Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Curse of Twighlight Strikes Marvel

OK. Quick rant. Since the X-men first appeared back in 1963, they have represented a commentary of their social and cultural context. This was the year Martin Luthor King Jr marched to Washington and gave his "I have a dream" speech. It was the turning point in the Civil Rights movement and this was echoed in the themes of the X-Men, a group of people fighting for their rights, who were outcast and discriminated against for their differences. By the 1980s, the mutant gene that all X-Men had was considered a "disease" and anti-mutant hysteria reached another peak in the comics. The anti-mutant protests and prejudice seen in the X-Men stories echoed the homophobia and misconceptions related to HIV and AIDS.

With that in mind, what does the new era of Marvel comics hold for the X-Men #1? Will they be blamed for climate change or perhaps be engaged in metaphors for the freedom fighter/terrorist debate. Something about Afghanistan or the Israel-Palestine conflict?

No.

In this age of teenivamps, Edward Cullen and rubbish films about rubbish books, Marvel appear to be jumping onto the vampire bandwagon in a bid to appeal to a new audience. Yes, 2010's X-Men #1 relaunch pits the X-Men against vampires. Alright, I don't actually expect every X-Men story to contain some sort of really insightful message about the world. It's also not the first time the X-Men have fought vampires but this is an entire campaign based on vampires as the X-Men's adversaries. Preview the first few pages of the comic at Marvel.com.

Not surprisingly, I'm not the only one who fed up with weak vampire stories. What's more is that the Twighlight creator, Stephenie Meyer herself, is sick of bloody vampires too! In an interview with TwighlightSeriesTheories, she says she stopped working on the latest book because she's no longer excited or motivated by it and it "feels like homework".

"What’s true is that I’m really burned out on vampires.  And, I don’t want to write it badly.  So I want to wait until I’m excited about the material again, and I’m excited about Edward, and that it’s something that’s motivating.  You know, when a story is keeping me up at night, and I’m waking up at 4 am in the morning and thinking ‘Yes! That is what is what should happen in this moment!’  Then that is when I can write with happiness! So, right now it feels like homework… it really does.  And when things feel like homework they go very, very slowly for me."

Twighlight: Even the author can't be bothered any more!

p.s. For really great vampire fiction, Anne Rice, creator of The Vampire Chronicles including Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, is the way to go.

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