Death and Rising Stars
It has been a strange week. We already know about the trip and the phone that almost blew up, but that isn’t even the craziest thing to happen recently. I won’t be going into full details about this but I am going to give a bit of the info.
So on Wednesday, I ended up in the Emergency room. I was close to death (or it could have lead to my death and it wouldn’t have been pretty to say the least). I had to have emergency surgery. Now I know this sounds dire and crazy but this isn’t the crazy part of it. The part to that makes it weird, it was a minor surgery. I mean I was sliced open but in such a minor way that the surgery happened right there in the emergency room and there weren’t any masks or anything that extreme. A while after the surgery I was able to walk out of the hospital again under my own power and I went to work again the next day. But I could have died and until the surgery I was in intense pain.
Long story short, there was a bad reaction to the blood pressure medicine I had been on up until about a month ago. My doctor had switched it out because of the problem but the damage had already been done. It culminated in my trip to the ER and the surgery. Now I have to go back to the surgeon again in a couple weeks to ensure that it doesn’t come back again.
Now I know you are probably dying to know what the hell was so awful that it could have killed me, and I am still not going to tell you. I like the suspense. Let’s just say it has been a very strange week.
Which brings us to the review for the week. And I am going to attempt to do a bit of a tie in with this but I’m not certain it will work the way I want it to. So instead this might just be a bit strange and rambling instead (I did mention that I was pretty close to death this week didn’t I?).
Let’s get into another story that is completely unrelated to what I just mentioned. See, a while back we ended up at a huge community yard sale that had been held in a local high school gym. Pretty big sale with lots of everything you find at yard sales. One thing you don’t often see, unless they are destroyed, is comics and graphic novels in any form. So when I found the first and second book of a series I hadn’t heard of before, priced at yard sale prices, I had to pick them both up.
Rising Stars (Image comics 2001) was a series created by J. Michael Straczynski (the creator of the series Babylon 5). I have liked the basic concept of books like this for some time. Basically, the idea is a normal world where something huge happens that brings super powered beings into the world. The real world concepts mean coming to terms with the changes to life and society. This stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum like what we see in traditional comic stories.
For me the first experience with this was during the mid to late 80s when Marvel Comics did an experiment they called the New Universe. From the comics I remember at that time people had developed super powers without knowing what the cause was. Whether they eventually found out or not is not something I can remember from that far back. But the concept has been an interest since that time.
Which brings us back to the series at hand…
Rising Stars currently has been compiled into a series of five graphic novels (I want to say it was probably about 40 or so comics originally). They know what caused the rise of powers. A flash of light from something like a meteor happened over a specific town and all the children born on that day or in the womb during the event (in that town) were born with the possibility of changes. They were referred to as “specials.” All perfectly contained and traceable.
That is the basic idea and the main story line (covered in the first three graphic novels) follows the “specials” lives till the very end when they are all dead and gone. There are ups and downs and quite a bit of strange stories to tell just from those particular groupings. The other two books in the series cover some specific characters lives and how they individually interacted with the greater world.
The stories themselves are a great read. There is quite a bit of depth and looks into how changing variables can affect the world we live in. The simple lesson to see within much of this is, even with the power to change the world, most of the time, the world wants to continue they way it has always gone.
So at this point I suppose you might be wondering if I can tie all this together with some pithy platitude that makes us all gasp and sigh with how witty it all can be. Ain’t gonna happen. Nope, after all that I guess all I can say is, I got nothing.
After all the times I have been close to death in my life, I guess one thing I can say for sure is, I am happy for the moments in time where I am able to find some good stories like this one. They give me a chance to look at the world through a slightly different perspective and maybe learn not only something for myself but something about the world and how we fit within it.
I guess at this point I am going to leave you with this thought. I hope you have some interesting times in your life, just maybe not quite so interesting as they could be. Sometimes it’s nice to just have a break from it all.
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