It’s interesting that 20th Century Fox is not calling the new FX channel series Legion, X-Men: Legion, although it at least is carrying the X-Men symbol as part of the title art. Netflix’s Marvel series Daredevil was already a recognizable brand, and once onboard it was easy for fans to try on the next series, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. But Legion may get lost in the shuffle of a half-dozen DC Universe series and Netflix’s cornering the market on Marvel serials. To be successful Legion will need to be good, and good enough to succeed based on word-of-mouth, just as Luke Cage was able to take off with viewers earlier this year.
Legion, as a character, hails from writer Chris Claremont and legendary comic book artist Bill Sienkiewicz from the New Mutants comic book in 1985. Legion is David Haller (played by Downton Abbey actor and the new Beauty and the Beast star Dan Stevens), the mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier. Legion is one of those superheroes who can take on others’ abilities (something like the adaptive powers of Sylar and Peter Petrelli in Heroes, the Charmed Ones in Charmed, the X-Men universe Sentinels, The Borg from Star Trek, or Doomsday). This is related to his schizophrenia or similar mental disorder–as a mutant it means each personality is tied to Haller manifesting different powers. Which means we have the foundation for what could be a pretty open-ended playground for the series writers.
Legion’s cast includes Scott Lawrence, Mackenzie Grey, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Katie Aselton, Jeremie Harris, Bill Irwin, and Amber Midthunder.
Check out these trailers for Legion:
Review by C.J. Bunce
Old Man Logan is a 2017 theatrical release we previewed here at borg.com earlier this Fall. Bryan Singer treated us to a sneak peek at this version of Logan aka Wolverine in this year’s hit superhero flick X-Men: Apocalypse. If all you know about Logan is the nine films in which Hugh Jackman portrayed the on again/off again X-Men leader, then now is a great time to get caught up on the monthly comic book title that inspired the movie.
Old Man Logan is the second series to follow the exploits of Logan in a post-apocalypse setting–the first was written in the eight-issue Wolverine: Old Man Logan story arc collected here, and the second was published in 2015, collected here. The current series, now on Issue #14, is available in three trade editions, with Issue #15 due out in comic book stores by year end.
Old Man Logan may be the best work yet from well-known writer Jeff Lemire, artist Andrea Sorrentino, and color artist Marcelo Maiolo. Lemire is known for his work on books from Animal Man to Green Arrow, and currently he also pens All-New Hawkeye, Extraordinary X-Men, and Moon Knight. Lemire tells a tale of a distant future, one 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, who makes Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name pale in comparison. This is Marvel’s answer to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns at last, a series gritty and dark and full of the kind of what-ifs readers are clamoring for.
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: