Hugh Jackman crosses razor-sharp adamantium claws as James Howlett, aka Logan, aka Wolverine.
Yep, this guy has a cameo in “X-Men: First Class.” (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Danielle Belton/Flickr)

After a tepid conclusion to the original film trilogy in 2006′s “X-Men: The Last Stand,” fans of mutant mayhem were left wondering, “Is that all there is?” This Friday, when series prequel/reboot “X-Men: First Class” hits theaters, critics believe that the answer to that question will be a resounding “no.” According to Starpulse, the new X-Men film will breathe new life into the franchise and look good doing it.

‘First Class’ is in session

Before the forces of Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto and a virulently anti-mutant right-wing U.S. government locked horns, there was an ideal of co-existence between humans with the x-gene and those without. Young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and pre-Magneto Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) start a school to train young mutants in the safe use of their abilities. Eventually, an ideological rift forms between the two friends, as Xavier takes the side of peaceful co-existence among “normals” for mutants, while soon-to-be Magneto adheres to a hard-line, Social Darwinist stance favoring mutant species over regular hominids, as “homo superioris.” Mix in an increasingly paranoid U.S. government and CIA circa the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis, and the pot boils over.

Hot genes

Hugh Jackman will only make a cameo as Wolverine in “X-Men: First Class,” but there’s plenty of on-screen heat. According to E! Online, real-life dating chemistry between Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Beast) translates to the screen, while Lehnsherr and high-flying stripper Angel (Zoe Kravitz) hook up onscreen.

January Jones will also be dressed to the hilt in a combination of swanky 1960s fashions (a la “Mad Men”) and proto-Victoria’s Secret runway-wear in her turn as Emma Frost. If that’s not enough, Rebecca Romijn will also make a cameo as the adult Mystique, the blue and scaly role she made famous in the first three X-Men films.

Know your mutants

For those unfamiliar with mutant-kind, here’s a brief “X-Men: First Class” primer:

Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto: One of the most powerful mutants on the planet, Magneto is considered proof of science’s Unified Field theory. His control over nearly all energies within the electromagnetic spectrum is awe-inspiring — but he thinks of regular humans as cattle. Played by Sir Ian McKellen in previous X-Men films.

Professor Charles Xavier: The most powerful telepath on Earth, Professor X can control minds, but he prefers to allow others to forge their own destinies. A pacifist at heart, Charles Xavier was played by Sir Patrick Stewart in previous X-Men movies.

Raven Darkholme/Mystique: A shape-shifter with an elite mind for strategy, Mystique falls in love with Xavier but is rebuffed. Perhaps that’s what sends her into the arms of Magneto in the other X-Men installments.

Hank McCoy/Beast: Super strong and acrobatic, McCoy eventually grows thick blue fur and begins to resemble a monster. Played by Kelsey Grammer originally.

Emma Frost: Trust fund girl telepath with a mean streak and a love of the glamorous life, Frost can also turn her body into diamond.

‘X-Men: First Class’ official trailer (HD)

Sources

Comic Book Movie: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/x-men_movies/news/?a=38145

E! Online: http://eonli.ne/kUd5e2

Starpulse: http://www.starpulse.com/news/Paul_Meekin/2011/06/01/xmen_first_class_gets_an_a_grade

“X-Men: First Class” film site: http://www.x-menfirstclassmovie.com/

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