I have a weirdly deep obsession with the X-Men movies. And with X-Men: Apocalypse coming out in May, I'm starting to get excited. Really excited. Oddly, I had not seen a single X-Men film or read any of the comics until a few days before I graduated college. Then, in a fit of senioritis-fueled mania, I watched all of the X-Men and Wolverine movies in less than a week. Indeed, the night of graduation, while my roommate was out partying and most of my friends were with their visiting relatives, I hung up my robes and settled down to watch X-Men: The Last Stand. Later that week, I drove to a sketchy part of town by myself to the only movie theater that was still showing X-Men: Days of Future Past, bought a huge tub of popcorn, and had a marvelous date with myself.
I just think X-Men is so freaking cool. There is just so much awesome stuff that is packed into the X-Men franchise. Crazy powers, intricate ideas, and a whole heck of a lot of Hugh Jackman running around naked and screaming. What could be more perfect? Not to mention the eternal bromance between Sir Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart mirrored in their characters Magneto and Professor X. And then mirrored again in the droolworthy Michael Fassbender and James Macavoy.
These books are as diverse as the characters in X-Men themselves. But they're all filled with heaping doses of adventure to get you through the weeks until X-Men: Apocalypse comes to the big screen.
1. Wolverine: Watchmen by Alan Moore
Wolverine's attitude and story would fit in perfectly with the dark plights of the Watchmen characters. Following a cast of "super-heroes" as they struggle to define morality in a strange world, this book becomes a deep exploration of both the forces within humanity and also the super-hero genre as a whole. Any X-Men fan is certain to find a new favorite in this classic. (The book is way, way better than the movie.)
2. Professor X: The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld
Professor X's power makes me think of Melissa in Scott Westerfeld's The Midnighters series. Like Professor X, Melissa is a telepath, but she struggles to control her powers and is only able to survive the ocean of thoughts that is high school by listening to loud music. Melissa is one member of a gang of teenagers who, all born at midnight, experience an extra hour of the day and each have their own special power. But in this secret hour, they must pull their powers together to fight dark creatures.
3. Magneto: Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite writers, and this epic, page-turning fantasy book is certain to wow you, too. Set in the medieval, dystopian world of Scadrial, this book centers upon a a magic-fueled coup being pushed along by an ancient prophecy of a coming hero. The nifty magic in this book, Allomancy, is completely centered around metals. (P.S. If the male-dominated landscape of fantasy makes you hesitate, there are some pretty kickass female characters in this one!)
4.. Storm: Tris's Book by Tamora Pierce
Being able to control the weather is the coolest power, and like Storm, Tris uses it in some very cool ways. In this book, things are afoot in Winding Circle, the mage temple in which Tris is learning how to control her magic. Newly arrived relatives, a mysterious plot, and a pirate attack all have their hand to play in this adventure-filled read.
5. Rogue: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Whispers of Rogue's running away plot-line and her power of memory are present in this wonderfully strange read. When a man returns to his childhood home, he suddenly locks into memories of curious, supernatural happenings that had characterized his childhood. You can always count on Gaiman to give you an enormously imaginative story, and that's exactly what this is.
6. Beast: The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin
Just as Beast was determined to find a cure for his mutant powers, The Blizzard's Garin is desperately trying to deliver a cure to a town experiencing an outbreak of zombie-ism. With all the elements working against him, Garin sets off in an enormous blizzard, and soon becomes hopelessly lost. Set in a dystopian, 19th century Russia, this quick read will give you a nice blast of adventure.
7. Mystique: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Like Mystique, Nimona is a shapeshifting badass. She'll turn into a shark just to scare the pants out of you. In this amazing graphic novel, she's declared herself the apprentice to the "evil mastermind" Lord Blackheart. As they plot take down the oppressive government and have board game nights, Nimona and Lord Blackheart tap into some discoveries about each of their own pasts. This book is great fun—a must-read!
Images: 20th Century Fox