This post was originally posted in 04/03, and later archived to blogger in 10/05. Looking back at it now, there's some things that I'd probably change - especially after catching some early Alan Moore stuff, and checking out Squadron Supreme. Also, I don't drink as much when I write, so that helps. ;)THEY HAD THEIR WHOLE LIVES AHEAD OF THEM
Okay, I just saw the newest X-men movie. It was nothing short of awesome. I talked about it all day, and then went home and caught up on the last ten issues of Uncanny X-Men. Then i went to work and talked about it all night. My mind was racing with thoughts of adamatium claws, shape shifting super-models, and the impending Pheonix force sequel.
And just when everything was right with the world, I felt the guilt. That horrible selfish feeling you get when one day you wake up and realize that you stopped thinking about a loved-one that died - even though, at one point, you swore they would be in your thoughts each and every day. While fawning over the Xavier and his misfits, I realized that I had slowly forgot about my first, true (comic book) love.
I have every issue, special, annual, mini-series, trade paperback, and anything else they put out, I missed nothing. I even had a massive Elementals website back in ‘96 until I realized guys with dorky websites don’t get laid (hey..wait!). So now, I’m going to do something that I should’ve done a long time ago. Allow me to take a moment to properly eulogize them. IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE ELEMENTALS
The Elementals didn’t fuck around. It was as simple as that. Right from the start this was a comic that kicked you in the balls and kept on going. The plot was simple, if not derivative: Four strangers, all from different walks of life, die at the same moment - all in some sort of ‘disaster of the elements’. They all find themselves reborn, immortal, and charged with the task of fighting evil.
The team consisted of:
Vortex, an ex-Vietnam vet with the power of air.
Fathom, a nineteen year-old jewish princess with dominion over water.
Morningstar, the sexy, balls-to-the-wall leader of the group with the power of flame.
Monolith/Tommy, a pre-pubescent genius who morphs into a rock monster.
Their enemies were all really rad, ranging from their Magneto-like nemesis, Saker (complete with his female shape shifting lieutenant, ala Mystique) to vampires, hell planet aliens, and even a team of Christian super-villains created by a corrupt televangelist.
There was always killing in the comic (mostly goons and small characters), but eventually the Elementals had a meeting and decided to simply ‘kill anyone who fought against them’ rather than just keep locking them up. The entire issue was just them sitting around a table arguing about it, and it still remains my favorite to this day.
At one point they got so sick of Saddam Hussein and his shit that they went to Iraq, during the first gulf war, and talked trash to him. I’m sure if the comic was still around today they would’ve gone back again and finished him off at the behest of Lil’ Bush.
But the real enemy, most of the time were themselves. If one of them screwed up, the others called them on it. They posed for skin magazines. They licensed their own fast food franchises. They sued, and counter-sued each other. And they swore like sailors when the situation called for it.
They weren’t enemies of humanity, they were celebrity-gods, and it took a toll on them. They had failed relationships, embarrassing public defeats, and were never quite ready for the task of being humanity’s ultimate heroes.
I can remember being in middle school and thinking, “Um…this comic is insane. How much farther can it go?” Well, I guess the publisher was thinking the same thing, so they took some of the more risqué ideas and put them in a separate series of “Sex Specials”, so that you could see what happened when they got all horny after defeating a super-villian. *wink*
Granted, the comic had a few short stagnant periods, but when it hit the second run, the action never let up. It got faster, wilder, and even more violent. And then the Oblivion War came. Every mutant, or super-person on earth joined together with the Elementals to battle the Oblivion hell planet. The body count was insane. And just before the ultimate final showdown…..
It all ended.
Comico, the publisher went out-and in-and-out-of-business. And the fate of the Elementals was left hanging. Anything comic that wasn’t Spawn, or lame by comparison, did pretty bad. And eventually the books stopped appearing on shelves.
And I was alone again.
I’ve spent the last seven years, slowly warming-up to the X-men. I’ve always read them, but just in the last few years, with Morrison’s manifesto, it’s gotten to the level of - I want to say ‘reality’ - that Willingham put into the Elementals. But all good things must come to an end, right?
The Xmen is a juggernaught (pun intended) of epic proportions. And while I don’t always feel at home at Xavier’s mansion, I know that it will always be there when I need to visit.
And, sometimes. I guess that’s all one can hope for.