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MARVEL NEWS: The Return of Soldier-X himself!

6 Oct

 

Welcome back to more wandering and wayfaring folks, its good to be back bringing you the slices of random awesomeness!
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I wanted to ease back into this after a month spent tirelessly and chaotically chasing down copies of the DC New 52 hot-off-the-presses and reviewing them after each week’s Wednesday release – whoah was that a ride! Never did we think (me and my cohort, Anubhav – take a bow man!) that we would actually have to make ourselves read comics just to get through them to review them on time!
But now it is past, and while we here at Comic Addicts will keep on bringing you news from whats up with the new DCU, today we’re venturing into other realms – more specifically Earth-616, or to the unfamiliar: The Marvel Universe.
Our topic for today is the impending return – in the centre of the next big Marvel-wide story arc – of arguably one of the most popular and definitely one of the most divisive and controversial characters among fan-dom. He has been known by many names: Nathan Winters, Soldier X, Nathan Summers, Nathan Dayspring Askani’Son, Priscilla (shout to to Deadpool fans!), etc, etc… but to most of the comic-reading and cartoon watching world-at-large he’s simply Cable.
I’m not going into the character history and all that – its way longer and more intense then I can commit to just this one column/article/whatever, so just follow my link above to his bio over at Marvel.com and check it out for yourself at your leisure.
In the meantime, down to business!!

A couple of months ago at the San-Diego ComiCon, the good folks at Marvel held a panel with writer Jeph Loeb (Batman: Hush, Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue) and artist Ed McGuinness (Deadpool, Hulk v4, Superman/Batman) regarding a teaser image showing this glimpse of our hero with the tagline “Cable: Reborn”. This was an announcement that has – as is the characters standard – generated a lot of buzz.

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Then all went quiet for a while with no more real news for a bit, until this image of the Avengers logo in cross-hairs hit the comic-world and everyone’s ears suddenly pricked up a little bit! Now, a couple of weeks ago they made another big announcement via a Marvel.com liveblog, and this time we got big news! Not only was Cable making a comeback, but he was coming back with a vengeance and instead of being limited to the X-family of titles he will be running wild across the Marvel-U and the Avengers are dead in his sights! That get your attention going? Yeah, me too.
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Even bigger was the added detail that Cable is going to be interacting a lot with all variety of heroes he otherwise would never have to deal/make polite conversation with and this four-issue mini series would lay the groundwork for the following entire years worth of Marvel comics. One idea that in particular caught my attention was the idea that Tony Stark who has been defined throughout his adult life as a futurist and one who’s very existence is defined by his the technology he can’t live without and has had to live with, here he will have to face someone much like him (Cable’s struggle with the Techno-organic virus), someone actually from the future coming back to correct mistakes among many things. Then of course there are these quote from series scribe Loeb:

“I always saw Cable as very much the Captain America of the X-Men. A soldier from out of time who cared deeply for the people he worked with.”

“What Cable is up to is not something that can be done quietly. It will raise the interest of some pretty important people and leaders in the X-Men community will have to step in at some point in the storyline.”

and this, from editor Tom Brevoort:

“The idea of Cable as a man out to protect his daughter by any means necessary gives the character an emotional heft and underlines everything he does. It’s richly fulfilling.”

It definitely gives one ideas on how the character is going to be approached by this creative team, my favourite quote definitely though, being from Ed on art duties:

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“I have yet to find a gun too big for Cable.”

Hell yeah!
Anyway – so this is Cable taking on the biggest and most awesome of the Marvel-U all for his daughter, Hope Summers, regardless of its repercussions on any-and-everyone else. Repercussions that are meant to be the starting points for much of the entire coming year of comic stories from the “house of ideas”, I don’t know about you but I’m beyond intrigued by how they are going to handle this one!
And of course one can’t forget THIS big announcement from late July this year which indicated a chance that at the end of the currently running X-Men: Schism mini-series, Cyclops (a.k.a. Scott Summers) might not make it out alive, leaving someone else to carry on his ideas and mission as one a leader of the mutant race itself. Could that man be Cable? Seeing how they are father and son plus Cable being a soldier and all that, I don’t see it being all that unlikely a stretch… do you?
So hope that was informative and got you guys interested – we’ll keep bringing you any news as we find it and remember: you keep reading and feed(back)ing us and we’ll keep bringing you the goods!
Cheers!

Exploring the X-Men: Season Two

24 Sep
After a long hiatus, Marvel’s favourite mutants returned to syndicated television for a season of another 13 episodes.

The Episodes here have better production values, the animation is improved significantly while the cohesiveness and integrity of the episodes – for some time – hits a low. Plenty of new characters are introduced here; practically every one except the ones featured in the theme song are first appearances. Also, old characters are brought back from the dead. Enough hints for everybody, and for those who didn’t quite get it, or jumped on right now, read on.


Til Death Do Us Part, Parts 1 & 2
As seen in the end of the previous Season (see review here), Scott Summers and Jean Grey tie the knot. Anti mutant hysteria still prevails, aided by an organization calling themselves the ‘Friends Of Humanity’, led by Graydon Creed. Wolverine is in a bad mood, aggravated further by the wedding. Mysteriously, Morph who was supposed to have died in Episode 1, Night Of The Sentinels, Parts 1 & 2 is back amongst the living. But he hates the X-Men and blames them for leaving him behind. While Scott & Jean are on their honeymoon, Morph, using his powers creates havoc at the mansion, leaving Beast trapped in the Danger Room against a particularly nasty program, Jubilee alone in a branch of the Friends of Humanity; and Storm and Gambit injured, with Rogue having Gambit’s powers. And finally the mastermind behind it all, and the architect of Morph’s return is revealed to be a nasty being called Mr Sinister. Mr Sinister and his ‘Nasty Boys’ reach Scott & Jean and plan to use their child to further their evil ways. And for Professor X and Magneto, the troubles are just beginning. Their trek through the Savage Land beginning here would last the length of the season. In the Savage Land, both mutants lose their powers while Professor X regains the use of his legs, suggesting this has something to do with his powers.
Whatever it Takes
Storm’s godson, Missionary has been enthralled by the Shadow King and he wants Storm. Rogue and Storm face the Shadow King on the astral plane, while in the land of the living, Wolverine continues tracking Morph, resulting in an epic confrontation. Though the Shadow King appears for the first time, Rogue behaves as though Professor X has taken on him before.
Red Dawn
Colossus comes to the mansion to seek the help of the X-Men against Omega Red; a living weapon who has been revived recently and wants to unite the territories of the Soviet Union, through war and fire. Jubilee and Colossus set out for Russia, with Wolverine and the rest of the X-Men in tow. Wolverine knows Omega from before but by now, the whole concept of Super Soldier weapons seems too cliché.
Repo Man
A summons from Heather, one in a long line of Wolverine sweethearts brings him to Canada where he faces Alpha Flight and realizes that the summons is actually from Vindicator and General Chasen who want to re create Weapon X. First appearance of Alpha Flight. Wolverine’s past, after the Adamantium bonding is made clearer here.
X-Ternally Yours
And finally, Gambit gets the spotlight. The kidnapping of his brother brings Gambit back to his hometown as the Guilds of Thieves and Assassins get ready for the renewal of their pact with the Externer. This has to be the most inexplicable episode of the season, with no background information on the Externer and her powers (she took on all of the X-Men) and what the hell is in those yellow boxes that is so important? Then again, I haven’t yet reached the parts in the comics where Gambit joins the X-Men so it might be clearer there; but as part of a show audience who came here only to watch the exploits on television, I’m very dissapointed with this episode.
Time Fugitives, Parts 1 & 2
The animated series’ take on the Legacy Virus. Cable’s present is changing (the future to us) and the only way he can keep it as it is involves sabotaging Bishop’s mission to the past. In the X-Men’s present, a new virus is being propagated by Graydon Creed and Apocalypse, which infects only mutants. Bishop arrives in time to stop them, but Cable’s mission involves stopping them, and indirectly aiding Apocalypse. Cable, Forge, Bishop and Apocalypse all return in this two parter; which, story as well as animation wise, is a one parter screened again with subtle differences.
A Rogue’s Tale
Rogue is plagued with visions of a flying girl. On deeper exploring, she remembers events from her past with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants when Mystique had forced her to absorb Ms Marvel’s (Carol Danver’s) powers permanently, leaving her a vegetable. Rogue being an enemy agent before joining the X-Men is touched on; albeit briefly.
Beauty And The Beast
Beast starts having feelings for Carlie, whose blindness he succeeds in curing but Anti mutant hysteria and the Friends of Humanity won’t let him near her. Meanwhile, Logan infiltrates the Friends of Humanity headquarters and finds that Graydon Creed is actually related to someone he knows. A somewhat tender episode, amidst more serious concerns.
Mojovision
Mojo is a televison corporation honcho from another dimension. He needs variety on his programming and so he kidnaps the X-Men to perform. Personally, Mojo is my least favourite character from the series.
Reunion, Parts 1 & 2
The Season finale provides for an explanation of sorts. It is a reunion – of Professor X and Magneto with the rest of the team, also of Mr Sinister and his nasty boys with the X-Men as they all gather in the Savage Land with Ka Zar for a final, epic confrontation.

My picks of the season:
Til Death Do Us Part, Parts 1 & 2
Beauty & The Beast
Repo Man
Reunion, Parts 1 & 2

Overall, the second season was an improvement to the first with a more cohesive storyline (the Savage Land running story), better animation, character pieces (Storm, Rogue, Wolverine, Gambit, Beast) and other than a few blemishes (Mojovision, X-Ternally yours), perfect. It also reiterated the comics concept, ‘Dead isn’t dead’. But more on that in Season 3, when we reach new characters, new heights and all round epic awesomeness! Stay tuned!

X-Men: The Animated Series – IN REVIEW!!

3 Sep
I found myself bereft of the world of Marvel’s cartoons as they did not feature anywhere on Cartoon Network, my premier portal to the world of cartoons. Then, one fine day, “Voila!” Channel surfing on a lazy Saturday Morning, I chanced upon episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series on the Fox Kids segment of Star Plus. And an hour later, I found myself watching X-Men: The Animated series on Star World, its companion channel. To be honest, I was never into X-Men in the comics – the three teams I was never able to wrap my mind around were Teen Titans, X-Men and the Legion of Super Heroes – mainly due to the team roster changing frequently and due to the large number of magazines featuring each.
Of course, it was the late nineties, but comics available in India were still stuck in the eighties – we had Marv Wolfman on Teen Titans, Paul Levitz on the Legion and Chris Claremont on the X-Men – which, in retrospect, were the best runs on the titles to date. No matter, the seventh or eighth grade kid in me couldn’t figure them out, so they were trash. More than Spider-Man though, X-Men changed my mindset completely.


While not on the same scale of the later series, the very first X-Men series had good production value, a roster that was classic as well as contemporary and no holds barred action. The roster had Professor X (Charles Xavier), Cyclops (a.k.a. Scott Summers), Jean Grey, Wolverine, Beast (a.k.a. Dr. Hank McCoy), Storm (a.k.a. Ororo Munroe), Rogue , Gambit (a.k.a. Remy LeBeau) and Jubilee (a.k.a. Jubilation Lee), while other characters like Havok, Nightcrawler, Forge, Bishop, Psylocke and Archangel appear in later episodes. Season 1 (13 episodes) features basic introductions and adaptations of some highly acclaimed story-lines from the comics.

In Night of the Sentinels (Parts 1 & 2) we are introduced to Jubilee whose parents have registered her with the Mutant Registration Center. Bolivar Trask’s Sentinels come calling for Jubilee when a group of mutant strangers, whom she (and we) would soon come to know as the X-Men, save her. After rescuing her from the Sentinels and taking her to their headquarters, the X-Men storm the Mutant Registration Center, an attack that goes awry, and ends up with the X-Men abandoning two of their own, one of whom was presumed dead.

In order to be taken seriously, the script called for the death of a character. The character Morph, a shape-shifter was created specifically for this purpose. In the comics Morph played a minor role in a single issue, prior to the revamp by Claremont. The character proved to be popular and was brought back several times in the series and was also reintroduced in the comics, most notably in Exiles, due to his popularity in this animated series. Beast continues to remain in prison for the remainder of the season.

Magneto makes his debut in Enter Magneto, when he comes to free Beast from prison, who politely refuses. Magneto then threatens the world with Nuclear Missiles (what else?) but Wolverine, Cyclops and Storm succeed in stopping them.

In Deadly Reunions, a wounded Sabretooth is given shelter and refuge by Professor X, despite of Wolverine’s warnings about him. Until of course he shows his true colours.

We see Wolverine’s feelings for Jean Grey and also the introduction of the Morlocks in Captive Hearts. The X-Men enter the sewers to rescue Cyclops from the Morlocks and Storm ends up taking leadership of the Morlocks from Callisto.

In Cold Vengeance, Wolverine takes a sabbatical to Alaska but Sabretooth follows him there and a fishing village pays the price for their vendettas.

Slave Island features Gambit, Storm and Jubilee’s vacation to Genosha turns topsy-turvy when they understand that mutants are being kept captive to run their industries and that the production unit for Sentinels – Mastermold – is housed there. The X-Men eventually destroy the operation, with the help of mystery mutant Cable.

The Unstoppable Juggernaut finally makes his debut. Cain Marko is Professor Xaviers half brother, who has always hated him. After gaining the powers of the Crimson gem of Cytorrak, he turns into a superhuman tank – virtually unstoppable.

Apocalypse makes his debut, with Raven Darkholme (a.k.a. Mystique) and Warren Worthington (a.k.a. Angel, and later Archangel) in The Cure and Come the Apocalypse. A scientist, Gottfried Adler is offering all mutants the chance to become normal again – Rogue almost takes the chance, but unbeknownst to her, the process turns the mutants into slaves of Apocalypse. Apocalypse here makes a rather low key debut, for someone supposedly the first and most powerful mutant ever.

In Days of Future Past Parts 1 & 2, Bishop comes from the future, sent by Wolverine and Forge to prevent the assassination of Senator Kelly, Gambit being his primary suspect.

The Final Decision is the Season Finale, featuring the X-Men and Magneto’s (supposedly) final fight against the Sentinels. Mastermold gets destroyed at the hands of Bolivar Trask and Professor Xavier; while the rest of the X-Men rescue Senator Kelly and destroy the remaining Sentinels. Senator Kelly gets Beast released from Prison; and Jean Grey accepts Scott’s marriage proposal.

All’s well that ends well, eh? Unfortunately not; as we shall see later, in the review for the second season of X-Men: The Animated Series.

Taking a Look at the X-Men Movies

7 Jun





With X-Men: First Class having hit theaters this weekend we thought it appropriate to take a closer look at the X-Men movies. The movies have become a continuum all unto themselves. Still we have to ask: where exactly does X-Men: First Class fit into the other movies? Does it follow the timelines and stories set up in the original trilogy? Does it have the core essentials from the comics? That is what we are going to explore.

There are currently five X-men movies out and one that’s a bit stalled. The movies are: X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, Wolverine Origins, and X-Men: First Class. There is a sequel to Wolverine, but the director has walked off due to a divorce. So far the X-Men movie franchise has made $786,495,030. Granted this doesn’t include the latest installment X-Men: First Class. So far the numbers for X-Men: First Class is $56,000,000. The interesting aspect of the franchise is that the latest installments have been prequels. Wolverine Origins specifically follows Wolverine on his journeys before joining up with the X-Men. First Class is the formation of the X-Men and how Charles Xavier and Eric Lehnsherr formed their friendship before becoming frenemies.

The first two X-Men movies were great in that they had the classic characters that everyone knew as well as showing the hardships of being a mutant in society. There were tweaks such as a younger Rogue and the brother/sister bond she formed with Wolverine. Then they made Toad a much more athletic character because of getting Ray Parks Jr. to play him. Those were all little adjustments that were livable and that worked. Then there were some things that didn’t. One of the biggest faux pas in the first movie was Mystique being able to get into Cerebro. She can change her appearance, but not alter her retinas.

Granted we could spend all day nit picking on every little thing they did wrong, but that’s just being petty. After all the movies did allow us to see these characters brought to life on the big screen. Having said that, lets just focus on the big mistakes that have been made and where the latest installment fits in.

No one makes a movie with a prequel in mind. At the same time though, if a prequel is made they should pay attention to what came before as well as making sure it’s true to the source material. These are the biggest problems with X-Men: First Class between the original trilogy, Wolverine Origins, and the comics themselves. We should caution you that there is the possibility of spoilers. Having said that, let’s take a look at how this X-Men prequel relates, or doesn’t, to the X-Men continuum.

1. In the end of X-Men: First Class Xavier loses the use of his legs

a. In the end of Wolverine Origins Xavier WALKS off of a plane to take the mutants from the evil mutant experimentation island

b. The beginning of X-Men: The Last Stand Xavier WALKS into Jean Grey’s house to recruit her to his school

2. The original First Class in the comics consisted of Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Angel, and Iceman

a. In the movie the First Class was Havok, Beast, Mystique, Banshee, and Magneto

3. Cerebro was built by Hank McCoy

a. In the first X-Men Xavier told Wolverine that he and Magneto had built it

4. Xavier and Magneto go their separate ways at the end of the film

a. Again in the beginning of X-Men: The Last Stand a young Xavier and Magneto go into Jean Grey’s house to recruit her for the school

Granted that these are the things that the movie missed. There were some things that X-Men: First Class did very well. For instance:

1. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender not only looked like younger versions of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan, but did a fantastic job conveying the motivation and emotions of the characters as they started on this epic journey.

2. The chemistry between the two was phenomenal.

a. It would have been great if they had built more upon that for the movie, but after all it wasn’t supposed to be a superhero bro-mance.

3. It was nice to see more of Beast

a. It seemed like Kelsey Grammer got a little short changed in X-Men: The Last Stand.

4. It was good to see the fun playful side that McAvoy brought out in Xavier.

a. Being able to see a lighter side to the always serious Professor X.

5. Kevin Bacon makes a great villain

a. To him killing someone is simply on the “to do” list

6. Having the film take place in the 1960’s during the Cold War made for a wonderful set up for the plot as well as the start of the hatred towards mutants in a time when African Americans and women are seeking equal rights.

a. Much like Watchmen the time period really helped to make the film work as well as add a level of social complexity which has always been a signature for the X-Men.

7. Get to see new mutants brought to life on the big screen.

Overall X-Men: First Class is a fun movie looking at the X-Men from a slightly different perspective. If it was a stand alone film it would have been perfect. Unfortunately there was a trilogy that came before it that had established characters and given a rough timeline. Although to be able to see what makes these two mutant advocates and leaders tick makes the movie very worthwhile.

Remember, no movie adaptation is ever going to be 100% accurate and a prequel is always going to do something to mess up the timeline set by the original. Still, go watch it for yourself and let us know what you think.

2011: Superheroes on the Screen!

29 Apr
We, at Comic Addicts don’t only review, interview etc. but also keep you abreast with the latest happenings in the comic world and 2011 is the year of superheroes on screen, when comic comes to cinema!

2011 started with Green Hornet which released on January 14. The movie was nice, but sadly not awesome. The next big thing came today, Thor and IT IS AWESOME.

Coming to future releases now, the nearest next release is Priest, based on the Korean comic. The comic’s good, the trailer’s nice and now we have to wait for May 13 to know whether the movie is good or not.

After Priest, we have the Monk himself, Buddha. On May 28, the Osamu Tezuka’s 1980’s work comes to screen, but with disappointments as it is animated, and that too not like the original artwork. I’m just counting this movie in the list as I personally like it a lot.

After Buddha, we have the movie for which everyone is waiting. Marvel’s X-Men: First Class which releases on June 3. The movie is a prequel to the first 3 movies. The movie focuses on the friendship between Charles Xavier and Magneto, before they became enemies. It also includes the Hellfire club, Mystique and a variety of other mutants like Darwin, Havok etc.

Giving tough competition to Marvel in June is DC’s Green Lantern. The special effects are AWESOME and probably the best I’ve ever seen. GL releases 14 days after X-Men i.e. 17 June.

Fear not, Marvel fans! Even if GL defeats X-Men, we have a secret weapon, which till now (after watching the trailer) is far better than Green Lantern and the secret weapon is Captain America: The First Avenger and I don’t think anybody can defeat Cap.

The Barbarian has also rebooted. Conan: The Barbarian comes to screen on August 19.

That’s not all! Coming in 2012 are Ghost Rider: Sprit of Vengeance, The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-man and The Dark Knight Rises.

Also in 2011 are Thor: Tales of Asgard, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights and Batman: Year One releasing as animated movies.

Lastly, Deadpool, X-Men Origins: Wolverine II, G.I.Joe II, Iron Man III, Superman: Reboot are also rumored to release soon.

P.S. We are having a pole going on our page, and it would be nice if you participate too and tell us which is your favorite upcoming superhero movie. Just click here to enter.

Till Then
Ciao!