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1001 WIB

June 11, 2015

All right. So things have been a little less post-y than I was hoping. The surgery really knocked me for a loop and then I got a call: “Can you come in for a job interview?” Why yes. Yes I can. I can always do that. Awesome news: I got the job! I start…Monday. Yes, Monday. As a librarian again, not just a web content creator/web designer for a library. As a Youth Services librarian again! The world is a wonderful place.

Today I am at my husband’s work tidying up the library and hanging around while my car is being fixed, so while I’m waiting for some work email to come in (!!!), I decided hey, WordPress is one of the sites that isn’t blocked by the school filters! I can catch up on my WIBs! And boy, do we have a lot to catch up on.

Let’s work our way backwards and see where we get before lunch, shall we?

I’ve been running the Marvel Unlimited app ragged. No, really, I have. I started in the present, and then was like “Ooh, X-Statix!” and “Ooh, Young Avengers!” and from there, I just went crazy. And all of it has been SO GOOD. Most of it, anyway. I think I’ve read over 20 trades’ worth in 3 weeks. If I could ask for one thing for my birthday/Christmas this year, I think it might be to have a year of Marvel Unlimited, not just the one-month trial. And the Spider-Gwen hoodie. And all the girl Dorbz.

Right now, I’m smack in the middle of reading Peter David’s EXCELLENT run on X-Factor, which started around 2005, my personal Golden Age of Comics. I read a lot of comics as a teen, when I could get my hands on them, and I always loved all the X-Men teams, not just the First Class or even the HELLA DIVERSE “global” second wave (with the African one and the Canadian one and the Native American one and the Russian one and the German one and…I can’t believe some fans are whining about “forced diversity” when they grew up with this giant X-Team of Token Members). I loved X-Force, and Generation X and X-Factor and, later X-Statix. (I’ll get back to them. I realize they’re not for everyone.) Whatever team, I was there. But Peter David’s run on X-Factor, starting with a five-issue Madrox standalone in 2005, is a particular favorite of mine.

At the time, House of M had just finished and ended with the Decimation, where Scarlet Witch went from using her powers to create an entire world where mutants were on top to taking the powers away from almost every mutant on the planet with the magical words “No more mutants.” It was annoying that almost everyone cool was still powered but you could hand-wave that away as the Scarlet Witch’s mind being unable to take away her friends’ abilities. Sort of. Either way, the world was down a heck of a lot of mutants. It was supposed to solve the problem that there were a zillion mutants running around, and they no longer felt like a minority.

I’d rather they have gone with that, but it’s fascinating. Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, opens a detective agency in the section of New York City knows as Mutant Town. Along with Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane), Guido Carosella (Strong Guy), Theresa Cassidy (Siryn), Monet St Croix (M), and a now powerless Rictor, they solve mutant-based crimes and generally avoid the X-Men as often as they can.

Also added to the mix was the mysterious Layla Miller, an important character from House of M. Layla had the ability to give people their memories of the real world back, and told everyone that she “knows stuff.” She joins the X-Factor team as a grating know-it-all, and quickly comes to be an important part of who they are. As they say later, there’s something comforting about someone who knows what’s going to happen. When I first read X-Factor, I saw her as a muddled overpowered Mary Sue, if an intriguing one. Now, I love her.

The art in the beginning helps make the series. It was absolutely gorgeous. Jamie looks like a good-looking Everyman, yet is always recognizable. I wish Siryn always had her freckles, but oh well. Make-up. I’ve met people with freckles. I know what they do. M was a character that was also overpowered and mysterious, and she’s settled into herself and fits well too. Guido is still great, Rahne is sometimes still confusing (her hair goes from long to short again from the solo series to X-Factor, and that’s really a metaphor for her character in the two series too), and Rictor’s misery really sells the Decimation.

Madrox: Multiple Choice is a straight-up noir story, but X-Factor is detective story and superheroing all together. I think my husband would really like it because “superheroes doing not-superhero things” is one of his favorites, and he also really enjoyed my other favorite detective superhero: Jessica Jones. I’ve also read the first four trades–The Longest Night, Life and Death Matters, Many Lives of Madrox, and Heart of Ice, as well as Messiah Complex, because argh, Marvel and their crossovers. It’s great how the app puts them all in order for you, but I’m always jumping from what I want to read to all these other comics just to follow along. I know I don’t have to, and yet I keep doing it. And it does help to know, I guess.

I’m super sad because I think I’ve finished the next storyline, but I need to double-check with Goodreads, and THE ARTIST CHANGED AND IT’S SO UGLY NOW. It’s so easy to think of something as good when the art is beautiful, and so hard to remember it’s a good story when the art is bad. And, truly, any art would be bad after…I think it’s David Yardin but I’m not sure. Wikipedia sure is bad about artist changes, but great with telling you who the author is.

But I’m hoping that even though I only have a week left, I’ll still be able to read all of it. I love it so.

Wow, I guess it had been a year since I’d started with Mark Waid’s new Daredevil run. After the darkness of the Brubaker years (which I never got to finish, but I could if someone bought me Marvel Unlimited!), Waid’s cheerful approach to Daredevil was a nice change of pace. So I continued with that by reading volumes 6 and 7, which draw Matt’s time as Hell’s Kitchen defender to a close. Then we’re back at volume 1 again (sigh) for The Devil at Bay, which has Matt in San Francisco. Loved all of it.

I also blew through Brian Reed’s whole time on Ms Marvel, and wow, other than Reed doing some weird ball-dropping with some of the plotlines (disappearing boyfriend!), what a great run. I really enjoyed it. Then I moved on to DeConnick’s Captain Marvel stuff, and I definitely like Carol in space more than Carol time traveling. But then again, time travel in superhero comics, argh.

Okay, so let’s talk about X-Statix. Peter Milligan took over X-Force in 2003 with this incredibly bizarre, ultraviolent (for the time), deconstruction of superheroes. A group of fame-hungry young mutants are stealing the name X-Force for their reality show/merchandising and are often murdered off horribly. It is a weird tale that fits in absolutely not at all with the rest of the X-universe, and I remember people loathing it. Not me. I loved it, in part due to Mike Allred’s art. Seriously, if I ever win the lottery, I’m paying Allred to draw me.

X-Statix is definitely not for everyone. It’s a satire and gruesome and it’s hard to get attached to anyone because they keep dying. But in a comic book world of safety nets, X-Statix was the very opposite of that. It was garish and brutal and irreverent and odd. The fact that it was originally X-Force, running as a normal X-Force book, is something I cannot see happening today. It’d have its own title, as it ended up doing with the name change. It ran for two X-Force trades (which I own), four X-Statix titles, a Dead Girl solo series, and, most recently, is at least partially referenced in All-New Doop. Which, go figure, is also trippy.

Let’s see, what else?  I reread Young Avengers, which was just as good as I remembered, and comes highly recommended. I’m sad that they didn’t have an ongoing title longer than what I’d already read, but they show up here and there, so I meant to do that but I got sidetracked because I didn’t feel like reading All The Events All the Time just to read Young Avengers.

Marvel Unlimited has The Pulse, aw yeah, so more Jessica Jones. I’ve reread everything now this year except for V4 of Alias, which I haven’t been able to find in stores.

A store. I went to one store this year.

The new stuff: “caught up” Unlimited-stylee (six months back?) on Ms Marvel (soooo good), and All-New X-Men, which is also fantastic, and Guardians of the Galaxy. I have literally read nothing bad, and most of the art has been awesome too. Truly, other than always having to figure out what event’s going on, Marvel really has been solid these past ten years, unless I’m just reading the wrong books.

Okay, it’s been two hours, lunch, and I still haven’t even gotten to the BOOK books, but I’ve got other things to do now and, frankly, I’m about to fall asleep on the keyboard.

Next up: NEW ERNEST CLINE

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jillian permalink
    June 11, 2015 8:45 pm

    Awesome about the job!!

    • bookslide permalink*
      June 12, 2015 9:46 am

      I’d been doing web updates for a local library, and some baby-sitting (which kept me current with children’s pop culture), but it wasn’t the same. I’m so excited!

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