Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Avengers vs X-Men XXX (4 Stars)


As if there weren't enough characters in the recent X-Men films, award-winning director Axel Braun has decided to throw the Avengers into the mix. There are so many super-heroes flashing across the screen that many of them are seen for less than a minute. Blink and you'll miss them.

The film begins in the aftermath of a battle between the Avengers and Onslaught. More than half of the Avengers are dead, although Doctor Strange suspects that their bodies might still be retrieved from alternate realities. That's typical for Marvel stories. For years a common statement among comic fans was "In Marvel nobody stays dead except for Bucky Barnes and Ben Parker". After Bucky was resurrected in 2005 (60 years after his first death) it was changed to "In Marvel nobody stays dead except for Ben Parker". This makes him so unique in the Marvel Universe that we can expect to see Uncle Ben return as a a male embodiment of Death, possibly as Thanos' gay lover. Let's wait and see.

But let's get back to the story. Professor X has also been killed by Onslaught, so Magneto goes to Westchester to take over the Professor's school for gifted children. After some hesitation Storm is persuaded that Magneto's intentions are good, but Nick Fury assumes that the X-Men have turned evil and orders the remaining Avengers to attack them.


In comparison with Axel Braun's previous super-hero films there's very little action. The atmosphere is more like a big cosplay party, in which we see that even if the big studios mess up the costumes Axel can still get it right. And then there's the sex, of course. Marvel's fans have always fantasised about what the heroes do between missions.


Be honest, comic book fans. Isn't this how Wolverine should look? Tommy Gunn was born to play the part.


Tom Byron puts on a stunning performance as Magneto. He's perfectly modelled on the character as he was drawn by Neal Adams in 1969-1970, the first issues in which he was shown without his helmet.


Of course, Tom Byron looks just as perfect with his helmet on. This is the real Magneto. Why doesn't Michael Fassbender wear red and purple? Then he might be as successful as Tom with Storm and Black Cat. Watch the film to see what I mean. They can't keep their hands off him.


Doctor Strange scans the realms of reality with his mystic powers, under the watchful eyes of Nick Fury and Captain America who have no idea what he's doing. I wonder if Benedict Cumberbatch's costume will look this good.


Here's Banshee, played by the Irish actor Marcus London. He was one of my favourite characters ever since his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men 28. Unfortunately he lost his powers in Uncanny X-Men 119 (1979) and didn't get them back until ten years later in the non-canonical X-Men years.


Here we see Power Man aka Luke Cage complete with chains and afro. Why doesn't he look like this in the Jessica Jones TV series?


And while we're on the subject of the Jessica Jones series, allow me a small rant. I have the greatest respect for David Tennant as an actor, but he looks nothing like Zebediah Killgrave, aka the Purple Man. Didn't the show's budget have enough money for face paint to make him look the right colour? If Axel Braun can get it right, why can't anyone else?

The Purple Man was one of the earliest Marvel super-villains, first appearing in Daredevil 4 way back in 1964. After that he disappeared until the 1980's, but he didn't become a popular villain until the 2000's.

Psylocke and Polaris make fun of the Purple Man's name after they defeat him with the help of Power Man. "Worst. Villain. Ever". As super-villain names go this wasn't one of Stan Lee's better inventions. It's hardly surprising that he was referred to as Killgrave in later years.


I have to admit that I feel some sadness when looking at this photo of Colossus. It shows the great actor Billy Glide, who died in 2014 at the age of 43. Initially it was claimed he died as the result of a rattlesnake bite. Then it was said he died of a drug overdose. Then his friends insisted that it really was a rattlesnake. It's still unclear how he really died, but whatever happened his death is a big loss to the pornographic film industry. He was already dead before "Avengers vs X-Men XXX" was filmed, so Axel Braun inserted unused footage from "X-Men XXX", the last film Billy made before his death. Rest in peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tick the box "Notify me" to receive notification of replies.