Getting a few things quickly out of the way,
- Read a lot of X-Men comics as a kid like a lot of folks.
- First comic book had Wolverine and then X-Men became everything (Batman too).
- The cartoon was dope Storm and Rogue were my favorites.
- The films haven't really been that great to begin with so I expect mediocrity.
- These are just random thoughts I'm spouting out through sheer sadness & confusion at this franchise.
Cool, that's out the way.
So I saw X-Men: Apocalypse, it wasn't terrible, it wasn't great, it fit right in with the rest of the X-Men films. I got annoyed seeing one of my favorite comic book heroes showing up, was cool to see a little of the berserker in him, but he wasn't needed. I watched and waited to see what they'd do with Storm, I excited seeing Jubilee and hearing about her "role" only for a few lines to come out realizing I got played...and that's it. Psylocke was dope when she was there, beyond that everything else was mediocre...again the typical X-Men movie from a director who I don't fully believe appreciates the material but he isn't fully to blame, it did have a writer and I won't go too far into how there's a trend in how people of color (women & men) are thrown in then thrown out to focus on specific individuals.
It's easy to play armchair studio head and/or armchair director/writer/ceo/fill-in-the-blank, but from the superhero films that have come out over the last couple of years the women have served as nothing more than what seems to be a quota or passive aggressively telling those that are regularly omitted from such films "see you're represented in here too". Each studio that has made a film with superheroes is guilty of this, Marvel, DC, and Fox, none are absolved. I'm not one easily to give certain studios a pass because their spokesperson says they're "listening", that's usually a job for stans, who have overwhelmingly come out of the shadows to show their true colors behind being fine with the current state of representation (as long as they're represented they're cool).
If the news of Bryan Singer leaving the director's chair for additional X-Men films is true that's dope, he doesn't need to come back to the franchise, it's cool if he steers clear. Every woman outside of Jean Grey (which could still be argued was still minor) and Mystique (🙄) has been pivotal in the films recently released. Again, growing up with the cartoon it's not a hard argument to even consider it being better than the X-Men films released to date. But what was done to Rogue & Storm in the earlier films then Jubilee and Psylocke recently just feels like bulls**, why do this?
Storm is considered an Omega-Level mutant and her powers aren't simply creating fog, shooting lightening, and making a few tornadoes, the woman could wipe out civilization if she wanted to it's not like minor natural disasters haven't taken folks out, plus there's her ancestry of magic and hand-to-hand skills. What Singer has given us has been nothing short of a joke, and I love Halle Lord knows I do, but I remain confused behind the four different accents given in the times she's shown up, much respect to Alexandra Shipp though, that's how I remember Storm sounding.
And what Singer did to Rogue though...did you see what he did? I don't know what happened in the writers room or the changes the studio wanted to make if she was more than fodder, she may have been central to the story that was being told but I don't know, you can go back and watch X-Men 1 through 3 and the Days of Future Past Rogue Cut if you want to spend the money. The Rogue I remember was a multi-demenisional character, and she didn't take much s*** from anyone and this was all in a cartoon, remember when she took flight in a mall and delivered the coldest fade to that sentinel?
Jubilee was cool in the comics and the cartoon, I didn't realize she had more to her abilities than shooting fireworks until I got to college, you wouldn't tell how powerful she is based on what's been shown, not to mention the lack of her showing up anywhere in the films. After reading up on Jubilee some time ago, I did not know she was that real. If she can control her powers to the point of possibly creating a plasma bomb and all we've seen was were colorful fireworks that's a problem. After learning about Jubilee overall it's not hard to imagine the fact that she should have her own solo film or series on Hulu or Netflix, to be honest I feel like she could be Fox's answer to Spider-Man.
Pyslocke is an Omega-Level mutant as well, she was dope in the movie, but she was just there, not serving much of a purpose except for fighting for Apocalypse, she was there to fill a quota, and I was hoping for more knowing not to be fooled anymore by Singer and Fox yet it happened. I'm hoping she does show up in the Deadpool sequel or the X-Force film and she has more to do more for movie-goers to experience.
There are a lot of women in the X-Men/Mutant universe that Fox has the rights to that seem to sit on the side rarely seen, barely heard, and moved off to show more of the same. With Singer leaving my wish is for someone to give Fox a stack of screeners or DVD's, or an iTunes gift card, or their Netflix password and throw in these films for the executives to watch, Advantageous, Green Street Hooligans, Selma, Pariah, Yelling to the Sky, and Lost In Translation. By all means don't let the titles throw you off, these are films with themes and sensibilties that could and should be explored with the characters in the X-Men/Mutant universe. These films as you can tell are also directed by dope women, Jennifer Phang, Lexi Alexander, Ava DuVernay, Dee Reese, Victoria Mahoney, and Sofia Coppola.
Basically Fox should actively pursue women to direct a slate of films, they don't have to be solo though they should, Storm should've been on her third solo film by now, they could also be the next X-Men films on deck, and not just direct but write as well, telling the same story over and over is something I've seen with about 12 marvel films, along with about 5 X-Men films to date. For an industry that focuses on money it's interesting how little business sense it makes to disregard women in front of and behind the camera effecting everything from ticket sales to merchandising. It would just make sense, and in all likelihood make them a lot more money than what they've been getting. And truthfully I'm sure they have to be aware of the probability of making more gains, but it seems racism and sexism are forces that are inherently strong.
I won't hold my breathe though I wish something could be done and some changes brought in for a better experience, I don't necessarily believe they should give the rights back to Marvel, if they're interested in a Black Widow movie over the likes of Monica Rambeau, Elektra, and others, they'd make what Bryan Singer is hoping to see anyway...a solo Mystique film that no one wants.
Don't nobody want a solo Mystique film starring Jennifer Lawrence.