Past Features

Turning Off The TV #22: X-Men

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Welcome to my regular Thursday feature, Turning off the TV! In this feature I recommend books similar to TV shows or films you may have enjoyed, both series and specific episodes.

The film this week is: X-Men.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The X-Men film series is set in an alternate universe, where some people are born with superpowers. These people are known as ‘mutants’, and are often misunderstood and frequently mistrusted by ‘normal’ humans. The films follow the students and teachers of Xavier’s Institute for Gifted Youngsters, founded by Charles Xavier aka Professor X, as well as Professor X’s former friend and now adversary, Erik Lensherr, aka Magneto.

This doesn’t cover one particular film, but the series as a whole. And no, of course I didn’t pick the First Class poster just so I could have a certain Irish-German gentleman on my blog… I’m doing something a little different this time, and recommending my favourite X-Men comics, rather than novels people might enjoy if they liked X-Men. It just feels a bit silly when there are hundreds and hundreds of different storylines and arcs involving our favourite mutants. I just want to emphasise that all Marvel comics I have read have been out of order, and I’ve never had any issues following storylines. So if that’s a worry to you when starting any of these, it shouldn’t be!

Ultimate X-Men: Volume 1 by Mark Millar Geoff Johns

Ultimate X-Men, Volume 1

The Ultimate X-Men series is a modernised re-imagining of the X-Men, and Ultimate X-Men: Volume 1 by Mark Millar collects the first year of these comics. The team consists of Professor X, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Iceman, with Storm and Colossus as new additions from the original 1960s line-up. There have been several artists and story writers working on the ‘Ultimate X-Men’ series, which ran for eight years, from 2001-2009. I can only comment on this particular volume but I’d definitely recommend it as a good place to start, especially if you want some more modern-looking art.

Uncanny X-Men: Divided We Stand by Ed Brubaker & Mike Choi

Uncanny X-Men: Divided We Stand

The Uncanny X-Men storyline is the longest running arc of the X-Men series (since 1963), and Uncanny X-Men: Divided We Stand by Ed Brubaker and Mike Choi is one of my favourites of the series so far. It features Cyclops and Emma Frost as the leaders of the Xavier Institute. They’re called to San Francisco by Archangel, who has discovered something very strange – part of the city seems to be stuck in the 1960s! I really loved all the 60s fashion and colours of this one, and it was a pretty fun storyline. There is also a small arc with Nightcrawler (*BAMF!*), Wolverine and Colossus travelling through Russia.

X-Men: Worlds Apart by Christopher Yost & Diogenes Neves

X-Men: Worlds Apart

X-Men: Worlds Apart by Christopher Yost and Diogenes Neves is different from the other X-Men books I’ve read, in that it follows Storm, and Storm only. It’s always fun when characters that don’t normally get their own spin-off books get them, because it allows the reader to learn much more about their personality, origin story etc. Wolverine gets plenty of his own stories and I’m getting a bit bored of him to be honest… I’m not so big on the art style in this one, but I liked the story. Storm is Queen of Wakanda and married to the Black Panther, and sets out to investigate a mysterious murder. It was great to finally meet the Black Panther, who I’d only ever heard about!

Are you a fan of X-Men? Do you have any recommendations to add? Are there any other TV shows or films you’d like me to cover?

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11 thoughts on “Turning Off The TV #22: X-Men”

  1. There are so many good X-Men stories! I’m reading a mix of current storylines with stuff from the late 80s/early 90s at the moment and it’s amazing how much storytelling has changed. Have you read Wolverine and the X-Men? That’s been my favourite X-title lately (apart from Deadpool, because Deadpool is always awesome).

    1. I know, there’s got to be something for everyone, right? And I totally forgot to include Marvel 1602… maybe in a future post 😉

      I haven’t read that specific one, no. And I read a standalone Deadpool book and couldn’t finish it, which bugged me cos I love Deadpool too! 😦

  2. Out of all the superhero films, X-Men has always been my favorite (even before Fassbender! Although I’m thinking Guardians of the Galaxy might give them a run for their money!) But I haven’t read any of the comics! I mean I’m not much of a comic reader, but it would be interesting to see how the characters are developed through the comics. Thank you for these recommendations – there are so many comics it is very hard to know where to start!

    1. Same! 🙂 I can’t wait to see Guardians, it looks amazing.

      The characters are pretty different, but then again there’s so many different storylines and they’re all different within each storyline too 😛

  3. I have the Days of Future Past graphic novel on my wishlist, although apparently it’s quite different. It’s not Wolverine that goes back – I think it’s Kitty instead?

    I think X-Men is one of the most difficult comic series to follow – there’s so many people who all intersect, then there’s the thing with the Sentinels and then there’s the war with X-Men v the rest of the Marvel Universe (or maybe just the Avengers? I can’t remember).

    I always wanted somebody to write actual prose books of these. Not that I don’t enjoy the graphic novels, but I think it would be interesting.

    1. Yep, Kitty goes back in the original comic 🙂 They changed it to Wolverine because he’s a much bigger character than Kitty in the film franchise, who only appeared in the third film which many agree to be the worst of the lot D: I guess they gave her the power to send people back so she still had some tie to the story.

      Yes! There’s X-Men vs. Guardians of the Galaxy now too! But yeah, it can be confusing. I think if you pick up Uncanny X-Men, you can’t expect it to be anything like Ultimate X-Men etc, so just forget who is dating who, who is a baddie and who’s a goodie, and you’ll be fine 😛

      Ooh, that would! I’m kind of surprised there haven’t been novelisations of the film – but maybe that isn’t a done thing any more? I haven’t seen any film novelisations for a while actually…

      1. And it helps that Hugh Jackman is infinitely more attractive 😉

        Oh, I know. I’m used to the Spiderman comics, where there’s Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-man, Spectacular Spider-Man… and they all have different girlfriends, plotlines etc. Not to mention Future Foundation where he’s part of the Fantastic Four! Somehow.

        That’s true, I haven’t seen any either. I always like the idea of novelisations but they never seem to be very well written, do they?

      2. Haha 🙂

        Yeah, I’ve only read one Spider-Man comic, and that was Amazing Spider-man. He was engaged to Mary-Jane in that one I think. But then there’s ones where he’s with her, ones where he’s with Gwen Stacey, then at one point he hooks up with Kitty Pryde (at least in one of the X-Men comics I’ve read).

        No, sadly not. I do remember loving The Phantom Menace novelisation, but I was 8 or 9 at the time – it was written by Terry Brooks though!

  4. I was going to buy a copy of some Uncanny X-Men comic earlier today when I went to WH Smith, but I wasn’t sure if it was a good place to start or not. It was the first issue of a new series or something (arc? I don’t even know what to call it), but I thought I should do some research before buying anything XD

    1. There are LOADS of Uncanny X-Men ones, since it’s the original series, but if it’s the first in a new arc I think you’d get to grips with it quickly! They’d have to set out the relationships early on because they change alllll the time 😛

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