By the time you’re reading this, I’ll have ended my three-year stint in Fresno, California and be venturing toward a new adventure in St. Paul, Minnesota. I always get quite nostalgic when I leave a place, and I’m guessing I’ll be feeling even more nostalgic by the time I arrive at my parents’ home in Elkhorn, WI (a stopover on the way to Minnesota).
To fuel that nostalgia even further, I plan to re-read a BUNCH of comics that have been sitting at my parents’ place, waiting for me to return for the last three years. You’ll see some pretty apparent connections between these books – each of them includes returns, remembrances, and new beginnings. These are the sorts of stories I’m in the mood for at this moment.
Just like my time in Fresno was a character-defining journey for me, Astonishing X-Men was a character-defining story for my favorite X-Man. And just like me, Cyclops emerges from Astonishing a changed and better man – more focused, more determined, and more self-assured. I’ve been eager to re-read this run for the last few weeks, and now I have to wait only a week or so longer.
KnightsEnd follows Bruce Wayne as he returns from semi-retirement to retake the role of Batman, and it is a homecoming story if ever there was one. Because he’s been out of the game so long (and his replacement has gone crazy), Bruce cannot simply step back into the role of the Caped Crusader. He has to work at it, he has to earn it, and in doing so, he shows readers exactly what it takes to be Batman. The moment when Bruce finally feels confident enough to re-don his cape and cowl and swing through Gotham is exhilarating, and I’m hoping to feel that same sort of exhilaration upon my return home.
Endings and beginnings tend to make me think of the many choices I’ve made throughout my life, as well as what would’ve happened if I’d chosen differently. Daytripper is a look at the most important moments in one man’s life and how those moments both do and don’t define that life. It is also a look at how a person’s death can frame the way we think they lived. To say much more than that would spoil things, but to settle into a contemplative mood, there’s not much better a read than Daytripper.
Justice League of America 0
Brad Meltzer’s Justice League of America run is not my favorite, but I love Justice League of America 0. It is the issue in which Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman finally put the band back together after Infinite Crisis, and it contains one of my all-time favorite quotes about friendship:
“Your friends are those you consider your equals. But your best friends are those you consider your betters.”
I am leaving a handful of those I consider my best friends (they earned the title – they are definitely my betters) behind in Fresno, but I am hopeful that I will see them again. I’m also returning to a number of best friends back home, and I’m excited to see them again. I’m looking forward to my new adventures and back upon my time in Fresno, just as Meltzer looked back upon the Trinity’s past and toward their future in Justice League of America 0. And while the future of the Justice League was a semi-plodding storyline in which Red Tornado’s arm got ripped off for shock value, I think my future looks pretty bright.