Wolverine and the X-Men

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Wolverine and the X-Men (2008)

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   Today, in the Quantum Cave, we are screening the first few episodes of Wolverine and the X-Men. This is a show that was pulled off of the air far before its time. Well animated, and perfectly plotted, the series took a new spin on an old favorite. It wasn’t a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series, nor was it related to X-Men: Evolution. The only  thing unchanged between this iteration and the previous, Evolution, was the return of Meghan Black as the voice of Rouge. Along with that link to a previous show came the voice of Steven Blum, as Logan, to firmly anchor us into this new reality for the team. His voice gives the show a solid amount of gravitas from the very beginning.

   I won’t get through the entire series today, we have a Back to the Future trilogy marathon planned, so I’ll jump forward and praise the finale. The show ended on such a strong note that it’s even more unfortunate that we didn’t get a second season. No spoilers if you haven’t seen it, but a nod and wink to those who did. Like Young Justice, this one deserves another shot.

Kaiyodo’s Marvel Revoltech Wolverine


フィギュアコンプレックス アメイジング・ヤマグチ No.005 Wolverine 【サイズ】全長約155mm 【素材】本体:PVC・ABS / ジョイント:ナイロン・POM 【可動箇所】全33箇所 【ジョイント使用数】全11箇所 【セット内容一覧】 フィギュア本体 アダマンチウムの爪×2 オプションフェイス×2 (咆哮/食いしばり) オプションハンド×5(握り手(両手) 汎用手(両手) 葉巻持ち手(右手)) 葉巻 切り裂きエフェクト×1 ディスプレイスタンド×1 © 2017 Marvel

Source: 海洋堂 2017年9月發售: Action Figure AMAZING YAMAGUCHI No.005 Wolverine 5,900Yen | TAGhobby.com

   This has to be the absolute ultimate version of Logan! I’ve seen it touted as a “Classic” version of Wolverine, but the outfit isn’t the original togs that he donned back in his first appearances in The Incredible Hulk or even in Giant-Sized X-Men. It’s still a sweet looking figure. We’ve all been fooled by looks before, but I’ve heard some great things about Revoltech.

The All New, All Different ~ Uncanny X-Men

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   A few years ago I colored this piece by the incomparable John Byrne. Mr. Byrne was my gateway into the X-Men back in the late 70’s. I had comics before I began collecting the X-Men, but I didn’t know who was editing, writing, inking or drawing the issues. I took notice of his style and became a lifelong fan of his style and writing.

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Getting Caught Up: Secret Wars (1984)

Secret Wars 84

   YouTube user, ComicIsland, tells the tale of the original Secret Wars. This wasn’t Marvels first cross-over event but it was the one that became the template for all cross-overs. Click on the image above for the jump to the video page.

Bryan Singer Set To Helm ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’

Days of Futures Past Redux
Days of Futures Past Redux

   Due to circumstances out of my control, I am always tardy to the party. Having only recently viewed X-Men: Days of Future Past, I have to say that I am very impressed with the way they re-wrote that Claremont/Bryne classic X-Men tale. Some things still didn’t make sense but over all it was a great story and good action. I really can’t wait until X-Men: Apocalypse. After Singer’s first X-Men movie I’ve learned to have an open mind about how comic book favorites are translated to the big screen. Are there things that I would like to see differently? Sure, of course, but I choose my battles more carefully now and try to avoid knee-jerk reactions to such trivial things now. As long as it is entertaining then sign me up. So bring it Mr. Signer… even though I don’t like your vision of Superman, you have a great idea of how the X-Men should be portrayed and have capture that essence of the mutant struggle.

Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Fox has just closed a deal with Bryan Singer to direct X-Men: Apocalypse, the next installment of its billion-dollar Marvel mutants franchise. This will be Singer’s fourth installment as director; he hatched the franchise with the first two films for Fox, and came back to direct this year’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past. That latter film, which meshed the original trilogy cast with the one from X-Men: First Class, grossed $746 million worldwide, the most of any of the films. Singer’s participation in the new film had been rumored, but his deal is now done.

The new film is being scripted by Simon Kinberg from a story written by Singer, Kinberg, Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Singer and Lauren Shuler Donner are producing with Kinberg and Hutch Parker. Production begins early next year, and the film will be released May 27, 2016.

Related:Bryan Singer…

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My Open Post to #MarvelStudios, #Fox & #Sony

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   This is just my open post to the big three owners of Marvel Character properties in the film industry. Even more targeted than that, I would address the powers that be at those studios.

Dear Mrs., Ms., or Mr. executive,

   Do you like to make obscene amounts of money? More money than you could possibly imagine? If the answer is yes, and I know that it is… then join forces and make epic cross-over films. The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Spiderman and the X-Men are huge properties by themselves but mix them together and you will have a potent recipe for making the kind of box office returns that you could only dream about. Who cares about top billing or which company takes lead on the project… ego and business should never mix. Even Hugh Jackman would love to have a cross-over film. Allow Marvel to take the reigns and the rest of you can sit back and reap the profit.

   Don’t get me started on even larger cross-overs with Warner Bros. A JLA vs. Avengers film would just be too mind blowing, if done correctly.

50 Greatest X-Men Stories on CBR

X-Men by John Byrne, digitally inked & colored by yours truly
X-Men by John Byrne, digitally inked & colored by yours truly

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2013/09/02/50-greatest-x-men-and-x-men-spinoff-stories-master-list/

   Over on CBR they have the 50 greatest X-Men Stories of all time. It is a great list and as an X-Men fan from way back in the 70’s there are some that I agree with and others that I don’t. No two Geeks can agree on all geek things. May favorite x tale of all time, not counting just about every issue of John Byrne’s run on the title, has to be Jim Lee’s and Chris Claremont’s issue number 268. This issue recounts Logan’s first meeting with Steve Rogers in the Summer of 1941, shortly after he became a Super Soldier. It also features a little girl named Natasha, who became the Black Widow. She was amazingly preserved for age, even at that time. This was a pre-Weapon X Logan and the story contained a ton of Hand Ninja. As far as an early 90’s book went, it was great.

Wolverine: Killable?

   So I have not totally read the story line that leads up to this six part arc so I don’t know all of the details. I understand that Logan’s mutant healing factor has been “deactivated” by some alien entity. OK, that makes for an interesting story twist. My only issue is that his Adamantium laced bones are supposedly highly toxic. His healing factor was the only thing holding that toxicity in check. Simply put, no healing factor + Adamantium = one dead Logan. I am going to read issues one through seven and see where this is coming from. I hope they don’t over look that toxic effect.

   On a side note, I am enjoying seeing a favorite of mine, Alan Davis, drawing Wolverine again. I love his work 🙂

My Top Twelve Animated Superhero Series

   A quick note: While most of these shows, with the exception of Clone Wars and some of my honorable mentions (listed below the top 12), are by no means cannon from their original source material they are very well done and entertaining. They each have a unique cool factor that keeps me coming back to re-watch them over and over. I am fortunate enough to be married to a lovely woman who, not only allows me to watch them all over and over, she also enjoys them almost as much as I do 🙂

   So sit back and delve into my list of MY Top Twelve Animated Hero Shows. I encourage you to comment or even post your own list! I really want to hear what you have to say 😀

Wolverine and the X-Men (2009)

Wolverine and the X-Men

   Why it’s cool:  This version of the X-Men, for me, is the penultimate combination of 50 years of the mutant team. Over the years the X-Men have had many faces. Wolverine and the X-men seems to have handled all of them very well and combined them into one continuity. Was I 100% satisfied with all of the character treatments? No, ofcourse not. As with any other show based on some of my most beloved characters, I take each episode with a grain of multiversal salt. I give in a little and receive some great stories that stand on their own in return.

Young Justice/Young Justice Invasion (2011)

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   Why it’s cool: Besides Robin being Dick Grayson and then becoming Nightwing in the second season? I could go on and on as to why this show is awesome and will always be so. Aqualad is one of those out of the box characters who is far cooler than the original that they also had on the show. There were more than enough “homage” moments to the DC universe of the past to make and geek fan-boy extremely happy. Did I mention that Dick becomes Nightwing in the second season?

Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (2001)

Justice League Justice League Unlimited

   Why it’s cool: Although the beginning episodes rarely reflected much from the pages of the Justice League, it had its own weight to pull and pull it did… very well. I really like the dynamic between John and Shayera, and the simple fact that they used those two characters at all. It is far too easy, with all due respect to Jon Jones, to “whitewash” these kinds of shows and kudos to the producers for not doing so.

Batman the Brave and the Bold (2008)

   Why it’s cool: Two words… SILVER AGE. The camp and craziness of the Silver Age did far better than I ever thought it could in today’s more cynical and jaded world of gritty crime fighters. The adventures of Batman on this show were so out there, so ludicrous, that at first glance it seemed like a dumbed down version of the DC universe for younger children. That was so not the case with Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  This show had enough inside jokes, adult humor (nothing dirty) and so many classic memories from comic books long gone that you couldn’t wait for the next episode from week to week.

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (2011)

   Why it’s cool: Like Wolverine and the X-Men, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had that “all eras rolled into one” feel to it. As far as I am concerned this was the perfect method for blending classic stories from the team’s legendary past in the comics with new content that didn’t alienate the fan-base. It was also a great show for newer viewers to become, somewhat, educated on decades of the Avengers without having to pick up a comic.

Batman the Animated Series (1992)

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   Why it’s cool: Batman. The animated show that was actually taken seriously. It won awards and allowed kids and parents to watch it together. The kids wouldn’t get board and the parent would have to cringe at some annoying garbage being video fed to their kids. This show has to be considered the Golden Age of “Superhero” animated tv series. Some of the episodes seem a little dated now and even “flat” be they are still some of the best stories you can find in any animated series.

Spider-Man (1996)

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   Why it’s cool: While there are a huge number of simplistic plot tools and things done for the expediency of the story, this show has a great pace and has the essence of Peter’s plight as Spider-Man. This is the first show that actually makes you NOT want to be Spider-Man. For that alone I think it deserves to be in my top 12.

Green Lantern the Animated Series (2012)

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   Why it’s cool: The first few episodes were pretty devoid of any texture and the story did’t move along that well, yet we stuck with it. Our patients with the show paid off. We were treated to some great stories and fun adventures. I can’t think of a better way to bring the Green Lantern to the small screen. Heck it was better than the effort they brought to the big screen

The Fantastic Four (1967)

   Why it’s cool: Wait. What? What is this doing in my top 12? It was an early Superhero offering from Marvel and Hanna-Barbera. The character designs and animation were simplistic compared to our current standards, yet it was still cool. You can see the Jack Kirby influence all throughout the show and while they didn’t follow the story lines accurately it still has a wonderful quality to it. To me, it still feels raw and sometimes that rawness hits the Superhero Cartoon spot.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)

   Why it’s cool: Here is another show that loosely follows the comics from the very beginning. Back in 1984 I picked up the first issue of TMNT and I have not been disappointed ever since then. The show has that same feel and reminds me of those early days when I was first getting to know the team.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)

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   Why it’s cool: Jedis, Clones, Sith… oh my. The Clone Wars kept my Star Wars jones incheck. I’ve watched the series and re-watched it. This may be wishful thinking, or hoping, but I am looking forward to the last season of this show to be released in some form or another before the new Star Wars: Rebels comes out.

Beware the Batman (2013)

   Why it’s cool: It is different. This isn’t your typical Batman show and I like that. So far they’ve had some great stories and interesting, lesser seen, villains for Bruce to combat. Like The Batman, Bruce is younger and has a bit more to learn about being the Dark Knight of Gotham City. Alfred is a retired British secret agent and brings in Katana whose first appearance was way back in a “Batman and the Outsiders” preview in DC’s “Brave and the Bold” #200 (early 80’s). I’ll be catching this each week.

   In conclusion: So there you have it. My list of the top 12 Animated Superhero Series. Some of them didn’t make it past the first or second season. I think the fact that some of them required you to remember past episodes. How awful is that? If the plot is too thick, the story too rich or the characters are too deep then it is inevitable that your favorite show will be canceled, good ratings or not. Perhaps there can be a balance between marketability of merchandising and quality stories?

   I fear that one day we will be getting animated blasts. No story or discernible plot to follow. Who needs them. Just hyper-violence, a new design every episode to base a new toy off of and the closest thing to a moral of the story will be “Me good guy, you bad guy, *insert hero name here* kill you!”

   I have my shows though and I’ll continue to watch and enjoy them with my wife. Nuff Said.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Spectacular Spider-Man
  2. The Batman
  3. Batman Beyond
  4. Superman the Animated series
  5. G.I. Joe Renegades
  6. Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
  7. Darkwing Duck
  8. Duck Dodgers in the 24½ Century
  9. Iron Man: Armored Adventures
  10. Legion of Super Heroes