Old Man Logan is one of those great comic book ideas that surprisingly took such a long time to come around. It would be like seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger come back in Conan the Conqueror to play an elder King Conan, a film that always seems in the works but never quite in a moving-forward state. In the X-Men movies it means Hugh Jackman, in supposedly his last of nine films portraying the steely clawed X-Man, gets a rare chance to complete a character study 17 years in the making.
The first trailer for Logan, the next X-Men movie following this year’s hit films X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool, reveals more than what we expected to see of Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier. Hugh Jackman looks the right age as Wolverine years after the villains take over Earth. The other universe of Marvel films outside the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” has been well-established to bounce around, in parallel worlds, and has resulted in the most satisfying movies in the superhero genre, particularly with the spectacular X-Men: Days of Future Past.
And something new and exciting: We meet a new X-Men character from the comic books, Wolverine’s clawed clone X-23. Will Logan be as good or better than past X-Men entries? Check out this first trailer:
The third day of Kansas City Comic Con wrapped with attendees making last-minute purchases, obtaining remaining autographs and photos with celebrities and cosplayers, and picking up sketches and comic books from the hundreds of creators on site throughout the weekend. No doubt the weekend was a success for vendors, and visitors had a great time.
And as promised yesterday, we have more photos from the weekend.
It wouldn’t be a Kansas City Con without a merry duo of those Nausicaan cousins, the Predators. As with prior years Elizabeth C. Bunce (above) hunted them down, this time as iZombie’s Liv Moore (seriously, this keeps happening–check this out).
What makes for great cosplay? Surprises. Characters that are classic or iconic that you’ve never seen before are a real treat. Like this spot-on Beetlejuice cosplay–Wynona Ryder’s Lydia Deetz:
Superb! And while we’re in 1980s mode, wait ’til you get a load of this: We spotted the very best Joker cosplay we’d ever seen, Jack Nicholson’s Joker from the 1989 Batman movie (above).
The rest of the cosplay we singled out mainly followed the superhero genre. Like the dynamic indigo X-Men duo pictured under the headline above. We’ve seen Mystiques before but this was the best constructed outfit and Beast’s make-up was excellent.
We saw two great Wonder Woman outfits, first from the new movies and then a classic comic book variant:
What Ant-Man was for Marvel Studios’ Avengers franchise, Deadpool is for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, proving that a good story and good delivery can outperform big budget, team-up blockbusters. Ant-Man stepped away from the standard superhero movie tropes to give us a flawed human trying to do right by way of some good tech, and Deadpool went to the next step and took the superhero story that much further away from the norm. As the #1 box office success of any Rated R film, it also proved you cannot predict what will fail and what will succeed.
But all the press that distinguished Deadpool as something completely new and different was really just feeding into the marketing hype. Seemingly collectively shocked by the impending change-up of “the first Rated R superhero movie,” press and critics ignored so much. From an over-the-top action standpoint was Deadpool that far different from RoboCop, The Crow, or V for Vendetta–all also carrying the R rating? And from a crude humor standpoint, is Deadpool any different from the similarly hilarious Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, or if darkness is your thing Sin City or Watchmen–also Rated R?
The reality is that the success of Deadpool can be found in the melding of all the elements you need for any good superhero movie. If you skipped this one or only watched it in the theater, now is a good time to revisit it on Blu-ray or DVD. You no doubt missed some great elements during your first watch, and the special features that accompany the home release point out plenty that will likely elevate whatever view you already have about this release.
The Blu-ray we reviewed included both the Blu-ray and DVD as well as a digital Ultraviolet code for viewing on your Vudu or Flixster account. Deadpool includes the best behind the scenes coverage of any Blu-ray we’ve reviewed this year in its “From Comics to Screen… to Screen” segment. Who knew how much stunt work was required for all the elaborately choreographed action sequences and how much was actually CGI? Sure, we knew star Ryan Reynolds was in the “Deadpool red” supersuit for part of the film, but his two stuntmen really carried a lot of the film with one stuntman tearing his ACL for one of the less-involved sequences. And like the movie’s in-joke, the two other X-Men that appear may well be lesser characters when compared to the team in X-Men: Apocalypse, yet the fact we get to focus on far fewer means we got to know Colossus that much better. Plus director Tim Miller and costume designer Angus Strathie made sure Negasonic Teenage Warhead wore the classic X-Men yellow supersuit.
Amid all the chaos and bombardment of superhero movies in the theaters these days, it’s often difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not so long ago if someone asked about your favorite superhero movie you’d probably name it without hesitation. These days? You probably will need to mull it over in light of so many quality films. Of the classic films I would have named Christopher Reeves’ Superman. Of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I once would have named the first Iron Man. Then after many Marvel lookalikes and too many dark Dark Knights, the three that rise to the top are Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Then Bryan Singer created another X-Men entry released this summer and I’m hedging again. X-Men: Apocalypse, still in theaters, is exactly the movie I dreamed of when I was a kid reading comic books.
How often do superhero movies, or any other drama, sci-fi, fantasy, or action franchise movie, threaten stakes as great as the end of the world? How many actually take you through an apocalypse? X-Men: Apocalypse delivers the rampage and destruction I read as a kid inside the pages of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. I was never an X-Men fan before X-Men: Days of Future Past and Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men monthly series, so I haven’t followed the ins and outs of the team for decades to know whether the movies are “loyal” enough for diehard readers. But I do know what great superhero powers look like on the big screen, and as with X-Men: Days of Future Past, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver remains the best realized superhero on-screen.
As kids we debated over what power would allow you to triumph over your superhero peers, and Singer must have done the same thing and landed with the same answer. Speed. Despite giving us the best superhero TV series of the 1980s and today with its two looks at Barry Allen/The Flash, DC Entertainment has not yet shown us all a speedster could do. Will that happen in Justice League next year? Until then, X-Men: Apocalypse is worth a first or second look for Quicksilver’s big scene. And more.
Bryan Singer’s next X-Men movie keeps looking better and better. 20th Century Fox released this new poster for this summer’s superhero release, X-Men: Apocalypse, honing in on Oscar Isaac’s villain Apocalypse. He is watching over his henchmen in the form of Michael Fassbender returning as Magneto, and newcomers Olivia Munn as Psylocke, Ben Hardy as Archangel, and Alexandra Shipp as Storm.
Other actors old and new for the next mutant bash are James McAvoy as Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Nicholas Hoult as Beast), Evan Peters as Quicksilver (the best speedster to ever appear on film), Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler.
If you missed 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past reviewed here at borg.com, or the expanded Rogue Cut from last year reviewed here, grab yourself a copy and experience one of the best superhero films of all time. Here is an earlier image from the new film:
And here is the new poster from X-Men: Apocalypse:
Now in its second issue, Old Man Logan, Marvel’s newest X-Men monthly, tells a familiar story told previously by Mark Millar and Brian Bendis. But it’s a visually compelling jump-on point to a future world story of one of the Marvel universe’s most popular superheroes. Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Wolverine: Old Man Logan first told the story of a disturbing dystopian Marvel future where the villains have won and Wolverine must take on the gang that is the last legacy of Bruce Banner’s Hulk.
Last year’s Secret Wars, written by Brian Bendis, re-introduced Logan aka Wolverine as an old man 50 years in the future. On the heels of the success of the now Academy Award-nominated, big screen return of the similar post-apocalypse Mad Max: Fury Road, there’s little doubt the story will be appealing to modern readers. Fans of Hugh Jackman’s take on Logan will also hear the same voice in this grizzeled and even more put-upon version of the character.
In Old Man Logan Issues #1 and #2, we learn Logan’s past is the same past we’ve seen before–overrun by villains and a world without Wolverine to protect it, Logan is a farmer with a wife and kids, whose life is destroyed when the Hulk Gang kills his family. But the twist is Logan finds himself back in future’s past, able to change the timeline and destroy all of those who one day will ruin his life. This Logan is an Old West wanderer and drifter, an update to Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name and Unforgiven.
We’re big fans of Bryan Singer movies, and have always been amazed at how well the Marvel X-Men translated into the films under his guidance. In fact last year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past ranks at the top of all the Marvel movies, including every Avengers film. If you missed it, check out our review of the original at borg.com here and the “Rogue Cut” here.
Although we are losing the older X-Men cast for next year’s latest entry in the X-Men “cinematic universe,” which was responsible for half the fun of X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse looks like it could be just as good in the first trailer just released.
Everyone looks great, from James McAvoy’s Professor X to Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, to Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, Nicholas Hoult’s Beast. And then there’s the new additions: Yes, that’s really Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and Ex Machina’s Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, and Olivia Munn as Psylocke.
Check out this epic trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse:
The Renaissance of movie and TV tie-in action figures arrived in 2013 with Funko’s classic Kenner-style ReAction figure line. Other companies focus on single licensed figures and getting the likenesses spot-on, but Funko’s diversification of lines meant everyone could find something that fit their personal niche at an affordable price point. A true throwback series, one of the overlooked features of the line is the incredible variety of no-names-taken, classic kick-ass heroines represented.
In fact you can find here the top of the world’s best, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners, genre heroines. Buy them for yourself, for your friends, or get your favorite as a totem to inspire you each day from your desktop. And where the early sculpts in Funko’s line admittedly looked nothing like the actresses that made the roles famous, the new lines have only improved. And nobody has better packaging designs than the ReAction line.
Who would you add to the Funko roster of heroines? Compare your list to our more than 85 suggestions for future kick-ass women action figures below.
First, check out this Baker’s Dozen of our favorites in the current Funko pantheon:
Review by C.J. Bunce
BOULEVARD DRIVE-IN — It’s hard to believe it has only been six years since Jon Favreau surprised the world, taking a typically underwhelming character like Tony Stark, casting Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, and making the best modern superhero movie. Although fanboy director Favreau made the Christmas classic Elf before Iron Man, who knew he was going to change how we evaluate the modern superhero film? So it shouldn’t be surprising that a proven genre director like Bryan Singer, with titles under his belt like The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X-Men 2, X-men Origins: Wolverine, Superman Returns, and Valkyrie, has set the new standard in the summer blockbuster sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero sphere with his latest X-title, X-Men: Days of Future Past. You don’t even need to be an X-Men or Marvel fan to realize what a triumph Singer has achieved.
The movie is gigantic from the opening set-up. The giant mechanical Sentinels of the comic books take over Earth in the distant future, weeding out once and for all the small bands of survivors, creating a very Terminator-influenced opening. Now see if you can spot a theme here. A band of what you might call Tier 3 X-Men, led by Kitty Pryde (played by Oscar nominee Ellen Page), find a way to send something back into the past to save themselves from Sentinel strikes. Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Patrick Stewart’s Professor X, Oscar nominee Ian McKellen’s Magneto and Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman’s Logan aka Wolverine take Pryde’s method to come up with a time travel plan that results in dual casts trying to save their world, one in 1973, the other in the future. Storm, played by returning Oscar winner Halle Berry, tries to fend off the Sentinels to allow the time travel trick to work.
Were I Joe Hollywood, that puppet master that controls the destiny of all things in Entertainmentland, who has infinite resources and influence and what he says goes, I’d put Bryan Singer forward as the next director of the next movie release for Star Trek, Star Wars, or any DC Comics property. The guy behind the X-Men movies, Superman Returns, Valkyrie, House, M.D., and The Usual Suspects could make magic out of any mega-franchise. And yes, I do believe his Superman Returns dances circles around last year’s feeble attempt at rebooting the Superman mythos.
Were I Bryan Singer, I’d use the new X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer as my business card, as page one of my portfolio for the new mega-franchise gig. Unlike the earlier Days of Future Past trailers released, this new preview gives us a major glimpse of the scope of this new story, and some brilliantly designed sets and character interactions. Not to mention more of that 1970s retro that moviemakers can’t seem to get enough of recently. As a child of the 1970s, I am all for that (although it would be nice to see a real view of the decade at some point and not just what the 1970s looked like in New York City and Los Angeles over and over again).
But it’s all really about bringing Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey back for a Phoenix movie, right? Why else go to all this trouble to change “this” timeline?
You can definitely get the feel that this new time travel story could get the “fixing the past” concept right. There’s not much better for a sci-fi aficionado than a killer time travel story, so here’s hoping Days of Future Past is as good as it looks. Maybe even good enough to propel Singer into some other big franchises.
Here’s the latest trailer for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past: