Articles fat

Published on April 20th, 2011 | by Aaron


X-Men: First Class poster. A lesson in lame.

An official poster for Fox’s new X-Men film was released to an unmistakable “aw jeez” from the internet community. Bad photoshopping effects and a general lack of anything interesting meant that the geek eyes of the world got a good work out from all the rolling done as a result.

Here it is in all it’s plain glory.

Now it has been pointed out elsewhere that this scene is trying to channel a moment from Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men and while this is a pretty accurate comparison my main question still remains. Why bother? It’s not a good shot. I’ll show you the panel in question.

And yes, it’s a very good mock up of this shot but why use this panel as inspiration? It’s dull. It was important in the comic as it re-introduced the old-style costumes to the team after Grant Morrison tried to get rid of them, but as a solo piece of art it’s nothing special (other than it was drawn by the magnificent John Cassaday, obviously).

If they wanted to emulate something from the comics they had an endless amount of material to choose from. So why choose this? And why choose to do it using terrible photoshop techniques? I’ve seen better fan-made posters mocked up.

Even taking the comics as inspiration and choosing a cover like this beauty from the same series.

If “standing around” was the motif that Fox were going for in creating this poster then this is much more evocative with the same premise in mind. Standing around… with fire! Plus they’re also arranged in a dramatic fashion. This may sound silly but the tiniest amount of effort and positioning and it changes “standing around” from being boring to brilliant.

Speaking of brilliantly standing around, the best example of such is The Usual Suspects. An iconic film poster of men doing nothing.

But there was meaning to this image. It wasn’t posing, they were standing in a police line-up and this was in correlation to the film’s title and plot. If X-Men: First Class had their cast standing around in a school hall, yeah, I’d dig it. Or if they took a leaf out of the comic of the same name…

… think of the poster they could have made.

Long gone are the days of beautiful posters that layered up the action but drew the eye to the main characters. Take a look at this old Star Wars poster. I’d be excited to see this film even knowing nothing about it. Just look! Lazers! Robots! Space battles! Danger! It gave you a taste of what is in store for the viewer.

All the X-Men poster tells us is “people standing around in outfits… and a couple of blue folk”. There is no hint of any action or tension in the film. In fact all the heroes and villains are walking together. Sorry, photoshopped together.

I tell you, nobody makes pretty posters like the old Star Wars ones anymore. Oh wait…


Thanks Marvel! For reminding us that standing around can be cool in movie posters if done right. And thank you Fox for teaching us how to be lame.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author