The summer of the super hero
With San Diego Comic Con in full swing this weekend, it’s time to talk a little bit about my summer.
From the moment I put on my stars-and-stripes outfit (complete with Captain America shield) to venture out for the midnight premiere of Marvel’s The Avengers in May, I knew I was in trouble. Actually, I knew I was in trouble last year when I saw Captain America: The First Avenger (at home, not in the theaters, much to my eternal lament) and had to fight back tears at the end. When Steve Rogers was standing in Times Square with Nick Fury, with that heartbroken look on his face? Yeah, I was sobbing ugly bitter tears for Peggy Carter and their first dance. I just happened to have a lot of feelings, okay? The emotional journey of Steve Rogers is a big deal in my household.
This was why I had goosebumps in the theater watching Avengers the first time, and the three more times that I went back to see it, clutching my shield and fidgeting in my seat like a five-year-old hopped up on Mountain Dew. I was right back where I was in junior high, racing home from the comic book shop in Miami to read about my favorite heroes in my bedroom with posters on the wall. Then I found myself sitting in the midnight premiere of The Amazing Spiderman, and in a little while my ass will be back in the theater to see The Dark Knight Rises.
Comic books have their hooks in me all over again. After eight-year self-imposed comic book fast, of being mad at writers and publishing houses for their hijinks. Somehow I’m back, and this has been the tone of my entire summer. If you’ve been following my Tumblr at all this year, you know it’s been pretty bad. I’ve been doing nothing but reblogging scans and feelings, meta and fangirling about super heroes. (As well as the occasional bit of Captain America/Iron Man fanart. I regret nothing, by the way.) It’s kind of a mess, and yet, this is probably the most fun I’ve had in a very long time.
Since stumbling out of the Avengers premiere in the middle of the night, jacked up on childhood flashbacks and spandex, I’ve been busy. Living at Lone Star Comics and Half-Priced Books, digging through the trade paperbacks I’ve missed over the years, glossing over the basics, keeping up on the major events on comic news blogs and internet fandom, but never following too closely. Extemis? Civil War? The Secret Invasion? Dark Siege? Yeah, I’m on it. When I’m not pouring through collections of Invincible Iron Man and Captain America, New Avengers and Deadpool, I’ve been mooching singles of Oni Press’s The Secret History of D.B. Cooper and Image Comic’s Secret. There’s still a fat stack of Atomic Robo and IDW’s Strange Science Fantasy sitting on my desk that I haven’t finished going through yet.
Don’t even look at my Amazon shopping cart. Satan help me, there’s no end in sight.
This year I’m deeply invested in San Diego Comic Con coverage, looking forward to news on the titles I will be picking up later this year. Because, hey, Marvel NOW is something I’m interested in, and that’s saying something. Combination team rosters? Jean Gray coming back as Marvel Girl under Bendis, and hopefully not making me want to punch things? And if Jonathan Hickman is going to be anywhere near Avengers, I need it in my face today. Also, I’m going to devour Captain Marvel, don’t even start with me. Are these titles going to be brilliant? Probably not. Am I going to enjoy it? Yes I will. Because this is the first time in a long time that I’ve had fun with comics and comics fandom.
And let’s face it: there are worse things to waste a summer on than super heroes.