It’s A Brand New Day And I’m Pissed Off

I couldn’t sleep when the news was announced. I wasn’t angry or  extremely nervous or anything like that; I was simply depressed. Why him? I thought, as I surfed the web for anything to get my mind off the horrifying state of my beloved home country. I read no news articles, avoided my cellphone’s news updates like the plague and didn’t watch any of the major twenty four hour news stations. I just kept going through YouTube and the like and wondered what could take my mind off this terrible mess.

Wednesday I was off of work,  so I lounged around the house in my pajamas, for the most part. When I did eventually shower and change, I decided to get a haircut and shave at Sheila’s Clippers in Milwaukee. By the time I got there, about 4:30 or so, it was closed, so I decided to head out and  buy some comics  from Collector’s Edge on Burleigh. I went there, wanting simply to pick up  four comics, and as I was about to leave with my purchases, I overheard a conversation about the production troubles of Deadpool 2. I decided to get in on the conversation for a bit. I was for well over an hour.

In a way it was cathartic. I and two white gentlemen simply bandied on about the live action portrayals and adaptations of comic book superheroes, bitching about the insanity Gotham and the screw ups of the Berlanti-verse, all while someone’s son sat quietly on a couch, trying to read the latest issues of the Simpsons and the Batman/TMNT Adventures #1. Stereotypical geek crap, really; inconsequential in the long run, but it was something I needed just to clear my head from gray haze.

I went back home, still somewhat avoiding the terrible news but now I felt as though I could handle it a bit more without screaming profanities at the TV. I was on Facebook, looking things up when I saw that there were now not only protests of Trump’s victory, but people asking why we, those who supported Hilary Clinton, were so upset. In response, I went to Facebook and wrote the following:

Alright, a few question to anyone who voted for Trump:

What do you think we’re all upset about? Do you believe we’re just mad because “our” candidate didn’t win? That this was all simply a contest for who’s favorite party would get the gold?

Because let me tell you, it’s not.

The reason people are out protesting today and will most likely be protesting during his inauguration is not because we lost. We’re mad as hell because Trump has done everything in his power to present himself as the world’s worst con artist at best or a bullying, sociopathic goon at worst in order to win votes.

We’re mad as hell because now, we’ve told the world it doesn’t matter how you act in our beloved nation; you can be the worst asshole on Earth and millions of Americans will flock to your banner.

We’re mad as hell because yes, Obamacare is most likely going to be repealed, meaning a lot of people (including me) are going to see their meds go way up in price.

We’re mad as hell because Mike Pence is now most likely going to make it very hard to be a gay person in this country.

We’re mad as hell because for all the talk of respecting women, a man with seemingly no filter or personal shame when it comes to the fairer sex had a good portion of the country backing him.

We’re mad as hell because for all the talk of God and peace and unity, the campaign run by Trump was one of hatred, fear and empty platitudes.

We’re mad as hell because a man who has called Mexicans rapists, insulted every one of his opponents, proposed a ban on Muslims, has been accused of sexual assault by ten people at the very least, threated to lock his political opponent up despite said opponent being cleared of legal wrongdoing by the FBI, and showed no signs of being close to fit to command an army, much less have access to nuclear launch codes, was able to lie, bully and BS his way to the most powerful office in the land.

And we’re mad as hell because for all the progress we’ve strived for, many of our friends and neighbors decided to support a man who will more than likely roll back a lot of those changes, and will do so under the banner of “making America great again”.

That’s where all this is coming from. And we’re not going to be silent about it.

I have never been much of an open political animal. But with the rise of Trump, and the attendant racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and straight up moral cowardice that has busted loose in that rough beast’s wake, I feel I can be silent no longer. I do not know yet how I will do this, but I know now I must. As a black man, history teaches you that if you don’t fight for what you want, you’ll never get what you want and the world will simply beat you down. So I’m going to fight, in one form or another. I hope you will too.

 

 

 

X-Men Comics: My Mt. Everest

I love the X-Men.

Wait, no…..that’s too general a statement.

I love various bit of the X-Men franchise. The 1993 cartoon series was pretty damn good, I adored X-Men Evolution when it was on, and even the movies have their charms (well, three of them, anyway).

But the comics, well…they’ve always look terrified me.

 

x-men

Does this picture account for even 1/25th of the cast?

 

I’ve actively avoided picking up X-Men comics ever since I got into the hobby. I’ve had some dalliances with them here and there (I’ve read a few issues of the Laura Kinney Wolverine title, the first issue of X-Men Noir, the first trade volume of Joss Whedon’s  Astonishing X-Men, that story where Strom first started wearing a Mohawk) but I’ve never jumped into the merry mutants’ four color adventures the way I have for Superman, Spider-Man (Peter and Miles versions), Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Ms. Marvel (Kamala version), the Jack Knight Starman, Nova, Swamp Thing (the Alan Moore run), Astro City, Sandman (Sandman Mystery Theatre), Daredevil, The Fantastic Four, The Spirit, Booster Gold, The Legion of Superheroes, The Runaways, Thor, Mega Man, Darkwing Duck, The Justice Society of America, The Justice League of America, the Avengers, Iron Man,  Judge Dredd, Rurouni Kenshin, Ultraman …….

Wow, eve I didn’t know I was a fan of that many comics properties.

 

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the X-Men.

 

X-Men comics have always seemed like the most intimidating mountain to climb in the hobby to me. The first is the cast of literal hundreds. If you’ve noticed, I’m not a guy who goes conservative when it comes to getting into something, and I have never felt ready to dive into the various sub teams, branching family trees, alternate futures, younger versions of characters from the past coming to the present, clones, alien frenemies, demons, and all other manner of things that seem to come with it. Not to mention that almost every single mutant character, good or bad, already has an extensive back-story or has an extensive back-story waiting in the wings by that one fan of the character who hopes and prays to be given the reigns one day.

 

I mean, look at Cyclops. Not only does he have a dead wife in Jean, he also has a crazy ex-wife turned demon queen in Madelyne Pryor (who’s Jean’s kinda-sorta clone), is the boyfriend of Emma Frost, has a father who’s a swashbuckling space adventurer, and two brothers in Havoc and the villainous Vulcan. Oh and his younger self is just roaming around in the present, with no indication that the timeline is being altered or anything. And he has a grown son in Cable just wandering around current continuity. And Cable has an evil clone named Stryfe. Then there’s Rachel, who’s his daughter form the same alternate future as Cable and is also running around in the present day. Then there’s Hope and oh God make it stop!

 

Then there’s just the sheer number of books. Right now, post Secret Wars (2015), I’m guessing there are now only five books on the stand featuring the X-cast, but don’t be surprised if that number doubles with time. That’s not to mention the various crossover events attendant to the series, the various reboots and re-imaginings and what everything else that’s Marvel can spin down the pipeline. And did I mention the various alternate futures that these guys have by now?

 

I’ve just never been able to do it. No matter how many times I hear about excellent runs or must read stories, I just can’t. I’m sure I’d like them, but getting into the nitty gritty of the X-Men franchise may take up more energy and cash than I currently desire to extend.

Which is why I bought the first five issue of Jason Aaron’s Amazing X-Men run.

Why was this? Well, for one, it stars Nightcrawler, and I like the character enough to at least give it a shot. That, and I got the first three issues of the run in a “pick 20 comics for $5” deal at Milwaukee Comic Con this year and stop by Lost World of Wonders to get the last two. I don’t know how it will turn out (I’ve only read issue one so far) and I’ll report back if it’s any good or if it convinces me to take a bigger interest in the series. But Everest is mighty tall, my friends. Everest is mighty tall.