Tag Archives: x-men

Wolverine vs. Iceman

Iceman just finished his morning workout in the Danger Room. He walked into the communal bathrooms to take a shower when he spotted Wolverine going through all of his stuff. The deodorant was out, the cap off.


“What the hell man?” Iceman threw his hands in the air.

“What the hell to you too, bub,” Wolverine shot back. Not only was he not surprised to see Iceman, he hadn’t even looked up, or stopped rummaging through Iceman’s stuff.

“Come on, Wolverine, I asked you to stop doing this.”

“Doin’ what?”

“Don’t pull that amnesiac shit on me. Seriously, why are doing this to me? Why do keep breaking the lock off of my locker and going through my stuff?”

“Heh. I don’t know whatchyer thinkin’ puttin’ a lock on that locker. You know I’ve got these claws, eh? Cut right through anythin’.”

“Yeah, OK, that’s fine man, I know you can cut through anything. It was more like a symbolic lock, like please don’t go into my locker, like could you please stop rummaging through my stuff and using my deodorant? What’s the deal with the deodorant?”

“I just thought it smelled nice is all. I have a really heightened sense o’ smell. You know it’s one of my powers …”

“OK, great, that’s one of your powers, terrific. How many powers do you have anyway? You’ve got claws and healing and strength and smelling powers, what do they have to do with anything? What kind of powers are Wolverine powers? Just a bunch of dumb stupid junk powers that don’t have anything to do with each other?”

“Heh. Better ‘n just ice powers, snowflake.”

“Yeah, well you know what? At least I’ve got a consistent thing. It’s easy, it’s Iceman. I’m the guy with the ice powers. It’s not like you see me with a little bit of super speed, and maybe some extra abilities where my hair comes up to a stupid point at the sides, and I’d have some crazy name that makes no sense at all, like ‘Oh, hey everybody, from now on, I want my superhero name to be Octane,’ or some bullshit. What the hell do you have anything to do with a wolverine? You ever a see a real wolverine? Come on dude, you’re such a joke. Why don’t you just go back to Japan or something? Seriously, everybody hates you around here.”

“The professor don’t hate me.”

“Yes he does. He absolutely hates you.”

“No he doesn’t.”

“I’m telling you, for real, listen to me here, the Professor can’t stand you. Whenever you leave the room he’s always making fun of your dumb accent and your stupid haircut.”

“I don’t have a dumb accent.”

I doon’t have a doomb aah-xent.

Snikt! Wolverine drew his claws.

“Oh wow, I’m scared now. Oh man, Wolverine popped his knives out. I guess I shouldn’t have made fun of his dumb accent. Oh jeez, man, Wolverine, I’m really sorry. Can we just forget about this maybe? I’m just, wow, I’m really, really scared. I don’t know if … just … holy …”

“It’s OK, bub.”

Snikt! Wolverine put his claws away.

“Are you for real? You don’t have any sense of sarcasm at all?”

“I said apology accepted.”

“You fucking moron, I wasn’t apologizing.”

“Oh yeah? Well why’d ya say sorry then, eh?”
“Because I was … I can’t even. That’s how sarcasm works. Because I’m not scared of you. I have powers too, you know.”

“Heh. Yeah, you’ve got snow powers.”

“Are you serious? Are you for real right now? Just because I don’t walk around smoking a dumb cigar and riding a motorcycle doesn’t mean I’m any less powerful than you. Especially you.”

“That cigar ain’t a power. That’s just a cigar.”

“Yeah, idiot, I know it’s a cigar. I can’t even have a conversation with you.”

“Yeah, because you’d lose at a conversation just like you’d lose at a fight.”

“I wouldn’t lose at a fight. Do you have any idea what I’m capable of? I could freeze you right in your tracks.”

“Heh, I can handle the cold. I’m from upstate.”

“Yeah, whatever, I could freeze the blood in your veins. I could bury you underneath a goddamn iceberg. You know what entropy is? Huh? Of course you don’t. But it’s fucking cold. For real. That’s where this is heading, everything, the universe, all of our atoms, it’s all heading to the cold, the big freeze, and you know who’s the only one around here ready for an ice age?”

“Yeah. Wolverine.”

“No, not fucking Wolverine. It’s me. Iceman.”

“OK, well, I disagree, bub.”

“Fuck you, Wolverine. Just go fuck yourself. Fucking asshole. And stop using my fucking deodorant. Seriously, one more time and I’m going to Cyclops.”

“Heh. Cyclops.”

Iceman storms out. Then he comes back in to scoop up his duffel bag, his things strewn around his open locker.

“Wolverine, come on, please, please, just knock it off. Keep the deodorant. Come on man, just … enough, I live here too, you know.”

“Heh. Sure thing snowman.”

Where do Mystique’s clothes go when she shape-shifts?

I just saw X-Men: Days of Future Past last night, and I can’t stop thinking about Mystique. Spoiler alert: there are no spoilers for the movie in this blog post. The spoiler alert was in regards to this actual blog post. In reading this paragraph, I’m basically giving it all away, what I’m about to talk about. Mystique.


She’s the naked blue mutant that can shape-shift into whatever she wants. Cool, right? Yeah, but it gets even cooler. Because there’s one scene where she jumps out of a window, and everybody around is like, “Oh my God! A naked blue mutant!” and she needs to make discreet exit. So she kind of loses herself in the calamity and transforms into a regular looking woman wearing a really poofy fur coat.

But get this. She didn’t do a good job of disappearing into the crowd, because somebody finds her, again, I’m not going to reveal too much about the movie, because I don’t want to spoil anything. But what happens is, she takes off the big poofy fur coat, and she transforms back into her naked blue form.

And the coat is just lying on the ground, without any explanation as to how it exists independently of Mystique’s body. You know what I’m saying? Because she’s naked, and she does her crazy shape-shifting thing and she’s not naked anymore, she’s wearing clothes now. If she wants to change into an army guy, her army clothes appear from her body.

So how does she take off that coat? Isn’t that a part of her body? Do her powers include the ability to generate an infinite amount of disposable clothing? Or after a certain number of articles of clothing discarded onto the floor, does she get weak? Like does she need to eat a really big meal to replenish whatever it was that she lost when she just threw the coat on the floor? Or, even worse, is this how Mystique maybe goes to the bathroom? She just transforms all of her excretion into fashion?

That’s disgusting. But how are we to make sense of any of it? Let’s go back to her being naked. And then she transforms into a guy wearing a suit. Is that suit technically a layer of her skin? Or is it dead, like hair? Like, if someone walks up to her and says, “Wow, that’s a really nice jacket,” and starts feeling the fabric, maybe giving it an aggressive pinch to get a sense of how durable the material is, would she react? Would it hurt?

Or maybe her power is just truly super, even in comparison with her already super shape-shifting abilities. Maybe she can just come up with an infinite amount of clothing, and it doesn’t matter, take it off, whatever, she can just whip up some new threads instantly. In that case, wouldn’t it be cool to have Mystique as a friend? You could have her transform into you, but wearing some really nice clothes, and then she could take them off and give them to you. And you could have her do this every time you wanted to wear something brand new.

I just wish they thought it through a little further before cementing this scene in place. Because what, you didn’t think anybody would notice, right? Well I noticed. And if you read this, and you go see the movie, now you’ll notice it too. And it cannot be unseen. She just takes the jacket off and throws it on the ground.

I can’t stop playing this one game of chess

I never play chess, but apparently neither does my friend Bill, because we’ve been stuck playing this same game for like three hours now. I don’t even know where he found this chess set, probably on the street, it has a distinct yard sale look. It’s one of those crystal chess sets, or fake crystal, whatever, but you know, the kind popularized by the first X-Men movie, when Professor X is playing chess with Magneto, but because he controls metal, he’s in a plastic cell, and everything’s made out of clear plastic.


That was like the go-to Christmas present for everybody’s dad across the country that Christmas. “Look dad! I got you a present!” and the dad’s like, “Gee … thanks son … it’s a chess set. Thanks.” And the kid is so oblivious, so pumped about how cool it looks, he can’t tell his dad’s blatant lack of enthusiasm, “You want to play dad?” and what’s the dad going to say, no? It’s Christmas. “All right, set it up, let’s do it.”

One game of chess, one painfully slow game of chess, during course of which, I’m sure even junior realized his total lack of chess abilities, that just because you know what each piece does doesn’t mean you know how to play. Ten minutes later, the pieces are back in the box. Ten minutes after that, the set is lodged permanently underneath the coffee table, where it sat unused, for years, for over a decade, and that kid doesn’t even live here anymore, he never came back after he left for college.

“Let’s have a yard sale!” from the mom turns into, “Look what I got for only five bucks!” from my friend Bill, and he looked so happy, jeez, he’s not an unhappy guy or anything, but it’s rare to see him this happy, and so I’m scratching my head, “Sure man, set it up, let me know when you’re ready to go.”

And chess, Jesus, I’ve read articles about chess, how the pros spend so much time looking at previous games and mastering moves thought out seven turns ahead, that it’s not even about an individual piece, they’re playing patterns, brainwaves are working at a level that would take me probably the rest of my lifetime to dedicate just to learn how to think that way.

I remember one night while I was in Ecuador, the power went out and, for lack of anything else to do, I spent ten or fifteen minutes just staring at my Internet-less laptop screen, going through the hollow motions of pointing and clicking and opening up folders and there I found it, the built-in chess app. I said to myself, I know how to play chess, I was in the chess club.

Yes, I was in the chess club, but so was everybody else in my school. We had this rule, you had to belong to at least two extracurricular activities every year, and the two default clubs that required practically zero effort whatsoever were chess club and social studies club. Social studies club is a whole different page of crazy, but it more or less amounted to an extra social studies class once a week after school, sitting in a desk and listening to the crazy old social studies teacher get lost in tangents about when the UK and the USA were finally going to merge into the United States of the North Atlantic. Insane stuff.

But he made us sit there the whole time. At least the chess club moderator let us put our names on the sign up sheet before chess club started. So it was basically sign up, sit around and pretend to play chess for a while, and then leave. Chess club.

I wondered if Bill was in chess club also, and he confirmed it, not in anything he said, but by his opening move, he took the castle right from the back and jumped over the front row of pawns. Whatever, I really didn’t feel like prolonging the agony, so I let it slide. The game would have been cool if we at least had those timers, the cool things the pros slam down on when they’re done taking their turns, but we didn’t have anything.

And as we each started accumulated pieces, our attitudes turned surprisingly competitive. No, I don’t think either of us were exactly following the rules, I mean, I didn’t jump any pawns, but I did execute a very questionable castling maneuver, like I know it’s possible, but I just kept assuring Bill, “No, it’s totally legal. That’s exactly how it’s done,” and finally we got down to just two kings, his and mine, pointlessly circling each other around the board.

“What do you say Bill, call it a draw?” and he smiled, “Sure, if you want to forfeit, we can stop playing.”

Of course I wanted to stop playing, these were some of the most boring minutes I had spent all week. But forfeit? To Bill? I would have been hearing about it for years. This guy doesn’t let anything go, the most trivial successes have a way of echoing down the ages, I could see it now, he’d be over my house years from now visiting my family around Christmastime. He’d see the chess set my son bought for me, and he’d throw in, “You know, I used to beat your dad in chess all the time when we were roommates.”

Bullshit. “No way Bill, it’s either a draw, or we keep playing.”

And that’s been it. I feel like I’m being fair here, I’m not demanding Bill gives up. Why is he being so stubborn? Isn’t this boring for him too? How long are we going to keep this up?

Movie Review: The Wolverine

After watching The Wolverine, I’m starting to doubt my power to give any superhero movie a fair review. Am I that biased? Have decades of reading comic books left me unable to separate the good from the garbage? I mean, yes, I loved Dark Knight Rises. Like, I really, really, really loved Dark Knight Rises. But I thought Daredevil was pretty cool. And Thor. And Iron Man 3. And Spider-Man 3. And X-Men 3.

the wolverine

And The Wolverine. I was watching that movie in the theater, sitting there, thinking to myself, man, this is a pretty cool movie. Pretty badass. Even when Wolverine got escorted through security, and the guards are waving the metal detectors all over his body, and all of the readings are off, you know, he’s got that metal skeleton and everything, and he says, “hip replacement,” I was like, well, OK, yeah, that’s kind of cheesy, but it’s still OK. I mean, yeah, he does have a metal skeleton and I’m sure that’s got to be annoying after a while, constantly trying to explain himself.

And then much later in the movie when he’s trying to get through airport security and the machine’s going nuts, and he’s just like, “I want the pat-down,” it’s like, really? Two metal detector jokes? But maybe it’s not a joke, maybe they’re just really driving home the point that, if you had a metal skeleton, this is what you’d have to deal with on a regular basis, deal with it. And that’s kind of like a really hard directorial trick, right? Like getting us really inside the character’s head?

But I’m jumping ahead. It starts in the woods somewhere. The Wolverine is sleeping outside, not like in a tent or anything, but just right outside. And he’s got a severe case of PTSD. But that’s OK too, because he’s sworn off killing, a solemn vow as he calls it. Except, there’s this guy in the woods who shoots this bear that the Wolverine has befriended, and that kind of sets him off, like it’s just the right offense to make him forget his solemn vow.

But that’s kind of believable, I mean, if I were living in the woods by myself, with a big beard and long hair, and a stupid little radio that runs on size D batteries, batteries that kept dying way too fast, so fast that I’d have to walk all the way into town and buy just one two-pack of batteries and then walk all the way back to the woods, and my only friend was a bear, and somebody shot my friend, I guess I’d be pissed. Yeah, that makes sense.

We’re out of the woods soon enough. The Wolverine’s got some business to attend to in Japan. Some guy that the Wolverine saved from the atom bomb in Nagasaki wants to say thank you, and goodbye, and also, sit still for a second so I can steal your healing powers, please. The whole rest of the movie takes place in Japan, showing off everything as Japanese as you might imagine: ninjas, samurais, secret orders of the black clan, marrying the Minister of Justice to help out with your family’s honor, getting scolded for leaving your chopsticks sticking out of your bowl of rice. It’s all very authentic. And very picturesque too.

In the comics, Wolverine does spend some time in Japan, and he winds up getting involved with a woman named Mariko. I only mention this because, when you see Mariko and Wolverine suddenly fall in love, the only reason that makes sense as to where the out-of-nowhere mutual attraction arose from is, well, it happened in the comics, so there you go, it’s happening in this movie also. But whatever, it’s love at first sight. That’s no reason to criticize a movie. In fact, it’s just another added dimension to the film. Look at me, I’m practically a romantic over here, gushing about true love.

There’s some blond villain named Viper. It’s one of those names that she kind of gives herself while she does this speech explaining her powers, more or less, “I possess the ability to manufacture any type of poison. Also, I’m immune to every class of venom. I guess you could say I’m a … Viper.” And it just takes off, because soon random Japanese people are referring to her as capital V Viper in their English subtitles.

But I can’t knock it. That’s her name, it’s Viper. That’s who she is. Who am I to judge her name, how she dresses? Hell, if I were a blond super villain named Viper, I’d probably only wear green also. Like green leather pants, and green tank tops. And then green dresses later on, and green eye shadow. That’s her thing, she wears green, like a snake, like a green viper. And she has that viper tongue, it’s always like slithering out of her mouth. She’s like a snake lady.

And then, I don’t know, there’s fighting and stuff. And there’s some sort of a plan to kidnap a granddaughter to trick the son, who in turn is using the fiancé, all in an effort to get back at the grandfather, I think. And the Wolverine is there. And he does this crazy fight scene on top of a three hundred mile per hour train.

It’s awesome! That’s probably all that it is, it’s just a truly great movie. I’m here doubting my reviewing skills, but it’s not me, it’s not me just blindly slapping a seal of approval on all projects Marvel. No, The Wolverine must have been a truly amazing movie. Some things don’t need to make sense. Or some things probably do make sense, it’s just my fault for not really getting them. Like when the Viper lady gets stabbed in the heart and dies, why is she able to peel off her skin and restart her pulse? I don’t know, it’s probably some really technical snake ability that I don’t get.

Whatever, superhero movies are the best. I could watch The Wolverine like three more times, today, and I’d still be entertained. Just keep them coming. Like man, I hope they make a Daredevil 2. Or even better, a Spider-Man 3 2. Maybe they could do a crossover, Spider-Man 3 Vs. Daredevil. That would be pretty sick. Even though Michael Clark Duncan probably won’t get to be Kingpin again, because he died.

These comic books don’t make any sense

I’m always thinking about comic books, about superheroes, and I know it’s really nerdy to ask questions, to point out inconsistencies, but sometimes I’m just like, I can’t take it any more, I need to bring this stuff up, I can’t enjoy the stories because these glaring problems are just stuck right in the center of my mind.

Like Spider-Man, right? Just try gettin past the fact that if he wanted to do some serious good, he could’ve sold his webbing device to a huge company, he could have made billions on his inventions. With those profits, he could have financed like a professional crime fighting operation. Think about what Batman did with his billions. He bought all sorts of ridiculous stuff. But Spider-Man’s always thinking small, just using his webbing to get from point A to point B, living in poverty, barely scraping out a living.


OK forget about that, just accept the fact that he’s this scientific genius that can’t figure out how to make any money. What about his wall-crawling powers? How are those supposed to work? Like, in the Spider-Man movies, it’s these little microscopic spider claw things that come out of his skin, which I don’t buy, because if I did buy it, what happens when he puts on his costume? Those micro-claws are supposed to be able to get through the material and then cling onto whatever it is he’s crawling up? Sorry, I can’t believe it. It doesn’t make any sense.

Let’s go back to Batman for a second. Don’t think he’s getting off just because I was commenting before on how wisely he spends his money, buying all of his bat-equipment, his bat-planes, and bat-mobiles, and bat-cycles, and bat-copters. My problem is, OK, sometimes the police are after him, like think about the second Batman movie. Right? And they’re like, “Who is Batman? Why can’t we figure this out?”

And I’m just like, are you serious? Get a police helicopter or a police plane or something, or call up the army and have them put one of those drones in the sky, right? And just point a bunch of cameras or satellites down at the earth, and the next time Batman takes his giant car or plane or experimental waterskis out for a spin, just follow it wherever it goes. It’s not that hard. We live in a really sophisticated world. The police could watch the bat-mobile driving away to some hole by the road. OK, now go check that road out. Now call for backup. There you go, that’s the bat-cave. It can’t be that hard.

Like it’s the same with the X-Men. Where the hell are you going to get some giant invisible supersonic airplane? And the air traffic controllers, what, they don’t see any blips on their equipment when they’re directing traffic? Cyclops, like what kind of flight training does this guy have? How come he’s never crashing into any other planes? And again, the military doesn’t notice these jets everywhere? You’d think they’d see it immediately and get on it, find out where it is, who owns it. Is it the Russians? The Chinese? Terrorists? No, it’s the fucking X-Men, but still.

And while I’m on the X-Men, come on, so Cyclops can blast laser beams from his eyes but what, his eyelids don’t get blown off? And Wolverine, whatever, you’ve got metal bones, you don’t age, fine. But what’s with that haircut? What kind of a person wakes up in the morning, sees that both sides of his hair stick straight up in these weird spikes, and thinks to himself, huh, OK, that’s a pretty good look. What, and then he designed his costume to make sure that those spikes stayed in place? What kind of a statement is he trying to make? I don’t understand.

I don’t get why the Green Lantern’s powers don’t work against the color yellow. Isn’t the color green just a mix of the colors blue and yellow? So how can green even work at all then if it’s really just half yellow? And what about orange? That’s half yellow also. What about when he has to pee, that’s yellow, does it hurt coming out? Does it take away from his powers? The sun’s yellow. How is he able to walk around outside during the daytime without getting hurt?

How is the Flash able to breathe when he’s running so fast? How are his shoes not wearing out every time he runs a couple of laps around the world? How is Mr. Fantastic’s costume able to stretch exactly like Mr. Fantastic stretches? What is it painted on? How come Ice Man isn’t soaking wet every time he de-ices? What, does it go from ice to air? How does it do that without going to liquid first?

And what about Superman? He never makes a mistake? He never gets bored, or lazy? What’s the super-equivalent of throwing a gum wrapper on the ground because nobody’s looking and you just really don’t feel like holding that wrapper anymore, looking for a garbage can, never finding any garbage cans? You don’t think he ever makes a mistake like that? Like, OK, I just saved this rocket from crash landing out of orbit, but I don’t feel like figuring out what I’m supposed to do with all of this debris. Do I have to bring it to the government? Are they going to ask me to just hold on a second while they figure out which branch of the military has to take care of this? Or is it more like, jeez, I’m tired, I just caught this rocket, and I’m really hungry, and I don’t feel like dealing with this anymore, so nobody’s looking, I’ll just toss it in the ocean. Come on, somebody make a story like that, give me something to relate to. Everything’s just so unbelievable.