Time was, you buy a comic because of the cover. At the MAMAK STORE. If you are lucky, you get to strip off the plastic cover and grab an express read before the friendly neighbourhood MAMAK put a choker on skinny necks and bawl, "Yew wan to BUY? Yes, BUY?" These MAMAKS, very persuasive types. Time now, it's hard to even find a MAMAK.
In youth we dream dreams. That I was told. Youth dreams of flight. To soar. To rise. Above. To rise. Explore. To rise. To Live. To be alive. In one such fervour of dreaming I walked into Sultanah Bookstore in Jaybee and read that X-Factor with the Archangel cover. That was my existential entry into the world of X. That Lady in Kino had it easy: Shelves jammed with TPBs, complete collections, omnibus, numbered volumes. Heck, she could even engage blokes who look like geeks who sounded like they know what they are talking about for a roadmap to start X-titles collecting. In Sultanah Bookstore, you are on your own. That Fall of Mutant title will be read, left back on the rack, re-read, put back, read again and again and again... till the next X-title shipped in, if at all. For weeks/months I read about the Archangel. The one with the metallic wings and the neuron disruptors. The Walt Simonson image branded into my conciousness. I swore I dreamt of Icarus unleashing those wings on the murderous pack of wolves that tore apart innocents. Tore apart the weak. Tore apart the silent. I saw the wolves shredded and decapitated. I saw the night was bright and the Archangel soaring high.
No rocket science why I grew up hating comics. They never get completed. This also explain why I collect comics the way I do. The exisitential xperience of transitionary comics reading and absurdity of not ever knowing the conclusion struck me a virus I have yet to recover. I became a COMPLETIST. I abhor single issues. There is always an issue that is unavailable. I abhor sequential storyline. There is never any hope of seeing the finale. Heck, one almost always have to start from the middle issues and make his way backward and stumble along forward hoping for the next shipment. That's how I read Fall of Mutants. Bonhoeffer calls it the plight of not having a beginning and not knowing the end.
Man no longer lives in the beginning - he has lost the beginning. Now he finds he is in the middle , knowing neither the end nor beginning, and yet knowing that he is in the middle, coming from the beginning and going towrads the end.
I revolt from this neither here nor there enjoyment of comics. I seek completion as other men seek completion to fulfill a life that is unbearably lived from the middle. No more single title incomplete nonsense. Bear in mind, this was a era before Amazon.com or Torrent or Rapidshare. (apa binatang tu?) Haunted by the images of Fall of Mutants, I seek out X-titles, complete. That was the beginning of the X-over saga and I think I bought them all from X-tinction Agenda till Phalanx Covenant. That was when x-things started to be done to death. Too much of a good thing and the hacks in marvel just wilked the cash cow dry. In a perverse way, Bonhoeffer saw the extent of the Fall of Man that mirror this overt-creatorship of the powers that be in marvel.
Now man stands in the middle, now he is without limit. Now he lives out of himself, now he creates his own life, he is his own creator. He no longer needs the Creator, he has become a creator himself, to the extent that he creates his own life. The Fall really makes a creator out of the creature. There is no possibility of recognizing him in his creatureliness...from this point on no one can make any statement about man without bearing in mind the fact that he is like...God.
I stopped buying comics in 98-99 (?) I remembered selling off Generation-X TPB at a loss to a IT guy who was obviously brain-hacked by marvel. I mean he was buying off every X-titles off the shelves. I was selling off most of the X-titles I had then. Most of them. Except for those 'superior comic craft' that remained in my box. Unfortunately some titles (Elektra) (Meltdown) got into filthy hands of lard. To be exhanged for bread. That is a crime. Filthy.
Then in 2005, the big wave. The massive clear out. Many x-titles got passed on, dumped, traded or I don't know what. Including the one shot Archangel: Phantom Wings by Peter Miligan. And because of wiki, any bloke can mouth off that this title was a Brit-invasion on an X-character by that 2000AD writer which dealt an Archangel story in Peter Milligan's usual surreal way. A Vertigo like story starring Archangel.
Not surprisingly no one ever heard of this one-shot. Heck, who bothers. One, it's an offbeat character form the X-universe. Two, it's a one-shot. Who collects one-shot? Three, it sucks. That according to those who buy their comics by the mainstream flavor. Time today, I called up all the comics shop in town and none of them carry this title anymore. Suppose I should be kicking myself. Sucks. Reason for all the reminiscenes? I picked up a new title on Warren. Another origin title but actually the first one about ANGEL. And I still got the virus. Bought it complete. All 5 issues. Damn.
Them blokes at marvel had/have really lost it. First you kill off every mutant superhero in town, then you start a whole new series. The you you do it all over again. The DC folks thought it was good idea. And started a whole slew of origins title too. I mean how many time can Supes/Capt/Wolvie/X-anybody die and be born again? For the powers that be at marvel, I think this God-Creator thing has been done to death too often, too many times.
*In youth we dream dreams. To take flight. To rise. To soar the skies. Archangel/Angel/Warren namecheck Icarus in the story. Enough reason to buy.