A lot of people loathed yesterday’s photographic debut of the X-Men: First Class. I wasn’t particularly bothered by it, but I’ll agree that it wasn’t the most mindblowing look at our baby mutants. We all would prefer to see something that doesn’t reflect the awful X3 marketing.

Today’s that day, thankfully.  Hero Complex debuted three new stills, and they’re really quite good.

Nothing about them screams X-Men (no shots of Fassbender calling up some metal), but the ’60s Silver Age aesthetic is spot-on. The group shot is kind of dorky (I’ll let you visit Hero Complex for that one), but I’ll be damned if James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender aren’t actually channeling Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as they play a simple game of chess.

And did you ever think we’d get swinging Sebastian Shaw in an X-Men movie? Actual 1960s Hellfire Club Shaw, not some 21st century version that abandons that cravat?  I didn’t.

That must be casual loungewear for Ms. Frost.

Hero Complex also has a lot of talk from Matthew Vaughn, who sounds confident but absolutely fried.   They’re still in the thick of filming,  and trying to reestablish the X-Men is a daunting thing when you’ve got a pre-determined release date. But Vaughn is not only confident of making the date, he’s downright cocky about this summer’s competition. “With Green Lantern, I don’t know about that one, I couldn’t get my head around the trailer, to be honest … look, I will say the following: X-Men as a brand is bigger than Captain America, Thor and the Green Lantern, all put together.” Big words.   Let’s hope the film backs them up!

Check out Hero Complex for more.