Friday, May 09, 2008

I had to be out of my mind thinking I’d soon be over you.

I know this feeling.

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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  1. Ragnell,

    I feel you on this. I really do. Especially since I've all but quit Marvel on various ocassions. And everytime I think I'm well and truly done with them, there's always something that draws me back.

    Recently I had basically quit anything except thier non universe books, (Dark Tower, Marvel Illustrated etc) and the Joss Whedon stuff, but then Thor got my interest, and now Hulk, and recently gods help me I'm doing X-titles. X titles for the love of sanity. I've been down this road before and I should know better but... Ah well at least hopefully it will be some fun while it lasts.



  2. Not counting imprint titles like Vertigo or ICON, right now I'm buying more Marvel than DC. And depending on what Sturges is like on Blue Beetle, that may end up being no DC vs. Marvel...

    But I ended up flipping thru American Dream at the store. Not that I have any actual interest in the M2 line, but the co-owner was ranting about how much her husband had over ordered on the title. So I had to see if it was as bad as she was making it out...

    It was..average. Honestly its a book that I only see working if lots of people fall for the character. DeFalco isn't a bad writer, but he's not a particularly notable one either. And the artist (who I mostly recognize because he does that Wildguard book for Image) is good enough. But again. Nothing great...

    Its like an 80s filler book. Simple, basic super-heroing. Which, I'll admit, can be a plus for anyone burnt out on the Dickery of regular Marvel or the Super, Bulk Shopping Dickery of Ultimate Marvel...

  3. I'm still lost about the Captain America being an Asshole thing.

    Outside of an interpretation by Millar in 24 issues of a pretty standalone comic, Captain America has been super awesome.

  4. Oh Ragnell, you're just asking for some heartache. Hooboy, do I know that feeling! Marvel may sucker you in with candy and flowers, but sooner or later, he'll turn on you.

    Except for Thor of course.

  5. Pedro -- 2 years of Millar Ulticap soured me on the character. Loeb may have done something with him, but by then I'd given up on the Marvel Ultiverse and the 616 Cap was dead (and damn, he's been dead a long fucking time for a guy who's series is still running.) When I say I want non-asshole Cap, I mean I'm digging through 616 back issues.

  6. And LW -- I liked American Dream. ASG is the same. Light superhero filler material with teen girl heroes, competently and non-sexistly written. Doesn't need to be spectacular, I still get a smile out of it.

  7. I'll just note that I've actually had more fun reading the all-ages Marvel Adventures titles than the mainline or Ultimate Marvel titles in recent years. In particular, Jeff Parker's run on the Avengers was a lot of fun.