blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

X Isle (2006) #1


X Isle is a mildly interesting remnant of the aughts; when indie comic book companies no longer tried to make it with licenses to genre franchises or old toys, but when they tried to get movie deals, presumably repurposing movie scripts or pitches into comic books. It worked a few times. But no one ever turned X Isle into a movie.

The comic is mixing “Lost” (a recent phenomenon at the time) with Jurassic Park and, I don’t know, The Abyss or something. It’s kind of a pitch for a Roland Emmerich movie; it’s not Spielberg, it’s a Spielberg knock-off; it’s not James Cameron, it’s a Cameron knock-off. The artist, Greg Scott, is nice enough to base a few of the characters on working actors to give you an idea of who might get attached. There’s a part for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson back when they might’ve been able to get him (though he never really did supporting parts). There’s a very prominent part for Sam Jackson—in the most interesting twist, the white people get outwardly racist to Sam Jackson and then say it was the heat. X Isle forecast academic Karens quite well.

The female lead sometimes looks a little like Rachel McAdams, but I might be projecting. Sam Jackson’s a hundred percent intentional, the Rock, I’d say fifty-fifty, Rachel McAdams; it might just be photo reference.

The McAdams character is a scientist’s daughter. She’s given up her European vacation to hang out with her busy dad, who’s on his way out into the ocean hunting mysterious, recently discovered sea creatures. Sam Jackson’s another scientist. The Rock’s the first mate. The captain’s Michael Biehn from The Abyss but probably a different actor. Not sure about McAdams’s bad dad, who ignores his daughter. Of course, the daughter expects his devoted attention when there are actual real-life monsters. The comic’s got exceedingly bad dialogue; it’s either exposition or quippy. The racist white lady’s a combination.

Scott’s art is pretty decent, though, and the comic does move incredibly well. Somehow writers Andrew Cosby and Michael A. Nelson (I assume Cosby wrote the script or treatment and Nelson adapted) get the pacing right. I kept expecting the comic to end, but they keep getting in more and more scenes.

I’m not sure what the deal is with the title: no way anyone sees X Isle and doesn’t think X-Men.

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