2/11/2009

X-Men Cartoon Over Homework Any Day


Previously, the X-Men animated series episodes were released only in single disc packages with one or two episodes stuck together just to get hype for the next Marvel movie. Fortunately, Marvel has finally decided to release the X-Men cartoon series, originally airing afternoons on Fox, in two DVD volumes, on April 28th.

It's taken far too long for this to come out, I can still remember walking home from school and watching this show, and becoming completely obsessed with the X-Men. For a while, the Fox afternoon was just too good; this series and Spider-Man both played a huge part in my pre-teen imagination.

Being in elementary and middle school, this cartoon was a little more mature than the others and put my mind at rest, bringing me back into comics and giving me an artistic outlet, creating my own mutants and drawing the characters I related to.

The X-Men is probably the most continuity-heavy comic in the history of comics, every character, location and action seems to be important to something that will happen in the future, and because of that you become seriously involved. You care more about the characters you like and put yourself in their shoes. I loved some characters so much, and hated others, here's where I was at as a child, and now:

CYCLOPS

THEN: Cyclops is everything not cool about a super hero. He's like Superman without the humanity, just a fucking cop who harasses you for skating in an empty parking lot. My neighbor loved him when we were young and would always talk about how great his powers were, which at the time I just saw as laser beams, and would shit on my favorite X-Man, Nightcrawler. Cyclops is just your friend's dad who won't let you play behind the shed.

NOW: Cyclops has become a man who demands respect, breaking away from Professor X's rule, and is doing what needs to be done to protect the few remaining mutants. I realize his "laser beams" aren't lasers but pure force that has to be held back, but when dude lets loose it's actually pretty scary. He's still an asshole but now I know it's for the better of the X-Men and not just because he's a prick.

JEAN GREY

THEN: I never understood why everyone wanted to bang her so badly, or why Professor X even had her around. I get she could move stuff with her mind or whatever but she didn't feel essential to the team, not her specific personality. A friend once said to me "There are two kinds of people, ones who bring something to the table and ones who don't" and I've gotta apply this to Marvel Girl here, why do you matter outside of causing problem?

NOW: She's dead and Cyclops is with Emma Frost, which makes a lot more sense. Emma is strong and over all more interesting, and I don't mean because of her revealing outfits. Jean caused nothing but trouble, she's like the damsel in distress but she was causing the distress! Good riddance, unless, you know, she's Cable's baby in some fucked up way.

GAMBIT

THEN: Gambit was so cool. He wore a trench coat, threw these playing cards and stood leaning against walls. Everything as a little boy you think is cool, except instead of sunglasses his eyes were just dark! That transcends coolness.

NOW: What were we thinking? He's everything lame about a character. All he needs now is a motorcycle or to team up with Starman or Constantine. He's just what kids in the 90's thought were cool. The worst thing looking back are his powers, the man has the ability to use kinetic energy to charge anything to cause it to blow up and he decides on playing cards? SERIOUSLY?

ROUGE

THEN: Her ability to steal powers from any other mutant made her one of my favorites. I was even willing to be her when we'd play X-Men, taking on the ridicule until I would suck up all their powers and win. I had a little boy crush on her too which just makes that weirder...

NOW: Rouge is the X-Man that all dudes my age continue to have crushes on, even though she hasn't been in the comics for a long while. Her powers still remain some of the most interesting, but most under-utilized. Marvel sometimes won't put the time needed into building a character, and so we're left with heroes like Rogue, who we'll see for two months until they run out of ideas. She, like most of the X-Men, just doesn't have enough life outside of the X-Men to make them interesting.

STORM

THEN: Storm's powers seemed stupid to me, but I think that may been been because weather is something we see every day, its just wasn't "sci fi" enough.

NOW: Storm is one of the, if not only, strong black characters in comics that doesn't rely on race to tell her stories. I know now that her powers are incredibly diverse, dude can't even fly but manages it by using winds! She's not as involved in the X-Men anymore but has moved onto the Fantastic Four books with her husband Black Panther, and is currently in the running for actually being the next Black Panther. She's one of the few characters from the X-Books to really evolve since I was a child.

BEAST

THEN: I have always been into monster characters so Beast always appealed to me. The obvious difference between him and other smart dudes just made him more popular with me and my friends, his blue fur and sudden bits of rage were frightening after being so used to his calm demeanor. They have never given Beast a proper toy, step it up Marvel!

NOW: Secondary mutations have made Beast into a blue, humanoid lion, very few pieces of him remain man. His character has managed to develop alongside the rest of the X-Men, taking a sidecar to action and acting almost exclusively as a behind the scenes character.

WOLVERINE

THEN: I hate Wolverine, from his stupid one liners to his cowboy hats. He was everyone's favorite and each and everytime we'd be on the playground, at least five kids were yelling "SNICKT" and slashing through everything. I always just wanted Magneto to rip him apart and get it over with.

NOW: I love Wolverine, from his great one liners to his flannel shirts. I buy into it completely, picking up every one-shot, excited to see which artist they've gotten for the character next. He's the new Conan, in a way, he's done so much his adventures are all legendary, and because of his powers and past, we have no idea how old he is or how many places he's actually been. Instead of sitting complacent on a character they didn't need to expand, they've done everything they can to make him relevant, it's why the X-Men are still interesting to people, they never settle down.

9 comments:

Brandon graham said...

Hey samuel,

I too have strong thoughts and feelings. I've alwas been interested in that thing Kirby did with the origonal x men and fantasic 4--where they were both like the same basic team layout except instead of the human torch who is an elemental guy who flies you got the snow elemental guy and the flying guy. (whose lifestyle I accept)

Here's my inner most thoughts and feelings on them all:

Cyclops-- I love your friends dad anaology. Althogh I do like his powers (RUBY QUARTZ!)and realize he's a stand up guy he has none of my love. He is the Ryu(sf2) or Mario of the x men and I can't care.

Jean grey- yaawwnnn-- I mean I like altenate future Rachel summers so maybe there's some good inside her, that she just needs to birth out in a distopian future.

Gambit--He looks like he stole his clothes from a beaming accedent between a spandex biker and a trenchcoat nerd. And he's a douchbag.

Rouge- yeah--she's the hottest thing ever and I can't even touch her or I'd die.. also she's fictional. FUCK!

Storm--Maybe I've typed this on here before but seeing this storm after I grew up on mohawk storm is like if they turned grace jones into the preacher's wife era whitney houston.

Beast--beast is cool I like Beast.
I like beast so much I didn't even dislike him when kelsey grammer played him. And I would hate jesus if he came back in the form of a kelsey grammer.

Wolverine-hhmmmmmmm I like reading wolverine comics but I distrust his motavation. It'd be ccol to see them do a blade of the immortal thing with him where he started to get sloppy because he's so indestructable.

Ok maybe this is me just ripping into the x men. shit, sorry.

samuel rules said...

HAHA, this rules, all of our readers are these too cool for school nerds so you'll be the only one to do this but it is APPRECIATED!

Storm is BONER CITY when she has this mohawk, remember the way she was in the cartoon when she became the Morlock leader? For some reason a young me couldn't even handle how hot she was with that metal staff, god damn

david e. ford, jr said...

i for one happen to think that our readers are great, even if they don't comment about how awesome the shit we are writing is!

dersh!

brandon said...

Fuck our fucking readers except for B. Graham. Comment you faggots.

Storm with the mohawk is hot for sure. You'd like listen to post-punk and do drugs with her and it would be sorta cool.

Cyclops & Jean Grey are the perfect couple because they're squares and they'd like get married right out of college and announce it in those alumni letters.

Later Cyclops, post Prof X is cool because you see the shit he's gotta deal with and stuff. There's a great like, 3 page story in one of the MARVEL COMICS Presents from last year that presents Cyclops well.

Gambit - Yeah, who even knows about this guy. This one-shot Katrina comic with him would've been dope though. He's also only been around since like 1991 or something, right?

Rogue- Yeah hot. Her accent on the cartoon not hot though.

Beast obviously rules and his whole backseat to the game, I don't wanna kick people's asses anymore thing is good. He's real cool in the Cable series when Cyclops want to torture Bishop and Beast's like "wOAH..."

Wolverine is cool like Hellboy. Cool b/c he's a dopey nerdy loser guy who won't totally admit it. He's good as character b/c he's such this archetype, quiet loner, Romantic hero, rule breaker etc.

I sort of hate X-Men too.

samuel rules said...

Cyclops just became this dude who's like ALRIGHT TIME TO NOT BE A DICK I GOTTA GET SHIT DONE and that's cool.

Beast also will like flip out on a mother fucker if he has to, I sorta think K. Grammer playing him was way too brilliant, especially when he does these BEAST poses and is flipping around.

The Inkwell Bookstore said...

Wait: You mentioned your childhood love of Nightcrawler, but never followed through with your take on him now.

Me, personally? I loved him as a kid. Well, I liked the sentimental, sappy, BAMF-ing parts of him, anyway. The faux-Errol Flynn stuff never really seemed 'real' enough. (Yes, I *really* thought this way!) And that four issue miniseries? It was like a holy grail to me. Then, after two years of lusting, I finally got it. And it's 100% faux-Errol Flynn stuff! Boo! Hiss!

Nowadays: I still love him. Granted, the most 'recent' comics I've read with him in them are the Grant Morrison New X-Men issues (where there were a whole bunch of clone-crawlers), but hey -- that was cool.
But the MOVIE....
I thought that X-Men 2 did an awesome job with the character. The scene where Nightcrawler asks Mystique why she doesn't make herself look human all the time and she says, "We shouldn't have to," and Nightcrawler looks like Charlie Brown getting a kiss from the little red haired girl? (Swooooon!) I felt like the little kid me wanting to be Nightcrawler all over again.

samuel rules said...

Inkwell,

I thought about elaborating on what I said about Nightcrawler but wanted to stay on topic about the X-Men featured on the show that were the "main" X-Men, and not side characters.

That being said, Nightcrawler is still my favorite X-Man, but my favorite mutant has become Magneto, I often end up thinking about what having those powers would be like, how the ability to "smell" metals rules.

Nightcrawler's sadness in the movies was probably the only part that was like the comics, the only part that didn't feel was made for the movies.

Thanks for commenting and reading!

Vee (Scratch) said...

First, why are you calling me a f*gg*t??!? :-)

BTW, sorry if this is long.

The 'THEN AND NOW' take on the characters are perfect. I definitely enjoyed the read.

Magneto
Then. I just thought he was a bad guy. I didn't think his powers were that great.

Now. After reading more issues involving Magnus and his background . . . I realized that he was and is one of the best characters Marvel ever created. The whole back and forth thing between him and Charles is crazy. Two separate but same approaches to ultimately the same cause, the whole classic Martin or Malcolm schism. Realizing that Magneto was never really evil . . . I mean the dude has a right to be hostile, "his people is being persecuted." Ok, he goes a little bit overboard but he's great for the comics.

The X-Men Origins: Magnus has the potential to be really great - story wise. Forget action, focus on the story.

For the record, I loved when he crushed Wolverine completely, removing his adamantium. He should have just used his adamantium laced bones to crush his bones and then choke him out of consciousness and life. I still have the comic some where.

Look at this gem . ..
http://www.magnetowasright.com/


Chris Claremont
Then: I thought the X-Men comics were good. I was introduced to the X-Men through Claremont's work.

Now: I think Claremont was THE best. Who knows my opinion may change but that's just my opinion now.


This needs to be said.
-------------
The X-Men Films. X1 was serviceable. X2 was the best. I liked some elements from X3 but Brett Ratner needs to be stopped at all costs. Who's willing to join me and making sure that he's stopped from directing super-hero films in the future?

What's the purpose of a rated PG-13 Wolverine? I think it is really difficult to hide the fact that he's killing people throughout X2. There's not one speckle of blood on his hands, face or blades?

samuel rules said...

Whoa I'll be real, that website is too much for me to even begin processing right now, thanks!

You should check out the great "House of M: Civil War" comic that came out, it's the story of how the House of M Magneto took over the world. It's pretty fucked up because in reading it you realize if he would've made some key decisions early on, mutants lives would be much better.

I think Claremont is the best X-Men writer to date, even if sometimes he dropped the ball with stories he'd half set up. He's sorta the reason for the continuity heavy direction the comic took but he also changed the way super hero comics were structured, his characters becoming blind with rage, etc. God Loves, Man Kills is one of my all time favorite comics, Sci-Fi shit has a way of making us look at how stupid some real life things like race really are.