X-Men Days of Future Past: Why I Don’t Love It

It was around 1984 when I first caught the rerun of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends titled “A Firestar is Born”.  You’d be forgiven for not knowing who Firestar is.  She was made up for the TV show and later added into the comics as a Hellion (Hellfire Club) and later inducted into the New Warriors where she hooked up with Vance Astro, leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy before Star Lord.  Well, I mean before in that he was in comics leading the Guardians before Star Lord but it was actually in the future so it was after Star Lord.  Getting side tracked.

 

The point is, this was my introduction to the X-Men.  Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Professor X, they all showed up.  Juggernaut was the enemy.  Wolverine had a voice actor who thought he was Australian or something, got his claws stuck in a brick wall.  I wouldn’t know until a decade or two later that while I was enjoying this cartoon, in the comics Kitty Pryde was finding her place on the team under Storm’s tutelage, Wolverine was dealing with the fallout of his wedding to his biggest comic book love Mariko, Rogue was trying to get the team to trust her (after all she used to work for Mystique and put Ms Marvel in a coma), and Professor X was about to leave the X-Men to hook up with the love of his life Lilandra in space (thus leaving the X-Men for quite some time).

 

There isn’t a point in my life where the X-Men weren’t.  Even when I stopped buying comics in high school, I re-read the ones I already owned, hunted down a copy of Pryde of the X-Men, and watched recorded episodes of the 90’s Fox X-Men TV show.  So when I say the X-Men movies are really not the X-Men to me, I hope you understand the weight.

 

The X-Men at their essence are a team of rejects, of social and racial outcasts.  The most ethnically diverse team the majority of the time out there.  To see them reduced to their powers in a Wolverine support squad in the movies has been heart breaking. The parts the Avengers movies get right is the characters, their flaws, the things that make them happy, their costumes, their essence is still there.  X-Men doesn’t have that.

 

I wish I could say Days of Future Past was a step in the right direction but it clings onto those 90’s leather outfits and Cyclop’s “Hey Logan, stay away from my girl” mentality.  Do you know anything about the original Days of Future Past?  Do you know about Nimrod, Wolverine’s death (along with most of the other future X-Men including Franklin Richards whom Fox owns the rights to), and that it starred a strong female protagonist named Kitty Pryde?  Fox and their writers were afraid you, the audience, couldn’t handle a Kitty Pryde lead movie.  They were afraid without Wolverine on the front poster no one would show up despite how well First Class did on a meager budget, duct taped together as it was.

 

Personality wise, this movie missed the mark for me on almost all counts.  The largest affront was carried over from First Class which was Beast.  They took away all his confidence in literature and the literature romantic and only left his insecurities.  Now just a thug to carry and punch for the professor while looking uneasy and nervous.

 

But then they add in the old Singer cast with all their problems.  Bobby aka Iceman with the personality of Cannonball.  Kitty Pryde who…  well let’s be frank, she doesn’t have a personality or background or story other than being Bobby’s girlfriend in the movies.  Storm who is Halle Barry with a bad haircut making funny faces.  Colossus who can turn into metal.  Professor X who cares desperately what Logan thinks of him most.  Magneto who enjoys saying “Charles”.  And Wolverine who enjoys reflecting on the first 3 X-Men movies that launched Hugh Jackman’s career.  They really should have been named Wolverine, Wolverine 2 United, and Wolverine 3 The Last Stand.  Wolverine whose greatest movie love was Jean Gray.  Or Silverfox, that woman he married once.  Wolverine the rebel who doesn’t actually rebel against any of his teammates in the movie.  Matter of fact aside from disagreeing with mutant cures, sentinels, and killing off the human race is actually a pretty agreeable guy in the movies.

 

And then the new characters, we can’t forget those!   Blink, Warpath, Sunspot, and Bishop who have powers and who Fox hope will make you think the movie is ethnically diverse even though all the characters with backgrounds and multiple lines of dialog are white.  Trask who is in the movie for at least 5, maybe even 10 minutes.  And then there’s Ink who is not a mutant, nor does he have any lines.  And unnamed black guy in the Vietnam camp who has a sick stare (he makes people sick by looking at them).  That has to be…  I dunno, maybe they retooled Pestilence into something completely different?  The internet says its Spyke but Spyke isn’t really in the comics and grows bone spikes.

 

Magneto and Xavier’s carry overs from First Class received the best treatment due to First Class being the best movie representation of them.  Magneto and Xavier were friends in the comics prior, even if it was a retooling of continuity after the fact.  There are always divergences (Xavier was pretty much always bald, they turned Magneto into a baby once and then grew him up be 30 or so) but the essence of these characters in First Class was pretty spot on.  No Magneto didn’t have a revenge quest against Sebastian Shaw but if the comics Magneto did have a revenge quest, it might have looked like that.

 

Fast forward to Days of Future Past and now we get a junky, whiny Xavier.  Look, I’ll be the first to tell you Xavier has always been an asshole.  He militarized teenagers for years (not to mention had a sexual thing for them).  He worked to change the populace’s mind but when it came down to an individual he wasn’t above re-writing their brain.  He abandoned his actual children at every turn.  Basically the only ones close to him he ever seemed to treat with any decency was Lilandra and Magneto.  But a junky?  And on top of that a junky for a mutant cure?  Yeah no.

 

Magneto was Magneto though, through and through.  A man of conviction.  A man whose manipulations were subtle and not the work of an evil mastermind, but of a private man.  Magneto who has a plan all to his own and will act with little if any remorse.  Oh sure in the comics, Eric has his spells of doubt.  These are his good guy periods typically when he’ll lead New Mutants or join the Hellfire Club in an attempt to benefit the X-Men.  But overall, he is sure of his place.  Magneto is why I liked Days of Future Past the movie at all.

 

The Sentinels themselves didn’t matter.  They were just a clock for the film in an attempt to add tension.  I didn’t realize Kitty Pryde was sitting there with Wolverine in the future until midway through the movie when Wolvie had a bad dream and cut her.  I’m not so sure the Sentinels should have mattered.  Trask should have mattered but he didn’t.  He was just another piece of machine.  They kept him alive though, possibly to make a Master Mold or Nimrod in future films.  Or reveal him to be the shape changing Apocalypse, would make sense with all those dead mutants mentioned.

 

And there’s Mystique who really isn’t anything like her comic counter part.  She was a good character in First Class.  In Days of Future Past she was what everyone was after and not much else.  Could that have been fixed by staying true to her comic self?  No idea.  I do however find it funny that the movies made her comic outfit look modest.  Now what really would have been nice would be if she had recruited those mutants she saved to be her Mutant Liberation Front or Freedom Force.  Mystique is a strong willed leader.  I hear movies are afraid of those qualities in females.

 

So no, I didn’t love Days of Future Past.  As a time travel movie, it came off as Singer celebrating his previous X-Men movies.  As a period piece, it was okay.  The Kennedy part was idiotic and poorly written, which in my opinion undermined the credits teaser because now every mystery in history has the same answer – a mutant did it.  But I didn’t love Days of Future Past and despite its premise and namesake I will be extremely surprised if it stands the test of time.

 

Turn 103 – What a Shame he’s not a Whole Guy

hawkeye2

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Livestream: http://www.twitch.tv/carouselpodcast

Featuring John MusiM, Scott “Artisan002″, and Stretch.

Music by MusiM.  Buy the music at musim.bandcamp.com

Its been a while and I might not have done that much editing but we’re back!  This turn we discuss Remember Me, Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, Infamous, Dragonage Origins, The Stanley Parable, Hawkeye, X-Men, Continuum, and Agents of Shield.

Turn 75 – Eat, Pray, Mechs

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Featuring John “MusiM”, Lauren “Literally:, and Scott “Artisan002″.

Music by MusiM.  Buy the music at musim.bandcamp.com

Our intended topics of discussion are Battlestar Galactica, Prometheus, Avengers, Dragon Age Origins, Shadowrun, Mech Warrior, and a minute or Mass Effect 3 news.

Be sure and email us for the next show at carouselpodcast@gmail.com!

X-Men 101-108 – The Phoenix Saga

The issues reference in the title do no actually call the story arc “The Phoenix Saga” but it is, not to be confused with “The Dark Phoenix Saga”.  Jean’s still in her green threads.  I have never read this before and holy crap people.  These issues are so chock full of awesome I had to do a play by play of awesome moments.  This will in no way cover the story but come on people.  Holy.  Crap.  Awesome.

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Turn 71 – Exploding Pen

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Featuring John “MusiM”, Suzy “Specter”, and Sam Bell.

Music by MusiM.  Buy the music at musim.bandcamp.com

This turn almost didn’t happen as nobody could make it, so thank Sam for showing up!  Our intended topics of discussion are The Dresden Files, X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, Drive, Unbreakable, Salute Your Shorts, Top Gear, Dragonvale, Skyrim, and Back to the Future.

Be sure and email us for the next show at carouselpodcast@gmail.com!

 

UPDATE

Sorry for the delay but this turn is now functioning.

X-Men: Some stuff about 51-100

So its a lot harder to just pick 10 goofy or relevant things to tell you about X-Men 51-100.  Part of it is that from issues 67  through 93 Marvel starting reprinting earlier stories with new covers.  67 was a reprint of the first appearance of the Juggernaut and they simply went on from there, oftening reprinting two issues in a single issue.  From 1970 to 1975 X-Men was basically not a series.  I can’t even fathom how angry fans must have been.  Luckily Lein Wein came along in 1975 and published Giant Sized X-Men.  Once that happened everything changed as Chris Claremont started writing the monthly series and Chris was not afraid to have just as much if not more drama than action.  But I now bring you tidbits.  Little interesting nuggets of information that are fact in the context of issues 51-100.  They may not all be funny, but they will be informative and entertaining.  And in the future I may have to look at smaller issue sets to do.

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TV Review: Wolverine and the X-Men

The hardest part about loving any comic property turned TV show, anime, or movie, is letting go of the comic.  This is especially true in the X-Men’s case, a series with so many characters that cause such extreme loves and hatreds that translating it becomes nearly impossible.  Wolverine and the X-Men has stories and characters that are shadows of the comic series.  At times it seems like Grant Morrison’s New X-Men or Chris Claremont’s two issue Days of Future Past are the inspiration for the series.  The writers purposely ignore the essence of the characters, simply carrying over the look and power of the character, which is more than X-Men 3: The Last Stand did.  Its a complicated series to critique because its 26 episodes vary to such a  degree in quality.  Either way, I will tell you what I know.  I understand now what fans see in this series and why its such a disappointment the second season was never finished.

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X-Men: 10 Facts from 1-50

After reading the first 50 issues of the original run of X-Men I decided it would be fun to present 10 interesting tidbits which might be retroactively changed later because that’s what comics do.  The original X-Men are radically different from what they become.  And if you aren’t familiar with them, the original team only consisted of Cyclops, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Beast, Iceman, and Angel.

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TV Review: X-Men Anime (2011)

Marvel commissioned 4 Japanese animations back in 2009 including Iron Man, Wolverine, Blade, and the one we’re going to talk about, X-Men.  No franchise inspires such arguing and hatred among fans like X-Men.  Whether the fan is team Cyclops or team Wolverine or one of the other mutants, everyone has a favorite character and a few characters they hate.  And on top of all this with literally a few thousand X-Men comics in existence, half a dozen movies, and half a dozen TV shows, there’s a lot of material to completely change any given character.  Most Americans, for better or worse, probably get most of their X-knowledge from the 90’s Fox animated series.  Well the X-Men anime, by Madhouse and directed by Fuminori Kizaki, is not any of these things but I’m still here to tell its a lot of fun.

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Turn 56 – Grams of Hope

Will John find a way to bring up Joss Whedon?  Will Joey find a way to bring up Vonnegut again?  Find out and listen!

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Featuring John “MusiM”, Joey, Scott “Artisan002″, and Lauren (check out her Youtube channel at “http://www.youtube.com/user/LaurenLiterally“).

Music by MusiM.  Buy the new album at musim.bandcamp.com

With the help of our new friend Eggy, we explore geekdom once more in under 2 hours!

Starting out with videogames we talk about Team Fortress 2, Monday Night Combat, Plants vs Zombies, World of Warcraft, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, Infamous, Uncharted 3 Beta, Duke Nuke ‘Em Forever, Duke Nuke ‘Em 3D, The 2D Adventures of Rotating Octopus, Torchlight, and Trenched.

And then launching into literature we traverse the landscapes of X-Men, Marvel Civil War, Planetary, Watchmen, Wildstorm, The Authority, Preacher, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, No Hero, 1984, Good Omens, and The Cape.

And finalize with moving pictures including Transformers Dark of the Moon, Captain America, Unbreakable, and The Hunger Games.

Other stuff of interest:

Play Uncharted 3 Beta with the Carousel this Tuesday at 7 pm Central!

Look for the Afterhours podcast every Friday!

See MusiM TONIGHT at Reverb in Tulsa opening for God in a Machine and Chant!

More exclamation marks!!!

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