Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hello Cosmic Part 1: Just a Kid at Heart

I mentioned my little buying spree of Jim Starlin's cosmic work for Marvel last week and I've received most of my purchases (still waiting on two packages--one containing Marvel: The End and the other containing Silver Surfer/Warlock: Resurrection). My roommate thinks I'm insane for wanting these books and even more insane because I still have another 50-70 comics left to get. So far, I've gotten: The Life and Death of Captain Marvel trade, the six-issue 1982 reprint collection Warlock #1-6, Thanos Quest #1-2, The Infinity Gauntlet trade, Infinity War #1-6, Infinity Abyss #1-6 and Thanos #1. That just leaves Starlin's run on Silver Surfer, Warlock & the Infinity Watch #1-31 (the series continued on to #42 without Starlin as writer, though, so I may end up getting those other 11 issues), Warlock Chronicles #1-8, Infinity Crusade #1-6 and Thanos #2-12 (Starlin only did the first six issues with Keith Giffen and Ron Lim handling the last six, but they were well done and worth getting). That's quite a few comics, eh? (Not to mention the fact that I'll probably wind up going after Starlin's Dreadstar work after this. Maybe Cosmic Guard/Kid Kosmos as well.)

Now, Adam (the roommate) thinks I have a problem in my obsessive ways as this isn't exactly out of character for me. I began liking Led Zeppelin and within two months, I had everything they'd recorded. It's pretty common for me to go on these binges, actually. But why these comics now?

I think reading reviews of Douglas Wolk's Reading Comics reminded me about Warlock as some were mystified at his inclusion of an analysis of that book. Once I remembered that book, I checked eBay and got the 1982 reprint series for a really decent price from Mile High Comics. But that only explains why I'm getting them now, but not why these comics.

Where my mom helped shape my musical taste, my dad helped shape my comics taste. He's always been the sort of collector who buys the same types of books and obtains long runs on books no matter what. He continues to buy most of the X-books like I always remember him doing, he buys most of Wildstorm's books (the Wildstorm universe books, though), he also tends to get Marvel's cosmic stuff. These books appeal to me on that nostalgic, longing for childhood level. I just finished the Warlock six-issue series today and while this was the first time I think I actually read the entire thing, I must have looked at those comics dozens of times as a kid. Same with the Infinity trilogy (Gauntlet, War, Crusade). I didn't always read the comics, but I read scenes and looked at them endlessly. There's something very cool about these comics for a kid, I dunno.

Take Infinity War for instance: it involves the Magus, Warlock's evil side, creating doppelgangers of all of the heroes and they fight. These doppelgangers all look evil and monsterous and OH MY GOD HOW COOL IS THAT?

So far, I've read The Life and Death of Captain Marvel, the Warlock reprints and Thanos Quest. Tomorrow or Friday, I'll begin posting on this stuff in a more serious way. I will say this: Thanos is strangely one of the most easy-to-relate-to characters in comics. Here's a guy who's motivation is simply trying to impress a girl. Granted, the girl he likes is death, so he does some fucked up shit, but still, it's strangely down-to-earth when looked at in those terms. While I may scour my CD collection for the perfect songs to put on a mixed-CD for a girl, Thanos scours the universe for the six Infinity Gems, so he can be god-like and thus be worthy of Death. The means may be different, but the ends are the same. Kind of weird.