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Posts Tagged ‘X-Men’

House Of M” — (2012©) book review
This review is for the soft bound edition of “House Of M” which was originally published in 2005.  The “book” consists of eight issues of X-men and Avengers comics collected in this packaging. The storyline was written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Olivier Coipel.  The story “seems” to happen in an alternate universe and is about the creation of an alternate reality created by one of the X-men / mutants / Avengers – Wanda Maximoff aka: the Scarlet Witch.
I read this book because it came recommended by one of the blogs I follow ( “the !n(tro)verted yogi” located at: https://berniegourley.com/).  It sounded interesting from his review and I thought my son might have a copy so I contacted him (my son) and the rest is history.
Background:  I used to read comics (mostly Marvel comics) when I was young.  I collected both the X-men and the Avengers series (along with many others), so I have some background in the basic teams and characters.  I therefore recognized most of the super-heroes in the book.  Not all, but most.  Additionally, I have watched most of the Marvel movies over the last 10+ years.
Anyway, it appears Marvel has run out of super-villains for their major teams to fight, so they’ve gone off the deep end and created “alternate universes” and alternate timelines so they can rehash old battles or struggle with the philosophical issues of dealing with “alternates”.
In this story Wanda has created an alternate world where all of her friends are supposed to be happy.  There’s a problem though.  She misses a couple of them and they, in turn, “free the minds” of others until there are a sufficient number to go battle her for reality.
The story is okay, if a bit overly dramatic, but the characters are true to my (distant) memories of them.  The art is very good.  It’s more in the “full-figured” “Jack Kirby” muscular style which I prefer to the (I guess) more current anime style.  The paper is super-glossy which allows for much better color than the old paper stock I used to buy as a lad.  The only comment / complaint I have is there is a tendency to go across pages and then down pages without providing dinosaurs (me) with a visual clue of which way I’m supposed to read the panels on the facing pages.  They seem to go sideways (across two pages) then down on one page and the next, all on the same two pages.  This is a fairly minor comment though.
Bottom line:  I liked the story, the drawings and the colorings so I would recommend (moderate to strong) this book to anyone interested in either or both groups.  A couple of final comments:  I just checked the price on the back cover and it is $25!!!  I don’t know how Marvel expects children to buy these as even over eight original issues that’s $3 a pop!  To put this in perspective, I was buying comics at $.10 per issue.  I guess at some point since then a comet hit the earth and all of us dinosaurs moved on to books – I mean went extinct…  And, this collection is one in a series, so once you’re in for a penny, you’re probably in for a pound (of flesh).
Oh, and by the way, the link to Bernie’s specific review of this book is: https://berniegourley.com/2021/02/25/book-review-house-of-m-by-brian-bendis/
If you have a few minutes to visit his site, I recommend it, too.
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On This Day In:
2020 When?
2019 Two Guides
2018 A Call For You
2017 Because I Read
2016 On What Matters…
2015 Social Security
2014 Bewitching
2013 Visiting Joy
2012 Dedication To Today
2011 Project Second Chance – Adult Literacy
Turning Coal Into Diamonds

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Countless choices define our fate: each choice, each moment, a moment in the ripple of time.  Enough ripple, and you change the tide…  for the future is never truly set.
     —    Professor Charles Xavier
From the closing lines of the movie: “X-Men: Days of Future Past
[Last night I re-watched a movie from last year, “X-Men: Days of Future Past“.  I had planned to see it in the theater, but never got around to it.  Later, when I was viewing a number of movies on bootleg sites, I managed to see it, but the quality was so bad (as it typically is on these sites) that I didn’t even bother to review the movie because I didn’t think I could give it a “fair” review.  And, all in all, I think that was a very good decision.  My opinion of the movie was vastly improved over my prior viewing.
The “X-Men” comic book series was one of the many comic titles I followed when I was growing up.  Much like the “Spider-Man” series, the X-men were geared to a youth audience and sought to express the “angst” of growing up, feeling different, and coming to terms with a growing sense of uniqueness in the adult world much bigger than the imagined (and imaginary) world of our early childhoods.  Combine this feeling of difference with a mild (or not so mild) persecution complex (“they hate us because they fear us; they fear us because we’re different”) and you have a very deep story-line vein to mine for many years of comics (and movies).
The problem with any persecution story arc’s is, of course, the natural tendency of the writer(s) to follow the escalation sub-arc to it’s natural conclusion – the death(s) of all the heroes (the mutants and X-Men) or the death / termination of the antagonist (in this case, the Sentinels).  And, of course, if you kill off all of the heroes – wait for it – no more comic books (or movies).  If you kill all of the bad-guys, same problem (or you have to “invent” new baddies).
The somewhat classic response to this problem is to re-boot the series (either in the comic book or the movie format) or to go back and change time so “it” (the current present) never “really” happened and we can make up new stories.  Sometimes, you do both.  (See the latest two “Star Trek” movies…)
So the questions are: which does this movie do; and does it do it well?  This movie chooses “both”, but with a heavy emphasis on time-travel to get to the re-boot.  The movie goes very dark in the escalation sub-arc and does, in effect, kill all the heroes.  The time-travel also does its job of re-booting (some of) the actors / characters and getting the movie series back to a place where they can now logically create “new” sequels.
That’s the “do”.  How about the “well”?
Like all comic-book movies in general, and X-Men movies in particular, this is very much an action and special effects movie.  The action scenes are too few (for my tastes), but well done.  The special effects are visually well done, but mostly don’t make any sense.  And I mean “suspend belief” cause there’s no way this is possible kind of stuff.  There are far too many to list, but most of the problems have to do with trying to use actors across a 40 year span and technology that could not exist today, let alone back in the 1970’s.
Somehow, though, the “dark”, “not enough action scenes”, “unbelievable” movie still works for me.  The core message is that the future is never “really” set as long as you have hope and that hope is what drives the individual to a commitment to change.  The message / theme is touched upon frequently during the movie, but even I have to admit it (the message) is somewhat hidden in the viewing experience.  All in all, I give the movie a “B+” rating.
Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  Well worth viewing by any action / adventure / comic-book fan.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2014 You, Too!
2013 Bitter Stand
2012 Lost For Words
2011 On Market Reactions…

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Today’s review is for the 2011 version of “Jane Eyre” starring Mia Wasikowska (title character) and Michael Fassbender (“Young Magneto from the X-Men series” as the romantic interest).  If you are into period costuming (and I am) and / or into romantic characterizations where the good people “win” in the end (and I am), then you will enjoy this movie (and I did).  This is, however, a dark movie about a young girl who must endure physical and psychological abuse while growing up.  She is blessed with a keen mind, a sharp tongue, a strong will and a kind heart.  In the end, her mind, her will and her heart earn her the love she has been seeking her entire life.
Viewing this movie, I was struck by the fact that although the title character achieves “love” at the end, the movie itself was surprisingly unfulfilling for me.  I was left with the impression that I’d just seen a very good performance by Wasikowska, but it was not a movie which left me saying, “I want to see that again.”  This is in contrast with “Pride & Prejudice” (2005), which I’ve seen at least a dozen times and will watch again (I am sure) anytime I’m given a chance.  Final recommendation: strong recommendation.  Interesting and thought provoking, but not what I would call “enjoyable”.  I guess the best way to describe it is to say that not every hearty dinner has to end with a great dessert in order to be satisfying.
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On This Day In:
2013 Before
2012 Look To This Day
2011 One View Of Man

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