Green Lantern vs. X-Men First Class

I’ve finally caught up watching both Green Lantern and X-Men First Class movies. Both have been doing very well at the box office, but both have been reviewed very differently via their critics. GL is sitting at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, while XMFC is sitting at a comfortable 87%. Given that both movies came out weeks between one another, I figured it would be a good idea to ask myself, and you, “Which one is better?”

My Initial Take

I’m a huge X-fan, so it surprised a lot of people I knew who found out that I did not see it on opening night. Why? From the first announcements of the cast, I knew this was not going to be a normal X-Men movie. I mean, Azazel as an adult with Mystique as a child and friends to Xavier? Alex Summers with no Cyclops? Riptide? Really? What happened to Darwin? It was a confusing mess from the get-go in my already established X-Continuity mind. As the movie came closer, I figured the movie would end up being an action flick with the X-Men names attached to it.

With Green Lantern, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I love corny movies, so a 27% was not going to sway my opinion on the movie. Most people seemed to dislike it because the plot was too simple. Well I loved the 80’s Transformers movie – and I argue that it’s way better than Bay’s recent romp of films. But looking at it, it’s a terrible movie done right. That was my expectation for Green Lantern after hearing the reviews from it come in.

Brace yourself for very minor spoilers ahead.

Green Lantern

GL stayed pretty close to the source material. Hal Jordan was a pilot whose father died when he was a boy. He’s arrogant and Abin Sur gives the ring to Hal. I don’t really have to go into full-detail about the movie, but in a nutshell, GL was superiorly closer to the source material than any X-Men movie thus far.

But I digress: Which movie is better?

Better at what though?

For me, Green Lantern nailed the origin story. Although there was not a lot of time spent on Oa (and I wish there was), viewers could get the gist of the story without having read a comic before. In fact, you could probably pick up a GL comic now (for the most part) and really get a good grasp on what is being told solely because the movie was that easy-going to its viewers.

The movie did fall flat on a lot of dialogue though. In a nutshell, it was Hal Jordan saying, “I’m not afraid. I won’t be afraid. I’m no longer afraid.” In fact, that was pretty much the bulk of the movie. It moved at a slow pace but ultimately came out triumphant in capturing what Green Lantern is. To top it all off, the effects were fantastic.

I loved the final battle scene with Parallax and really enjoyed the time spent on Oa. The scenes where Hal trained with Kilowog and Sinestro were spectacular. Actually, every scene with Sinestro was well done. My only beef was how Ryan Reynolds looked in the costume. It never really did look right – but it’s minuscule when you look at the grand scheme of effects used in the film.

Despite its PG-rated goodness, the film gave us a true portrayal of Hal Jordan. It just did it in a very basic, arguably too simplistic, of ways.

First Class received a PG-13 rating, and justifiably so. The violence is a lot more real, the language gets foul, and Emma Frost hardly wears any clothing. What it also gains is a more mature story. And no, I do not suggest PG-13 movies are better than PG ones. This is just my lazy segue into X-Men First Class.

Taking viewers to the 1960’s, we get a young Charles Xavier, Erik Lehnsherr (or Max Eisenhardt, for you hardcore fans), Mystique, Havok, Banshee, Darwin, Angel, and various others mutants compiled into an intriguing and unique story about the Cuban Missile Crisis and who was really behind it all. And you know what? It works.

X-Men First Class

For a movie not about anything ever seen before in the X-Men comics, XMFC takes the characters we know and puts them into something entirely different. XMFC takes the undertone of prejudice for mutants and throws them directly into the time where the Western World was on the brink of war. With two major conflicting ideas, the movie forces us to ask about compassion and to justify violence. Indeed, both Xavier and Magneto are the catalysts to both ideals, but the viewer is indirectly asked to make the choice themselves. Green Lantern has none of these deep undertones to it. Any that are suggested in GL are blatantly told to you, (“Don’t be afraid” “Have courage”) while little is left to the imagination of what the movie is really about.

Does that make XMFC a better movie than GL? Of course not.

Another way to look at this is from what I mentioned before with GL. If you saw GL, you can pick up a comic and understand the character or what has happened in the comics rather easily. X-Men is a whole new ball game. There is no way one could read an X-Men comic after seeing the movie and try to compare the two. The only thing XMFC shared with the X-Men comic stories were the character names and some of their powers. Sebastian Shaw had a energy feeding ball of energy, while Darwin *spoiler* could not even keep himself alive for more than ten minutes of the movie. If you’ve read about Darwin, you know that killing him is practically impossible.

Final Thoughts

When comparing both GL and XMFC, GL succeeds tremendously to sticking with the source material, while XMFC did anything but. Quite literally, XMFC could have been any movie with any characters from any series of anything. However “X-Men” was tagged on to it, and thusly, it must be an X-Men movie, despite not being anything to do with X-Men, right? I don’t know.

I mean, with DC’s reboot around the corner, and X-Men already having multiple universes with Ultimate X-Men or Age of Apocalypse, should it matter if XMFC followed the story or not?

Is X-Men First Class a better movie than Green Lantern because it had a better story? Or is Green Lantern a better movie because it followed the source material?

What do you think?

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Keep on Space Truckin’!

Wonderful Wednesdays!

Since the Green Lantern trailer was a big hit, of course the Cowboys & Aliens trailer becomes posted this week as well. Click HERE for the trailer.

I am also thankful for everyone who checked out my blog on Sunday about Body Image in Comics. If you haven’t read it yet, it wouldn’t hurt to click HERE to check it out.

And as for comics this week, I was pleasantly surprised by all my picks. X-Men #5, Avengers #7, Thunderbolts #150 and Osborn #1 all blew me away. Only one blew me away over how bad it was though.

Out of the four, X-Men trailed the weakest due to a lack of everything. Avengers #7 continues Bendis’ and JRJR’s run with a new storyline already seeming better than the prior six issues. I blindly picked up Thunderbolts #150 today as I haven’t followed them with Marvel’s “Heroic Age” franchise. I was awed by how wonderful the story was and where each character stood in the Thunderbolts team. It also featured a re-print of Thunderbolts #1 from 1997. Yes, this book was 96 pages and well-worth the read.


Osborn #1

However, my favourite story this week comes from Kelly Sue DeConnick (wife of Matt Fraction), and artist Emma Rios. Osborn #1 is the continuation of Norman Osborn’s jail-time post his Dark Reign.
The story surprisingly features little of Osborn himself, but the events going around him. I will definitely keep this story spoiler-free so you all go out and BUY this book immediately.

Ben Urich uses his fellow Front Line writer Norah Winters to make a story about how Osborn is dealing with life in the Raft.
We are also introduced to a priest who speaks with other high-risk inmates and eerily has a Green Goblin tatoo on the back of his neck.
Also introduced are a senate sub-committee on Human Rights whom discuss what to do with Osborn – since he has not been charged with anything as of yet.
Needless to say, as the story progresses, Winter’s discovers that she cannot write a story about Osborn because he has been transferred. Where? No one knows. Only the committee and priest does.

Where the hell is this story going?!

So please, please, PLEASE pick up this book. It is such a sinister story. No doubt in my mind that it will be an amazing mini-series.

Major praise goes to Ben Oliver for that wonderful and eerie cover page with Osborn staring down at the reader. It creeps me right out.

Grade: Infinity/10

X-Men #5

This story for sure was a let-down. After months of building up a huge battle between both the vampires and the mutants, we literally get maybe four pages of actual fighting. The rest continues from X-Men #4, where speaking through video screens – bickering at each other – is the main source of action.


The reader also learns how Wolverine turned into a vampire and how it is to be cured. All aside, this has been the weakest issue of the new X-Men series, despite it arguably being the most-anticipated one in terms of getting sh!t done. Also, you would figure Wolverine leading a vampires to kill the X-Men would be a lot more exciting. Alas. . .

Although I will give credit to humour – especially when Cyclops accidentally suggests that Emma Frost is “tough skin,” followed by her gloating personality, describing herself as “glamorous” rather than a “form of mine and lump.”

I also cannot knock Paco Medina’s art. Despite the lack of action, the scenery and spreads of the ocean, as well as the short battle were all penciled with great attention to detail. One specific panel where Archangel sheds to his Death appearance – just wow. I highly recommend that you pick up his run of Deadpool Vol 2 in 2008. He definitely is a great artist.

I really hope Gischler really gets this story together – either to make this vampire run conclude with a bang, or set up a new plot for the team.

Grade: 4/10

Also, I’ve updated my “Pull-List” page until the end of January, while also updating my “Who am I?” page too.

Expect a Classic Comic for Friday. Or else!

Keep on Space Truckin’!