In case you’re new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe…
Let me put it into perspective for you
There have been a few years in between each film, so you might have forgotten the various plotlines. That’s why you are reading my Hub! This week, the FilmHub is taking a new direction. The trend is to have movies as part of the Multimedia Universe, where several weeks ago, EL James’ Fifty Shades series was the hot topic, not only in the Book publishing area, but also on the Big Screen. The creators at the Marvel Group, have been busy creating the next movie, the one after last summer’s X-Men Apocalypse.
Here is the Movie Theatre’s one paragraph synopsis:
In the year 2024, a weary Wolverine, Logan, (Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman) cares for Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
In order to understand the latest movie timeline, you’ll have to follow along with the previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Group, namely the X-Men and Wolverine films. Here is a suggested viewing order:
Some of the Marvel Characters Introduced
The Wolverine, Mariko & her family, Poison Ivy.
Adult Logan-The Wolverine, Teen & Adult Charles Xavier-Professor X, Teen & Adult Magneto, Adult Scott Summers-Cyclops, Adult Jean Grey-Marvel Girl, Adult Ororo Munroe-Storm, Marie-Rogue, Bobby Drake-IceMan, Adult Raven-Mystique.
Sometime in the near distant future
X2: X-Men United
Adult Logan-The Wolverine, Adult Charles Xavier-Professor X, Adult Magneto, Adult Scott Summers-Cyclops, Adult Jean Grey-Marvel Girl, Teen Marie-Rogue, Teen Bobby Drake-IceMan, Raven-Mystique, Adult Dr. Hank McCoy-The Beast.
Sometime in the near distant future
X-Men The Last Stand
The Wolverine (appearance), Adult Charles Xavier-Professor X, Adult Magneto, Adult Scott Summers-Cyclops, Adult Jean Grey-Marvel Girl, Teen Marie-Rogue, Teen Bobby Drake-IceMan, Raven-Mystique, Adult Dr. Hank McCoy-The Beast.
Sometime in the near distant future
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Logan-The Wolverine, Wolverine's brother (Victor Creed-Sabretooth), Wade-Deadpool, Remy-Gambit.
Sometime in the near distant future
X-Men: First Class
Adult Logan-The Wolverine, Younger Charles Xavier, Younger Magneto, Preteen&Teen Raven-Mystique, Preteen&Teen Hank McCoy-The Beast, Younger Moira McTaggert, Younger Alex Summers-The Torch, Kitty Pryde-Invisible Girl.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Adult Logan-The Wolverine, Younger Charles Xavier, Younger Magneto, Younger Scott Summers, Younger Jean Grey, Teen Raven-Mystique, Teen Hank McCoy-The Beast, Magneto's son, Younger Alex Summers-The Torch, Kitty Pryde-Invisible Girl, Teen Warren Worthington III-Angel.
Adult Logan-The Wolverine, Younger Charles Xavier, Younger Magneto, Teen Scott Summers, Teen Jean Grey, Teen&Adult Raven-Mystique, Adult Hank McCoy-The Beast, Adult Moira McTaggert, Silver Surfer, Dark Horse and his followers, Magneto's son, Alex Summers-The Torch, Kurt Wagner-Nightcrawler, Adult Kitty Pryde-Invisible Girl, Adult Warren Worthington III-Angel.
3000 B.C.E., Present, Sometime in the future.
Older Logan, Older Charles Xavier.
Doing your X-Men Homework
In addition to viewing each of the 8 films, in preparation for this Hub, I am also catching up on the GNs and Non-fictional books on the topic. It’s that time in history, where the Marvel stories are coming out, which is great from an Oral History standpoint.
I thought these other GN links would prove helpful, if you didn’t understand the characters and story, after seeing the suggested order of the X-Men movies.
X-Men 2: The Movie (Official Movie Comic Book Adaptation)
- X-Men 2: The Movie by Chuck Austen, Karl Kerschl, Tom Mandrake, Patrick Zircher |, Paperback | Barne
The Paperback of the X-Men 2: The Movie by Chuck Austen, Karl Kerschl, Tom Mandrake, Patrick Zircher | at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $25 or
X-Men First Class: Tomorrow’s Brightest
- X-Men: First Class: Tomorrow's Brightest by Roger Cruz, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
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Main characters from the films
Seeing as this is Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as The Wolverine, it would be fitting to know where this character originated from.
The origins of Logan-The Wolverine stems from pre-World War II, where The Wolverine was part of a lineup of 5 X-Men, all created in late 1974, and part of the Giant Size X-Men #1. Among the Wolverine, also stood a combined GN character of Typhoon and Black Cat=FilmWorld’s Ororo Munroe-Storm, Peter Rasputin-Colossus, Kurt Wagner-Nightcrawler, Logan-The Wolverine, and John Proudstar-Thunderbird.
What’s interesting to note at this point in time inside the Marvel GN World, one of the talk balloons asked “What are we going to do with 13 X-Men?” in the final panel, and the transition begins. “The old X-Men will be put out to pasture; the new X-Men will have a shot at capturing a younger audience.” (Howe, 2012, 155) The same logic can be applied to Logan.
Throughout the years, the Wolverine was at the hand of the Marvel Comic Book Writer, where the character “was engaged and then jilted” by Chris Claremont’s writing. Paul Smith replaced Claremont, and there were soap opera moments that were at least not-so-grim. John Romita Jr. replaced Smith, and darker X-Men themes were created, such as Kitty Pryde traveling to Japan and returning as a ninja assassin, and the creation of Rachel Summers, the daughter via an alternate timeline, of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. The Brotherhood (of Evil Mutants) became the National Security Council, and in one issue, Professor X was the victim of a hate crime, attacked and left for dead by college students, and when the Professor woke up in, he was dressed in bondage gear. Here’s the true backstory on this one: According to Jim Shooter (a former DC writer, hired by Marv Wolfman, who helped launch Marvel’s B&W magazines, back when the CB industry was changing from an Artists’ average age of 43 to a Writer’s average age of 23), Chris Claremont wanted to dress the Professor in transvestite gear, and Jim would not run the story with T-gear; “there are certain things you do not do to heroes, if you want them to keep being heroes.” No, I can’t imagine Patrick Stewart being dressed in T-gear, it would be almost Borg-like!
More about the origins of The Wolverine
In case you are interested, there is a very good GN compilation, describing the origins of this character.
This GN is quite good, as I always wondered about his beginnings. The idea to write and illustrate this story came from (Front matter):
For years we followed Wolverine in the desperate search for his past, from the wilds of the Canadian wilderness to the teeming cities of Japan and beyond. But despite his perseverance and longing for the truth, Wolverine remained an enigma to himself and all those around him.
Years into the past we find three friends, brought together through fate, soon to be divided by tragedy. James Howlett, a sickly boy, stuck in a world where the weak are mocked and left behind. Rose, a young orphan girl summoned to work at the wealthy Howlett estate. And Dog, a poor boy abused by his father, with no hope for a better life. Three friends on the verge of having their innocence shattered. Three companions about to be confronted by the most shocking events of their young lives.
Welcome to the greatest story never told.
Origin was plotted by Bill Jemas (also the President), Joe Quesada (also Editor-in-Chief) & Paul Jenkins; Paul wrote the script, penciled by Andy Kubert, and digitally painted by Richard Isanove, Lettering by John Roshell & Comicraft’s Wes Abbott-Oscar Gongorra-Saida Temofonte. Joe & Richard did the Cover. Some of the editors included Mike Raicht and Mike Marts. © 2001 & 2002 by Marvel Comics.
Even Tom DeSanto, one of the EP’s and Co-writers of X-Men: The Movie, passed on reading each single issue of Origin in the newsstand, and waited until he could read all 6 issues in one sitting, before writing the Introduction to the Hardcover edition.
Here is the link to check it out:
- Origin: The True Story of Wolverine by Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, Paul Jenkins |, Hardcover | Barnes &
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More about the film versions of The Wolverine
At first, this film character seemed to be an animal, a government experiment as the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film demonstrated. We all remember the scene, where the AdamAntium bonds with his skeletal system, and he rises out of the water, severing the mechanical apparatus.
As a sidenote, some of the fans I’ve spoken with didn’t seem to like XMOW, as there wasn’t a lot of Big Screen comic book action, as The Wolverine had. TW was set during 1945 (opening sequence and flashback), and in modern day Japan, and The Wolverine is set loose, without a master, akin to a Ronin. Yes, he is a very old character. Now, we all get to see him in his last appearance in the not-so-distant future of 2029, and while he was living in his natural Canadian habitat, he could very well be from the late 1800s, almost 150 years human years old!
The Wolverine has appeared in all 6 X-Men films, as well as XMOW and TW. Logan would mark the 9th film, with this character. His last scene was very reverant.
Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier-Professor X
This actor needs no introduction.
Some of you may remember him as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: Next Generation, TV series and motion picture. A Shakespearean actor, he really is quite witty behind-the-camera. James McAvoy felt he couldn’t perform up to the standard of Patrick Stewart, when he was originally offered the role of Young Charles Xavier. Patrick then cracked a joke on-set of X-Men #5: Days of Future Past and said “You know, in 1973, I looked a lot like James McAvoy…”
Speaking of Days of Future Past, in the GN backstory, Chris Claremont and John Byrne collaborated one last time for this two-parter, before parting ways. Plot-wise, they borrowed from old TV episodes of Dr. Who and The Outer Limits, where mutants are hunted and murdered by Sentinels, almost similar to The Terminator series, except there are good and bad terminators (just like good & bad mutants). The premise of X-Men Film #5, sends a message about civil rights, albeit referred to as “Mutant Control Act.” Here is another link that will help understand this story:
- X-Men: Days of Future Past by Chris Claremont, John Byrne |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
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Patrick Stewart quoted
Absolutely loved his performance, from beginning to end. His last scene was benevolent and respectfully done. Thank you.
And, in the words of this great actor, “You are never late for cinema.” So, be on time, guys!
Dafne Keen as Laura (New Film Character)
Laura is a young mutant, who is being pursued by dark forces. Okay, in the Marvel Universe, when is there ever not a time when a character is not being chased by darker forces?
She bears metallic claws and K.A.’s, very similar to Logan’s style.
· How did she get the claws?
· Was she also another failed experiment, like The Wolverine?
· Or, is she a relative of Logan’s?
All these questions start the film’s inciting incident!
I’m not telling you why, because that would be spoilers… <now, go pay the Admission price & see the movie!>
If you read the GN, Laura Kinney is part of the Facility’s X-23 program. In the movie, her Mutant number is X-23-44. So, now you know there are many new Mutants in existence. Here are 2 other helpful GN links, to help with the some of the upcoming movie characters:
X-23: The Complete Collection Volume 1
- X-23: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 by Various | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble®
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X-23: The Complete Collection Volume 2
- X-23: The Complete Collection Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu, Will Conrad, David Lopez, Sana Takeda |, Paper
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Boyd Holbrook as Pierce (New Film Character)
Pierce is definitely a baddie. Loved the costume, hair and overall look.
Does he serve in the story role as “protector”? Who is he protecting? Why does this person or place need protecting? I actually felt a little sympathy for this antagonist, because he seemed to be the Guy-who-has-to-cleanup-disasters involving other baddie characters…
Stephen Merchant as Caliban (New Film Character)
Caliban is briefly introduced in Part I of this story, and then, like all characters, must die a ritualistic death. This is to show that the side of Good suffers equally inside the Marvel Universe. Quite similar to the Star Wars story.
Good or bad character? Definitely good.
Elizabeth Rodriguez as Gabriela (New Film Character)
Gabriela is one of the characters who provides a link to the backstory for the past 25 years of The Wolverine and Professor X’s timeline, and explains why mutants have not appeared on Earth. Her role is important, to bridge the storyline among Logan, Laura and Pierce.
This is where the film takes on the “mature content” warning. Kids, if you are reading this hub, I’m sorry to have to introduce you to societal topics, but the film has been rated “R” for multiple reasons.
· A Genetic lab located in Mexico, where women are artificially inseminated with “unknown fathers from tubes.” This lab is part of the Transigen Corporation, whom Pierce and Dr. Rice are employed by.
· The camerawork is quite vivid and graphic in its documentary style filmanation, as later viewed by The Wolverine, via Gabriela’s self-filmed cellphone video. So, watch out for cam-videophones!
· The X-23 kids are pretty scary! Again, be careful what’s in the backpack. And ask before touching anyone’s backpack. You don’t want the surprise that might be lurking inside the backpack.
· Nice touch, showing the Spanish language in its native tongue, without subtitles! Being multi-lingual, it was nice to get the full effect of the native language, without interpretation. Made it much more real for me. Well done on the filmmakers’ part.
· There is one pre-sequel to a Scene, which starts more action-violence, where Laura is eating her Kellogg’s Cornflakes and milk, while waiting for the dark forces’ attack. Interestingly enough, as of this HubPublishing, Kellogg’s is already using Genetic Engineering in their Cornflakes line (if you’re reading the food labels carefully before you buy it at your local ClubStore, you would know this). A clever way of the Filmmakers to show a Mutant Girl eating G.M.’d food. In the words of Charlton Heston, “when I was making my social films…”
· The Kellogg’s Cornflakes scene is contrasted well, when the X-Men family are dining with the Munson family. Laura devours the vegetables on her plate (Green beans & Corn Relish), but leaves the Meatloaf alone.
Good or bad character? Gabriela is definitely good.
Richard E. Grant as Dr. Rice (New Film Character)
Is he a good doctor or a bad doctor?
Who is he helping? Or, is he self-serving?
All is explained through the use of inferred dialogue. Great job!
The Munson family
I looped three characters into one capsule! The Munsons actually involve 3 characters: Will, Kathryn and Nate. Will is played by Eriq La Salle (remember him from ER?), Kathryn is played by Elise Neal, and their son Nate is played by Quincy Fouse.
What is their role in the story?
The family message is becoming more important in today’s cinema, so I’m glad that the Film touched on the power of family, as Logan is very much alone in his Wolverine World.
What did I eat from the concession?
Okay, that is a question on some of the MovieViewer’s minds. Maybe you guys and gals think that I’m too skinny, so that’s why you’re wanting to know what I purchased and ate during Logan?
Logan is a 141-minute film, so yes, I wanted to be occupied with not only my Coffee-of-the-Day, but Chicken Tenders with regular fries (no Magic Salt Shaker) and 2 sides of Lime-Cilantro sauce! For the soft drink, I went with the Fanta Orange Soda, as I haven’t had that to drink in while. <Is it true that all nerds drink Orange soda?>
I could write about the X-Men Series all day long
Aside from the Graphic Novels, which are its own creative universe, the films interweave most of the Marvel characters. You would then probably pickup a copy of one of the GN’s, and start reading it, or seeing one of the other films in the Marvel universe. <Guilty on all 3 counts!> In the words of Stan Lee, he’s always interested to see what certain directors can do for the Marvel Universe. Hence, Bryan Singer was a major influence on 5 of the 6 X-Men films, as a Director, Producer and Storywriter. You might remember one of his earlier films, The Usual Suspects, classic stuff that I’m learning in my film classes.
Up to this point in time, I had not seen any of the X-Men films until prepping for the Logan hub. Yes, Hugh is quite manly and slim-buff in this film, but I really like his performance as an actor (Remember Eddie the Eagle?), and am glad to be seeing more of his un-Wolverine roles in the near future (The Greatest Showman, slated to be released theatrically on December 29, 2017). He also has print ads for watches, which have been running in Modern Luxury Hawaii.
Some of the SciFi themes explored in Logan, you’ve also seen earlier this year (January 27th, 2017), with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Please watch for this hub, as its still in WIPs; I haven’t watched #3-5 with the sound off.
This is the closest that I will ever get to Hugh Jackman
- Selfie with me!
See my #Logan #SelfieWme pic!
More Sci-Fi Fun
- Another actor whom I really like seeing on-screen is Nicholas Hoult, the Younger Beast from X-Men Films #4-5-6. Nicholas also has a film opening this week, called Collide, with Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso from Rogue One), Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley. Check back next week, as I’m going to see this film on Mahalo Tuesdays, and will provide a FilmReview at that time.
- Also, I found that I really like X-Men, because of the SciFi element, and this has always been one of my favorite genres. Yes, I think we’re all nerdy to some degree! Again, you can’t judge a book by its cover, and neither can a movie be judged by its poster.
- Later this month, Ghost in the Shell makes an appearance. I’ll be proving another Hub on this film, plus its origination factor for my Otaku followers.
- The trailer for Alien: Covenant looks mighty scary. Can’t wait to see what Ridley Scott has in store for us on May 19th!
I now know where we gather, and have great in-depth discussions of the film we just saw! Thank you to the Cousin, who spent 2 hours of his time, as we discussed good films at the local Barnes&Noble, hoping to influence one of our Media Sellers (Shane the MovieMan).
- While I was there, I purchased a copy of X-23: The Complete Collection #1, so you know where one of the next movie directions will be headed.
- Also, Shane confirmed for us that Nathan Summers is the son of Scott Summers, so you know where another movie might be in development (X-Force’s Cable character). With Wade Wilson-Deadpool’s pre-opening sequence to Logan, you know that Deadpool 2 is soon coming to theatres.
The Cousin said he liked Logan, because it was a good story, and the 141-minute film didn’t seem to bother us. He viewed the film at Mililani Theatres, and mentioned that 7 people walked out & “the guy behind me fell asleep!” Comparing notes on my experience at the in-town 16-plex, all the Uncles wanted to see the 10am showing, and started hustling the TicketLine at 930am! At the 16-plex, the film was being shown in 4 different theatres, so I had no problems with my seating (2 dozen people in a 200-seat capacity theatre for a 1045am matinee). There was another Cousin Couple, seated to my right, and she didn’t understand the last scene in the movie, involving the Cross significance. But, she took a selfie against the giant screen, during the Alien: Covenant trailer!
Cousin and I both agreed that the story and plot were interwoven, and most of the film was shot in either medium or long-shot, and had lots of Western elements (the scene of Charles & Laura watching Shane together was a direct metaphor for Logan). I then informed the Cousin that he also liked it (even though he is not quite a fan of Bryan Singer’s filmwork), because John Romita Sr. was involved in this film as one of the EP’s, and Sr. was one of the co-creators of The Wolverine and X-Men, the other gentleman being Len Wein, who has said publicly that he was never credited with the creation of this character. So, now you’ve been credited by me and my SM following, as well as in the Introduction to X-23: The Complete Collection #1! Of course, Stan “The Man” Lee makes it happen everytime for every Marvel film.
Thank you for another wonderful Marvel Movie! Some of the producers from previous X-Men films are serving as Producers on this film, so a really good time to be had by all!
A big aloha to my other friend Josh, for the new Coca-Cola on-screen jingle. Really loved hearing the bottle sound, and the new singing talent, during the Pre-Show.
Looking forward to the next movie! Pam