Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘x-men

A Thought

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Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about super heroes, which probably doesn’t shock anyone out there. But I’ve come to a conclusion about my thoughts. I want to write something that is super hero based and see where it takes me. I have always been interested in them. Why shouldn’t I at least pay tribute to this in writing?

Now, I know that I am another fanboy thinking about writing about something that he loves. I am not under any delusion that what I write is going to be amazing. But I think that it will be interesting and will be something for me.

Now to my idea. My thought is about what happens to some of the B-list superheroes after they have become older. What happens to them when the only ones who remember their names are the ones that seem to still try to get to them for past transgressions? I would want to deal centrally around characters that people don’t necessarily know. Now, given, some of them will have to be known because for an off character to exist there has to be some notable around them.

As much as I don’t really like him, I am pondering using Quicksilver from the X-Men/X-Factor as my central character. I would make him older somehow whether this be by natural aging or because he has an unstable molecular structure due to his “superspeed’ tendencies. I would want to develop this idea out, but in my head, I already have a villain and motivations as to why this idea might work.

I will continue to keep toying with this in my mind. There are still a lot of variables to negotiate, but I’m going to try to put something together really soon.

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Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 11, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Practical Superpowers

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If superpowers did exist and we as humans were lucky enough to develop them, it would be interesting to see what would happen. Now, I’m not just talking about the idea that people wouldn’t be able to control them (because let’s face it that has been done to death, we know we couldn’t really handle them, and that’s not the idea behind this post). I’m talking about what I might do if I had super powers and no one else did. I think that I would find a usage for them to enhance my standings while staying out of the Super Hero business. Enter the idea of practicality when it comes to powers. I think it could be ingenious if someone used their powers to benefit themselves and others, just not in the save the world kind of way.

–Super strength–a staple of super hero movies and comics. It seems to be one of the most common powers. For those who might not be familiar with the whole genre, this power would give you increased strength in all things. I think the most practical usage of this would be a moving company. I mean seriously think about it. A person who chose to use their powers in this way would not have to have anyone else to help them with the whole moving procedure…I mean sure you might want to have others for a front, but that would be up to the individual. You could get people moved in record time and get paid normal rates for all the blood, sweat and tears that you didn’t have to put into the job.

–Telepathy–The ability to read the minds of those around us. While this would be an annoying power to have (who wants to be able to read all the people’s minds around us…it’s unseemly), it too has its practical usage. Aside from being a fortune-teller and telling others what they want to hear, this power could be very useful. You are practically a human lie detector. People would pay you to have your input before big business deals and to determine if people were being completely honest with them. The drawback, if someone knows you have this power and doesn’t want their secrets spilled, you might find yourself in dire straights.

–Telekinesis–Probably one of the most versatile powers, it can be used to move or for many other facets of life…the usage of this power is pretty much up to the imagination of the person wielding it…so, if you want to be an acrobat, an explorer, etc. It could be handy in any pursuit…imagine if Indiana Jones had this or anyone you might think about.

–Weather manipulation–The ability to control the weather…in all of the comic book realm, I can only think of one person who has this power, and she is calm and composed all the time. Why? Because if she gets angry, sad, etc., she causes change in the weather…it’s a blessing and a curse of sorts. If I were going to think of a logical, non-super use of this power, it would have to be something like event planning. Think about it. How many people would be willing to pay thousands of dollars to not have it rain on their wedding day or to have snow for Christmas. Enter the weather goddess/god to suit their needs. The biggest downside I would see to this whole “create your own weather for any occasion” business would be that it would get the scrutiny of the government fairly quickly…which is a downer because they wouldn’t leave you alone….they would want to use you.

Sometimes, when my friends and I sit around discussing superpowers, we get into these kinds of discussions. I think it’s interesting to think of them with this sort of spin because really who wants to think about being a hero or a villain all the time. Why can’t we think of just normal people living normal lives with the aid of extraordinary powers?

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 26, 2010 at 12:37 am

My Favorite X-Men Villains

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If you’re familiar with my blog or with me on any level, it’s probably evident to you that I am a huge fan of X-Men comics, movies (well..some of the movies), etc. While I am a fan because of the heroic characters, would a comic book or super heroes be any good if they didn’t have villains? The answer is no because they are what makes the stories. If they weren’t there to be the foil of the hero, we would have a pretty boring story. They are what causes the conflict…and in a narrative, conflict is everything.

1) Omega Red–for some people, this may be a lesser known villain. However, he is the stuff of nightmares in my opinion. Made by the Soviet Government to be unstoppable, Omega Red is a serial killer turned super soldier. He is excessively durable and can tolerate radiation that would kill normal humans. This fact is partially caused by his carbinadium tentacles. With them, he is able to absorb life-force and sustain his immune system (as a result of the carbinadium, he is poisoned). He mainly appears in conjunction with Wolverine’s story arc because the Weapon X program entrapped him in ice years ago. Why do I like him? Simply because he freaks me out. He is almost unstoppable…when the X-Men have had to take him on, the best they can normally do is imprison him (which if held against the Captain America story, means he could live indefinitely in his frozen state).

http://marvel.wikia.com/Arkady_Gregorivich_(Earth-616)

2) Apocalypse–Probably one of the most know über villains in the Marvel-verse, Apocalypse, also known as En Sabah Nur, is the first true mutant to ever walk the Earth…and continues to do so 5000 years after his birth in Egypt. Being nearly indestructible, immortal, and almost omnipotent, he is a handful to deal with in the realm of X-Men. Why? Because he has his hand in most everything that goes on in the world. He is capable of passing the ages through the usage of his Lazarus Chamber which keeps him eternally youthful.  He is probably the most consistent villain of X-Men because he is eternal and his brand of evil does not change. If you combine this with his name meaning the end of the world and the fact that he has worshippers all over the world (hence more chambers) and horsemen who are at his call, he is probably one of the scariest mutants in Marvel.

http://marvel.wikia.com/En_Sabah_Nur_(Earth-616)

3) Mr. Sinister–Corny name aside, Mr. Sinister is the worst of the worst in the X-Man Universe. Once know as the Victorian Geneticist Nathaniel Essex, he is probably the most conniving and manipulative of the villains in the Marvel-verse. He is a very pragmatic and knows exactly what he wants. While Apocalypse is a genius, Sinister’s genius was worthy enough to be recognized by the might Apocalypse. With this genius in some continuities, he has (Spoiler Alert!) even killed the mighty En Sabah Nur. He was a contemporary of Darwin and saw that rapid mutation was possible. He also wanted to see how far this mutating could be taken…which led to some unorthodox experimentation. Why do I think he is the best villain of the X-Men? It is because he is pure evil…he pokes things just to see how they poke back and to understand how to “improve” his natural selection…he is not held down by morality….and thereby, has no scruples to keep him from truly being evil.

http://marvel.wikia.com/Nathaniel_Essex_(Earth-616)

Evil is a constant in the realm of super heroes, and every time it rears its ugly head, they knock it back down. These three villains are the cause of much turmoil within the pages of X-Men…Are there any in the X-Universe that you think are better? If so, who?

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

X-Men Movie Reboot

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I am an X-Men fan through and through. It’s probably fairly obvious from my previous posts about them and how much I mention them in articles that they seem very unrelated to. I love the X-Men because every character is messed up in some way or other. There are no “perfect” X-Men…each brings their own maladies and dysfunction to the group. This is the beauty of the series because everyone can find someone that they can attach themselves to whether it be a popular character like Wolverine or Gambit or less popular characters like Psylocke or Wolfsbane.

Recently, after hearing talks of them rebooting the Spiderman movie series, I heard that they might possibly be thinking about doing the same to the X-Men. Immediately, my heart pitter-pattered in my chest because I would love to see them produced as amazingly as the new Batman series perhaps. I think that the first two of the trilogy that are in existence now are good movies (we won’t speak of the third because although it was passable as a movie, it made fans of the series and comics go “WTF!” in the theaters…some of us just happen to be a little more vocal than others). They actually have a lot going for them to have such an extensive cast. However, there are also some parts that are just awful.

Good:

–Casting for the most part was fairly spot on. Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are amazing as the opposing leaders. Famke Janssen, Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Kelsey Grammar, Rebecca Romijin, and a few others were amazing in the parts they played…I have a few scruples about the age difference between Famke and James, but that didn’t bother me as bad as some other things.

–The storylines, although not mainstream X-Men plots, were not bad. The idea of changing world leaders into mutants and killing all mutants are both very logical and followable plots. They create a journey that both movies are able to follow to fruition.

–Effects–They didn’t overdo them which is amazing. With a super hero movie, it is the tendency of most directors and crew to try to be overly flashy with special effects….this was not the case with the first two movies. They relied on very limited effects and let the storyline/acting take the forefront of the movie.

–Directing. Bryan Singer was amazing at capturing the heart of the X-Men’s universe. He seemed to understand the drives and motivations of most of the characters…he seemed to really get the ideas and the heart of the comics.

Bad:

–Haley Berry and Anna Paquin–While both are good actresses in their own right, they were not the right people to play Storm and Rogue (respectably). Berry played Storm too hot-headedly. Storm is practically a goddess of the weather…she gets pissed the weather changes. This is why she is generally seen as a very stoic person in the comics…in the movies, Berry gets angry and shows a variety of emotions that would cause the weather to go all sorts bad. Paquin just doesn’t live up to my standards as a Rogue in my book. One, her accent is not great. Two, I don’t think that Rogue should have been that young (no fault of Paquin’s). Finally, Rogue is one of my favorite X-Men. She is nothing that I envisioned her to be (I’ll admit that I have a personal bias here).

–The third movie….or as I like to call it, Barry yells a stream of obscenities at the movie theater. It was awful from a purely X-Men nerd stand point. Why? Because they (and I place most of the blame with Brett Radner) completely destroyed a treasured storyline (the Phoenix Saga), they went against the internal motivations of characters (Magneto would have died saving Charles from Jean…Charles would have never transplanted himself into another body), they killed multiple main characters and screwed over even more (Cyclops is dead, Jean is dead, Xavier as we know him is dead, Magneto has weakened powers and Rogue has none…honestly, what is this)…This movie managed to make me wonder if it would have been better to stop at the second movie because then they would have at least ended on a good note…instead of on crap…also, I’m not even going to include X-Men Origins: Wolverine because it’s so far from the original comic line that I’m not even going to get started…

All in all, I think that if they did decided to reboot the series, I would not be hurt by it because I think there is room for improvement. I think that if they found someone with the right vision like they have for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight that this series has the potential to be AMAZING …and I’m not just saying that because I love the X-Men….or maybe I am…who knows?

Sequels: The Good, the Bad and the Mediocre

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In the realms of movies today, many sequels keep spawning in the recesses of the movie studios…some good…others not so good. Why is this happening? It’s because people are taking to heart the concept that there are no new ideas in the world. Rather, we as humans are simply reinventing old concepts for the newer world. While I do think that there is some relevance to the whole no new ideas concept, I still think that there are some fairly clever writers out there that can think up something better than such gems as Step Up 2, The Ring 2, etc. Each of these movies have several things that make them poor sequels.

1. The whole idea of a sequel is pretty much saying that it isn’t going to be as good as the first. The reason for this is the idea that “we can’t think of anything else, so we’re going to make another one of these” mentality. In reality, a sequel should be bigger and better than its predecessor because we’re already introduce to the characters and therefore should be able to start with just the plot of the movie. Very few sequels actually seem to realize this. Most of them want to reveal the characters to us again…on the off chance that a sequel doesn’t use the same base characters or have them appear in the movie…to me, it is another movie. It should be named as such (i.e. Step Up 2…etc.). The idea behind a sequel is that it is a continuation of the former movie…the same title with new character thing doesn’t fly with me.

2. Sequels should either be continuing the plot from the previous movie or should contain a plot complete and entirely to itself. Don’t try to rehash the same plot with a different antagonist…it’s irritating to be watching the same movie with a different villain (I’m sure many of you out there will agree).

3. For the love of God, Subtitle your sequels or change the title!!! I don’t think I have ever seen a sequel that didn’t have a subtitle which was any good…think the Step Up movies, Save the Last Dance, and others…the fact is that if they didn’t give it enough thought to give it a little something extra very rarely will it be any good (however, there are always exceptions to this ideology).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that all sequels are shit because that’s not true. I’m just saying that a vast majority of them are…for ever Diehard franchise there is a Speed…for every good there is a bad. The title of this blog is even based on a movie trilogy which is excellent. It’s Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” trilogy which includes A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. These movies were brilliant and carried over a character as part of the continuity…they are well-made sequels. However, the writer and director of the films had a clear, artistic vision of where they wanted to go with these films…most sequels made today are just created as a cash cow.

Anti-Heroes and the New World

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In the scope of the past several hundred years, we have changed from a heroic society to one that values the anti-heroes. We long to see more of them. Why one might ask? Well, the answer is very intriguing and complex yet simple.

1. They’re cooler. Sure most people’s hearts swell when the knight in shining armor gets his princess…but really, after the first 500 times you see this event occur, it gets kind of stagnant and boring. The Anti-Hero, on the other hand, is more intriguing because most of them are not out to prove their greatness by saving a damsel in distress. Usually, these characters have agendas that lie in their past. Some are attempting to atone for the terrors they were before, while others are simply trying to make it in a world where there are no bad guys in black cowboy hats and good guys in white. They are the gray area…

2. The gray area…since most of us do not fall into the “pure good” or “pure evil” sections of humanity, it stands to reason that we fall into the gray area…that is the area that is somewhere between “good” and “evil”…the majority of people fall into this category because we are innately good and evil at the same time…mind blowing idea there right…but think about it. We do some good things and some not so good things (not necessarily evil)…it stands to reason that we don’t want heroes that are the pinnacle of perfection…we want someone who is a little more flawed…think of Wolverine over Cyclops…Lestat over Louis…and many more…

3. With the tendency to have a moral compass that does not always point north, their stories have much more room for complications than those of the “good” hero. Think about it…the “good” hero (or G. H. as I will call him) is effected by outside forces: evil queens, dragons, disease, etc. A G.H. generally has no internal conflict that could make him stray from his task at hand…he generally stays within the realm of “goodness” to achieve his goals…The Anti-Hero is a little more morally ambiguous. He will go to lengths that the G. H. will not go to to see his goals come to fruition. These heroes often wander about and go onto tangents to help better themselves or discover a great truth…eventually, they will arrive at the end of their journey, yet they might not have a princess to save any more (thanks to those G. H.s out there.)…

4. Anti-Heroes generally don’t give a crap about what those around them perceive them to be. G. H.s want to be seen as good and virtuous. They sport the “shining armor” and go off  to slay dragons at risk of life and limb…Anti-Heroes usually have a whatever attitude that makes them more likable because let’s face it sometimes chivalry is not all it’s cracked up to be…the Anti-Hero is just more open about this than the G. H…

Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Favorite Characters in X-Men

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In the X-Men comic book, there is a variety of characters that people pick favorites from. While most people invariably pick characters that are popular or more visible, the fact is that there are many out there that are way cooler than the Wolverines and Gambits.

I like several characters for many different reasons. I will be honest with you. I despise Wolverine and could care less for Gambit…they both have the same kind of demeanour and attitude, and their brand of person does not interest me. I am by far more interested in some of the characters who seem slightly off kilter…

1. Rogue…I don’t know what it is about her that makes me like her character so much. I think part of it might be the infinite possibility of power she has. She could potentially drain every other mutant’s power to become all powerful. This is how she gained her “secondary” mutations of super strength, flight and near invincibility. She drained Miss Marvel (Carol Danvers) of her powers. This draining of abilities also has consequences that she must deal with. Not only does she gain the powers of a person, she also absorbs their minds or life-force if you will. This mind-sucking of Carol Danvers almost makes her go crazy because there are 2 mentalities trapped in one body. Her character intrigues me.

2. Mr. Sinister. Aside from the name which is a little silly (comic book cliché name), he is by far one of the best villains in the Marvelverse. Why you might ask? It’s because his mind and set of skills make him  more diabolical and unpredictable than any of the other “evils”. He is a puppet master moving quantities of people together so that he can conquer them. He also believes in the idea of the “enemy of mine enemy is my friend” as seen by him teaming up with very unlikely allies throughout the course of the X-istence. He, who was a contemporary of Darwin, is the ultimate example of natural selection because he naturally selects the abilities and properties to enhance himself.

3. Psylocke. She is probably the least known character that I will speak about. She is an art thief with psychic powers. She doesn’t really have a lot of affiliations early on, but later, she becomes a member of the X-Men. Her psychic abilities being interestingly presented and her tale of body swapping are what I like about her. She is able to project psybolts to stun enemies and others. She also is able to yield a psychic knife or a katana to help fight her enemies. Her fighting skills are unparalleled which makes her even more dangerous.

So, there you have it. Those are my top there…there are many more that could have made the list (like Jean Grey and others), but these are probably the ones that intrigue me (yes I know that I use the word intrigue a lot). Feel free to agree or disagree. These characters are the best to me.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm