The Strangest Super-Heroes Of All!
June 7, 2012 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Not content with having re-imagined the Justice League, Cartoonist Dresden Codak reboots the X-Men with stranger mutations and more sci-fi backstory.
posted by The Whelk (100 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thousands of years ago, godlike alien beings known as Celestials came to Earth to secretly experiment on the human race.

SOLD. The Celestials are my #1 favorite thing about the Marvel Universe. You could tell me that Celestials came to Earth millions of years ago to develop Rice Chex cereal and I would eat five bowls of that stuff every day.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:37 AM on June 7, 2012 [29 favorites]


Hey, if the rise of Homo Superior due genetic mutation from all the atomic age radiation floating about was Sci-Fi enough for John W. Campbell it's good enough for me.

/has an uneasy feeling that all the guff about celebs trials might be straight up Marvel canon now.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on June 7, 2012


Celebs trials being Celestrials there.
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think you meant "Cartoonist Aaron Diaz, creator of the webcomic Dresdan Codak."
posted by zombieflanders at 11:40 AM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's just his secret identity.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:41 AM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, the designs are kind of hit and miss - very not fond of hipster Rogue - and there is nothing anyone can ever do to make me tolerate Emma Frost, but that Sentinel needs to be canon yesterday.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:48 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


he go too far!
posted by jquinby at 11:52 AM on June 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


PLAY GOD!
posted by Artw at 11:52 AM on June 7, 2012 [8 favorites]


he go too far!

Well, hey, at least Everybody's Girlfriend Kitty Pryde made it through unchanged? (although shorter and curvier!)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:56 AM on June 7, 2012


He didn't strand her in some stupid space bullet...
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm kind of in love with his version of Storm.

"The boots are for kicking teeth."
posted by The Whelk at 11:59 AM on June 7, 2012


also "Punch Man."
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whatever points he loses for taking the existing nerd-magnet version Kitty Pryde and making her the leader of the X-Men because why not that's why, he gets back for taking the incredibly stupid retcon about Cyclops' powers and doing something really neat with it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:02 PM on June 7, 2012


I like Diaz' ideas as intellectual exercises, but I practically never want to read stories about them.
posted by mightygodking at 12:03 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


- very not fond of hipster Rogue -

The first drawing of Rogue is practically the only thing I like about this. She's the only one who looks bored and disgusted enough to be an actual teenager.

I say practically the only thing I like about it, because the Sentinel, obviously.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 12:09 PM on June 7, 2012


hey now anything that completely removes decades of irritating mannerisms off Wolverine is a good thing.
posted by The Whelk at 12:10 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep flipping between "Ugh" and "Love it!" as I go scan through:

Ugh: Kitty Pryde as leader because um, reasons. Storm becoming more and more of an actual goddess. Jean Gray as Franklin Richards. Rogue as (explicitly) a non-evil Mystique.

Love: Colossus as Eurotrash-dorky exuberant Superman wannabe. Juggernaut as meganormous incarnation of Earth. Cyclops as an actual cyclops. CELESTIALS.

posted by Tomorrowful at 12:11 PM on June 7, 2012


Love the look of the Sentinel.
posted by drezdn at 12:12 PM on June 7, 2012


I don't know what it is, but every time I see someone come up with a somewhat-decent reboot like this, I love it.
Maybe its the fact that these experiments can't possibly work unless you already know the *real* universe inside and out to get why Apocalypse has Omega Red Tentacles (because it's the best part about Omega Red and now you can have your Life Drain without a stupid Lefield Character), or maybe its just because the current version of these characters tends to Suck Balls.
posted by WeX Majors at 12:14 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


but that Sentinel needs to be canon yesterday.

*MovE aLonG, geNomiCally noN-diVergENT hu-mAn. No-tHinG to sEe heRE*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:14 PM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I also like the staggered reveal of the mutations, better for the puberty motif (changes over time) and for creating angst (when will they stop? do they stop?) cause that the steam that turns X-Men's turbines.
posted by The Whelk at 12:20 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like goofy!Colossus, and I like gigantic!Juggernaut, but I'm pretty meh on the rest of them. One of the things that bugs me most is the seeming fact that Wolverine always has to be special. Okay, we get it, he's cool because he has claws and kills people and doesn't afraid of anything. Why is he immortal?
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:20 PM on June 7, 2012


5. Mortimer Toynbee/Toad (Age 20)

Mutation - Sort of looks like a frog


Tee hee
posted by odinsdream at 12:21 PM on June 7, 2012


Why is he immortal?

That one's straight from the comics. Wolverine's super-healing extends to the damaging effects of age, so he can't grow old, and depending on the writer it takes anything from a prolonged beheading to reducing all of his cells to ash at the same instant to kill him through violence.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:25 PM on June 7, 2012


This is the best thing from Dresden Codak.
posted by gurple at 12:28 PM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Notes - I basically combined Beast with Wolverine, with a touch of Vandal Savage.

No no no no, this isn't right at all.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:29 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Notes - I basically combined Beast with Wolverine, with a touch of Vandal Savage.

Notes - I basically ripped off Diamond's origin story from Powers.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:33 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alternately, he took Bruce Banner, tossed him in a blender with Savage, and hit frappe.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:36 PM on June 7, 2012


Visually I made them human-sized instead of gigantic, because I don’t know if the US government would ever unleash an army of building-sized death robots into populated areas.

Don't give them any ideas!
posted by brundlefly at 12:42 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of this is pretty good but uh... what happened when he was drawing Toad and Beast?
posted by SharkParty at 12:43 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that the Sentinels look like Inspector Gadget.

Also, I can't stop imagining the "Punch-Man" conversation in my head.

Colossus (in outrageous Russian accent): And I will be called Punch-Man, no?

Xavier (in Patrick Stewart accent): Perhaps "Colossus" may be a better choice.

Colossus (flexing): That is good too. So long as there is punching.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:45 PM on June 7, 2012 [15 favorites]


I like Diaz's art style, but I really wish that he'd go back to aping A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible. He never quite hit the heights that ALILBTDII did, but he sure came close a few times, and that was good enough for me.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:47 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


depending on the writer it takes anything from a prolonged beheading to reducing all of his cells to ash at the same instant to kill him through violence.

One writer a while back very cannily noted that violence couldn't really kill Wolverine - but he can sure as hell drown, because healing factor won't do jack if he can't supply his cells with air for them to heal. Plus, as a side benefit, Wolverine is also more or less built to be drownable because, thanks to his adamantium, he isn't buoyant like a normal person.

Of course I think this has since been ignored a whole ton, but it was a great goddamn idea for that one issue.
posted by mightygodking at 12:48 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


what happened when he was drawing Toad

Notes - Toad just can’t catch a break!

I like that he took the most ridiculous evil mutant and just decided to make him a total sad-sack. Seriously, has Toad ever intimidated anyone, ever?
posted by Panjandrum at 12:48 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


For me, the like/dislike split comes from the difference between the artist doing their interpretation of the characters (cool!) and the writer coming up with some sort of revised backstory (ugh). Taking Jean from being the resident redhead bombshell to someone who looks kind of scary and haunted is neat and even a little daring, but giving her a primary power that is so close to the Rise of the Phoenix power from City of Heroes that it's hard to believe that it's a coincidence... not so much. Colossus is funny and the twist on Cyclops' power makes him much more than a one-note Johnny, but overall I think that this takes second place to the JL/LoD/Batfamily series.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:54 PM on June 7, 2012


I hate Dresden Codak, and thought the Justice League redesign was insipid and nonsensical, sacrificing everything good about the characters in favor of something entirely different with some of the same dressing.

This, though? I like this. I'd read this.
posted by kafziel at 12:58 PM on June 7, 2012


The Claremont run on X-Men, which more so than the Kirby/Lee stuff is the template for all X-Men and X-Men ripoffs that followed, is pretty damn hard to beat. I don't think this really does that, and though some of the ideas seem fresher as they haven't been repeated as-naseum I wouldn't really say any are better.
posted by Artw at 1:04 PM on June 7, 2012


I like Diaz's art style, but I really wish that he'd go back to

…working on his web comic once in a while?
posted by device55 at 1:07 PM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


I definitely wouldn't say it beats Claremont, but I'd sure as hell take it over what they came up with for Ultimate X-Men.

(Note: the “it” in this sentence could be “a ballpeen hammer to the kidneys,” and the sentence would still be true.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:15 PM on June 7, 2012


One of the things that bugs me most is the seeming fact that Wolverine always has to be special. Okay, we get it, he's cool because he has claws and kills people and doesn't afraid of anything. Why is he immortal?

I don't like what they did with Wolverine either. I wouldn't go for Wolverine as a super old super smart scientist guy that can't use his claws except when he totally loses it. Wolverine is only "special" because people think the way he has been developed in the comics is really cool. This gruff, violent man of action type with cool claws and super healing that lets him get severely beaten and live. Change that, and you have what? The Small Pointy Hulk?
posted by Hoopo at 1:21 PM on June 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not sure how many X-Men fans are aware of Michael Chabon's treatment (pdf), written for, and eventually passed over, the first Fox movie, but it is pretty interesting.
posted by AceRock at 1:21 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of this looks like Morlock material rather than X-Men or X-Teen-Muties
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 1:26 PM on June 7, 2012


Those first two X-Men movies were a pretty solid version of the characters... Then came X-Men 3, which fell hard for Wolverine being the bestest at everything and Cuclops being a bore to the point where he could be offed off screen without comment.
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on June 7, 2012


X3 actually made me hesitant to enjoy the first two movies cause FLAMING CARS JUST THROW FLAMING CARS AT THE PROBLEM
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like stripping the X-Men out of the regular Marvel Universe.

I also like Kitty Pryde basically being turned into Thelma from Scooby Doo.

And I beyond love the idea that they keep mutating.

Add in some Doop and you've got a great potential reboot of X-Statix.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:37 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


If by "stranger mutations" you mean pretty much the same ones, just making some of the lamer ones a bit less lame, I guess I'd buy it.

I do think, though, that the new historical backstory is also a lot less lame, and that is the real selling point.
posted by chimaera at 1:37 PM on June 7, 2012


Wolverine would probably rate amongst one of my top most awful veiwing experiences. First Class on the other hand veers wildly from "great" to "sort of okay in a goofy way, just go with it" to "by numbers continuity advancement".
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


First Class works almost in spite of itself, the McAvoy/Fassbander chemistry is engaging and believable and covers a multitude of sins.
posted by The Whelk at 1:42 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Velma
posted by Billiken at 1:43 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Best hand acting ever.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on June 7, 2012


Love the project, but:

"due to various mishaps Ororo found herself as a member of Egyptian militants"

Mishaps indeed...
posted by jamiemch at 1:43 PM on June 7, 2012


January Jones has a mutation that she is made out of wood.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


First Class works almost in spite of itself, the McAvoy/Fassbander chemistry is engaging and believable and covers a multitude of sins.

I walked out of First Class and immediately described it as a movie about Magneto's frustrated realization that his upper-class boyfriend is an accomodationist who doesn't want to fight the persecution that he's shielded from by his immense privilege.

Or, to put it another way, "I'm pretty sure the unofficial subtitle for that movie was Magneto Was Right."
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:47 PM on June 7, 2012 [16 favorites]


I like stripping the X-Men out of the regular Marvel Universe.

Not to keep harping on about the movies, but it works well there. The thing about the X-Gene is its a one stop explanation for superpowers that gets rid of the need for a lot of convoluted origin story stuff, plus comes with the ability to act as a universal metaphor baked in, do it really doesn't need the rest of the Marvel universe.
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on June 7, 2012


I'm pretty sure the unofficial subtitle for that movie was Magneto Was Right.

That's what makes him such a compelling villain. Unlike most superhero movie bad guys, you can actually buy what he's selling.
posted by Hoopo at 1:53 PM on June 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


For me the best thing about First Class was realizing that I had seen McAvoy on the stage playing a twink in Jonathan Harvey's Out in the Open back in 2001. We were both cuter then, but he's held on a little better than I have.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 2:00 PM on June 7, 2012


That's what makes him such a compelling villain. Unlike most superhero movie bad guys, you can actually buy what he's selling.

Well, sometimes. The whole "Homo superior" thing is a bit gibberishy to my ears - I mean, what, you can shoot lasers out of your ass, so that makes you more ethically/morally capable than me? But the basic notion that "Mutants are a persecuted minority and clearly need to band together and seize their rights by any means necessary" - well, that much seems very clearly borne out by the actual repeated attempts by large segments of non-mutant humanity to, y'know, wipe them out entirely.
posted by Tomorrowful at 2:22 PM on June 7, 2012


I mean, what, you can shoot lasers out of your ass, so that makes you more ethically/morally capable than me?

Real world Magneto would post a link to a bingo card at this point.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on June 7, 2012 [6 favorites]


(Real world Magneto being that guy who can stick spoons to his head or something)
posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on June 7, 2012


Also, the “mutants are a persecuted minority” thing gets a bit muddier when you consider the existence of people like Shaw and Azazel, who were able to massacre a combined hundred people or so over the course of the movie basically because they felt like it, with their victims totally unable to defend themselves. At that point the “fear” part of “a world that hates and fears them” gets a good bit more logical.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:32 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The universal metaphor isn't always "persecuted minority", sometimes it is what is that which is new and different... If you consider when it was created it's easy to give it a generational read.

The different possible relationships between the different and the normal has always been a theme, with Magneto showing up in issue 1 - Proffesor X has always been about everyone getting along, in favourite of gradual change, Magneto swings between rejecting of normals to activly genocidal, and basically wants to sweep everything away. The Hellfire Club of the comics just wants to sit on the sidelines and exploit everyone using their advantages. Then you have Apocalypse and the like for who the new isn't new enough, who want to go further than that ploughing the current generation under in the process.
posted by Artw at 2:46 PM on June 7, 2012


At that point the “fear” part of “a world that hates and fears them” gets a good bit more logical.

This is kinda problematic and one of the themes the movies dealt with.
posted by Hoopo at 2:51 PM on June 7, 2012


Absolutely wonderful, thank you!
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:54 PM on June 7, 2012


So is Colossus supposed to be gay in the relaunch?

"Born in the Ukraine, Piotr left his home for New York, both in hopes of beginning a career as a comic artist as well as finding are more progressive view of gays than what was found in his home."

It's just thrown in there and there's no actual comment on his sexuality any where else in the write up, thus appearing rather random.
posted by Atreides at 2:55 PM on June 7, 2012


The most recent version of Colossus is gay, no?
posted by The Whelk at 2:56 PM on June 7, 2012


Did, um, that Whedon scripted moment with Kitty get retconned? Because I would like for that to get retconned please.
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on June 7, 2012


Oh never mind, it's Ultimate Collosus.
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on June 7, 2012


See now I want to write goofy!Collosus on a date.
posted by The Whelk at 3:16 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


January Jones has a mutation that she is made out of wood.

In the abridged script version, all of her lines are written in lower case without any punctuation, much like Roast Beef's in Achewood.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:37 PM on June 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh man dawg why you gotta do a thing that remind people of January jones
posted by The Whelk at 3:56 PM on June 7, 2012 [7 favorites]


She'd be great as Ultimate Vision - just wrap her in tinfoil and tell her that Vision is pretending to be a statue staring at a wall in this long pan scene....

...and then the rest of the cast and crew sneaks out, quietly locking the door behind them.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:08 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


That bit with the Celestials is already the in-universe justification for mutants.
posted by mobunited at 4:36 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


He does move it forwards to about 2500 years ago though and add the "species" concept, neither of which I'm that keen on.
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on June 7, 2012


I really like all of his reboots, honestly. I would read the fuck out of them, not least because they seem a lot more fun than most of the current continuity.

(And I wonder if a lot of the pushback is just because these were essentially thumbnails. Storm more goddessy doesn't have to be terrible if written well.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:31 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, much like the Cthulhu Mythos, I mentally blank any attempt to link characters to the classical four elements.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:33 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my favorite parts about the super-crazy-fan-wanky Earth X / Universe X series (not actual canon) was when they explained that Celestials reproduce by implanting eggs in the cores of planets. And it is the Celestial egg inside that Galactus seeks when he eats a planet (which is why only some planets will do). And that the Celesials project of messing with life forms to make them develop super-powers is done in hopes that they might evolve powers capable of protecting their planet and egg at it's core from Galactus.

Thus most planets with intelligent life have been uplifted by the Celestials because of the Celestial egg at their core. And so Galactus pretty much only eats planets with life on them.
posted by straight at 5:36 PM on June 7, 2012 [9 favorites]


Well, hey, at least Everybody's Girlfriend Kitty Pryde made it through unchanged? (although shorter and curvier!)

Don't worry, in Act 2, "Kitty has lost a bit of weight since we last saw her"

He's crazy, but not drawing-comic-book-women-with-realistic-bodies crazy.
posted by straight at 5:41 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


He does move it forwards to about 2500 years ago though and add the "species" concept, neither of which I'm that keen on.

the species thing seems like a good way to limit the "types" of mutant down a bit and tie it into the bigger sci-fi story but yeah 2,500 seems like way too late.
posted by The Whelk at 6:10 PM on June 7, 2012


Pretty great! Imagining the growing relationship between Colossus as a dopey clubber and Shadowcat as a Venture Brother is the best thing about this. The whole thing reminds me a lot of Avengers Academy.

I don't know about the whole primary/secondary/tertiary mutations. It smacks too much of the trite Evolution! thing popularized by Pokemon and pretty much any Japanese battle manga.
posted by painquale at 6:45 PM on June 7, 2012


I thought this was going to suck, but was pleasantly surprised to find he's written characters I'd love to follow.

"Punch Man"

*snicker*
posted by zarq at 7:07 PM on June 7, 2012


Sigh. My problem is that I got started in X-comics by reading Age of Apocalypse Generation X, and those characters are both never going to be as good as I remember and also never coming back.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:01 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


The best thing about the species idea is hat it means Charles Xavier would eventually have a head the size of a reasonably large dog.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:51 PM on June 7, 2012


All of First Class's sins were more than made up for by the scene where Kevin Bacon's supervillian a) serves drinks from b) his bar inside c) a submarine while d) wearing some sort of smoking jacket/tuxedo thing.

That was when he crossed the line from everyday villainy to cartoonish supervillainy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:20 PM on June 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


(And I wonder if a lot of the pushback is just because these were essentially thumbnails. Storm more goddessy doesn't have to be terrible if written well.)

More so with the JLA than with the X-Men, for me it was just clear he didn't get these characters at all and traded much what was unique about them for his own obsessions. In this case, making Angel from a guy with wings who can fly into somebody who heals people.

It feels like when an intelligent twelve year old Marvel fan realises that, you know, all thos accidents with radio active materials turning people into superheroes just don't make sense and sets out to write a "scientific" explenation for them not realising that a) nobody cares and b) it's boring.

His re-imaginations leaves these characters looking more cookie cutter even if their look as a whole is quite distinctive; again this is something you saw more in his JLA project (which after all featured a bunch of characters created by different people over different decades) than in this, as the X-Men have always had a slightly more uniform look to them anyway.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:02 PM on June 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


stranger mutations

But presumably still "useful in someway as a super-power"? My friends and I had a conversation a while ago about how all the X-Men universe mutations are always useful - flight, invulnerability, telekensis, telepathy, etc. You never get anyone turning up whose mutant power is, say, exploding knees1, or the ability to telekinetically control all potatoes and potato-based food products2.

1 Just hope you also have the "invulnerable knees" mutation as well or your X-Man career will be shortlived.

2 "Po-te-to" (rhymes with "Magneto")
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:22 AM on June 8, 2012


Ugh: Kitty Pryde as leader because um, reasons. Storm becoming more and more of an actual goddess. Jean Gray as Franklin Richards. Rogue as (explicitly) a non-evil Mystique.

Love: Colossus as Eurotrash-dorky exuberant Superman wannabe. Juggernaut as meganormous incarnation of Earth. Cyclops as an actual cyclops. CELESTIALS.


One of these genders is not like the other one...

In this case, making Angel from a guy with wings who can fly into somebody who heals people.

Regrettably, one of Angel's canon powers is "Healing Blood". No, I don't know anyone who thought that was a good idea either.
posted by Francis at 3:27 AM on June 8, 2012


My friends and I had a conversation a while ago about how all the X-Men universe mutations are always useful - flight, invulnerability, telekensis, telepathy, etc.

They introduced Beak to be a character with mutations that have no upside. Glob Herman, Wraith, and Skin all have pretty dumb mutations too.
posted by painquale at 4:49 AM on June 8, 2012


They introduced Beak to be a character with mutations that have no upside. Glob Herman, Wraith, and Skin all have pretty dumb mutations too.

Ah, that's pretty interesting. According to Wikipedia:

Beak - Yeah he just has some vague "increased agility", plus "He also had the ability to use his beak as a weapon and peck his opponents", heh.

Glob Herman - "Bio-paraffin body, superhuman strength, speed and resilience", so not that useless.

Wraith - "Wraith can turn either his skin translucent or others' skin translucent." Apparently may have eventually been able to turn completely invisible which is kind of useful, situationally.

Skin - "Six feet of extra, malleable skin which can be stretched or reshaped at will" - That appears to be the winner for most useless power given that it doesn't also bring the generic increased resiliance or agility or whatever.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:00 AM on June 8, 2012


Yeah, the Morlocks tend to be the Mutants With Unfortunate Mutations crew, but even they tend to develop somewhat useful powers along with their freakishness. We can probably chalk that up to them being comicbook characters, such that the reader is more likely to read stories about a guy who vomits lava at will as opposed to a guy who shits out his mouth and eats through his butt.

My problem is that I got started in X-comics by reading Age of Apocalypse Generation X

It's interesting to me how much comicbook characters are 'pinned' to certain incarnations, usually the reader's first serious introduction to them. For me, the X-Men's baseline will always be the 90s cartoon. This means I'm always looking around for Morph, assume that Rogue can fly and punch through walls, and instinctively flinch at a bad Cajun accent. When, years later, I suddenly had cash to spend and a non-judgey girlfriend (now wife, not letting that get away) I dove back into the Marvel Universe via Earth-X, so in my mind the Galactus eats Celestial eggs, Terrigen Mist is a Big Deal, and Wolverine always is and should be a marginal character.

I suspect if I tried to reboot the X-Men, it would be grounded in that mishmash. Mr. Sinister would play a role, but Apocalypse would be a more offscreen baddie. My starting team would be Cyclops, Jean Grey, Colossus, Rogue-avec-MsMarvelPowers, and Storm as the upperclassmen and Jubilee, Morph, Nightcrawler, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, and Pyro as the younger students. Angel, Emma Frost, Beast, and Psylocke would be TA-level instructors reporting to Professor X. Magneto would have his own Genosha-based rival/foe academy team of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad, Mystique, and Avalanche. Xavier and Magneto would have a much more MLK/Malcolm X thing going on where they are more nemesis than archenemies. Both have the goal of proving to the world that mutant kind has a place in it, they just fundamentally disagree on how to do that. The two schools would team up against external threats like Mr. Sinister, Sentinels, and, I dunno, Factor Three or something.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:13 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Stranger Mutations" sounds like the title of a lost Blue Oyster Cult album.
posted by KingEdRa at 5:45 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


EndsOfInvention:My friends and I had a conversation a while ago about how all the X-Men universe mutations are always useful - flight, invulnerability, telekensis, telepathy, etc. You never get anyone turning up whose mutant power is, say, exploding knees1, or the ability to telekinetically control all potatoes and potato-based food products2.

1 Just hope you also have the "invulnerable knees" mutation as well or your X-Man career will be shortlived.

2 "Po-te-to" (rhymes with "Magneto"


That's pretty much the premise of the shared-world Wild Cards books. In them when you "draw the wild card" you have a 9/10 chance of dying there and then, and if you survive you have a further 9/10 chance of getting a harmful mutation, a further 9/10 chance of getting a useless mutation, and then the lucky few get the cool superpowers (well the writers think they're cool, sometimes they're pretty dumb, like "sorcerer-pimp" dumb).
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 5:52 AM on June 8, 2012


Proofs, don't hate the playah, hate the game.

And Fortunato was the Ultimate Playah!

But speaking of Wild Cards and going back to baseline incarnations, that shared universe is pretty much my standard for superhero settings. I've not really seen it actually duplicated in comics outside of Astro City or Top 10.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:01 AM on June 8, 2012


EndsOfInvention: "stranger mutations
1 Just hope you also have the "invulnerable knees" mutation as well or your X-Man career will be shortlived.

Personally, I want to see somebody whose powers are almost useful. Like, exploding knees and invulnerable shins. So close!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:02 AM on June 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Personally, I want to see somebody whose powers are almost useful. Like, exploding knees and invulnerable shins. So close!

Telekinetic power over metal (the music genre).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:58 AM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man reading about comic universes on wikipedia or whatever is crazy. I read about the Chabon Treatment for X-men, which featured Jubilee and went to check up on what she'd been up too. Turns out that she'd lost her powers and then turned into a vampire.

Then I somehow ended up on the marvel universe wikia and found out about this:
Sublime was the self-appointed name of a sentient bacterial lifeform that arose during the beginnings of life on Earth. With the rise of multicellular lifeforms, Sublime found endless numbers of hosts it could infect. However, mutantkind, immune to Sublime's infection, eventually arose and multiplied, becoming the first threat to Sublime's domination.
Crazyness.
posted by delmoi at 6:59 AM on June 8, 2012


Telekinetic power over metal (the music genre).

Weakness to Would, so being asked a favor causes intense nausea.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:41 AM on June 8, 2012


Not A Mutant*, but I liked the lactokinisis guy from Misfits.

*Though it has a single source of random powers similar to the X-Gene.
posted by Artw at 7:53 AM on June 8, 2012


I'm pretty sure that the X-Books have played around with the useless mutations thing, albeit mostly with bit players and background characters. The basic problem is that the superhero genre is based around fight scenes, and having a dude that's always on the bench as a regularly-featured character just doesn't work in that paradigm. (Example being the Great Lakes [other Marvel superhero team name], and deliberately subverted in the case of Squirrel Girl, whose powers are unexpectedly useful, if still as ridiculous as the rest of the GL[whatever].) This results in misfit mutants taking levels in badass, and was particularly a problem with Chris Claremont, who despite good intentions sometimes couldn't help but power-level characters. Kitty Pryde was deliberately given a fairly minor-league power, for example, but soon became both a genius with computers and a ninja; Doug Ramsey likewise originally had universal translator-type abilities, but that morphed into his becoming a super-hacker, and now he's a wizard or something.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:48 PM on June 8, 2012


taking levels in badass

A TVTropes link? Really? I had shit to do.
posted by delmoi at 6:53 PM on June 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Late to the party, but one thing I really like about this reimagining is what they've done with Nightcrawler. They've basically taken the most fun aspects of the character from the Claremont era and actually let the character age a bit so he's also valued for his experience. It's a route I wish the actual writers had gone, rather than soaking him in angst and then not quite knowing what to do with him until they killed him off.

Also, Punch Man FTW.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:21 PM on June 9, 2012


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