Aug 29, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 186: The Astonishing X-Men #3, May 1995

Okay, what can I say, what excuse can I give? There was a lot of alcohol, and a going away celebration for a dear, dear friend. Aren't Monday mornings designed for catching up on all the things we let go over the weekend?

Some slugfest, some more of the excellent Blink/Sabretooth drama, Bishop and Magneto discuss the ontological and experiential ramifications of resetting the timeline. And Rogue proves that she is more than capable of being a major X-figure.

Let me pontificate for a bit on the Magneto and Bishop scene. Bishop claims that the universe in which they live "never should have happened." Again, I'm struggling with this idea that there's a universe that should exist, and one that shouldn't. If we leave aside for the moment the idea that either Bishop or Magneto have the right to decide an existential question like this, the bigger question is what makes one universe the one that should exist? There's obviously an implicit Judeo-Christian spiritual view running through most North American comics, so is the universe that should exist the one that God approves of? Maybe that's a bit heavy-handed, but if we look at it metatextually, who is the God that sees all and knows all about these characters, and whose habits dictate the very existence of these fictional people? It's us. And we want our regular continuity back.

There's a longer conversation to have about readers and their relationship with the fictional characters they love. And better comics to use to have the conversation. But it's nice to see these sorts of concerns arising in a notoriously shallow era of superhero comics.

I'd say see you tomorrow, but that would be a lie.

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