About Me

Hi!   I’m Chrissy!  And the first thing you need to know about me is that I am married to Russ, the administrator of the Marvel Chronology Project website.  Being married to Russ is an absolute delight, in so many ways, not the least of which is our shared interest in books, movies, TV shows—basically, “stories” in just about any form. 

However, before I met Russ in 2005, I must admit that I knew precious little about comics.  I think I may have been vaguely aware that  there were “DC” comics and “Marvel” comics, but honestly, if I had been a contestant on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and asked to pick out the DC character from a list of Marvel superheroes, or vice versa, I probably would have Polled the Audience, used the “50-50,”  and called a friend rather than trust my own judgment.  Of course, if I’d known Russ at that time, I would have jumped straight to Call a Friend.

If I even needed to.  Because knowing Russ, it’s impossible not to develop an interest in Marvel Comics.  His enthusiasm is contagious.  I feel like I have learned so much about comics from Russ…and yet, I know there is so much more to learn!  But it’s not the kind of learning like when you are in elementary school and have to memorize the state capitols.  It’s the kind of learning that’s fun!  I’ve always been interested in pop culture, and this is one very large and important aspect of it that has somehow escaped me.  Till now. I love the fact that there’s this whole other Universe out there, just waiting to be discovered. 

So this blog is going to chronicle my discovery of the Marvel Universe, along with commentary and impressions from what may be a unique viewpoint. I wish I had thought to begin doing this blog when I first started reading Marvel, but the truth is that I begin this venture having already read appoximately 200 comics, so I’m not entirely new to the genre. But still, relatively new, when one considers how many thousands of stories are out there! At the time of starting this blog, I have not read anything past the year 1964. So I’d say that still qualifies me as a “newbie.” The added advantage of having a little knowledge about the Marvel Universe is that I can make some comparisons and draw some conclusions that a true newbie wouldn’t be able to recognize. So, yeah…now when I think about it, maybe this is exactly the right time for me to begin this venture.

I don’t think it’s any secret that the world of comic books has traditionally belonged to the male of our species.  Also, traditionally, comics are perused, at least at first, by the young.  I am neither.  I’m an oddball.  I hope my readers will find it interesting to see which impressions I have that exactly match their own, and which of my ideas they may have never even considered.

Of course, the Marvel Universe has recently become more familiar to the average person through a series of successful blockbuster movies.  I have to admit, I love these movies.  In most cases, I think it’s amazing how dead-on the producers and directors have been in capturing the characters, and the spirit of the Marvel Universe.  Perhaps there are people out there who, through exposure to these movies, are developing a deeper interest in the Marvel Universe.  If you’ve stumbled upon this blog as one of those people, then I hope my ramblings can help serve as a sort of “101.”

But then again, if you are a seasoned visitor to the Marvel Universe, even an honorary citizen, I hope what I  write here might bring to mind the wonder you felt upon your initial exposure to this unique area of pop culture.  Or, even if all you end up saying is, “Geez! Girls sure see things differently than I do,” that’s okay too.

I think that along the way I’ll be bound to make some observations that are painfully obvious, and others that are just plain wrong.  I’m okay with that.  I’m not afraid to appear foolish, if that’s what it takes to get the ideas flowing.  Additionally, I welcome all comments.  Please come talk with me about anything I might say in this blog, and feel free to add your own impressions as well.  Comments welcome, but no spoilers, please! 🙂

One more thing I must mention: I will be the author of all these entries, but Russ is my invaluable ally, serving as a sort of “executive producer,” leading me in the right direction with suggestions about which stories to read and review, lending much-needed technical support, and probably most importantly, serving as a springboard for bouncing off revelations and ideas, which in turn lead to more revelations and ideas.  I simply could not do this without him. 

2 Responses to About Me

  1. Ma’am,

    I had intended to wait until I had finished going through all of the posts in your blog before saying anything. But even at the rate of several pages a day, it’s going to be a while before I get caught up, and I just couldn’t hold off any longer to say something.

    It’s been a long time since I found a Silver-Age-related website that made me want to sit down and go through it from the beginning.

    Before I continue, I guess I should provide my credentials. I’m a retired Naval officer (hence, my honorific is legitimate), but that’s not the important one here. For the past seven years, I’ve maintained a column—“Commander Benson’s Deck Log”—over on the Captain Comics site. I deal strictly with Silver-Age era comics, and within that scope, cover a range of material: common themes, classic comic-book conventions, “forgotten gems”, comics-related television shows of the era, and so forth.

    I started reading comics when the Silver Age came in, in ’56, and kept going through the mid-’80’s, though frankly, I lost most of my enthusiasm after the Silver Age was over. So, yes, I’m old, as my middle-age spread, the bald spot the size of Rhode Island on the back of my head, and my lovely wife will all attest.

    I stumbled across your site several months ago, when I was searching Google images for some “Ant-Man” art to accompany an article I was doing on Henry Pym. I filed the link to your site in my “Favourite Places” list and forgot about it—until a week ago. I was purging stuff from the list that I no longer needed. When I opened your site to see why I had it, I started reading—and didn’t stop for the next hour.

    I cannot tell you how fascinating it is to read intelligent commentary from someone for whom the Silver Age is a new experience. You confine yourself to Marvel Comics, and that’s fine. Over on my column, I deal primarily with both DC and Marvel, so I don’t have a problem keeping up. I’m struck by how interesting it is to see old, familiar tales examined by fresh eyes. And not just fresh to the comics of that era, but to that era itself. Your understanding of the time—the events, the cultural attitudes, the social mores—is fairly accurate. (Although I admit to a self-indulgent chuckle when you confess to not knowing some of the more colloquial terms, like piker or cornball, which for me have remained part of my standard vocabulary.)

    And, naturally, the other novel twist is that you are viewing these stories from the feminine perspective. What I appreciate most here is that you evaluate these tales with the mind of a modern woman, but with acceptance of the social attitudes of the time. Quite frankly, that makes me willing to accept your comments and give them weight. Because it’s—and this is strictly a short-hand term with no unspoken connotations—reasonable. If you were to come charging through each story, snarling at every little thing that might be perceived as chauvinistic, you would have lost me as one of your audience. A dog that barks at the serious things gets listened to; a dog that barks at everything gets ignored.

    I just finished reading your remarks on Jane Foster and Ruby, from “The Thunder God and the Thug” (Journey Into Mystery # 89), and I found them spot-on commentary on both female characters. As you pointed out, certain psychological conditioning hasn’t changed in fifty years—I’m speaking of your analysis of Ruby and her misplaced devotion to Thug Thatcher here—and what you said regarding Ruby’s self-image is valid, regardless of the decade.

    I also noted with wry appreciation your comments with regard to Jane Foster’s daydreams. I think the thing to remember here is that the comics had to be much more “family friendly” in those days, so Stan Lee was forced to limit his depiction of Jane’s fantasies of Thor to strictly domestic ones. Thus, with regard to polishing—to paraphase Freud—sometimes a hammer is just a hammer.

    As I read on, I’ve been inspired to make comments on something you have written, but I’m still on your older material and I figure it’s too far past that to add something, now. But the fact that I want to make comment at all shows how involved I am with what you have to say. So many sites that cover Silver-Age material do little more than spit out synopses or observations which have been made before twice ten, and I quickly grow bored.

    The most difficult part has been refraining from telling you what lies ahead, with regard to character development or other details. But I’m honouring your request for no spoilers. Besides, with regards to early Marvel, if you really want a look ahead, your helpful hubby can provide it as good as or better than I can.

    Thank you for providing such an entertaining blog. Just about the time I’ve figured I’ve heard everything that could be discussed about the Silver Age, here you come along with something new and refreshing, and I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying the ride.

    Respectfully,
    R. A. Benson
    Commander, U. S. Navy (Retired)

    • Chrissy says:

      First, Commander, thank you so much for your long and appreciative comment! I’m never really sure how many people are reading this blog, and always enjoy finding out about new readers, especially ones that have such an expansive background in Marvel Comics.

      And I especially love that you recognize the purpose of this blog–to provide fresh eyes to “old” materials, and also, to provide a female perspective on what has traditionally been the domain of (mainly) male readers. I hope that anyone running across my blog will get the message that Marvel Comics are NEVER old, and they are for ANYONE who wants to enjoy them.

      Now, as for your comment that you are “too far past to add something now” to some of my older entries—may it never be! Just as you found this blog a while back and only got to read it recently, I’m hopeful that there will always be Marvel fans out there, perhaps googling “chromosomatic gland” or “cybernetic helmet,” that will run into this blog and stop to read. When they do, it would be great if they could find not only my commentaries, but further intelligent discussion about all things Marvel. This is an ongoing work, and I would love for it to be a meeting place of the minds, where people can jump in whenever they want.

      Also, whenever you read a post, you can comment right on that post. Your comments will show up in the Recent Comments on the right side, so they will never be “too far past.” The moment a new comment comes in, it’s all new again, for anyone coming to the blog.

      One more thing: don’t worry about spoiling me. Though I write the commentaries, Russ is invaluable as an editor, and “cinematographer,” capturing and perfecting all the images that appear in this blog. He also serves as my “bodyguard” against errant spoilers. If you say something that is considered a “spoiler,” he’ll add a mystical mist over the words, so they can be avoided, by me, or anyone else who is reading and wants to wait to find out on their own. Spoilers are sometimes unavoidable, but as much as is humanly possible, I won’t see them on my own blog.

      I especially like that you have a long, rich history with comics, and can add a lot of insight. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on these books, the same way I look forward to hearing what my other frequent commenters have to say.

      Thanks again! And I hope you are enjoying the Marvelous Awards. We spent a lot of time and effort putting them together, and they were so much fun—like everything else we do here in the Marvelous Zone!

      Chrissy

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