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OK, so a bunch of guys at Del Rey Manga are sitting around a table and one of them says, “You know what would be cool? Manga-style X-Men.” The other guys look at him and nod sagely.
“Yeah, you’re right,” another one says. “The story is a simple, yet strong one, of super-powered beings having to deal with racism, hatred, genocidal maniacs and mutant politics, amongst other things.”
“Plus,” says a third, “Wolverine.”
They all heartily agree to this, and approach Marvel with the idea of not only doing a manga version of the X-Men, but manga versions of their other comics as well. Marvel leaps at the opportunity. They’d tried “mangafied” versions of their comics before, but most sucked. Here, they have an established manga publisher approaching them who knows both markets well and should have good connections. What could go wrong?
What indeed. I have no idea what the fuck they were smoking over at Del Rey Manga (or Marvel), so I’ll compare comic book covers.
Marvel X-Men, vol 1:
And now, Del Rey Manga’s version:
Del Rey Manga’s X-Men: Misfits:
When I first saw this cover, I sat there stunned. They had turned it into a bishounen manga! BISHOUNEN! What the hell? The following went through my mind:
At first, I was like this:
Then I was like this:
I cannot believe they tried targeting X-Men at women. X-Men was and is a comic aimed (like most comics) primarily at guys. It has hot chicks in it. Big, muscled men beating the crap out of each other. Lasers. An angry dude with metal claws coming out of his hands!
I mean, just look at the Marvel X-Men cover. Like a book cover, a comic cover is meant to summarise the story. Just one look, and you get an idea of what it’s about. One look at the X-Men cover and I can see the following: each member looks different, has a separate power and their expressions and stances show that the comic action in it. Walk into a comic store, and you can easily spot that and say, “Hey, it’s an action comic.” Now, look at the Misfits cover. What the hell is going on? Three guys just standing there. Effeminate Dude #1 on the left is doing this weird hadoken/fireball thing (hell, even the flames look effeminate!) and Effeminate Dude #2 is holding a ball of floating, effeminate… something. Incense? Smoke? I think he’s meant to be Iceman, except Iceman’s ice looked, well, like ice. Hell, ED #1 and #2 look so generic they may as well be palette-swaps. And who the hell is the ED in the middle supposed to be? Well, I couldn’t tell as first because the artwork is so messy and busy, but “he” is actually a “she” judging by the skirt (yeah, try find the skirt at first glance) and the breasts (in all honesty, I initially thought they were deformed pecs or weird creases). Nice to know that the artist can only draw androgenous freaks…
So, judging from the cover, I can surmise that the comic is filled with generic bishounen crap, and guess what, I am right. Some select quotes:
Kitty [Ohhhh! That’s who the middle person is meant to be – CC] is recruited to the school within the first few pages of the book (by a disturbingly dashing version of Magneto), and becomes the only female student in a sea of boys — boys who have many interesting powers and backstories, but basically serve as Kitty’s new harem.
It’s like every shojo artistic convention was mixed in a blender and spit out indiscriminately on the page.
Guess what manga I won’t be buying? I suppose I should give kudos to DRM for trying to be different, but trying to target the X-Men at women is just stupid. Spider-man could maybe work (but they’d probably want to change him into a her), but not X-Men.
I pray to God they don’t do Punisher.