I started 4thletter.net way way back on March 24, 2005. It was run off a blogger template back then, and I managed to make it to September 2005 before we realized that we had no time for it and shut it down. I reopened it that November and we’ve been going strong ever since.
Man, I really, really like some of those old posts. A lot of them need editing and my opinions have changed on some things, but it’s an interesting look at what I was into nearly two years ago. Shoot, I think I was even a Millar fan back then!
If I can salvage the images, I’ll post up the first four of my Top 15 Greatest Comic Stories. I did four and then found myself lacking for time. I also realized that a Top 15 is an awful idea because, holy crap, my tastes keep changing! I also have the first part of “101 of My Favorite Things,” an alteration of a comics meme that hit the net around 07/2005. That’ll probably kill my bandwidth dead, though, so I think I should retool it into another form that isn’t 100 images.
Also, Gavok made some Galactiac jokes or something. Those were the days, right?
Anyway, what follows is the first post from the old blog. It’s dated and pretty much obsolete, as far as these things go. “No more mutants” and “Gambit is a Horseman” pretty much killed it dead, not to mention the death of Sean “Me boyo” Cassidy.
Whatever, though. Here it is, in all its untouched glory. Don’t kill me.
I picked up X-Men Visionaries: Jim Lee a while back. It contains his first year on Uncanny X-Men, along with his first X-Men story in Classic X-Men.
I skimmed it after I picked it up and I noticed a few things.
First, say what you will about the man today (and I do!), but Chris Claremont knows relationships. These stories are probably over 15 years old, but Jubilee’s seething distrust of Nu-Asian Psylocke and Gambit’s aura of Invincible Cool still make me grin like an idiot. Gambit taking down Gladiator is one of those completely ridiculous pop comics moments that stick with you.
The bit I skimmed got me to thinking, though.
I’ve got an idea for somehting of a Jubilee-centric X-Men story set in the current continuity. If it’s a book, I’ll have to think up a name for it. The story line would definitely be called “Great Leap Forward.” It’d build on some of the groundwork that Claremont set down in the past, along with a bit of Kirkman for good measure. It’s probably going to get screwed because I missed out on a good six years of Marvel continuity, but here we go.
It’s set just after Jubilee’s recent (retroactive?) miniseries. Her attempt to leave the X-Men and live in LA with her aunt Hope backfired when her aunt’s past came back to, er, explodify her. Unbeknownst to Jubilee, aunt Hope was a robot. (Technically, only her leg was robotic in the series, but I figure if her body survived that explosion, she’s a freaking robot.)
Now, in the past, the Mandarin (remember him?) showed no small amount of interest in Jubilee. He wanted her to embrace her Chinese heritage and leave the American mentality behind. This was at the same time that he was controlling Psylocke, as well.
It should be noted that Jubilee, back then at least, could blow things up real well. Better than Boom-Boom well.
So, here’s the deal. Aunt Hope, and her murder, was a plant. The Mandarin has decided to revist his lost charge and is taking steps to sever her from America. The death of Hope (ha!) made her feel that she was truly an orphan and depressed her. I think I could even tie in Millar’s “Enemy of the State” and use that to remove Wolverine from the equation (it would’ve been nice if she had shown up, by the way).
So, who’s she left with? Most of Generation X is gone. Monet is with X-Corp Paris, Skin is dead, and Sean Cassidy is still on the outs, I think, after the original X-Corporation disaster.
As far as Gen X goes, she’s got Paige Guthrie, who’s hopefully wrapped up her weird relationship with Angel, and Chamber. Two good friends. They’re involved.
X-Men? Gambit, Rogue, and Psylocke. They were on the old X-Men Blue team with Jubilee, so they probably have a pretty quality bond. I don’t know if they’d fit, though. Not as main characters, anyway. Psylocke is a must, however.
So our roster is Paige, Chamber (post- or pre-Runaways, I’m not sure which), Psylocke and Jubilee. Jubilee is pretty lost and screwed up. Nightmares, the whole nine. But, these are the people she turns to for help.
Pyslocke sees Jubilee in pain and decides to do something. She’s feeling oddly motherly, so she asks Jubilee’s friends. Their answer? “Mardi Gras.”
So we’ve got Psylocke chaperoning three young mutants to Louisiana for Mardi Gras. Early on, however, things go wrong. Jubilee and Paige go out drinking with an uncharacteristically open Psylocke, leaving Chamber alone in the hotel. The two of them wake up in chains in an unknown location. I haven’t decided whether it’d be a gothic castle or a techno-crypt.
“What’s going on?” Jubilee wonders.
She looks around and sees Psylocke… in the arms of the Mandarin.
“I never trusted you, headwitch,” Jubilee says.
“Play nice, little sister,” the Mandarin says. “We are going to show you what you really are. You were wasting your potential, like dear Betsy, here. I’m going to unlock you.”
“Well,” the Mandarin responds, “maybe I should kill this gwai-lo cow, hmm?” and raises a hand to Paige.
“Now, where’s Chamber?” you ask?
He wakes up in the hotel room with a blinding headache. He has just enough time to notice that the girls aren’t in the room, before the windows and door are blown in and three Hand assassins attack him. He overcomes them, getting badly injured in the process, and makes a run for it in his boxers. No phone, no x-communicator, no nothing. He knows of only one X-Man who might be close by, so he jedi mind tricks his way into some clothes and goes searching, bleeding all the way.
The Hand ninja follow.
Eventually, he asks the right question at the right place and finds Gambit. He explains that Paige, Jubilee, and Psylocke are probably kidnapped and collapses. The Hand attack to finish the job, only to be immediately repelled by the aura of Invincible Cool.
Gambit gets him to a local back-alley surgeon and fixes him up.
Then, they go out searching.
Meanwhile, Jubilee has decided to fight the Mandarin’s programming any way she can. She’s going to get out, save Paige, and if Betsy and the Mandarin have to die in the process, so be it.
She’s sick of life punching her in the stomach.
Old school hijinks ensue.