Tag Archives: x-men

The X-Men that You Don’t Know
[Partner Content] 03 JAN 2016

The X-Men continue to be a major pop culture force.

With a ninth movie coming out later this year (that Comicbook.com reports will be different than the others), the X-Men remain a major draw at the box office. They also continue to be huge in the gaming industry. The X-Men have appeared in more than 20 different video games to date and have a number of highly popular online games, as Gambling.com explains. And they include everything from card collecting-esque mobile titles to simpler experiences like slot machines that make use of imagery and sounds from the X-Men franchise.

But the popularity of the X-Men really comes down to a few characters, like Wolverine, Cyclops and Professor X. More serious fans, of course, know the backstories of Storm, Rogue and Mystique. That, though, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these mutants.

Casual fans of the series—those who watch the movies and play the games, but might not have dived into the comics—probably don’t realize that 95 heroes at one point or another have been classified as a member of the X-Men. A number of them you already know, but there are a bunch that have been forgotten to time for the simple fact they were not memorable or remarkable. (For a full list, check out this ranking from BuzzFeed).

Some of the more fun ones:

Hepzibah: She’s an alien skunk that briefly joins the X-Men in the mid-2000s while stranded on Earth. She’s incredibly agile and a good athlete with her most notable power being the ability to emit “mood-altering pheromones” at will. Basically, she skunk sprays her enemies. No idea if tomato juice zapped them out of her spell.

Hepzibah and the Starjammers

Stacy X: She was a mutant prostitute that first appeared in the comics in 2001 and briefly joined the X-Men before going on to other, ahem, adventures. She was part of an effort to appeal the comic more to adults, but just left everyone feeling kind of weird. She would later go on to join the New Warriors at Ripcord. No one seemed to miss her.

Goldballs: Yes, that’s the guy’s name. As you can guess, his gimmick has something to do with balls of gold. When he gets in a fight, he can shoot the gold balls from any part of his body, making him a human tennis ball cannon.

Husk: She first appeared in 1984 and her power is the ability to shed her skin and turn into different things underneath, usually metal or stone (or corn, if she really wanted to). She first joined the X-Men junior team in the Generation X storyline and then joined the regular X-Men later on.

Doop: He looks like a floating booger—or Slimer from the “Ghostbusters” movies. He is hard to understand and has a complicated history. The character is there for comic relief, something fans actually tend to enjoy during his appearances.

The Stepford Cuckoos: It counts as one member, but the Stepford Cuckoos are a trio of identical girls who are part of a psychic hive mind. Think the pretty mean girls in high school. Their psychic powers make them incredibly dangerous as they’ve used them to start school riots and other chaos.

These are just a few of the X-Men members who you likely, probably didn’t know about. Sometimes the X-Men are reminiscent of professional wrestlers as each seem to has a gimmick, varying from awesome to cringe-inducing terrible. No matter what, though, they are always interesting.

New X-Men Cosplay: X-23 (Nadyasonika) Cosplay 15 MAY 2014

Mexican industrial design student, costume designer and maker, cosplayer, model, and gamer Nadya Anton is perhaps better known by her online handle Nadyasonika. For this particular cosplay outing she brings to life the wickedly effective mutant X-23!

Cloned from a damaged copy of Wolverine’s genome, X-23 was created to be the perfect killing machine. For years, she proved herself a notable assassin, though a series of tragedies eventually led her to Wolverine and the X-Men, with whom she now seeks to turn her life around.

new x-men cosplay x-23 by mexican cosplayer nadya anton aka nadyasonika 1

X-23 is a female clone created from Wolverine’s genetic material. Consequently, her mutant powers are similar to his. Like Wolverine, X-23’s primary mutant ability is an accelerated healing factor that allows her to regenerate damaged or destroyed tissues with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. Injuries such as gunshot wounds, slashes, and puncture wounds completely heal within a matter of minutes. Her healing factor is developed to such a degree that she can reattach severed limbs. She has also been shown to be able to regrow limbs.

The effects of her accelerated healing powers extend to her body’s immune system, rendering her immune to disease and infection. She is also immune to most drugs and toxins, although she can be affected by certain drugs if given sufficient dosage.

X-23’s mutant healing factor heightened her physical senses, strength, speed, agility, reflexes/reactions, coordination, balance, endurance to superhuman levels. Like Wolverine, X-23 possesses retractable claws sheathed within her forearms (though unlike Wolverine, she only sports two claws). She releases the claws through the tissue of her knuckles, leaving small wounds which are healed by her healing factor.

She also possesses a single, retractable claw housed within each foot. Although her skeletal structure wasn’t fused with adamantium like Wolverine’s was, her claws were all extracted, coated and then re-inserted, meaning that she comes with the same cutting power as the original.

Born and raised in captivity, X-23 has been trained to become a living weapon. She is highly trained in the use of long range weapons and explosives and is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant, with intensive training in numerous armed and unarmed martial arts techniques. She has also been subjected to conditioning in which a specific “trigger scent” has been used to send her into a berserker rage, killing anything in sight; Emma Frost is unsure if this will ever be fully suppressed.

She is also highly educated and so far has displayed that she is fluent in French and Japanese.

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Uncanny X-Men Cosplay: Rogue (Constantine in Tokyo) Cosplay 25 DEC 2013

Constantine, better identified as Constantine in Tokyo, dons the famous green and yellow bodysuit of everyone’s favourite mutant Uncanny X-Man and southern belle – Rogue!

uncanny x-men cosplay rogue by constantine in tokyo 1

Rogue has worn a number of costumes and been on both sides of the fence during her long run as a comic book character, being consistently one of the most popular female characters from the X-Men canon.

Identified by her trademark white streak in her dark hair, Rogue packs a powerful punch, possessing superhuman strength and durability, as well as the power of flight. Of course these were all gained through her primary mutant ability, the power to absorb both the power and memory of others through contact with her skin, often resulting in a comatose state of those that she touches.

With a complex and painful background, Rogue is certainly a tragic character, but her powerful resolve and strength of character always ensures that she is a proper force to be reckoned with!

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X-Men Cosplay: Psylocke (Constantine in Tokyo) Cosplay 13 NOV 2013

For today’s cosplay entry, Constantine, better known as Constantine in Tokyo, tackles one of the hottest ninja, psychic warriors to ever come out of Britain, Ms. Betsy Braddock, a.k.a Psylocke!

uncanny x-men cosplay psylocke by constantine in tokyo 1

Over the years various writers have certainly put her character through the wringer, but at the start of it all, creator Chris Claremont’s precognitive ninja played supporting character to her fraternal twin brother, Captain Britain, even substituting every now and then for him. Later on she became the mutant superheroine Psylocke, who developed telepathic abilities and then later acquired Jean’s Grey’s telekinesis.

Known for her psychic blades, Psylocke is nevertheless a warrior who can really get into your head!

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Uncanny X-Force Cosplay: Psylocke (Constantine in Tokyo) Cosplay 23 OCT 2013

Constantine, also known as Constantine in Tokyo, turns to the new Uncanny X-Force line for this particular cosplay outing, picking out the delectably deadly Psylocke as her character of choice!

uncanny x-force cosplay psylocke by constantine in tokyo 1

Over the years various writers have certainly put her character through the wringer, but at the start of it all, creator Chris Claremont’s precognitive ninja played supporting character to her fraternal twin brother, Captain Britain, even substituting every now and then for him. Later on she became the mutant superheroine Psylocke, who developed telepathic abilities and then later acquired Jean’s Grey’s telekinesis.

Known for her psychic blades, Psylocke is nevertheless a warrior who can really get into your head!

In her most recent outing, following the aftermath of Second Coming, Psylocke (along with Deadpool, Fantomex, and Archangel) is selected by Wolverine to be a member of the new X-Force, the sole condition being that no one must learn of the team’s existence. Psylocke has been seen using her telepathy to help Warren control the “Archangel” persona in his mind, which has led to the two rekindling their previous relationship. The team’s first mission is to locate and kill Apocalypse, who has been reborn. After the events of SCHISM, while Psylocke has decided to stay on Utopia with Cyclops’ team, she also secretly stays on X-Force to help whenever Wolverine requests. Cyclops also places Psylocke in charge of a new X-Men Security team, asking her to be his spy and spy-hunter.

During the Dark Angel Saga, the Jean Grey of the Age of Apocalypse universe opened up Psylocke’s mind, allowing her to tap into a previously untapped power. Writer Rick Remender confirms that Psylocke is now an Omega Level telepath. She also willingly gives up her capability to feel sorrow and regret as part of a bargain to save Fantomex from death at the hands of Skinlessman.

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Uncanny X-Men Cosplay: Emma Frost – The White Queen (Constantine in Tokyo) Cosplay 08 OCT 2013

Emma Frost, once the White Queen and part of the infamous Hellfire Club, has since moved on from being one of the X-Men’s most dangerous foes to being one of their most central members. Constantine, perhaps better known as Constantine in Tokyo, has taken it upon herself to don the necessary skimpy white attire and bring to life this powerful mutant telepath!

uncanny x-men cosplay emma frost by constantine in tokyo 1

Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne back in 1980 and first appearing in Uncanny X-Men #129, Emma Frost started out as a dangerous mutant telepath associated with Sebastian Shaw’s Hellfire Club under the moniker the White Queen. Over the years however this powerful telepath has gradually switched alliances, becoming somewhat of a hero in the process. Sophisticated, elegant and with quite a dry wit, Emma Frost has since become one of the most popular female characters in the entire Marvel stable.

Her abilities include of course her powerful telepathy which allows her such feats as broadcasting and receiving thoughts, mind-control, altering perceptions and memories, psychic shielding, astral projection, mind switching, mental sedation and even the ability to inflict mental pain via touch. She can also activate or boost other mutants’ abilities as well. Outside of her psionic abilities, Emma also has the ability to transform into her diamond form, which comes at the price of her psychic abilities but delivers to her an indestructible body and increased strength.

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Comic Book Update: Preacher: Dixie Fried | X-Men: FF | Iron Man: Extremis Comic Books | My Reviews 23 SEP 2013

Every now and then I’ll pick up a comic book to read, though I have to say that these days it is pretty few and far between. Anyway, here’s a quick roundup of some of the graphic novels I did in fact encounter over the last couple of months…

Preacher: Dixie Fried (Volume 5) (1998)

preacher volume 5 fried dixie comic coverAfter destroying the headquarters of the all-powerful Grail conspiracy and freeing his hard-drinking vampire pal Cassidy from its dungeons, the Reverend Jesse Custer is about to reunite with his straight-shooting girlfriend Tulip O’Hare and resume his hunt for answers from an elusive God – provided that Tulip forgives him for leaving her behind during his little rescue mission.

But getting those answers will mean delving into the hidden mind of Genesis, the angel/demon offspring that has fused itself to Jesse’s soul, and that will require some serious spiritual excavation – the kind that only real, down-home black magic can offer. Luckily, Cassidy happens to know a voodoo priest in New Orleans who can help unlock the Genesis memories in Jesse’s head. In the same breath, unluckily, Cassidy also has a cult of bloodthirsty vampire wannabes in New Orleans after his head!

Even after all of these years Preacher still holds up as a thoroughly entertaining ready, a seriously black comedy drama that doesn’t care what sacred religious cow it touches, or in most cases, bruises. Twists and turns a plenty, weird and generally terrifying characters and situations, both subtle and not so subtle bits of injected dark humour, and just all in all a very engaging and gripping story, from start to finish.

And needless to say, Volume 5 (Dixie Fried) in this saga by writer Garth Ennis doesn’t disappoint in any of the above regards.

At the same time, artist Steve Dillon produces some fantastically detailed and emotive visuals to back up this great read, making Preacher: Dixie Fried a good recommendation to any of your not easily offended comic book reading friends.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preacher_(comics)

X-Men: FF (2012)

x-men ff trade paperback comic book coverWhen the Future Foundation discovers a distress beacon from another dimension, they turn to the heroes best suited to help: the X-Men! But these are strange times for both teams: the X-Men are aligned with their arch-nemesis Magneto, while the FF has forged an uneasy alliance with their own eternal enemy, Dr. Doom. When the two teams hop dimensions to rescue Cyclops’ ex-girlfriend, sea captain Lee Forrester, they encounter dinosaurs, alien invaders and an old friend in Skull the Slayer. But what is the greatest threat? The dinosaurs? The aliens? Or Doom and Magneto?

Plus: the mutant super heroes meet the new Ghost Rider!

Collecting X-MEN (2010) #15.1 and #16-19, the X-Men: FF trade paperback is written by Victor Gischler and illustrated by Jorge Molina, Mirco Pierfederici and Will Conrad.

The Ghost Rider meet-up aside (which feels like a forced exercise in padding to be quite honest), the X-Men: FF story arc turns out to be a hugely entertaining one, delivering a solid story that has all the hallmarks of action, adventure, humour and big fight scenes that you have come to expect from a great X-men comic book tale. There is plenty of “screen time” for all the involved cast members (both X-men and Future Foundation) and as per usual the interactions between the various team members, not mention the teams themselves, make for an engaging read.

(And besides, who doesn’t like a story set in a dinosaur-filled, lost Savage Land type setting anyway?)

Visually I have to say that I enjoyed the pages from all the artists involved, with all three art teams delivering work that is stylistically fairly similar, thus making the story feel a little less disjointed than what it could have (a problem often encountered with multi-artist story arcs). The colouring throughout is gorgeous, as expected from one of these top shelf franchises, and overall I have to say this is an enjoyable read to pick up if you have some spare time on your hands.

Obviously not a very deep, dramatic or seminal story being told here, but pretty damn good entertainment nevertheless!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men

Iron Man: Extremis (2005)

iron man extremis trade paperback coverA landscape of terrifying new technologies threatens to overwhelm fragile mankind! What is Extremis, who has unleashed it, and what does its emergence portend for the world?

Extremis is a 2005 six part story arc from writer Warren Ellis and artist Adi Granov that sought to redefine the character into a more modern day setting. It’s an extremely popular Iron Man story and indeed, elements from the arc were lifted to form the basis of the excellent Iron Man 3 movie.

Whilst this story of a virus capable of creating incredibly powerful superhuman subjects which after sabotage is set on a direct collision course with a greatly outmatched Iron Man is certainly entertaining and makes for a great tale, I have to say, I don’t quite get why it is such a highly regarded Iron Man arc. I do get the fact that it serves the purpose of redefining a more modern Iron Man quite well, but I have to say that for me it felt like more of a throw away story arc than anything else – and the often forced dialogue didn’t really help its case either.

On the art front Adi Granov’s visuals are amazingly detailed and gorgeous to look at, but in the same breath suffers from the problem most photo realistic artists suffer from – panels appear very static and it is difficult for a reader to get much in terms of action and movement out of it.

Still, it was a good read and on the whole the art IS gorgeous, making it a certainly recommendable read, particularly for those already heavily invested in the Iron Man universe.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremis

X-Men Cosplay: Kitty Pryde a.k.a. Shadowcat (RuffleButt) Cosplay 09 SEP 2013

Kitty Pryde, a.k.a. Shadowcat, has literally grown up in front X-Men comic book fans as the years have passed by, maturing from a young insecure girl into a strong and resilient X-Man that all her teammates can depend on. Today’s fantastic cosplay rendition of everyone’s favourite intangible heroine comes from American cosplayer RuffleButt, also known as Jessie Pridemore to her mom.

x-men cosplay kitty pryde shadowcat by american cosplayer rufflebutt aka jessie pridemore 1

A mutant, Kitty possesses a “phasing” ability that allows her and objects or people with which she is in contact to become intangible. This power also disrupts any electrical field she passes through, and allows her to simulate levitation. At the time of her initial membership, under the then codename Sprite, Pryde was the youngest person invited to join the X-Men team.

During her early years, she was portrayed as a “kid sister” to many older members of the X-Men, filling the role of literary foil to the more established characters. However, this has evolved with time and Shadowcat is now more than capable of standing on her own. Apart from her phasing skills, Kitty is also a capable pilot and hand-to-hand fighter, as well as possessing excellent computer skills, both in terms of programming and design.

Oh, and she is a talented dancer, at a professional level in both ballet and modern dance, and can shout at you in English, Japanese or Russian if she so wants!

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X-Men Cosplay: Psylocke (Angeli) Cosplay 28 AUG 2013

Captured at the San Diego Comic Con International 2009 meet by photographer “Eurobeat King”, American cosplayer Angeli tackles one of the hottest ninja, psychic warriors to ever come out of Britain, Ms. Betsy Braddock, a.k.a Psylocke, for today’s comic cosplay entry.

And yes, she does it well.

Over the years various writers have certainly put her character through the wringer, but at the start of it all, creator Chris Claremont’s precognitive ninja played supporting character to her fraternal twin brother, Captain Britain, even substituting every now and then for him. Later on she became the mutant superheroine Psylocke, who developed telepathic abilities and then later acquired Jean’s Grey’s telekinesis.

Known for her psychic blades, Psylocke is nevertheless a warrior who can really get into your head!

Continue reading