X-Men: First Class is surprisingly good. Sure, there’s some cheesy moments, but the acting is good, as is the action in the final third. Also, like any superhero movie these days, it puts the spotlight on a few little known comics characters, such as Nightcrawler’s Dad, Azazel.
White Queen, played by Mad Men’s January Jones, is another X-Men character to make her debut on the silver screen, although she has appeared on a screen before – the smaller one, as has Banshee, played by Caleb Landry Jones in First Class.
In 1996 a TV movie called Generation X was released, produced by New World Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment. Directed by Jack Sholder (Nightmare on Elm Street 2) and written by Eric Blakeney (21 Jump Street), it was based on the comic series of the same name, which debuted only 2 years earlier. That’s got to be the quickest comics-to-film turnaround ever, not including Kick Ass.
The film is often forgotten in the annals of comic adaptations, and I know why. It’s a low budget attempt, and some characters, such as Chamber and Husk were dismissed from the cast as their powers were too expensive. I do recall being excited to see the film though, as it was around the time my comics habit was forming and the X-Men where were it was at for me at the time. I collected the first 2 or 3 years of the series by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo (the series ended in 2001) and its cast of largely new characters, as well as Jubilee, with new villains made for a great read.
Like in the comic, the film focused on reformed bad girl White Queen, and Irish mutant and former X-Man Banshee as teachers of a new group of powerful students. White Queen/ Emma Frost was played by Finola Hughes who appeared in the Blossom TV series, and went on to voice Superman’s Kryptonian mother in the animated series. Banshee/Sean Cassidy was played by Jeremy Ratchford who also voiced the character in the ’90s toon.
I haven’t watched it in years and it doesn’t even seem to be available anymore, but here’s a taste and a video below.
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