Tag Archives: x-men

TV Review: Legion S1E3 Chapter 3

legionLegion, based on the Marvel character created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, continues its exploration of the main character David Haller (played by Dan Stevens) in an episode that dives further into the mystery of David’s powers while a greater threat looms.

Like the previous episode this one is focused on the method of looking into David’s past to figure out the moment his powers manifested in hopes of better understanding them. That focus is interesting as we saw in last episode and this one his new friends don’t even know his true strength and power.

We the viewers are left in the dark and discover exactly what’s going on as David and his friends discover it as well. The show has moved past the concept that David is schizophrenic, instead chalking up his issues as a side affect of his mutant powers. It’s an interesting decision as it makes this version of David/Legion similar to the comic book version and in ways downplays the schizophrenia.

Dan Stevens stars as David Haller in Legion

A lot of the episode bounces around his head and it’s very similar to the previous one. While we learn a bit more about what’s going on with the opposing force, but not much, and given more hints that David is more powerful than anyone imagined, I can’t say there’s much as far else in the series. It’s David getting to know his new friends and himself.

The visuals of the series continue to be stunning and the best thing about it. This is a show you need to watch and watch intently as many of the hints and plot points are driven not by the dialogue, but by the visual clues that are thrown on the screen in quick flashes. We see that here with some of what is triggering David and the visuals are giving the best hint as to what’s really going on in his head. The series begs to be watched multiple times to catalog all of the quick flashes and coloring to decipher what it all means.

Legion builds and shows the “X” world can be presented with a more adult focus without all of the spandex. The end of the episode in particular had me take notice wondering what it all means and if what we’re shown on screen reflects what comic fans may already know. This is a new depiction of Legion, but it’s one that’s building off of an obscure, but classic character. It’s also becoming one of the best “comic” shows on television.

Overall Rating: 9.15

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Preview: Uncanny X-Men #18

Uncanny X-Men #18

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Edgar Salazar (CA) Ken Lashley
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 15, 2017
SRP: $3.99

AN INHUMANS vs. X-MEN TIE-IN!

OCCUPY NEW ATTILAN!

With the mutant invasion of the Inhuman capital city now complete, MAGNETO seeks to lock it down by deploying his newly-acquired army of mutant sleepers. But will he take his mission a step too far?

uncanny_x_men__18

TV Review: Legion S1E2 Chapter 2

legionLegion, based on the Marvel character created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, continues its exploration of the main character David Haller (played by Dan Stevens) in an episode that gives us a lot, but never lays things out simply.

Reflecting on his past with the help of his new friends, David is forced to experience moments in his life as the episode’s stunning visuals continue to give the best idea as to what is exactly going on.

David may be schizophrenic or it might all be due to his mutant powers, we’re not quite sure exactly.

This episode is a bit straight forward compared to the debut with the set up of a war and two rival factions who are trying to use mutants for good, bad, or to exterminate them. That’s about as clear as things get.

Dan Stevens stars as David Haller in Legion

Much of the episode bounces around David’s past as we get to see various stages of his life and where he was at the time in either his mental breakdown or manifestation of is power. With the help of another mutant he watches the experiences as though he’s there. But is he impacting them? With hints of the power of time, matter, telepathic, telekinetic, the world is open for what he’s accomplishing. And for fans of the X-Men comic series and who know the character, you know this is par for the course. Legion, David, is the most powerful mutant to ever exist and can do near anything.

The visuals of the series continue to be stunning and the best thing about it. This is a show you need to watch and watch intently as many of the hints and plot points are driven not my the dialogue, but by the visual clues that are thrown on the screen in quick flashes. The series begs to be watched multiple times to catalog all of the quick flashes and coloring to decipher what it all means.

Legion continues to build and shows the “X” world can be presented with a more adult focus without all of the spandex. Mutants are the next leap forward in humanity and Legion is the next leap forward in the world of live action X-men.

Overall Rating: 9.15

Review: Uncanny X-Men Annual #1

425593-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_Caught in the crossfire between the Uncanny X-Men and the Dark Riders, Young X-Man ELIXIR was a casualty of war. But can a mutant whose power deals in life and death stay gone for long? Elixir is BACK and he’s come to take revenge…on BOTH parties! Plus: Domino stages her own strike against the deadly Terrigen Mists!

Writers Cullen Bunn and Anthony Piper return the X-Men in splendid form in Uncanny X-Men Annual #1. The issue brings in the charismatic ex-villain Magneto as the leader of this misfit group of X-Men. The issue focuses on how the Terrigen Mists have affected the world. But, the bigger news is the issue resurrects the former X-Man Elixer from the grave, with more power than ever before. It goes to that basic theme, showing how with great power, comes great responsibility.

While the focus is clearly on Elixer’s amplified powers and the destruction of the Terrigen Mists it shows so much more. It is obvious how the world has changed without its mutant population. Bunn and Piper bring in the ruins of Genosha to keep the atmosphere grim, as Elixer showcases how much his death has changed him. All of it beautifully illustrated by Piper and Ken Lashley.

Story: Cullen Bunn, Anthony Piper Art: Ken Lashley, Anthony Piper
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

TV Review: Legion S1E1 Chapter 1

legionLegion, based on the Marvel character created by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, is the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens), a troubled young man who may be more than human. Diagnosed as schizophrenic as a child, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years.

Now in his early 30s and institutionalized once again, David loses himself in the rhythm of the structured regimen of life in the hospital: breakfast, lunch, dinner, therapy, medications, sleep. David spends the rest of his time in companionable silence alongside his chatterbox friend Lenny (Aubrey Plaza), a fellow patient whose life-long drug and alcohol addiction has done nothing to quell her boundless optimism that her luck is about to change.

In the first episode, the pleasant numbness of David’s routine is completely upended with the arrival of a beautiful and troubled new patient named Syd (Rachel Keller). Inexplicably drawn to one another, David and Syd share a startling encounter, after which David must confront the shocking possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees may actually be real.

Dan Stevens stars as David Haller in Legion

With an extended first episode with a minimal amount of ads, the debut episode of this new series feels more like a mini-movie with stunning visuals and a mind trip spin worth of Christopher Nolan. For almost an hour and a half viewers are treated to a what’s real and what’s not visual feast keeping viewers on their toes as to what exactly is going on.

And beyond the visuals, that’s the greatest strength of the series. The madness extends through the screen as we’re dragged into the world of David Haller. His schizophrenia is the center of the show and we’re taught to question everything. Is that character real? Are they in David’s head? Is what he’s seeing real? Is what we’re seeing real? This is a show that begs to be dissected and viewed multiple times for visual clues as to what is real and what is not.

The story itself jumps between two situations. The first being David in a hospital where an incident took place and the second is another hospital that wants to figure out what David did… or is it a hospital? The series dives into a bigger conspiracy far into the debut episode where it’s revealed David is not just a mutant, but possibly the most powerful one out there. He’s a threat because of what he can do and how unstable he is. But, is he unstable? Did what we witness occur in his head? Things are left open to interpretation and nothing is definitively answered.

And what’s left open is a visual treat challenging big screen adaptations of Marvel’s “X” universe. Objects fly around, colors pop off the screen. Scenes are set not just by their locations, but clothing, and colors, each evoking a mood and giving hints as to what’s real and what’s not. The visuals, the story, the style, it’s all mixed in a Big Lebowski sort of way.

The story itself becomes clearer as the episode moves along, but much of the first hour is jumbled, eventually becoming more orderly and focused, much like David is experience it himself. And that’s what’s impressive for the series. This debut isn’t a story being told to us, it’s something we’re supposed to experience ourselves right along its hero.

Overall Rating: 9.35

Legion Gets 8 New Promos

Legion debuts this Wednesday on FX at 10pm. The series is based on the character and world of the X-Men from Marvel.

During the Super Bowl, the network ran a whole bunch of new promos that you can check below.

Unboxing: Nerd Block’s January 2016 Comic Block

January sees the release of Nerd Block‘s latest Comic Block with a mix of items including comics, a t-shirt, figures, print, and comics. Created specifically for comic fans, you get comics, t-shirts and more.

This latest expanded block is a big improvement over recent releases.

Is bigger better? Find out as we explore what’s in the box!?

Check out everything you get in the latest box, and you can sign up now and purchase the next Comic Block!

 

 

The above features an affiliate link of which we receive a percentage

Immigration And Comics. It’s Our History.

ck-rocket-from-krypton-croppedA version of this originally ran January 2016.

You’d have to have been living under a rock to have avoided the refugee and, to a lesser extent, the immigration discussions occurring this past week due to the executive order signed by President Donald Trump.

As an immigrant myself, it’s a discussion that I’ve been paying some attention too.

First things first, though, is that I should clarify that my situation in no way resembled the plight of those from Syria or other war-torn regions. As a white man immigrating from the United Kingdom it would be offensive to those refugees to say that I know what they’re going through. I don’t.

I genuinely hope that I never will.

Indeed, I have been present in my new country when people start talking about “the immigrants” taking their jobs because they didn’t consider me an immigrant.  This was shortly after asking about my accent. I may be a white guy, but my accent sure isn’t from this side of the pond. That’s about as much prejudice as I have ever encountered on my end, directly, and while I found it exasperatingly funny at the time, it does go to  show the general sense that a (very) few have toward immigrants (at least in my experience, but as I said, mine is not the same as the Syrian refugees. Not even close). Even comparing a refugee to an immigrant is a slippery slope; while some immigrants such as myself arrive in a new country of their own volition, some undoubtedly feel forced out of their homes, due to escalating conflicts or tensions at home. But either way, the immigrant has a little more freedom to make the decision. A refugee has no choice in the matter; they just want their family to feel safe.

And the type of safety that the Syrian refugees are currently seeking, and the scale of the horror’s they are running from is something that many of us have no personal experience with. Hopefully we never will, but that doesn’t preclude us from having some empathy for them, either.

My family have lived in England for as long as I am aware (my Aunt traced my grandfather’s line back to around the 1700’s, give or take), so I can’t knowingly claim that there is any immigration within my family’s past (myself aside), but that’s not necessarily true of people living on this side of the pond.

There are millions of people in North American who can trace their families back across the years and the oceans to other countries, when their ancestors left their home lands for fear of persecution or simply to hope for a better life.

This is especially true when it comes to some of the early and/or influential members of the comic book community.

The Thing KirbyIndeed, many of the greatest names in American comics are often the first generation born in the new country, such as Art Speigelman (the author of Maus), Bill Finger (co-creator of Batman, Green Lantern, and many many others), Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (the men who created Superman). Even Bob Kane‘s (Batman‘s other co-creator) parents were of Eastern European Jewish descent. The point I am attempting to make here is that the sons of Jewish immigrants created some of our biggest super heroes, and some of our greatest stories.

And what of their creations? 

Superman is an alien from another planet who’s family sought refuge for their only child from the end of their world. He is far from native to any country on Earth, yet he has chosen to make the planet his  home. Far beyond just simply moving from country to country, Superman is an interplanetary immigrant that kick started the modern superhero comic. 

And he’s not the only immigrant in comics, either; Supergirl, the Martian Manhunter are but two of the early inter-planetary examples, X-O Manowar is both a geographical and chronological immigrant (it sounds confusing when typing it like that, but the character is as rich and deep as any other on this list). Howard the Duck has been trapped in a world that he’s slowly become accustomed to, but was never his own; and Thor Odinson has been protecting our world for centuries – and even without his hammer he continues to do so. The idea of a hero from the stars come to save humanity (or in the case of Howard the Duck to simply work amongst us) is an idea that as comic book fans we’re all enamored with , and in many cases these interplanetary immigrants have become some of the most beloved, and powerful, characters in the comic book reading world.

Giant-Size_X-Men_Vol_1_1In terms of the more traditional Earthbound type of immigration, the of moving between countries, look at almost the entire second team of X-Men; BansheeColossus, Nightcrawler, Sunfire, Storm and Wolverine are all from countries other than the US. You know what that makes them, eh?

If  these characters were ignored because they were immigrants, both of the interplanetary and Earthbound nature,  would comics, nay, popular culture, even have the same face? The Superman symbol is an internationally recognized symbol of truth, justice, and the American Way, and Wolverine is arguably one of the most popular characters to ever appear in a comic book. What if the parents of the previously mentioned creators, and the numerous others I haven’t named who are also descended from immigrants, were trying to escape their living conditions to provide a better life for their families today? Would we still want to turn them away?

If it wasn’t for the sons and daughters of refugees and immigrants the comic book landscape, and perhaps even our way of life would be drastically different than what we’re used too. Before you add your voice to those who say we should close up our borders, take a long hard look at your family history, at the characters you love, and tell me where you would be if the country you call home had refused to admit any new immigrants at any point in the past two or three hundred years.

Would you still be sat here reading this, if your ancestors hadn’t had the opportunity to live a new life in North America?

Review: All-New X-Men #17

all_new_x_men__17All-New X-Men #17 offers another grassroots perspective, of how the IvX conflict directly impacts another faction of X-Men. What I have been enjoying about issues of this series I have read is its heartfelt, real-life, tone. This is a title that really looks at the X-Men and mutants in general in terms of their place of the world. This brings a flavor of storytelling to the X-books that in my opinion has been missing since the post-schism New Mutants title.

It’s safe to say that all of the time-displaced X-Men have encountered some degree of development or milestones that they would not have experienced otherwise in their own temporal continuity. This issue focuses on bobby’s new experiences as he explores his sexual identity. The issue centers on Bobby Drakes budding romance with the Inhuman Romeo. The timing of this romance is tragic given the current state of affairs between the Inhumans and the X-Men, but it makes for a fresh and poignant perspective on the conflict.

Bobby’s and Romeo’s relationship makes me think about authentic buy-in, perspective appreciation and cooperation that is required to transform any seemingly intractable conflict. Despite the fatal stakes for mutant-kind Bobby is firmly aware of the cultural importance of Terrigen. Similarly, I am sure that Romeo is equally concerned about Bobby’s stake in the conflict not just on romantic grounds but in terms of his well being. The way the currently conflict is going if either side wins their relationship will be threatened, because of this we can argue that Bobby and Romeo are perhaps the most invested in a solution that benefits both species. This reality is poised to make the two important players in this conflict going forward.

Much of this issue shows bobby’s reaction to the impending assault on Attilan and it’s punctuated with flashbacks of his previous dates with Romeo dates. It  was really heartfelt and anchors the emotional stakes for Bobby. I really enjoyed how the encounter between Bobby and his peers upon the news of the Attilan offensive mirrors the Senior X-Men’s encounter with Beast when he vehemently protests their chosen action. Whereas Beast’s objection was immediately interpreted as a security threat and allegiance to the Inhumans resulting in his detainment, Bobby’s objection was understood and no such action was taken against him. Maybe this speaks to the fact that youth are more open, and diligent in exploring more peaceful options. I hope they explore this parallel further. Especially given the launch of the recent champions team which has an inhuman and mutant in their ranks.

All-New X-Men is to be commended for being a solid example of intersectional storytelling. Throughout this title’s run we’ve seen these young X-Men deal with thorny issues such as religion, genetic determination, the consequences of magic and interspecies relations. In the recent light of IvX it has maintained this intersectional bent while organically contributing to the greater arc without losing its voice, a feat not easily accomplished.

A small note about the art, Mark Bagley really did a good job of capturing  the expressive emotion on the team’s faces in this issue. Apart from that though, there was a moment  where I assume Bobby experiences his first kiss, where his ice form shatters away. Not sure if this was intentional but it seemed artistically to be a symbolic flourish, for “breaking ice” between the two warring super species.. kudos. I’m sure it’s no mistake that Bobby’s boyfriend is named Romeo, and obvious wink to Romeo and Juliet. Another strong tie-in to an already awesome core event.

Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Mark Bagley
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Around the Tubes

reedpop_4-fullIt’s new comic book day! What’s everyone planning on getting? Sound off in the comments below!

While you wait for shops to open up, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – A year of free comics – Titan by François Vigneault – Go read it!

The Comichron – Comics sales spotlight: Complete postal data for House of Mystery, 1960-1982 – Some cool history.

The Beat – Jim Starlin throws down the monetary gauntlet – Sigh.

CBR – Fox’s X-Men TV Series Gets Official Pilot Order – This should be interesting.

ICv2 – Funko Acquiring Underground Toys Assets – Interesting.

The Beat – ReedPOP Officially Announces Comic Con Seoul for August 2017 – Could be cool to go to!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Justice League of America: The Ray

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