Posts Tagged ‘X-men’

Sometimes writers like to pile on the villains, and somehow they think this makes it better.

I believe I’ve said it before, that the thrill you get when a character shows up is no substitute for them actually doing something.

This X-Force “Angels and Demons” story I just read has Donald Pierce and Cameron Hodge and a host of others. It’s kind of cool for that, but at the same time, enough already.

Also, if you pile on the baddies too much, they become generic. In Robin: Year One (I think) Robin single-handedly takes on Mr. Freeze and two other A-listers, maybe Joker and Poison Ivy, I can’t remember now. But individually, Batman’s top villains are a danger to him and any sidekick, and you mean to tell me that this kid is going to take them all on in one of his first adventures? Besides, why would all these villains team up anyway?

I guess part of it is fatigue. How many times have you seen a huge villain team-up? It has to mean something.

So, the lesson here is if you team up multiple villains, make sure of the following things:

1. They have a good plot. A bunch of villains all coming together for one big fight is not a plot.

2. They’re personalities are accurate. They can’t just ignore their eccentricities and interpersonal issues in order to streamline the story.

The trailer for “X-Men:The First Class,” though little more than a tease right now, probably won’t be any better than the average action movie.

I think people watching the X-movies will get the idea that Marvel’s mutant universe is a tangled mess of subplots with too many characters. Which makes it a pretty accurate representation of the comics.

I think I would be more excited if the “Wolverine” movie had been better.

“Wolverine” was just about how he became the movie version. So, The First Class is going to be about how we got to the first X-Men movie. Yes, I’d like to see Mystique and Magneto drift off toward villainy. And I’m morbidly curious about Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw.

I’ll try to ignore the questionable cast, including Angel, a character created specifically to piss people off. Instead, I’ll talk about the difficulties facing a prequel.

People had the same criticisms of the Star Wars prequels. We already know what happens, we want to know how it happens.

As long as it’s a good story. The Star Wars prequels weren’t very good stories. “X-Men: The First Class:” probably not either.

There are ways to do prequels the right way. In essence, when a movie begins with the last scene, like in “The Usual Suspects,” the entire movie is a prequel to the first scene. The suspense involves how we get there.

Also, think about horror movies. You know that Freddy Krueger is going to be defeated at the end, and you know that he’s going to take out some hapless teenagers along the way. It’s the “how” that makes you watch it.

So, if you’re going to make a prequel, the lesson to be learned is that you still can’t skimp on story.

In Star Wars, the prequels were skipped because the story wasn’t as strong. George Lucas knew this.

If you’re writing a prequel, you have to make sure there’s enough mystery to engage the viewer. And make sure there’s a real story there, not just a bunch of things that happen to get your players where they need to be for scene one of the next movie.

Last night, I went to a B. Dalton book store that was closing. 50% off. I read very slowly, so I really didn’t take full advantage of it. I bought Ray Bradbury’s “From the Dust Returned.” A collection of super hero short fiction called “Who Can Save Us Now?” 3 Get Fuzzy collections and X-Men Secret Invasion.

But here’s the thing: Except for “Who Can Save Us Now?” I didn’t really browse for anything. I’d already read the X-Men. I know I like Ray Bradbury and Get Fuzzy. There were lots of authors I thought I might like. Series I might try. Titles that sounded interesting. But, really, who browses anymore?

When was the last time you bought something off the shelf that you had absolutely no prior knowledge about?