The Fifth Color - True Believer

Welcome to the middle of November, folks so bear with me as we take a look back at the beginning of the year for Yours Truly and leave the House of Ideas be this week;  the following was written sometime in January, when my laptop finally rested at my side in the Acute Rehab Unit of the UCI Medical faciliy and I had enough finger strength and energy to type:

Well then.

Looks like the mighty Marvel Bullpen had to wait until I was trapped in an Intensive Care Ward, hands unmovable, before taking the winsome Wasp and splattering her against the windshield of Big Event Comics with nary a second thought.

Did you really think I'd let them get away with that?

But before I launch into the rich and honorable history of Ms. Janet Van Dyne, there are a few things I have to say first.

WARNING:  Personal note to follow, mostly comics related, spoilers to my recovery ahead.

It's sad to have to preface things first these days, but just in case, my husband and I have recently hit our own Crisis (boy, do we hope it's Final) in the form of a federal disaster that took our home and very nearly our lives.  Kids, don't play with fire.

From this has come one of the most amazing, spectacular and - dare I say it? - truly Friendly Neighborhood actions on the internet I have ever been proud to hear and witness first hand.  A wise man once said something like anonymity plus an audience equals most internet stupidity and sometimes we all get a little bogged down and frustrated with our favorite pastime (I mean really, what did the Wasp do to these guys?  Eaten alive??), but none of this really matters.  Comic fans are a rare breed, avid critics of our medium in the way that some predators eat their own young, a finicky people who've been endeared to the public as overweight, childish naysayers (thanks, Simpsons).

We're also family.

Look at Marvel, they've always done their best to make readers feel welcome, if not part of their own super special society.  From the days of the letters columns, we could write to one another, found our own fan groups, and create our communities.  Maybe the adage goes the other way, that not being anonymous and having an audience (that still boggles me) creates a sort of internet family and some truly inspirational moments.

This is why I named my column The Fifth Color because we the fans make the difference.  Comics traditionally come in four colors but our experience reading the final result, the way we color a book with our own likes and dislikes or experiences, that make or break the story.  We the Readers of Marvel Comics (and those other guys), in order to form a more perfect story, provide for the common fan.  Without us, they are nothing but pictures and words.

So, thank you to those who Faced Front and helped a fellow fan out; you know who you are and you know what you've done, from a donation to a spare thought or well wish, and all of it has helped us immensely.

Eleven months later, we've all gone on with our lives, even me and the Mister, and yet the spirit that I was lucky to be a part of still abounds.  All it takes is one look at the incredible rallying done in the name of John Ostrander, to help him keep his sight and bringing back an inspirational comics writer into the spotlight.  Even artist Len Wein lost his house in a California fire and fans and friends worked to rebuild what had been a glorious collection of his work and awards.  That's just two examples I can think of from this year off the top of my head, let alone others, from humble and private efforts that we don't see to Comics for the Troops drives I've seen at comic shops.  Fans are a very passionate people and force for good when we can set aside our differences regarding some deal with Mephisto and celebrate ourselves and the medium we all have in common.  We can be heroes too, in the Mighty Marvel Manner.

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