And although Blade is the film that kickstarted the current comic book movie craze, X-Men is the one that proved the mainstream heroes can be done in a smart, modern, and realistic way.
I loved X-Men. I'm one of those few who is also a HUGE Cyclops fan and quite frankly, what he has become in the comics is deliciously captivating. Actually, for the most part, the X-books have been consistently strong since around 2003.
I really, really loved X-Men. In the days before DVR, Cartoon Network used to play X-Men Evolution every night in the summers when I was in college. I would videotape every episode I could while I was at work so I could come home and watch them. It was really great.
And next to Superman/Lois Lane, Cyclops/Jean Grey is my favorite comic book couple. So there's that too.
So imagine my excitement during my college internship. I interned at Marvel Studios in LA back in 2004... shortly before they became the behemoth they are now... and what film did I have the opportunity to do some pre-production work that Marvel the licensor does for Fox? X-Men 3.
Mind you, this was before X-Men 3 became The Last Stand. This was after Singer but before Ratner. This was when X-Men 3 was intended to be completely awesome.
Then of course, chips fells, X-Men 3 turned into The Last Stand and the rest is history. I was appalled by X3. The horrid adaptation of Dark Phoenix and Whedon's cure arc, the depowering of everyone. And of course, the unceremonious death of Cyclops. He was a bit flat in the first 2 films, but it seemed as though X2 was setting up a HUGE Cyclops/Jean story for the third.
But that did not come to pass.
It was bad. Really bad. X-Men Origins: Wolverine made things that much worse. That's what you did to Deadpool? My complaints about that movie are abundant. And, frankly, I've never been a huge Wolverine fan.
With the exception of the comics (which again, were really good). I kind of lost interest in X-Men. The movies really soured my overall feelings toward the franchise.
When X-Men: First Class came, I really enjoyed it, but I did not really care for the use of Emma Frost and Havok. The continuity errors notwithstanding, it was a solid movie, but it's prequel status did little to quell my fears.
Not to mention that fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe was in full force and The Avengers was coming and I want any movie based on a Marvel character to be done by Marvel.
For X-Men, I didn't see much of a future film-wise. The comics continued to be solid, but The Wolverine left me relatively underwhelmed.
Comics-wise, I enjoy All-New X-Men because I LOVE the original.five. Granted it's a bit muddy and they are from another universe notwithstanding, it's good stuff.
I literally had no desire to see X-Men Days of Future Past. The Marvel machine is in full swing and Captain America: The Winter Solider is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
So I had no desire to see X-Men. But a couple good bros wanted to go and I tagged along as we tended to do for these things.
Well color me surprised. Not only is Days of Future Past a fantastic adaptation of the source material, it's a hell of a movie and it completely restored my faith, love and interest in X-Men.
But it wasn't simply the well-done adaptation or the "Star Trekking" of the timeline. There are still massive continuity issues, X3, Wolverine and The Wolverine have ceased to exist and X-Men and X2 are in some altered form.
No, no. The one thing that restored my faith in the entire X-Men franchise as a whole was the (spoilers) revelation that Scott Summers and Jean Grey are still alive in the movie-verse. That was it. That was all I needed.
Since then, I have rekindled a love of X-Men. I've purchased and upgraded my editions of Dark Phoenix, God Loves, Man Kills, Days of Future Past and more.
X-Men Days of Future Past is not perfect, and there are more questions about how they take the franchise than there are answers. Apocalypse? Fine. Set in the 1980s? Ehhh... not sure about that. You won't be able to keeps the original movie X-Men and have it make too much sense. The 1990s? Sure. Or time jump between the "Near Future" and the 90s? Sure. It will be interesting nonetheless.
So all it took was a good movie - a fairly faithful adaptation -the erasing of X3 and the return of Cyclops and Jean Grey in movie form and all my faith was restored.