Krakoa Cometh: Examining the Birth of the X-Men’s Mutant Utopia

I’m fascinated by utopias.  Thomas More’s 1516 novel Utopia coined this term for a perfect society.  In the book, More explores the politics, religion, and culture of an ideal island nation.  I’ll never forget learning More created “utopia” from the Greek words eu-topos, which means “a good place,” and ou-topos, meaning “no place.”  The text was satire and the name a pun.  That blew my mind…and made me a little sad as it inherently implies such a good place may not be possible.  Part of what fascinates me about utopias is how little (comparatively) we envision them in our art.  Scores of dystopias fill our films, TV shows, comics, and novels.  It feels like we’re always imagining our end.  But what a perfect society looks like?  How it functions?  We don’t create those as often nor celebrate them when we do (remember George Clooney’s Tomorrowland? …that’s my point).  When it comes to the Marvel Universe, Wakanda has always been the shining example of a perfect society.  But when writer Jonathan Hickman was given the keys to the X-kingdom in 2019, Marvel’s mutants settled on the living island Krakoa (a mutant itself), creating an independent nation and new utopia in the MU.  As Thomas More did 500 years before, Hickman’s Krakoa gives readers a good place which invites us to consider whether no place like this will ever exist…and it got me hooked on reading and thinking about the X-Men again for the first time in twenty-five years!

Continue reading

A.X.E.: Judgment Day – Seeking a Plan for the End of the World

Unexpectedly, I can’t stop thinking about Kieron Gillen (writer) and Valerio Schiti (artist)’s A.X.E.: Judgement Day.  It’s unexpected because, while I love Gillen as a writer and adore Schiti’s art, of the three teams involved, I only regularly read Avengers.  I often avoid team books (as they lead to lots of tie-ins) but I read Avengers because I’ll read anything Jason Aaron writes.  However, I didn’t expect this story to connect to his run (and it didn’t).  Then, while I feel Eternals is the most gorgeously shot Marvel movie yet, I’ve never read any Eternals comics – now or in my youth.  Lastly, I LOVED the X-Men as a kid but I’ve really struggled to find a story to pull me back into the mutant world since returning to reading comics in 2015.  I dropped X-Men: Gold (Vol. 2) by issue #6.  I dug X-Men: Red (Vol. 1) but the run ended before I knew it existed.  I’ve tried to read Jonathan Hickman’s House of X and Powers of X twice but lost interest a few issues in each time.  Maybe I can’t go home again with the X-Men :/.  So, I was intrigued by the idea but didn’t expect this story to really grab me.  OH MY GOSH WAS I WRONG.  I’ve read it twice (once as it came out monthly and then all at once) and can’t stop thinking about what I’d do if I knew the world was going to end tomorrow.  See??  How can a story with a hook like that not captivate me?!?

Continue reading

How to Top Thanos Vol. 2 – Onslaught

The first eleven years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe held twenty-two films all leading up the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy’s battle with Thanos and his Black Order, as the fate of creation hung in the balance.  It was a story built with patience and care and the conclusion in Avengers: Endgame, while not without faults, was brilliantly crafted.  But the MCU didn’t end there.  No, Phase Four is rolling and one of many questions to consider is…which villain comes next?  Who can possibly follow Thanos??  My guess?  Onslaught.  BOOM. Continue reading

X-Men Gold: Will We Seek the Original Over the Familiar?

The idea of X-Men Gold and the whole “Resurrection” (I refuse to spell it with that stupid “X” – I get what you were going for Marvel but it’s dumb and I’m not playing) reboot seemed pretty exciting.  After years on the periphery of relevance, Marvel was returning the X-Men to the spotlight.  They were going to be battling super villains!  Teaching new mutants!  Symbolizing those rejected by society as they fought to protect a world that hated and feared them!!!  The tropes that made the X-Men a cultural juggernaut in the 80’s and 90’s were coming back baby!  X-Men Gold delivers wonderfully…but that’s all it seems to deliver.  In being so familiar at the expense of pushing new ideas, X-Men Gold has come to symbolize a major cultural problem for me. Continue reading

Logan: A Fitting End

By Nancy of Graphic Novelty²   (This article contains some spoilers.)

Already a fan of Wolverine, when I heard the movie Logan would be inspired in part by the outstanding graphic novel Old Man Logan I had to give it a go. The movie exceeded my expectations in every way! Continue reading

Reflections of Life: Logan

By Rob Wantz of My Side Of The Laundry Room  (Spoilers to Follow)

“The Wolverine (Gulogulo), a solitary animal, has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself.”

I don’t think a truer definition could be given to the character Logan, who goes by the alias of Wolverine. Continue reading

Logan – Elegy to an Era

After three viewings and two weeks, I’m finally ready to talk about Logan.  I had high expectations.  I tried to manage them but it was impossible!  Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for seventeen years.  He ushered in the modern era of cinematic superheroes.  I couldn’t keep my expectations for his swansong from growing.  The film was absolutely nothing like I expected but it was brilliantly executed.  Hugh Jackman and James Mangold delivered a finale that deeply moved me.  Fair warning, this post will be filled with spoilers.  It will also be filled with emotions! Continue reading

Logan: Ignoble Beginning to a Noble End

By Dave J. Suscheck     (Spoilers to follow)

The end of a story arc is always a tricky endeavor. Watching a once vital character struggle and decline into a gray-bearded, limping, and scarred shell wasn’t easy, but necessary. Hugh Jackman defined the character of Wolverine over eight movies that spanned seventeen years. That’s a lot of time to leave a mark, and the fact that it took that long to create a movie worthy of the Wolverine is a travesty and makes me wish there were more coming. That finality adds an extra weight to the movie. Continue reading

First Impressions: The X-Men

Of course I saw Logan over the weekend.  But I don’t want to write about it.  I can’t yet.  I need time to sit with the film, to let it move through my heart and mind until I reach the place where I feel I can write about it in a way that honors the experience.  However, I still have Wolverine and the X-Men on my mind.  So I’ve decided to take a little trip down Memory Lane and revisit the very first X-Men comic I ever read.  Ahh…the early 1990’s.  What a great time to meet Wolverine, Cyclops, and everyone else! Continue reading

Hugh Jackman and the Modern Cinematic Superhero

It was the summer of 2000.  I was just eighteen years old and on a two week trip with my high school Youth Group.  We piled into the church van and drove across country to Yellowstone, hiking every day and camping every night.  I saw some majestic sights.  I bought a literal sword (a rapier) in the “bargain cave” at a Cabella’s.  It was awesome!  As this adventure was unfolding, Bryan Singer’s X-Men was opening at movie theatres across the country.  With it, Hugh Jackman would usher in the age of the modern cinematic superhero with his iconic turn as Wolverine (it killed me that I couldn’t see it opening night, regardless of an awesome trip).  With Logan coming out this weekend I felt I had to offer my humble tribute to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  Continue reading