Comic books are sometimes dismissed as violent, sexual, immature and not fit for the eyes of its young readers. But comic book can also reach its readers in a way that few genres can. Today the comic book genre lost one of its brightest stars and iconic creators, Stan Lee.
Mr. Lee was born in 1922 to Jewish immigrants who were originally from Romania. In his teens, he started working at Timely Comics, which would decades later become Marvel Comics. After fighting for his country in World War II, Mr. Lee returned creating comic books. Instead of introducing readers to variations of the same characters they had seen previously, he started creating characters that were not just misfits, but also fully fleshed out as human beings.
Readers fell in love with immortal characters such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four and X-Men. While they were reading about superheroes who were going on out of this world adventures, they were also hopefully opening their minds to those were being disenfranchised because they were different. In a very subtle manner, the Feminist Movement, the Civil rights movement and other movements whose goal of enfranchisement of those who rights have been taken away or non-existent benefited from the characters whose stories are told within these comic books.
In the words of our mutual ancestors, may the memory of Stan Lee be a blessing not just to his loved ones, but to the millions of fans who have adored his creations over the years.
In the world of movie sequels, there are many that are released to the movie going public. But there are few movie sequels that not only stand on their own, but also advance the story forward.
One of these movies is X-Men 2, released in 2003.
Taking off from where X-Men ended, X-Men 2 begins several months later. A previously unknown mutant, Nightcrawler, (Alan Cumming) has attempted to assassinate the President. In retaliation, the governments puts into a place a series of anti-mutant measures. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is trying to find out where he came from while Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) is trying to break her boss, Magneto (Ian McKellen) from prison.
Complicating things is William Stryker (Brian Cox), a scientist who breaks into Professor X’s school and take hostages, Professor Xavier included. Now both teams of mutants must come together to rescue the hostages.
Up until earlier this year when I saw X-Men: Days Of Future Past, I would have said that X-Men 2 is the best comic book movie ever made. But second place is still not bad.
What I liked about this movie is the mixture of the action and the drama. While this movie has the requisite heroes vs. villain scenes, it is much more complicated. This movie blurs the lines (especially within the mutant characters) of who is a hero and and who is a villain. The scene in the movie when Bobby comes out to his family (spoiler alert), who then rejects him, breaks my heart. The final scene of the movie (which I will not spoil for those who have not seen this movie) was on the greatest movie cliffhangers I had seen up to that point.
I recommend this movie.