Sunday ComiX: X-Men Madness and the Time-Travelling Summers/Grey Spawn!

Time travel is the status quo when it comes to comic books, but the X-Men are on a whole other level. The team’s roster is filled with mutants from past, alternate and future timelines; it’s a hot mess of clones, identical-but-different individuals from identical-but-different worlds ruled by Apocalypse, or by Sentinels, and even occasionally by Magneto.

But which are the X-Men who’ve made Earth-616 their home?

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Nathan Summers, aka ‘Cable’: Ah, the life that Cable has had…infected by the Technovirus at a very early age, he had to be taken into the far-off future in order to be cured; ultimately, that didn’t quite happen. What happened instead is that Cable made it his life’s goal to stop Apocalypse from ruling in his usual fashion in that same future, which is the purpose he had in mind when he returned to the proper timeline. He’s the one who kept Very Special Mutant Hope Summers alive through a pretty horrifying ordeal that involved X-Man-turned-traitor Bishop. Speaking of Bishop…

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Ah, Lucas Bishop. He grew up in a mutant concentration camp, 80 years in the future, after the Summers Uprising, which didn’t work out for our guys at all too well. He came back to the future, and was alright for a while; people liked him, he liked himself, I even  think that Storm liked him a bit too much! …And then Hope Summers was born, and he decided that if he were to kill her, all his problems, or his future’s problems at least, would magically go away!
That was a conscious decision he made after…what, over fifteen years among the X-Men? Twenty? No matter what you do in the mainstream continuity, you ain’t changing nothing about yours, man. Sorry to spoil that for you…

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Hope Summers was the first mutant to be born after M-Day, the day when the Scarlet Witch took away 99% of the mutants in the world’s power. Pretty big deal…not as big a deal as being hunted by a demented Bishop, going further and further in time and suffering through constant hunger, thirst and near-complete isolation. On the bright side, she’s amazing at kicking things’ asses!

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Rachel Summers is yet another amazing telepathic X-Man from a future timeline; yet another daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey(as Cable is; although he is actually the son of Jean Grey’s clone, Madelynne Pryor…yeah, I know…), and another host of the Phoenix Force. I…got nuthin’. She’s a badass, who’s been through an awful lot in life, and I love her to death. Rachel’s also got these tattoo-like things that appear whenever she uses her abilities; they give her a very unique look, which is plain awesome.

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Nate Grey, aka…X-Man. Confused yet? Nate Grey was created by Mr. Sinnister in the Age of Apocalypse(AoA) timeline–not the timeline from which Nathan Summers (Cable) comes from, mind; just one with a somewhat similar premise. Now, Nate Grey isn’t actually the son of Jean Grey; he’s a gene-spliced baby, created by the DNA of Jean and of Scott Summers, who’s not a particularly nice guy in AoA. X-Man, for his part, was a near-omnipotent mutant, whose powers at their height were comparable to a Phoenix Force-imbued Jean Grey (or anyone, really). I haven’t seen much of him lately, but I opened Wikipedia to check out what’s been going on; he apparently burned his powers out while opening a portal to..Sugar Man’s home reality. I’m not sure what that means, or why Nate was so in need for some sugah, but I suppose this song fits perfectly.
I should really catch up with his latest adventures, I’ve always been fond of Nate.

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Last but not least…Young Jean Grey! Marvel recently announced that the real Jean Grey is finally coming back from the dead, after years upon years of denying the possibility. Woo-hoo! However, over the last couple of years, a hip new(or old, depending on your view) version of Jean has been running over the wonderfully contrite mainstream Marvel universe. That’s right, everybody! It’s teenage Jean Grey, enjoying the benefits of being a female character written in the 2010’s as opposed to the 1960’s! No longer in X-Men comics just as decoration, Teen Jean’s been a fun character to explore for a number of authors; mostly Brian M. Bendis, who ran the X-Men parade and came up with the idea of bringing the original Five X-Men to the future. Praise Bendis!
Oh, you were expecting me to say something about Jean? Well, she’s quite horrifying at times, having mind-controlled a number of teammates –okay, Angel, and it’s not like anyone cares about him, but still– over a number of times. Her powers developed quite a bit faster, as did her desire to make out with three out of four of her teammates.
Thank the X-Gods that Bobby is gay now.

On a serious note, she’s great; Bendis did a lot of solid stuff with her over his course as main X-Writer, and she’s currently got herself a nice little ongoing which has Hope and Rachel and Quentin Quire guest starring in its very first arc. I haven’t read it yet, but I will.

 

Gosh, what a post! This has been all about pesky Summers-Grey family members, clones, adopted daughters and granddaughters and all sorts of other madness, hasn’t it? I decided not to add the rest of the Young Original Five that’re currently kicking around in the present, but their time will come soon enough…don’t you worry ’bout that!

Damn, I forgot to mention Stryfe. Stryfe is Cable’s clone. Cool, huh?

Cable and Stryfe! Hah!

#madnessliveshere

 

Sunday Comix Special: Marvel’s The Defenders– A Spoiler-Free Discussion! …Mostly

Sundays are for…gushing about how awesome Marvel’s The Defenders is!

I’ve been following the Netflix Marvel shows with great interest ever since the first season of Daredevil came out three years ago. Daredevil was amazing, and so was Jessica Jones, while both Luke Cage and Iron Fist stumbled and struggled with several issues, respectively.

The Defenders sees the title characters of these show unite to take on the Hand, the organization of ninjas, whose different clans have given both Matt Murdock and Danny Rand a run for their money. Now, the five fingers of the Hand are closing around New York and its protectors, and they’re led by the queen of science fiction…Sigourney Weaver!

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This enchanting badass takes on the role of Alexandra, a completely original character, not affiliated with anyone from the comic books. The role was written with Weaver in mind, and–boy!–does she deliver. Her performance is nothing short of beautiful, hued with class, power and the occasional unintentional hilarity. The humor  I speak of is intentional in terms of making the audience of the show grin, of course; what I mean is that Alexandra dines in Istanbul and calls it Constantinople, she speaks of Beethoven with familiarity, and it’s hilarious.

Alexandra is easily on par with D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and Tennant’s Kilgrave, and while she has less screen time than either, because the 8 episode order, instead of the usual 13, she shines just as bright; if not even more so. It’s such a rush, seeing Sigourney Weaver play a villain who steals the spotlight in every scene she’s in, who dominates every room with such natural ease that it’s…nothing short of brilliant.

There is much more to like to the Defenders, but if I were to go in any greater detail, I would be spoiling a great show; and we can’t have that, can we? Instead, let me assure you that the Defenders manages to create a show that plays to each of its core characters’ strengths while leaving very little space for their weaknesses. If you’ve grown attached to Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny’s stories, this is a wonderful culmination of the individual paths these four have taken…and it sets Phase 2 of the Netflix/Marvel project in a wonderful way.

Expect a spoiler-filled post later down the line, once a little bit of time has passed and more people have seen the series. Thanks for reading!

Sunday ComiX – The Uncanny X-Villains: Difficult to Kill Edition

Sundays are for…taking the reins of the Dwarven faction in Warhammer: Total War, and breaking Orkish skulls with…well, warhammers. Obviously.

Sundays are also for discussing the sinister, the apocalyptic, the downright vile villains of the X-Men comic books!

Now that I’ve used my three-pun limit for the day, we can dispense with the pleasantries and get down to it!

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En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse: One of the world’s first mutants, and the only one who takes the whole ‘Survival of the fittest’ theory way too serious, Apocalypse is as nasty as he looks — and he looks like…gosh, I don’t even know; at any rate, no one is quite certain of what it is that Apocalypse does; other than survive, that is; the guy’s been mulched, squished, disintegrated, thrown off buildings, shot with a variety of futuristic guns and optic blasts, as well as a virtually endless list of superpowers…and yet he’s still ruler of a ridiculous number of future timelines!

Neat!

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Nathaniel Essex, aka Mr. Sinister: The single greatest threat to X-Men continuity…if we discount about a dozen other characters, Nathaniel Essex is a brilliant Victorian scientist, sworn to help mutants in their hour of grea–just kidding! Mr. Sinister is a twisted psychopath, who’s unlocked the secret to immortality and can basically control and rearrange his body in whatever ways he desires– oh, and he uses clones on a basis that makes even Doctor Doom and his Doombots groan; how unfortunate for the X-Men that he’s got a hobby of prodding them like cattle, and then experimenting on them without any moral quandary!

He’s also got a thing for Scott Summers, having manipulated him for most of Cyclops’ life.

Sweet!

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Sebastian Gilberti, aka Bastion: The love-baby of mutant-hunting robot “Master Mold” and advanced killer robot “Nimrod,” Bastion is all about killing mutants; surprise, surprise, that didn’t win him any popularity with the X-Men, and he was eventually disintegrated by Hope Summers, a very special mutant that’s fallen out of focus after being the center of half a dozen events; but, surprise-surprise again, he didn’t actually die–he teleported into the future, severely damaged!

Who needs Deus Ex Machina when you’ve got a time Machina, eh?!

Y’know what? I think that I’ll be preparing a special robot-centered issue of Sunday ComiX, to familiarize you all with the numerous murder-robots that occasionally duke it out with the loveable X-People!

 

Sunday ComiX: Kitty Pryde and the Scary X-Lady!

Sundays are for–What do you mean, they’re not for poking fun at everyone’s favorite team of mutant misfits, the X-Men? Of Course They Are!

Today’s focus is — you guessed it! — set on one of my most favorite X-Women, Kitty Pryde.

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Kitty Pryde, aka Spryte, aka Shadowcat, aka about fifty other code names: This one, she’s got loads of things going for her — Kitty started out as the clever smaller sister of the X-Men, and particularly of a newly grown-up Illyana Rasputin;  she was the youngest X-Men at the time of her introduction by Chris Cleremont in the 70’s; Kitty rose to be one of the best and brightest graduates of Xavier’s, and currently leads nearly all the X-Men (!); her greatest feats include saving the entire planet from a gigantic planet-killing space bullet (look upwards…yeah), and is an absolute joy to read about in nearly every comic book you pick up.

She was also Star-Lord’s girlfriend, and Star-Lord.

Yeah.

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Lockheed, aka Lockheed, aka…wait, I’m just doing this by force of habit now;

Lockheed is the dragon companion to Kitty Pryde; he once imagined Kitty as a female dragon, and she imagined him as a human male so make of it what you will — what makes the situation even slightly more complicated is that Kitty was 14-15 at the time; kinky!

He will become a full-grown and intimidating draconic horror someday, but is currently a mixture of cute and downright sociopathic!

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Emma Frost, aka The White Queen: Started out as one of the more persistent and powerful enemies of the X-Men, on account of being telepathic — the diamond form you see in the picture above is a secondary mutation, triggered about the time she joined the X-Men, some 20(~ish) years ago; Kitty loathed her and still is very antagonistic towards Emma, and for good reason; Frost used to run an evil version of the Xavier Institute and Kitty was to be one of the first students there…unfortunately, things didn’t quite go according to the plan, and Kitty joined the X-Men, thus cementing a powerful grudge between two scary powerful mutants!

Also, the picture above actually shows Emma clothed a bit too properly for her tastes. This is how she started off looking:

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I wish my schoolteachers dressed like that.

On second thought — better that they didn’t!

Sunday ComiX: The Morally Ambiguous (Sometime) X-Men!

Sundays are for…struggling with the morality of questionable characters who occasionally take part in the X-Men roster!

Bit of a stretch? Oh, well. Let’s start it off with my most favorite character in comic books, drum roll, please…

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Max Eisenhardt aka Erik Magnus Lensherr aka MAGNETO, MASTER OF MAGNETISM: Absolute madman, whose POWERS OVER MAGNETISM™ can allow him to do just about anything you can think of, at this point; enjoys spending time with strong, independent women, killing Nazis, and forging a better world for all mutants.

He’s the best.

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Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth: Like Wolverine, but more of a kitten, and meaner; except when Wolverine is dead — then, Sabretooth ends up filling his shoes…weird, I know; something about losing your best worst frenemy and changing your ways and whatnot; I couldn’t tell you what it’s all about, nope.

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Raven Darkholme aka Mystique: Think of her as an evil, shape-shifting Black Widow without any of the morality  (yup, I went there); she got married to Charles Xavier at some point recently and no one knows how that happened; also, Mystique doesn’t hold onto most grudges, on account of her brain subtly changing whenever she shifts, her personality and memories with it; she’s slept with most mutants in the X-Men universe in one reality or another, and for good reason.

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James Bradley aka Dr. Nemesis: This one is a lot less popular, but has been playing an on and off-again supporting role in several X-Men comic books over the past decade; he’s a scientist who was born in the dawn of the 20th century; here’s where it gets complicated because it was Dr. Nemesis himself that delivered the Dr. Nemesis baby…time travel is complicated and ridiculous and I love it; he and Magneto share love for hunting Nazis, and also, he’s intelligent enough to increase his longevity!

Fascinating man, this one. Wonder what delivering yourself does to you…

 

Well, that’s it for today’s Sunday Comix X-Men Definitions! Watch out for more next week!

 

Sunday ComiX: Defining the X-Men, Vol. 02 — The Second(ish) Generation

Sundays are for my favorite activity – Defining the X-Men in a sentence!

This week’s picks are some of the most important, influential and beloved of all X-Men characters…as well as some less-known characters, which never the less have great importance within the X-Men continuum!

Hold on to yo butts!

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Lorna Dane, aka Polaris: Magneto’s daughter who inherited his magnetic powers, somewhat questionable fashion sense, and occasional homicidal tendencies!

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Alex Summers aka Havok: Cyclops’ smaller brother who’s got similar powers and better hair but a worse taste in sunglasses; hates being called the M-word. (See picture on the bottom of this post.)

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Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler: Looks like a demon of Hell; is in fact a swashbuckling gentleman who’s the emotional heart of any X-Men team he’s in; used to be dead, no longer is.

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Pyotr Rasputin aka Colossus: The nicest Russian guy in the world; constantly battles Magneto despite his mutant power turning him into solid metal.

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Ororo Munroe aka Storm: Street rat worshipped as a goddess in Egypt as soon as her mutation activates — because what else can someone who controls the weather amidst the desert be?

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Sean Cassidy aka Banshee: Very Irish, very self-descriptive alias and also — very dead.

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Shiro Yoshida, aka Sunfire: Bit of an arsehole, I reckon, and not much of a team player at all.

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Thunderbird: He dead.

 

There we go with this week’s installment of Sunday Comix! Short, concise and to the douchebaggy point, in Sunfire and Thunderbird’s cases, anyway. Hope you enjoyed and looking forward to seeing you next week for some more one-sentence description of my favorite superhero team! 

Here’s your bonus Havok/Cyclops image, courtesy of the Internet:

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Sunday Comix – Defining the X-Men in a sentence, Vol. 01

Sundays are for…defining comic book characters in a single ridiculous sentence!

It seems only right to start off this incredible, mind-blowing series with the original five X-Men! But what kind of a monster would I be if I didn’t start off with the most overused and well- known Canadian runt in the entire multiverse?!

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James Howlett, aka ‘Wolverine’: Let’s face it… He is your favorite mutant murder-uncle.

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Scott Summers aka ‘Cyclops’: He was the major douche in the 90’s animated series and everybody hated him, except that now he’s super awesome and also dead.*

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Jean Grey, aka ‘Marvel Girl’, aka ‘the Phoenix’: She had no personality for a while there, other than being the token girl in the X-Team, and then she died; only it wasn’t her, it was her clone, and she turned out alive and alright, only she died; and then she left a phoenix egg and got revived in the future; only it never happened; and then someone *wiggles finger at Hank McCoy* decided to bring back young Jean Grey from the past into the present/future, and she finally exhibited what psychologists call… a ‘personality.’

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Hank McCoy, aka ‘Beast’: Big, furry man turned big furry man-thing, all too clever for his own good, and prone to venturing on morally-grey territory one time too many.

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Robert ‘Bobby’ Drake, aka ‘Iceman’: The cool younger kid-turned with cocky personality and retconned sexuality which served to anger some; to be fair, there have long been signs.

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Warren Worthington III, aka ‘Angel,’ aka ‘Archangel’: Thinks he’s a literal angel, except when he’s Archangel — then, he’s just a kind-of cool dick who’s also a Horseman of Apocalypse.
Y’know…the X-Men are weird. I love it! The absolute mess that’s their fifty-something year long continuity is such fun, and I ought to do a lot more comic-related content on this blog! If only time were to allow it…

*These two things don’t necessarily go together, but I understand why you’d think that they do, if you watched the 90’s TAS.