How very Uncanny be the man's X mon
Hello and welcome one and all to another installment of the Shadow Knows (better late then never). What does the Shadow know today boys and girls? Never strap a lightening rod to your back in a rain storm. Sure it sounds like fun at first. You run around, jump in puddles, splash around and then the bang!!! You're lying on the ground hair all frizzy. I mean come on seriously what is this the 70's. So just don't do it. For the sake of your hair just don't. Oh and I guess that electrocution thing to if you like. Look at me making nonsense again. So on the next How I Geek pod cast (podbean.com true believers) we are talking movies that have hit milestone anniversaries this year. It should either be fun or not, but hey give us a listen anyway. We could really use the self confidence.
So on to the topic at hand and no not the Ninja assassin clan either (though that would be pretty sweet). The sweet old topic wrapping up my month of exclusive comic talk is Uncanny X-Men. Though I really should have called it Marvel month for that is really the only company I blogged about all month. Oh well alas they were what movies I watched too. Any who, this title came to us in early 1963 and was the baby child of geniuses Stan Lee and Jacky Kirby. Stan had not intended this to be the original title of the book. But when Stan turned in a book entitled "The Mutants" Marvel publisher Martin Goodman shot it down. He stated that no one would understand what mutants were in the context of the Marvel Universe. Given the fact that the book was inspired by the civil rights movement of the time I don't think mutants would have gone over very well to the public at large. The book itself is about 5 teenagers all born with the x-gene and their trainer, leader, and mentor Charles Xavier, he too a mutant. The x-gene gives each individual who has it extraordinary powers. First we have Cyclops, aka Scott Summers with his eye beams. Next we have Marvel Girl, aka Jean Grey with her powers of telekinesis and later telepathy. Beast, aka Hank McCoy born with over sized feet and natural acrobatic agility and above human strength and endurance. Plus the man is a straight up genius. Next in line is Iceman, aka Bobby Drake and his ability to freeze and manipulate the water, well everywhere. Finally we have Angel, aka Warren Worthington III with his super sharp senses and wings giving him flight. He is also a dynasty kid worth a fortune. Now the X-men are not named after Xavier as it might seem, but rather Xavier gave the team this title referring to the X-gene that gives them their extra special powers. This series is what introduced me into the world of superhero comics. Before this time I was only reading books like Sgt. Rock, GI Joe, Transformers, and Star Wars. When I opened the pages of that first book I fell in love with this series. As far as comics go I would consider myself the local X-pert amongst my friends and am even the go to for questions about them. This series has stood the test of time with several spin offs and reboots. With every change of the team came a new and interesting dynamic and with every new character sprinkling their own flavor making this an awesome soup indeed! From story arc to story arc this series from it's conception to the 80's has had some fantastic writers and artists to bring the books alive.
So we will start with the small screen first special voices in my head before you ask. The X-Men made their first on TV appearance in a few episodes of the Marvels Super Heroes Show. I have never to date been able to find an episode to rate it. Though knowing the Marvel animation of the time I am thinking the quality was not all that great. I guess the only way I will know for sure is to continue my search for these elusive episodes. The 70's are not a friend to the mutants and they get no appearances until the 80's with Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. They appear in a couple of episodes and don't do a half bad job of it. In 89 they almost got a series in Pryde of the X-Men. A pilot episode was filmed, but was never picked up. The episode was aired in syndication on and off with mixed reviews. I thought it wasn't half bad and would have loved to seen more. I think it was by far better then what we got in the 90's as part of the Marvel Comics TV block. I love the X-Men and could not get passed a season of this show. It was handled poorly and did not hold a candle to the Spider-Man series of that block. Quality X-Programming did not come until the turn of the century with X-Men evolution and Wolverine and the X-Men, the later being better then the former. With Evolution they were all still kids going through high school. It was a bit kidded down, but the stories I think were much better then the 90's by far. As with all things though I say watch for yourself and insert your opinion here_______________________. Wolverine and the X-Men take place after a revision of the Dark Phoenix Saga, with a Days of Futures Past flair and goes into Age of Apocalypse as the season/series finale. Again this is a really well done show IMHO, but watch yourself and see. The only thing you are out is time because it is on netflix as are the other two. It seems to me that even though X-Men was one of the number one Marvel titles nobody was brave enough to try creating a series until the comic decline of the 90's. This is a shame because I would have loved to see more of my favorite team rockin the TV.
X-Men has graced us on the big screen with 5 X-Movies and 2 Wolverine spin-offs. Starting in the 2000's we got our first X-Movie and I was excited. I caught all three in the theatres and was unfortunately more disappointed with each passing movie. On the the one side they were OK, but on the other I don't think they got much right. To make matters worse the story telling was middle of the road and not a wow factor like you should expect from an X-Movie. The Wolverine movies follow the same suit. Now I have all of these movies in my personal library, but they are not something I pull out that often. That being said as stand alone they are not bad, just not wow awesome. Now in 2009 we got X-Men first class and when I heard it was coming out my eyes rolled and I did not go see it in the theatre. I found my initial reaction to be a big mistake. While this movie also did not follow the main story arc very well it did have all the major wow factors I before mentioned. The story was great, the plot pace was pretty sweet, and the special effects were awesomesauce. If you are looking for a movie that follows the original you are looking in the wrong place. If you are looking for a flipping sweet X-movie then look no further. This follows into the sequel Days of Future Past. Again if you are looking for a movie that follows the original story arc, well walk away now. You will be sorely disappointed. Now if you are going in to see a sweet X-Movie then give this one a chance. I was worried with this one at first to, but I went to see it and was not disappointed. Yes I was not happy that they got almost everything wrong, but the elements that were brought together more then made up for that fact. I suggest you give it a watch you die hard X-fans. It is my hope you wont be disappointed. I wasn't and I am as die hard as they come. Cut me and I bleed little X's which is very painful and perhaps I should see a doctor about that.
Well Shadow fans that is all the time we have this week from your old pal the Shadow. Sorry for the lateness of this one. Family life got in the way and well my kids come first. So tune in next week when you will hear Hugh Jackman say "Mommy I don't wanna do another bad Wolvie movie". What do you think true believers? Are the new X-Movies better then the last 3? Will we ever see an X-live action TV series? Will they ever give Hugh Jackman a good Wolverine script? Who picked that peck of pickled peppers? When I catch that punk I tell you what, I will get my revenge muwahahahaha. These are the questions racing in the vagueness of my subconscious. Till next time kiddies and I will see you in the shadows.