In Defense of Hope Summers (Pre- AvX)

So picture this. The Scarlet Witch de-powers 95%+ of the world's mutants. For years they are in a state of regrouping, survival and chaos brought on by this unimaginable terror. They become an endangered species, and there's not a single new mutant birth. Their days are numbered, this looks to be the end.

Ding.

Cerebra detects a new mutant life sign. A new born mutation activating that BOOM knocks out Cerebra. For the first time in YEARS (for us readers and long long months in comic time) a single new mutant is born. Who is this child? What makes this newborn mutant so special that its birth broke Wanda's reality warp? How powerful is this baby that its mere birth knocks out Cerebra?

Hope Summers is born.

*spoiler alert but really it's been 7 years*

This was back in 2007, and when this event, Messiah CompleX, took place, it was a BIG FREAKING deal. I'm talking sold out first printings at your LCS sort of big. Mutants were dying, disappearing and could not hope to continue the mutant legacy. "No more mutants." and then Cerebra explodes because of ONE new mutant birth. Yeah, this. Was. Huge. The race was on. Every mutant and mutant organization was on the lookout for her. The town she was born into (in Alaska where Scott grew up and where he met Maddie Pryor) was burned to the ground. Not a single survivor. The awesomeness and nail biting moments keep coming. The X-Men, the Marauders, Xavier, X-Factor, Bishop, X-Force, Reavers, Forge, Purifiers, and Acolytes were all involved. And who turned out had gotten to the baby first and saved her? The previously presumed dead ultimate X-Man: Cable. WHAT THE WHAT?!

The hits keep on coming. Not only was Cable her protector, but turns out that, despite the plethora of villains in the mix, the person she had most to fear was Bishop. Stalwart and true X-Man Bishop would become this child's greatest enemy because he blamed her for the future he came from. In his logic killing her would prevent his world's suffering. How has this not piqued your curiosity yet? This was the clincher for me, the mystery mutant miracle child who had every mutant after her for different purposes. I was dying to find out why. How did this baby defy Wanda's reality warp? Why did this child's birth break Cerebra? What are her powers going to be? How was she able to touch and cure a comatose Rogue (before she learned to control her powers) without anything happening to her? And the smallest detail but important nonetheless. This red-headed green-eyed baby girl, where did she come from? Because there's only a handful of special mutant red headed green eyed females, so we know there's truly something special about this girl. A Jean Grey connection? Very possible. Safe to say, I was hooked. And I needed to know more, I needed to know her story.

If you haven't read Duane Swierczynski's 2008 Cable run. Do it. Like now. Actually like yesterday. Other than being a brilliant run, it was the first long-running series to feature Hope Summers immediately following Messiah CompleX. And to be completely honest no other series has done her justice since. Swierczynski had proven that he genuinely loved Hope and cared for the character and her development and who she was becoming and how Cable was essential to Hope becoming a hero, not mutantkind's "messiah". The series follows Cable and Hope from the second they arrive in the future after Messiah CompleX up until they return to the present with Hope being a full-grown teenager, with EVERYTHING in between.

If you ever wanted to get to know Hope, and I mean the REAL Hope Summers, not the bratty attitude-heavy whiny abrasive rude punk that readers have unfortunately come to know since Second Coming, the Cable series is where you go. Swierczynski takes the time for you to see this girl's struggle, to see Cable struggle with not just keeping her alive and safe but bringing her up as his own and raising her. You see her as a helpless baby saved from gunfights and thugs and time traveling creeps, to a precocious toddler and child who goes through loss after loss and still manages to keep her head up and keep fighting because of the badass father who teaches her strength and gives her love.

Swierczynski makes you absolutely fall in love with this girl. To feel for her hurt, to cheer for her to win, to giving her strength so she can fulfill her destiny. You get Hope when she's shy, funny, confused, smart, witty, heartbroken, happy, furious, terrified, insecure, out of her depth, gaining momentum, separated from her father, reunited with him, gaining a losing a family, fighting monsters, outsmarting Bishop and coming into her own. Every shade of Hope is explored and you cannot help but just love this character. And when you suddenly catch a Phoenix emblem in her eyes casually in a panel, chills run down your spine at the implications. Swierczynski gives her her due, he gives her full on character development so you see her grow literally and figuratively. He makes you see this new amazing side to Cable, wherein he's a father and you see how it becomes the most important thing to him (especially considering his history with his own father), he becomes an unkillable badass who's priority is this tiny little girl who he grows to love more than anything. Both characters are put through the ringer and manage to survive. The most beautiful moments between them are the silent ones once they survive yet another attack. This series also made me understand Cable as a character, and through him you end up loving Hope, because you see how she grows up and becomes this paragon of strength and might because of Cable.

The relationship between Hope and Cable is one of the most heartwarming father-daughter, hell even parent-child, dynamics in comics. Their biggest strength? They both give the other something they lack. Hope's innocence and representation of new life are exactly what Cable has lost in his lifetime(s). Cable meanwhile represents to Hope, survival strength and protection. All the things whose absence threatened her from birth. But most of all? Cable and Hope are each others family. Two against the world and against time itself. Hope's family was taken from her at birth, Cable's family was forced to first send him away and then followed all the complexities of his future stand-in families (askani, akkaba, x-force, x-men etc.) for better or worse. The two of them together? Perfect sense. Their immediate bond is the very fact that they were both sent into the future as children so they could be safe and protected.

They are each others perfect foil. Hope brings out the father in Cable, the natural protector that he is But with the softer fatherly side. Hope makes him a better soldier because he suddenly has this little girl to protect from the world and so his A-game is on point. Hope makes him a better person because she is able to bring out his gentler side, as his daughter Cable had never loved or feared for someone as much he does for Hope. His actions? Purely out of unquestionable love for this girl who destiny had decided to place him with through a cruel confluence of events. They're lone warriors, looking out for themselves in a hostile future, he has no one, and neither does she. But they have each other. This huge serious part metal mutant soldier finds his challenge raising this tiny innocent firecracker mystery child, and finds the only family he ever needed.

When X-Force visit the future and help Cable deal with his evil and deeply powerful clone Stryfe, it is Hope's first exposure to the past she comes from and the X-Men who need her. Lil five year old Hope has the BEST exchanges with X-23 and Elixir (remember him? Miss him). Elixir's biologically rooted powers, utters one line about her that confirmed my love for the mystery of this character "oh god, I know what she is. I know what she is!" Not explained though, which is fine since I'm patient. Hope's exchanges with Stryfe (who himself realizes how powerful she is) make you think this kid is definitely Cable's daughter.

Then came THAT moment. The singular moment you waited for while reading this girl's journey. When Bishop knocks out Cable and has a gun pointed to Hope's forehead, and bam! Her powers activate. Surprising her and Bishop. She telekinetically stops the bullet and knocks a terrified awestruck Bishop back. Safe to say at that point I was elated on Cloud 9. Finally. And she proved to be a badass. The powers? Seemed like telekinetic and telepathy at first, which made me giddy to think considering certain other people who have the same power set. When they return to the present for Second Coming, that marked the end of Swierczynski's amazing take on Hope Summers and Cable.

From a power display perspective, a heartbreaking perspective, a revelation of the "mutant messiah" perspective and her introduction to the chaos of the present Second Coming did Hope absolute justice. SO MANY POWERFUL MOMENTS. Nightcrawler's sacrifice, Cable's sacrifice, Hope clutching Cable's detached robotic arm exhausted on the floor. And the chills you get when she displays her full power and full on destroys Bastion, goosebumps..even more so when you see her calmly Phoenix-out while every character gulps at the implications. This girl is a powerhouse, this girl is the ultimate mystery, this girl I adore who since birth has known nothing but hardship.

Some readers weren't exposed to Hope during her formative years and only "met" her upon her return for Second Coming. They didn't know the hardships she's faced, the constant loss suffered, the barely getting by, the life on the run, the near misses, the always looking over your shoulder, growing up on battlefields and growing up as a soldier constantly being hunted and trained to survive by the most seasoned mutant soldier. Born into a waging war and kept safe barely through every imaginable obstacle and hardships. And worse yet? Born with a heavy burden forced upon her that she didn't ask for since birth, the role of a mutant messiah. Yeah, no pressure. Add that to an unsafe war-like life lived with little exposure to modern society and other people (let alone normal people), Hope has lived in a post-apocalyptic setting for all her life. Monitored and burdened. Chances are she isn't going to know how to interact with modern people from the past who don't realize what she's been through. Let alone having to adjust to a "safer" time with people who she doesn't know but who keep their eyes on her at all times, and all this after she lost the most important person in her life, the only family she has ever known and the only person who went through what she has: Cable. Some writers didn't know how to write her for the present.

A curse in reading comics is the different takes different writers have on established characters when they use them. How many times have different comic book writers more or less screwed up or changed our characters with their different spin on them? Some writers do them justice, while others..struggle. Or utilize them in a completely different way giving them a 180 degree flip. Hope Summers unfortunately fell into this trap. Tony G-Man Guerrero once wrote about the dangers of having characters with too much power. Too much power and too much hype mean too little to actually use properly (i.e. Sentry). After Second Coming, Hope was marooned in unfamiliar terrain and the soldier was left to redefine her life with all these people whispering about her. Writers clearly didn't know how to proceed with her in the present. Her abilities weren't defined at first "mutant voodoo doll, she is all of us" yeah that doesn't explain a thing. Then they settled for "omega level power mimic" which could make sense but again feels like a cop out for a 3+ year mystery they were exploring. They didn't do her justice she was wasted, written UNCHARACTERISTICALLY as a rude brat with no regard for others and completely rash impulsive behavior. So not Hope. Making her fight and mouth off to Emma Frost, Dani Moonstar, Cyclops, etc. Why? That's not like her. All it did was make readers hate her and shelf her. Did writers just not know what to do with her?

Then came the fiasco known as the Five Lights. Ugh. Mutations Hope was written as having awakened. This whole clusterf**k was a mess, uninteresting characters, no development and no long term purpose. Hope was made into this selfish hard-ass unit leader who bossed and ordered her team around with no regard to any sort of purpose or direction. What kills me is that it stuck. All future writers kept the bratty rigid dismissive soldier Hope for every time she was written. Her mutant messiah bit was left after Second Coming, and then it's as if all writers were like "Uuuuh what do we do with her now...? Have we figured out her story yet? Do we just kinda wanna make this up as we go along and disregard all established history and clues other writers built for her? Aah screw it we'll just throw it all into Avengers vs X-Men." It came as no shocker when Generation Hope was cancelled. An uninteresting group with uninteresting missions and zero team dynamics with a bland plot were left out in the cold. What a surprise. Most of the writers who handled Hope after Second Coming were quality writers with an amazing track record, but that doesn't guarantee they'll know how to handle all characters at any given time.

Mind you I haven't read AvX yet, it's coming up on my list and I'm excited to get some answers and to see whether Hope is given her due. It's my understanding that Hope is currently unused in All-New Marvel NOW! And in a coma. Completely discarded because they just don't know what to with her. And readers couldn't care less because they've got the wrong idea about her. Here's hoping I gave you something to think about and that I've maybe changed your mind.

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In Defense of Hope Summers (Pre- AvX)

So picture this. The Scarlet Witch de-powers 95%+ of the world's mutants. For years they are in a state of regrouping, survival and chaos brought on by this unimaginable terror. They become an endangered species, and there's not a single new mutant birth. Their days are numbered, this looks to be the end.

Ding.

Cerebra detects a new mutant life sign. A new born mutation activating that BOOM knocks out Cerebra. For the first time in YEARS (for us readers and long long months in comic time) a single new mutant is born. Who is this child? What makes this newborn mutant so special that its birth broke Wanda's reality warp? How powerful is this baby that its mere birth knocks out Cerebra?

Hope Summers is born.

*spoiler alert but really it's been 7 years*

This was back in 2007, and when this event, Messiah CompleX, took place, it was a BIG FREAKING deal. I'm talking sold out first printings at your LCS sort of big. Mutants were dying, disappearing and could not hope to continue the mutant legacy. "No more mutants." and then Cerebra explodes because of ONE new mutant birth. Yeah, this. Was. Huge. The race was on. Every mutant and mutant organization was on the lookout for her. The town she was born into (in Alaska where Scott grew up and where he met Maddie Pryor) was burned to the ground. Not a single survivor. The awesomeness and nail biting moments keep coming. The X-Men, the Marauders, Xavier, X-Factor, Bishop, X-Force, Reavers, Forge, Purifiers, and Acolytes were all involved. And who turned out had gotten to the baby first and saved her? The previously presumed dead ultimate X-Man: Cable. WHAT THE WHAT?!

The hits keep on coming. Not only was Cable her protector, but turns out that, despite the plethora of villains in the mix, the person she had most to fear was Bishop. Stalwart and true X-Man Bishop would become this child's greatest enemy because he blamed her for the future he came from. In his logic killing her would prevent his world's suffering. How has this not piqued your curiosity yet? This was the clincher for me, the mystery mutant miracle child who had every mutant after her for different purposes. I was dying to find out why. How did this baby defy Wanda's reality warp? Why did this child's birth break Cerebra? What are her powers going to be? How was she able to touch and cure a comatose Rogue (before she learned to control her powers) without anything happening to her? And the smallest detail but important nonetheless. This red-headed green-eyed baby girl, where did she come from? Because there's only a handful of special mutant red headed green eyed females, so we know there's truly something special about this girl. A Jean Grey connection? Very possible. Safe to say, I was hooked. And I needed to know more, I needed to know her story.

If you haven't read Duane Swierczynski's 2008 Cable run. Do it. Like now. Actually like yesterday. Other than being a brilliant run, it was the first long-running series to feature Hope Summers immediately following Messiah CompleX. And to be completely honest no other series has done her justice since. Swierczynski had proven that he genuinely loved Hope and cared for the character and her development and who she was becoming and how Cable was essential to Hope becoming a hero, not mutantkind's "messiah". The series follows Cable and Hope from the second they arrive in the future after Messiah CompleX up until they return to the present with Hope being a full-grown teenager, with EVERYTHING in between.

If you ever wanted to get to know Hope, and I mean the REAL Hope Summers, not the bratty attitude-heavy whiny abrasive rude punk that readers have unfortunately come to know since Second Coming, the Cable series is where you go. Swierczynski takes the time for you to see this girl's struggle, to see Cable struggle with not just keeping her alive and safe but bringing her up as his own and raising her. You see her as a helpless baby saved from gunfights and thugs and time traveling creeps, to a precocious toddler and child who goes through loss after loss and still manages to keep her head up and keep fighting because of the badass father who teaches her strength and gives her love.

Swierczynski makes you absolutely fall in love with this girl. To feel for her hurt, to cheer for her to win, to giving her strength so she can fulfill her destiny. You get Hope when she's shy, funny, confused, smart, witty, heartbroken, happy, furious, terrified, insecure, out of her depth, gaining momentum, separated from her father, reunited with him, gaining a losing a family, fighting monsters, outsmarting Bishop and coming into her own. Every shade of Hope is explored and you cannot help but just love this character. And when you suddenly catch a Phoenix emblem in her eyes casually in a panel, chills run down your spine at the implications. Swierczynski gives her her due, he gives her full on character development so you see her grow literally and figuratively. He makes you see this new amazing side to Cable, wherein he's a father and you see how it becomes the most important thing to him (especially considering his history with his own father), he becomes an unkillable badass who's priority is this tiny little girl who he grows to love more than anything. Both characters are put through the ringer and manage to survive. The most beautiful moments between them are the silent ones once they survive yet another attack. This series also made me understand Cable as a character, and through him you end up loving Hope, because you see how she grows up and becomes this paragon of strength and might because of Cable.

The relationship between Hope and Cable is one of the most heartwarming father-daughter, hell even parent-child, dynamics in comics. Their biggest strength? They both give the other something they lack. Hope's innocence and representation of new life are exactly what Cable has lost in his lifetime(s). Cable meanwhile represents to Hope, survival strength and protection. All the things whose absence threatened her from birth. But most of all? Cable and Hope are each others family. Two against the world and against time itself. Hope's family was taken from her at birth, Cable's family was forced to first send him away and then followed all the complexities of his future stand-in families (askani, akkaba, x-force, x-men etc.) for better or worse. The two of them together? Perfect sense. Their immediate bond is the very fact that they were both sent into the future as children so they could be safe and protected.

They are each others perfect foil. Hope brings out the father in Cable, the natural protector that he is But with the softer fatherly side. Hope makes him a better soldier because he suddenly has this little girl to protect from the world and so his A-game is on point. Hope makes him a better person because she is able to bring out his gentler side, as his daughter Cable had never loved or feared for someone as much he does for Hope. His actions? Purely out of unquestionable love for this girl who destiny had decided to place him with through a cruel confluence of events. They're lone warriors, looking out for themselves in a hostile future, he has no one, and neither does she. But they have each other. This huge serious part metal mutant soldier finds his challenge raising this tiny innocent firecracker mystery child, and finds the only family he ever needed.

When X-Force visit the future and help Cable deal with his evil and deeply powerful clone Stryfe, it is Hope's first exposure to the past she comes from and the X-Men who need her. Lil five year old Hope has the BEST exchanges with X-23 and Elixir (remember him? Miss him). Elixir's biologically rooted powers, utters one line about her that confirmed my love for the mystery of this character "oh god, I know what she is. I know what she is!" Not explained though, which is fine since I'm patient. Hope's exchanges with Stryfe (who himself realizes how powerful she is) make you think this kid is definitely Cable's daughter.

Then came THAT moment. The singular moment you waited for while reading this girl's journey. When Bishop knocks out Cable and has a gun pointed to Hope's forehead, and bam! Her powers activate. Surprising her and Bishop. She telekinetically stops the bullet and knocks a terrified awestruck Bishop back. Safe to say at that point I was elated on Cloud 9. Finally. And she proved to be a badass. The powers? Seemed like telekinetic and telepathy at first, which made me giddy to think considering certain other people who have the same power set. When they return to the present for Second Coming, that marked the end of Swierczynski's amazing take on Hope Summers and Cable.

From a power display perspective, a heartbreaking perspective, a revelation of the "mutant messiah" perspective and her introduction to the chaos of the present Second Coming did Hope absolute justice. SO MANY POWERFUL MOMENTS. Nightcrawler's sacrifice, Cable's sacrifice, Hope clutching Cable's detached robotic arm exhausted on the floor. And the chills you get when she displays her full power and full on destroys Bastion, goosebumps..even more so when you see her calmly Phoenix-out while every character gulps at the implications. This girl is a powerhouse, this girl is the ultimate mystery, this girl I adore who since birth has known nothing but hardship.

Some readers weren't exposed to Hope during her formative years and only "met" her upon her return for Second Coming. They didn't know the hardships she's faced, the constant loss suffered, the barely getting by, the life on the run, the near misses, the always looking over your shoulder, growing up on battlefields and growing up as a soldier constantly being hunted and trained to survive by the most seasoned mutant soldier. Born into a waging war and kept safe barely through every imaginable obstacle and hardships. And worse yet? Born with a heavy burden forced upon her that she didn't ask for since birth, the role of a mutant messiah. Yeah, no pressure. Add that to an unsafe war-like life lived with little exposure to modern society and other people (let alone normal people), Hope has lived in a post-apocalyptic setting for all her life. Monitored and burdened. Chances are she isn't going to know how to interact with modern people from the past who don't realize what she's been through. Let alone having to adjust to a "safer" time with people who she doesn't know but who keep their eyes on her at all times, and all this after she lost the most important person in her life, the only family she has ever known and the only person who went through what she has: Cable. Some writers didn't know how to write her for the present.

A curse in reading comics is the different takes different writers have on established characters when they use them. How many times have different comic book writers more or less screwed up or changed our characters with their different spin on them? Some writers do them justice, while others..struggle. Or utilize them in a completely different way giving them a 180 degree flip. Hope Summers unfortunately fell into this trap. Tony G-Man Guerrero once wrote about the dangers of having characters with too much power. Too much power and too much hype mean too little to actually use properly (i.e. Sentry). After Second Coming, Hope was marooned in unfamiliar terrain and the soldier was left to redefine her life with all these people whispering about her. Writers clearly didn't know how to proceed with her in the present. Her abilities weren't defined at first "mutant voodoo doll, she is all of us" yeah that doesn't explain a thing. Then they settled for "omega level power mimic" which could make sense but again feels like a cop out for a 3+ year mystery they were exploring. They didn't do her justice she was wasted, written UNCHARACTERISTICALLY as a rude brat with no regard for others and completely rash impulsive behavior. So not Hope. Making her fight and mouth off to Emma Frost, Dani Moonstar, Cyclops, etc. Why? That's not like her. All it did was make readers hate her and shelf her. Did writers just not know what to do with her?

Then came the fiasco known as the Five Lights. Ugh. Mutations Hope was written as having awakened. This whole clusterf**k was a mess, uninteresting characters, no development and no long term purpose. Hope was made into this selfish hard-ass unit leader who bossed and ordered her team around with no regard to any sort of purpose or direction. What kills me is that it stuck. All future writers kept the bratty rigid dismissive soldier Hope for every time she was written. Her mutant messiah bit was left after Second Coming, and then it's as if all writers were like "Uuuuh what do we do with her now...? Have we figured out her story yet? Do we just kinda wanna make this up as we go along and disregard all established history and clues other writers built for her? Aah screw it we'll just throw it all into Avengers vs X-Men." It came as no shocker when Generation Hope was cancelled. An uninteresting group with uninteresting missions and zero team dynamics with a bland plot were left out in the cold. What a surprise. Most of the writers who handled Hope after Second Coming were quality writers with an amazing track record, but that doesn't guarantee they'll know how to handle all characters at any given time.

Mind you I haven't read AvX yet, it's coming up on my list and I'm excited to get some answers and to see whether Hope is given her due. It's my understanding that Hope is currently unused in All-New Marvel NOW! And in a coma. Completely discarded because they just don't know what to with her. And readers couldn't care less because they've got the wrong idea about her. Here's hoping I gave you something to think about and that I've maybe changed your mind.

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Marvel and the Comic Book Death

I realize as we are all comic book readers, that we must make certain allowances when delving into these extraordinary worlds where nothing is impossible. It is the very real fact that nothing is impossible which I feel makes us the readers find comfort within the pages we read and the titles we hold so dear. As we are reading things out of the realm of regular possibility, suspension of disbelief goes without saying. One aspect I am particularly addressing is the Comic Book Death.

I realize probably anyone reading this is rolling their eyes at the very discussion of comic book deaths, but I guess there's a specific aspect of it that kind of gets to me. I mean, if the topic itself warrants its own Wikipedia page, it goes without saying that it is as much an integral part of the comic book worlds we lose ourselves into as the characters themselves. I am a relatively new comic book reader, but I do understand that, time was at some point a comic book death meant something. It left an impact, it resonated with the reader, it furthered a story and its characters. And if done right, a subsequent resurrection, forgive the pun, breathed new life into the formerly dead character. Uncle Ben's death, Jason Todd's death, Jean Grey's (first) death, Bucky Barnes' etc all changed the way their respective teams, characters, titles and associations continued life afterwards. To be able to shock a reader with a sudden and powerful death would in itself be bittersweet because we would lose a character we came to know and would reaffirm one of the very reasons why we come to comic book worlds: to be amazed.

Most characters do come back from the dead, this is a fact. But basically this rant, is about how soon and why. Particularly with Marvel. I am not too familiar with all things DC, but it came to my understanding that Brightest Day resurrected characters after they had been down for a while and that it was done powerfully. Even Bruce Wayne's "death" was done very low key and tastefully with a following passing of the torch to Dick Grayson. Marvel however, I am familiar with. And several things I noticed about Marvel, is that 1. It's events aplenty, and 2. It's "forever changing the status quo as we know it" every other month and probably the most frustrating 3. A character death and almost immediate resurrection is to be expected.

Number 3 would be fine, as this is a world of comics, except this: A death has come to mean absolutely nothing beyond the scene itself where it takes place or as a means to wrap up the latest event. This does harm to the storytelling and the narrative being told in my opinion. Especially when done excessively. I mean I think its bad when readers have come to expect and their automatic reaction to a Marvel comic death as "Eh. They'll be back next year." Which typically they do. In my opinion I think if you are going to kill a character, do it for the right reasons and do it for the longterm effect, don't do it for the shock of the moment effect and later bring them back. It fractures continuity and it fractures smooth storytelling for the readers. Much like with Joss Whedon when he sent Kitty Pryde away in the bullet, Kitty was seen in other writer pages during Brubaker's Deadly Genesis and Kyle and Yost's New X-Men Childhood's End for example. What about Bucky Barnes' death in Fear Itself followed by his IMMEDIATE comeback? Or Thor's death in Fear Itself and Archangel's death in Uncanny X-Force, whereas they'll both be taking part in the Avengers vs. X-Men event. Pardonnez-moi? How are reader's supposed to really feel their death and feel its impact? How are we supposed to buy into the writer's intention of shocking us with death if they'll cheapen it by a resurrection quick on the heels of the death?

I'm not really wishing for no more comic book deaths, I mean its good stuff in some events and stories, I just wish they'd be done for the right reasons and for the impact of their deaths to matter. I also just wish that if a death is to occur, that a resurrection not happen a few issues later, yeah I'm lookin' at you Human Torch. What's worse is that when a death is done as epically and emotionally as Cable's in Second Coming or Johnny's in Three, it is merely undone a short time later with a resurrection. I don't know about other people, but it sometimes just angers me because it makes me think: what was the point? Maybe sometimes things should go like the successful Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610), wherein anything can happen, anyone can die and it sticks. The characters can be brought back..but give it some time, give it the proper treatment with the proper execution. If Nightcrawler (616) comes back anytime soon, I'm going to have a rage stroke , that death was beyond heartbreaking. It makes me appreciate deaths like Wasp's or Jean Grey's because they've stuck, their team members struggled and coped and were made stronger and moved on. It's when the team is finally in a place of closure following that character's death (years later) that you can bring them back and throw everyone for a tailspin. Have them reassess themselves and their world in its prospective. Have it challenge the characters and make them all the stronger or weaker for it and show their heroic and human sides simultaneously.

Except for that pain in the ass Phoenix Force. Obsessive much? Jesus, that thing needs to learn to move on..talk about separation anxiety. CLINGYYYY.

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X-Men Drawbacks to Telekinetic Telepaths

At one point while you were reading these fantastical out-of-this-world comics filled with the coolest superpowers, it must have and I mean must have crossed your mind of what superhuman ability you would want. Even if it fluttered in your mind for the briefest of instances. In my case, as an avid X-Fan I always thought that the paired powerset of Telepathy and Telekinesis was the coolest, always useful and would love to have. I mean this paired powerset has been present in multiple mutants and superhuman characters. But I mean having these powers solely, not Vulcan style or Kid Omega style or Mister Sinister or Apocalypse, as these characters seem to have practically every power under the sun. I mean mutants who have only these two abilities as their bestowed genetic gifts.

The mutants who have this paired powerset as their natural basic gifts that come to mind are Jean Grey, Rachel Grey, Madelyne Pryor, Cable and Psylocke. I was thinking about how these gifts would be awesome and we've seen these characters use them so practically and imaginatively and oh so differently. Upon reading my X-Comics, the thought of what mutant superpower I would love to have was a no-brainer: the paired set of telekinesis and telepathy. This got me thinking though, would it be possible for any mutant in the Marvel X-Verse to have this paired set without any strings attached? I mean just to have TK and TP without accompanied baggage?

Consider this, the aforementioned five mutants who have TK and TP don't exactly just have these two abilities scot-free. Jean and Rachel have that pesky Phoenix Force to contend with along with Rachel's chronal-based abilities. Cable, born with Madelyne Pryor's (and Jean's by proxy) TP and TK has to use his powers to keep his T-O Virus at bay, never to be used freely without extreme caution. Madelyne's powers seem to run with Sinister and Vulcan's ability to do a whole lot more than thought, what with the magical abilities, teleporting, Phoenix shard, reality warping (?) and whatnot. And poor Psylocke, first the original powers, and then the Crimson Dawn powers and then the partial power switch with Jean and let's not even get started on the whole Japanese assassin body swap ordeal..Jesus. Poor Betsy. DID YOU KNOW SHE'S HAD 3 DIFFERENT HAIR COLORS AND 3 DIFFERENT SETS OF EYES?! Sorry sorry I apologize for the freakout..moving on..doesn't it seem you can't just be a baseline mutant telekinetic telepath without all the extra baggage? Straaaange. Still would be awesome to have those two powers., definitely would be my pick. What do you think? What would your picks be?

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The Cohesion of the X-Men

It's no news that different writers on a single continuous arc or continuous hero team narrative tend to fracture the fluidity of the story in question as a whole. To be honest this is mostly a rant because as someone who has only very recently gotten into comic books, feeling hooked into a cohesive story does tend to make or break the deal. I started with my favorite superhero team the X-Men. The very first comic book I had read that made me delve into Marvel, was the House of M. I know, right? Talk about the worse place to start for a new reader. Which is fine, because I quickly got caught up on the characters and where they had been. I loved HoM. Following HoM, I chronologically followed the X-Men. I stopped myself after Decimation so I could truly get caught up on all my mutants. And here is where my rant begins.

I already was aware of the major facts about the X-Men, the members and their relationships and some of the major story arcs. So I decided to take one writer's arc and run with it. I started with Grant Morrison's New X-Men, a perfect place to start for any fledgling X-Fan in my opinion because it allows you to follow and begin anew without the convoluted clutter of the team's former history. Just as Morrison had intended it to be. I absolutely loved the whole Morrison NXM run and it allowed me to start my X-Journey perfectly. I soon made my way into the purposefully connected Astonishing X-Men by living god Joss Whedon. Talk about astonishing! I mean the guy was absolutely terrified of following Morrison's run (for good reason) but boy did he have nothing to worry about. Absolutely fantastic and flawless storytelling in the most amazing Whedon way. What I loved about NXM and AXM is that they flowed and were connected, almost jumping after each other directly. The mix-ups begin following HoM. I was as caught up as I needed to be when I returned to my X-Journey. And it's been..good..okay and sometimes even great. Not all the stories flowed into one another as smoothly, but I did the whole suspension of disbelief thing in reconciling some facts (such as Kitty's presence post-Giant Size Astonishing). I was good and hooked because I was getting my X fix, I love me some X-Men let me tell ya.

Sure some stories aren't as stellar as others, some are just filler adventures and some are just explorations and experiments. Which is fine, I was getting my X-Men and that makes me happy. It's just that after Morrison and Whedon's nearly decade-long combined run, both of which had amazing and very different styles and stories that amazingly flowed together, the stories that followed were all done by many different writers. Each writer, naturally, with their own style, goals and methods. My problem is that it fractures the story, sometimes the story gets stagnant or stale even. I mean I understand that it would be difficult to have a single writer stay on for so long on one title, or for a team like the X-men to revolve around one flagship title whereas they have several of them. I just wish all the different writers would collaborate fully when their turn comes up on the X-Men, or any title for that matter. It would be great if they worked on transitioning the stories smoothly and show consistency with the characters, the narratives and most importantly the quality. There needs to be writer discussion or writers bouncing off the last one's angle successively. I heard that Wolverine and the X-Men and the new Uncanny X-Men are showing a steady flow, which I hope is true even though I'm going to read them regardless. I haven't gotten that far, I'm still at 2010 when it comes to Marvel, as I am both new and partial to TPBs. I set out on reading a decade's worth of X-Men and I am beyond excited to get to Second Coming, I am but a book away (currently on Necrosha). Here's looking forward.

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