Thursday, January 19, 2017

The X-Men's Danger Room

The X-Men's Danger Room: is a fictional training facility appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The facility is depicted as built for the X-Men as part of the various incarnations of the X-Mansion.

Publication History: An obstacle course in which the X-Men train appears in The X-Men #1 (September 1963), but the Danger Room is never mentioned by name. The name "Danger Room" is first used in The X-Men #2 (November 1963). According to X-Men writer/editor/co-creator Stan Lee, "the Danger Room was Jack Kirby's idea. I thought it was great because we could always open with an action sequence if we needed to."

In the early books it was filled with traps, projectile firing devices, flamethrowers, and mechanical dangers such as presses, collapsing walls and the like intended to challenge the trainee. Meanwhile, an observer is in the overhanging control booth managing the room's mechanisms to oversee the exercise while manually ensuring the subject's safety. Later the Danger Room was upgraded with machines and robots for the X-Men to fight against.

After befriending the Shi'ar the X-Men rebuilt the Danger Room with Shi'ar hard-light holographic technology. These upgrades were largely added by Dr. Hank McCoy (Beast). The Danger Room is located in the X-Mansion; every destruction of the latter led to a rebuilding, and usually upgrading, of the Danger Room. The training facility has endured extensive damage over the years, usually from X-Men training or X-Men going rogue, as Colossus did during The Muir Island Saga. Supervillains have dealt critical damage to it as well as taking over the facility, especially Arcade. The security and safety protocols that ensure the safety of anyone using the Danger Room have frequently been disrupted, tampered with by villains, failed, or have been completely negated in all the years of its use, each time happening more frequently as the room began to get more and more upgraded.

Beast rebuilds the Westchester School at the behest of Wolverine at the aftermath of the Schism event. Built on the ruins of the previous Xavier Institute, the school is rechristened the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and is built with state of the art Shi'ar Technology, gifted to him by the current Emperor of the Shi'ar Empire Gladiator (Kallark) whose son Kid Gladiator is enrolled (presumably to learn control over his vast powers.) The school incorporates a decentralized Danger Room that is integrated into the entire building itself instead of just one room.

It is suggested in the X-Men Official Guide that the objects in the Danger Room are holograms surrounded by force fields, supposedly confirmed in Astonishing X-Men when a student managed to kill himself by jumping from a holographic cliff face.

Abilities: Able to create realistic holographic projections, enhanced strength and durability, control over other machines, flight, energy blasts and detailed knowledge of the X-Men.

Danger Cave: The student Prodigy, using the borrowed knowledge from several X-Men, built a "Danger Cave" underneath the X-Mansion that is a giant stone room with a large metal circle control center. The Danger Cave is similar to the Danger Room, but what makes the Danger Cave unique is that it uses holograms to train the students by re-enacting renowned battles the X-Men were involved in, like Inferno, Broodworld, Planet X, or Onslaught, even going so far as to dress the participants up in what the X-Men wore at that time.
Fun Fact: The Danger Room appear on TV in 1980's Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and the X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. Both animated bits I have on VHS!

Age of Apocalypse Danger Room: The Danger Room equivalent in the Age of Apocalypse reality was the Killing Zone. The facility was located in Mount Wundagore and was apparently destroyed by Nemesis. Later, it was Dazzler who replaced the Danger Room and acted as a one-woman training facility for the fully fledged X-Men.

The Ultimate X-Men's Danger Room: Contains similar technology, including smaller holographic training rooms in the hidden safehouses prepared by Professor X. However, these are prone to malfunctions, such as a fight sequence producing Hasidic rabbis instead of ninjas (though to no less of an effect towards the latter intent.)

Film: The Danger Room was supposed to appear in the first X-Men film, but it was deleted. In the second X-Men film, there is a brief scene where a room saying "Danger" can be seen. The room was to make an appearance in the film in which Wolverine would do an exercise, but after construction began on the site, the idea was quickly scrapped due to budget concerns. The Danger Room makes its first true appearance in the film X-Men: The Last Stand where the team has a training exercise against a holographic Sentinel, among other threats in the Days of Future Past storyline. In the film, the Danger Room slightly resembles the Holodeck from Star Trek. The room's existence is foreshadowed in the prequel film X-Men: First Class when Xavier uses a nuclear bunker designed by his father to help Alex Summers learn how to control his powers. In the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse, the Danger Room is featured as a training ground for the new X-Men team.

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