Tales of the Marvels: Wonder Years #1-2
For a few years, I couldn't remember the name of this mini. It had been lent to me years ago in the shop and I wanted my own copies ever since. Looking through my comics, I came across the copies I found a bit ago and decided to read them, giving you the chance to not have to.
(The Tales of Marvels stories were all stories dealing with the varied pasts of the Marvel Universe and were a more "civilian" look at the hero community)
Wonder Years tells the story of Cindy Knuts as she moves out to the west coast to be closer to her idol. Wonder Man. She is secretary of a fan club dedicated to him and is held in high regard as she has actually been saved by him. After a battle with Red Ronin, she had a pair of his signature red glasses and knew that is was destiny they be together ever since. Also in the club is her new best friend, Bernie Sedaka, who is quite obsessed with him as well. The two share stories of love and have movie nights and generally anything that has anything to do with Wonder Man. Issue one ends with the announcement that they West Coast Avengers have disbanded, leaving the two girls very upset and distraught. Heading over to their old headquarters, the two girls are actually there when the Kree invade and kill Wonder Man.
Issue two is where this story really grabs ya. Cindy knows how the hero community works. They aren't like normal people. They don't have to worry about things like death
"Death is for real people. It's miserable and ugly and all about auto wrecks and malignant lumps and cholesterol."
She knows that he will make a triumphant return and they they will be together. Not like Bernie, who is overreacting and won;'t stop crying. She doesn't understand it all all. Wonder Man knew his fans loved him though, so the fan club was given to invites to his memorial and everyone else decided that Cindy and Bernie should go. Cindy know that this is her chance. This will be his huge comeback and she will finally get to see his again. As she sits amongst the likes of Nick Fury and Thor, Cindy sees something odd. Scarlet Witch is crying. But why would she be crying if she understood what Cindy understood. Unless Cindy was wrong. And with that clarity, Cindy suddenly sees all the signs that her depressed friend had been showing and runs out of the memorial hoping she isn't too late. After busting through Bernie's door, Cindy lugs her body to safety, saving her from a suicide attempt. We are then left with two final pages where Cindy arrives at Wonder Man's grave, giving him his glasses back and left with this monologue:
"Guess -- uh -- you didn't make it here today either. I had things to do. Destiny things. So it's been a tough day.I'm beat but I wanted to stop by before I went home.I think we should stop seeing watch other. It's for the best. I'm going to be busy with stuff. Just this afternoon, I realized. I've been letting a lot of things slide. It wasn't your fault. It was just me. But I got a grip on things now. Feels good. And so I figured I didn't want to wait around anymore. Sorry if that messes up the stereotype. Anyway, I wanted you to have these back. Didn't want you to think I'd stolen them or something. Well... I'd better be going. Thanks for everything. It's been fun. See you."
I've read a lot of these books based around the Busiek and Ross Marvels and this is easily my favorite other than that one (granted it's written by Abnett and Lanning and if you read my stuff, you know that I love them). It's a great story that holds very true to today and will for a long time. Obsession and lust can take over anyone and make them see the world differently and this tale told it perfectly. And it's a comic of all things. This type of story told in a novel form would get rave reviews and be held over us all. Throw in some paintings by Igor Kordey and it's nothing more than a forgotten comic from 1995. I would absolutely recommend this one if you haven't read it (and I'm guessing it's safe to assume none of you have). Amazing tale that deserves a lot more praise than what has been given to it.