Tag: Comics (page 1 of 6)

Rise of the Guardians (Of The Galaxy)

Courtesy Moarvel Studios

I know there are folks out there who try to live spoiler-free. I can’t say I blame them. Walking into a new film with fresh eyes and clean expectations is a good thing. For them, I’ll be putting most of this post behind spoiler tags. In my position, I admit to a level of concern when it comes to the Guardians of the Galaxy film opening on August 1. Both Dan Abnett and Brian Michael Bendis have done great things with the comics, and I’m fine with an adaptation deviating from the source material if done well. On the whole, I’m cautiously optimistic and very enthusiastic about the film’s release.

For the most part, the sneak peek event I was fortunate enough to attend on Monday reinforced most of my expectations. Folks, if you have had faith in Marvel Studios so far, in terms of quality films that bring comic book heroes to vibrant life, as well as portraying them as characters with depth, that faith will continue to be justified. I’ll go into detail below, but I can honestly say I am not just excited about, but also confident in, Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you’re cool with spoilers, read on.

[spoiler]
Right from the off, I’ve had good feelings about this film. The reason why was apparent in the opening of the footage shown on Monday: an extended version of the line-up seen in the first trailer. The big difference was that Thanos was almost immediately name-dropped when Rhomann Dey was going over Gamora’s rap sheet. While there is bound to be a bunch of exposition in this film, as the Guardians are relatively unknown in relation to the Avengers, what we’ve heard is handled pretty well, and a good portion of it is coming from Rocket.

Speaking of Rocket, it seems that when we open our story, the pint-sized gun-toting mammal is the de facto leader of this group of misfits, laying out plans and keeping spirits up. He’s described as a ‘tactical genius’ but we actually see it in action, which is good. Equally good is Bradley Cooper’s voice work for Rocket. The attitude is palpable, and the CGI is impressive. There’s a shot in the extended trailer where Rocket is calling out Ronan (more on him later) and his ears are back and his tail agitated. I love such attention to detail. Finally, there’s a quiet moment when we see Rocket’s cybernetic implants, and the scene in shot and scored in such a way that we get a vibe from Rocket not unlike Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution: he never asked for this. He’s very angry, and we start to see why.

Rocket is, of course, not alone. It’s easy to make fun of Vin Diesel and how he got handed the voice work for a ‘simple’ character – Groot, after all, has a three-word vocabulary. Thankfully, though, as in the comics, Groot’s language is actually very nuanced. Every time he says ‘I am Groot’, he is saying something different. This is clear in Diesel’s inflections and the facial expressions on the CGI-crafted walking tree. Again, this is impressive work. Be he flinging people around or letting Star-Lord climb him to reach a higher level within the Kyln (the prison to which they’re sent in the beginning), Groot moves with weight and has a definite presence.

Speaking of Star-Lord, I really like the fact that he seems out of his league surrounded by the others at first. These misfits with whom he’s been thrown are definitely the sort to bring out the best in him. I feel like he’s not only our point-of-view character, he’s also going to have a definite arc. He’s coming from a place of relative isolation and aimless wandering, clinging to what he can. The lines delivered when a Kyln guard takes his Walkman feel like they come from a very raw, personal place. He feels like a character audiences are going to get behind without much trouble.

Of the whole scene we saw, I have to say what impressed me most was the direction they’re going with Drax. Somewhat of a taciturn presence in the comics, the film has changed him from an uplifted human with a singular purpose – killing Thanos – to a member of an alien species that do not understand metaphors and are quite happy to get into a fight. Rather than simply brooding and smoldering, Bautista is given loquacious lines that describe to whom he’s speaking, allowing him to act as a straight man to the proceedings. I’m very excited to see more of this version of Drax in action.

I left Gamora for last among the principles because, to be honest, she’s the character I’m the most concerned about. As much as it seems they’ve nailed her attitude and approach to challenges – don’t ask how she got the remote off of that guard’s arm – I fear that they also cast her in the role of rolling her eyes at the conversations and antics of the others the way a mother would. However, that’s mostly from the trailer – in the footage I saw, her line is “I am going to die surrounded by idiots.” Better, but still worrisome. I could potentially be concerned over nothing, but Gamora needs to be an interesting and compelling character on her own, not just part of the mix so we have the token girl acting as a spoilsport around the idiot boys. It’s been seen quite a few times before, and I think she deserves better than that.

We also finally get a good look at our on-the-ground villain, Ronan.

Courtesy Marvel Studios

He looks a little terrifying. Ronan the Accuser is kind of a cosmic Judge Dredd. Considering that all five of our heroes operate outside of most galactic laws, and more than likely in direct defiance of Kree laws, Ronan has good motivation for hunting them, outside of being a lackey of Thanos. The Novas know that Gamora and Nebula were ‘loaned out’ to Ronan by Thanos, but we don’t know why. I suspect that the orb we see Star-Lord trying to pinch when he gets caught by Korath the Pursuer (another Kree, in case you didn’t know) was resting in a Kree vault, meaning Ronan definitely has an axe (or, in his case, hammer) to grind.

As much as I might have ‘spoiled’ some things for myself, there’s so much I don’t know. I can suspect, but I am not certain. My thinking is that upon escaping the Kyln, our heroes will flee to Knowhere (the big floating head seen in the trailers), and that might be where the Collector is hanging his hat. From there the plot would likely develop with Peter wanting to save the galaxy and needing to convince the others to help him do it. But I only suspect that’s the case. I don’t know what role Nebula is going to play – is she a spy for Thanos in Ronan’s camp? Will Ronan need to be put down as a war criminal, or will he realize that his pursuit of his vision of justice will mean the loss of innocent lives? I have questions, and a few concerns, but considering how good things look, the direction this seems to be taken, and the peerless quality of what I’ve seen and heard so far, only one question really matters.
[/spoiler]
Is it August yet?

Characters vs. Icons

Courtesy Marvel Studios

There’s another Marvel movie due out before the end of the summer. I’m cautiously optimistic about The Wolverine. Many (some might say all) of Logan’s most interesting stories come from his time in Japan, a time that has not happened in the films until now. I can understand why some might be trepidatious given the abyssmal misfire that was X-Men: Origins – Wolverine. But I keep coming back to Marvel’s track record, and the overall good quality of their recent films, and the more I see of the new film, the more I think they’re keeping with the mentality of better titles such as The Avengers and Iron Man 3. The key, I think, is the focus on characters, rather than events.

I’ve said in the past that Marvel’s heroes are characters, while DC’s heroes are icons. Other examples of the difference exist, but this one comes to mind most easily. Icons are mythological creatures, as much as gorgons and pegasi and kraken are, fulfilling their roles in epic tales and illustrating ideals to whatever audience happens to be handy. The tradition of using such constructs as a vehicle to move a story from beginning to middle to end is ancient and, for the most part, respectable, even if it is a bit simplistic at times.

It’s entirely possible to make your tale with icons. I’ve watched the Justice League animated series in both of its incarnations, and they were enjoyable, for the most part. But even as I watched Batman being generally awesome, Superman act upstanding and unstoppable, and applauded the valiant efforts to characterize and flesh out so-called second stringers like Hawkgirl and Green Arrow, I was bothered in that I was never really surprised by any character turns or plot points. It always felt like the characters were reacting to the plots involved and moving forward at the pace of the storyline rather than taking much time to be their own people. While a good story can still be told in this way, I find a lot more investment, enjoyment, and fulfillment comes from a tale that studies its characters rather than its outline.

Courtesy the WB. Or CW. I don't even know.

Take the television show Supernatural. The original plan was to create a “monster of the week” series involving all sorts of creatures born from folklore, myth, legend, and nightmares. But the creators quickly realized they had a much better resource for storytelling in the characters of Sam and Dean Winchester. Between the natural chemistry and charisma of the leads, the depth of the issues in the characters’ psyches and histories, and their connections to the world in which they operate, many more interesting developments have occurred over the course of eight seasons that might have been possible with the otherwise simplistic original intent of the series. Creatures like ghosts, vampires, and demons are, after all, iconic. Breaking them free of their iconic or stereotypical natures can be difficult. Even so, I doubt that the show would still be going if it focused on the iconic creatures and not the interesting, flawed, fascinating, hysterical, and very human characters at the center of it.

Do you prefer characters, or icons? Can a story function well with both? What examples do you reach for of either? Or both?

Movie Review: Dredd (3D)

In Mega-City One, the population is astronomical and crime is rampant. The people are represented by one group, and one group alone: the Judges. They locate and investigate crime; they prosecute and punish the offenders on the spot. They are the law. These are their stories.

Going back to the well of an established intellectual property can be risky business. If it’s a long-running story, die-hard fans will be frothing at the mouth not just to see this new take on their beloved worlds, but tear the storyteller to ribbons over anything they might get ‘wrong’. So it was in the first movie based on Judge Dredd, the central character of the ultra-violent, subversive, and even satirical 2000 AD Comics. It was… well, not great, but amusing and even entertaining in its own way. They went back to the well for a 2012 remake, and fans held their breath. I hope they let it out shouting for joy, because this new Dredd is ultra-violent and subversive – not necessarily satirical, but considering how stripped-down the film is, it’s clear something had to go.

Courtesy Lionsgate

We join Joe Dredd at the start of an average day as a Judge in Mega-City One, a final bastion of teeming humanity on the edge of a nuclear wasteland. You know how it goes – get up, put on the armor and helmet, get the Lawgiver ready, chase down some thugs on your kickass bike, same old same old. Today’s different, though. Dredd’s been saddled with a psychic rookie named Anderson, and heads out with her to investigate a triple homicide at the mega-block known as Peach Trees. The mega-block is a miniature city in and of itself, 200 floors housing 80,000 people, and the drug queen Ma-Ma is in control of it all. She doesn’t like Judges poking around in her business. So she locks the place down and calls for their heads. She thinks she’s the law in Peach Trees. Guess who disagrees.

Right from the start, seasoned readers and watchers can tell this is not the same Dredd as before. Unlike the previous film’s predilection for overwrought bombast, bright splashy colors, and a leaning towards camp that didn’t quite hit Flash Gordon levels but came pretty close at times, Dredd plays things closer to the vest. I’d say it’s more subtle, but that seems a disingenuous word considering how violent the movie is. People are shot, stabbed, skinned alive, even set on fire – when it comes to ‘inventive law enforcement’, the Punisher and the Boondock Saints have nothing on Dredd. But under all of the bloodshed and gore is an undercurrent of reflectiveness, a dark mirror of our own modern society, steeped in the glorification of carnage and the acknowledgement that, when the corrupt will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals, there are times when you need someone of such deep-rooted and nearly fascistic righteousness to step in who is willing to stop at nothing to punish the aforementioned corrupt.

Courtesy Lionsgate
If you see this scowl, RUN.

The sort of person who personifies this mentality is not bombastic. They don’t like a lot of attention and they’re not given to grand shows of power to demonstrate how awesome they are. Hence why Karl Urban is superior in the role of Judge Dredd to Stallone. Where Stallone shouted, Urban growls. Where Stallone emoted with his weird-ass contacts, Urban scowls. He moves with a purpose at all times. He appears long enough to do his job, brutal as it might be, then moves on. He keeps his own counsel and demonstrates that absolute adherence to the law does not mean unreasonability. And he never, ever takes his helmet off.

This is, of course, the result of many galvanizing years on the mean streets of Mega-City One. In order to fully demonstrate the hidden depths of the character, rather than just tell you “there’s a lot going on under that visor,” the audience benefits from a surrogate. Enter Olivia Thirlby as Judge Anderson, the rookie with whom Dredd has been saddled. There are a lot of directions a writer can go with a character like this – a wide-eyed questioner, a cheerleader for the protagonist, and so on. Anderson, however, is not just there to be a pretty face. She’s being tested, and not just by Dredd. It’s a testament to Thirlby’s acting chops that we feel, rather than hear about, her mix of respect and fear for Dredd, her uncertainty at the situation in front of her, and her determination to prove herself and not back down no matter what challenge presents itself. Even when things go bad for her, she retains a measure of control, never gives up hope, and never betrays her fears in full. She’s one of the best female characters I’ve seen on screen in a while, especially in a movie based on a comic, and I’d pay money just to see another story with her in it.

Courtesy Lionsgate
She’d make a fantastic Samus Aran.

The supporting cast, while decent, never really rises to the level of the two leads. Lena Headey is always good in whatever role she takes, from Queen Gorgo of Sparta to Cersei Lannister, but Ma-Ma has little in the way of range. She’s tough and brutal, of course, but there’s really nothing to her other than ambition and those overlying traits. The rest of her forces are pretty interchangeable mooks, and we only get bits and pieces from others to really show us what life in Mega-City One is like. Given that the film is only 95 minutes long, a little more fleshing out here and there would have been fine, without having too much negative impact on the pace of the action. Finally, as bleak as the setting is, I never got the feeling that Mega-City One was as oppressively crowded as it might seem given the numbers. But that’s a minor quibble with an otherwise overwhelming success in going back to the well, and coming back with something that not only sustains, but delights.

Stuff I Liked: There’s very little fat on this movie; it moves at a great pace and is very goal-oriented. Its rather straightforward story lends itself well to character examination through action. The small scale of it and the lack of any overarching compulsion to save the world, or the girl, or the Law, makes it a much tighter and more substantive story than you get in most movies based on comic books. Even some Marvel ones. And the predominance of practical effects makes the action even more visceral and concrete.
Stuff I Didn’t Like: I don’t like the idea of this being the only story I’ll see with these actors as these characters. I would have liked to see a bit more backstory and characterization with Ma-Ma, even though what we get is perfectly adequate.
Stuff I Loved: Let’s just say “everything about Dredd and Anderson” and leave it at that. And considering how we’re with them every step of the way in this story, there’s plenty to love.

Bottom Line: There are a lot of reasons to see Dredd. See it for the tight, intimate story. See it for the extremely well-shot and visceral action. See it to enjoy a rendition of Judge Dredd that feels authentic and real, not campy and bombastic. See it for a growly voice that puts Bale’s Bat-voice to shame without being as ridiculously over-the-top.

IT CAME FROM NETFLIX! Ghost Rider

Logo courtesy Netflix.  No logos were harmed in the creation of this banner.

[audio:http://www.blueinkalchemy.com/uploads/ghost_rider.mp3]

There was a time when superheroes subscribed to a certain template. If the handsome face of the hero’s alter-ego didn’t emerge from the phone booth in brightly-colored tights and a complimentary cape, he simply wouldn’t be welcome at the Superfriends clubhouse. As time went on, it was realized that this sort of pigeon-holing was kinda stupid. Many heroes eschew the capes for reasons of safety as well as fashion, and some also wear clothing more practical than tights. I can only think of one, however, who even goes so far as to completely go without the handsome face, or any flesh on the skull whatsoever. That’d be Marvel’s Ghost Rider, and like so many comic books, his story got made into a major motion picture.

Courtesy Columbia Pictures

The Ghost Rider is, for all intents and purposes, an agent of Satan on Earth. Mephisopheles has limited powers over mortals, you see, and sometimes gets impatient to collect the souls he’s owed among the degenerate human populace. So every generation or so he offers someone a deal for their heart’s desire in exchange for servitude on earth as well as torment in the afterlife. The latest sucker to fall for this one-sided contract is Johnny Blaze, the younger half of a carnival stunt-riding double act who signs up to save his father from the cancer that’s killing him. Naturally Old Scratch exploits a loophole and Johnny spends the next decade or so trying to kill himself in stunt shows only to make himself an obscene amount of cash. It’s the Devil’s son and a few fallen angel cronies going on a rampage that prompts Mephisto to call in his debt, transforming Johnny into the Ghost Rider to track down the rogues and secure a contract worth a thousand evil souls.

Ghost Rider joined the Marvel pantheon in the 70s when the bombastic writing was cribbing entire pages of notes from Stan Lee, and the art looked like it’d ridden into your living room off of your Iron Maiden poster though a pallet of surprisingly bright colors. However, he really came into his own around the 90s when a lot of comic book writers and artists thought it was really edgy and original to have their super heroes emerge from Hell, like Spawn or Lady Death. He’d always worn a black leather biker jacket, natch, but the 90s are where the spikes and chains and so-called edginess comes from. The movie takes big art cues from this awkward period in comic-book history and it doesn’t quite work as well as the director might have intended. There are a couple cool bits with the Devil himself but a lot of that is probably due to Peter Fonda’s undeniable screen presence instead of the somewhat lackluster CGI on display.

Courtesy Columbia Pictures
“Nice bike…”

Another aspect of the movie that doesn’t always fire on all cylinders is the main plot. Johnny’s story and his awareness of and ability to control his curse are more than often pushed aside for the villains’ pursuit of the demonic MacGuffin. It’s a storyline that feels a lot like a rehash of the plot of the original Blade. But unlike that post-Matrix vampire flick, the ‘main’ villain doesn’t have a sliver of the Devil’s charisma or presence. Your mileage may vary but it seems to me that trying to out-ham Nicholas Cage never ends well. And you know how in Blade or The Matrix there was an actual credible threat to the protagonists? Not the case here. You’d think that the Nephilim, the antediluvian giants supposedly wiped out in the flood chronicled in Genesis, would be more than mere cannon fodder disposed of with the ease of flicking ants off of your desk. Add a tepid, predictable and poorly placed plot, and you have a film that sucks all the fun out of the room whenever it drags us away from character beats or interesting interplay.

If the film were more about those moments, though, it might have worked more positively. I’ve spoken at length about Nicholas Cage in the past, and it’s clear that he’s enjoying playing Johnny Blaze. He’s cool as can be when jumping over a dozen big rigs on a motorbike and wonderfully eccentric with his jelly-bean eating and love of monkey-based television, but when he encounters the girl of his dreams he turns into a barely functional fanboy. For her part, Eva Mendes plays off of his nervous earnestness with a sincerity of her own, trying to play it cool but being more emotional than she’d like to admit. The very best moments, though, happen between Cage and the always enjoyable Sam Elliot, a grizzled stranger tending graves known only as the Caretaker who knows more about the Ghost Rider than he lets on at first. The scenes between him and Cage are pretty damn compelling, and if it had been him acting as more of a night-to-night mentor showing Blaze how to hone his curse and use it for good rather than letting it rule his life, I feel it would have gone over a lot better with audiences.

Courtesy Columbia Pictures
He does this pointing thing a LOT.

The biggest problem I have with Ghost Rider is this. Not that the acting is bad or the plot is weak or the effects a bit cheesy in places. It’s that so much more could have been done with this character and his relationships, with the girl and the old man. The most egregious example of this is when the Caretaker whistles for his horse, reveals his true nature and rides with Blaze to the city of the damned for the final showdown, only to turn around and let Johnny wade in there alone. It was a literal out-loud “What the FUCK?” moment that had me tearing my hair out in sheer frustration. There’s so much going on with Sam Elliot’s character and a good deal of earnest chemistry between the two Riders (and even some between Cage and the underrated Mendes) but it all goes to waste. It’s every bit as disappointing as it is infuriating.

For a flick named after the devils bounty hunter on a badass demonic chopper, Ghost Rider seems to go nowhere. At times it will evoke movies like Tim Burton’s Batman or body horror chronicles like The Wolfman but it never quite rises above the level of mediocre. Every positive thing I could say about it, such as some of the dialog and a few choice scenes like the bit where he drives straight up the side of a building, is balanced by something inexplicable or downright awful, like the total lack of tension, Ghost Rider lassoing a helicopter for no reason, and pretty much everything involving Blackheart. If you’re watching a movie and wishing the action scene would just end already so the hero can get back to talking to the weird old guy in the graveyard, something’s gone wrong somewhere. It never drops to the level of unwatchable, but I cannot in good conscious recommend Ghost Rider, mostly because it teases us with glimpses of what could have been before shoving more generic supernatural action in our faces. It’s like going to a nice restaurant and being offered a few samples of fabulous appetizers only to have the waiter dump a bowl of generic salsa on your head and charging you full price for your samples. You’re unsatisfied, frustrated, you smell funny and you’ll be picking cilantro out of your hair for a week.

Josh Loomis can’t always make it to the local megaplex, and thus must turn to alternative forms of cinematic entertainment. There might not be overpriced soda pop & over-buttered popcorn, and it’s unclear if this week’s film came in the mail or was delivered via the dark & mysterious tubes of the Internet. Only one thing is certain… IT CAME FROM NETFLIX.

Movie Review: X-Men First Class

Uncanny X-Men was one of the first comic books I read when I was growing up. It introduced me to the colorful world of super-heroic abnormal people fighting to protect a world that hates and fears them. Being a scrawny geeky kid, the appeal was obvious. The first two movie adaptations did an admirable service to the long-running title and its characters, even if it seemed to be somewhat ashamed of the ways in which the characters dressed themselves. Last Stand and X-Men Origins Wolverine are best left unmentioned, especially since one of the feats X-Men First Class pulls off is rendering both of those movies superfluous, if not wiping them out of existence entirely.

Courtesy Marvel Studios

First Class takes us back to the very groovy 1960s where a young Charles Xavier has just received his doctorate from Oxford and Erik Lensherr has begun a private search for the man who destroyed his family. While Charles is a child of privilege, Erik is a Holocaust survivor, but the two men are bound by their nature as mutants. Both of them want mutants to be free from persecution by normal humans, but Charles wishes to do this peacefully while Erik is convinced that human nature, being what it is, will leave mutants no alternative but to fight. They agree, however, that the dangerous mutants in control of the clandestine Hellfire Club must be stopped, and to do this they ally with the United States government to train some of the young mutants who struggle to control their powers. They are the first X-Men.

The first thing that may strike you about First Class is a pair of tonal shifts that really work in the narrative’s favor. Moving away from the dark visuals of the first two movies towards a more bright, diverse pallate helps capture the atmosphere of an earlier time, and harkens more honestly to the comic book roots of the material, as well as evoking memories of the Connery-era James Bond. At the same time, the story has grown more dark and mature. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil any major turning points, but believe me when I say that the composition of this story has less to do with Saturday morning cartoons and more with classic tragedies crafted by the Greeks and Shakespeare.

Courtesy Marvel Studios
As it turns out, we DO prefer yellow spandex.

This isn’t to say that the writing in First Class even approaches that calibre. This is still a comic book movie and it’s not going to win any Oscars based on that premise alone. However, what the film gets right is something the unmentionable sequels got wrong. X-Men and X2 were similar to First Class in that their focus was more on characters than on spectacle. Granted, they spent a lot of their time on Wolverine, but that’s to be expected when you get a man like Hugh Jackman who completely inhabits a beloved character. It almost went unnoticed that Patrick Stewart did a very similar service to Professor X and Ian McKellan to Magneto. Watching the first two films now, you can see that these two veterans were hinting at a deep, rough and complicated friendship that stretched back for years, and now James McEvoy and Michael Fassbender bring the details of that friendship’s origin to life.

Prequels are often met with trepidation and suspicion, and rightly so. George Lucas proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s very easy to screw up an established universe by trying to expand on what has come before. Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn, however, wisely keep to the essence of the characters and the bits of information scattered throughout the movie and comic storylines to tell the story of Charles and Erik in a way that’s less bombastic special effects reel and more subtle romance. More than anything, it captures the deep respect and admiration they have for one another and underscores the tragedy of the events that drive the emotional and philosophical chasm between them.

Courtesy Marvel Studios
One of the best scenes in this film, and there’s zero action.

The downside to this powerful writing and these top-notch performances is that most of the rest of the events and players get overshadowed. Of the rest of the mutant cast, Jennifer Lawrence as a young Mystique and Nicholas Hoult as Beast are the only standouts while January Jones seems to have been told Emma Frost’s mutant powers are looking drool-worthy and a complete lack of ability to emote. The film also falls victim to some unfortunate tropes and is very concerned about driving home its civil rights message with lines like “Mutant and Proud!” and “They didn’t ask so I didn’t tell.” Now it might be the case that some anvils need to be dropped to make a point that might have been lost in the noise of those despicable sequels, but in contrast to the chemistry between the two leads it ends up feeling either unnecessary or just lazy. Tight storytelling does not belabor points like this. But it could be I’m just picking nits.

There’s more than enough good material, in spite of the shortcomings in story and some less dimensional characters, to make X-Men First Class worth recommending. It’s more than competent storytelling and while the characters take precedence over spectacle, I’m sure jaws will drop more than once over the course of the movie. It belongs on the same level as other recent Marvel movies such as Iron Man and Thor, the performances and chemistry of the leads comes close to that of the lead actors in The Dark Knight. It says a lot when a scene of two men in easychairs talking by a fireplace is every bit as electrifying as any of the action scenes in your movie. X-Men First Class is the X-Men movie fans have been waiting for every since the first sequel, and even if you’re not a fan, I think you’d enjoy it. Check it out and I doubt you’ll be disappointed. And yes, I know the comic book outfits looked silly, but First Class gives us a great compromise in the uniforms of the X-Men. It was really awesome, for me, to see an X-Men movie that looked like a damn X-Men movie and not some weird spin-off of Blade or the Matrix. Mutants are their own people, and they should be proud of that, even if it means wearing yellow and blue kevlar pressure suits instead of trendier black leather.

Mutant and proud? Crap, now I’M doing it.

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