Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Project

I started reading X-Men at the age of twenty-seven, in 2006.  For some reason, my latent tendencies towards fandom sprung into growth that year, as I got massively in to both Marvel comics and Doctor Who, more or less at the same time.  At the start of the year I probably couldn't name all the Doctors, or tell you what a Sentinel was - but by 2007 I had strong feelings about Paul McGann being excellent in the audios, and was dressing up in costume as Nocturne. Who knew what is supposedly mainstream culture could provide such outlets for obscurantism?

Doctor Who and the X-Men have obvious differences of form, but share certain commonalities.  At the trivial level, they are both enormous narratives, created by multiple hands, and well beyond normal human comprehension, that debuted within a few months of each other in 1963.  They occupy similar headspace, too - they share a certain progressive mindset, and have had profound influences on people growing up.  But not me.  I was 10 when Doctor Who was cancelled - which I was disappointed at but could hardly pretend was a trauma.  And I never read comics when I was little - my only exposure to the X-Men was from their guest appearances in cartoons.  So I come to both of these things as an adult, and perhaps one with too great a sense of irony.  The operatic conventions of genre - the revolving door to the afterlife, the midunderstanding fights preceding a team-up, the retcons within retcons opening up nuance within stories - all these I enjoy as a spectacle.  And what a magnificent ride that Marvel universe has provided over the last 8 years.

Lots of people seem to have blogged about watching all of Doctor Who. Few seem to have attempted this with X-Men. I vaguely started in 2008, but gave up. A blog will help me with discipline. I also hope to track the development of the ideology of the X-Men, and of details of characterisation and setting that you can't just look up on the Marvel Wikia, which tends to fold retcon on retcon.

But that's yet to come, if we ever make it.  For now, we start in September 1963, and proceed at a post per comic per day.  Decisions about the scope of this project (as if the mere reading of all of Uncanny were not insane enough) will be made when we come to them - we have Cape Citadel to get to.


  1. Holy crap we have the same blog. I'm 32 and I just started doing this exact same thing. I'm reading every issue of X-Men from 1963 until today. I collected comics from 1991 until 1995, and I just started reading again this year.

    1. Welcome to the fray! I'll check out your blog when I get the time. There's a lot of it going around, apparently - I have discovered 2 other blogs started the same thing before me, but I've caught up and whizzed past them.

      Thinking about taking a break when I reach the end of Claremont.