Christmas Comics Chronicle, Continued


For those of you just tuning in, the first installment of The Secret Origin of Lincoln Crisler covered the first two of four X-Men comic book issues given me by my older brother for Christmas when I was twelve. I’ve recently re-read those issues for the first time as an adult—and, since my twelve year-old self had no money whatsoever to spend on comic books, for the first time ever in the context of the several years’ worth of story that preceded them. The other two issues I received that year were:

X-Force 30, featuring the second-ever appearance of Adam X, the X-Treme. X-Treme was a Shi’ar/Human hybrid who appeared to be in his late teens/early twenties. His first appearance was in the prior year’s X-Force annual, which I finally got to read a few years down the road. One issue was all I needed to completely invest in this character. He was a badass looking blade fighter, could go toe-to-toe with Shatterstar and had an awesome power: if his foe had an open wound, he could ignite the electrolytes in their blood and incapacitate them.

A year or so later, I traded for another single comic issue, X-Men 39, which also featured him, and that—a story of X-Treme and Phillip Summers (Cyclops’ grandfather), of all people—is another of my all-time favorite X-Men comics. The next time I saw him in a comic, it was at least ten years later, in a cameo appearance written by a guy who had no sense of the character and portrayed him as a whiny, Earth-normal mutant bitch for a couple of panels in a book I don’t even remember all that well. He was supposed to be the third Summers brother (born of Emperor D’Ken and Cyclops’ mom), but that never came to fruition and we got Vulcan instead. Meh.

Side note: this comic also featured, along with the first Deadpool limited and the New Warriors/X-Force crossover, the subplot involving Black Tom’s conversion to a wood-based tree looking creature. I’d never gotten to read this entire subplot, though, as a huge fan of Generation X (issue 25 of which featured Tom) I was excited as hell to read the set-up for those issues in their entirety (Tom was adapted by some doctors after being shot up by Cable in the early X-Force/Spider-man crossover from ’91 or ’92).








X-Factor 99, the issue before the Death of Multiple Man, featuring an awesome villainess named Haven who was introduced in issue 96 and wasn’t seen again after issue 100 except for a two-issue or so subplot several years later setting up a battle between Forge and the Adversary. Waste of a great character, if you ask me. She was from India (a cultural rarity in comics), had a striking character design and a great back story written by Peter David (whom I’ve asked in a recent letter to consider bringing the character back) and had an immense impact on X-Factor. She was responsible for curing Wolfsbane of the engineered attachment to Havok she’d had since her time in Genosha back in ’90 or ’91, and attempted to cure Madrox of the Legacy Virus. As with X-Men 28, the book had an exciting cover and featured another of my favorite characters, the mercenary Random.








I think what I miss most about the comics of this era, besides the storylines and the art, was how interwoven the various comics and their characters were. The entire X-franchise was tight and polished. Characters had lengthy, consistent storylines and arcs. The X-Men were put through the ringer during that period—the battles against Stryfe and Magneto, Wolverine losing the adamantium, Colossus joining the Acolytes, the deaths of Illyana and Madrox—and you actually gave a shit. Nowadays, I’m reading the new X-Factor book (written by David again—imagine that!) and not much else, except for when I pick up an issue of one of the other books for nostalgia’s sake.

Next week, we’ll shift gears for a couple of installments and begin discussing a few of my favorite science fiction and fantasy novel series’ from my childhood. Fans of Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffery and Piers Anthony will want to stay tuned, for sure.



The Secret Origin of Lincoln Crisler


I’m pleased to announce a new ongoing feature here on the site—one I hope you’ll like, and that I hope will keep you coming back. I’m calling it The Secret Origin of Lincoln Crisler. I’m going to shoot for posting a new addition every Monday, and adjust fire from there. If there’s something you’d like to know, shoot me an email or comment. I won’t promise to answer—some things are definitely off limits—but you’ll get an idea of what I’m shooting for after reading an entry or two.

Some of you—though not many, I’m sure—might be asking, “What’s a secret origin?” Comic-book superheroes are the best example. Batman’s parents getting shot outside the movie theater, the Ninja Turtles being covered in ooze after being dumped in a sewer grate, Spider-man’s uncle being capped by the robber Spidey failed to stop—that sort of thing. With comics being such a huge part of my life, I can’t think of a better description than “secret origin” for the sort of posts I’ll be writing. Much of this stuff will be from my childhood, though I’ll probably get into my teenage years and early adulthood a few times, as well. All of it will be things that helped make me the man, and author, I am today.

The first installment, which will go live tomorrow, is a writeup of four comic books I received one Christmas from my older brother—four comics that are still awesome to this day. Four of the first comics I ever owned. If you’re a fan of the 90s X-Men, you’ll love the hell out of this.


Links, News, Petitions and Shit


I’m working longer hours lately at work–this does not bode well for bloggery or fiction writing (though I am adapting my schedule to accommodate the latter), but is great for my reading time. It’s only six days into the month and I’ve read five or six books, reviews for which you’ll see in the next couple weeks. Other than that, there’s not much else going on in LincolnLand other than preparations my co-conspirators have been laying for the June release of FOUR IN THE MORNING. Life is still continuing apace for my friends and family, however.

My wife, Consuela, is taking on Teh Gubmint in an effort to change policies and procedures by which military spouses are hired. Long story short, she quit a higher-paying job for a federal job on base helping wounded warriors–after being given a start date–and then was told she couldn’t have the job due to some bureaucratic guidelines. She’s since uncovered at least four ways they could give her the job–and the people she interviewed with chose her over several other competitors. She’s still out of work. Luckily, this gives her time to conduct a few interviews with local media, pursue the possibility of a lawsuit and organize the petition you can read about and sign here.

In other petition news, plagiarism victim Rick Moore has launched one to make legislators take plagiarism more seriously. He was ripped off last year, along with a multitude of authors–some of our most famous genre authors–by a dude named David Boyer, and his state attorney general doesn’t give a rat’s ass, even with the support of a local union and thousands of authors. You can learn more about that here.

My Australian  homeboy Greg Chapman recently announced the cover of his upcoming third novella, VAUDEVILLE, and the publisher has unleashed the cover art. I’m really looking forward to reading this.

One of my favorite comics EVAH! is Fables. I don’t think I caught the announcements about this last year, but picked up the first two issues of the FAIREST spinoff–and I like. Here’s a review from Comicbooked.