September 9th, 2009


Mission: Destroy the Marvel Universe

I had this peculiar and complex dream this morning that someone was trying to destroy the Marvel Universe (and no, this mysterious villain was not a shadowy figure with giant mouse ears). The interesting thing about this particular dream was that it wasn’t an attempt to destroy it from within. Someone was trying to eradicate it from the real world. Joe Quesada (the current editor in chief) was next on their hit list, and there were creators who had been entirely eliminated from the timeline already.

Claremont, in fact, wasn’t doing so well. The only two of his characters I saw were Kitty and Nightcrawler, though there was some reference to Colossus. Lee & Kirby were doing better: all the original X-Men, including Xavier, were still on hand, although it appeared that Jean was, as usual, dead. They, like people outside the comic, were fighting for the universe’s survival; Xavier seemed to be concentrating on–struggling to–keep memories of who and what they were in the X-Men’s minds, so they could continue to fight. It was fairly clear that–perhaps despite the villain’s intentions–the unravelling was happening more or less linearly

But one of the most interesting things was that according to the Resistance (who appeared to come from the present and future and could go into either *our* universe or the comic book universe with equal ease, depending on where the fight needed to be taken), the villains had already succeeded in wiping out the most popular female superhero from the Marvel universe. Had succeeded so well, in fact, that none of us who were modern fans had ever heard of Gemma Fade: she had simply never existed in the Marvel timeline. Had succeeded so well that the Resistance, even with their ability to move through time, weren’t certain what Gemma’s powers or story were, only that she had, at one time–in one world–been an iconic superhero who stood shoulder to shoulder with Superman in global recognizeability.

I’m pretty curious about Gemma now. :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)

“Gemma Fade”

The problem, of course, with writing Gemma Fade’s story is that it would take a whole new universe, because it’s too big an idea to waste on fan fiction, which is what it would be if I left it in the Marvel universe. And that would defeat the whole geeky meta fanboy point of it (although I donno, there’s not much prose superhero fiction, it might be worth trying).

And it /would/ be a big idea. It would take a minimum, I think, of three viewpoint characters: Gemma herself, a Resistance fighter, and a modern comics reader caught up in the destruction of her fandom’s universe. And possibly a fourth character from the comics who wasn’t yet disappeared, like Gemma is. This would be a book-length story, at the least. So I am not writing it.

But if I were, Gemma’s story would start here:

“The landscape is barren. Windswept sands, jutting stone with edges softened by time, and a hard white sun above it all. I push my hands into the sand until they are buried wrist-deep, and from there gain the purchase necessary to drive myself to my feet. I stagger a few more steps, as buffeted by the wind as the land around me is. I have no destination, no goal; all I can think are a scattering of words so remote they hold no meaning to me.

This is Krypton to Kal-El, I think. This is the red sun to a man raised beneath the yellow. This is power, stripped away.

I have no idea who I am or what I mean, but these incessant thoughts tell me that something is lost. That once, I would have understood the words echoing in my mind; that now, there’s something to be regained, a battle to be fought and won. And this is all I know about myself, now:

It’s reason enough to keep going.”

(I very badly want a Gemma Fade icon now.)

(x-posted from the essential kit)