Nerd School: Mutant Fatigue

by Joe on June 6, 2011

X-Men First class was released on Friday to positive reviews from critics. However, once again I was disappointed by what I thought was Munich with mutants turning into X-Men 3 part 2. I don’t seem to be the only one, as the poor opening figures show that the X-franchise is losing steam.

Hey, it’s no knock against the movie, I saw it, and I enjoyed the hell out of the first hour or so.

So what’s the issue? As my momma always said, if you take half a gallon of ice cream and add a half gallon of shit you generally end up with a gallon of shit.Well in my opinion I think the problems with First Class are same two issues that X-Men 3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine had.

First off we have the problem of mutant glut. If we look at the first X-Men movie we have Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Rogue, and Professor X vs. Magneto, Sabertooth, Mystique, and Toad. Pretty standard fare actually.

Then with X2: X-Men United, we added in Nightcrawler, Iceman, Pyro, and Lady Deathstryke.

THEN X-Men: The Last Stand happened. along with all of the previous characters, we have added to the list Beast, Colossus, Shadowcat, and Angel for the good guys. The bad guys get Juggernaut and the Multiple Man. We also get a bunch of mutants who are supposed to be Morlocks, but fuck if I know who they are supposed to be, I think Callisto and Psylocke are in there and some other jackasses, but they in no way resemble anyone from the comics.

This is getting ridiculous! Hey! Wait! Is that Juno?

I don’t even want to get into the mutant cluster-fuck that is Wolverine, but let’s do it for purely masochistic reasons. (Deep breath) Victor Creed (not Sabertooth), Wraith, Silverfox, The Blob, Bradley, Gambit, Agent Zero, Deadpool, Young Cyclops, Emma (Frost), and Young Storm, and Young Prof. X.

Blah!

Now First Class was nowhere near as bad as Wolverine, but aside from Professor X and Magneto, we get Mystique, Emma Frost, Darwin, Havok, New Angel, Beast, Banshee, Azazal, Sebastian Shaw, and Riptide.

This is who we are left with?

I know its bullshit to call the producers on, but seriously, Azazal? To anyone who didn’t know, he was Nightcrawler’s dad. He also never showed up in continuity until 2003. I thought while watching the movie, “sweet, he’s going to make the moves on Mystique. (who BTW is Nightcrawler’s mom)” Nope never happened, I thought Riptide was Dan Cortese for the first 30 minutes.

Glad to see he's still working...

But the biggest bullshit move of them all is more than just how interchangeable a quarter of the cast is, it’s that that quarter didn’t need to be. We didn’t have to have Azazal and Riptide, Sebastion Shaw worked with the Hellfire Club, which included several really cool mutants who, yes are obscure, but really fit a 60’s theme and fit the story. We didn’t need Darwin, Angel, and Banshee, because we already know who the first class was, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, and Iceman. But the continuity of the previous movies fucked all that up.

Which leads to Mutant fatigue, there are just too many characters to care about. Are you putting the character into the movie because they are integral to the plot, or because you want to sell a toy of them?

But the podrace was cool...

But the podrace was cool...

Speaking of, lets get down to problem #2: Continuity.

One of the things I have been loving about recent Marvel movies is the continuity between Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, which we know is leading up to the Avengers movie. It’s very symbolic of the format of comics itself. Hey, Thor might actually pop in to see Iron Man from time to time. You don’t have to be ridiculously strict, but let’s go over some of the continuity issues in the X-Universe.

1. Victor Creed/Sabertooth

Victor Creed/Sabertooth in the comics is supposedly Wolverine’s…Well Fuck, they never actually say, but Wolverine Origin alludes to the fact that their origins may be related. HOWEVER in X-Men Sabertooth is just a brutish monster (played by Tyler Mane) and in Wolverine he is Logan’s half brother. How did the producers get away with it? well, ignore it, and never call Liev Schreiber Cotton Weary Sabertooth.

2. Emma/Emma Frost

Essentially the exact same character in two movies, one taking place in the 60’s and the other in the late 80’s early 90’s?

Y'know who wouldn't put up with this shit? Don Draper.

3. Havok/Cyclops (Alex/Scott Summers)

In the comics they are brothers, in fact Alex is younger than Scott, however in the movies Scott was born about 30 years after Alex. This wouldn’t be an issue except that they call Havok, Alex Summers.

But this is what happens when you don’t keep track of what’s going on in your universe. I’m a nerd, I freely admit that, fuck the title of this blog is “Nerd School”. My brain has adapted to pick this type of shit up, and it kills me that the producers wouldn’t take care in getting little shit like that right.

And speaking of little shit. How come Nightcrawler has a German accent, and Colossus doesn’t have a Russian accent? Rogue has a southern accent, so how come Banshee’s missing his Irish one?

It’s stuff like this that comic fans want to see, the attention to the character details. In reality, we don’t care that the Blob wasn’t in the Weapon X program as long as he’s fat. However we do care that the Juggernaut is not a real mutant and Leech wouldn’t negate his powers because they are derived from the Cyttorak.

BOOM roasted....

I am always going to have complaints, but the more respect you show the things I like, the more I’ll respect the artistic vision the producers give me. X-Men First Class was almost there. A fun period piece which has some seriously badass performances from Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Kevin Bacon. It’s worth watching if not for the amazing opening hour. If you can stomach the last 45 minutes without falling asleep more power to you.

Also Rose Byrne’s in the movie, she’s hot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J3zClnL_Ho

Read Joe’s other articles: Sci-Fi A-Team Star Trek: A Different Generation, An Alternate History of the Doctor, Inn at the Crossroads interview, A Love Letter to Natalie Portman, Failed Star Trek Spinoffs, Thor Primer, Doctor Who Season 6 primer, A Game of Thrones Primer, More

Check Out Joe’s weekly reviews:

Game of Thrones S1E1, S1E2, S1E3, S1E4,S1E5, S1E6, S1E7, S1E8

Doctor Who S6E1, S6E2, S6E3, S6E4, S6E5, S6E6

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