The GeeksverseMutant Cinema: From Comics to Screen Review

Mutant Cinema: From Comics to Screen Review
Published on Monday, March 14, 2011 by

Luckily, when putting together an overdue review you realize which parts are timely and which are timeless. Mutant Cinema is a book about the X-Men comics without an expiration date.

Sequart Research & Literacy Organization is a non-profit devoted to the study and promotion of comic books as a legitimate art.Continuing Seqart.org’s mission to increase literacy and discussion about comic books, this offering dives into the history of the comics and first three X-films. Mutant Cinema allows movie-goers and comic fans alike an indepth look into the adaptation of comic to screen. The book takes the stance that the comics provide the source material for at least characters and situations for the movies thus study is needed to delve into the franchise fully. Sadly, not all movie-goers have went back into the years of back bins and trade paper backs to explore the material fully.

Here is an overview of the table of contents to provide an idea of the topics discussed within this book.

  • A Brief History of X-Men Comic Books ……………………………………………….. 7
  • Previous Adaptations of the X-Men …………………………………………………….. 33
  • Development of X-Men………………………………………………………………………… 41
  • X-Men Prequel Comics ………………………………………………………………………. 47
  • X-Men (2000) …………………………………………………………………………………… 57
  • Act 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 58
  • Act 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 78
  • Act 3 ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 96
  • Epilogues …………………………………………………………………………………. 107
  • Reaction to X-Men …………………………………………………………………………… 111
  • Box Office for X-Men ………………………………………………………………………. 117
  • Development of X2 ………………………………………………………………………….. 121
  • X2 Prequel Comics ………………………………………………………………………….. 127
  • X2 (2003) ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 133
  • Act 1 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 133
  • Act 2 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 161
  • Act 3 ………………………………………………………………………………………… 175
  • Reaction to X2 ………………………………………………………………………………… 195
  • Box Office for X2 ……………………………………………………………………………. 199
  • Development of X-Men: The Last Stand ……………………………………………. 203
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) …………………………………………………………. 209
  • Act 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 210
  • Act 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 238
  • Act 3 ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 247
  • Reaction to X-Men: The Last Stand ………………………………………………….. 263
  • Box Office for X-Men: The Last Stand ……………………………………………… 269

From the Introduction:

The purpose of this book is to examine the X-Men’s transition from comic book to screen. The X-Men films, perhaps more than any other comic-book movies before them, pull, adapt, and translate their scenes and characters directly from the comics. They deftly navigate the complex history of the characters to tell stories that satisfy both longtime fans and the new generation of film goers that may have never read the comic book. This process is one that will bring back fond memories or perhaps fill in a few unknown gaps for the die-hard comics reader, while giving those new to the X-Men phenomenon a guide to the four-color origins of the movie stories.

This book is a 300 page film text for the comic book reader and film goer. This book endeavors to cater to everyone. The book opens with a comics history that might be familiar to Might Marvel Maniacs but was missed by more media munching mutant maniacs. The book provides copious history of the movies for anyone not glued to the production blogs, DVD commentaries, and all manner of websites that allow comic book readers to follow such things. This book is a handy historical reference.

But wait, there’s more!

Mutant Cinema also provides a comparative literary analysis of the films and comics.
From movie X-1 Act I

The first act of X-Men has an especially heavy load to carry. It must establish the concept and characters so that they are understood by and interesting to people who know nothing about them, while also staying true enough to the source material to avoid alienating fans who know it by heart.


The first sympathetic portrayal of Magneto came toward the end of the original series, in X-Men Vol. 1 #62-63 (Nov-Dec 1969). Writer Roy Thomas and artist Neal Adams told a story in which a man who calls himself the Creator develops a machine to turn creatures of the primitive Savage Land into mutants. The Creator heals a badly wounded Angel and claims he’s out to help mutants, much like Xavier. Angel vows to help the Creator, even against the X-Men. After Angel leaves, the Creator wonders dons the helmet of Magneto, never before shown without his helmet and costume. The X-Men stop Magneto’s mutant-making machine, and the Master of Magnetism appears to die for his dream at the end of the story.

Magneto reverted to typical villain mode in the comics of the early 1970s, when he appeared in other Marvel series while X-Men was on hiatus. In Avengers #186 (Aug 1979), Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were revealed
as the children of Magneto and a woman named Magda. A month later, in The Uncanny X-Men #125 (Sept 1979), Magneto was shown mourning her death. Magneto’s actual experiences in the Holocaust have rarely been portrayed in comics. The story that most resembles the movie’s prologue appears in The New Mutants #49 (Mar 1987) and shows Nazi soldiers gunning down Magneto’s family at a funeral and burying the bodies in a mass grave. The young boy Magneto survives, rising from the grave, and is sent to Auschwitz.

The comparative nature of this book makes this a meeting point for film goers and comic buffs.

As I mentioned before, most of this book is timeless. Mutant Cinema covers the X-trilogy in the theaters and on DVD. Perhaps a new film will throw the entire book into a new focus, but it wouldn’t negate anything herein. SeqArt has put together a great reference book that is both informational and easy to read. While this book is not the newest book on the shelf, 2008, it is still applicable and usable.

Students of the comic genre

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