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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X-Men Crossovers Part 5

X-Cutioner’s Song

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Took place in: Uncanny X-men 294-296, X-factor 84-86, X-men 14-16, X-force 16-18

Written by: Peter David (X-Factor), Scott Lobdell (Uncanny X-Men), Fabian Nicieza (X-Men, X-Force)

Art By: Jae Lee (X-factor), Brandon Peterson (Uncanny X-men), Andy Kubert (X-men), Greg Capullo (X-force)

Characters Involved: Havok, Polaris, Multiple Man, Wolfsbane, Quicksilver, Strong Guy (X-Factor), Cannonball, Sunspot, Boom Boom, Rictor, Shatterstar, Feral, Warpath (X-Force), Storm, Iceman, Archangel, Jean Grey, Bishop, Cyclops, Wolverine, Beast, Jubilee, Gambit, Rogue, Psylocke (X-Men), Cable, Apocalypse, Sinister, Stryfe

imagesStory: Hoo boy. This story is 1990’s X-Men at its peak, for better or worse. If, like me, you were reading all 4 of the titles involved in this crossover, then this was awesome. But if you were a causal fan, or just reading one or two of the books, this was a damn disaster. The story begins in Central Park, at a free concert by mutant musician Lila Cheney. At one point in the concert there is a break, and Professor X gives a speech about tolerance and how mutants are just like normal people, blah blah. Attending the concert are Storm, Bishop, Rogue, and a disguised Archangel. So a woman that can control the weather with her thoughts, a time-displaced militant mutant with the ability to shoot lazers from his hands, a woman that can kill you with a touch, and a flying cutlery drawer. Yeah, they’re just like us, Charles.

Sadly for the Professor, he is suddenly shot in the chest by what appears to be Cable! Before the X-Men can react he teleports out, leaving Charles for dead. This stuns the mutant world, as Cable has been affiliated with X-Force and before that the New Mutants, and is part of the X-family, albeit not directly. This ESPECIALLY stuns X-Force, who have not seen Cable in months and a) can’t believe what he’s done, and b) know that they’re going to be everyone’s first stop on the ass beating train.

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X-Men Crossovers Part 4

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X-Tinction Agenda

Took Place In: Uncanny X-Men 270-272, New Mutants 95-97, X-Factor 60-62

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

Art By: Jim Lee (Uncanny X-Men), Rob Liefeld, Guang Yap (New Mutants), John Bogdanove (X-Factor)

Characters Involved: Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Archangel, Marvel Girl (X-Factor), Cable, Cannonball, Sunspot, Boom-Boom, Rictor, Wolfsbane, Warlock (New Mutants), Storm, Forge, Banshee, Gambit, Jubilee, Wolverine, Psylocke (X-Men), Cameron Hodge, Havok, Genegineer, Genoshan Magistrates (villains)

Story: We are rapidly getting to the point where the X-Men franchise is nearly impenetrable to new readers (aka the 1990’s), and this story kind of points to that. You need to know a lot about who everyone is and what their relationships are outside of this story, so people who maybe thought this would be a nice gateway into the X-books was probably bleeding from the ears, eyes, and nose by the end of the story.

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Comiczombie’s Top 5 (Bottom?) Worst Comic Book Movies

There’s no getting around it: there have been a ton of truly awful superhero/comic book adaptations. I’m looking at you, Punisher. There are a lot that were made for next to no money, and were made only so that a company could hold onto film rights, like the 1994 version of Fantastic Four, or the Captain America movies that starred J.D. Salinger’s son as Cap, had an Italian Red Skull, and Cap’s ears on the side of his mask were rubber. Rubber! There are also some that are really bad adaptations, but not terrible movies, like Constantine. But for the purposes of this list I am looking at the comic book movies that were made by big studios for at least reasonably large budgets. So you won’t see Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four on my list. Also, I haven’t seen the Halle Berry Catwoman, so that won’t be making the list. However, you will see….

5. Superman Returns

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What We Wanted to See: A movie that reinvigorated the franchise and moved Superman into the 21st century

What We Got: A sequel/prequel that satisfied nobody

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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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RETRO SPOILER ALERT! – First Appearances Can Be Deceiving – BRONZE AGE (3 of 4)

Continued from Part 2: The Silver Age

THE BRONZE AGE (1970 to 1985)

— “I am fire and life incarnate! Now and forever — I am PHOENIX!!!” – Jean Grey (Dark Phoenix)

This is considered to be the start of the ‘Dark Age’ of Comics, and with good reason, which continued into the late 90’s (the Copper Age). Some very dark twists to many popular characters backstories were first established during this time such as: (Retro Spoiler Alert!) the Green Goblin killing Spider-man’s girlfriend (Gwen Stacy, not MJ), the demise of Jason Todd (the second Robin) at the hands of the Joker, Elektra’s murder by Bullseye, etc… (BULLSEYE was introduced in Daredevil #131 – 1976, and ELEKTRA in #168 – 1981)

Often disputed between comic fans / historians, this Bronze Era is typically said to have occurred sometime between 1970 and 1985 give or take a couple years. This was a time when comic books became more socially conscious and began featuring real-world issues. Comic books were no longer just an escape from reality, but a mirror of it. This is when the legends behind the most acclaimed adult-themed comics started to creep onto the scene. Writers and artists like Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Jim Lee, George Perez, Joe Quesada, and countless others who are still relevant today, most of whom are still actively in the comic industry today!

The Bronze Age was when there was a resurgence in interest for super heroes in general. Following the cheesy campy spoof that was the Batman 60’s TV series was the first serious, live action, depiction of a comic book, on the silver screen with Superman: The Movie in the late 70’s, and in the 80’s there was the Wonder Woman show and the Incredible Hulk became a Smash Hit! (pun-intended)

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X-Men Crossovers Part 1

Ever since Marvel published Secret Wars back in the early 80’s both Marvel and DC comics have made a habit, for better or for worse, of crafting giant stories that involve multiple titles and characters. The kings of this trend for a long time were the X-Men. Nearly every year all of the X-Men titles would cross over with each other, and most of the time there were more than a few titles. A lot of really big developments have happened in these events/crossovers, which I will discuss as I get to them. First up, I will be looking at the X-Men and their crossovers, starting with….

X-Men: The Mutant Massacre

Took Place In: Uncanny X-Men 210-213, New Mutants 46, X-Factor 9-11, Thor 373-374, Power Pack 27

Written By: Chris Claremont (X-Men, New Mutants), Louis Simonson (X-Factor, Power Pack), Walter Simonson (Thor)

Art By: John Romita Jr, Brett Blevins, Rick Leonardi, Alan Davis (X-Men), Jackson Guice (New Mutants), John Bogdanove (Power Pack), Walter Simonson (X-Factor), Sal Buscema (Thor)

Featuring: Thor, Power Pack, X-Factor (Cyclops, Phoenix, Iceman, Beast, Angel), X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Dazzler, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue), New Mutants (Magneto, Cannonball, Moonstar, Karma, Magik, Cypher, Warlock, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Magma), the Marauders (Sabretooth, Arclight, Scalphunter, Vertigo, Riptide, Blockbuster, Scrambler, Prism, Harpoon), Freedom Force (Mystique, the Blob, Pyro, Destiny, Avalanche, Spider-Woman), the Morlocks

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