Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When I Grow Up...

...I've decided I want to be Captain America.

Thing is, Steve Rogers? He's hot. When Mason starts school in September I plan to start hitting the gym in earnest. My plan is to have a body like Cap's by the time I'm forty-five. (Okay, yeah, minus the whole gender thing and the probably foot difference in our hieght.)

If you can't tell I've started reading comicbooks again. I blame Target, actually. When Mason and I were hanging out in the book section looking for new dot-to-dot books, I noticed that Marvel had what they were billing as "All-Ages" comicbooks. Mason instantly was attracted to the FANTASTIC FOUR. I was a big FF fan when I was a kid (and in those days, had you asked me, I would have said I wanted to grow up to be the Human Torch.) So, of course, I bought him all of the issues he wanted. While I was there, MY eye was drawn to Bendis' NEW AVENGERS.

It's been all downhill since then. I had to try to find the next collection of graphic novels after "Breakout" and have started branching out into other titles. I even picked up J. Michael Straczynski (of Babylon 5 fame) and Mike Deodato, Jr's AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: New Avengers (Vol 10) and CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER and CAPTAIN AMERICA: RED MENACE by Ed Brubaker. Goddess only knows where this will end.

It's strange, actually, but this is the sort of thing my mind craves right now: High action, high romance (there's a lot more sex in adult comicbooks these days, I've noticed. Hello, Kitty Pryde and Peter Rasputin in Joss Whedon's X-MEN! Phasing during the big "o"? We didn't do that back in my day.) But, what I'm particularly enjoying as a returning fan is how the current batch of writers seem to be deeply familiar with the storylines I followed feverishly in my youth (okay, and young adulthood. I didn't give up on comics until sometime in college). I was really happy when in SPIDER-MAN Peter Parker makes a reference to the time he grew six extra arms. I remember that issue! As an adult I probably should think it was lame, but instead I find a kind of nostalgic guilty pleasure in reading that its acknowledged as having happened, you know? It's like the new writers are willing to accept Marvel history warts and all. As a long time fan, this makes me very, very happy. And it's eased my transition back. I don't feel out of it. I know this stuff.

Also, can I say? My tastes have changed. Now that I'm an adult, burdened, apparently by more responsibility, etc., I find myself attracted to characters I used to think were hopelessly square: Captain America, Spider-Man, (god help me) Iron Man. Though I still love Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, the comicbook version doesn't do it for me the same way any more (although Whedon's "I had a beer" cure made me quite happy).

It surprises me that romance readers haven't embraced comicbooks. There are some seriously studly guys parading around in skin-tight spandex, a**-kicking women, and romantic sub-plots -- no, let's be honest, soap operas -- that have spanned decades. It's kind of too bad that comicbooks have been branded "boy's" lit because the best storylines, IMHO, have always had the elements that readers of either gender can appreciate: heart and soul.

No comments: