Friday, April 1, 2022

Quick Sips 04/01/2022

Where I live spring is trying to make an appearance. The snow is melted, which is nice, but the temperatures are still rather cold. I do wish it would turn over fully to warmer weather because, while I don’t hate the cold of winter, it gets old around March and, well… here we are. The changing seasons has brought some expected and unexpected headaches with it. Car issues that have left us with one car for a bit over a week. Cat issues that have been…not great, though M’Ress does seem to be recovering from here…whatever it was. And I have been getting to some more reading, which is nice. Mostly not-for-review stuff, and there have been some strong issues out from Apex, Uncanny, Nightmare, and more. Good times.

I’m still deciding what I’m going to do with some things. I think I’ll be bringing back irregular longer reviews of individual things rather than working them into these weekly updates. So expect a review soon of R.B. Lemberg’s amazing upcoming novel, because it was such a treat to read I couldn’t resist writing a somewhat lengthy review.

Anyway, life otherwise has been pretty full. Car and pet issues aside, my work at the local queer non-profit has been busy. Matt (my husband) and I have been busily working on a lot of projects that require some graphic design, so I’ve been having to cover that in my off hours. Plus a bunch of upcoming stuff that we’re busily laying the groundwork for. It’s a bit strange, being a volunteer and wanting to do So Much and having to sort of balance that against the fact that we’re a volunteer organization and so the time and energy ends up being mostly on us, though we really want to do more to serve our local queer communities.

In media related news, I think we’re into territory in Father Brown (season 7) that we haven’t seen before. At least, these are not familiar in the way the rest of the show has been. And…there have been a few improvements, including a few instances where queer characters were neither murderers nor murdered. Only cis women at this point, which is unfortunate, but at least there’s that. I do wish sometimes people could just imagine that all sorts of people lived active and quasi-out lives all over and just sort of…did that. The homophobia of the past isn’t, like, fabricated whole cloth but it’s also not something that didn’t make exceptions, that didn’t pass over some people. But anyway, maybe there will be some progress on that front, too. Not that it otherwise has transformed into a brilliant show. It has its moments.

In my comic book reading, I’ve begun the Age of Apocalypse 1995 crossover and have to say, I’m rather impressed so far. I think I’m only a fifth or so into it so far, but it strikes me that it shows what happens when these writers, who have been working under the weight of decades of history, get to sort of have a new sandbox where they are making all the rules. They seem to be free to breathe in a way that feels more fun even as the setting itself, and the action, are much more grim than the standard Marvel U.

Structure-wise, I think the crossover does a really good job of stretching into the space of the setting while keeping things interwoven and driven. The core happens in one place, with Magneto meeting Bishop, and everything spills out from there. His forces split to form the various teams that make up the different miniseries (with the “bad guys” getting some space as well) and each moves apart while still being on a trajectory to return at the end. I’m excited to see where all of these threads go, and how they tie back together, but seeing the part where they split is witnessing a concise and effective bit of storytelling.

As for the plot and characters, I really do like how the works are exploring how the setting and how the absence of Charles Xavier is really a big thing. Moving from Xavier’s teaching style to Magneto’s, it’s just So Different. And for some that means that their powers and skills are much more advanced than they were. Bobby is quite different (a very nice touch seeing as how he was having a crisis of confidence following Emma Frost possessing him and using his powers more effectively than he had), and much more powerful. Other X-Men are similarly changed and the question that should be nagging readers is “are they better or worse?” It’s an impossible question and yet one that the setting itself is asking, because Magneto is rather betting everything on a chance of undoing his reality. Of setting it back to the “right” path. And…

The thing is, it’s an objectively worse reality for most everyone, so it’s easy to say that it shouldn’t exist. Like Days of Future Past before it, it hits a place where we see how bad things can be. And yet, in the midst of that, for some people it’s better. There doesn’t seem to be a legacy virus here. Some people who are dead are alive again. Some villains are much more heroic. For them, a return to the status quo is a sacrifice. Even for Magneto, who has a healthy (or healthier at least) family situation. For Rogue, who can touch someone, who is a leader. It might be easy to see how this world is “worse” but it’s harder to argue that everyone is worse off. And I like that wrinkle, that complication. I wonder how the setting itself will handle it.

Anyway, it’s still early days yet in the crossover but I’m liking it a lot more than the other previous events in the 90s. It feels like it actually has room to be as epic as it wants to be. Not shoved into six or seven or even twelve parts but unfolding organically over eight different miniseries and over fifty issues. It’s huge, and that’s really working in its favor, at least now long after the fact where finding and reading the comics is relatively cheap and easy.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. Cheers!


Support Quick Sip Reviews on Patreon

No comments:

Post a Comment