News recently exploded across the internet that the long-rumored X-Men TV series was finally coming to fruition by FOX. While this is great news for TV and X-Men fans alike, there’s a lot of places they could go with this series. Decades of X-Titles, story-lines, and plots are available to FOX, and here’s some great ones that work perfectly for the small screen.
Real Name: Laura Kinney
Notable Aliases: Laura X, Talon, Captain Universe
First Appearance: NYX #3 (X-Men Evolution: “X-23”)
Background:Created for the X-Men Evolution animated series, X-23 was first showcased in the comic NYX, which followed homeless mutants in New York City, and later in Craig Kyle and Chris Yost’s Innocence Lost and Target X as the creative team behind the character’s animated origins continued her comic book continuity, with the team continuing to use Laura throughout their New X-Men and X-Force runs. An experiment to recreate the Weapon X program that bonded adamantium to Wolverine’s skeleton, X-23 was cloned from a sample of Logan’s DNA, and forced to undergo rigorous training as a hired assassin. X-23 has 2 adamantium-bonded claws per hand, and a single metal claw on each foot.
Why She Matter Right Now: A fresh addition to Brian Michael Bendis’ All-New X-Men, in the latest issue #29 Laura Kinney, AKA X-23, was able to push past the Young Charles Xavier’s psychic onslaught, attack the unaware mutant from the future, and save the All-New X-Men from the Future Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. While Laura has been a recent love interest of young Scott Summers, with Cyclops’ sabbatical to the stars to reunite with his father Corsair leaving the couples’ future unknown, issue #29 of All-New X-Men saw romantic sparks fly between X-23 and a young Warren Worthington III. Will this new relationship with Angel be a match made in heaven? Pick up All-New X-Men from Marvel Comics to find out!
One of the inherent qualities of Marvel comics is the way it showcases people overcoming challenging obstacles while dealing with inherent flaws. Whether it was a nerdy kid dealing with new found coolness or a doctor struggling with his own anger issues, Marvel Comics have always had a way of showing that heroes could be just like us, and, logically, we could be just like heroes, no matter our flaws. But, when the obstacle our hero must face is a bit more apparent and specific it adds an additional layer of importance that makes the real-world comparisons that much more significant to society as a whole. When a reader can walk away from a book with some perspective, knowledge, and a bit more understanding…well, it’s just one of the things that makes comics great. So, without further ado, we present another installment of Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: Disabled Marvel Characters.
Honorable Mention: Curt Connors
Curt Connors was a gifted battlefield surgeon until a blast injured his right arm and it had to be amputated. Driven by this loss, Doctor Connors worked on a serum that would regrow his lost limb, the same way reptiles are able to regrow lost appendages, and one experiment-gone-wrong later, The Lizard was born. The long-time Spidey villain is one of THE most popular of the wall-crawlers menagerie of badguys, but good ole Doc Connors only gets a mention because of his alter-ego’s popularity and the inherent nature of the villain’s origin within the context of this List. It could be said that Connors disability, or rather the desire to remove it, drove him mad, leading him to throw caution and commonsense out the window and take the path toward villainy. But it’s cooler to look at the Lizard as an even worse disability than the one Connors was trying to fix…makes you wonder.
5. Misty Knight
Mercedes “Misty” Knight was an officer with the NYPD who lost her right arm while saving uncountable lives preventing a bomb attack. Unwilling to take a desk job because of her stubborn perseverance and drive to make a difference, Misty retired from the police force only to be given a bionic arm by Tony Stark granting her great strength and allowing her to take up her super-heroic shenanigans once again. Personally, I love the hair, and her on again/off again romance with Danny Rand notwithstanding, Misty is a great character, and she’s a respectful representative of the hundreds of police officers injured every year protecting American streets.
Paige Guthrie, the mutant known as Husk, has had a unique and important story during her relatively short history. Created in 1984, Husk is the brother of X-Man Cannonball, and when his mutant power revealed itself, Paige did everything she could to find out if she herself was a mutant. Upon finding out her power was the ability to shed her skin, Husk went into a deep depression, an illness that had yet to be dealt with in quite this way prior to Paige. Since then Paige has continued to be used as a tool for writers to deal with this serious and often ignored state of mind that can very easily become debilitating. While this use of the character has been seen as recently as Wolverine & the X-Men, Husk’s ability to shed her skin and become anew is such a creative and appropriate way to deal with something as serious and misunderstood as depression I knew she had to be a part of this list. In this case, like many other Marvel characters, Husk’s true power is over us, the readers.
Blinded as a child by a radioactive substance that falls from the back of a truck (in Hell’s Kitchen, New York no less), Matt Murdock becomes the Man Without Fear, Daredevil, as his other senses become supercharged due to the same accident. A sonar-like hearing, heightened sense of touch, and even super-smelling make Daredevil one of the coolest characters in all of comics, but also one of the most compelling. As Matt Murdock, the character known as Daredevil is a lawyer by profession, and the way he used his disability to help hide that alter-ego was a fascinating take on the whole context. I’d be in for a beating if I didn’t put Daredevil on this list, and his stock is in no fear of sliding as a Daredevil TV series is due out on Netflix in the next year or so.
2. Professor X
Any Marvel Comics fan worth his weight in adamantium recognizes the statement Stan Lee was making with 1963’s The X-Men, and it’s heralded as one of the most timely pieces of fiction supporting the entire equality movement of the 1960’s. While race, gender, and overall social equality were relatively blatant, the Civil Rights movement also empowered disabled groups to take direct action against discrimination, poor access to help, and inequality, demanding a social solution instead of the failing medical model. With all issues regarding equality, it’s been an uphill battle, with the Americans with Disabilities Act coming in 1990, with room for improvement still apparent today. Despite being bound to a wheelchair, Charles Xavier was by far the most powerful mutant in the world (at least until the Phoenix came along), and while his depiction made for a great role-model, his example and the perspective he provided was landmark. Professor X is still at the height of his popularity, with the current blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past making about a billion bucks at the box office.
1. Flash Thompson
Although Eugene “Flash” Thompson may be best known for bullying Peter Parker in High School, the way Marvel has utilized the character relatively recently has been nothing short of Spectacular in its own right. Leaving his job as a P.E. teacher, Flash re-enlists in the Army out of pure selfless patriotism to fight in the Iraq War. While on patrol, his platoon is ambushed, with Flash taking several bullets to his legs. Despite his wounds, Flash still manages to save his commanding officer, but winds up needing both his legs amputated below the knees. Although this earns him the Medal of Honor, Flash quickly sinks into a depression, only to be called back to duty for an experimental military project called, Agent Venom. That’s right, through the magic of science and more than a bit of the willpower only a war veteran could have, Flash becomes an all-new, all-heroic version of the villain known as Venom. Now a super-soldier in his own right, Flash/Agent Venom has recently taken to the stars in the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy, and it’s been so fun. Flash Thompson’s story of bravery, injury, loss, and unwillingness to give up symbolizes the heart of our fighting men and women in uniform, and is an example of the mettle our armed forces show each and every day.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for, oh, about 50 years, you already have an idea of who the Inhumans are. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s 1965 creation of a team of early humans experimented on my the alien Kree race instantly became an intriguing aspect of the Marvel Universe. The Inhumans were positioned to bridge the gap between Marvel’s Earth and Marvel’s Space brands, and this premise was used to great success for decades. While the Inhumans had amazingly cool powers, one thing separated them from the mutants or the Avengers. Not all of the Inhumans had super-powers, and in order for an Inhuman to activate his nascent power he had to be exposed to Terrigenesis, a process of transformation using the mystical Terrigen Crystals, which formed Terrigen Mist. It was all very convoluted, but made the Inhumans, and the super-powered Inhuman Royal Family, a comparably small faction of the overall population. This made the Inhumans special.
That special nature, however, ended quite abruptly during the Marvel event Infinity, when Black Bolt, the Inhuman king, detonated a bomb made to spread these Terrigen Mists over the entire planet, awakening abilities inside ANY person with even a portion of Inhuman DNA, and those horny Inhumans got plenty busy with those ignorant Earthers. The results of Black Bolts bomb is the addition of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of newly super-powered beings hanging out on Earth, quite the departure from a single Royal Family of Inhumans. While this may seem like a ton of overkill with the X-Men, other mutants, and every other powered being on Earth (and there’s certainly no lack of them), this breath of fresh air may be exactly what the Marvel U has been missing.
This week, writer Charles Soule and artist Joe Madureira will be continuing the story of the Inhumans where Infinity left off, with the series Inhuman. The title promises to take readers along on an exciting adventure of discovery and secrecy as we are introduced to newly created Inhumans. This whole experience isn’t just new to us readers, however, as many of these newly created Inhumans also have no idea what has happened to them. While Inhuman promises a brand new direction due to the overall newness of the title’s premise, this is by no means something that hasn’t been seen before.
We Don’t Really Need More Inhumans
Really, when you boil it all down, an Inhuman is nothing more than a mutant with a complex power. Most of the Inhumans have severe drawbacks that come along with their power-sets. Black Bolt, for instance, has a voice that can create waves of destructive sonic force, but this doesn’t allow the king to say anything. Even a whisper could bring down a mountain. The Inhuman Gorgon can create tectonic shockwaves, but his legs have been transformed into those of a bull. Now, there is certainly no preclusion of putting some negative connotation on a mutant power, or any other power for that matter. The infamous mutant Blob may be super strong, but that comes along with hundreds of pounds of fat. Glob Herman, Blindfold, Nightcrawler, and scores of other mutants fit this ideal. Look at The Sentry, the Superman knockoff with so much power, and an equal amount of psychosis, that he created his own arch-nemesis. Red Skull, The Thing, even The Green Goblin, all saw drawbacks to their power. So, why then do we even need yet another segment of the Marvel population to apply powers to? We already have plenty of examples and even more opportunity to delve into new characters that may have major drawbacks to their super-power. There’s, ultimately, no need for Marvel to so drastically change the Inhumans. Except, that it’s going to be awesome!
We Really Want to See More Inhumans
While there is really no need to create a new race of beings with good parts and bad parts of their powers because we already have one established in the Marvel U, there is certainly no rule of this sort that applies to the Marvel mutants. Just because a new mutant is discovered does not necessarily mean that there will be a downside to his power. This is not so with the Inhumans, and each and every new Inhuman character that is introduced should have a negative aspect to his character. This is an extraordinary way for writers to tell a story that should feel completely different than a traditional mutant tale. Sure, there’s always that chance that something unexpected will occur, but Inhuman guarantees this element of surprise with every new Inhuman discovered, and these discoveries are something that could never be done with mutants. Here’s an example from a recent interview with writer Charles Soules describing one of these new Inhumans.
Soule: So Reader is another Inhuman whose ability is, anything he reads, he can make real. So if he reads the word fire, then everything catches fire around him. He grew up in a society kind of like Orollan, sort of a more restricted Inhuman society. They realize that if they let this guy keep being able to read, bad things are going to keep happening. So they put out his eyes — they blinded him. So he’s sort of one of those blind warrior-types, but the way that he fights is he has a sheath of tin strips at his waste — they’re not very long, like a couple inches long — and each one has a word written on it in brail. So he basically reads the word in brail as he needs to, and then that kind of happens.
This sounds like one amazing character, one that is uniquely Inhuman in his origin and power, and something that simply could not be done with the traditional “find a new mutant, visit a new mutant” recipe that has been such a powerful aspect of the X-Men series of books. And this is only a single character! Soule has promised that he has a bunch of new characters in store for this title, and, unlike so many Marvel mutants, Soule has stated that these new characters are in no way safe. It’s been a long time since I found a new character that I really liked, and then had the writer kill him off without me being assured that I’ll see that character resurrected fairly soon. There are no such guarantees associated with Inhuman.
I was in no way sold on this event when I first heard it solicited a few months ago. I was determined to be upset at the changes to such a storied group like the Inhumans, and worried that these changes were nothing more than turning a truly unique group of characters into nothing more than the X-Men 2. While those fears are still very much on my mind, the elements being introduced within the pages of Inhuman are compelling and may be enough to eclipse any issues that may arise due to unfair comparisons. Although I’m still not totally sold on the title as a whole, I’m certainly on board for drastic changes to the overall Marvel landscape. What is yet to be ascertained, however, is if those drastic changes turn out to be changes at all, and not simply a publisher running out of ideas to steal from the competition, and instead stealing its own ideas and applying them to other properties. Charles Soule’s Inhuman drops tomorrow, April 2nd, so, I guess, we’ll find out really soon. Look for a review by the end of the week.