Tag Archives: beast

Review: X-Force #6

Benjamin Percy and Stephen Segovia transpose cloak and dagger American interventionism to gain a sphere of influence in Latin American countries to the key of mutantdom and Warren Ellis-style high concept-meets-absolutely bonkers. plotting in X-Force #6. The issue starts in a beautiful way with Beast conducting his “symphony” of X-Force operatives with Segovia’s very direct artwork working in tandem with Percy’s descriptive prose for each member’s role on the team. (Wolverine is percussion, and Percy takes a page out of early Claremont X-Men and uses him for action and gruffness instead of the star of the show.)

X-Force #6

Beast is the POV character throughout X-Force #6, and what follows is a peek behind the curtain of the mutant CIA. Hank McCoy is his more recently characterized master manipulator self (No timelines were harmed in the making of this issue.) rather than the affable, occasionally flirty fuzzball that was tailor made to be played Kelsey Grammer. Throughout the issue, he doesn’t doubt or waver once immediately giving kill orders for the “telefloronic” organisms created by the country of Terra Verde that could rival Krakoa, its products, and taking away the current mutant leverage on the world. There’s only room for one plant-based tech producing country, and Percy and Segovia craft immediate uncertainty when Black Tom Cassidy, who can manipulate the plant matter of Krakoa, is assaulted by similar plant manner.

And what made X-Force such an interesting read other than its continued use of the body horror aesthetic (Segovia has a much smoother art style than Joshua Cassara though.) is that Beast is sugarcoated to become some kind of heroic or anti-heroic figure. He’s just a powerful mutant, who uses his intellect and occasionally, brute strength and athletic ability to protect Krakoa’s interest. He’s a wetwork operation or a secret war wrapped up in blue fur and glasses.

Beast is as skilled with words and metaphors as he is with positioning operatives and mutant abilities as he compares the telefloronic organisms to Omega sentinels to assuage Jean Grey’s ethical dilemma. There’s a great contrast between the innocence of the classic “Marvel Girl” costume and the dark implications of her action as Stephen Segovia draws her in intense profile with some shading. Also, it’s cathartic when she gets to give Beast a piece of her mind. She’s the most traditionally heroic of the X-Force team, but the dark palette used by Guru e-FX undercuts every “good thing” she seems to do. For example, when she rescues Terra Verde’s president Cocom from the telefloronic organisms, Stephen Segovia and Guru e-FX frame her as an angel of death, not a helping hand.

Since the establishment of Krakoa in House of X/Powers of X, Jonathan Hickman and his fellow X-scribes have couched what would be usual superhero team action into the visual and verbal language of warfare. Marauders is naval conflict, Excalibur is a wild and woolly border dispute with a side of a state-sanctioned puppet ruler, New Mutants is a diplomatic mission gone wrong, X-Men is literally a summit, and X-Force, as I’ve mentioned earlier and keeping with its black ops team roots, is off the books warfare. Throughout the issue, Beast makes sure there are no witnesses to his and his team’s actions so Krakoa keeps its leverage on human nations via the pharmaceutical market and is positioned as the victim, not aggressor. (See the amazing text piece on how he set up Professor X as a martyr figure.)

Benjamin Percy’s choice to filter the story through Beast’s POV and showing behind the hood of his orchestration of the “mutant CIA” gives X-Force #6 incredible narrative focus to go with Stephen Segovia and Guru e-FX’s precise, powerful visuals. It’s a memorable addition to the Dawn of X books’ ongoing saga of a presumably utopian society uses decidedly non-utopian methods to maintain it with X-Force definitely getting to explore the non-utopian part in a creative way with a fantastic ensemble cast.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Stephen Segovia
Colors: Guru e-FX Letters: Joe Caramagna
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

SDCC 2019: Diamond Select, Rocketeer, Endgame, DC and IT!

San Diego Comic-Con 2019 is upon us, and Diamond Select Toys has lots of new items out for display. Check out some of what has been revealed at this year’s show below.

Bruce Lee Gallery Smoke PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Bruce Lee is the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times in this new gallery PVC Diorama from DST! Wearing his famous yellow tracksuit, launching a blistering kick with its very own smoke trail, this approximately 10-inch diorama is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JUL192658, SRP: $49.99)

DC Comic Gallery Wonder Woman PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! This Wonder Woman has us tongue-tied! The Amazonian warrior breaks out her golden lasso and a sword in this all-new PVC diorama from the DC Gallery line. Based on her comic-book appearance, this approximately 9-inch diorama is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JUL192663, SRP: $49.99)

DC TV Gallery Teen Titans Go Beast Boy PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The wise guy of the Teen Titans team is the newest PVC diorama in the DC Gallery line! Based on his appearance in Teen Titans Go!, this approximately 9-inch diorama is made of high-quality PVC and features detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Varner Studios. (Item #JUL192662, SRP: $49.99)

Godzilla Gallery King Ghidorah 1991 PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! From the distant future, a new line of Gallery PVC Dioramas rises! Starring Godzilla, his allies and his enemies, each diorama features exacting sculptural and paint detail. The second offering features King Ghidorah in his 1991 appearance, from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and measures approximately 10 inches tall. Connect it with Godzilla to form a larger diorama! Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Jorge Santos Souza. (Item JUL192661, SRP: $69.99)

Marvel Animated X-Men Cyclops Resin Mini-Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! Scott Summers kicks of a new line of busts based on the classic X-Men animated series! Depicting Cyclops with a gleam in his visor and his fists at the ready, this approximately 6-inch resin bust is limited to only 3,000 pieces and comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Joe Menna. (Item # JUL192665, SRP: $59.99)

Marvel Comic Gallery Beast PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! Welcome to the Danger Room! The bouncing blue Beast artfully dodges projectiles launched by the X-Men’s training facility in this dynamic new diorama in the Marvel Gallery line! This 10-inch diorama is made of high-quality PVC with detailed sculpting and paint applications, and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Sam Greenwell. (Item #JUL192666, SRP: $49.99

Marvel Comic Milestones Ghost Rider Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! Gaze into his penance stare! The original Spirit of Vengeance pulls off stunt worthy of the daredevil he is in this dynamic new statue from the Marvel Milestones collection! Seen as he swings a chain from the handlebars of his motorcycle, this approximately 15-inch resin statue is limited to only 1,000 numbered pieces and comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, sculpted by Mat Brouillard. (Item #JUL192672, SRP: $299.99)

Marvel Movie Gallery Avengers: Endgame War Machine PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! From the ashes of Endgame, rises an all-new PVC Diorama for the Marvel Gallery line! James Rhodes in his War Machine armor levels an arm cannon at the forces of Thanos in this sculpture crafted in high-quality PVC, with detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. (Item #JUL192668, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Movie Gallery Avengers: Endgame Rescue PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! With the Endgame behind us, here comes an all-new PVC Diorama for the Marvel Gallery line! Pepper Potts in her Rescue armor soars into action against the armies of Thanos in this sculpture crafted in high-quality PVC, with detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. (Item # JUL192667, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Movie Gallery Avengers: Endgame Captain America PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! From the Ashes of Endgame, rises an all-new PVC Diorama for the Marvel Gallery line! A very worthy Captain America holds aloft Mjolnir in this sculpture crafted in high-quality PVC, with detailed sculpting and paint applications. Packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JUL192669, SRP: $49.99)

Marvel Movie Collector Black Panther Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Black Panther strikes! Perched on a tree branch and prepared to pounce, this resin statue of the King of Wakanda is based on his film appearance. Packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed and sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. (Item #JUL192671, SRP: $124.99)

Marvel Select Avengers Endgame Hulk Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! Because you demanded it! The first Marvel Select action figure based on Avengers Endgame is none other than the heroic Hulk! Wearing his new outfit from the blockbuster film, this approximately 9-inch action figure features 16 points of articulation and interchangeable hands and fists. Packaged in display-ready Select action figure packaging with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. Sculpted by Gentle Giant Studios. (Item # JUL192664, SRP: $29.99)

Legends in 3D Marvel Movie Thor Ragnarok Hulk 1/2 Scale Bust

A Diamond Select Toys release! This bust burns like raging fire! Based on his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, this resin bust of the Hulk is in 1/2 scale, and measures approximately 10 inches tall atop a movie-inspired base. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, it comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JUL192670, SRP: $174.99)

Rocketeer Premier Collection Resin Statue

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Rocketeer returns! The retro, rocket-fueled superhero strikes a pose atop a building in this new Premier Collection resin statue! Based on his appearance in the classic Disney film, this approximately 11-inch statue is limited to only 3,000 numbered pieces and comes packaged with a certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Designed by Joe Allard, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item # JUL192660, SRP: $150.00)

IT Chapter 2 D-Formz Pennywise Mini-Figures 2-Pack

A Diamond Select Toys release! Because two clowns are better than one! This two-pack of D-Formz mini-figures based on the new IT movie shows Pennywise the clown in his muddy human form as well as his monstrous demon form. The pair of mini-figures comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Barry Bradfield, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. (Item #JUL192659, SRP: $15.99)

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends X-Men Caliban Wave

Every year for the past three, the X-Men wave has been one of the most hotly anticipated arrivals in the world of Marvel Legends. This year generated particular excitement, as a number of long-requested characters either got new versions or finally joined the ranks with their first interpretation. Let’s dive in for a look at what’s sure to be a strong seller. But first, we need to thank Hasbro for sending us these figures for free for the purposes of review. We certainly appreciate their assistance.

The wave comes with seven figures; of the group, Gambit contains no BAF piece. The remaining six are Weapon X Wolverine, Jubilee, Forge, Blink, Skullbuster, and Beast (Jim Lee-style). The BAF is Caliban in his X-Force iteration. This is a very, very ‘90s-inspired wave with a particular emphasis on the Silvestri/Lee runs on the book (indeed, this version of Forge, Skullbuster, Jubilee, Gambit, and Beast come right from that era). It hits a lot of sweet spots for obvious reasons. Let’s dig.

Jubilee: It sort of blows my mind that there has never been a classic Jubilee that captures her early appearance from the comic and the celebrated animated series. In the original Toy Biz line, there was a Generation X version and a sort of anime-inspired version (in the Robot Fighters assortment), and Marvel Legends had the scarce BAF the featured the black outfit prominently seen in stories like “Curse of the Mutants.” But the vaguely-Robineseque original look never got committed to Legends plastic. Until now.

This figure is an automatic winner. The body is appropriately teen-scaled. The second head that sports a bubble-gum-bubble is absolute genius. Removable glasses are a solid idea. And the trenchcoat sculpt is tight. In short, Hasbro killed it. I can’t believe that this figure FINALLY exists after literal decades. If the internal goal is to produce the entire line-up seen in the biggest selling single issue of all time, they’ve almost got on. Good on Hasbro, and great work.

Weapon X: I might be the least excited about this figure, because I was pretty happy with the one produced for the line several years ago. However, I love one thing in particular, and that’s the height. Wolverine is SUPPOSED to be short. He’s roughly 5’3” in the comics, but he’s gotten progressively taller in extra-media protrayals, particularly by Hugh Jackman. Still, this is a great sculpt, and I’m well aware that many collectors may have missed the original version. It’s well done, but it didn’t check any boxes for me.

Forge: Similarly, Forge is a redo of a figure made years ago in an exclusive two-pack. Of the two, THIS is the superior figure. It’s a really strong version of the character as he appeared in the issues transitioning from Silverstri to Lee; it’s also appropriate that he appears in the wave with Skullbuster, as Forge and Banshee kicked huge Reaver ass on Muir Island when they began to search for the then-missing X-Men. I love the look of the figure, down to the boots and the two weapons. The original Forge is decently rare, so this is actually a much-needed upgrade that a lot of X-fans are going to scoop up. Another really solid job.

Beast: Holy crap, man. It’s been YEARS since we got a Beast (what, like OG Legends wave 5?). This is a massive, massive improvement and absolutely captures the Jim Lee look. It’s frankly stunning. The figure has size and heft, too. It also comes with two spare hands to give closed fist and open hand options. My singular, minor regret is that there isn’t an extra bespectacled head. But, again, that’s minor. This is a really, really good, much-demanded figure, and it’s, not to be repetitive, another home run.

Gambit: In the wider span of Marvel Legends history, there have been a few Gambits. The “best Gambit” question has now been answered. This one. Part of that comes from the sculpt, which is rock-solid. Part of that comes from the hand attachments, which are perfect. One is a splay-fingered card throwing attachment. Another accessory is a “charged card” that slides between another hand’s index and middle fingers. The staff is well crafted, and it’s a good height. I also like the flair of the trenchcoat and the facial expression. This one’s pretty immaculate, kids.

Skullbuster: I was pretty happy to see Skullbuster. He never got made in the OG Toy Biz days, and he’s never been represented in Legends. In fact, the only extant Reaver in the line is a years-old Lady Deathstrike. As I said, the figure plays a role alongside Forge, so that’s really cool. I LOVE that there’s a second head for Reese, another Reaver; as I’ve said in the past, those little touches make for great value-adds. The ammo belt is well-done, and the pistol is comic-accurate. What a cool, surprising figure.

Blink: OH MY GOD. Blink is beautiful. This is exceptional. Blink has one of the best faces in the line, period. The teleportation portal is great, the “energy knives” look really cool, and the sweep of the tunic/skirt is nicely realized. The figure is also sculpted in such a way that you can pose her in a position that makes it look like she’s emerging from the portal. That’s just nuts. I didn’t know how much I wanted a Blink in the line until I saw it revealed, and now that I see it in person, I’m just crazy about it. My favorite figure from the wave, and one of my favorite Legends this year. A must-buy.

Caliban: I’ve heard a few people say that Caliban wouldn’t have been one of their choices for the BAF. That’s fine; I dig him. The powered-and-sized-up X-Force version is rather cool, and the sculptors obviously had a field day. The head/face is just great, and I like the general mass of the figure. I’d really like to see more X-Force/X-Factor figures realized in the line, and with Caliban, the updated Cannonball, and Boom-Boom, it seems like Hasbro is committing to it. We really need Sunspot, Feral, Siryn, and Rictor, but I get that it takes time. Nevertheless, I like this figure and it was probably the best opportunity for Hasbro to execute on it, so good for them.

It’s a tough call, but this might be my favorite Legends wave of the year so far. It’s a really strong set of sculpts that leverages in some much-requested characters along with a couple of surprises. A whole lot of collectors are going to be saying, “To me, my X-Men!”

The X-Men Join Marvel Future Fight

Netmarble Games Corp. has released a new update for its hit action role-playing game Marvel Future Fight welcoming six of the most popular mutant heroes known as The X-MenCyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, Beast, and Wolverine – and also their infamous enemy Magneto, the Master of Magnetism. Taking on the role of Wolverine, players will fight their way through a new Epic Quest, becoming increasingly powerful until the last quest is completed, at which point they unlock Cyclops, Storm, Beast, and Rogue. This update also introduces new growth materials, such as X-genes, M’kraan Shards, M’kraan Crystals, and Phoenix Feathers that will help these mutant characters grow stronger.

In addition to the X-Men, two new uniforms are also being added for other characters in Marvel Future Fight: A royal suit uniform for the Inhuman known as Crystal and a special unmasked uniform for the fan-favorite Gwenpool.

This update also brings improvements to the Daily Missions format to include chapters instead of stages, allowing players to select from the various chapters to play for certain rewards in order to obtain materials needed. There is also a new system in place called the Contents Status Board that will allow players to check on the status at the main lobby for all the contents that have daily limits at once.

The full list of characters joining Marvel Future Fight today includes:

  • Cyclops – The leader of the X-Men, who can shoot powerful energy from his eyes.
  • Jean Grey – A founding member of the X-Men with great telepathic powers who can also transform into the cosmic being known as the Phoenix.
  • Wolverine – One of the most famous X-Men, who has an advanced healing factor, adamantium-laced skeleton and retractable claws.
  • Storm – One of the most powerful, noble and respected members of the X-Men, who can control nature itself.
  • Beast –While he may look like a bouncing blue monster, Hank McCoy possesses a brilliant mind and a love of science.
  • Rogue – Evolving from an enemy of the X-Men to one of their most valued members, Rogue can fly, is super strong, and can absorb the powers of anyone she touches.
  • Magneto – While Magneto – who has the ability to control magnetic fields — fights for the survival of all mutants, his misguided actions have made him the most feared foe and #1 archenemy of the X-Men.

Marvel Future Fight is available worldwide in the App Store and Google Play.

Fashion Spotlight: Enterprise Duo, Ghibli Road, Unleash

Ript Apparel has three new designs! Enterprise Duo, Ghibli Road, and Unleash, by krisren28, JozVoz, and ccourts1, are on sale today only! Get them before they’re gone!

Enterprise Duo

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Ghibli Road

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Unleash

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe After Avengers: Age of Ultron – The Science Character

The below contains minor spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron

With the release of the next big blockbuster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron will leave a few ripples in its wake.  Perhaps the biggest of these will be the events which will lead the team into the upcoming Captain America movie, which includes a minor disbanding of the team combined with the assembly of a new team.  In what becomes an interesting development (spoilers to follow) neither Iron Man nor the Hulk will be members of the team after this movie.  While this of course has an effect on the focus on specific characters, it also changes something going on behind the scenes, namely the lack of any major scientific mind on the team.  Although Ant-Man is likely to join the team as well, it will be the Lang version, not the Pym, thus leaving the main team with a genius mind to put together the science.

beastIn the 1970s a similar enough dynamic existed, even when both Stark and Pym were active members of the team.  Another one of the great scientific minds of the Marvel Universe was introduced to the Avengers, in what was the first member of the X-Men to be introduced to the team since Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (who had weaker ties to the mutants at the time.)  The character which was introduced was Beast, who had been on a break from the Avengers but who was looking for to be a member of a team.

There of course exists a major impediment to introducing Beast as a member of the Avengers, and that is that the film rights to the character do not belong to Marvel but rather to Fox who has their own universe of X-Men to compete with the MCU.  This means explicitly that unless Fox gives up rights to the characters that such a union would be unlikely, and it is even unlikely that the character would be shared as Columbia is doing with Spider-Man, because the X-Men universe is on solid enough ground with their own company.

FitzsimmonsWhile using Beast is therefore somewhat out of the question, there is no real problem with introducing other characters who could have the same role and even powers, as long as the character were to be properly established beforehand as having nothing to do with the character.  Incidentally there is potential for such a character that already exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though this one comes from television – Agent Fitz from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  It might seem like a strange suggestion at first but there exists enough of a link to establish something similar to Beast while also being different enough.  The main link is that Fitz is one of the scientific geniuses behind the team, and that his colleague and closest friend (and also scientific genius) Jemma is also close to understanding the bioligical mechanism of certain super powers.  As Beast’s super powers are mostly physical enhancements as opposed to supernatural the link is not that far off.  It is worth mentioning as well that the actor that plays Fitz, Iain De Caestecker is one of the better actors from the show and might more easily transition to the big screen.

The fate of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still somewhat up in the air, but if the show does meet an early demise then it does have a potential recruit waiting for the big screen treatment for a faithful enough treatment of a dedicated Avenger.

 

Heroclix – Beast


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Wizkids has released a preview of it’s latest creation for the Giant Size X-Men Heroclix, Beast.

Heroclix BeastFrom the Wizkids website:

Beast’s Expeditious Assualt allows him to charge in where he’ll do the most good, while early-dial Outwit ensures his experience and scientific know-how are put to the best use; undermining your foes’ powers and abilities!Once Beast is engaged in the melee, his Preternatural Agility (Combat Reflexes) and his Trait help keep him safe from harm! Leaps and Bounds grants Beast a full dial of Super Senses and if your enemies somehow get around his defenses, Beast can Leap/Climb away to safety (and hopefully some healing via the X-Men team ability).

And talk about talented! Mid-dial Stealth and the Avengers team ability show how Hank is able to multi-task his time between his scientific studies, duties to the X-Men, and his new role as a member of Steve Roger’s Secret Avengers.

Friday Five: Favorite X-Men Characters


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Sorry I missed the Friday Five last week, I was out of town. This week I’m going to take a look at the characters I like the most from my favorite family of comics ever, the X-Men. The first comic I bought was an X-Men comic and I was hooked ever since, particularly because of the great stories in the 1980s of Chris Claremont and the art of Dave Cockrum and John Byrne. As the X-universe expanded, I continued to like a lot of the work that was added to the canon over the years and it has remained my favorite. Without further ado, here are the characters that made it my favorite.

Honorable Mentions: Magneto, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Angel, Beast, Rogue

5. Professor X: Early on, Professor X was my favorite (Heck my rap name is, to this day, Professor Rex. Yes, I said my rap name. I’m a rapper in my free time). I liked the fact that, despite the fact that he was in a wheelchair, he was the most powerful mutant on Earth. I liked that he was a teacher and a leader and often taught the X-Men by letting them alone and letting them succeed or fail on their own without really ever letting them be in much real danger (except in the early days with characters like Thunderbird and Jean Gray). I didn’t like the 1990s and 2000s turn where it was revealed that he had been manipulating his students’ minds all these year. It fit and I buy it in the context of the story, but I guess I felt the same betrayal the X-Men felt.

4. Emma Frost: One of the few female superhero characters whose ridiculously inappropriate sexualized costume actually fit with her personality, I love the growth in Emma’s character over the years, going from what seemed to be one of the baddest of the bad villains to one of the key good guys. And not in the flippant, seemingly patternless way that Magneto or Quicksilver flipped back and forth, Emma’s change was the growing of her character as a human being. Her personality is a great one and seems to be quite at odds with the rest of the X-Men, which makes for reading her stories much more interesting.

3. Kitty Pryde: With the last three characters, we have the three that I identified with the most. While I always looked up to Professor X the most, I always felt the most like Kitty, the awkward young person who was good with computers and not really good yet in social situations. The person who was frequently underestimated, but still managed to somehow saved the day more often than not. I also thought that her relationship with Colossus, another of my favorites, was always the best-written of the relationships in the X-universe and, really, in most of comics. It hasn’t lived up to that in recent years, but the way it was written by Claremont back in the day was, to me, perfect.

2. Wolverine: My father is Canadian, so Wolverine was the first thing that ever connected me to my Canadian heritage. I didn’t know much about Canada growing up (other than what I saw in the movie Strange Brew), but Wolverine was from there and he was a badass, so I figured it must be pretty badass to be part Canadian. Wolverine always had the power set I most wanted in the X-universe and, for a long time, he was my favorite. But his growth was somewhat stunted over the years and he became awfully over-exposed. There may not be a Marvel character that is involved in more great stories than Wolverine, but part of that is because there are so many of those stories. Last year’s Old Man Logan and a number of other stories show there’s still a lot of good stuff being written about Wolverine, but those seem to be simple explorations of the same territory, unlike…

1. Cyclops: There are few characters in the history of comics, particularly characters who have existed for a long time (Cyclops first appeared in the early 1960s) who have grown as much as Cyclops. And few of those growth stories over time, especially over decades, make sense and are realistic and ring true. Cyclops started out as “Slim” Summers an awkward teenager with a tragic power that prevents him from experiencing life as a normal teenager and promises to prevent him from ever being part of normal society. As he masters his powers and grows to become the leader of the X-Men, he fails as often as he succeeds, but he never, well almost never (see: the start of the Madelyne Pryor storyline) gives up and he’s not particularly good at being a leader and eventually cedes his leadership position to maybe the greatest African-American female comics character ever written, Storm (shows you how great the X-Men comics have been over the years that she just misses the top 5 character list). But he fails to be dissuaded and continues to learn and grow despite going through one of the most disturbing character histories of anyone in the entire Marvel universe. But along the way, he does learn. Go back and read the X-Men issues of the mid-1980s and compare the Wolverine of then to the Wolverine of now. Very little difference. Now compare the Cyclops of then, an awkward young man searching for his place in life and trying to deal with tragedies that few could survive, to the Cyclops of now, the badass leader of the X-Men, and all of mutantkind, who can handle any problem, can make decisions none of us could ever make and who will do anything he has to do to ensure the survival of his species. And he’s winning. And he’s dating Emma Frost. As much as I always felt like Kitty Pryde and thought it would be awesome to be Wolverine, I really always aspired to be Scott Summers and be the person who could save everyone, the person who would make the hard decisions that affect the fate of an entire race, an entire planet. Cyclops is to Marvel what Jack is to Lost. These are the characters that I look up to an would most want to be — flawed leaders who learn from their mistakes and don’t always do the right thing or accept their positions of leadership with ease or calm, but do them anyway because they know no one else will do what needs to be done.

Man, that’s good writing. The fact that I can draw all of that information about Cyclops off the top of my head without having to look up a single detail shows you why he’s my favorite X-Men character and my second-favorite comic book character of all time. Behind…well, that’s a different post altogether.