New Comics Wednesday (6/8/11) & X-Men: First Class

The news from DC Comics’s Relaunch is still coming fast and furious, and I will be posting about the numerous titles that have been announced in the last week, but, for now, here’s a list of new comics out today that I’ll be reading:

  • Batman & Robin #24
  • Birds of Prey #13
  • Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1
  • Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1
  • Flashpoint: Frankenstein #1
  • Green Wake #3–Still waiting on #1 so I can read these.
  • Unwritten #26

Also, out from Marvel is Mystery Men and Supreme Power #1–two titles I am very tempted to pick up.

I went to see X-Men: First Class last weekend. After the disappointment that was X-Men 3, I wasn’t too thrilled to hear they were making a prequel. Prequels are what you do when you know you can still make money off of a movie property but you don’t have enough money or the talent behind the film to continue the story, OR you want to do a soft reboot of the franchise. So, I was skeptical, not to mention that Marvel didn’t really hype this film all that much, at least not in comparison to Thor (which makes some sense: Thor is the first time we’ve seen this character on the big screen and it ties into Avengers, while X-Men: FC is the fourth film in the franchise [fifth if you count Wolverine] and is its own little film world).

I thought this X-Men film was one of the best Marvel has produced, not just in the franchise.

You get the scenes showing off the special effects, sure, but there’s an actual story here and some nice character development (the actor playing Magneto steals the show, by the way). The relationship between Magneto and Prof. X, especially because of what happens at the end of the film, is wonderfully done, mostly because of the two actors, with kudos going to Michael Fassbender for his tortured portrayal (what he does with a coin near the end is gruesome and cool) and James McAvoy for trying to save Magneto from himself, not to mention mutant-kind. Also, Kevin Bacon did a convincing turn as the villain of the movie, especially the opening scenes set during WW II. The younger actors (the first class) all did well enough, especially Jennifer Lawrence, who played Mystique. Besides the principles, there were some wonderful casting for bit parts: Oliver Platt, Michael Ironside, and Ray Wise (okay, I mention this because I love these actors). Plus, there were two very cool cameos (which I will present in white so as not to spoil it–select the text after the colon): Rebecca Romijn shows up for 3 seconds as Mystique’s older self, and when Magneto and Prof. X walk into a bar to recruit a mutant, we find Hugh Jackman telling them to fuck off.

I absolutely loved that the movie was set during the early 1960s, and much of it was styled after a spy movie (think James Bond with mutants running around). I didn’t care for some of the changes to comic book continuity, such as Angel being a former stripper with butterfly wings (of course, I haven’t read an X-Men comic in years, so maybe that is in continuity), or Havok being that much older than Scott Summers, but really, those are minor nits. I thought the writers did a fine job at creating new content without invalidating anything we’ve seen previously. However, it’s not a perfect film by any means: some characters get lost for a while (like Moira MacTaggert, played by the beautiful Rose Byrne), and the training scenes bog down the film somewhat–I kept wondering when we’d get on with the story. Oh, and that Beast make up was not very good. It’s like they spent most of the money on the special effects and had to make do with the Beast’s look.

I highly recommend you watch it, even if you miss it in theatres.

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