There was a lot of bean-spilling going on last week, and much of it was centered around producer Bryan Singer and the upcoming X-Men: First Class film. No doubt you’ve had something to say on the rather shocking revelations, but we figured it was high time Comicscape weighed in on the subject. Even though we hate to make blanket statements, we’ll go ahead and sum up our thoughts in one word: awesome!
We won’t go so far as to say that we’re jumping off the walls with excitement about every little detail, but overall, we’re diggin’ on what Singer’s layin’ down and we’re actually looking forward to this movie for the first time since it was announced. Since some of the news might seem like heresy to a lot of X-Fans, we’d like to remind you of something: the universe featured in the X-Men films is not the Marvel 616. In fact, it’s not even close. So to say that something Singer and director Matthew Vaughn have planned goes against established continuity… well, it just sounds silly to us. Everything in the X-Films goes against established continuity, so it’s sort of a moot point.
And hey, don’t get us wrong: if we could hit the reset button and get an X-Men film that more closely resembled the comic books, we’d be all for it. But it doesn’t look like that’s happening any time soon, so for now we’re just going to deal with it and view the X-Men film franchise as an Earth-2 or Ultimate version of the X-Men. It is what it is and while what it is certainly isn’t perfect, it’s all we’ve got. And honestly, nothing can be worse than X3 or the Wolverine movie, so the only place the franchise can go is up as far as we’re concerned.
So what we wanted to do here today was go through the major points that were revealed and offer our two cents. Let’s start at the top – the film is set in the 1960’s, features the first meeting of Charles Xavier and Magneto and ol’ Chuck will be wearing his dancing shoes while Moira MacTaggert runs her fingers through his luxurious mane.
Okay, the only thing we have a problem with here is the hair. In the comics, Charles Xavier’s hair fell out early. We could easily excuse this by using our “it isn’t the 616” argument, but we’re of the mind that being bald was sort of Chuck’s “deformity”. In 2010, bald is beautiful (thank you, Captain Picard), but in the 1960’s, it wasn’t quite so. Especially if you were in your 20’s. So we’re giving a coiffed Prof. a huge thumbs-down. Walking? That’s cool – we’re looking forward to seeing how they depict his injury. A 1960’s backdrop? We’ve been begging for a Marvel film that is set during the era when the comics first made their appearance, so we won’t argue with that either. The ‘60s were a radical time in America and since this film is a prequel, it makes sense to feature the two most prominent mutants determining their opinions, personal and political statuses and ultimately their fates during this tumultuous era.
And James Bond-style tech? Oh dear god, yes! Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost as a couple of swingers? Keep talkin’, keep talkin’ … what’s that you say about a variety of locales to give the film a more international flavor? Yeah, we like that too. So far, it sounds like this flick is gonna have some serious style, something the previous X-Films are severely lacking.
Okay, so this is probably the biggest point of contention. No Scott, no Jean… hell, no Bobby or Warren either. This is where we’ll have to fall back on our original argument: it isn’t the 616. Yeah, we understand that some of you might think that a movie titled X-Men: First Class probably ought to feature the original team, but we’d argue that a series of X-Men movies should’ve been about the X-Men and so far we’ve gotten four Wolverine movies with the rest of the team as supporting characters. We’d argue that combining Kitty Pryde and Rogue did both characters a disservice and that the Nightcrawler depicted in the second film bore almost no resemblance to the swashbuckling hero who recently lost his life in the comics. Plus, Scott and Jean were in the other films, which were set “in the near future” according to the text at the beginning of the first film. How freakin’ old do you think they are?
Now, we’ll admit that the Emma Frost thing might be a bit odd, since she appeared as a teenager in the Wolverine movie, which appeared to be set in the… ‘70s? ‘80s? Who knows? At any rate, First Class is taking place before Wolverine, so it’s going to be a bit odd to see an adult Emma in a prequel. Or will it? While trailers and imdb.com refer to the character in Wolverine as Emma Frost, the film’s credits call her “Kayla’s Sister/Emma” and she exhibits no telepathic powers. So maybe she’s not the same Emma Frost as the one in the Hellfire Club? And … well, maybe we’re stretching a bit with this one? Either way, we try our best to forget about X-Men Origins: Wolverine and you probably should too. So don’t let this glitch bother you.
Besides, who has time to worry about odd cast and character decisions when we’re getting January Jones in lingerie and a fur-lined cape? And how about the comments Singer made about the costumes being closer to the comics? No more crappy leather – bring on the spandex!
Oh yeah, and Kevin Bacon is going to play Sebastian Shaw. We’re big fans of Bacon (both the food and the actor), so this news is aces with us. Havok, Darwin, Beast and Banshee? These are all characters we’d love to see in an X-Film. And best of all? No Wolverine.
Hey, it’s not that we don’t like the guy, but we get enough of him in the 432 monthly comics he stars in, not to mention the fact that, as we stated earlier, he’s already starred in the first four X-Films. Let somebody else have the spotlight for a change, Logan.
Once again, we’ll reiterate the fact that we’d love nothing more than a fresh reboot that starts from day one, featuring the original team, with the sequel depicting the events of Giant Size X-Men #1… but that perfect world doesn’t exist and until it does, we’re perfectly happy with the news coming out of the X-Offices regarding First Class. It might not be the X-Men movie we really want, but as far as we’re concerned it doesn’t sound like anything to complain about. A new direction and what appears to be a real attempt to create something unique deserves a chance.
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