In which I write a completely heartfelt letter of appreciation to one of my favorite writers, Peter David.
Let’s move quickly past the usual “been a fan for years” spiel, that’s obvious. What I really want to talk about is how thankful I am. There’s a line from Love Actually that always got to me: “Joni Mitchell is the woman who taught your cold, English wife how to feel.” You sir, are my Joni Mitchell.
Your run on The Incredible Hulk is often praised but it really changed how I looked at comics. When I started reading comics it was the late 90’s and X-Men was packed with lots of overly dramatic relationships and splashy action spreads but someone pointed out your work on Hulk and suddenly there was real meat to the stories I was reading. Like tuning in to Game of Thrones after only watching The Hills, same amount of drama but a million times more depth. My young brain was blown away. I had no idea comic books could be more than just shooting laser blasts from your eyes and being in a tumultuous romance with a Cajun thief. But you taught me that sometimes superheroes have pretty tough lives when they aren’t fighting crime and that is something that is crucial to me so many years later.
Then you took over Dan Slott’s position as writer on She-Hulk and, again, totally opened my eyes to how much heart and soul a character can really have. She had quickly become one of my absolute favorite heroes, a real role model. I didn’t look up to her because she was perfect and effortlessly flawless. Her struggle through normal, daily life and the politics of super-heroing was captivating. But she constantly made me smile. Jennifer is a dream and you helped her come to life for me.
Later you showed me how important friendships are. I felt like I was part of X-Factor Investigations along with Jamie and Monet and Theresa. I was equally charmed and apprehensive of Layla’s arrival. I knew I truly began to love these characters like family when I couldn’t figure out if I wanted to smack Rictor over the head or pull him into the biggest hug of his life. This book ruined me emotionally. I mean, sure, the plots were well thought out and the action was engrossing but what really destroyed me was all the weight from the relationships. It crushed me. I didn’t realize it at the time but X-Factor was always one of the first books I reached for in my pull list because I knew I’d never be disappointed. You wrote a book that was consistently good. That’s so disturbingly rare nowadays.
You even managed to write one of my favorite episodes of Young Justice! But by that time I wasn’t surprised when you wrote something that made me infinitely happy. All four Flash’s in one episode! Are you kidding me?! You perfectly captured all their personalities which doesn’t sound like a major feat but I’ve seen what New 52 has been churning out and obviously it’s a lot harder than most would think.
Basically what I’m saying is I know that last year was incredibly difficult for you. You gave us quite a scare. But I’m glad you’re helping ring in a new year with a healthy start and a new X-Factor. I’m super excited about this book. I don’t mind that it’s different from the last series, to me that’s awesome because I want Jamie and Layla to be happy for awhile. Already in the first issue I am totally sold on just the one panel where Polaris and Quicksilver are ripping on each other. We have three members of the team and I can’t wait for more. I’m not one to read reviews so I don’t know what other people are saying about the relaunch but, quite frankly, I don’t care. You’ve made me very happy over the years and I expect many more years of your writing to come.
Thank you for giving me massive amount of feels, Peter David.