X-Men: Kyle B. Stiffs of Future Past

Spoiler-free Thoughts by Kyle B. Stiff

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Sometimes all it takes is a scene from a blockbuster to wake your soul up from a dream of endless death!

The scene in question involved the Professor Xavier of 1970-something speaking with the Xavier of the distant future. The Xavier of the past needed to accomplish a certain goal, but he was a screaming hot mess. His chick had left him, his best friend turned out to be a total turd, the Kickstarter campaign to fund his school for gifted youngsters fell short at the last minute, the only person who could stand to be around him was a dufus trying to invent crystal meth for mutants, plus he was being harassed by a muscular Canadian goon covered in so many veins that his entire body looked like a dick. Times were tough. Xavier wasn’t the giant he was destined to become… he was just a sad sap with a degree in feeling sorry for himself.

James McAvoy Professor X Charles Xavier

But he ends up in a situation where he gets to meet a much older version of himself. A version of himself who ran a school full of horny superpowered freaks (no easy task), then planned the logistical nightmare of fighting a war against an unstoppable foe (also not easy). The future version of himself didn’t have time to cry over pictures of a girl while listening to The Cure. He would never consider butting heads with his best friend because he knew they needed to work together despite their voting preferences.

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But the thing that got to me during their meeting was the idea that the same person could hold two different perspectives in mind. The young version of Xavier saw his problems as all-encompassing. There was “nothing” he could do, no way to pull through. He was a failure and would always be a failure and no one could help him, not now, not ever. The future Xavier, however, had already pulled through a million challenges. None of them had been worth worrying over, not really. The future Xavier was able to shake the younger version’s perspective with a few wise words dropped while sitting with the posture of one who simply cannot be stopped.

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This scene got to me because recently I felt despair over my writing. Not the quality, of course; every day  I slam-dunk the finest prose and pull three-pointers from the beginning of the game until the buzzer sounds and they pry the ball from my hands and put (yet another) trophy in its place. No, I felt despair because my Demonworld sales took a nosedive some time ago, and now I have to work fulltime. Sometimes I’m so brain-dead by the time I get home that I can’t even write; I can only stare at my notes for an hour or two until I realize that I can’t comprehend what I’m looking at, then I’ll look at the clock and instead of numbers I’ll see something that looks like a ballsack going into my mouth. The other night I found myself in a pile of empty bottles with heroin syringes hanging out of my neck and ass and a poorly written suicide note explaining that I don’t have the energy to finish Demonworld. While I explained my situation in a whiny, high-pitched voice, my wife stood over me and said, “You’re not being very heroic right now.”

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She was right!

Seeing Charles Xavier going through a similar situation really got to me. Imagine if you could go back in time and see yourself when you were a child. What if you had been worrying over something as silly as giving a speech in front of class? At the time, you might have been puking your guts out or quietly shitting yourself. But would the twenty or thirty or forty year old version of you ever wake up in the middle of the night worrying over that same speech? No, you wouldn’t. That seemingly insurmountable challenge would be yet another slam dunk in a long journey of endless slam dunks that made up the whole of your life.

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This idea is just the inspiration I needed to get through endless days of enslavement and use what little time I have to finish Demonworld, Heavy Metal Thunder, and all the other projects I want to make for you guys. It took a real badass to inspire me to keep on keepin’ on… an old guy who lives in a future we can hardly imagine, a hardass who’s forgotten more about writing than most writers will ever learn, a fighter whose hands are super soft because he doesn’t do anything but touch keyboards, peel bills, and pet cats, and a wise old wizard who, like me, bears the burden of knowing how Demonworld ends, but unlike me, he knows all the strange and surprising ins and outs that happen along the way.

And, of course, that future badass goes by the name… KYLE B. STIFF!!!

Most-badass-old-man-of-all-time.

 

Movie review: X-Men was a blast, eighteen thumbs up, unless someone has left a mysterious rainbow-colored egg in your house and you want to stay home because you think it’s about to hatch, go see it and cry like a baby just like I did.

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Story synopsis: In the distant future of 2015, Galactus threatens to destroy the world and Wolverine has to go to space to suck him off and distract him while Professor X and Gambit take everyone on earth to a planet that is identical to earth (buildings and everything) and they get away before Galactus destroys the original earth. Wolverine loses the adamantium on the left side of his body but then he gets it back without too much trouble.

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