Wolverine is, as the saying goes, the best there is at what he does. And what James "Logan" Howlett does best is make Marvel a ton of money. Since his first appearance fighting the Hulk in a comic by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe in 1974, to joining the X-Men, to making Hugh Jackman a box office draw, all the way to his recent death, Wolverine is one of the House of Idea's true superstars.
But the unspoken truth is that very few Wolverine stories are out-and-out great. Sure, there's a ton of great Wolvie moments out there --- "Now it's my turn!," that bit in his Civil War tie-ins where he survives being burned to atoms, "Tell Cyclops I made him a convertible" and so on --- but very few Wolverine-centered comics are classics. One exception to that rule is the original 1982 Wolverine mini-series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller.
Since the dawn of the Silver Age, legacy characters have been a staple of superhero fiction, and having a new character step into a well loved roll can open up new opportunities for writers and artists to tell different kinds of stories. In The Replacements, we’ll look back at the notable and not-so-notable heroes and villains to assume some of the most iconic mantles in the superhero genre.
This week, in honor of Mutant Week, we’re looking at the X-Men’s most storied legacy position. That’s right, we’re looking at the women, men, and clones who have at one time or another called themselves Phoenix.
Born on May 25, 1949, Barry Windsor-Smith brought a delicate beauty to even the most violent comics, and visually defined Conan the Barbarian for a generation. A Londoner by birth, Windsor-Smith got his start drawing pin-ups for British reprints of Marvel Comics. In 1968, at the age of 19, he flew to New York to meet with Stan Lee about getting real work for Marvel. At the time, he was drawing in a faux-Jack Kirby style, which was exactly what Marvel was looking for in a fill-in artist. This led to issues here and there of Avengers, Daredevil, and X-Men, among other books.
Early reviews of X-Men: Apocalypse haven’t been particularly welcoming, even as the nine-film franchise seemingly skews closer and closer to the colorful weirdness of its comic heyday. Many a fan jump right back to the ‘90s X-Men: The Animated Series (and its inimitable theme) as a pinnacle of X-nostalgia, now appropriately given the “Honest Trailer” treatment just in time for the movie!
Welcome to Give ‘Em Elle, a weekly column that hopes to bridge the gap between old school comics fandom and the progressive edge of comics culture. This is Mutant Week at ComicsAlliance, to mark the release of the movie X-Men: Apocalypse and our upcoming countdown of the top 100 X-Men, and if you know me, you probably know that I spend a lot of my time thinking about the X-Men.
In fact, I solicited X-Men questions on twitter, and I got several about what I think an X-Men book should focus on, how I would revamp an ancillary X-book, or what I would do if put in charge of the X-Men line. So I’ve decided to be a little self-indulgent, and explore where I would take the X-Men line if it were up to me. I think this is worthwhile not because it will ever happen (it won’t), but because it’s a way to get right to the heart of what I think is important about the X-Men. So let’s do this: Let’s fantasy book the X-Men.
In the tradition of ScreenCrush series like You Think You Know Movies and You Think You Know TV comes a new YouTube series: Top Five! Each week (or so; we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on), ScreenCrush editor and critic Matt Singer will count down a particular topic from the world of movies (and probably write these introductory posts in the third person).
Welcome to The Issue, where we look at some of the strangest, most interesting and most distinctive single-issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. To mark the upcoming release of X-Men: Apocalypse, and the upcoming reveal of the top 100 X-Men of all time, we're also celebrating our own "Mutant Week" here at ComicsAlliance.
For the Mutant Week edition of The Issue, we're looking at two issues published nearly 15 years apart, in two completely separate runs with a largely different roster of characters, and a core concept that switched from government-sponsored superteam to mutant detective agency --- but it's the same title, the same writer, and almost exactly the same format. The books are X-Factor Vol 1 #87 and Vol 3 #13, "X-Aminations" and "Re-X-Aminations" --- or as they're more commonly known, those issues of Peter David's X-Factor where the team goes to therapy.
Jennifer Lawrence isn’t contracted for another X-Men sequel, but back in March she seemed pretty happy about the possibility of returning for more films. It’s been two months since then, and while Lawrence appears to be a little less eager about it now, she says that she’ll reprise the role of Raven…there’s just one thing that has to happen. Or maybe two.
Who are the greatest ever X-Men? We’re going to try to answer that question with your help, by putting the spotlight on different individual X-Men from across the franchise’s long history and pairing up your votes with the votes and opinions of our panel of highly opinionated X-Men fans. Your scores will be added to ours to determine the top 100 X-Men.
We're heading into the home stretch with another bumper crop of mutants (and associated hangers-on), including the last surviving Jean Grey, the once-and-future Braddock twins, a girl who turns into a wolf, a girl who turns into a shark, the younger, sexier, stupider version of Cable, and a whole bunch of women with just one name.
Early reviews of X-Men: Apocalypse have unfortunately skewed a bit negative, but someone in Fox’s marketing department deserves a raise for some of these retro-style promos. Following that great In Search Of… spoof featuring George Takei, the studio has released this fake recruitment ad to entice gifted youngsters to enroll in Charles Xavier’s “totally rad” school for mutants.
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