fajrdrako: ([SHIELD])
Tonight was Apaplexy collation at StarWolf's place. A good time was had by all.

Before that, I visited [livejournal.com profile] lunacy_gal and funkym3485, and had a lovely time. [livejournal.com profile] funkym3485 had his comics from the 1990s and I was happily reading old issues of Uncanny X-men that I'd missed first time round - never did know how that Genosha business happened - and issues of X-Force and Excalibur from about the same time. A few thoughts:

Writers I loved then and still love now: Fabian Nicieza, Warren Ellis, Scott Lobdell. Not that I like Warren Ellis' work so much now: it was his work for Marvel that I love. Oh, that Pete Wisdom. I miss him.

Artists I loved then and still love now: Carlos Pacheco, Chris Bachalo, Andy Kubert.

Writers and artist I didn't like then and still don't like: Alan Davis, Steve Skroce, Tom Raney, Tom DeFalco.

Mixed feelings about Brandon Peterson.

A treat: seeing art by Jim Cheung - under the name of Jimmy Cheung - in Uncanny X-men vol. 1 #371. Back before I knew who he was or what his work looked like. Love his version of Nick Fury!



Reading those comics reminded me how wonderful Gambit used to be. How did he become as dull an bland as he is now? And why?

fajrdrako: (Default)


I see that Brian Michael Bendis is talking about his upcoming Uncanny X-Men.

I'm happy about this comic, I really am. For one thing, we have Cyclops and Magneto in a major role. Two of my favourite Marvel characters. For another, it redeems and re-establishes Cyclops, though I'm not sure how the personal dynamics between him and Magneto will work. It will probably be fun to see.

On the less thrilling side, my favourite comic book couple, Scott Summers and Emma Frost, is a couple no more. Because that's the way Bendis wants to write it. I can only wait and see what he does with Emma. She's had wonderful sparks with some other men, but... I can only say that this has been my favourite Marvel relationship and I'm sorry to hear it's over. As long as we get to keep both Cyclops and Emma around. Somewhere. And Bendis' comment gives me heart: "because they are Scott and Emma, this breakup is going to take a while. And it’s not going to be pretty, but fun to write."

Heh. The queen of snark takes on the intransigent hero? Should be entertaining, yes. And in the world of comics, nothing is forever. Bendis might change his mind, and put them back together. Another writer might come onto the book who likes the relationship. Who knows?

I just hope Rogue and Gambit don't get back together again. Her brief recent sexual relationships with Magneto was disappointing; no fireworks, but a weak fizzle. Clearly she didn't want to be with him; clearly she didn't love him; there was more spark in their previous encounters when they couldn't touch each other. Perhaps the whole storyline was meant to lay that possibility to rest?

A pity, I'd say. I'd liked them together - not in this story, but over the years. Perhaps, like Wolverine and Storm, it's a relationship best kept as potential.

So: the new comic. Who are those people on the cover?



With Chris Bachalo, it's often hard to tell. Cyclops, Magneto, Illyana, check. Emma, to the left of Cyclops? Jubilee with the earrings, maybe?

We shall see. I'm enjoying the anticipation.

fajrdrako: (Default)
In the drugstore today I was looking at the magazines, and delighted to see the following on the covers:



Esquire - Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye in The Avengers)
Optimiz - Scarlet Johannson (Black Widow in The Avengers)
Elle Canada - Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts in The Avengers)
Sharp - Michael Fassbender (Magneto in X-Men: First Class)

...So the last isn't an Avengers reference, but it's still Marvel comics.

Seems to me Robert Downey Jr. ought to have been on the cover of something.
fajrdrako: (Default)




Just read an X-Men graphic novel called X-Men Children of the Atom, written by Joe Casey and various artists in 1999-2000. The best art there by a long shot is by Paul Smith. I don't know which artist drew the worst.

It read like something thirty years out of date even then. From time to time I wondered if Casey was actually trying to imitate or parody the Stan Lee dialogue of 1963. If he was, he did it badly.

I wasn't sure what I thought of Joe Casey as a writer; I'm not sure whether I'd read other stories by him. I think I have. They didn't make an impression. This story did: It's full of bad bombastic dialogue, it's horribly overwritten, and at the same time, Casey seems to be writing down to his audience.

It's a retelling of the story of how the original X-Men (Hank, Jean, Scott, Bobby and Warren) came to be at Xavier's school. My suspension of disbelief broke at the initial premise: that Hank, Scott and Bobby just happened to be in the same high school together. It isn't helped that Warren has lines like "Best part of the gig, bro," and calls everyone "baby". There are... too many... elipses... in every balloon. Magneto is pompous and villainous - he talks about 'the stench of humanity', while Xavier is reasonable but oddly sinister. There's a handsome FBI agent who seemed in the end to be no part of the plot at all - perhaps Casey forgot he was in the story?

Chalk it down to yet another inferior blip in the long history of the X-Men.

fajrdrako: (Default)




Title: Dedication
Author: [personal profile] fajrdrako
Fandom: X-Men First Class, the movie
Characters: Eric Lensherr, Charles Xavier
Challenge: challenge: contrast
Rating: G
Genre: Gen, but with slashy undertones.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no claims, all property of Marvel Entertainment LLC.
Notes: Cross-posted to my Dreamwidth account, my lj, the Eric/Charles LJ community, and to my fanfiction journal.

Dedication )

fajrdrako: (Default)


I went to see X-Men: First Class again today, and I am glad I really did. I'd really missed a lot of the beginning - a lot of the story.

My conclusion this time about Charles and Mystique is that their relationship was ambiguous; one of those that defies easy description. And I like that.

If the movie has a weak point for me, it's the depiction of Mystique. The Mystique in my head was never that young, whatever age she was supposed to be. She should be sharp, angry, self-confident: I'd rather have a dangerous Mystique than an uncertain young girl who hasn't found herself. Who needs advice from Magneto before she knows what she should be.

I love the way Charles isn't too serious, isn't too earnest. I love it that he likes to drink and to party, and uses his powers to flirt. I love the way he puts his fingers to his head when he reads minds (just like in the old comics).

And I love, totally love, this Magneto. Come to think of it, I loved Xavier, too. The one for his lines and his actions, the other for his looks, his smile, and his manner.

Are we supposed to believe this is the same continuity as the previous X-Men movies? Does it matter?

The relationship between Xavier and Magneto was even better than I'd remembered. I came home and immediately went looking for Charles/Eric slash. (And if anyone has any recommendations of stories, I'd love to hear them.)

fajrdrako: ([Wolverine])




I loved this movie. I watched it smiling. I loved it on more counts than I can name. I loved the way it was true to the X-Men story, and yet didn't repeat stories I'd already seen, and provided a number of interesting characters. It relied more on character and story than special effects, and yet I liked the special effects as well.

It wasn't perfect. In fact, there wasn't a character in it that I thought was well cast in terms of looks, except maybe Moira McTaggart. And there was probably no one in it that I found attractive - except Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Stamos, in their so-brief appearances. It was cast with an aesthetic eye totally contrary to mind, but I don't think they should have case for looks. No, they cast for acting skill, and they got it. Jennifer Lawrence doesn't compare to the gorgeous Rebecca Romijn Stamos, but that really didn't matter - and made that wonderful visual joke with the more mature-seeming Mystique possible. I don't want another depiction like Halle Berry as Storm, who was beautiful to look at but as bland as a buttercup in the role.

I had been careful to avoid spoilers beforehand, and I had naively thought the story would be set around the events of X-Men #1, around the time when Scott Summers, Jean Grey, and Warren Worthington became X-Men. Nope! That ground has been covered often enough in the comics, and here we get a time before that... before there even was a school. Of course timeframe in the Marvel universe is always vague, but I was trying to guess - at least to my mind - how many years before X-Men #1 this story was set. Five years? Could be less, could be more, depending how you interpret the chronology.

The best moment... )

Now I want to sit and read X-Men comics all night.

fajrdrako: ([Wolverine])




Stormantic is a Tarot card reader and X-Men fan who writes a bog about the X-Men, focussing on Storm, his favourite character. And Emma Frost, who seems to be a close second. Since his interests and my interests are parallel, I have been reading his blog with interest.

He has devised a system of reading the X-Men playing card deck as Tarot cards, which I think is a wonderful idea. I wanted to make notes on his comments, so I'm doing that here. )

X-Men...

Feb. 4th, 2011 11:38 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)




I got a chuckle out of this Futurama X-Men Mashup: but where's Wolverine? Can't find him.... Wait, wait, he must be the pink guy with fins and crab-claws, going by the costume. I just didn't recognize him. Oddly enough.

Funny how Warlock doesn't look much different, except for the bow tie.

My favourite: Magneto. I like it better than the Howard Chaykin version, anyway.

Who's the guy with Dazzler?

fajrdrako: (Default)




io9 has an interview with Matthew Vaughn, director of X-Men: First Class.

I like the phrase, "You find out everything about what went on between Erik and Charles," which had me raising my eyebrows and grinning, because they've been slashy together since the beginning. But I suspect that's not what Matthew Vaughn means. I wish.

James McAvoy is quoted on his take on Charles Xavier (Professor X):

    You look at the kind of main, defining characteristics of Professor X, of Charlie Boy, and you go, 'Alright, he’s selfless. He’s a saint. He’s sexless, it seems. He’s egoless.


...Simply proving, as far as I can see, that McAvoy never read X-Men comics. Xavier's ego is huge - after all, he intends to change the world! - and as for sexless... The man had an affair with Moira MacTaggart and a galactic empress, has an illegitimate son (Legion) and a pash for Jean Gray... no, not sexless. Where do they get these odd ideas?

I shake my head sadly. It probably means they've rewritten far too much.

Magneto as Bond with superpowers I can see, but Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw? It isn't the casting I'd have done, but it might work. I will try not to despair ahead of time.

I wish they'd talk more about Mystique, and her role.

fajrdrako: ([Wolverine])




I was just reading up on X-Men First Class - the X-Men movie coming up.

Seems someone leaked a photo... )
fajrdrako: ([Wolverine])




I read X-Men: Phoenix – Warsong last night. It turned out to have a good number of perks; it heavily featured the Stepford Cuckoos, who intrigue me - I came in late on their story in a period of lapsed X-Men reading, so this was welcome. And explains why they are somewhat strange - if, among the X-Men, there is any such thing as being stranger than any of the others.

Comments... )



Now I have to find and read X-Men: Phoenix – Warsong.

Families...

Oct. 2nd, 2010 12:47 am
fajrdrako: (Default)




From The Fannish Five: Name five characters who would love to attend a family reunion.

Seems oddly worded, but if the question means "five characters whose family reunion would be interesting to see" - well, then! Funny how most of the characters in most of what I read lack relatives. So many orphans. And so many people with villainous brothers.

  1. Francis Crawford of Lymond. If we allow all the semi-related to attend - the illegitimate half-sister, the adopted son on his enemy, the uncle/father and the grandfather/father... What a bunch they would be! I am myself a great fan of Rankin, the First Baron, and would love to see him and Sybilla together.

  2. The Summers family from X-Men. Add in the alternate future generations (like Rachel, always a favourite) and the dead and the demonic... Not sure where Jean Grey would fit in here: maybe she'd better stay dead, though it would be fun to see Emma Frost (Scott Summers' current love, the White Queen) meet Madeline Pryor (his first wife, the Goblin Queen). Polaris and Magneto should be there - would that include Wanda and Pietro, as Havok's ex-half-brother- and ex-half-sister-in-law? Or Wiccan and Speed, as the semi-existant magical half-nephews? And Hulking, as the boyfriend of one of them? Heh: this could be fun, figuring how big a crowd we could get. Can we add in Cable, his wife and son (long-dead in the distant future) and Stryfe? At some point, thinking too much about the Summers family ends in a headache from exploding brain synapses.

  3. A sort of tie here for two comic book 'families' who both are and are not literal families: the Batman family (at DC) and the Wolverine family (at Marvel).

    The first consists basically of those in batcostume and their closest friends: Bruce Wayne, his son Damian, his adopted son Dick, the various Robins, Batgirl, Batwoman, Oracle, the Birds of Prey, Alfred. Maybe Catwoman (with Helena? can I call her Helena Wayne?1) or Talia al-Ghul2.

    Though Wolverine tends to treat the X-Men as family, and has had a number of wives and lovers, the Wolverine family consists of only three people: Logan, his son Daken, and his clone X-23. Probably better not to have them all in the same room together, though in the right circumstances, it might be fun. I'd like to see X-23 and Daken compare notes. Have they ever met, canonically? Not as far as I know - which means it's a meeting just waiting to happen.

  4. The Winchesters: Sam, Dean, and their father John. Just because I adored John and would like to see him again in any capacity. Castiel could join them - a guardian angel is sort of like a family member, right? I'd like to see Castiel meet John Winchester. Then there's the newly-alive-again grandfather and those cousins. Guess we'd have to allow Adam, dead or alive.

  5. The Doctor in Doctor Who. For someone who has no relatives and is the last of his kind, there are an awful lot of potential relatives: a mother we seem to have barely glimpsed, a father, at least one wife and possibly two (can we count River Song?), a child or children unspecified, a granddaughter Susan, a clone-daughter, and - anyone else? Well, since it's a big party, and can include all of time and space, I'd allow any of the regenerations of the Doctor who want to attend, and any of the companions as well. The TARDIS is big. It could handle the crowd.


---

1 Let me explain this a little for non-readers of Batman: Selina Kyle (Catwoman) had a daughter named Helena. We never learned for sure who Helena's father was, but Bruce Wayne showed considerable paternal-style interest in her, and we know Bruce and Selina had been sleeping together at some point before that. The Earth-2 Batman (don't ask, it gets complicated) and the Earth-2 Catwoman had a daughter named Helena Wayne, who became The Huntress.

2 Talia al-Ghul is, canonically, the mother of Batman's son Damian.



fajrdrako: ([Daken])




I woke up this morning with that chest cold that everyone I knew had last week. Lucky me. After hanging curtains in my bedroom, I went back to bed and read all those Daken comics I bought yesterday. I'm still missing his appearances in Amazing Spider-Man and Deadpool, but factoring in the material I got from the library (like X-Men: Original Sin), I've read just about all the comics in which Daken so much as waves a claw.

And sometimes barely that, since the list I was working from mentions every time Daken is seen in a random flashback panel, or standing passively with the Dark Avengers for those PR shots of which Norman Osborn was so fond. I got Captain America #48 because Daken was at the funeral, an infinitesimal figure glimpsed from afar. Sometimes after reading a comic I'd have to go back and hunt for the panel in which Daken was hidden.

This exercise gave me a chance to read a bunch of comics I'd missed over the past two years, and try out some new authors. Bit of a treat. There were issues of Dark Reign and Siege storylines that I hadn't read yet, a sort of retroactive fill-in-the-gaps thing. My best 'find' was Greg Pak on The Incredible Hulk.

Somewhere about a year ago something changed with the characterization of Daken. He went from being a rather sulky emo boy with neither humour nor personality, to being the smart-mouthed schemer I know and love today. I haven't quite been able to pin down when it happened: I was attributing it to Marjorie Liu, but it looks more as if the turning point was Giuseppe Camuncoli coming along as artist. I'm not sure how that makes sense: Camuncoli is a master of facial expression, and I love the way he draws Daken, but artists don't usually script dialogue. Perhaps Way's writing is simply getting better with time.

More detailed comments... )

Monday...

Sep. 13th, 2010 09:14 pm
fajrdrako: (Default)




One of those pleasant, busy days.

Morning: I woke up ten minutes before the alarm. Oh, good, said I to myself, I can snooze for ten minutes. Then the alarm went off. Fastest ten minutes ever.

Lynne drove me to the dentist. I told him I hadn't flossed since June because I couldn't reach my mouth, he was all sympathy and said the damage to my gums was visible and I have an appointment next week for plaque removal, etc. The day before my birthday. For years, when I was young, I had dental appointments on my birthday. This is a near miss. But hey, I want to get it over with before going to France.

Dr Barnes explained why I suffer from a dry mouth: it's a side effect of the blood pressure medicine. It causes bacteria to grow in the mouth, so I'm supposed to drink a lot of water, and wash my mouth out with water, on a frequent basis. Nice to have that explained. I'd been wondering what was going on. Xerostomia, it's called.

Met [personal profile] commodorified and [personal profile] fairestcat at Westgate for knitting, coffee, and (as it turned out) some good X-Men talk, and bra-buying. Nice to have someone to discuss X-Men with. Someone who knows who Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom are, and why they should be together.

Lunched at the food court: utterly delicious donair.

Then [livejournal.com profile] maaseru picked me up in a huge thunderstorm and we went to Kanata for a high-tech assessment session with the chiropractor, Dr. Pope. I like the way he operates. I already know he's good: he fixed my bad back last year. We signed up for treatment and nutritional counselling.

I then went downtown and walked home from Laurier St., shopping at several grocery stores - found tripe at Hartman's, yay! It had long since stopped raining and was pleasant, sunny, and cool. I was tired by the time I got home, but not too tired to figure out how to download the Kobo software to my Blackberry, so now I can read The Game of Kings wherever I go. This really tickles me.

Visited [livejournal.com profile] explodedteabag to have a quick look at the Sherlock DVDs that she ordered from England, and just received. Spiffy.

Time to do some serious arm exercises before going to bed.

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