Elemental Mutant + Vampire = Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together! Seriously, when Havok disappeared from X-Factor to star in the alternate reality title, Mutant X, I was soooo on board! First of all, the character designs were amazing and I was pretty wild about Tom Raney‘s artwork. Check out the cover gallery of the whole series! Tom Raney also has a cool fansite. Havok is one of my favorite Marvel mutants, but he’s largely existed under the shadow of his big brother Cyclops ever since he was introduced. Havok finds himself thrown into a world where the X-Men as he knew it are no more. Beast is a mutated shamble of creature craziness, Archangel (now known as the Fallen, is more demonic than ever) and Madelyne Pryor is the Goblin Queen full time! But best of all, this reality’s Storm never shook off the curse of Dracula and feeds on her former lover Forge (and her quasi-adopted daughter Kitty Pryde). And that outfit! Woo Hoo! Hot stuff! The mohawk plus red eyes and fangs is beyond fierce (take that, Beyonce!) and her vampiric powers (turning to mist, summoning vermin) are a great addition to her regular weather casting powers! Yes, yes, hardcore devotees of our elemental mistress will point out that becoming a vampire is the exact opposite of what the character truly stands for, that the idea of the earth loving, goddess reverent Ororo Munroe that we know and love as a member of the undead (no matter how culturally sexy we may pretend them to be) is so wrong. But therein lies the interest, dear reader. Mutant X depicted a reality that was kind of like the Marvel Universe meets Ravenloft (a Dungeons & Dragons campaign world where the land itself is evil and tries to corrupt the adventurers). No character was spared from a fall from grace and I would posit that the reason Bloodstorm was used in Earth X is precisely because the character’s shift in polarity was intriguing. In Earth X, Bloodstorm gets a shot at redemption and makes it! That’s a beautiful character arc! There’s some great pictures of Bloodstorm on Comicvine. Check out some back issues of Mutant X!
Month: January 2009
If Octavia Butler hadn’t died, I might not have heard about her. I know, that sounds a tad awful, but when this visionary writer passed away, a lot of my friends in graduate school were really bummed out. I didn’t know who she was and my classmates were a bit disappointed and astonished and sent me to read some of her work right away. I read, devoured rather, The Parable of the Sower and then The Parable of the Talents. They were amazing works and I meant to read more of Butler’s writing, but graduate school dictated a lot of what I was reading around that time and it wasn’t until I saw Lilith’s Brood on my Amazon.com wish list that I was reminded to delve back into Butler’s fine prose.
Lilith’s Brood is a series of three books: Dawn, Adulthood, and Imago. It takes place in a time when humanity has almost destroyed itself and an alien race makes contact with Earth to save what aspects of our culture can be salvaged. I’ve read many post apocalyptic stories but the tenacity of spirit, strength and hope have never been as well represented here. The small triumphs are made even more sweet by the backdrop of humanity’s fall. Yes, there’s something biblical to be read into the narrative if that’s what you’re looking for. This is a story about mankind’s fall from grace and since this book begins and ends with Lilith’s story, her name conjures up the story of Adam’s first wife (who is reputed by some accounts to be the mother of demons). I’ve never read a book in which the aliens feels as truly “other” as the Ooankali feel to me in this trilogy. My notions of culture, gender and genetics were tested and expanded in this concise narrative about individual and community identity.
Here’s a taste of Butler’s masterful prose:
“The splash of icy-sweet pleasure, when it reached him, won him completely. This was the half-remembered feeling he had come back for. This was the way it began.
Before the long-awaited rush of sensation swallowed him completely, he saw Lilith lie down alongside the ooloi, saw the second sensory arm loop around her neck. He tried to reach out to her across the body of the ooloi, to touch her, touch the warm Human flesh. It seemed to him that he reached and reached, yet she remained too far away to touch.
He though he shouted as the sensation deepened, as it took him. It seemed that she was with him suddenly, her body against his own. He thought he said her name and repeated it, but he could not hear the sound of his own voice.”
You’ll have to read the book to understand what an ooloi is, and what exactly is going on in this passage, but it’s worth it, dear reader. This trilogy is a masterpiece in the scope of its imagination and elegance. Science fiction, or fiction in general for that matter, would be all the poorer without it. Octavia Butler may have left this realm, but her amazing worlds remain for us to explore. Her written legacy is a testament to her innovative mind and profound spirit.
Happy New Year! Today represents a new beginning as we move into 2009! I chose this Ace of Pentacles tarot card to celebrate this new cycle because Aces represent the birth of a new idea! The sacred monkey of Thoth holds the pentacle, representing earth and the material plane! All the things that exist with us in the physical realm begun anew! That newness includes our bodies which are our true homes, vessels for our individuality. May the light of enlightenment and protection shine on you and your path! May you embody wisdom just as this monkey holds the Eye of Horus in his hands! Blessings of magical brilliance are yours as you begin a new project, organize your home, or simply take a walk in the splendor or Mother Earth. Let her ground you and guide you on your new path! Blessed Be!