It’s Chris vs Chris in this nerd battle of words.
This article is a response to the earlier posted Why I Stayed Home for the Opening Weekend of X-Men: Apocalypse.
Much like you I have been a devout X-men fan for most of my life. I read the Dark Phoenix Saga back in the 80s via X-men Classic reprints at the same time that I tried to make sense of the Australian years. We’ve shared much of the X-men together and though my X-men collection pales compared to yours it is in part because I divide my loyalties to DC, Image, and the Indies.
Now as Xavier and Magneto parted ways so too must we.
Back in the year 2000 I was excited to see the X-men. Sure there was black leather, but we were still living in a movie world ruled by the Matrix. We were two years away from Sam Raimi’s Spider-man and eight years away from Iron Man. Singer’s original X-men was born into a world where movies were expected to copy the Matrix if you wanted to make a big budget action movie. The original X-men may have not done superheroes best from the vantage point of 2016, but in the year 2000 it was rightfully lauded as one of the best and most respectful takes on the source material we had to date.
You say you’re tired of the militaristic black leather and want to get back to the colorful costumes. As much as I would love to see Cyclops in yellow underpants, I must disagree. From Mutant X to the Cross Time Caper to the Age of Apocalypse itself, the X-men have always had alternate realities and alternate versions of themselves and in many ways this film is yet another. Sure, Cyclops said let’s get back to the color that was writer Joss Whedon but he was reacting as much to the movies as he was to Grant Morrison’s leather clad run. Whedon’s X-men is a legitimate take but it is different from Morrison and Claremont, but all of them are within the wide scope of “X-men.” What all of these writers got right was the spirit of the characters. Fassbender and McAvoy, following the brilliant turns by McKellan and Stewart, continue to get the spirit at the core of the X-men right.
Looking at just the trailers for this movie I see even more costumes close to the originals like Psylocke and Apocalypse. I see even more mutants on screen looking recognizable as if I’m reading the latest X-men only crossover like Fall of the Mutants or the Hunt for Xavier. I see hints at the films getting the spirit of the characters right and that’s all I want.
You recognize that some of what you are doing is nit-picking and I’m here to encourage you to let it go. Your collection will still be there waiting for you when you get home. I’m going to see the movie and I’m excited.
Later on I’m sure I’ll be critical but I will do it on the film’s own merits rather than holding it up to a very specific standard of adaptation.