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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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

Titanstomorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Top 5 “Cyclops is a badass!” Moments

Growing up, all of my friends liked the X-Men. We loved pretty much all of them, even Longshot and the Dazzler (I know. Shut up). Everyone loved Nightcrawler, and Iceman, and Colossus, but it seemed like everyone’s favorite was always Wolverine. While I think Wolverine is cool, I always thought Cyclops was way cooler. I dunno, maybe it’s because I can’t help but think that a really short, hairy Canadian shouldn’t be the star of the show, but I digress. There were always a few writers who portrayed Cyclops with the respect he is due, like Louise Simonson, Joss Whedon, Chris Claremont, and maybe Scott Lobdell. Too often he was written as this stiff, do-gooder with a stick up his ass; always the buzzkill.

Anyway, I wanted to take a quick moment to show people what pretty much every telepath in the Marvel universe knows: Cyclops is a badass.

(Seriously, think about it. The most powerful telepath in the world (Professor X) decides he’s the one worth building his life’s dream around, the most powerful telepath in the UNIVERSE (Phoenix) just can’t stay away from him and even married him, Psylocke wanted him for years, and he’s currently sleeping with Emma Frost, another of the most powerful telepaths in the world. Also, Sinister, an incredibly powerful telepath himself, spent years manipulating and testing him).

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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 – COPPER AGE? (4 of 4)

Continued from Part 3: The Bronze Age

THE COPPER AGE (1985 – ?)

— “I know pain. Sometimes, I share it… with someone like you!” – Batman (Batman: Year One)

Also referred to as the ‘Modern Age’ of Comics, and is seen as a continuation of the ‘Dark Age’ of Comics. I like to say we’re in the Post-Modern Age, since the current comics barely resemble the comics of the 90’s and it’s been long enough to establish a New Age. This ‘Modern’ Age is often classified with works like Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and Frank Miller’s the Dark Knight Returns.

During this time leading up to today comics evolved into graphic novels. Comic issues were intended as single episodes in a greater story, and usually collected into larger volumes to be sold at book store chains. Many acclaimed, award winning graphic novels came about around this time including: V For Vendetta, the Sandman, Hell-blazer (Constantine), 100 Bullets, ‘Maus’, Fables, American Splendor, Kick-Ass, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Wanted, Red, the Losers, Road to Perdition, A History of Violence, Y: the Last Man, and Grimm Fairy Tales, among others, most of which have been turned into blockbuster films along with a majority of super hero comics.

The Copper Age also covers the mixed bag of comics that was the 90’s when the X-titles reigned supreme, and cross-overs galore flooded comic shops with overprinting and variant cover marketing gimmicks. Comics of this decade were marked by unnecessary (and meaningless, non-permanent) deaths, constantly confusing title cross-overs, ridiculously out of proportion body-types (either steroid muscles, or DDD size boobs), and pointless violence coupled with raging CAPS and EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!! Now regardless of all the negatives, there were some pure gold tales that came out of this mess like: The Death of Superman, the Knightfall Saga, etc… This was also the rise of other comic company giants, like Image and Wild-storm, but that’s for another article.

During the 80’s and 90’s the status quo was significantly changed. DC took a page from Marvel when they revamped their entire line of heroes. Some were altered more drastically than others, like Superman. In John Byrne’s ‘THE MAN OF STEEL’ miniseries (1985), Superman’s origin was completely revamped from the start. Superman himself was significantly depowered compared to the god-like Silver Age version and he was made more relatable and down to Earth. His entire cast of supporting characters were also given updates. Most notably, LEX, the original criminal-mastermind was no longer a crazy-ass mad-scientist with desires for world domination, instead he was a ruthless business man who had already conquered the world and had practically built the city of Metropolis! Lex became insanely jealous when this new hero of tomorrow overtook his own spotlight, and vowed to destroy him.

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X-Men Crossovers Part 3

Oh, boy. Inferno is one of those stories that you either unequivocally love or hate. There’s really not much in-between. After the success of Fall of the Mutants and the Mutant Massacre, the next X-Men crossover, Inferno, actually spilled out into the rest of the Marvel universe quite a bit. You can find all sorts of titles that tie into Inferno, even books like Daredevil and the Amazing Spider-Man.

Took Place In: New Mutants 71-73, X-Factor 36-39, Uncanny X-Men 240-243

Written By: Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-Men), Louise Simonson (New Mutants, X-Factor)

Art By: Marc Silvestri (Uncanny X-Men), Jon Bogdanove (New Mutants), Walt Simonson (X-Factor)

Characters Involved: Storm, Wolverine, Havok, Psylocke, Dazzler, Longshot, Rogue, Colossus (X-Men); Archangel, Beast, Cyclops, Nathan Summers (Cyclops’ son), Marvel Girl, Iceman (X-Factor); Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Magik, Warlock, Gosamyr (New Mutants) ; S’ym, N’astirh, Crotus (Limbo demons) ; Goblyn Queeen / Madelyne Pryor; Mr. Sinister; Arclight, Harpoon, Sabretooth, Prism, Scalphunter, Malice, Vertigo, Scrambler, Blockbuster, Riptide (Marauders)

 

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Favorite Stories vol 2- X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga

My first exposure to X-Men comics was the Dark Phoenix saga, which many consider to be the greatest X-Men story ever told, even to this day. It was like saying, “Oh, you have a passing interest in trying some really light, social drug? Here, try this crack.” Before this story I would read comics occasionally. Really just whenever I would happen to get some. I never actively sought them out. After this story I wanted everything X-Men I could get my grubby little hands on.

I’m not going to get into too much detail on what came before, since a lot of that has been changed retroactively. But essentially Jean Grey aka Marvel Girl, one of the original X-Men, is imbued with the powers of the Phoenix, a cosmic entity capable of great and terrible things. For a while, Jean seemed ok. Her powers of telepathy and telekinesis were raised to an unprecedented degree, but other than that she was still just Jean.

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