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Saturday, May 28, 2011

X-Facts: 8 Interesting "X-Men (First Class)" Bits

Since their debut in September 1961, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's "The X-Men" has become one of the most beloved comic book teams in history. With its premise of "mutants using their powers for the benefit of humanity" later mixed with engaging storylines that tackled issues of racism and prejudice among others, X-Men skyrocketed from the pages of a comic book towards worldwide popularity spawning toy lines, animated tv shows, video games, and a million-dollar movie franchise which included an X-Men film trilogy and a Wolverine Origins spin-off.

Now with the X-Men: First Class film just around the corner, here are some interesting facts about our all time-favorite mutant team that some of you may - or may not - know.

8) Contrary to "popular" belief, the "X" in the "X-Men" doesn't mean Xavier (after its mutant-telepath founder Charles Xavier). It actually referred to the "X-gene": an unknown gene that caused the mutant evolution which in turn gave other human beings "extra" powers or abilities.

    the X-Gene people. And its purple.

    7)Xavier's "School for Gifted Youngsters" complete address is 1407 Greymalkin Lane in Salem Center, in Weschester County in New York City. 
      Now you know where to find mutants.

      6) The original team was composed of Angel (Warren Worthington III), Cyclops (Scott Summers), Marvel Girl (Jean Grey), Beast (Hank-McCoy), and the snowball-throwing Iceman (Bobby Drake).  
        Snowballs. Beats Magneto every time.

        Snowballs, really?

        5) Not a lot of people know about this, but the idea of super powered/highly intelligent beings that were feared by humans first appeared in the science-fiction novel "Children of the Atom" by writer Wilmar H. Shiras - and is said to be the inspiration for the creation of the X-Men (though its never officially confirmed by its makers).

          The title "Children of the Atom" reappeared in 1999 as the title of an X-Men six-issue limited series that retold the team's origins, and of a 1994 classic arcade video game that had the most powerful Magneto EVER (at least in my opinion).

          4) Jean Grey (Marvel Girl/Phoenix) was the "apple of the eye" of everybody during the 1960's, with Cyclops and Angel competing for her affection. Apparently, they were not the only ones who had some kind of romantic love for Jean: the bald-headed Professor X did show some signs of having more than just "fatherly-love" towards her.

            I bet Charles and Jean had some kind of "telepathic-sex" back then and maybe... just maybe... that turned them into something like this:

            Bald Phoenix!!

            3)  Beast wasn't a "beast" back then... at least, not yet. He didn't sport the fur and the animalistic look which were all accustomed to see.
            He looked like a circus guy on a trampoline.

            But hey, at least this time in "First Class" film, Beast gets to kiss a teenage-hot Mystique. At least that's what I saw in the trailer. Not bad for a guy who eventually grew hairs in places you don't even want to know.

            2) Originally, Stan Lee wanted the series to be titled "The Merry Mutants". Because of its lameness, then-Marvel Publisher Martin Goodman turned it down and eventually changed it to "The X-Men".

              Really Stan? That's all you can come up with?

              Imagine if Goodwin gave the go signal for Lee's "The Merry Mutants". We would have titles like "The Uncanny Merry Mutants", the "Astonishing Merry Mutants", "The Merry Mutants: The Last Stand" or "The Merry Mutants: First Class" - all of them sounding like an 'effin comedy sitcom.

              We all have Goodwin to thank for folks.

              And finally...

              1) "The X-Men" was not all original like what most people think. They were based from another superhero team from the "House that Superman Built" who debuted 3 months before they did: 

              Wait is that Charles Xavier?

              DOOM PATROL, guys. Appeared in DC Comics in June 1963, the group consisted of once normal people who each got into an accident which in turn, gave them extraordinary powers.

              "That's sounds more like the Fantastic Four... how come the X-Men was a rip-off these guys?" Well let me count the ways:
              •  They were alienated from and feared by the human race because of their distinct "gifts".
              •  Just like the more marketable mutant team X-Men, Doom Patrol is led by a paraplegic in a wheelchair (The Chief). Only that DP's leader has hair and rocks a beard and mustache. 
              • Doom Patrol's main nemesis is group named... The Brotherhood of Evil. Now, if that doesn't sound familiar to you, X-Men's main villain - Magneto, leads a group which he calls The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. 
              • Finally, the tag line for X-Men #1 is the freaking same as Doom Patrol's:

              Interesting isn't it? Marvel didn't even bother to change their tag-line a bit and instead relied on the hope that readers would use their stupidity and therefore, not notice the obvious similarities.

              That's two points for Stan!

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