I grew up reading comics – nothing made me happier than my Gramps giving me five dollars and I would head down to the local 7-11 and come back with a bundle of comic books. X-Men, Spiderman, The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, The Justice League, Nova, Mister Miracle, etc. I would also get an Icee (the original Icees can never be beat or replicated) and some Tangy Taffy and lay around on the floor of my Grandparents’ house and read comics, eat candy and listen to records. Those were the days, huh? No computers, no cable, no cell phones, no nothin’ really. Just good times. God damn that makes me nostalgic. CRY CRY CRY. JB – you probably never even knew life without a computer did you?
ED: Surprisingly, I actually did. I only got my hands on one when I was much older haha!
Anyway, back in the day, we used to get our comics once a month and then the comics guys got smart (money making wise) and started putting out yearly “Annuals”. The Annuals were more expensive, longer and usually a little more dark. They could get away with using words like “damn” instead of “blast” or “curses” and maybe even slip in a little bit of Storm’s nipple. WOO HOO Young Eric! Eventually they got even smarter and started adding characters from other franchises. A Hawkeye might pop up in a Spiderman Annual or The X-Men might face off against The Avengers. If we got really lucky, we might even cross companies and get a Marvel vs DC mashup: X-Men vs The Teen Titans and such.
All of that was good fun and such but then something stupid happened: they started doing crossover series. For example, DC’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. It was an EXCELLENT mini series – no doubt – epic and the art was phenomenal, but, in an act of marketing savvy, if you wanted to keep up with EVERYTHING that was going on, you had to buy the twelve issues of the mini series AND numerous copies of things you wouldn’t normally buy. If I wanted to know what was going on with Superboy in “Crisis #2” I had to go find copies of “Superboy #321-324” and “Flash #471 – 473”. That was a big pain in my young ass. And it was HIGHLY successful…. So EVERYONE started doing it.
I don’t know if that was what put me off of comics or the fact that I turned 16 and started chasing tail, but I was out of the comics game for a long number of years until I got my new job and discovered Amazon. These days you can collect crossover series like “Crisis” in one nice little Trade Paperback for 20 bucks or so and they usually include the crossover issues towards the end.
So – if anyone is even still paying any attention, EARTH-X in one such crossover series and it’s FUCKING FANTASTIC!! That’s no lie. To be honest – it’s a long read, difficult at times, but if you can invest the time, it’s totally worth it. If you’re familiar, the cover paintings by Alex Ross are things of beauty and the art by John Paul Leon and Bill Reinhold is AMAZING. And – it’s incredibly EPIC, utilizing almost EVERY character Marvel has ever published.
I suppose, by now, you might be wondering what the fuck this has to do with Zoë’s X-Men run? Starting at the Dawn of Man, the aging and dying Uato (The Watcher) summons Machine Man to become the new Watcher. He promptly explains how man originated and adds that man was never supposed to be just a human, every single person has a seed in them to become a mutant. He goes through time explaining people like the Sub Mariner and Captain America and others and then allows Machine Man to look at real time (which is the future).
On Earth now, EVERYONE has mutated and the scope here is pretty fucking amazing. Since I was out of the comics game for so long, I don’t really know a lot of the characters in here but it’s really kind of awe inspiring. Spiderman is fat, so is Wolverine, Iron man is OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD and Reed Richards has become Doctor Doom. The Hulk is a monster wearing a diaper and Bruce Banner is a little kid riding on his back. Ben Grimm has two rock-y kids who wear overalls (how could she have popped out those babies????) and Colossus has a goatee. There’s also a new Daredevil who is really fucking cool and Galactus (my favorite character) makes an appearance towards the end – thank goodness!
I suppose that’s enough writing for the good reader – this is an epic story but it does take quite an investment of time – but it’s worth it : ) There’s also two follow ups: Universe – X and Paradise – X. Those are both equally long and filled with too much dialogue but I didn’t enjoy them as much because the artwork between the covers is shit compared to what’s in “Earth”.
Eric, thank you so very much for getting involved with my X-Men blogathon, I truly appreciate it! YOU ARE A STAR!!