- Frankly, just kicking ass is not what X-Men is about, and, somewhere amidst the flying debris made out of money, the movies have lost their more meaningful way. - Zoe Chevat
You know I have loved the X-Men since that fateful day in 1963 when I read the first issue by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. And then read it again, and again. I still have that comic. No, it is not in mint condition: no comic so read and loved as that one was ever could be.
The movies? Well, they have a few things going for them, most notably Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. (And if, in my heart of hearts, I still wish they'd made him look short, well, that's just me wishing for too much, right?) What else? Good production values. Great characters, though they really didn't make the most of them.
Now, there have been so many truly bad comic book movies in my life - I'm still trying to forget the nightmare that was Nick Fury: Agent of Shield, still blazing a trail of pain into my memory - that it's always a relief when one isn't embarrassing. So I am and was grateful for what I got, even if it wasn't what I really wanted. And hey, that first glimpse of Wolverine in the fighting cage... for that, I'll forgive anything. Well, not what they did to Rogue. But the rest.
Which all goes to say that until The Avengers and its related movies, I've felt that even the good movies didn't do justice to the comic books and the characters they were based on.
And when it comes to the comics, X-Men, which has been for decades my favourite superhero group, has lost it for me lately. Not that I'm not enjoying the storylines: A vs. X has been good reading, and I'm pretty much on the edge of my seat to see what will happen. (Not the destruction and death of Scott Summers! Oh, please, no!) But... what are the X-Men these days? They went from being a group of individual Marvel mutants from a school with a special agenda (to live in peace with humanity) to being... Well, first the unified remainder of the mutant race, and then several schismatic groups, and now... It remains to be seen what will become of X-Men after the current Phoenix war.
It wasn't that I was so attached to things the way they were. It was that I liked the group of protagonists we were dealing with, and their interactions. Any story is only as good as its writers and artists, and there are some fine writers and artists still on the X-Men stories. But it doesn't feel like X-Men to me, because the characters I have come to know and love - Scott, Emma, Rogue, Gambit, Storm, Xavier, Wolverine, Beast, Kitty Pryde, and so on - aren't interacting together. When we have a cast of 200 characters, my attention is just a little too scattered.
Wolverine as Headmaster just doesn't bridge the gap, for me. It's all a little too mind-boggling, and random new kids are hogging the story.
I want more coherence, more unity of storyline. In fact I'm getting it, short term, in A Vs. X, though with an even more expanded cast of characters, it's hardly a tight package. When it's over, what will we have?
Remains to be seen. I'm hoping for a status quo, that, whatever it becomes, doesn't change every few years.