We're all just one annoying encounter from sociopathy here in Nerdville
Geek Girls Rule! #374 – Marvel, I think I’ve figured it out for you.
Ok, so I’ve been listening to all of the Jay and Miles Xplain the Xmen podcasts again, because they are golden. And I cannot believe I left them off my podcasts post the other day. Be warned if you listen to them in public, you will wind up giggling like a loon, or constantly snort laughing. Yeah, I get odd looks a lot.
Anyway, I’m re-listening to them talk about the Claremont years of Xmen and I noticed a thread that seems to run through a lot of the really great runs of Marvel titles. When Chris Claremont took over Xmen, it hadn’t really been doing all that well. They gave him the title as a relatively young writer with some well-received contributions to several titles, including work on a newer title, Iron Fist.
Under Claremont, the Xmen really blossomed and you get some of the best issues and arcs, including the Dark Phoenix Saga, which is arguably the best arc in the history of the comic, culminating in issue #137, which is incredible, and even just hearing Jay and Miles rehash it made me tear up a little. Listen to Jay and Miles’s 13th podcast for the culmination of their summary of the event, but I highly recommend you listen to all of them, and also pick up the Dark Phoenix Saga trade.
So, this appears to be a running theme. Take a book that’s not doing well. Assign it to a young writer or one who is not particularly well-known. Profit.
“Have you ever seen a little girl run so fast she falls down? There’s an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again… A moment when she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself and sheflies. In thatone moment,everylittle girl flies.”
That quote almost always makes me tear up.
While Diamond’s numbers on this comic were nothing special, as I’ve mentioned before, relying on Diamond’s numbers in this day and age of online subscriptions and the relatively quick publication of trades is utterly ridiculous. But during this run, the Carol Corps formed. The Carol Corps is a group of largely female Captain Marvel fans who lobbied Marvel to continue with the title, and specifically with De Connick writing it. And I would like to note, AGAIN, that I did not see Marvel promote this book in any way shape or form. I discovered it through tumblr and through meeting De Connick at Geek Girl Con.
Also, check out her independent titles like Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly, as well as her run on Ghost , which salvages that character in utterly wonderful ways.
Next up is Matt Fraction‘s Hawkeye . Fraction is De Connick’s husband, and that is one couple hogging way too much talent. Seriously, guys. Share.
Fraction got the comic as a throw away. He was certain he was going to be fired and this was the death knell. So he decided to write the Hawkeye title about what Hawkeye does when he isn’t running around with the Avengers. I’m still trying to track down the podcast where he talks about that, and about the inspiration for Pizza Dog. That story will make you sob brokenly if you have a soul.
Surprising no one, Hawkeye’s personal life is a mess. He’s pretty technology averse, he guzzles coffee, he’s in a feud with the Russian Mafia (Tracksuit Draculas, best phrase ever), and yeah, you just need to read it. It’s collected in trades.
And once again, this title surpassed all expectations. Again, word of mouth spread awareness of it, with little marketing support from Marvel. And it is absolutely charming. This and De Connick’s run on Captain Marvel are what got the Geek Husband What Rules and I buying comics again after quitting them in disgust several years ago.
These are just the two that spring readily to mind for me, and this is getting really long.
And I realize to people who had not quit comics in disgust over the plethora of cross-overs, that De Connick and Fraction’s names may have been more familiar. But until these runs, I had not heard of them at all. And I really feel that these runs are the ones that made them household names.
So, there you go.
If you like what you read here, you can support me at my Patreon. Thank you for reading.