X-Men films fan interiew with Steph: “There’s so much more complexity to their characters.”

Today we had a chat with Steph (@RoguePhoenix07), a devoted X-Men fan who loves the animated series, comic books and film franchise. We discussed how she became part of the fandom, including what she really thinks of 20th Century Fox’s interpretation of Marvel’s iconic mutants.

XMFC: Hi Steph! Every X-Men film fan has a different story in regards to how they were first introduced to these iconic characters. What was the earliest X-Men experience that you can remember?

STEPH: “I got introduced to the X-Men when I was five years old while watching the animated series. I was instantly hooked. The characters were so unique and yet I found myself relating to them.

“After getting hooked on the animated series, I began reading the comics. X-Men got me addicted to reading. I just had to find out what crazy adventures these characters were getting into.”

What ultimately made you a fan of the X-Men? You mentioned you relate to the characters. Have the they affected your life in any way?

“I’m an X-Men fan because I can relate to feeling like an outsider, like I don’t belong. People fear and hate them because they were born different. I’ve personally dealt with bullies who hated me because they viewed me as different. Mutants have been called freaks and abominations and have been shun from society. Society has often made me feel like a freak in some ways because I don’t fit in with everyone else. I always stick out and am often stereotyped.

“I relate to the X-Men because they’re stereotyped to be a certain way, but in reality there’s so much more complexity to their characters. Magneto is seen as a villain but in his mind, he’s a hero. I love X-Men’s idea of how we perceive ourselves can be vastly different with how others perceive us.

“X-Men themes have affected my life in a positive way because these characters and their stories have helped me cope with difficult situations in my life and find strength in myself that I never knew I had.”

I think the reason many fans are so passionate about the X-Men is because they connect with the subject matter on a very personal level. It’s very relatable and has a message behind it. We have an awesome fan community online. Are you active in any X-Men discussions on social media? How do you feel about X-fans?

“I follow as many X-Men twitter accounts as possible and love engaging in conversation with fellow fans. We’re Mutant and proud. The X-Fans are truly the best and most creative and passionate group. I even started a twitter account dedicated to my favorite @LetsTalkRogue.”

They are great! That’s why I want to interview every diehard fan. We all have something interesting to say and the discussion is always engaging. Who are your most favorite X-Men characters and are they the same as in the movies? Do you have any favorite film actors?

“My favorite X-Men film characters are Rogue, Storm, Jean, Scott, and Magneto.

“Rogue was butchered in the films and wasn’t comic book accurate. I’m still hoping for a recast and solo film with her early days as a villain. I love Anna Paquin but a recast/reboot is in order. I absolutely love what Ian and Michael bring to the character of Magneto. I think Sophie and Famke are brilliant as Jean. Of course Hugh Jackman is an incredible Wolverine, but I’m glad he’s retiring the character on screen. I think Wolverine got too much of the limelight and it hurt the other characters and their development.”

Do you have a favorite X-Men film or is it too difficult choosing between everything that has been released?

“My favorite X film is X2 and DOFP is a close second. I think X2 had the strongest writing and character development. The movie is a masterpiece. I never get tired of watching it. From Nightcrawler’s awesome introduction, to Rogue kicking Pyro’s butt, to Jean vs Scott; there’s plenty to love.”

Which film in the mainline series are you the most critical of? Which one makes you roll your eyes the most during a viewing?

“I think everyone will agree they watch X3 the least. I’m actually offended that Brett Ratner blocked me on twitter when I’ve never tweeted him. X3 has a few cool scenes, but it’s extremely flawed. James Marsden got screwed over, as did Cyclops fans. Ratner’s ‘Dark Phoenix’ was atrocious and a slap in the face to Chris Claremont & John Byrne who wrote the fantastic Dark Phoenix saga. Although Ratner didn’t write the script, he still brought it to life, forever serving a huge injustice to X-Men fans around the world.

“I would remove the scenes of Jean killing Scott & Charles but thankfully Singer fixed that in DOFP. I think that since Singer fixed Ratner’s mistakes, they should do another sequel taking place after DOFP movie, where the original cast minus Jackman are finally given the attention and focus they deserve without Wolverine stealing the limelight.”

I’d love another original cast film! They’re just now really embracing the comic book aesthetic and it’s kinda sad those actors didn’t get the opportunity to play more comic accurate versions of their characters. Obviously you had major issues with X3. But like you said, even that had some cool scenes. In general, what do you think are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the films?

“I think the biggest strengths of the X-films is that all their themes speak to people. All their characters are flawed like us and sometimes don’t always make the right decisions. The audience can always find themselves relating to a character for one reason or another.

“The weaknesses of the films is the confusing timeline and inconsistent continuity. In First Class we see Emma Frost with Charles & Erik and they seem about the same age, but comic fans know that Emma & Scott were a couple. Then in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we see Emma Frost again in a different incarnation. Same goes for Jubilee. Her powers don’t include healing and never aging like Wolverine, so why is she in the original trilogy and somehow in X-Men Apocalypse? It doesn’t make any sense and in 4 films, they’ve managed to underuse the character.”

Don’t get me started on Jubilee! As a genuine fan of the comic book character, it’s painful to see how she’s being treated. I really hope they expand on her with Lana Condor in ‘Dark Phoenix’ or another future film. Speaking of future films, the franchise is expanding in 2018 with ‘New Mutants,’ ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’. Which of these are you most excited to watch?

“I’m looking forward to ‘Dark Phoenix’ the most because I’m curious to see how they handle the storyline vs how X3 did. I think Sophie is amazing and brings a new side to Jean. I have faith that they learned from their mistakes and will make a more comic book accurate film this time around.”

Final question: Imagine yourself in the world of X-Men. Would you join Professor X and the X-Men or Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants?

“I relate to Rogue the most so I feel like I would be like her [in the comics]. I would start off with the Brotherhood and find my way to the X-Men. Life is all about choices. Picking a side and sticking to it is an important choice. I’d like to think I’d stick with the X-Men.”

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