Don’t get me wrong. I’m as eager as anyone to see Michael Fassbender reprise his role as Magneto, but I just don’t have it in me to be excited about FOX’s X-Men movies anymore. The first two X-Men films were decent enough sci-fi concept pieces and certainly helped lay the groundwork for the current superhero movie craze, but it seems to me that neither they nor any of the mediocre (at best) followups have really captured the spirit of the characters I know and love. This latest installment looks to be more of the same: a decent fulfillment of the promise of the franchise as it is but a far cry from the passionate exuberance, loyalty to source material, and sheer fun of Marvel Studios’ Phase One projects. I’ve been a huge X-Men fan for more than twenty years, so those characters are some of the nearest and dearest to my heart. When I think about the wasted and frustrated potential of their license at FOX, I can’t help but wish for the unlikely miracle that would return it to Marvel’s hands. In the meantime, perhaps I should finally put my money where my mouth is and stop supporting FOX’s movies altogether. It’ll be a hard choice to make (as I’d love for FOX to prove me wrong), but the book is almost always better than the movie anyway.
For those X-fans like me who developed their infatuation with the X-Men thanks to Rogue’s raspy drawl in the ’90s animated series and who feel more than a little conflicted about the team’s cinematic forays, I offer the following as a nostalgic mood booster: