Monday, January 3, 2011

What I Like About...

War of Kings.

If the original trilogy was intended to be the story of Anakin Skywalker's redemption, then surely Marvel's War of Kings must represent the redemption of Crystal.

Granted, I've read the explanation given for Crystal's status as co-narrator in Spotlight: War of Kings - but still, I'd like to imagine that it actually went a little something like this:

"You know who sucks? Crystal."
"Yeah, really."
"So let's take Crystal... and make her frickin' AWESOME!"

Seriously, I went into this storyline all ready to hate Crystal. Now, as it is with anything in which Jack "King" Kirby had a hand in creating (whether that be in whole, or in part), the potential was certainly originally there... but it had since been completely squandered by massive mishandling on subsequent writers' parts.

This was Crystal prior to War of Kings, in a nutshell: 1. Married Quicksilver, Magneto's son and long-time member of the Avengers, and bore him a daughter; 2. Conducted numerous extramarital affairs, both before AND after the birth of said child; and 3. Divorced Quicksilver after the fact, using the flimsy excuse that because she's royalty and he's a lowly commoner, they never should have even been married in the first place!


But under the watchful guidance of War of Kings collaborators Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, something wonderful happened: We were given unprecedented insight into Crystal's innermost thoughts and feelings, as they were occurring! True, any potential attempt at excusing Crystal's previous behavior was predestined to fail... so these guys didn't even try. Instead, they took a sort of 'from here on out' approach to writing her - almost as if to say, "That mess was all some other people's fault!" So what did we, as an audience, learn from this?

As re-imagined by Abnett and Lanning, Crystal has grown so much as an individual that she now truly cares about those in need - regardless of who they are, or how society sees them - entirely without any thought of herself. Meanwhile, her budding romance with Ronan the Accuser is truly heartfelt and honest - a fact that's readily apparent to most any reader who's ever been in love... and not at all the sort of forced and ultimately false relationship which one unfortunately encounters far too often in popular fiction!

Plus, you've gotta admit: When Crystal took control of that enormous stone statue, and had it mimicking her every move? That (and therefore, by using it in such a fashion against her enemies, she) kicked ASS!

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