinking how damn clever things were constantly. 

And it all adds up to an amazing experience that sets up a few more films that I can't wait to see. Even if there was a baffled movie-goer in front of us that didn't understand the end tag sequence that sets up the Apocalypse.

Posted on June 20, 2014 and filed under Movies.

X-Men Days of Future Past Final Trailer

A few days late on seeing this one but worth posting up for comments, 20th Century Fox has released the third and final theatrical trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past which really embraces the cross between the future and the 1970s era setting by throwing in a little Nixon and Led Zeppelin. Of course Wolverine is a big focus of the trailer because... you know... but this trailer actually has helped sell me a little more on checking out the movie. Definitely curious to see how they've "rethought" the premise from the comics to fit into the live-action universe.