Friday, March 13, 2009

Top 5 X-Men Plot Twists You Probably Didn't Know About

If you’ve watched any of the three X-Men movies, you probably have a pretty basic idea of how that brotherhood of mutants works. But in doing some whimsical reading this week about the X-Men, just for the sake of rekindling fond memories, I realized how hard it must be to adapt such a complex, forty-year storyline for film.

Even as a huge X-Men fan growing up, I found that were quite a few things I knew nothing about. Or at least something about, but the details were foggy. This week’s top five centers around things you probably didn’t know about the X-Men. Have fun with this one… I did!

Cyclops has mutant brothers. The Summers family apparently had three boys—the oldest was Cyclops (the guy who shoots read beams out of his eyeballs), followed by Havok and then Vulcan. Havok shoots plasma bursts out of his hands and dislikes his older brother’s authoritative attitude about everything, but Vulcan’s deal is a little more confusing.

It goes like this: Cyclops and Havok escaped kidnapping as children, but Vulcan was just a fetus in his mother’s womb while aliens abducted her. She gave birth, the aliens aged him to adolescence in some machine, then sent him to earth to be a slave for Erik the Red. He then does a bunch of crazy stuff in space and becomes emperor of some planet. Before this week I’d never heard of this character, and it turns out he’s got one of the craziest stories ever. This is exactly why I love comic books.

Jean Grey and Magneto have clones. For Magneto it was an exact clone named Joseph that was apparently engineered to be an amnesiac version of the uber-villain the X-Men could use in their favor against him. But after a short love affair with Rogue, the real Magneto killed him. That’s just how it goes in the comics world.

Jean Grey’s clone, a woman named Madelyne Pryor, actually had it worse, if you can believe it. It’s extremely confusing getting there, but Cyclops married her not knowing she was anything other than a hottie who looked a lot like his dead wife (Grey). Later it turned out that Jean Grey was NOT dead, so Cyclops left Pryor and their baby to return to life as an X-Man and hook back up with the original love of his life. It’s later revealed that Pryor was a clone designed by Mr. Sinister just to create a child with Cyclops he could use to his advantage. More on that kid later. Pryor ended up really pissed off having been spurned and turned into a bad guy. Women are crazy.

The children of Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Magneto. I had to actually look at family trees to figure all this crap out, but it ended up being pretty interesting. We’ll start with Magneto, whose first daughter came before he freaked out and started making metal move. Her name was Anya, and she died in a fire as a child. Later, when he freaked out and accidentally killed a bunch of people, his wife ran away, pregnant, later giving birth to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who were twins.

He then had another daughter illegitimately, named Polaris. She’s got a really intricate storyline that I honestly just don’t have the energy to relay, but just know she has a long tenure as a good guy, even though there were times when she was controlled or transformed to do a bad guy’s bidding. Her and Iceman sort of had a brief thing. And her hair is green, for whatever that’s worth.

The stuff with Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Madelyne Pryor gets a little more intricate. ‘Clops and Pryor give birth to Cable (that’s the baby he abandoned to get back with Grey), who went through a whole lotta hell in his early life, getting kidnapped, possessed, and infected before eventually getting sent to the future to avoid dying of some virus and also to save the world in 200 years from Apocalypse. No wonder the guy had a chip on his shoulder. Cable’s story is a lot more detailed and tragic than that, but there’s really no point getting to it. You barely care about the basics, let alone the specifics.

In an alternate dimension where Cable is never born, Grey and Cyclops give birth to a boy named Nathan, who is essentially the equivalent of Cable in that particular dimension. He goes by X-Man and is basically the most powerful mutant in the world. Because Cable got infected by that virus in his dimension, he never got to reach his potential, but Nathan apparently is pretty extreme. I don’t recall hearing anything about this storyline when I was reading comics as a kid, but I think I would’ve dug it.

The last kid, living in an alternate dystopian future, is Rachel, who at some point takes on the name Marvel Girl. She apparently is just really angry her mother died and cries a lot about her dad dating Emma Frost. Not as interesting as Cable, is she?

Mystique is the mother of Nightcrawler and Rogue. Mystique is about as hot as a blue chick can be (think Rebecca Romijn if you’ve seen the movies), so it only makes sense that she’d be the mother of the other blue character in the series, Nightcrawler. Turns out that our teleporting little blue buddy was the result of marital infidelity on Mystique’s behalf, sleeping around on her husband—a rich count—with some demonic Satan mutant. When he was born blue with pointy ears and a bifurcated tail, the locals naturally tried to kill him. So she had to leave him behind, and he was raised by gypsies.

Before Nightcrawler, though, Mystique had a kid with Sabretooth—Graydon Creed. He ended up being a huge prick, fighting against mutant rights via terrorism and getting into cahoots with Magneto. That gets you nowhere in life, folks, fraternizing with the enemy.

As for Rogue, well, she’s not Mystique’s actual daughter. Foster daughter is technically the relationship between those two X-Men icons. Rogue was sort of raised to help with evil stuff, but once she sucked up the powers of an early incarnation of Miss Marvel, she sort of gave up on her foster ma and moved on with life. The two still sort of have this love-hate thing going on.

Wolverine’s real name isn’t Logan. It’s James Howlett. That’s changed since I was reading the comics, because last I checked (mid-to-late ‘90s), he just went by “Logan.” Apparently that was just a nickname. Now he’s James. Eh.

Any of you comic book nerds out there know anything interesting I’m failing to mention? As always, feel free to weigh in. I love this stuff!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done!
Greetings from another X-Men fan.

Buenos Aires. Argentina.