Today in the comic book store, on a high from the lovely lovely movie this weekend and curious as to how well this translates to paper I picked up the Invincible Iron Man relaunch. I'd been meaning to investigate the praise this writer's been getting anyway. While I was there I grabbed American Dream and ran my hands over the Marvel trades from all the years I've missed.
This has happened before. I started out as Marvellite, a happy middle-schooler stealing her sister's Generation X comics to read between the pages of her textbooks in study hall. As my sister turned to DC and its imprints. so did I I flirted with the House of Ideas again when Quesada took over and he teased us with Wolverine's origin. In tech school I stayed up late studying Fantastic Four trades in tech school when I should have been studying FAA regulations and hunted through back issue bins in Mississippi looking for ever available appearance of Magneto's children. (I am the only person I know of who read that 90s Quicksilver series with the Knights of Wundagore, and I'd snap up issues to fill the holes in this run in a heartbeat.) I had a fling with Bendis' Daredevil (I was really more interested in Maleev's Daredevil, though) and poked around Avengers Mansion until Wanda moved out.
Between the destruction of my favorite aspects of the 616 universe and the rise of their nightmarish Ultimate counterparts (which I'd found entertaining at first, but which horrified me as time went on) I slowly made my way to a Marvel-free Wednesday. I didn't fuss. I didn't yell. I didn't to my recollection write a long essay on why I was leaving Marvel forever or complain endlessly about the loss of my childhood favorites. I did acquire an anti-Quesada affectation. I dd go off a time or two when the subject of Scarlet Witch came up. But on the whole I just quietly crossed the Marvel books one by one off my checklist over various transgressions until I was down to Spider-Girl, and I wasn't too inclined to talk about her.
Then someone in my feeds blogged about a teenage female Captain America in Spider-Girl's world, getting a miniseries this month. And someone posted this shadowy image online with "The Return" on it, and I found my excitement wasn't dulled by the inevitability. But the kicker was this shiny new movie, which I thought wouldn't get me because I never much cared for Iron Man (he seemed like a stiff), but here I am walking out of the store today with an armful of Marvel trades. 1 Image book, 1 DC trade, 4 Marvel trades, 3 Marvel books (would have been 4 had the one with Quicksilver not sold out). I've no interest in the skrullification beyond it's opportunities to retcon out all of the stuff I disliked. I mainly want to read about the guy in the movie who seems to have ADHD and a 340 IQ, and who shares my love of taking things apart. Also I want to read about Captain America--the one who isn't an asshole.
I roll my eyes when I see the "WHY DO YOU HURT ME DC!!!!" melodramas on the internet, but I find this is just like going back to an old boyfriend. Memories of a summer breeze turning the page on your hardcover, interrogating your friends to find out all the juicy stuff you missed, the familiar musty smell of back issue bins in used bookstores on the outskirts of town... And a heavy dread anchoring your heart because you know why you dropped it all before and you know it'll end in a night of tears and country music but you have this warm sensation in your cheeks when you open the cover and you just can't stop smiling as you turn the pages. It's unsettlingly similar to the time Sean stopped to visit me in San Antonio.
A week or two ago a friend asked me repeatedly why I was so damned reasonable about a particular situation. I supposed I can hold this up to reassure her I'm still a crazy fan at heart. Or at least short of memory and susceptible to hype.
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