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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The Greatest/Worst WTF Ever

There have been a lot (A LOT) of ‘what the fuck??!?’ moments in comic book history, especially when it comes to the super heroes of Marvel and DC Comics. But there is one project that, from top to bottom, just makes you want to scream it from the rooftops. No, I’m not talking about Final Crisis, or One More Day, or even Zero Hour or Heroes Reborn.

I’m talking about Amalgam.

SIGH

SIGH

Yeah, we’re going there.

In the late 1990’s Marvel and DC were hurting. The speculator boom of the early part of the decade caused the industry to collapse on itself, and both companies were scrambling for direction and for ways to bring their lapsed readers back, not to mention brining new readers in. They resorted to some really bad crossovers, notably Marvel VS DC, which saw fights like Flash vs Quicksilver, Green Lantern vs Silver Surfer, Lobo vs Wolverine (sort of), Batman vs Captain America, and others. To say it sucked is an insult to all things that suck.

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But they weren’t done.

On the heels of that they unleashed the Amalgam universe, which was presented by both companies (neither of you get a pass!) and featured combinations of their characters, so you had Batman and Wolverine combined to make the ridiculous “Dark Claw”, and other nonsense.

I'm the best there is at what I do, and what I do is suck!

I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do is suck!

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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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Favorite Stories vol 3: The New Fantastic Four

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The New Fantastic Four

One of the first comics I ever got was a collection of the Walter Simonson and Arthur Adams Fantastic Four issues, which are famous for introducing a new Fantastic Four, complete with all of the most popular characters of the 1990’s. The only guy missing was the Punisher, and he ended up having a small cameo at the very end.

A runaway Skrull fugitive crash lands on Earth, and is searching for a specific weapon that will protect her from her Skrull pursuers. So she infiltrates the FF and incapacitates everyone, including Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, She-Thing, Alicia Masters, and a human Ben Grimm. She then poses as Susan Richards, and after drugging the FF to appear dead, she summons four of their allies to help her. She gets the Hulk (in his gray ‘Mr. Fixit’ persona), Ghost Rider (the Danny Ketch version), Wolverine, and Spider-Man.

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X-Men Crossovers Part 7

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The Phalanx Covenant

Took Place In: Uncanny X-Men 316-317, X-Men 36-37, X-Factor 106, X-Force 38, Excalibur 82, Wolverine 85, Cable 16

Written By: Larry Hama (Cable, Wolverine), Scott Lobdell (X-Factor, Uncanny X-Men, Excalibur), Todd Dezago (X-Factor, Excalibur), Fabian Nicieza (X-Men, X-Force)

Art By: Steve Skroce (Cable), Ken Lashley/Steve Epting (Excalibur), Joe Madureira (Uncanny X-Men), Adam Kubert (Wolverine), Jan Duursema/Roger Cruz (X-Factor), Tony Daniel (X-Force), Andy Kubert (X-Men)

Characters Involved: Banshee, Emma Frost, Jubilee, Sabretooth, M, Husk, Skin, Blink (Generation Next), Professor X, Moira Mactaggert, Wolfsbane, Douglock, Cannonball, Forge, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Siryn (Life Signs), Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, Cable (Final Sanction)

Story: The Phalanx Covenant is a bit of a break from the normal X-Men crossover of this time, both format-wise and content-wise. The format is a little strange, with 3 crossovers happening simultaneously under the “Phalanx Covenant” banner. Uncanny X-Men and X-Men crossover for 2 issues each in “Generation Next”, which is basically just an origin story and staging ground for the “Generation X” book, which launched shortly after. X-Force, X-Factor and Excalibur crossed over for “Life Signs”, which was the most forgettable of the 3 stories, and Cable and Wolverine crossed over for the 2 part “Final Sanction”.

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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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