Friday, January 21, 2011

Diana Reads X-Men: Chapter One

Yay for an actual movie scene! And better writing! Or maybe I was so tired when I read the chapter last night that I just didn't find as many irksome things to make me want to punch puppies. Either way, I didn't hate this chapter.

In one corner we have Senator Kelly. In the other corner, Doctor Jean Gray. This is a battle for mutant rights and mutant registration. There's panic in the streets, CARS ARE BEING MELTED ON THE HIGHWAY. I am not making this up.

I like how this chapter talks about how nervous Jean was going into this public debate. In reflecting over what led them up to this point, the professor remembers how Jean had him go over her speech with her time and time again. This is not a side of Jean we get to see in the movies. What we see is rather, dare I say it? Mary Sueish. I like this nervous Jean, this Jean who gets frustrated enough with Senator Kelly when he starts blatantly ignoring her and talking over her that she inadvertently uses her telekinesis on the folder in his hands.

Yes, in the middle of this debate, Senator Kelly provides some pretty damning evidence against mutants. He's got pictures of this melted car, a girl who can walk through walls! The senator really knows how to work the crowd, and the cameras. And for her part, Jean holds her own pretty well until the senator starts talking to her and over her like a parent with a child. Eventually she gets so frustrated with his not listening to her demands to see this folder that she mentally rips it from his hands without even thinking about it.

Knowing it's all over for them and having spotted his dear old friend, Eric, Xavier leaves the room to wheel out into the hall and try to catch up with the now much older Lehnsherr. The dialogue is much the same here as it is in the movie, but with a rather interesting little twist that shows a slightly darker side of Magneto.

" Eric put a palm against the side of his head, then smiled. 'Are you sneaking around in here, Charles?'

Eric clenched his fist, and the professor's chair pressed inward, as if it had suddenly been gripped by a giant hand. Then the chair seemed to lift ever so slightly off the ground, as if in a subtle warning."

You get the feeling early on that Xavier and Mags are old friends and that, while they do not agree on pretty much any level about the Mutant Registration Act, they have a mutual enough respect for each other than they would not try to harm one another. This little chair squeezing thing? I liked that. Of course, I like me some well played conflict and violence, so there you have it.

All in all, I didn't hate this chapter. I liked getting inside the mind of Xavier a little, seeing that darker edge to Eric, and see a bit of Jean's insecurity.

Up next, it's the Wolverine. Dear writers, don't screw this up.


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