The X-MEN movies

The X-Men movies timeline

There was a long period of time where the only super hero movies we had were the Christopher Reeve Superman films, which (as we discussed HERE), had their considerable ups and downs (mostly downs), and the Batman franchise (which we discussed HERE, HERE, and HERE), but this was before the excellent Christopher Nolan reboot, so it was also mostly bad.

X-Men teaser posterThen the late 90’s hit and Marvel (with New Line Cinema) had a surprise hit on their hands with Blade, and all of a sudden it felt like there might be a chance we’d get some more. That’s when Fox dropped a bombshell and announced they were going to finally, FINALLY, release a live action X-Men film!

Say what you want about the first movie, and we will, but it really opened the floodgates for the huge wave of superhero films (that mostly sucked) for the early 21st century. For better or worse we probably wouldn’t have the Spider-man movies without this one!

Fifteen years later, and the franchise has had its ups and downs (notice a trend?), but found its footing again with X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past. Now, with X-Men: Apocalypse, Deadpool, and a third Wolverine film looming, the franchise appears to be in as good a shape as it has ever been.

But how did they get here?

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X-Men Crossovers Part 8

 

aoaThe Age of Apocalypse

Took Place In: Age of Apocalypse Alpha, Omega, Amazing X-Men 1-4, Astonishing X-Men 1-4, X-Calibre 1-4, Weapon X 1-4, Gambit & the X-Ternals 1-4, Factor X 1-4, X-Man 1-4, X-Universe 1-2, Generation Next 1-4

Written By: Scott Lobdell (Alpha, Omega, Astonishing X-Men, Generation Next), Mark Waid (Alpha, Omega), Fabian Nicieza (Amazing X-Men, Gambit and the X-Ternals), Larry Hama (Weapon X), John Francis Moore (Factor X), Warren Ellis (X-Calibre), Jeph Loeb (X-Man)

Art By: Andy Kubert (Amazing X-Men), Roger Cruz (Alpha, Omega), Steve Epting (Alpha, Factor X), Joe Madureira (Astonishing X-Men), Dan Green (Weapon X), Adam Kubert (Weapon X), Karl Kessel (Weapon X), Ken Lashley (X-Calibre), Tony Daniel (Gambit and the X-Ternals), Steve Skroce (X-Man), Chris Bachalo (Generation Next)

Characters Involved: Magneto, Rogue, Quicksilver, Storm, Exodus, Banshee, Iceman, Morph, Sabretooth, Wild Child, Sunfire, Dazzler, Nightcrawler (X-Men), Colossus, Shadowcat, Husk, Chamber, Vincente, Skin, Mondo (Generation Next), Gambit, Sunspot, Lila Cheney, Jubilee, Strong Guy (X-Ternals), Cyclops, Havok, Beast, Cannonball, Bedlam Brothers (Factor X), Forge, X-Man, Sauron, Toad, Mastermind (X-Man), Sinister, Holocaust, Abyss, Mikhail Rasputin (Horsemen), Apocalypse

Story: Hoo boy. I briefly touched on this huge story here, but let’s get into more detail. When Marvel announced that they were cancelling every book in the X-Men line, fans went apeshit. And when they announced they were relaunching them with all new #1 issues, retailers went apeshit (in a good way). Fans were backlashing something fierce, but then this trickle of teases came out, including a book that showed all of the new character designs, and all of a sudden people weren’t upset. In fact, they were really, really excited.

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Top 15 Alternate/Possible Marvel/DC Realities

 

One thing super hero comics seem to do very well is to depict alternate realities and alternate versions of their characters. Wonder what would happen if the X-Men failed to stop the advancement of Sentinel technology, or if Apocalypse succeeded in taking over the world? There are stories you can read for that. Want to know one of the possible futures for the Hulk, or Superman? There’s stories for that, too. Dating back to X-Men: Days of Future Past (which even predates the Terminator films!), comics have continuously used the possible future outcomes as a way of depicting the stakes for our heroes if they lose, and as a way to show how one change in the timeline, no matter how seemingly small, can cause massive ripples in what we think of as reality.

They are also used as a way to show your favorite characters in new situations and surroundings without messing with the core character and material, a la the Age of Apocalypse.

Here are my picks for the 15 best alternate realities/timelines from Marvel and DC comics:

 

15. Teen Titans: The Future Is Now

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Geoff Johns is the most accomplished, and probably most popular, writer for DC Comics. He is well known for titles like Action Comics, the Flash, Green Lantern, JLA, JSA, 52, Infinite Crisis, Forever Evil, and Flashpoint. But the title that typically slips between the cracks is his awesome run on Teen Titans, and the best arc was “The Future is Now”.

After teaming up with the Legion of Super Heroes, the Titans are trying to get back to their own time, but arrive a few years later than they would have liked. They try to go back to their HQ, but are surprised to find that it is occupied by the Justice League, which is made up of adult versions of themselves!

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X-Men Crossovers Part 6

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Fatal Attractions

Took place in:  X-factor 92, X-force 25, Uncanny X-men 304, X-men 25, Wolverine 75, Excalibur 71

Written by: Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-men, X-factor, Excalibur), Fabian Nicieza (X-men, X-force), Larry Hama (Wolverine)

Art by: Joe Quesada (X-factor), Greg Capullo (X-force), John Romita JR (Uncanny X-men), Andy Kubert (X-men), Adam Kubert (Wolverine), Ken Lashley (Excalibur)

Characters involved: Magneto, Exodus, Fabian Cortez (Acolytes), Havok, Polaris, Random, Quicksilver, Wolfsbane, Multiple Man, Strong Guy (X-Factor), Shadowcat, Phoenix, Nightcrawler (Excalibur), Cable, Cannonball, Boom Boom, Rictor, Sunspot, Warpath, Shatterstar, Feral (X-Force), Professor X, Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, Archangel, Wolverine, Colossus, Bishop, Gambit, Rogue, Jubilee, Psylocke (X-Men)

Story: Unlike the last few crossovers, Fatal Attractions is really just a series of events in each title, much like Mutant Massacre. In other words, you don’t need to read any of the other chapters to follow the story in the book you were already reading.

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Top 10 Marvel Events

Over the last few years in particular but really going back all the way to Secret Wars, Marvel has made a habit of telling huge, earth-shattering crossovers. Some are great, and some are… not so great (looking at you Secret Wars II!). However, when they’re good, they’re GOOD. Here is a list of my 10 favorite Marvel events.

 

10. Fear Itself

fear itselfProbably one of the less popular on the list, but you have to admit that Fear Itself really swings for the fences.

The story centers on the return of The Serpent, the Asgardian God of Fear and Odin’s older brother (and by Asgardian law the true All-Father). This dude feeds off of fear, so the more afraid people are in general the stronger he gets. Not such a great combination when you see how he goes about spreading fear.

He is resurrected by the Red Skull (not Schmidt, but his daughter, Sin, the ‘new’ Red Skull), who finds an ancient Asgardian hammer that was created by the Serpent ages ago. When she grabs the hammer she is transformed into an avatar of the Serprent, and gets crazy, Thor level strong. Her awakening frees the Serpent, and a bunch more hammers drop to Earth, and are eventually grabbed by Atuma, the Absorbing Man, Titania, the Grey Gargoyle, the Thing, the Juggernaut, and the fucking Hulk! Each one of them loses their personalities in the hammers and basically do whatever they can to spread fear around the world, mostly by destroying every damn thing in sight.

The Avengers respond, and spread themselves perilously thin to combat the menaces. The Red Hulk is trounced by the Thing; Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, the Protector, and Ms. Marvel BARELY survive the Hulk, and just manage to save some people from him before he jumps away; the Grey Gargoyle turns every person in Paris into a statue and beats the holy living shit out of Iron Man; Titania and the Absorbing Man throw down with War Machine, Iron First, and the Immortal Weapons; Dr. Strange and Namor confront Atuma; and the X-Men are only able to ‘defeat’ the Juggernaut when Colossus agrees to become the new Juggernaut when he meets the demon Cytorrak (who grants the Juggernaut his powers pre-hammer)! Finally the Red Skull leads and army of her Hydra bastards to Washington, DC where they lay siege to the city, and she claims her greatest victory when she stabs Captain America (at the time Bucky Barnes) through the chest!

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Poor Bucky just can’t stop ‘dying’.

The destruction they cause spreads panic and fear everywhere, especially when Avengers Tower falls. This makes the Serpent strong and young again, and he basically takes over the Earth.

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Top 10 X-Men Villains

The X-Men have one of the widest ranging rogue’s galleries in all of comics. A ton of them are really great villains, and a ton of them…. not so much. Anyway, here are my top 10 X-Men villains.

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RETRO SPOILER ALERT! – First Appearances Can Be Deceiving – SILVER AGE (2 of 4)

Continued from Part 1: The Golden Age!

THE SILVER AGE (1956 – 1970)

— “With great power comes great responsibility!” – Ben Parker (Spider-man comics)

This period from around 1956 to 1970 was a huge shift in the world of comic books. Prior to this comics were in decline, mainly because of the Comics Code Authority banning all the awesome shit that was actually selling, because they were afraid it was going to create a generation of delinquents, you know like rap music and video games! Thanks to douchebag of the century, Fredric Wertham, many comic books and pulp magazines were burned in massive bonfires around the country.

So the Silver Age is considered the point at which comics were rejuvenated after a lame stint of pure camp in the Atomic Age of the 50’s. It was the beginning of many a Marvel hero and was marked by a much more sci-fi focus than ever before. This was also notably the introduction of some of the industry’s best talent to date, both artists and writers, including Neal Adams, Denny O Neal, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, John Romita Sr., and of course Stan Lee. Comics of this era are seen as an extension of the Atomic Age, and are often heavily influenced by B-rated Science Fiction films of the time where flying saucers, and giant radioactive monsters ran amok across the silver screen. One of the earliest instances of this was with the devious BRAINIAC first invading Action Comics in issue 242 (1958). Much like the Children of the Atom (the X-Men), Comics began to evolve.

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