By sEsposito7 0 Comments
Due to March having a five week spread, this week's comic haul seemed pretty light yesterday. I'm not a big spender any week of the month, but I usually buy at least 3 or 4 titles. In the case of yesterday, there just wasn't much on the stands that seemed to catch my interest. Aside from the usual (Batman Beyond and Green Lantern), there was one that got my attention, though: X-Men.
Now, the X-books always attract my eye. I grab one, flip through it and put it back on the rack usually unimpressed. The reason the X-books always keep me looking is because, in many ways, they're what got me into comics in the first place. Like many youngsters in the 90s, I got into comics after religiously following the X-Men cartoon. Long story short, I've been reading about the X-Men ever since -- that is, until Messiah Complex ended.
For me, Messiah Complex represented everything that I ever loved about the X-Men. I devoured every issue, every week and couldn't wait for more. I thought the story was brilliant and the entire thing handled really well. Once it ended, I expected more of the same good stuff, but all I got was weak stories. Needless to say, I was disappointed. I stuck with the X-Men titles through Divided We Stand, but after the conclusion I reluctantly left my favorite titles behind. I just wasn't enjoying them anymore, and every week reading them started to feel more and more like a chore rather than a hobby. This state of mind is a good representation of my feelings toward Marvel Comics in general. By this time, I had been so disgruntled with Marvel titles that the X-books were the only Marvel floppies that I was reading. When I dropped X-Men: Legacy and Uncanny X-Men, I dropped Marvel.
Thankfully, DC was hitting home runs at the time, and I was thoroughly enjoying the Green Lantern books and the Batman titles. In fact, my buying habits have remained pretty much constant ever since. I've been Mavel-less since roughly early 2009. Yesterday changed that when I saw Victor Gischler and Chris Bachalo's X-Men on the rack. When I opened it, I felt like you do when you bump into an old friend: happy, nostalgic, a little uneasy... I must admit, it was Bachalo's art that grabbed me the way it did. Chris Bachalo was always one of my favorite X-Men artists and when I saw his work yesterday, coupled with the fact that the book was set in NYC with a cast of (pretty much) standard X-Men, I was sold. I bought the first part of the arc, but left the newest issue on the stands in anticipation of being disappointed by Gischler's writing (no offense Victor Gischler!).
I must say, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I was about as enthralled as I get from comics. The book felt so familiar, so right, and yet, so fresh. That's a huge feat, in my opinion. The fact that the X-Men are operating out of San Francisco still bothers me for some reason, but it's handled well in the opening pages and shows why the heroes are in NYC again. I've heard rumors of Scott's turn toward douche-ism and Emma's seemingly erratic personality during my two year hiatus, but haven't had the opportunity to experience it first hand. That may be good, or bad. Whatever the case is, I think Gischler handled things perfectly. He managed to blend the classic feel of the X-Men that I love with the current story lines in a way that wasn't detrimental to either aspect -- something Matt Fraction failed to do, in my opinion.
But like old friends, I can't say whether this is just one of those cases where a "nice to see you" suffices, or a reconciliation is warranted it. I can't say for sure that I'll be buying this book from here on out, but I will at least read the entire arc; and from the look of things, I'll enjoy it. If I do, I'll consider myself an X-reader again.
NOTE: This blog was written in partial response to another blog that I recently read. The other blogger is at the opposite end of the spectrum, but we ought not forget that things usually come full circle. That blog is here: http://stormantic.wordpress.com/2011/03/02/state-of-the-x-men-storm/