“No. I’m a member of the 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestatl, genome-boosted with insect traits.
This is what they were like.
The year after I joined the heroes of the dimension-schooner ‘Marvel’, we negotiated the Kree/Skrull Ceasefire and ended millennia of cosmic hostility.
On our way home to Hala, we answered simultaneous distress calls from five doomed civilizations.
There were only three astro gods from the First Firmament, but the immense sinky-suits they wear to help them explore the Hypoverses are powered by gravity refraction and epic genocide.
Billions died. The scaffolding of spacetime farted and collapsed.
We entered Macrospace.
Splintered across the endless, infinite worlds of the Superspectrum: the immense rainbow of realities, where everything you ever imagined is just as real as everything else and all at once.”
“Big deal. Then what?”
“Then, after all those years we thought we’d found our way home.
But we’d found our way here by mistake.
And your dad happened.”Grant Morrison
I know I’m behind on writing a couple of these, but I’m across three different books right now and either none of them are catching my interests or it’s just taking me a while to get into the meat of them. So, you know, comics.
I found Marvel Boy at just the right time in my life. I had just turned 21/was about to turn 21, and was starting to become disillusioned with our at-the-time political climate. We were reaching the end of the Bush years, Obama seemed set to make the nation a more diverse place (not that we weren’t already diverse, but maybe now we’d want to talk about it), and the first Iron Man movie had just made waves. And then Marvel went and re-released this, a 2000 comic in the year 2008. The landscape had shifted so much, would the ideas and ideals held up in this story to resonated?
Turns out, yes, they would.
Noh-Varr, a young Kree warrior (the Kree being that entrenched alien race in the Marvel Universe only briefly talked about in the CAPTAIN MARVEL movie), crash lands on Earth with his crew after a multi-year and multi-universe expedition. And the first thing that greets his crew?
A genocidal billionaire.
Now, lost, alone, and on the run, Noh-Varr must turn this entire world upside down to enact his revenge, fighting back against reference after reference to Marvel’s publishing past (you know, before that kind of thing was more well-known) to survive. He’ll make a…friend(?), set up base camp, and promise a revolution we never actually see.
This was a brilliant read then, and revitalizing to reread now. Noh isn’t a classic “good guy” character, as he spends the entire second chapter burning New York City. Which, looking back on in 2000, right before everyone got reeeeeal concerned about showing that kind of thing, is a little nuts. Morrison goes, not full crazy, but only slightly crazy, playing with multiversal concepts they would shine a brighter light on in other books.
I enjoyed Jones’ vibrant, choreographed art. When people wonder how we, as comic readers, feel the pages as they’re happening, show them this book. Not just the fight scenes. The scenes when Noh is in his sewer base, eating cardboard like it’s a slice of pizza, hunched over and happy with watching his blazing work play out on the nightly news, you feel like you’re in every page, every panel.
It’s fun stuff. Give it to a little revolutionary in your life.
MARVEL BOY by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones (Amazon)
Thanks for reading,
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