Tag Archives: X-Men

Dark Phoenix

My job really is the worst right now, as I’ve learned over the past week of no longer having a co-worker. Because, obviously, the workload did not change to accomodate my new circumstance. Which is why, despite being seemingly the only person in the country who saw Dark Phoenix (and over a week ago, at that), I’m only now getting to a chance to review it. Ah, you ask, but how do you have time to write it now, on a Monday morning?

Joke’s on, well, on both of us really. Because the only reason I had time was that my machine was failing to connect to the network, so I can do some internet piggling instead. Only, now it’s back up, so, who knows when I’ll have time to get beyond these two paragraphs and into the actual review? (Answer: oh, look. Not only is it now Tuesday morning instead, but I’m also another review behind. Cool. Cool cool cool.)

Where was I? Oh, right, Dark Phoenix. And my understanding that it has not done well. This makes sense if you go by a random sampling of my friends, who watched the previews and were justifiably irritated that they showed a bunch of scenes on the theme of, “Oh no, what if a woman had a whole lot of power, but then she couldn’t use it properly and everyone were in danger?” Because, you know, it’s important for a company owned by Rupert Murdoch to keep banging that particular drum, if women are going to insist on continuing to run for high public office.

So, and here’s the spoiler that I cannot usefully review the movie without spilling: sure, they spent half the movie with her flailing around from betrayal to betrayal, lashing out with predictably tragic results. But in the second half of the movie, the people betraying her get their shit together and start supporting her again, because they realize she has not been the problem and that her power is not intrinsically bad or uncontrollable. Like everyone, she just needs her family (whatever that means to you) to support her.

All of this is not to say that it’s a great movie. But it’s a pretty good X-Men movie, and I am fine with it as the final entry in this version of their stories. Also: the precipitating space shuttle scene in act one? Completely worth the price of admission.

Ultimate X-Men: Phoenix?

Robert Kirkman, who you may recall me lauding from the Walking Dead series, begins his run as the writer for Ultimate X-Men with Phoenix?, in which the X-Men take some time off. No, seriously. The first half of the book is pretty much a date night. I mean, it’s literally named that. So, anyway, most of what happens is character development rather than plot advancement, but I’m okay with that. The central question of the book, as you may be able to guess by combining the title with some small amount of X-Men knowledge, is “Is Jean Grey the Phoenix?” And it’s a pretty interesting question even if you are familiar, because the Ultimate Phoenix has always been different from standard continuity, at least from what I know of the latter. Other questions for the book include: “Which character is homophobic?”, “What’s all the weirdness with Wolverine lately?”, “Who is this new Magician guy and did Kirkman create him out of whole cloth to seem awesome?”[1] and, if you are like me and reading these books in the wrong order, “Why are there Ultimate Spider-Man spoilers, dammit?”

An additional question, if you are familiar with Kirkman, would be “Why is the dialogue so stilted and basically terrible?” Thankfully, that question is obviated by reality as of his second issue, which means I don’t have to claim this book is terrible. Which is nice, since I had only recently started to really like the series.

[1] I hope the answer is “No”, because the character is kind of annoying, however intentionally.

Ultimate X-Men: Magnetic North

Historically, I’ve been down on the Ultimate X-Men titles as compared to the other ongoing series. I know there was a point, several books ago, when I changed that opinion. Magnetic North marks another such shift, as this is simply one of the best Marvel Ultimate titles I’ve read, period. Almost every minor and major event in the past several books is pulled together into one web of intrigue, surrounding the escape of Magneto. It is both too complex and too good a story to get into in more detail than that, and in all honesty, I think the title and the cover[1] revealed as much as I already have anyway. It has a cinematic plot, with almost as many story and character twists as there are pages to turn. I just cannot stop being excited over these books!, and more the further into them I get.

[1] at least, the cover of my copy, which does not match the one Amazon shows.

Ultimate X-Men: The Tempest

I assume I liked the last Ultimate X-Men book, insofar as I’ve been liking them in general. Plus also, tragedy struck, and while I don’t automatically like that (depending on what happened), I definitely always like aftermath. And The Tempest is very much about aftermath, even though it’s in a quiet way, against the backdrop of a brand new villain and a mutant-assassin in his employ.

And, the book being short, that’s pretty much all that happened. I don’t want to elaborate on the aftermath, because, spoilers, and I can’t elaborate on the new villains, because I’m supposed to recognize them old school, and I did not get far enough to, I guess? But they made for a good story, and I can ask for little more than that! Except for being so deep into a series as to be pretty confusing, I could recommend the book unreservedly as an afternoon’s diversion.

So. That’s that, then!