Marvel Comics

Cinematic X-Pectations (Part 2): “X2” Tie-In Comics

Hello, my friends!  “The New Mutants” are finally upon us, but there’s still time to tackle one last batch of four-paneled materials related to 20th Century Fox’s two-decade long superhero series.  As such, let us delve into the final entry of this two-part review series called…
X-Men Movie Comics (2)!

Last time, we delved into the multitudes of materials that coincided with the release of the film franchise’s inaugural entry.  Needless to say, it came at a spectacular time for X-Men fans as their beloved mutants reached newfound levels of fame.  It also helped their various related comic books for that year as X-Men #101-104 and Uncanny X-Men #378-385 & #387 were the 13 best-selling comics of 2000.  Not only that, but several more issues of each book (along with Wolverine #150) held 24 of the Top 25 spots in terms of overall sales for the year.  With the series’ first film being a financial success, a sequel was greenlit.

X2-The Title Card!

After premiering on April 24, 2003 in the United Kingdom, April 28 for its U.S. premiere and May 2 for its general American release, “X2” (a.k.a. “X2: X-Men United”, a.k.a. “X-Men 2” for international audiences) was another success as it was greatly praised by critics and went on to gross over $470 million against a budget that ranged between $110 & $125 million.  With Bryan Singer returning to the director’s chair, he would help write the story alongside Zak Penn and the previous entry’s lone credited writer David Hayter, the latter of whom would pen the screenplay with Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris.  This time around, it would be mainly based off of an X-Men story from 1982 called “God Loves, Man Kills”, which was published within the pages Marvel Graphic Novel #5 by writer Chris Claremont and artist Brent Anderson.  Not only that, but it’s also inspired by a 2001 Ultimate X-Men storyline from writer Mark Millar and artist Adam Kubert called “Return To Weapon X”.

Just like its predecessor, X2 would get its own batch of prequel comics.  This time however, only our familiar Canucklehead and the newly-integrated, demon-looking teleporter would get some details filled in prior to the events of this cinematic entry.  Both would get released in March 2003, with Logan’s tale selling 35,973 copies and Kurt’s introductory outing having 31,910 copies bought.  So, what have these two guys been up to before this official entry?  Let’s dive in and find out.

X2 Prequel Wolverine-Status Report, Sir!

We begin “X-Men 2 Prequel-Wolverine” (Writer: Brian K. Vaughn, Artist: Tom Mandrake, Colorist: Dan Brown) within a Special Ops Military Installation as a guy addressed as “Mr. Norris” tells his superior that their field agent has potentially “spotted one of the escaped experiments” and is currently tracking their subject.  From there, he’s ordered to round up a recovery team and “get that filthy animal back”.

We then shift over to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Westchester, New York where James Howlett a.k.a. Logan a.k.a. Wolverine meets up with Professor Charles Xavier.  Looking to fulfill his promise in helping Logan restore his hazy past together, Professor X says that while he hasn’t found a way to lift the amnesiac burden from his teammate’s mind, he says that it’s connected with the bonding process.  After doing some research upon the remnants of Adamantium, Charles explains that there’s a particular deposit that could help in clearing the past up.  In particular, it’s a military compound at Alkali Lake.  From there, James thanks him before heading out.  As Logan is about to leave the mansion, he’s then met upon by Marie D’Ancanto a.k.a. Rogue who asks him if he’s heading out.  He simply exclaims that he’s heading North in order to deal with some “personal things” before she says that she doesn’t want him to leave since she sees him as “a big brother”.  As such, he gives her his dog tags and says that he’ll return to get them before taking his leave.

Four days later, James has ridden Cyclops’ motorcycle out to the wilderness of Alberta where he arrives at a gas station in order to fill the bike up.  As he heads inside to pay the female clerk, his heightened sense of smell suddenly picks up a familiar scent as he tells the woman to lay low before heading out to confront the being. 

It turns out to be Victor Creed a.k.a. Sabretooth as Wolverine is surprised to see him here, especially since their tussle atop the Statue of Liberty from the previous film ultimately saw Victor falling onto a boat in defeat.  Even so, James preps his Adamantium claws and delivers the first slash upon Sabretooth’s face.  However, it doesn’t phase Victor due to his Healing Factor as he proceeds to throw Logan into the woods, where he crashes into a tree.

Creed then exclaims that he’s been denied his chance to “find out who I am” as a result of their last battle.  Wolverine doesn’t know what his foe is talking about as he attempts to leap back into action, but Sabretooth was armed with a hefty log as James gets hit back towards the gas station and smashes onto a jeep.  Victor then mentions how this situation is similar to their initial encounter from the previous film, only that the X-Men won’t be able to provide some help to their comrade.  He then says that once he finishes his adversary off, he’ll trek towards Xavier’s School and slaughter his teammates, starting with Rogue.

This enrages James as he regains consciousness and leaps off the vehicle.  Victor tells his foe that he missed, but Logan says that he wasn’t aiming for him.  It turns out that he purposefully struck a gas pump as he slices it open, causing the gasoline to pour onto Creed.  Wolverine take takes out a lighter and threatens to incinerate his adversary, but Sabretooth counters by spraying him with gasoline.  However, James decides to flick his lighter as they both become engulfed within the flames.  With his body and Healing Factor being able to withstand the intense heat as opposed to Victor, Logan proceeds to resume his attack before tackling him into the snow.

Just as Wolverine is about to finish Creed off, he suddenly notices that he’s wearing a similar dog tag as he demands to know where he got it.  However, Sabretooth exclaims that he doesn’t know and that he’s had them for as long as he knows.  James decides to spare his foe as he retracts his claws and offers to buy him a beer.  As they head out, they’re unaware that Field Agent Lyman has discreetly spotted them and he tells the recovery team to proceed towards his present coordinates.

Meanwhile, Logan and Victor arrive at Jack’s Bar as Wolverine exclaims that he’s currently interested in getting some answers.  After a couple of rounds, they learn each others’ names as James asks Creed how much of his memory he’s able to recall.  Sabretooth explains that he’s only able to remember the previous five years.  He’s also had nightmareish visions about past missions that he’s supposedly been on where he’s ended up slaughtering other people.  Logan has a hard time buying the ambiguous killings due to the behavior that he displayed last time, but Victor says that the murders that he remembers carrying out occurred upon “old folks” and “babies” before exclaiming that he hopes that his slayings that he carried out in his dreams were only in his dreams.  He then blames Wolverine for preventing him from finding out whether those killings who real or not as Creed explains that Magneto was going to help him recover his past in exchange for working within his Brotherhood of Mutants, but that’s been squelched due to Erik winding up within a plastic prison.  James says that Magneto was only using him for “his dirty work” and that he doesn’t know a single thing about his past, to which Victor says that Erik informed him about having a shared history with Logan.  Just as Sabretooth starts to make Wolverine question about Charles Xavier’s own efforts on restoring his memories, they’re suddenly approached by the recovery team who orders the patrons out before ordering Creed to surrender.

James took note on the fact that the squad leader called them “muties” as he proceeds to unsheathe his claws in preparation.  The recovery team realize him as a prior experiment that previously escaped before prepping to engage both of them.  Logan manages to protect Victor from a powerful energy blast as they quickly agree to counter with “Maneuver 355”, which appears to be the signature Fastball Special as Sabretooth tosses Wolverine towards the enemy agents and proceeds to defeat them.

Creed proceeds to join the barroom brawl before he’s taken out by a series of tranquilizers.  As for James, he gets unconscious by a sonic disrupter as the recovery team prepares to escort both captured mutants back to base.

Later, Victor regains consciousness as he discovers himself and Logan secured within reinforced bindings.  Fortunately, Sabretooth is easily able to rip himself out of his restraints before slapping Wolverine out of unconsciousness.  This works as James slices his way to freedom before Creed’s heightened sense picks up the approaching guards.  Logan easily slices the door off, only for them to discover that they’re on a plane miles above the ground.

Suddenly, he gets picked up by Victor and gets dangled over the side.  Sabretooth explains that he’ll stay put in order to finally learn who was responsible for their past experimentations and that it’s information “that you don’t deserve”.  However, Wolverine is able to figure out that Creed is simply helping him escape.  James then exclaims that he’ll be unable to fend the guards off long enough to help him escape, but Victor says that it’s more of a personal payback than anything.  Just as the recovery team approaches them, Sabretooth drops Logan out before engaging the enemy agents.

Meanwhile, Wolverine slams through the ice and into a chilling pond before emerging to see the plane fly off into the distance.  Several days later at the Special Ops Military Installation, Mr. Norris nervously approaches his superior and informs him that their experiment ended in complete failure.  Even though they recaptured Victor, his body rejected the attempted Adamantium bonding.  Despite being disappointed with that end result, the superior simply exclaims that they’ll move forward with their lone “success story”, which turns out to be Lady Deathstrike, before ordering for Creed’s swift termination.  From there, the comic ends with Mr. Morris asking if they should search for Wolverine, to which his superior says that it won’t be necessary since they’ll “be seeing him again soon enough”.

We now move on to “X-Men 2 Prequel-Nightcrawler” (Writer: Chuck Austen, Artist: Karl Kerschl, Colorist: Jung Choi’s Transparency Digital) as we open in Canada as the Szardos Traveling Circus is in the middle of a performance.  It turns out that the performing troupe is in the middle of a religious act before their familiar cast member named Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler leaps down to scare the pretend faith-givers with his performance of a demonic being.  He then grabs a woman and starts to ab-lib his lines, to which the lady named Amanda says that it’s not in the script.  He then assures her that it is for today as he carries her up to the tightrope and acknowledges his feelings for her before continuing his performance.  Meanwhile, an angel-clad performer named Werner is worried that he’ll miss his cue if Kurt continues to ab-lib his lines, but he gets assured that it’ll all turn out in the end.  From there, Amanda acts out her cry for angelic help before Wagner begins to let go of her.

Unfortunately, Werner isn’t able to swing out fast enough to catch her.  As such, Kurt teleports and catches her before slamming onto the ground as the audience realizes that this incident wasn’t part of the show.  Later, Kurt gets berated by Margali, the traveling circus’ owner and his adoptive mother since he was a baby.  She scolds him for changing his cues during the performance, especially since the safety net wasn’t in place.  As a result, she says that he’s broken his ribs and will be unable to perform for the next month before asking him why he would even pull this stunt.  As he sees Amanda within the comforting arms of Werner, he exclaims that he’s unsure, though thinks that “the devil made me do it”.  Afterwards, Margali assures him that whatever is currently bothering him will “work itself out”.

Later that night, he goes into a nearby church where he narrates about his love for God and about how it’s given him some purpose within his life.  Just then, Amanda comes in and admits that she knew that he would be here.  He apologizes for his action during the performance, even admitting that he didn’t what came over him, but she calmly says that he was “very clear” on his action before leaning in for a kiss.  Afterwards, she admits that his incident was the first time he ever admitted this kind of genuine affection towards her, to which he assumes that as long as they’ve known each other, he thought that she saw him only “as a monster”.  After admitting that she never did, she suddenly asks him to run away with her.  When Kurt asks why they can’t be together while staying within the circus, Amanda says that their mother would never allow it, even saying that Margali doesn’t love him entirely since she was the one who had him dress up in his demonic-looking circus costume.  While he does admit that the outfit was her idea, he never saw it as either “racist” or “anti-mutant”.  Amanda then says she’s heard her say horrid things about him behind his back.  With that handing notion, Kurt is convinced to run away with her.

Meanwhile, Margali reaches her trailer and discovers Werner making out with Amanda.  When Margali asks them where Wagner has gone, Amanda says that she hasn’t seen him since he got bandaged up before recommending her to check the nearby church.  Meanwhile, Kurt is running through the forest with “Amanda” by his side.  They stop for a moment as he asks her if was sincere about their mother’s lack of complete respect for him, to which she confirms it.  From there, he confesses his love to her as they proceed to kiss.  Unbeknownst to him, Amanda isn’t actually with him and he’s being overlooked by Cl. William Stryker & his men.  With Wagner trapped in some kind of mind-control, Stryker tells his agents to lock their subject up.  As Kurt get captured, William talks with a fellow soldier about the ability of “Mutant Twelve” being able to maintain mental control over their target.  Styker says that aside from distance, nothing can interrupt Mutant Twelve’s mental prowess unless he says so.

We then shift to the next day over at the Alkali Lake base as the imprisoned Nightcrawler is mentally with Amanda following a passionate night.  Just as he groggily wakes up, she suddenly vanishes along with the rest of the room as he regains his consciousness and yells at his captors for his lady.  Suddenly, William approaches him and says that he’ll never see her again unless he follows his orders.  From there, he shares some particular details that he’s already learned about Kurt: He’s fluent in five languages, he’s very agile and he’s able to teleport.  However, Stryker is eager to learn more about his captured mutant.  Wagner tries to teleport away, but his inhibitor collar prevents him from doing so as Stryker says that he and his team had anticipated that he would do that.  William then asks him what other abilities he might have, but Kurt jokingly mentions his tail wagging if his stomach gets rubbed, which annoys Stryker into leaving.

Back at the circus, Amanda asks her mother if she found Wagner.  However, Margali says that he wasn’t at his usual spots and that the rest of their performers hasn’t seen him ever seen his last performance.  Not only that, but they’re also to depart towards Calgary.  Amanda assures her that Kurt is probably alright and believes that he’s only hiding out due to being upset with what he did with his performance.  Margali believes her, but expresses her worry that he’ll be harmed by “so many people out there who hate mutants”.  Back in his cell, Wagner prays for the safety of his circus family and to bless God’s forgiveness upon the misguided soldiers.  Just as a pair of them bring in another captured, Mr. Norris overhears Kurt’s prayers and orders him to stop since he ignorantly thinks that “God doesn’t listen to prayers from animals!”.  From there, he takes out his nightstick and strike Nightcrawler’s face before getting restrained by his fellow agent.  Meanwhile, the traveling circus is on the road towards Calgary as both Margali and Amanda tearfully worry for Kurt’s safety.

Back in his Alkali Lake cell, Wagner checks up on his new cellmate.  Just as he says that his fellow prisoner needs to be in a hospital, the tortured mutant begins to scream in agony as Wagner yells out for help.  The mutilated mutant (who turns out to be Lady Deathstrike) then displays her ability by growing abnormally long nails as the guards come in to subdue her.  Norris gets Kurt in a chokehold and says that he thought that they were going to remove those nails, but he gets informed that those are a part of her.  Wagner then gets thrown onto the ground and gets asked if done “any praying lately”, to which he wisecrackingly replies that he did, but it didn’t work due to his subduer still being ugly.  As such, Norris hits him again with his nightstick.

Back with the circus, Margali overhears Amanda’s romantic conversation with Werner before telling them to get a private place.  She then asks her mother why she’s acting like this, to which Margali tells her daughter that she’s carelessly wasting her love towards a “stupid man with a pretty face” instead of on Kurt.  However, Amanda asks why she would get involved in a relationship with a mutant before Margali lists off some good-natured traits about Wagner in addition to him being “like a son” to her.  Amanda then calls her mom out on dressing him like a devil and even calling him Nightcrawler, to which Margali says that she came up with his codename due to him needing little sleep.  Unfortunately, Amanda refuses to accept the blame for Kurt’s disappearance and says that while she’s just as worried for his safety, she still learned how to unintentionally treat him through her.

Back at Alkali Lake, Norris and a fellow agent are dragging Kurt out to William.  When Stryker tells them to remove the bag from their prisoner’s head, Norris says that he attempted to escape and that they needed “to get a little rough with him” in order to get him under control.  William then sternly orders them again to remove the bag as Wagner’s face is bleeding from his beatings.  After starting at his agents with calm anger, he dismisses them before asking Kurt if he’s “capable of killing” with his mutant powers.  Wagner is initially puzzled, to which Stryker says that he’s offering him to get back as his “oppressors”, even willing to deactivate his inhibitor collar so that he can enact some violent revenge.  Kurt actually considers it, but initially declines due to it being “against God”.  William says that people have killed others “in the name of God”, to which Wagner says that God won’t forsake “those who kill in his name”, even telling Stryker that his God “even loves people” like him.

Back with the circus, Margali meets up with Amanda who apologizes to her for what she said, even knowing that she’s loved Wagner ever since she “found him”.  Margali tells her daughter that she’s somewhat right since while she did love Kurt, it didn’t stop her “from being insensitive to him” as she says it’s possible to be racist towards those you care for.  She then tells Amanda that she’s not a racist for wanting “the best-looking man she could find”, but prays that they’ll look past the surface and find someone to unconditionally love.  Amanda says that Wagner deserves it and that she misses him a lot, to which Margali tells her daughter that she truly does love him as they hope to tell him someday.

Back in his Alkali Lake cell, Kurt sits besides a sleeping Lady Deathstrike as he promises to get her out of this and hopes that someone misses her in a similar way to how Amanda misses him.  Just then, Norris enters and tells him that he’s “shipping out”.  Wagner then asks about Amanda, to which the devious agent says that she only existed within his mind, even saying that she would never love him since she’s “with her handsome human boyfriend”.  Kurt refuses to believe him, but Norris continues his taunting by exclaiming that he has his fellow agents have watched them a lot, even claiming to have seen them moving into his former wagon to order to “do it” and also laugh it up at his expense.  He even says that all of the various romantic moments that he had with her all occurred while he was under mind control before taking his leave in order to let him pray.

With Wagner emotionally broken, he ultimately agrees to accept William’s offer.  Stryker tells him that he won’t kill on his own, but they won’t submit him to long-distance mind-control.  However, William says that his scientists have found a way to keep him under their control, as it involves subjecting him with genetic material taken from Mutant Twelve, whom he admits to submitting Wagner to a “fantasy with Amanda”.  With Kurt tearfully silent, Stryker tells him that discovering his “perfect moment” as nothing more than “a mental fabrication” is upsetting.  However, he assures Wagner that he’ll forget all of those heartbreaking moments as he gets injected in the back of his neck.  Later, Norris is playing cards with his fellow agents.  Suddenly, Nightcrawler pops in and fatally slashes him before teleporting away, successfully rattling the rest of the agents.  Afterwards, Kurt reappears in William’s office as Stryker commends him for his work before telling him that he’ll be paying the U.S. President a visit.

X2 Prequel Nightcrawler-Holy Wishes From A Human Friend To A Friendly Mutant!

And so, the comic ends in Calgary as Amanda visits a church and prays to God.  Specifically, she wishes for him to “take care of Kurt Wagner”.

X2 Movie Adaptation!

Now, we close out our small batch of tie-in materials that’s connected with the familiar film series’ sophomore outing.  Released in April 2003, X2’s official comic adaptation would ultimately sell 34,949 copies.  Chuck Austen is once again called upon to handle writing duties, while Patrick Zircher and Avalon Studios’ Ian Hannin join him as penciler and colorist, respectively.  As such, let’s delve into the differences that this adaptation has from the movie.

Right out of the gate, the comic expands on Charles’ opening narration.  Specifically, the adaptation talks about mutation as a natural change within DNA that’s regularly “unnoticed” and “harmless”.  However, it’s led to the emergence of “certain individuals” who have gained powers.  The bottom half of the opening page is essentially Xavier’s narration before the second page adds the fact that he created the X-Men as “mutants who have sworn to protect a world that both fears and hates them”.

The comic then omits the mind-controlled Nightcrawler being initially part of a White House tour group before he begins his assault on the Secret Service en route to President McKenna.  From there, the scene plays out the same way as in the movie where a timely shoulder shot from a wounded agent snaps Kurt out of his mind-controlled state.  While the adaptation does add a few bits of confused dialogue for him, he still teleports away, leaving behind the knife with an attached ribbon that said “Mutant Freedom Now”.

The adaptation then skips over Logan’s initial search at the seemingly-abandoned Alkali Lake Industrial Complex where he finds nothing noteworthy there.  Instead, we have a difference of location.  The comics takes us the Xavier Institute where it sets up the antagonistic rivalry between Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman and John Allerdyce a.k.a. Pyro.  By comparison, the film saw Jean have a minor lapse of psychic control before talking to Cyclops about her nightmares getting worse, fearing that something bad is on the horizon and slowly foreshadowing her eventual acquisition of her Phoenix powers for “Last Stand”.  Afterwards, Iceman and Pyro are involved in a small incident where a pair of young guys want to borrow John’s lighter just so one of them can light up their cigarette.  From there, Charles comes in and physically freezes every human occupant.  Afterwards, he and fellow mutants notices a newscast about the assassination attempt as they decide to head out (to which Xavier unfreezes the human visitors after they’ve all taken their leave, of course).  Either way, the core members discuss the recent White House incident and how unlikely it was for Magneto to plan this, even from his plastic prison cell.  As such, Charles says that they have to find the would-be assassin “before the authorities do”.  Afterwards, the movie adds a mention from Xavier that their subject has evaded Cerebro’s tracking due to him being “inexplicably erratic”.

Now, we have our introductory scene for Cl. William Stryker who’s meeting President McKenna and Mystique (the later of whom is disguised as the deceased senator Robert Kelly) about the Xavier Institute.  The scene mainly plays out the same way, except that the comic has Styker’s mind-controlled mutant assistant Yuriko Oyama present in the meeting as well, while the film saw her silently waiting just outside and cracking her fingers, foreshadowing her retractable nails.  There’s also an additional scene not present in the adaptation where William and Lady Deathstrike are heading out after getting the President’s approval to infiltrate the mansion for investigative purposes.  Raven-as-Robert asks him if he’s actually willing to turn this “conflict into a war”, to which Stryker essentially says that it’s “already a war”.

Afterwards, we have a pair of scenes whose order is swapped for the comic.  The film immediately went to the Xavier Institution as Bobby attempts to kiss his girlfriend Rogue, but she’s initially hesitant due to her power.  Either way, it’s interrupted when Wolverine arrives back at the mansion, minus Scott and Logan’s brief antagonistic conversation.  From there, the movie has William visiting Magneto in order to learn about the Xavier Institute and Cerebro (not that the comic bothers to include that detail).

X2 Movie Adaptation-You'll Discover Your Past, Logan!

Next up, we have the scene where Logan meets up with Professor X at Cerebro.  The comic does omit Charles’ expanded explanation on how his signature tracker finds mutants within the world and Wolverine’s initial statement where he says that he couldn’t find anything at Alkali Lake.  Other than that, it pretty much lines up with the movie.

Now, we have a scene that’s exclusive to this comic as Cyclops and Jean about to fly out on their respective missions, while Logan oversees this before a fellow kid mentions the Danger Room (something that wasn’t seen until “Last Stand”) to him and that Scott practices there to relieve some tension.  Meanwhile, the film simply shows Jean and Storm flying off to Boston to go get Nightcrawler.

We then briefly have the scene where Mystique disguises herself as Yuriko in order to access Stryker’s office.  (Side Note: She simply walks into the facility in the movie, while the adaptation has her asking a guard to help her get in.  Also, she gets past the voice recognition in the film by imitating William’s voice, while the comic has her imitating Oyama’s voice)  The adaptation simply leaves it at that, but the movie also showed her gathering information about Magneto’s plastic cell in order to properly prepare his escape.  During this, she also comes across Stryker’s gathered information about Cerebro (as well as his plan to build his own version).  As such, she decides to also gather that information as she ultimately escapes with her combined data just as the genuine Deathstrike arrives.

The comic then adds another scene as Wolverine decides to train in the Danger Room just as Stryker’s forces are about to infiltrate the mansion.  We then properly shift over to St. Michael’s Church in Boston.  While the film had Storm summoning some lightning in order to flush him out, Kurt teleports in to attack in the comic.  Either way, Jean telekinetically subdues him.  While the adaptation has Wagner exclaiming how “they put the mark of devil on my neck”, the movie shows our two X-Women helping him heal up while he describes what it was like being under mind-control, before they notice the infamous imprint on the back of his neck, as well as his own self-inflicting marks on his body.

X2 Movie Adaptation-Stryker's Plan In Motion & Fierce Training!

We then have a major difference that the film has with the comic.  While the adaptation simply shows Logan in the middle of his Danger Room session, the movie shows his nightmare of the Bonding Process with the scientists exclaiming that “he’ll have no memory”.  From there, he wakes up and wanders the mansion, seeing a young mutant who’s able to change TV channels by blinking before coming across Iceman in the kitchen.  This actually follows up their initial disdain from earlier.  Bobby explains his backstory where he’s been attending the Xavier Institute for a couple years, with his parents believing that it’s a regular prep school.  They even talk about Iceman’s current relationship with Rogue before he mentions that he’s noticed Wolverine’s caring glances towards Jean.  As for Charles’ visit to Erik, the comic mostly plays out the same way.  However, it leaves out a detail where Charles previously had William Stryker’s mutant son named Jason, whom he ultimately couldn’t help out in a peaceful way.  Magneto then says that taking in Logan is his frenemy’s way of atoning for this failure.  Either way, Xavier gets captured while Lady Deathstrike knocks out Cyclops, resulting in their kidnapping.

Now, we get to Stryker and his forces invading the mansion.  There are a few cosmetic differences though, such as how Wolverine finds out about the governmental intruders.  The movie has his heightened hearing picking up their footsteps while he’s still in the kitchen, while the adaptation has him hearing Siryn’s shrilling scream like everyone else, prompting him to end his Danger Room session to help out his fellow mutants.  There’s also an absolutely minor alteration when Logan and William cross paths.  The film seems to have James willingly retract his claws out of curiosity, while the comic adds a bit of dialogue where he briefly ponders how Stryker forced him to unsheathe his signature blades.  Either way, Iceman creates an ice wall and separates them.  From there, the comic omits James, Marie, Bobby and John taking Scott’s car in order to drive off towards Boston, specifically the Drake household.  During the ride, they discover a transmissive device hidden within the vehicle’s radio system.  It also leaves out William and his forces breaking into Cerebro in order to “take what we need”. 

We then have the bar scene where Mitchell Laurio, a guard for Magneto’s cell, is met upon by Mystique who disguised herself as a regular-looking prostitute named Grace.  While she does spike his beer, the adaptation omits the part where they go into an adjacent restroom before she injects the unconscious guard with liquid iron.

As for the scene at Alkali Lake between William and the newly-captured Charles, it mainly plays out the same way aside from some details.  First, it omits the mention of Cyclops getting “a little re-education”.  Second, their discussion about Jason has Stryker saying that Xavier was “more frightened of him” as an excuse for refusing to rid of his son’s mutation.  It also leaves out William saying that Jason resented his parents for not accepting him for who he was.  While the adaptation does bring up his psychic assault, the movie had him attacking both of his parents, as opposed to the comic where he weirdly only mentions that he mentally abused his mom.  After Charles realizes that Stryker was behind Nightcrawler’s Presidential attack, William essentially says that he’ll use Jason (whom he calls “Mutant 143” in the movie and even has heterochromia, a blue right eye & a brown left eye, unlike here) and his psychic power to control Xavier into using their version of Cerebro and psychically kill all of Earth’s mutants.

Back over to Wolverine, Rogue, Iceman & Pyro arriving at the Drake household, the comic does omit their time there before Bobby’s parents and brother arrive back.  It also leaves out Iceman giving Marie some of his mother’s “old clothes” for her to wear, as well as his grandmother’s gloves before they finally experiment with their kissing session.  Once the Drake family returns, there’s a detail that I noticed in the comic.  It turns out that Logan and his group had some of their fellow mutant classmates with them instead of being with Colossus.  Other than that, their conversation mainly plays out the same way, except that Ronny decides to call his brother and his fellow mutants “Freaks” in the comic before running off to his room, while the movie had him sitting in angered silence before heading out right after his brother demonstrates his ice power for their mother in order to betray Bobby’s group.  Also, the adaptation has this whole scene at night while the movie had it during the daytime.

Meanwhile, we have Erik’s escape plan set in motion with Mitchell entering his cell to feed him.  The comic does omit the scanner’s initial detection of the iron within him before it allows him to enter.  Other than that, it plays out the same way in the film as Magento gruesomely extracts the liquid iron (or the iron from “special pills” that Raven fed him off-panel here) from Laurio’s body (though much less gruesome in the movie) and uses it to escape.

Briefly, let’s get to the scene that’s present only in the movie.  Before our X-Ladies arrive to help Wolverine and his group escape, Ororo goes to checkup on Kurt after being unable to contact her teammates.  She asks him (most likely) about the markings on his body, to which he explains that they’re angelic symbols passed on to mankind by the archangel Gabriel and that he has “one for every sin”.  He goes on to mention his time in the circus where people feared him, yet he only “pitied them”, due to those folk never seeing anything beyond what’s skin-deep.  Storm says that she’s already given up on pity and when he says that shouldn’t “be so angry”, she says that it “can help you survive”, to which he says “so can faith”.  Getting back to the Drake household, the second half of that scene pretty much plays out the same way.  The only major difference comes when John is attacking the cops with his literal firepower.  In the film, Rogue touches Pyro’s leg in order to temporarily gain his pyrokinesis and save the officers from a fiery death, while the comic has Ororo summoning some rain to smother the flames.

The comic then skips over the first of several scenes where Jason psychically places Charles in an illusionary state and pretends to be a young girl who convinces Xavier to use Cerebro in order to locate every mutant on Earth.  We now get to the scene where the Blackbird Jet is being pursued by a pair of Air Force pilots.  While the adaptation plays out the aerial pursuit, it omits Rogue struggling to fasten her safety belt.  Either way, a pilot manages to fight through Ororo’s series of sky tornadoes and fires a missile (two in the movie) in time.  The adaptation then omits another foreshadowing detail for “Last Stand” as Jean psychically takes out one of the missiles, causing her Phoenix-based power to slowly burgeon.  However, the Blackbird gets hit by a missile and Marie is sucked out.  Fortunately, she gets saved by Nightcrawler’s timely teleportation.  From there, the X-Men get saved by Magneto.

Now, we have the campfire scene where Erik informs the X-Men about William’s scheme to use Charles to operate his own version of Cerebro against mutant-kind.  The adaptation has this as a brief moment, while the movie also has Magneto informing them about Stryker and his connection to Wolverine.  How they find out where William’s base is handled differently, even though both include the detail of Mystique discovering the plans for said hideout.  In the comic, they’re in flight as Erik already knows that it’s at Alkali Lake to which James exclaims that he’s knows where they need to go.  In the film, Kurt tries to overhear their discussion before he’s noticed.  Jean then psychically reads his mind in order to discover the location.  Logan says that he couldn’t find anything there last time, to which she says that it’s located underground.  From there, the adaptation also omits Wolverine’s quick make-out session with Jean, Nightcrawler’s conversation with Mystique (where she tells him that they shouldn’t hide who they are) and Raven pretending to be Grey in order to test James on what he truly wants.

Now, we have dialogue used in different places.  Essentially, it’s the sequence of Rogue being briefly miffed at Magneto for what he did to her in the previous film after he comments on her silver hair streak, followed by his talk with Pyro on how he’s “a god among insects” and adding onto his gradual duplicity for “Last Stand”.  The comic has our characters exclaiming all of this after they’ve arrived outside of Stryker’s base, while the movie has all of that while they’re in flight.  Following a quick omitted moment in which William learns that his version of Cerebro has been built, we have the scene where our combined mutants are planning to infiltrate the base.  Aside from leaving out Storm’s layout of the facility and Nightcrawler explaining that he has to know where he’s teleporting into, it essentially plays out like normal as Wolverine offers to go in before Erik shoots that idea down in favor of a safer alternative.

As we move inside the base, the adaptation omits Mystique’s initial entry where she’s disguised as Logan before fighting her way past the initial guards.  Afterwards, it plays out like the movie where she disguises herself as William before taking out the two soldiers in the central hub before accessing it in our group’s favor.  The comic then leaves out Erik, Jean, Ororo, Kurt and James meeting up with Raven in order to find out where Cerebro 2.0 is within the base, as well as the captured mutant students.  Not to mention, Logan heads out on his own in order to hunt down Stryker.

X2 Movie Adaptation-Let The Mutant Genocide Begin!

Briefly, let’s get to the scene where William convinces Charles through John to locate every mutant.  While Stryker is present to set this event in motion, the film had him leave the room and tells his men to shoot anyone who approaches them (even himself) before taking his leave.  Here, the adaptation has him sticking around during the process, even as Xavier gets controlled into increasing Cerebro 2.0’s signal.

We then have a moment of scene rearrangement.  From the previous scene, we have the mind-controlled Cyclops emerging to fight Jean shortly after Erik takes out the soldiers guarding Cerebro 2.0 with their own grenades.  While Storm and Nightcrawler save their captured students, Grey’s fight against Scott plays out like normal, but the comic excludes the psychic boost she got from her burgeoning Phoenix power, which protected her from his Optic Blast, but ends up causing a psychic explosion which creates some structural damage to the dam.  As for Wolverine’s fight against Lady Deathstrike, it’s sadly only a few panels long.  As for how Logan defeats her, that’s a major difference.  The adaptation simply has him electrocuting her to death, while the film has James injecting Yuriko with raw liquid adamantium, which proceeds to cool, harden and cause her to sink into the Bonding Process Chamber.  However, one key omission that the comic makes is Pyro refusing to wait in the Blackbird with Iceman and Rogue, as he decides to head out.

Now, we have the peak of William’s master plan where the mind-controlled Xavier has found every mutant and begins to psychically kill them all.  The only major difference is that Wolverine has caught up to Stryker just as he reaches his military helicopter.  However, Logan then gets telekinetically assaulted, just like his mutant comrades.  Also for some reason, Erik seems to be somewhat affected by it as well, despite the fact that he’s wearing his helmet (which is a sad carryover from his prequel comic for the first movie).  Either way, he still stops the process before re-configuring his homicidal prowess upon Earth’s humans, excluding the movie’s tidbit where he rearranges some of Cerebro 2.0’s panels before Mystique-As-William tells Jason to have Professor X carry this out.  The adaptation also leaves out Logan interrogating Stryker about his bonding process, where William tells him that he volunteered.  It does however add an explosion at the dam (in lieu of the weakening structure), just as Stryker promises to reveal James’ past if he simply goes with him.

Moving on, we have the X-Men regrouped in order to figure out how to prevent their professor from killing the humans.  The comic does have some alteration of dialogue, such as Cyclops knowing that Kurt can teleport, even though they never met before, which is why Storm explains that to him.  The adaptation has Wolverine back with the group and is the one who suggests that Scott should blast the doors open, while the movie has Summers almost deciding to do that.  Speaking of Ororo, there’s a difference in her dialogue when she decides to teleport inside with Nightcrawler.  While the comic has her saying she’s “willing” to go through with this risk, the film pays off their earlier conversation when she tells him that she “has faith” in him.  Once inside Cerebro 2.0, they only see Jason psychically controlling Charles in the adaptation, while the movie has him trying to stop them in the guise of his little girl persona.  As for how Xavier gets freed from Jason’s mind-control, that’s handled in different ways.  The film has Storm summoning a blizzard in the room, which weakens his grasp on Professor X, while the comic has Ororo’s yelling enough to snap Xavier out of it.  Before we continue, I’ll even mention Magneto taking William’s helicopter in order to escape.  His dialogue here is mainly the same as in the movie before he manipulates the chains on Stryker, which looks more dynamic in the adaptation.  Just as he and Raven are about to take off, Pyro makes himself known by standing out in the open, which gets their attention in the film, which the comic has him yelling out to them.  Either way, he ultimately joins them.

X2 Movie Adaptation-Taking Off From Ground-Level Disaster!

Now, we have a major difference in terms of the X-Men’s escape.  The adaptation just has a single panel of the Blackbird flying off, while the compound is engulfed in a red, fiery and explosive ball.  As for the film, the whole team regroups and leaves, only to discover that William’s helicopter is gone.  Fortunately, Rogue flies the X-Jet and gets the group on board.  Before he gets on, Logan notices Stryker chained up to a slab as he discards his dog tags before heading back to the team.  Due to Marie’s rough landing however, the Blackbird is malfunctioning just as the dam finally bursts.  As such, Jean sneaks off and uses her psychic powers to save the group as her Phoenix side finally begins to emerge before she’s seemingly engulfed by the surge of water.

X2 Movie Adaptation-We Need To Talk, Mr. President!

We now have out final scene for this adaptation inside the White House.  Here, it’s only Professor X who approaches President McKenna prior to his speech and presents him a film containing evidence on how Stryker’s “manipulated us both”.  Here, Charles psychically freezes his staff and the camera crew during his speech before he and his X-Men present said file to him.  Xavier then tells him that he has an opportunity to have his speech be about humans and mutants uniting “to work together for a better future”.  Afterwards, there’s one last scene at the mansion where Professor X talks about Jean with Scott and Logan before his upcoming teaching session.  From there, the movie ends at Alkali Lake with Grey repeating Charles’ mutation speech while the familiar shape of the Phoenix begins to take shape from within the water.

X-Men First Class-The High Hand!

Before I wrap this up, allow me to throw in a bonus for the overall film series.  Believe it or not, there was one more tie-in comic within the grand scope of this film series that I discovered while I was prepping for this two-part review series.  While the first two entries of the combined series and the original line of X-Men films had their fair share of material, there was one last comic (albeit digital and as a Blu-Ray bonus feature) left that served as a prequel to the inaugural entry of the “Beginnings” timeline.  Not only that, but its development dates all of the way back to 2003.  That’s right, back when X2 made its way to theaters!  Needless to say, it was the series’ constant producer Lauren Shuler Donner who came up with the idea of a film that focused on a younger version of the team.  Throughout the next several years, the movie’s story would be penned by Sheldon Turner and Bryan Singer, the latter of whom initially intended on returning to the director’s chair in 2009.  However, he had to bow out due to his directorial commitment to “Jack The Giant Slayer”, though he would stay on as a producer.  Matthew Vaughn, who was originally a directorial candidate for both the first X-Men movie as well as “Last Stand” (the latter of which he ultimately had to bow out due to the studio-imposed deadlines toward making the movie) and whom just directed his own comic book film with 2010’s “Kick-@$$” (because I’m a classy kind of guy on my site), would ultimately get the position and even helped write the screenplay with Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman.  Debuting on May 25, 2011 for its NYC premiere before getting its general U.S. release on June 3, “X-Men: First Class” ultimately grossed over $352 million against its $160 million budget and was met with positive reviews.  Needless to say, the movie’s Blu-Ray came with this particular prequel tale called “X-Men: First Class-The High Hand”, written by Matthew Cody, drawn by Bong Dazo and inked by Nelson DeCastro & Victor Olazaba.  Before Charles & Erik ever met each other in order to form the famed school and clash with their beliefs on mutant rights, how did our main leader obtain the final core member of his brethren?  Let’s swing back to the Silver Age and find out!

We open in 1959 at a Las Vegas-based establishment called the Hellfire Club where a mob boss named Vinny Lavecchia is engaged in a Poker session with the building’s owner named Sebastian Shaw during a private party.  Shaw has just prevailed with their last game as he casually prepares for another round, but Vinny exclaims that everyone else on the strip usually let him win, especially since he considers himself “a blessed man”.  From there, his female partner named Emma Frost comes over and sits beside him before he tells Sebastian that he doesn’t understand “how things are done on the strip”, yet Shaw confidently asks to be educated about said matter.  It turns out that Vinny regularly collects insurance money from his “friends and neighbors” upon the strip.  Not only has Sebastian refused to pay him, but he’s also withholding information regarding his dealings with Colonel Hendry.  As such, Emma helps Lavecchia out and attempts to read Shaw’s mind.  However, he’s aware and withstands the mental probe as he psychically asks her if she found “anything unexpected”.  This startles her as she accidentally spills her drink on Vinny as Sebastian still refuses to either pay up or share the details of his shady deal.  While all of this is going on, a pair of Lavecchia’s henchmen manage to take out the lone guy guarding Shaw’s office in order to plant a bomb there.

Vinny angrily tells Sebastian that he’ll be sorry before taking his leave, with his right-hand man Santo helping the drunken Emma out and his bomb-planting goons hastily heading out.  Afterwards, Lavecchia learns that the bomb was planted before ordering his men to chain up the entrance and make sure that no one escapes.  While Shaw casually talks about his admiration for Frost to his right-hand man named Janos Quested a.k.a. Riptide prior to noticing that his office door is open, Vinny’s henchmen manage to lock up the main doors and even douse the building in gasoline.  While they do hear an explosion, they’re surprised to see that it was minor.  Meanwhile, Vinny is driving off with Emma as he asks her if she was too drunk to properly read his adversary’s mind, to which she says that she did scan his thoughts, as well as his men and claims that they’re “already dead”.  Back at the club, the front doors get blasted open from the inside as Lavecchia’s goons discover that Sebastian is still alive before they open fire on him.  Unfortunately for them, Shaw had absorbed the bomb blast as he easily absorbs the fired bullets’ energy and redirects it back at them.  Riptide even gets in on the action as he defeats the remaining henchmen with his own self-created whirlwinds.  Afterwards, Sebastian tells him to smother the fires within the club and then get in contact with their fellow comrade Azazel before they head out to take care of the opposing crime boss.

Later that night over at his compound, Vinny learns from Emma that Shaw is a mutant like her before he demands to know why she’s revealing this detail now.  She says that she panicked, due to the fact that Sebastian was the first mutant that she’s ever come across.  Lavecchia then asks her what Shaw is after, to which she says that he’s after her.  Vinny says that he’s unwilling to give her up, since she’s a major reason why he became the state’s youngest crime boss.  As such, he asks her what she saw within Sebastian’s head in order to exploit any possible weakness.  Later, Shaw’s group begins their assault on the mansion as Azazel teleports in and easily slashes the opposing bodyguards.  Riptide comes in and helps him out, even defending his comrade from a discreet sniper.  From there, Sebastian strolls into the house.  However, Lavecchia was ready as Frost psychically subdues Shaw before Vinny covers his face with some chloroform, causing him to pass out.

Sometime later, he wakes up within a warehouse across town as Lavecchia says that he’s going to deliver a lethal message to him.  He then tells Sebastian that his right-hand man Santo originally wanted to rough him up, but Emma said that he would just absorb the punches’ kinetic energy and use it against them.  Instead, Vinny intends on slowly cutting him up as vengeance for his slained henchmen.  Shaw then tells Frost that Lavecchia and his men are unreasonably, lowly humans compared to them and that she shouldn’t have to suppress her power to Vinny’s needs.  Lavecchia tells him to knock it off and that he’s not taking his girlfriend away from him.  Emma exclaims that she wants to hear more from Sebastian since she’s never met another mutant like her, but then Vinny holds her up at knife point.  Santo steps in to calm his boss down, but Lavecchia refuses to do so as he tells him that he’s noticed his own desire for her.  Shaw then tells her that she doesn’t belong to her mob boss boyfriend, which enrages Vinny enough to slap her.  As Sebastian tells her that she’s “no one’s property” and that “she’s a queen”, Lavecchia attempts to slap her again.  However, Frost had turned her body into crystal as he easily withstands the hit.  Vinny then attempts to shoot her, but she’s also impervious in said form before she snaps in neck in retaliation.  Santo tries to plead that he’s always looked out for her, but Emma that he never bothered to intervene when Lavecchia abused her.  As such, she throws him into the car’s windshield.  Just as Azazel and Riptide finally arrive, Shaw tells Frost that her defensive action came from what she always was before telling her to forget about Vinny or any other human, since she’s earned her place within his group.  As Emma shifts out of her crystal form, the comic ends with Azazel telling Sebastian that she could potentially become far powerful than them.  Despite that, Shaw tells him to contact their Soviet comrades in order to prep him a mind-protecting helmet and that his group finally has their own “queen”.

X2 Cover Shot!

Overall, X2’s various pieces of tie-in materials bring some fairly interesting flavors to its cinematic entry.  Wolverine’s prequel tale delivers a fun expansion on his initial journey to Alkali Lake, especially since it gives some sense of conclusion towards Sabretooth.  It presents their fiercest fight of all (at least from what we’ve seen from this particular universe thus far, if we only count the first film and this), while it hints at the retroactive backstory to come for Victor.  As such, it allows James to see a former, yet fierce foe who relates to him with similar amnesia-stricken pasts.  We learn that Creed would’ve had a better chance at getting some much-needed help towards wrapping his head around his past beyond the previous five years had Erik and his devious plans from the previous film not been interfered.  When Logan is skeptical about Victor ever being a noble and righteous figure before he became a part of the same Weapon X program that he was in, it does set up a foreshadowing bit from Magneto in the film (and possibly a revelation within “Last Stand”) when Sabretooth attempts to make James question Charles’ honest truthfulness when he asks him what Xavier said in order to get him on his side.  It would have been nice if definite parts of Creed’s backstory would’ve been fleshed out here or if he was allowed to return in the third entry.  Yes, I’m aware that the much-maligned “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” does show him as a part of Logan’s development, as well as their early rivalry.  However, that story wasn’t made yet and it didn’t exactly fill in some satisfying details that were necessary for the first entry and here.  The inclusion of Stryker’s forces here was also nice in furthering the connection between James & Victor, as well as presenting William as an ominous presence that he’ll become for our featured mutants, especially since this comic never reveals his face.  The artwork helps to boost the story with its muted colors for the wilderness of Alberta, creating the isolationism that Wolverine and Sabretooth have in attempting to recall their history, as well as having to depend on each other in order to fend off their governmental pursuers.  It’s definitely a compelling tale, since it expands on Logan’s connection with Victor and helps in bringing a better semblance of their comic book-based rivalry.  While more background could have been covered (especially for Victor), their situation provides a credible tale with some nice fights throughout and a general idea of the militaristic force that’ll be looming over the sophomore outing to present a good side-story for this movie.  In terms of Nightcrawler’s prequel tale, it’s more of a presentation of his personal faith being challenged by outside forces.  The opening scene in the circus does give a small hint at the relationship that Kurt and Amanda may have pursued had several factors not intervened, ranging from Stryker & his cohorts to Amanda’s initial denial of romantic feelings for her mutant performer.  While she and her mother mainly just evaluate their own emotional vibes towards Wagner, he goes on his own personal descent into Hell as Norris takes personal joy in tormenting him through physical restraint.  Kurt is forced to endure this enslaving hardship, even having his faith in God get opposed.  Norris goes first on that frontline, due to his harshly bigoted view of him as nothing more than a mutated demon.  William then nudges him further down his tormented rabbit hole with his offer to get back at Norris, even exclaiming how mankind has been willing to slay others in God’s name.  Later, Norris delivers the final crippling emotional blow when he convinces Wagner that Amanda never truly loved him.  As such, his personal rock-bottom begins when he allows Stryker to take control of him and become his personal weapon of militaristic might & agenda.  This all makes sense when he finally shows up in the film following his blind attack upon Norris.  If not for a timely interruption from one of President McKenna’s wounded agents, then he would have forever stayed as a mutant without any self-personality and be forever branded as the shining figure of humanity’s permanent hatred towards mutants.  Sure, he stays in his worrisome state following said incident until Jean and Storm come along to set him on his path of self-redemption, but at least the comic succeeds in giving Kurt a dreaded pit that he’ll spend his entire cinematic outing climbing out of.  In terms of some other characters, there’s the surprise appearance of Lady Deathstrike.  While Wagner is on his way towards his lowest point and eventual rebound, Yuriko has been broken physically and ultimately mentally.  Because she survived the Bonding Process and her retractable nails have been fitted with Adamantium, William will go on to use her as his permanent replacement to both Wolverine and Sabretooth.  Not only that, but she’s under Stryker’s control throughout the whole film and thus is unable to act too much under her own power.  If you’ve seen the movie, then the only times that she displays her own emotions is when the newly-captured Xavier is talking to Stryker, which she’s her slowly regaining her own self-thought before William subdues her with his mesmeric serum.  The other time is when she fights Wolverine, from the scratches and hits that she takes to the strikes that she dishes out.  A big example is after Logan initially stabs both of his claws into her gut after scratching her face, to which her Healing Factor kicks in and then she positions herself to kick him in the face.  It’s only fitting that she becomes the opposite of the two mutants who would get prequel comics for this movie.  Logan and Kurt broke free from a corrupt governmental program intended to use their mutant power for their own use before being met upon by representatives of Charles’ team, where they’re able to be among those who’re able to use their powers for the betterment of mutant-kind.  On the other hand, Yuriko is suppressed under Stryker’s thumb into being his right-hand woman for the duration of the mission.  Finally, there’s Amanda and Margali.  They represent the noble potential and the sad, mild bigotry of humankind’s nature towards mutants.  Sadly, they don’t get to do anything outside of this, yet both get to share the shades of their own love/hate relationship with Kurt.  Sure, they mainly explain it all instead of using this medium to show examples of their past history with him, but I do give credit for attempting to give them some kind of dimension, especially given that this comic is the only time that we ever see them.  In the end, Kurt’s tale is a decent set-up for his own redemption, even though he doesn’t do too much in the movie.  It still comes with colorful artwork, decent pacing and some emotional weight for Wagner once he reaches the film.  For what it is, it’s a nice tale worth checking out.  As for the comic adaptation, it mostly follows the film’s plot.  For the most part, it does truncate some scenes and as a result, it ends up leaving particular points from the movie.  Notably excluded plot details include Jean’s burgeoning Phoenix power, Charles’ book-ending moment of psychically freezing a group of people in order to converse with someone, Jean & Storm’s conversation with Nightcrawler following their initial church encounter, Kurt’s set-up & payoff conversation with Ororo about faith and Mystique injecting a passed out Mitchell Laurio with liquid iron in order to help Magneto escape.  It also adds a few things that don’t really add much to the story, such as Scott & Jean’s last meeting before they each depart for their particular tasks, Wolverine’s anger management session in the Danger Room and Logan & his runaway company also having several of their students with them.  However, the art does help in preserving several of the movie’s notable scenes, presenting them very nicely.  While the omition and addition of certain scenes may distract from the pacing, it never gets severely bogged down.  It also preserves William Stryker’s motives for wanting to cause mutant genocide since just like his original fanatical reverend self, he’s come to see mutation as an abomination to humankind.  As for the comic leaving out the whole foreshadow arc where Jean’s Phoenix powers are coming into fruition, it’s most likely to save that surprise ending exclusively for the movie theaters.  Either way, it’s a pleasant read that shouldn’t be distracting with its differences and will give a good idea of what went down in this sophomore entry as it gives its readers a likable cast of characters, stand-out action and a neat story throughout.  While it’s a bit lacking compared to its theatrical counterpart, it’s still worth checking out.  Finally, we have our First Class prequel.  It was completely unexpected to me and didn’t necessarily need to be told, but it does give the Hellfire Club a proper beginning to their eventual rise of villainous power.  Sebastian Shaw is confident throughout the venture, especially since he has a pair of moments that allows him to demonstrate why he’s an intimidating leader of the group.  Not only does his energy-absorption ability demonstrate how much of a worthy challenge that he would become for the film, his persuasive talk with Emma Frost in order to convince her into joining his team makes sense, especially when he ultimately sways Angel Salvadore towards his side during the movie.  Azazel and Riptide get their moments to show off their own mutant powers, while Emma ultimate decides to stand up for herself against Vinny, who only saw her as his useful, yet pleasurable lady.  It’s a quick little tale, but it’s precise, has more modern-looking artwork that looks really good and presents our central villains as a precise force to be reckoned with when Charles, Erik, Raven and their initial X-Men ultimately goes up against them.  While more could have been done to see how Shaw, Azazel and Riptide met each other before recruiting Emma, they’re still very competent throughout this tale and it’s ultimately worth reading.  In conclusion, 20th Century Fox’s signature superhero series will always hold a special place in my heart.  It helped restore faith in films based on comic books and presented its own memorable moments for its numerous characters throughout its various entries.  Sure, its continuity is far from tight-knit and a couple of its entries can be puzzling with how they were ultimately executed, but I grew up with these various adventures and became fond of the highs, lows and mutant-filled middles that came from this series.  As time goes on and we ultimately head out to see how Marvel Studios will handle our merry mutants, these particular movies and their numerous tie-in comics are always worth revisiting within the comforts of your very own Danger Room.

X-Men (created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby) is owned by Marvel Comics.


By coolcomix0221

Love Comics, Video Games, and Sports. Aim To Become a Sports Writer.

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