The summer officially kicks off this Friday with the first official blockbuster film of the season – X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And, as we both have nothing but love for Wolvie, what better way to prepare for the film’s release than talking a bit about our own experiences with the character?
That’s the name of the
culprit friend who introduced me to Geekdom: he lent me all of his X –Men comics collection, told me about something called Dungeons and Dragons and got me to watch this TV show called Married with Children of which he had every single episode taped.
I was 15 (or *gasp* 18 years ago) when I first noticed this new guy in my classroom back in high-school. I immediately realised we had something in common that distinguished us from the horde: we both sat in the back rows because we both spent the lessons…..reading. First let me tell why this connection is so important: generally speaking, Brazilians do not read. That’s even truer to high school kids. In fact when I was 14 I was called to the school’s psychologist’s office and was interrogated about my life back home: was everything ok? Were my parents getting along fine? Was I being bullied? Why was I called to her office you may ask? Because according to her, I read too much ergo I must be unhappy. Seriously, that is the sort of mentality I grew up with. But I digress.
Back to Skini and I: we both read a lot. But whereas I read books (mostly Egyptology books – I was in my archaeological phase) , Skini read comics. I was surprised as I had never heard of these comics he was reading: X-Men. When I was child I read a lot of comics – especially Brazilian ones like Turma da Monica’s but they were for children and I had stopped reading them when I was about 10.
Skini spoke highly and enthusiastically about the X-Men and one day, curiosity spiked, I asked if I could borrow them. Silence. I could see how precious these comics were to him and these days I understand WHY: he had every single issue of the X-Men since number 1. But he brought them to me, after telling me to take good care of them (or die). And he kept bringing batches of issues over the next months and I read them all. (memory flash: He also taught me to drive in his father’ s car and on my first lesson, I nearly drove the car into a tree. Come to think of it, I think Skini had a crush on me! OMG I was so clueless in high school).
The first issues of X-Men had this formation: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman and Angel.
I loved it, even though I wasn’t crazy about the heroes themselves. I mean, Angel and Beast were mostly OK but I was thought Cyclops was a bit lame. Then there was a clear break and then new stories with a new, better formation ( I learnt later that the comics had a publishing break for a few years back in the 70s): Cyclops, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Banshee (LOVED these two) plus Storm, some oldies like Jean Grey, Angel, Beast and this new character called Wolverine.
Dear lord, it was freaking love at first sight. The character was as Bolt’s Rhino would say: FULLY AWESOME !! *takes a deep breath*
He had cool powers: strength, healing factor and the adamantium–covered skeleton with retractable CLAWS that made him near indestructible which in turn, made him such a bad-ass who was first to run into danger and sometimes he behaves like a mental berserker even though he hates it because it reminds him of his animalistic tendencies but he has a soft side as well, especially when it came to women, form his paramours to his closest friends like Jubilee and Kitty Pride for example plus he was sort of mysterious, no one, not even him knew details of his past and and and he was sarcastic, was always teasing lame-ass Cyclops and FINALLY he was, even in his comic form HOT.
Like, so hot, that Wolverine , to this date, remains the one and only draw comic book character to have ever featured in an erotic dream of yours truly (does that constitute TMI, Thea?. Oh well, too late).
I devoured these comics – Skini had also Uncanny X-men issues, X-factor and the Wolverine solo comics. There were so many great stories in them: my favourites remain The Inferno Saga and The Dark Phoenix Saga. (And then in later issues, Gambit showed up to rival my love for Wolverine but that is subject for another post, I think).
It took me MONTHS to read all the issues he had and when I was done, I started to buy them myself (lots and lots of money spent here dudes. Like, lots) and only stopped one year later, in 1993 when the horrible, horrible Fatal Attractions Saga happened. That was when Magneto removed the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton.
That was one of the most painful things I have ever read in my life, I couldn’t cope with it and that was the very last X-Men issue I read (I later learnt that he regained his adamantium back 7 years later). I went on with life and to university and the X-Men remained part of my teenage years. When the animated series made an appearance in Brazilian TV, I watched a few episodes but was already too old to really enjoy them. And I never played the video-games.
But then, the movie came along and HE with it.
From that first scene in the cage, I thought: OMG this is Wolverine and everything started all over again. The two first movies were awesome (despite Hale Berry and the most stupid incarnation of Rogue ever, talk about Character assassination) (the third was a piece of crap I’d rather forget about ) and now I am of course, looking forward to Wolverine: Origins.
I mean this movie is ALL about Wolverine, plus it has Gambit in it.
My tickets are secured for Saturday and I will be sitting there hoping it will be a Great Movie (whilst rooting for a Gambit spin-off).
Bring it on!
My love affair with the X-Men in general (and Wolverine, Storm, Gambit and Rogue specifically) began when I was in the second grade, and I was introduced to a certain animated show. X-Men: The Animated Series was my first foray into the world of the X-Men, and from the first sweet synthesized notes of the opening credits, I was hooked.
(On a side note, how badass is this intro theme? It’s so badass that no words are needed. Just a sick tune and sweet character introductions)
I loved these cartoons. I had always been a Saturday morning cartoon kind of gal, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were my cornerstone, which is a fine series in its own right. But X-Men was fascinating, different, and frankly infuriating. It was the first show I ever watched that I HAD to tune in to the next week because the show had a definite continuity, and so many “to be continued…” episodes (anyone that has seen the cartoon knows you have to be there when it starts or you might miss the “Previously, on X-Men” rundown essential to the rest of the episode). I collected toys. Trading cards. We used to “play” X-Men on the playground (when we weren’t playing Captain Planet or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was always Storm, and I would freaking hate it when I had to be Jubilee. Occasionally I would get to be Beast, but I think this has more to do with the fact that I am a badass on the jungle gym. That’s right.).
Two men in particular caught my eye as freaking awesome: Wolverine and Gambit. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Cyclops, but there was always something about Wolverine that I liked. Maybe because he was a hothead with awesome claws, and I like hotheads and claws. Maybe because he was short and different looking than the tall Scott and Remy; maybe because he said ‘bub’ a lot and had a cool gravelly voice. All I know is that I could not get enough of him.
Three episodes in particular sealed my love for Logan:
Out of the Past – Where Wolverine meets the changed, vindictive Yuriko (aka Lady Deathstrike) in the Morlock tunnels, resulting in heartbreak for poor Logan once again when they discover a Shi’ar ship in the sewers (eventually leading into the whole Dark Phoenix Saga, but that’s another can o worms). Out of the Past showed a different Wolverine, and a past love story that ended incredibly sadly. We’d seen him to this point in love with Jean, but always getting the short end of the stick.
Weapon X, Lies and Videotape – In which Wolverine starts to lose it mentally because of implanted memories, and Beast takes him to the government facility where the fated adamantium was grafted to his skeleton. What’s also cool about this episode was that we finally see Sabretooth in a different light (up to this point he’d been Wolverine’s enemy and they’d had their share of showdowns), as another part of Weapon X.
Lotus and the Steel – Right after Weapon X, when Wolverine completely loses it (over a picture of Scott and Jean too *ahh angsty sigh*). This is when Wolverine quits the X-Men, goes to Japan and works to establish control and inner peace. In an homage to The Seven Samurai (and The Magnificent Seven, one of my all time favorite movies period and probably why I feel so favorable towards other media that emulate the story), Wolverine intervenes to protect the villagers from the Silver Samurai and his bandits who demand tribute in return for their “protection”. And of course, Wolverine finds himself and his inner peace in the process.
So that’s where it all began. I watched all the cartoons, and to this day have every episode on crappy, pixelated recorded DVDs (so imagine my JOY when I discovered that the cartoons have finally officially been released on DVD this Tuesday! And you can watch streamed episodes for free online here). So, what else was a kid to do? As I grew older, I began to dabble in some of the original comics: The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past (Bishop is just cool), the Age of Apocalypse crossover. And the cool thing was…I could actually follow the stories without any trouble, because I had seen them in the cartoons. To my even further surprise, I discovered the cartoons were pretty loyal to the source material. Go figure.
After a while though, and due to the fact that getting comics while you’re living in third world countries is impossible (except for some reason Duck Tales comics were everywhere in Indonesia), I kind of lost touch. Lost interest. That is, however, until this guy came along once more:
With the first film, I was head over heels in love all over again with Wolverine. Cyclops never did it for me and his lame showing in the film only reinforced my good sense as a young girl; no Gambit unfortunately; and I was upset with the casting of annoying Halle ‘I-only-got-an-Oscar-because-I-got-naked’ Berry and the underage Anna Paquin as Storm and Rogue (two of my favorite heroines). But no matter. Because I had the ultimate Wolverine (and Xavier & Magneto weren’t to bad either).
With X-2 and X-Men 3: The Last Stand, I could only grow in my appreciation and love for Wolverine. His badass factor off the charts, the comic quippy relief, the (yes I’m shallow) man-candy…who could resist? This, along with my love for the X-Men Legends videogames (which totally, totally rock) got me back into the X-Men once again, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
I started to read the comics again, picking and choosing from the morass of material – Wolverine’s Origin, Weapon X, Ultimate X-Men, eventually leading up to this blog and Ana’s and mine re-kindled love for comics, and the monthly huge dent in my wallet with current issues (most recently I’ve enjoyed Deadpool, Magneto Testament, & X-Force/Cable Messiah War).
When we heard about the spinoff film, Ana and I were ecstatic. We bonded over our ubergeekdom: LOST spoiler whoring, book smuggling, and then one day we started exchanging PMs about – you guessed it – X-Men. In particular, Wolverine and Gambit. So, when we found out that Gambit WOULD be making an appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine we were completely beside ourselves.
In addition to Wolvie, he was my favorite leading man in the cartoon and in the comics. I loved his Cajun accent, his charm, his head-to-head fights with Wolverine, and most of all, I loved his feelings for Rogue. Their love story in the cartoon and then later in the comics is my X-Men flagship. It’s all about Remy.
Needless to say, I’m excited for the film. Even if it sucks, which it very well could, I still get that awe and wonder at seeing the characters I love in realtime, with high budget special effects…and that’s all I could ask for.
How about you folks? Love for Wolverine, or any other X-Men? Are you excited for tomorrow? Who has their tickets?
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TiahApril 30, 2009 at 9:26 am
I have never seen the X-Men movies, *ducks for cover*. I want to see this one though, I looks really fun. Should I watch the other movies first?
Moving away from X-Men, I was rolling my eyes when I heard they were making a Star Trek movie, but I saw a preview last night, it looks awesome!
DayaApril 30, 2009 at 9:53 am
Excellent post, ladies!
I watched the cartoons growing up and the occasional comics when I could get my hands on them. Wolverine has always been, and always will be my favorite, with Gambit a close second :-)I was always annoyed by Cyclops as well, so I’m glad to see my opinion is shared!
I am planning to see the movie for my birthday, so I won’t be seeing it opening night, but definitely within the next 2 weeks. And then maybe I too will have sweet, sweet dreams featuring Wolverine 😉
katiebabsApril 30, 2009 at 9:56 am
Gambit is a cutie.
AnnaApril 30, 2009 at 10:04 am
I love love the X-Men. Sadly, I can’t go on opening day, but I have plans to go on the 6th. I can’t wait. Wolverine and Gambit! What more could you ask for. 😀
Gerd DuernerApril 30, 2009 at 10:56 am
I loved the first X-Men movie, and I actually liked Halle Berry as Storm or Anna Paquin as Rogue.
I guess that’s the advantage when you never really read that comic much, you’re open for the movie.
Didn’t like the second much, apart from the hinting on the Phoenix Saga that was a nice one.
And I do wonder if the end to X-III means that we will get to see Onslaught some time in the future.
I would absolutely love to see a origins for Mystique.
Not that enamoured with Wolvie anymore since they made him practically indestructible in the comics.
essentialApril 30, 2009 at 11:02 am
The Wolverine Effect…
Bookmarked your post over at Blog Bookmarker.com!…
MeljeanApril 30, 2009 at 11:09 am
I love Gambit a bit more than Wolverine, but the Hugh Jackman version doesn’t hurt his side.
I’m so afeared of how Gambit will be in this movie. Everything else I can take. But after what they did to Rogue, if they do something similar to Gambit?
*sob sob sob sob sob sob*
MeljeanApril 30, 2009 at 11:13 am
(Also, I heart you two with the power of a thousand thunderstorms. And the opening to the cartoon is like the best freaking opening to any cartoon EVER.)
Nuh nah nah nah NAH na. Nah nuh nah nuh nah NAH nah, nah NAH nah!
edifanobApril 30, 2009 at 11:21 am
Great post! My wife watched the X-Men movies.
We are happy that X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been released today in Germany. Tomorrow (1rst of May) we have a bank holiday. So no work. Instead we got tickets for the movie!! Will be a nice day.
KMontApril 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm
We probably won’t go see this in the theater, the hubbster and I. Only way is if sis wants to, then I’ll def go see it with her.
Th only character I truly care to see at all is, you guessed it, Ryan Reynolds, or Deadpool. Can either of you shed some light on where the heck the name Deadpool comes from? I can’t be bothered, I’m too busy drooling over Reynolds’ bod.
I will always heart the movies for Patrick Stewart’s role. I know, how weird is it to go from Ryan Reynolds…to Patrick Stewart. Yes, I’m in love with both men. Sort of. Wholeheartedly sort of. 😉
In that picture of Gambit above, is he supposed to look like he’s got no eyes? Because he appears to be sporting black holes of hellish doom. Maybe it’s just how it’s looking on MY screen.
KatiApril 30, 2009 at 12:48 pm
I just bought my tickets. I’m going to the 10AM show on Sunday morning (heathen!).
Meljean, all I can tell you is that I have a deep and totally cougar-like lust for Taylor Kitsch. I’ve seen the X-Men movies, but never read the comics, so I have no idea who Gambit is (except that I know the Smugglers love him), but I can tell you unequivocally that Taylor Kitsch himself is a total hottie. So, if it’s Gambit’s hot factor you’re worried about, you shouldn’t be.
He’s not a bad actor either. I adore him in Friday Night Lights.
Anyway, I digress. I’m really looking forward to the movie. And I’m even more beside myself for the next big premier, Star Trek.
oranniaApril 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm
Ahaaaa! It must be a worldwide release, as it is being released here today (which is 1 May)! I definitely want to see it…and I’m intrigued to see how they portray Gambit.
I was introduced to the X-Men cartoon by one of the guys in my netball team (for those non-Commonwealth residing people, it’s a bit like basketball, but you can’t move with the ball…if that makes sense 🙂 ) And I’ve watched all three movies. Wolverine has always been my favourite 🙂
For those of you watching it this weekend – enjoy!
SamanthaApril 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm
My love of X-Men started the same way Thea.
After I started watching it I used to pretend I was Storm when I had my cereal bowl full of milk (way to control the weather, blowing into a cereal bowl, lol). I loved TMNT around that time too, but could never really get into the Batman cartoon.
I think out of all the superhero movies that studios have pumped out (newest Batman excluded), I’ve been the happiest with X-Men.
My favs from watching the cartoon were Gambit and Rogue and now that Gambit’s in this one I can’t wait!
Great post Ana and Thea! Thanks for bringing back the memories! I had forgotten about the intro tune and as soon as you mentioned it I heard it, lol!
MeljeanApril 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm
Kmont — I’m not sure how it’ll look in the movie, but comic book Gambit has black eyes (where the whites should be) with red irises. So they might be going for that effect.
AnaApril 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm
Orannia – i think it IS worldwide release.
I am half a mind to get the animated series in DVD now, Thea. Hummmm.
I shall be watching the movie on Saturday with Katiebabs.Poor Dear Partner 😈
Meljean – so great to see you around! We missed you! and gosh, I sure hope they don’t f**k up with Gambit in this movie. The posters look awesome though.
Kati – never watched Friday Night Lights but I trust that he is a good actor.
FantasyDreamerApril 30, 2009 at 6:29 pm
Great Post! Myself, I can’t to see this movie. I already told my husband, I’m going with or without him. I’m all for Wolverine’s character to cheer on but as far as cuties go in the movie, I’m in the Ryan Reynolds camp. 😉
AymlessApril 30, 2009 at 8:11 pm
Oh wow! Flash back1 I so remember the cartoon (especially the sneaking involved in watching them, mom didn’t believe in saturday morning cartoons!)
TheaApril 30, 2009 at 10:36 pm
Thanks for all the props guys! I am SO excited for my tix tomorrow night! *banana dance*
Tiah – Oh, you should definitely check out the three X-Men films 😉 They are all solid (in my opinion, [i]X-2[/i] is the best), and what can I say? Hugh Jackman is worth the cost of entry alone.
Daya – Thanks!! And happy soon-to-be birthday! I hope you enjoy the film. The cartoon is epic, isn’t it? I still watch them from time to time (including today, after writing this post, lol).
Katie – you have NO idea 😉 Check out DIK tomorrow. I have the Gambit-Rogue rundown.
Anna – The 6th isn’t so far off, don’t fret Ana and I *might* have a review up by Sunday, so if you want an early opinion, we might be able to help you out!
Gerd – I definitely feel that if I hadn’t watched the cartoon or read the comics before seeing the film, I would have been fine with Rogue and Storm…but as I had, I can’t express how much I [i]hate[/i] what Anna Paquin and Halle Berry did to two of my all time favorite heroines 👿
As for Mystique and Wolvie, recently there was a mini with the two of them 😉 Mystique is badass, and I did really like the re-imagining they did with Rebbecca Romaijn.
Meljean – OMG YOU’RE BACK!!! *happy dance* I’m scared of what might happen to Gambit too *bites nails nervously* For one thing, why does his accent sound Texan southern and not Cajun French? I’d prefer it if he were a bit older too (i.e. Josh Holloway older…but I’m biased). I *hate* the hats he wears in his promos. But, I have hope. I hope, I hope, I hope. 🙂
And dude, we heart you too *starts humming theme music*
Have you ever seen the original promo for the cartoon? The intro song is hilarious. “X-Men! Fighting Time! X-Men! Fighting to Save The Day!” 😆
edifanob – Oh awesome! You and your wife will have a blast 😉 I can’t wait to see what you think of the film. Man, I’m excited.
KMont – Aww…if you lived near me, I would totally take you out to see the movie 🙂 So, Ryan Reynolds fan, eh? Deadpool is, in short, crazy as hell. He volunteered for Weapon X (like Wolverine did) but washed out, then was placed in a program where he was tortured and experimented on along with the other washouts, and they all placed bets in a “Dead Pool” (who would die next). When he made it out, he returned to his life as a Merc for Hire, and took on the moniker Deadpool. And…he’s freaking crazy, did I mention that? :p
As for Gambit, what Meljean said. Gambit has black eyes with red irises; but in the picture Ana uploaded it looks like it has been photoshopped. The Gambit in the movie (so far as the promos and previews go) has regular eyes. Sigh.
Kati – Awesome! I can’t wait to see what you think of the movie. AND I too cannot wait for Star Trek. I was hesitant, and to a certain extent still am wary about the film despite the good reviews, primarily because they are using the same cast of characters but ‘re-imagining’ them again. BUT, that said…I’m still excited.
And everyone I know that has watched Friday Night Lights says it is brilliant. I really need to netflix that show!
Orannia – It totally is a huge, worldwide coordinated event! Eeeeeee I cannot wait!
Samantha – Oooh, high five! Isn’t Storm the shit? I actually used to think (when I was around 9 years old, mind you) that I could really start and stop the rain if I concentrated hard enough. No, I am not delusional. Weather power RULES. TMNT totally rules too, and I also loved the Batman series (thinking back…I was/am a huge couch potato). Gambit and Rogue are heart-meltingly awesome. I spent about 2 hours today looking through my favorite Romy moments in prep for a post tomorrow. *melts* Damn, I love those two. And Ana and I are glad we were able to get the memory juices flowing!
Fantasy Dreamer – Oh hell yes, you tell that hubby you are going! :p I hope you enjoy it! For the mancandy at the very least 😉
Aymless – Oh NOES, your parents didn’t believe in the power of the morning cartoon!? Gaah. Well, I’m glad you were able to sneak them in 😉
LesleeMay 1, 2009 at 8:15 am
I loved the comics and the cartoon! They have a new cartoon that is called Wolverine and the Xmen on Nicktoons. My son loves it (it makes me so proud)! I haven’t caught any of them yet. I can’t wait to see the movie! I am trying to arrange to go with my best friend but we are having some scheduling conflicts so if we can’t get it together I just might have to go by myself!!! This post was the best!!!! Called up a lot of nostalgia and just made me that much more crazy about seeing this movie ASAP!
KMontMay 1, 2009 at 12:41 pm
Meljean and Thea, thanks for both your explanations.
That is a pretty cool explanation for Reynolds’ character – and no, I swear I’m not just saying that because I want to have kittens with him, whatever the hell he’d ask me to have with him, actually. Rutabagas for all I care.
MemoryMay 1, 2009 at 7:36 pm
I was interested in this to begin with, but as soon as I realized that it had Gambit in it, I fell straight into, “OMG MUST SEE RIGHT AWAY!!!” territory. He’s my very favourite X-Man, and was actually my introduction to the series back when I was fifteen. I got on board just as his own series launched, and I bought it faithfully into it was canceled. (Sigh). I’m hoping I can convince a fellow X-Men-loving friend to see this with me tomorrow or Sunday.