X-Men Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources
X-Men Season One. Dennis Hopeless (writer). Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton (artists). Matthew Wilson (colors). Clayton Cowles (letters). Julian Totino Todesco (cover). Marvel Comics. Hardcover, full color, 136 pages (includes a preview of Uncanny X-Men). $24.99
As someone always on the lookout for strong layered portraits of female characters, I was delighted to find just that in Dennis Hopeless & Jamie McKelvie’s X-Men: Season One (terrible title) in the form of their re-imagining of Jean Grey. I have never been a big fan of Jean Grey in any of her incarnations; she was always the definition of a Mary Sue to me. Too nice, too smart, too powerful, too kind, too beautiful (I mean she was a model at one point…gimme a break), too perfect, and everyone too in love with her. I mean, she was that character that when asked “what is your greatest weakness?” would have to be all “Um…my obsession with perfection?”
Sure there were portrayals of her over the years that I liked and stories I found interesting – like any X-Men fan I enjoyed The Phoenix and Dark Phoenix Sagas, and I never hated her or anything extreme, but she was never a character that worked for me as so many others did. Jean Grey never had that moment for me where a character you didn’t care for one way or another suddenly became amazing – like for Cyclops it was when he led the nearly helpless Acolytes out of the Australian desert without bitching once in X-Men #44 – I never saw Scott Summers the same after that issue. But all that changes today. Jean Grey and I have finally had that moment, and it was not just one moment but a slight tweak to her in general throughout X-Men: Season One, that has finally made her very compelling to me and dare I say, for the first time, she feels human to me.
Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks (more or less), with each week devoted to a single writer. This pseudo-week: Mark Waid. Today’s page is from X-Men #53, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated June 1996. Enjoy!
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Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. This month I will be doing theme weeks, with each week devoted to a single artist. This week: Frank Quitely! Today’s page is from X-Men #114, which was published by Marvel and is cover dated July 2001. Enjoy!
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Here’s the deal, I’m way behind on my novel revisions for my agent, work is crazy busy, I’ve been sick and I just can’t seem to catch up, also my planned column for this week got pushed back due to some things beyond my control. So the benevolent Chad Nevett agreed to let me pilfer his column concept (and I should add fearless leader Brian Cronin suggested the idea to me months ago) and so here we are! Did you really want to see how the sausage gets made people? I thought not!
Random She Thought: It’s She Has Random Thoughts Time! Get Excited!
This week, I share some links to cool comic things and ramble on for far too long about Doctor Who. So, you know, an average Sunday.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What emotion-that-is-not-really-an-emotion should become a power ring next, and what color would it be?
There was a pretty good discussion in the comments of my last post, as well as another CSBG post last week about superhero comics and the issues related to appealing to both men and women, boys and girls. Rather than get into a superheated battle over it, I thought rather I’d offer up a mini-series that I read in trade recently that I felt pretty well covered all those bases – likely to appeal fairly broadly to both men and women. The book, Kitty Pryde: Shadow & Flame, has the added of bonus of being particularly topical since Kitty Pryde was just this past week returned to the X-Universe (from exile in a giant metal bullet hurtling through space) thanks to Magneto (and Matt Fraction) in Uncanny X-Men #522.
I wasn’t always a Kitty Pryde fan, in fact when I was younger I think I alternated between finding her far too bratty and far too perfect. It was frustrating as a reader to see that it wasn’t enough for Pryde to be an adorably cute genius with some of the best mutant powers around and to also possess a pure heart, honorable soul, evocative innocence, AND a be a wiz with computers; but that she ALSO had to become a master martial artist whose fighting skills rivaled the best of the best. It was a bit much for me and it’s true I often felt the ‘Mary Sue’ effect that I have heard some other readers complain of. Over time however, and in the hands of some good writers and artists (Alan Davis of course instantly springs to mind) I grew fond of Pryde, especially as she outgrew her bratty streak. She never became my favorite hero, but I found I genuinely liked her.
There’s nothing cool or sexy about reading comics. I mean it, and I should know, I’ve been reading them all my life, since I could only understand the pictures and wonder what the hell the words meant (but when the comic books you’re reading are your dad’s stolen Fat Freddy’s Cat, not being able to read detracts nothing). Up until very recently, my comic book habit was only just tolerated by most of my friends, I’d try to get them into it, giving them graphic novels and saying “Oh, I bought too many copies of Violent Cases, you might like it…” they didn’t). Time moves on, and now at least a few of them see the value of the medium, and I’m lucky to say that some of my friends are even fellow zealots.
But when I was the only little english girl in the playground who wanted to play X-Men, running around pretending to be Phoenix with my telekinetic powers, or the Hulk (I really enjoyed growling “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”, and then roaring a whole bunch – who wouldn’t?), everyone else wanted to play Charlie’s Angels (and what were their superpowers? Long hair?) When people saw me reading Superman, or Love & Rockets, they balked. It quickly became pretty clear that comics weren’t socially acceptable. Even on my annual visits to America to visit my New York dwelling family, I only occasionally glimpsed a world of comic-influenced play, and that place was clearly reserved for the boys. I could ask to play with their Batman toys, coveting those batmobiles that actually shot little missiles (to this day I still fantasize about inheriting my dad’s), but owning my own superhero toys was a step too far into overt weirdo territory.
Nowadays, despite the growing popularity of comic books and the superhero medium, I haven’t really changed. Continue Reading »
Only two comics in this one, though. One is an all ages title, the other is Blackest Night: X-Men, more or less, so at least it will be X-Clectic. (How was that not the title of a comic during the X-Men glut?). Continue Reading »
You know, your menstruating heart just isn’t bleeding enough for two.
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“I’m not a hero! I’m not a savior! Forget what you know!”
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Yeah, this randomer thoughts thing is my shtick. See how long it lasts before I get bored (or Nevett internet sues me for ripping him off (even if I did the random thoughts thing here first)(first!!!!)). Continue Reading »
And lo, the first round of cuts to my pull list hits, as I try to wean myself off single issues and into trade paperbacks. What did I decide to keep buying in singles? Join me under the jump for the stuff I bought that’s worth typing about: robots, space horses, vampires, more vampires, and Batman. What’s most surprising, dear reader? My favorite comic this month wasn’t written by Grant Morrison. (Gasp!) Continue Reading »
Hey, remember when Dirk Deppey reviewed a bunch of X-Men comics that one time? This is sort of like that, but without the dripping disdain for Chris Claremont, so some of you may want to leave now. Continue Reading »
If only because the team that’s been correctly identified the least number of times (3.1%!) amuses me, even if I have a similar missplaced nostalgic affection for them as this guy. One more thing; is it just me, or should Maria Hill not be mentioned as one of the three most prominent characters in anything, at all, ever?