When worlds don’t collide

Walking to and from my morning coffee fix gives me precious quiet time to think on things. This morning’s question was, “Why do I like the new X-Men movie so much?” (I know full well that liking is its own reason. But I felt there was more.)

“Days of Future Past” is to the X-Men franchise what “The Avengers” is to the rest of the Marvel universe. Both movies take the best of all previous bits and pieces – some of which are, to be sure, kind of clunky – and, under a masterful guiding hand, wrap them up into a neat and most pleasing package. For the Avengers, that guide was Joss Whedon. For DoFP, it was Bryan Singer.

Singer has, lately, come under fire as a result of certain allegations which I will not go into here. (I wasn’t party to any of it, therefore I’m not qualified to comment, and I believe truth and justice will out.) That aside, I applaud the strong, singular directorial decisions to give to DoFP the same touches that made his first X-Men movie the gem it is, mainly, orchestrating the spectacle to serve the story (a rare thing, these days), and giving the small, personal moments all the time and space they need to hit the emotions hard and true.

If that were the extent of my pondering, it would have been enough, but I knew there was something deeper. I recalled various fan comments about this movie versus that movie, how the “Fox Marvel” films felt different from the “Sony Marvel” or the “Disney Marvel” ones. And I understood that when you have a sprawling franchise the way Marvel does, and you make entertainment deals all across the board, you run the risk – to pick one small example – of Quicksilver-A (in movie “A”) looking and behaving quite unlike Quicksilver-B (in movie “B”). When you put your dream into others’ hands, it’s no longer entirely yours.

Elfquest began as the vision of two people, Wendy and me. It broadened over the years – willingly, deliberately – to include the efforts of many other writers and artists, and as a result we have a much more diverse “EQ-verse” than we would otherwise. But in the end, things have come full, unbroken circle back to solely us, as we knew it must. Two years ago, we began the process by which we would continue the saga of Cutter and company, bringing many sundry story threads back into one, cohesive tapestry, under one strong, singular directorial aim. The result – ongoing, via Dark Horse – is “Final Quest.” We’re having an invigorating and wonderful time with it. The elves are home again.