Host Derek Coward returns to talk about Avengers Undercover, teen comic books, and the All New X-Men.
Host Derek Coward talks about the comics he picked up the previous week, including the one he thought was the best of the week and talks around the ones he is removing from the pull list.
The setup: Havok, the “leader” of the Uncanny Avengers, is meeting the Young Scott Summers from the past. At this time in his life, Scott doesn’t know much about his brother Alex beyond the fact that he has been adopted by a nice family.
Steve Rogers and the Avengers had gotten their asses handed to them in Australia, so he drags the Uncanny Avenger team to hijack the X-Men plane so that Alex can talk to Scott. Remember that these two are virtually strangers to one another, but when has not thinking things through ever stopped Steve Rogers.
When the two meet face to face and Scott realizes who he’s talking with, Rogers says this:
What a fucking douchebag! Even Thor and Scarlet Witch had to tell him to chill the fuck out, it’s brother stuff. Think about that for a second, the brother of Loki and the sister of Quicksilver have to tell somebody to shut up and let siblings talk. And they have tried to beat the hell out of their brothers before.
Then, when young Jean Grey reads the mind of Scarlet Witch and finds out about the MILLIONS of mutants she killed, she goes all Jean Grey on her ass. The situation is defused, but what does Rogers say then…
He is actively protecting the murderer of millions and just shrugs it off with “none of that matters right now”.
After making what he has to know are baseless accusations against the younger version of the guy who kicked his ass more than once and his friends, Rogers sends them on their way, then says this:
Havok just responds with “Yeah” but without any further context or word balloons. Personally, I like to think Alex was saying “Yeah” but thinking “Yeah, you would say that but this is the same guy that kicked your sorry ass so I’m pretty sure he had better days than today. Asshole.”
As most listeners of Comic Book Noise know, Cyclops is my favorite member of the X-Men and one of my favorite comic book characters. That said, I always preferred Madelyne Pryor-Summers, his wife, to his old girlfriend, Jean Grey, and it bummed me out when he ran out on Maddie and the baby.
Tom Brevoort answered a question about Maddie on Formspring by saying “I don’t really know much about the inter-office politics of the era, but I do think that Madeline Pryor was a train wreck from beginning to end, from her first appearance to her latest.” While appreciate his frank answer, he is wrong about two major things: 1) It’s Madelyne, not Madeline, and 2) She didn’t start about as a train wreck, she was made that way.
According to Chris Claremont, there was not only a different fate in store for Maddie, but also for Scott and eventually, the rest of the X-Men.
“The original Madelyne storyline was that, at its simplest level, she was that one in a million shot that just happened to look like Jean Grey, [a.k.a. the first Phoenix]! And the relationship was summed up by the moment when Scott says: “Are you Jean?” And she punches him! That was in Uncanny X-Men #174. Because her whole desire was to be deeply loved for herself not to be loved as the evocation of her boyfriend’s dead romantic lover and sweetheart.
I mean, it’s a classical theme. You can go back to a whole host of 1930s films, 1940s, Hitchcock films—but it all got invalidated by the resurrection of Jean Grey in X-Factor #1. The original plotline was that Scott marries Madelyne, they have their child, they go off to Alaska, he goes to work for his grandparents, he retires from the X-Men. He’s a reserve member. He’s available for emergencies. He comes back on special occasions, for special fights, but he has a life. He has grown up. He has grown out of the monastery; he is in the real world now. He has a child. He has maybe more than one child. It’s a metaphor for us all. We all grow up. We all move on.
Scott was going to move on. Jean was dead get on with your life. And it was close to be a happy ending. They lived happily ever after, and it was to create the impression that maybe if you came back in ten years, other X-Men would have grown up and out, too. Would Kitty stay with the team forever? Would Nightcrawler? Would any of them? Because that way we could evolve them into new directions, we could bring in new characters. There would be an ongoing sense of renewal, and growth and change in a positive sense.
Then, unfortunately, Jean was resurrected, Scott dumps his wife and kid and goes back to the old girlfriend. So it not only destroys Scott’s character as a hero and as a decent human being it creates an untenable structural situation: what do we do with Madelyne and the kid? … So ultimately the resolution was: turn her into the Goblin Queen and kill her off.”
Can you imagine if Marvel had actually let their characters grow older and be replaced by different characters? Of course, it couldn’t happen, so they had to get rid of the reason why Scott Summers would even believe he grow up and be an adult. Remember that at the time, whatever affected the X-men affected the rest of the Marvel Universe. If they grew older, then so would The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, etc. I wish I knew about the inter-office politics then, because 1983 seems like a good time to try and change how comic book storytelling would proceed. But what do I know…?
Host Derek Coward talks about the history of some of the Comic Book Noise family shows, then goes over his top five favorite X-Men villains.
[Spoilers in this post]
I finally saw the third X-Men movie, X-Men: The Final Stand. The movie that came out in 2006 and has been playing on FX for the past few months. The movie that most other comic book podcasters and comic book readers have seen already. That movie.
I wanted to not like it because I kept hearing that my favorite X-Man (Cyclops) had a very abbreviated role in the movie before getting killed off. I also heard that there were too many characters and most of them were underdeveloped. I heard that there were too many plots going on at once and it all combined to make a very muddled mess of a movie.
I liked it.
I started watching it on a number of occasions but for some reason never made it past Jean Grey walking down the stairs to meet with Xavier and Magneto. It might have been the crazy botoxy shiny faced way both men looked in that scene, I don’t know. This time, I sat down and just let it go.
The movie reminded me of the Claremont/Smith-Romita-Silvestri run of Uncanny X-Men. Lots of characters, lots of action, a discussion on philosophy and ethics with just the right amount of humor at just the right time.
The plot was pretty familiar for people who have read the Dark Phoenix Saga and Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men. A company claims to have the cure for being a mutant, which causes all kinds of havoc in the mutant community. At the same time, the X-Men have to deal with a Jean Grey who has returned from the dead and is not on the side of good.
The effects were excellent. The scene where Jean drops her house made me pause the movie just so that I could say “Now, THAT was cool”. I was mesmerized by the end scenes where she was deconstructing everything in her path. Even without destroying a D’Bari star, you could tell that Dark Phoenix was not someone to mess with.
I think those were my favorite scenes, but I also really liked the relationship between Wolverine and Storm. The first movie was about Wolverine’s relationship with Rogue and the second was his relationship with Jean. In both of those instances, he was a father and a potential lover. In this movie, he and Storm were equals and I liked that.
In comics, I prefer Wolverine the loner, but I also like Wolverine, part of a duo. He had miniserieses with Havok and Kitty Pryde that were both pretty good. The storyline leading to his marriage with Mariko was him and Storm and I thought that was one of the many highlights of the series. In the Morrison run, there were issues with him and Cyclops and him and Jean that were great as well.
In the movies he has to play off of other characters and with Rogue, Cyclops and Jean out of the picture, it makes sense in the continuity of the X-Movieverse that he would gravitate towards Storm. The rest of the characters are too young and he never seemed to trust Xavier.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that this movie was as good as X2, but it was definitely as good as (if not better than) the first movie and I really liked the first movie.
If you haven’t seen it and can get past all of the previous negative press that this movie got, I think that you will enjoy. If you have seen it and didn’t like it, get rid of the mental ties between the movies and the comics and I think that it will surprise you with how good it is and well it fits in with the other two.