It’s Official – Disney has acquired the 20th Century Fox Film Rights…

As we had mentioned previously, it’s official – Disney has acquired the rights to 20th Century Fox films. While this gives them access to bring X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU fold (at long last – how the Fantastic Four were not able to be a part of this entire MCU tie in, is a sad, sad thing). The amount of doors this opens up for the Marvel Cinematic Universe is … amazing. I am hoping that they weave the Fantastic Four into their own movie that has ties with the Avenges related movies; but on the flip side, I hope the X-Men movies, perhaps share the same universe (make references to what’s happened in the Avengers movies), but actually remain a little bit separated from the grand scale of the Avengers movies. I would like to see the X-Men movies pretty much stand on their own, and have their own epic build ups.

I dream of Disney handing us a movie that essentially starts with the Special Edition X-Men/X-Men #94 story line – where it just opens with a scene of the original X-Men on a plane, and we see flashes of things going chaotic and insane, as the plane seems to be destined to crashing – and then blackness. Then do a thing that says, Several Days Later… and show Cyclops standing in front of Professor Xavier explaining that something powerful took the plane down; and Professor Xavier explains that they must gather other mutants to rescue the X-Men. And we see them going and traveling to Canada to get Wolverine, Russia to get Colossus, Africa to get Storm, Germany to get Nightcrawler – and if they want to grab Banshee, Sunfire and Thunderbird, all the better. (They can even do a fill in for those two – for other mutants – I’d just like to ensure that Wolverine, Colossus, Storm and Nightcrawler are at least recruited). If they grabbed everyone – would be an awesome way of showing diversity (which is a big thing right now) and pleasing comic book fans.

I wondered how the idea of the original X-Men being taken down by a living planet would go down in a movie; but with some minor story tweaking – they could essentially change it to a mutant who is able to control plants (similar to Plant-Man, but a mutant). And we can learn that the original X-Men were there to try and find and bring this powerful mutant into their fold. However, this mutant has secluded himself on this island, because in order to live, he feeds off of mutant powers… and tried to go away and die; but the hunger took over as soon as he detected the original X-Men flying in the jet overhead. So now the new X-Men must go fight this powerful mutant (maybe even just make it Mimic, for that matter!) and save the original X-Men. This allows Disney to bring in the “new” X-Men and also introduces the original X-Men, and from there – if they wanted could do two different movies (X-Men and Uncanny X-Men or whatever).

These are just dreams though…

And for those concerned about Deadpool: “It [Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool,” said Iger. “As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”

Thoughts? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

– Tawmis

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“The Gifted” on FOX.

I admit it. I’m more than surprised; and pleasantly so. Generally, FOX has, time and time again, disappointed me with what they’ve done with the X-Men movies. So when I heard about The Gifted coming out to FOX, I admit, my expectations were pretty low; especially when I heard that one of the main characters was made up, specifically for the show, named Eclipse. I thought, “With all the mutants that are in the Marvel Universe, you still needed to make up a new character?” Well, apparently they did. But going into the show, Eclipse is one of the more humanized characters, that is easy to like (at least initially… I won’t go into the details of what he does later – admittedly, though – he was in a tough spot when he needed information!)

Just like any movie (not just FOX, Marvel/Disney has done this also – as has every movie studio) – the character origins are changed to suit the show. For example, in the comics, John Proudstar dies very early on, when he initially joins the X-Men. In The Gifted, the X-Men exist (and are repeatedly mentioned and referenced; but they’ve “disappeared” – and that hasn’t been explained). So for the sake of the show, John Proudstar never actually joins the X-Men, and thus he never dies the way he does in the comics. Which is a good thing, because in the show, he’s probably one of my favorite characters. I also like that they enhanced his powers a bit in the show; he still has his super strength and what not; but his ability to track and how he does it, seems to lend to having super senses.

Blink has a bit of a rough intro; she’s easy to get used to, but didn’t feel connected to her until you learn about her origin and the orphanage house thing she came from. I think that was a great turning point for her character, and she went from being a runner to a fighter. Now she had a reason to be personally invested in helping the mutant resistance. I do love that they’re not afraid to show her using her powers; and though sometimes they trim it, they still do special effects to show you she’s opening a portal.

As I said, Eclipse is the new character that was added to the show as an original character. And after watching the show, it’s immediately clear why. Because they’re using Lorna Dane (Polaris) in the show, and Alex Summers (Havok) has already appeared (and died… sigh) in the X-Men movies; they needed another love interest for Polaris, and Eclipse is that man. I do like that he has a pretty dark past, with his connections, and what he did as a mutant for his previous love interest (and how that comes back to haunt him in the series).

He’s the one you always sort of cheer for, because you know he’s done some bad things before, but he’s trying to redeem himself in the eyes of Lorna, whom he loves dearly. So you want him to succeed, you want him to come on top; but just like real life, sometimes the shadows pull you back into the darkness when you least expect it – and those actions always have a consequence, even if they’re not immediately known!

I love what they’ve done with the Strucker children too; Lauren and Andy Strucker. Now, you might be thinking, “But wait! That’s not the name of the Fenris twins in the comics! It’s Andrea and Andreas Strucker! Don’t worry! They address that as well; and quite beautifully. So it turns out in The Gifted that Andrea and Andreas are the grandparents of Lauren and Andy; and as it turns out, the power they wield, and the mutant gene is hereditary in all the children of the Strucker family tree… something that Reed Strucker’s (played by Stephen Moyer; whom most know, but I always associate him to True Blood and am waiting for him to say, Sookie!”) father tried to stop from passing down. And there’s consequences to it! It was great, because the entire time, I kept saying, “I wonder if they’re going to hold hands and trigger their power, that’s even more powerful…” And sure enough, that scene comes, and it’s great! Their mother, Kate Strucker, is played by the beautiful Amy Acker (who most probably know from her brief appearance in Supernatural and her reoccurring role in Angel and Dollhouse, though she’s been in much more than that!)

Is the show perfect? Of course not. But it’s damn good. As a matter of fact, the only thing I can really complain about is… sadly, Polaris. And it’s not because she’s not like the comic book character… but it’s because the personality they dished her. She’s an emo, super angry, super aggressive, leather, big boots (I said boots!), pale skinned, constantly nagging, constantly fighting, over the top character. Literally can not stand the character. They need to drastically tone her down – a lot. Maybe they need to poke into her past, reveal the reason she is the way she is; because right now, she’s entirely too annoying to even bare.

They do a good job showing off mutants in the show (Eye-Boy even appears to make an appearance), along with other obscure characters such as Shatter (who appears in several episodes, with dialogue), and even (Beautiful) Dreamer, who is also one of the main characters of the show (and the main love interest of John Proudstar).

They do cool things like tie it all back to Trask Industries (who has a long history, in Marvel Comics, as being Anti-Mutant, and the developers of the Sentinels, which are giant, mutant hunting robots). What I also like is that they show the human side of dealing with mutants, as you learn one of the main, high ranking officers from Sentinel Services, Officer Jace Turner (played by Coby Bell), had his daughter tragically killed during a peaceful Mutant Rights March, that went south – and she died, at the age of 4 due to a mutant’s powerful explosion. They even dig deep enough to talk about the Hound Project, where they use mutants to track and fight other mutants. There was even a telepath that they introduced a few episodes ago; and I couldn’t figure out what her game was – was she helping the mutants? Was she a sleeper hound? Then in the latest episode – they gave a big hint – which I was able to guess, before she frees the folks on the bus!

This show hits it on all cylinders for me; and I can’t help but wonder, after watching this “Mid Season Finale” – how is it they get everything so right, but the movies can’t seem to do the X-Men lore any justice?

For me, this is one of the best super hero shows on TV (excluding Netflix), though Maico would disagree with me and say Legion is one of the best super hero TV shows (excluding Netflix).

Thoughts? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

  • Tawmis
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Disney’s 20th Century Fox Films.

By now, I am sure you’ve heard the news and rumors. Disney is reportedly in talks of purchasing 20th Century Fox Films… Why would they do this? And how does it effect us – as comic book fans?

Well, I am pretty sure they’re doing this to logically regain the movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchise. That’s right – as you may (or may not? If you’ve been under a rock!) be aware – 20th Century Fox has the movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. (Yes, this is why – except for those super, ultra, die hard, X-Men can do no wrong fans) – the X-Men movies (except for Deadpool, and some, other than me, might even argue Logan) were not good movies. Under Fox Studios, the X-Men movies have been an ongoing nightmare (similar to Marvel’s current state of comics!) – everything from actors being changed out due to the fact that the X-Men movies changed time lines every couple of movies (so Cyclops, Jean, Storm, Mystique, Professor Xavier, Magneto, among others were played by different people – and in some cases, more than one actor). Now, that’s not to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t suffered the same fate! Why, there was Terrence Howard, who got replaced by Don Cheadle after one movie to play James Rhodes (War Machine) and there was also… um. There was also… Well, there might have been someone else, somewhere… right? OK. Well, regardless – moving on – the constant change in the cast, the team dynamics, the time lines, have made the X-Men movies a complete failure. Even if you look at them as individual movies; stand alone movies – the stories fail to deliver. Again, probably the only two exceptions being Deadpool and Logan. Not even the Apocalypse movie sat well with me or Maico.

But, if the deal goes through – and Disney takes over 20th Century Fox Films and effectively gets the X-Men and Fantastic Four rights back – could that be a bad thing? Disney would undoubtedly scrap all the previous ties to FOX’s version of the X-Men and Fantastic Four films – and we should cheer them for that, right – as they deliver Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy type caliber movies, yes? But what about Deadpool? While Logan has ended; there’s plans for a Deadpool 2 in the works (which will probably finish anyway) – but Deadpool 3? The New Mutants trilogy that was pitched? Will those be scrapped? And the concern that Disney does not publish R Rated movies, which Deadpool would need to be, to effectively work.

I’ve given this some thought. Want to hear my thoughts? If yes, keep reading – if not, head to one of your other favorite websites and go watch a funny video. Now if you’re still here – good. So, I was thinking – Deadpool has often broken the 4th wall – he practically lives out of the 4th wall. Because of this, Disney could actually turn a blind eye and let Deadpool continue to do whatever it needs to do; because it would not tie into the regular Cinematic Universe anyway. Now you ask – what about Disney doing an “R” rated movie if they took over 20th Century Fox and had to deal with releasing Deadpool 3: Deadpool vs the MCU. Well, while Disney has never directly produced any R-rated product under the “Disney” brand; Disney happens to own (or owned) a number of other subsidiaries such as Miramax Films, Dimension Films, as well as Touchstone Films. The movie The Crow, for example was released by Miramax/Dimension Films, while owned by Disney – and The Crow is Rated R. So I would imagine, if they do acquire 20th Century Fox, chances are they’d simply continue to release Deadpool through 20th Century Fox, and then bring in the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because Disney would own both the Marvel Cinematic Universe/Marvel Studios, and 20th Century Fox Films – the Deadpool movies would have free reign to also use whatever characters they see fit (with Disney’s permission, of course).

Thoughts? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

– Tawmis

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New Mutants: Dead Souls.

So for those of you wondering where Illyana (Magik) went – well, she’s about to pop up in New Mutants: Dead Souls.

Based on the cover; we can see Magik, Wolfsbane, Rictor, Strong Guy and Boom Boom. The book will be written by Matthew Rosenberg (who is writing Phoenix Resurrection) and artist Adam Gorham (who worked on Rocket).

Apparently, from what I’ve gathered, it looks like Karma has gone bad (again, sigh) and will be manipulating her former teammates. The issues will see the team fighting off some supernatural threat; which seems to tie into what we saw in the New Mutants movie trailer; where it seemed to be a supernatural horror story. The book launches sometime in March of 2018. With a title like Dead Souls I am curious if we will be seeing mutants who have gone from the land of the living, to the land of the dead, surfacing up in this book. Seems likely between the title and the confirmation that it’s a “Supernatural” theme limited series.

If they showed some dead mutants – who would you like to see appear? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

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X-Men Red (or Jean Grey and the X-Men)

Well, it was no surprise that adult Jean Grey would be resurrected. Now we have Teen Jean leading X-Men Blue and Adult Jean leading X-Men Red. So… I will skip over the multitude of jokes of Adult Jean being back again (okay, just that one)…

It’s cool to see Jean leading her team. But what’s going to make her team different than X-Men Blue and X-Men Gold? Is the clue in the title? X-Men Red? Could she be forming a team to somehow find (Adult) Scott (and resurrect him too?)

Taking a look at her team… We have, Jean, who is an expert at resurrections (okay, maybe just that joke too), Nightcrawler, who has died and also come back… then we have X-23 in the Wolverine costume… and get this, the one behind her, with just one claw… that’s Gabby… so, X-23 is a clone of Wolverine, and I think Gabby is a clone of X-23 (apparently each time they clone, one claw goes away)… then behind Gabby is the Wakanda dude, Gentle… then next to him, is Namor… and finally, the bottom right who looks like a young, long haired, pony tailed, Monet, is a brand new character named Trinary, or some such.

I am going to give this book a try, despite only caring about Nightcrawler, and see what it’s about, just because it’s an X-Men book. But… I am not holding out much hope that this will resurrect my love for the X-Men franchise (okay, fine, last joke!)

  • Tawmis
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Freestyle Komics Review – Hotshot, The Cypher, International Heroes, Emerald Forest and Vigilance!

The folks at Freestyle Komics kindly reached out to us and asked us to review some of their books!

I love this kind of stuff! Let me say, I’ve had a comic book story (4 issue limited series, probably) in my head, for a little over a year. Nothing special, at all. Nothing ground breaking. Just a comic book idea I have scribbled for a plot; but lacking any form of artistic ability (and time to do much else), the story will probably remain stuck in my head forever. So I love seeing when others get out there and they make their comic dreams come true, any way that they can! Because these are the people I wish I could be; so when I am given a chance to read and help promote their work, I love doing it when time permits! (I am back logged at the moment with other books I need to get around to doing the same for!)

Let me talk about Hotshot first. Now, first of all, reading two issues in – I am not too clear on exactly what his powers are (aside from flight, and super strength, and some other unusual powers!) The villain looks like a villain, acts like a villain, and seems like a genuine threat to everyone and everything (especially Hotshot who he is out to kill!) The art is clean (although the beginning of the second issue has a few of the first couple pages that seemed a tad rushed, but the art cleans up soon enough!) The writing is very fun, very well thought out, and the pacing is just about perfect each and every issue. These guys love to end issues with a cliff hanger, so that you’re immediately grabbing for the next issue to see what the heck is going to happen next! The art, throughout the issues (especially in issue #3) is just superb! Very professional looking. (My only trivial qualm is how Michael’s girlfriend is drawn; she always looks like she has porcupine hair! But it’s an artist flair and style, and I get what they’re going for!) I would strongly recommend checking out their site (all linked at the bottom) and seeing if you can get your hands on these!

Next I want to talk about Heroes International. Now if you’ve seen any of my reviews on any comics, I always talk about how I am a “team comic person.” There’s exceptions of course; Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man (well, back in the 80’s, not so much anymore for me). Heroes International is a great team of some very interesting, and some very diverse characters, with diverse powers as well. The book does a great job of establishing personalities and power (explanations) for the characters throughout the book. Crag stuck out for me, as probably one of my favorites on the team, along with Hue-Man and his puns (as he changes colors and adapts to situations). The art throughout this entire series remains crisp, clean, and rock solid. One of the nicer things is that not all the characters have that “perfect, superhero build” – for example Titan, is not “built” like your ideal superhero; so it’s nice to see some more… realistic looking people who are also superheroes. The writing, as I said, does a great job of giving you introductions to these characters, and gives you early ideas of what you’re headed into.

Next on the list is Emerald Forest. The entire book has an anime artist feel throughout it (and most who know know that anime art is generally not my cup of tea). However, I can still appreciate the things that I may not enjoy myself, for their sheer artist talent – and the folks on the issue of Emerald Forest have talent in spades. (I had an issue where multiple pages throughout the first issue duplicate themselves; so once I realized that, I just skipped a page and life made more sense! Kept thinking I was in The Matrix“Whoa… Deja Vu…”) The story is enjoyable, the art (anime and all!) is super sharp and clean. I think just about anyone could enjoy The Emerald Forest.

Next in line, we have The Cypher – now, here’s where, for me, anyway, things took a slight turn. Now the cover, to any straight guy, would be very appealing, right? (Whoever did the cover, I feel like they borrowed inspiration for the face and hair, from the cheerleader from Heroes, while the rump is borrowed… from JLo, and maybe that’s why she has the name JFab?) For me, while the story was pretty cool – the art wasn’t doing it for me. But hold up – hear me out! The artist is actually very talented. The art throughout the issue is consistent, clean, sharp, and professional looking. So what’s not to like then, you ask? (And let me be clear, when I say I didn’t like it – it’s not that I didn’t like it – it’s just it wasn’t for me). You see, our main character (seemingly at least from the first issue), is a regular woman by day, superhero by night (or whenever the need arises). Which is cool. Great to see strong, powerful women in comics. Give the ladies in the comic book world someone to look up to, like Wonder Woman. However… this is where I think it falls short, because of the art. You see, when she is in her “regular” clothes, every panel her nipples are on full blast, like they were detecting water, like the ends of a dowsing rod. And then, when she gets into her super hero attire, it gets “no better.” She’s literally wearing something that somehow is just covering her nipples from her super sized ample breasts. If they … filled out the front of her costume… er, filled it out with an actual costume, and toned down the breasts and nipples, I think this is a book that even most girls would enjoy without scoffing at the artistic style that seems to target young teenagers who aren’t quite old enough to purchase adult magazines.

But fear not! All is not lost! Because next we’re going to talk about Vigilance. Now, while I may have been a bit harsh on The Cypher, all of that goes away when I talk about Vigilance. She is everything I complained that The Cypher wasn’t. She’s a strong (literally!) female hero, who does heroic deeds, and it’s shown – she even saves cows and children! She reminds me of a female Superman, except the first issue, goes in hard to show you she’s here to be the hero that everyone needs, wants and can look up to! Heck, there’s even a panel in the first issue that tells you this!

The art for Vigilance has a rough look (not rough as in bad, but the art is dark and edgy – so I mean that in a good way!) Her costume is wonderful; it’s a great design. The characters in the book flow very well. Everything is nicely paced throughout. This really is everything that I had hoped The Cypher was going to be when I saw a striking woman on the cover.

The best thing about all of these books? These aren’t just one off books. All of these books happen in the same universe, so throughout the series, you will see references to – and sometimes, other characters – from the other books! So the fact that this is all a shared universe only adds to the charm and charisma of these books!

Do me a favor – go support these guys! How? Well let me get you their detailed information! I recommend checking them out on: Facebook, their website, blogspot, their patreon, and finally, their twitter!

  • Tawmis
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Phoenix Resurrection

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, I rise from my failed attempt to sleep and embrace Dark Insomnia to write about this piece about the supposed return of none other than the original Jean Grey.

Now hold on, you can’t seriously say you’re surprised? First, the folks at Marvel have been trying to recapture the popularity of the X-Men, that it had back in the 90’s. The current books read like a nod to those days, while trying to stay modern and fresh at the same time. And during the 90’s, none other than Jean Grey herself, was resurrected from the dead.

Well, except that she was never dead. As it turns out, from the moment that the space ship crashed into the body of water (Hudson River, I believe) – and the X-Men feared that Jean was dead, having piloted the ship all by herself – but no! – she rose up from the water…

Remember that scene? The iconic cover? Well, as it turns out… everything from Uncanny X-Men #101 (after she rises up from the water), until Jean’s “apparent” death in Uncanny X-Men #137… is all a ruse. That’s right – because of events that happened, where Marvel wanted to bring back the original X-Men cast (and Jean was the only one dead at the time), they came up with an idea… that when the ship crashed into the water, the Phoenix Force, that had been protecting Jean (having encountered her, as she was piloting the ship), put Jean Grey in a cocoon and then took her place among the X-Men. So, the wonderful story of Jean Grey’s fall into the Dark Phoenix, thanks to the Hellfire Club (primarily Mastermind who had tampered with her mind), is all undone – because, as it turns out – that was never Jean Grey – that was actually the Phoenix Force.

If you think I am crazy, look no further than Avengers #263. That’s where the story starts. The Avengers examine a cocoon sitting at the bottom of this body of water, that’s emitting all kinds of power.

Captain Marvel (Monica) goes down below and finds this mysterious source of power. By the end of the issue, they’ve gotten her out of the cocoon, but she’s in a mysterious container that has mist… but by the end of that issue, the mist clears, and the readers see a red head, who calls out for Scott; and if you think that might not be solid proof, that could be any redhead, mysteriously shoved into a cocoon, calling out for Scott – because that’s a really common first name. Hold up, they confirm it in the panel that it’s Jean Grey.

So let’s think about this for a moment – if that was indeed Jean Grey in the cocoon, and if she never actually became Dark Phoenix “back in the day” – then how is Jean coming back to life so many times? You could say that she was touched by the Phoenix Force, for that brief moment, as it helped her pilot the plane into the water, and kept her alive, right? But the more probable excuse is that writers have since then, either forgotten that it wasn’t actually Jean Grey between Uncanny X-Men #102 and #137, or they’re simply choosing to ignore it.

So what’s my point? Now I think I made my thoughts clear about the whole “05” that trendy people call them (I assume it stands for “Original 5” – as in the original five X-Men… You can read my thoughts on the “05” here: Part 1 and Part 2). Well, Marvel has officially announced the resurrection of Jean Grey. The creative team of Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu have come aboard in PHOENIX RESURRECTION this fall to help her on her way from the grave to flying above the Earth once more.

So let’s do a quick role call – of the “616” (Regular Marvel Universe) for the Original Five:

Adult Cyclops is dead (after going, what some would say, a little crazy). Time displaced Cyclops, alive and well.

Adult Jean Grey, dead (but apparently coming back – surprise, surprise). Time displaced Jean Grey, alive and well.

Adult Angel, now going by Archangel, and alive and well. (Well, as much as one can be, considering all Warren’s been through). Time displaced Angel, in order to “change his future” and not become an agent of Apocalypse, that leads to Archangel, he gets – get this – fire wings instead of metal wings. Oh those young kids and their crazy ideas.

Adult Iceman, alive and well. Time displaced Iceman, alive and well.

Adult Beast, alive and … well, not so well in the head, but he’s alive. Time displaced teen Beast, also alive… and not so well in the head.

So now, adult Jean is coming back – and no one thinks all these duplicate characters are going to start getting really confusing to new readers? And I am not talking about two people running around with the same code name, like when Monica was running around as Captain Marvel, then Genis-Vell came to claim the name, having previously gone by the name Legacy. And then how Monica changed her code name to Photon, to which Genis-Vell was like, “Cool name, I want that now, too.” So she changed her name to Pulsar. Not that kind of confusion. But the confusion where it’s two of the same character, just different versions of them, running around at the same time. Because the time displaced Jean Grey has a solo series going, entitled Jean Grey.

Now based on Matthew Rosenberg’s interview answers, it sounds like he’s going with forgot/ignore that Jean was in a cocoon and go with what the original canon was, that it was Jean Grey who became Dark Phoenix, and thus died, and not the Phoenix Force that “died” in Jean’s place.

Matthew Rosenberg: The biggest challenge is obviously doing it justice. People love Jean. I love Jean. Some people desperately want to see her back because they miss her, and I want to do right by them. But others feel really strongly that her death was monumental and we should respect that. And I get that 100%. I’m hoping we can tell a story that makes those people understand why we brought her back. We actually have something to say, it means something. And I think all of that, trying to please everyone, is the real trick.

As for opportunities, for me it’s two things. Getting to use the X-Men, all of them, is a huge one. Getting to explore her relationships with them, showing how they react to certain things, what things mean to them, is a real blessing because these characters have ties to her that long time readers will understand. There is an emotional shorthand to Beast or Bobby or Logan or Storm seeing her again. It’s heavy. And the other great storytelling opportunity we have is how powerful Jean and Phoenix are. They can create worlds and rearrange minds. That is something we go into a bit and I think it will keep readers on their toes.

One of the big keys to getting Jean is to actually study her progression as a character. From the meek and quiet student, to the bad ass team member, to the goddess, to death, and back again. She has had these changes; the Marvel Girl of old is not the same as Phoenix, or Jean in X-FACTOR, or the Jean that raises Cable in the future, or the Jean that fights Emma for the heart of Scott. All of these are evolutions of who she is. And our book, it does something a bit different. This isn’t an evolution. It’s a resurrection. But I can’t say much more than that.

What are your thoughts? I’d love to know your thoughts! Let us know on or  – we’d love to hear from you!

I can say of the “covers” I’ve seen, the digital touch of the inside page of Uncanny X-Men #136 (one of my all time favorite panels) is a nice touch. Here they are:

 

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We have lost a hero – Len Wein.

If you’re here, there’s a good chance it’s because you read comics. And if you’re here, you know how often Maico and I discuss the X-Men in our podcasts, and how important the X-Men were to us, growing up.

Both Maico and I were fans of the X-Men that came after the original five – the team that started with Wolverine, Thunderbird, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee and Sunfire – the team that had gone to Krakoa to save the original X-Men.

A legendary figure helped co-create the very X-Men that both Maico and I enjoyed the most – Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler.

Of course, he’s done much more than that – but, because Maico and I were so attached to the X-Men growing up, specifically these characters, I wanted to focus on his work on the X-Men, because that’s where the writing will come from the heart.

Without a doubt, his biggest creation in the X-Men world is none other than Wolverine. Initially appearing in The Incredible Hulk #181, I still remember when my wife got this for me as a part of my birthday present – and, unfortunately, not when it initially came out (we were not together yet), but many, many, many years later, when the comic was already fetching a very pretty penny because of the success of Wolverine.

Wolverine’s popularity has only continued to grow, since then. With the X-Men franchise movies from FOX Studios (despite how much Maico and I may rant about them), they have helped put the X-Men into the minds and hands of a newer generation; which eventually led to the solo movie, based on Wolverine, entitled Logan, which gained much more success.

I remember when my friend gave me Uncanny X-Men #121, I was in the 4th grade, and it – along with Avengers #159 – was my plummet, free fall into the comic book world. I had picked up other comics before this, Aquaman, Superman, but they never captured me. I had picked up those books, mostly because I knew them from the Superfriends cartoon. But who were these X-Men? I had never seen any cartoon about them – but they looked very cool, very vibrant. The art, the story, all of it was so incredible.

This issue in particular, remains one of my favorites, not only because it was, indeed, my introduction to the X-Men, which immediately became my favorite characters – but there’s this great splash screen on this issue where Alpha Flight (who I also loved their look!) was going to face off against the X-Men, because Alpha Flight needed to take Wolverine back to Canada. (At the time, I wasn’t sure of why Alpha Flight wanted Wolverine, or even really knew anything about anyone, being my first issue).

But that splash screen was down right incredible. The odds certainly were not in the X-Men’s favor when you looked at this – and as a kid, you’re thinking, “How can they hope to win? It’s literally three against six!” But sure enough, Nightcrawler teleports out of his bonds, and Wolverine is free – evening up the odds!

I think the very first X-Men comic I bought for myself, was Uncanny X-Men #145 – which featured Doctor Doom, who I knew nothing of, because it had just come out (so my friend got his copy of Uncanny X-Men #121, two years before it was passed down to me, back in the day!)

Uncanny X-Men #145 was another intense issue to begin with! The X-Men were captured by Doctor Doom and Arcade, and in this crazy traps! I began collecting Uncanny X-Men after that – and collected for years and years and years and years. The X-Men taught me something, you see. And they did it through comics.

They taught me that it was okay to be different. And as someone who was 11 or 12, I was going through an awkward point in my life. I felt different than everyone else, other than my best friend (who got me hooked into comics), Charles Stevens. I never felt like I fit in anywhere or with anyone, other than when he and I were hanging out. But the X-Men allowed me to accept that. Chuck and I were best friend, and we had a pretty cool imagination, because of the comic books we were reading.

You see, had it not been for Len Wein’s co-creations of these fantastic characters, my life would have been drastically different. I’m sure, somehow, I would have still managed to come out the other end all right – but these characters than Len Wein created helped give me “friends” when I had none. “Friends” who understood me. Who were different, like me. Who were there for me, when I needed it. They were comforting. They were strong, when I was weak.

In comics, we’ve seen many characters die; and they always come back.

Well, in the real world, that doesn’t happen. And we’ve lost Len Wein. He won’t come back reborn as the Phoenix or anything like that. But here’s the thing – he may be gone from the world – but his work is not. The mark he’s left on so many others, just like me – continues to live on in our memory. It continues to live on the comics. Even if they kill our favorite characters, there’s the back issues that we can travel back to – and read again.

For many, they will say “they’re just comic book characters” – for me, these were my heroes. They were there for me, and Len, I hope you know you helped forge a child’s life, helped shape him as he grew to be the man he is, and fed his imagination endlessly, with the creations you’ve given the world.

Rest in peace, sir. You are, forever in my eyes, immortal.

  • Tawmis

 

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Those Crazy X-Men Kids, Part 2!

Sue bueti on Twitter provided some clarification, that I didn’t remember. I speculated that the X-Men were pulled from the timeline by Beast sometime before Uncanny X-Men #12, because in X-Men Blue, they seemed unfamiliar with Juggernaut (who they fought for the first time in Uncanny X-Men #12). Sue provided me the photos that show exactly when the X-Men were pulled out of their time line – and I was right – it was before Uncanny X-Men #12, it was actually Uncanny X-Men #8.

Others on there, such as Xavier Files explained that it was all “explained” in All New X-Men #19 – that the Universe “fixed itself.” I’ve gone back and re-read that issue, and it does “explain” that the Universe “fixed itself” – but I don’t buy it. It comes across as lazy writing, when they realized “If we took these characters from their own time line, there should have been drastic consequences! We need a way to explain this… how about this… the Universe… fixes itself? Right? Golden, huh?” Xavier Files also said that time travel in the Marvel Universe is never consistent. Which is true, when characters are time traveling to alternate realities. But when they’re pulling from the same reality, as I mentioned before, we got Legion Quest/Age of Apocalypse. It’d seem logical that the same thing would happen.

As I sat here writing this, I thought, “They really missed a chance to do something special with this.” Imagine – for Professor Xavier, the X-Men suddenly vanish (after the events of Uncanny X-Men #8). Professor Xavier pulls another team together to go find his X-Men (which they never do because they’re time misplaced) – so that team remains and becomes the new X-Men; and thus the Universe “fixes itself” by making a new team of X-Men to have the same battles the original X-Men had. And this new team of X-Men, goes to visit Krakoa to find this mutant that’s been detected. They get captured – so Professor Xavier pulls another team of X-Men, which includes the team we all know – Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Colossus, Storm, Sunfire, and Thunderbird. Now, what if that team that’s been captured by Krakoa was none other than Vulcan, Sway, Petra and Darwin?

While I hated the Deadly Genesis retcon with unbridled passion, I do believe, had they explained that they became the new X-Men after the original X-Men disappeared, and fought all those battles the original X-Men were supposed to fight – I think that might have proven to be a very neat and interesting twist.

Instead, we have these time displaced X-Men, who were pulled from their reality, with no dire consequences or changes made to the world or timeline. It just seemed they were pulled into the 616 Universe for one reason, and one reason alone. Writers wanted to write these characters (Cyclops, Beast, Jean, Iceman, and Angel) without any strings attached, so they wouldn’t have to deal with continuity and that they could do whatever they wanted with these iconic X-Men characters and make it all seem very important. But a story without consequence or change is utterly boring; and I think that’s why I ended up eventually dropping All New X-Men, because the drastic changes I had hoped to see in that series were not happening. I’ve said it before, I’ve been enjoying X-Men Blue. But I also enjoyed Uncanny X-Men when Cullen Bunn was writing it; and if I had to chose between which two books I would rather see keep going, it would have definitely been Uncanny X-Men.

More food for thought! Thanks all of you who engaged me on Twitter about my previous post; whether we agreed or not, I love having these conversations!

– Tawmis

 

 

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Those Crazy X-Men Kids!

So, I’ve said it plenty of times on Twitter – I am not a fan of the notion of the time displaced X-Men. When All New X-Men was announced, and the idea was “The young versions of the X-Men will be pulled from the past into the present – to see what Cyclops has done and what he’s become.” (He’d killed Professor Xavier, supposedly by this time; and had become a intolerant mutant against those who spoke out against mutants, often attacking them with little regard to anyone else). I thought the notion was great for a limited series. And that’s what I thought All New X-Men was going to be. The Young X-Men pulled into the present to see the disastrous world that’s come about in regards to mutants. I assumed, during this limited series, the adult versions of the X-Men would “blink out” of existence, leaving the Young X-Men to piece things together themselves. I thought, that the Young X-Men would try to change the world, but in doing so, essentially continue to make things worse (indicating that no matter what you try to do to change Fate, Fate will also correct itself, and make what’s destined to happen, simply happen – think along the lines of the Final Destination movies when death came for those who were supposed to die, and avoided it – and death came for them all).

But… that’s not what happened. No, even though Hank supposedly pulled the “616” versions of their Younger Selves (because had he pulled them out from a different reality, it would have had no impact on the 616 world of Marvel) – the adult versions continued to exist in the 616 Universe, even though they had been plucked from the time line.

Think of it this way. You plant a tree on a barren piece of land. Over the next 25 years, it sprouts seeds, and that once barren land is now ripe with plants and animals. Now, you have the ability to go back in time, and stop yourself from planting that seed. When you go back to the present – that seed is never planted, and none of the plants grow, and none of the animals come. That’s how it would logically work right?

Now I hear you (and it’s not because I am a mutant!) – “This is comics!” Right. This is comics. But what if comics – as a matter of fact – an X-Men comic has already proven said logic? What am I talking about? Legion Quest ring any bells?

Turn the pages back to:
Prologue – “The Waking” – X-Factor #109
Part 1 – “The Son Rises in the East” – Uncanny X-Men #320
Part 2 – “The Killing Time” – X-Men Vol 2 #40
Part 3 – “Auld Lang Syne” – Uncanny X-Men #321
Part 4 – “Dreams Die!” – X-Men Vol 2 #41
Epilogue – “An Hour of Last Things” – Cable #20

In this chain of events – Legion travels back to the past, in order to kill Magneto, to make amends with his father – none other than Charles Xavier. However, just as Legion is about to kill Magneto, Charles Xavier steps between them, and sacrifices himself. The end result, a crystalline wave washes over the world and creates an alternate reality, affectionately known as The Age of Apocalypse.

The entire concept of The Age of Apocalypse, is without Professor Xavier, the X-Men are not formed when they were; and the consequences are drastic, including Apocalypse rising to power and ruling the entire world.

So based on the logic, already provided by the X-Men mini Legion Quest which led to Age of Apocalypse, the very actions of Hank McCoy pulling the younger version of the X-Men from the 616 past time line should have had dire consequences. Based on the issues in X-Men Blue, which features the time displaced X-Men, the X-Men are not (or don’t appear to be) familiar with Juggernaut. The original X-Men battled Juggernaut in X-Men #12. So, it’s probably safe to assume that Beast pulled the Young X-Men from sometime before that. And even if it was after that – let’s say, before the events of Uncanny X-Men #94/Giant Size X-Men #1 (which is a safe bet, since the X-Men Hank pulled do not have any new X-Men, and the X-Men are still young).

If they were pulled before the ever went to Krakoa – that technically means the new X-Men (Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Banshee, Thunderbird, Sunfire, Storm, and Colossus). Think of the rippling effect that should have had? Storm would still be in Africa, Nightcrawler would have probably been killed by the mob, Thunderbird would still be alive, Wolverine would probably still be a part of Department H {and probably leading or at least a part of Alpha Flight), Colossus would be in Russia. And if Colossus was in Russia, that means Illyana is never kidnapped. She never becomes Magik. Also, Professor Xavier never forms the New Mutants to replace the X-Men he believes to be dead from the Brood (well, actually, his ulterior motive was that he had a Brood Queen egg in him and he wanted more mutant hosts).

Some might say, I am thinking too much. I, however, think what I am doing is something Marvel has given up on – consistency. As I said, Marvel themselves showed going back to the 616 timeline and making a change has a rippling effect (Legion Quest/Age Of Apocalypse), and yet – there was absolutely no rippling effect, no consequences, no anything for bringing these young versions of the X-Men into the 616 Marvel Universe. All it did was make it more confusing, and more cluttered with existing mutants (there is, after all, adult versions of Angel, Beast and Iceman running around; while the adult versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey, currently remain dead).

All of that said, I’ve been enjoying Cullen Bunn’s writing on X-Men Blue. He’s always been a fantastic writer (I first discovered his amazing writing during the New 52’s Sinestro run – which immediately became a favorite of mine, though I knew very little of the villain – other than being Green Lantern’s main villain, the way Magneto is to Professor Xavier). But Cullen Bunn’s writing got me interested in the character. Then Cullen Bunn took on Uncanny X-Men – you can read on here, how after over 30 years, I gave up on reading Uncanny X-Men until Cullen Bunn took over Uncanny X-Men.

But… even with X-Men Blue, which features the time displaced X-Men, did we really need to bring in Jimmy and have ourselves another Wolverine? X-23? Draken? Old Man Logan? These weren’t enough? We have to add another Wolverine like character from an alternate reality?

But that’s a post for another time.

  • Tawmis
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