I started telling Milly about the X-Men a week or so ago. I have a lot of comic books, you see, and the vast majority of my collection is X-Men related. I’ve got every Uncanny X-Men from issue something like #141 through #355 or so. Every X-Factor from #1 until they restarted it. The entire run of New Mutants (which holds a special place in my heart for some reason). Every X-Force from #1 through… something. Excalibur #1 though whatever. The first 20 or so X-Men Unlimiteds. I’ve got a ton of miniseries(es?), crossovers, one-shots. All that is to say I’m well versed on all things X-Men (up to several years ago, when I just couldn’t really afford to do it anymore).
So I decided to tell Milly a little about the X-Men. She already knew them a little, particularly Wolverine because of a Pez dispenser. She used to have me talk for him. I told her about how they’re born with special abilities and how some people are afraid of them and hate them because of that, but the X-Men work towards getting along with regular people anyway.
Then we did a Google image search of different X-Men. I’d tell her who they were and what they could do and sometimes a little bit about their stories. I focused on the female X-Men, because I thought she’d like that better. Empower her a bit, you know?
So tonight, as we ate dinner at the little table in the kitchen corner, Milly was asking me about looking at some of my comics and asking about the X-Men again. The only ones whose names she really remembered were Storm and Jubilee, and she was asking me about Jubilee’s story. I summed it up for her a little, but then I thought, hey, I’ve got Jubilee’s first issue. I should just show that to her.
So I went and dug it up and showed it to her. I was probably a little over-protective of the comic, which isn’t in the best shape anyway, but she was eating a panini and her fingers were a little greasy. I summed up a few pages, read dialog (in different voices for different characters). Milly just did the sound effects at first, but then she decided to read some of Jubilee’s dialog as well, which I thought was great.
In case you’re wondering, Jubilee was a homeless kid performing tricks with her mutant power (which is to make these plasmoid things she can control and pop like fireworks) at the Los Angeles mall where she basically lived. The chief of mall security can’t stand her, so she has to run away from them. They end up calling a group of mutant hunters called M-Squad to get her.
Meanwhile, the X-Men are, at this time, living in an abandoned town in the Australian Outback. Tensions are running high so the ladies of the group decide to go shopping. They get all dolled up and Storm gets pressured into dancing with a Chippendale-type dancer on a stage.
At about that time, M-Squad shows up and are fighting Jubilee, so the X-Chicks fight them off then head back to Australia through a teleportation portal opened up by the Aboriginal mutant Gateway. It’s left open just long enough for Jubilee to slip through behind them.
And that, ladies and gents, is how Jubilee met and joined the X-Men. A few issues later, Jubilee gets to help a badly wounded and crucified Wolverine. Good times.
You know, I always imagined reading comics like X-Men and Spider-Man to any kids I had. I wanted to use them to instill the ideals of acceptance and doing things for others through them and other heroic high-mindedness. I didn’t do that, and I don’t know if I will, but if Milly decides she wants to start reading comics besides the My Little Ponies I’ve bought for her before, well, that just makes my nerd-heart swell with pride.