OK. I love fantasy. I love adventure. I love science fiction. All that said, I am not a huge fan of time travel stories. Usually they are cheap excuses to do a big, earth-changing story that actually doesn't change anything at all. There are exceptions where it works really well as a story where there are changes that affect things in the present which are meaningful to the overall story of the character and the world they live in, but all too often it is just a plot devise to set up a series of events that in the end, don't really matter. Don't get me wrong, they can be fun and they tend to be a lot of fun in movies where you aren't spending a huge amount of time with characters other than what you are seeing on screen and it tends to be the point of the whole affair like Back to the Future or The Terminator. In comics though, it is starting to annoy me. I get my comics from Discount Comic Book Service for the most part and have my titles delivered in a big chunk at the end of each month. Being the creature of habit I am, I always read my single Marvel issues first and guess what reared it's tired self in all three of monthies I still get from Marvel. You guessed it...time travel. Now...this is sort of going to be a rant, so if you don't want to read it, well then, stop reading. Additionally, I will be talking about Avengers Academy, Thunderbolts, and X-Factor, so if you don't want to be spoiled on what happened in any of those titles for the last few months, stop reading too. Don't worry...it won't be too detailed, but you have been warned.
First up, Avengers Academy. I started out really liking this book, but ever since the whole Fear Itself crossover, it has really been floundering in my opinion. How do we spice things up then? We bring in future Reptyl to fuck with stuff and try and have students killed by some dude called Hybrid that I really don't care about. The book has already used the future, older versions of the kids in a story not even a year ago and it just seems like the book is going back to that well way too soon. Lets deal with all the new students that just joined and how they all interact before we bring back a future version of a character that is the leader and arguably the least interesting one of the lot. At the end of the story, everyone goes back to normal, the bad guy gets captured, and no one really died, though we were led to believe Hybrid was a badass that was going to be killing people left and right. Once again, a story that doesn't really seem to move anyone forward and doesn't change anything. Sigh...NEXT!
Then there is Thunderbolts. I have mixed emotions about this...really I do. I have liked a lot of what Jeff Parker has done with this series and though the stories are somewhat interesting, they are sooooo dragging on. There is way too much fall out from the events of Fear Itself (yeah, this one had to deal with that crap too and it took away one of my favorite members of the team in Juggernaut) that isn't being dealt with at all. The WW II stuff was neat, the Jack the Ripper stuff was OK, I am so not caring about the medieval stuff at all...just get them back to the present. I want to see what this different team can do in the now. They are bouncing through history and again, nothing really seems to matter. Again...NEXT!
Finally we have X-Factor. I have to say, when Peter David is on it, he is on it. He knows these characters inside and out and you do to. The characterization is spot on and you really feel like you are back in the heydays of the Uncanny X-Men with these folks. That said, we are again dealing with time-travel in this book. The X-books are always dealing with time-travel and divergent realities and futures that may never come to pass. Where Madrox currently is is any one's guess and it may not truly be the future, though it sure seems to be. I guess at the end of the day, I miss his interaction with the rest of the team and though it has given the reintroduction of some friends from the past, his character is the backbone of the group. Just hurry up and get him back...please.
So, in closing...I hate, hate, hate time travel in my comics. Please stop it before I stop caring. Thank you.