Oh, Jesus. Somebody Scotch-Guard
the couch, *stat*...

Marvelverse Recommendations.

Ah, Marvel.

The mutants. The spandex.

The SOUL CRUSHING ANGST.

What more is there to say?

I've been reading the comics off and on since I was but a wee lass,
and it was only a matter of time before I made my way into the fandom.
The recs here will be *all* over the place, as frankly? Trying to stick to just
reading slash -- much less trying to stick to reading slash about my
favorite characters -- would require the kind of masochism I just don't have.

New recs will always be at the top of the page.

Page updated August 30, 2003 with two new recs.


Amanda Sichter: Cigarettes Will Kill You

A bit tell-y in places, but still a weirdly satisfying little tale
of Gambit and consequences.

Mmm, nasty.

*

Poi: Rain

Sometimes people are *egregiously* stupid. They try to protect
you and wind up stomping all over your heart and soul. This is
a story about that, and about love, and about the things even
smart, good people miss.

Bonus? The scene with Remy and Bobby.

*

Loki's Rose: Snow People

Bobby! WOOBIE!

That's pretty much the entirety of my reaction to this story, but
it deserves so much *more*. Because it's not just Bobby, it's
*SPOILER*!Bobby, and that shouldn't have worked, but it
really did, and it's also Old School X-Men, and man I just...

*sigh*

Primary colors and pastels and bumblebees, man. You must
read.

*

Dr. Benway: Oh, Tiberius!

Um. This is so wrong. On so many levels. But, you know, unlike
Benway's usual, it's horribly wrong without anyone dying.

*snicker* Just go read.

*

Amanda Sichter: The Third Time I Died

An absolute *shiver* of a story, all about the choices we make. The
chances we get.

And the illusions we don't get to keep. Brrr.

*

Ana Lyssie Cotton: Belle of the Ball

eheheheeee. This was a *lot* of fun. No one can stand up to the power of
Aunt May's Ladle of Doom!

A warm, funny story with just enough edges to make sense... and to make
itself linger long after you read.

*

Alestar: Throw My Head Away

Absolutely gorgeous, funny, *fabulous* Bobby story, in which there are
identity issues, multiple conversations, lost wagers, and a truly inspired
extended pie metaphor.

Well, let me go further. Ebonbird recced this to me as a 'coming-out story,'
at which point I tried to run away screaming, because if there's one thing
this fandom SUCKS at, it's Bobby Comes Out fic.

I mean, I've seen stories recced by people who I *know* to usually have good
taste, which just *blow*.

Okay, I'll admit it -- I have a pretty high standard for coming out fic. I mean,
come on, I've *lived* it. Don't make me suffer through it again, don't sugarcoat
it, and don't twist the characters into weepy and/or hysterically homophobic
caricatures of themselves to get your point across.

Alestar? Doesn't do that.

What she *does* do is produce a story which never forgets that Bobby is, like
Xander, the very heart of the X-Men -- meaning that he can talk to each and
every one of them.

Well... in his own way.

And with varying degrees of success. *g*

No melodrama here, no OOC flights of rainbow sunshine fancy, just subtle,
warm, humorous *reality*.

God, I'm in love.

Diamonde: Where Light Dwells

Oh, *purr*.

Creative (mis)use of the elder gods definitely ranks high on the list of Te's
Favorite things, and this story is an *excellent* example of same.

Diamonde takes the Egyptian mythos and throws Stryfe smack dab in the
middle of it in this introduction to a series that as yet doesn't exist. Stalk
with me, won't you?

*

Poi Lass: Dialogue

Bobby lets Hank knows he understands, even if no one else does.

Yeah, that's a lousy summary, but that's all I can give without spoiling it, and
I refuse to do that. Damn, Poi's good. That's all you need to know. She gives
Bobby like nobody else.

And: King Magneto: Things Heard

Chilling little number about the revolution, and the way everyone gets
caught.

Even in the little ways...

*

Kassia: Break Through

There's a downside to being the most seemingly-innocuous member of
the X-Men, as Bobby finds out in this story.

Break Through is at turns chilling, fascinating, hilarious, and bleak -- a real
genre-bender of a story that I'm beginning to think Kassia excels at. It's
wonderfully done, with tantalizing hints all over the place of the inner lives
of all the characters.

As a bonus? A wonderfully dry Magneto.

Read.

*

River: Beyond the Streetlights

la la la I love AUs la...

And this one's no different.

Except, of course, that it is. All about love, and grief, and the things we choose
to believe and the lies we try so hard to tell ourselves. There's a gentle kind of
darkness here that I love.

Two former X-Men on the wrong side of thirty with no illusions left. What do you
do when a dream dies?

Sometimes it's not all about apocalypse and blood.

Listen, this is how the world ends...

And: While You Were Sleeping (written with Lise)

Another beautifully done look at Jean, another AU that could just as easily have
been the real thing.

Sometimes the ghosts of our past don't lie as quiet as we'd wish them to.

Stylishly creepy, reminiscent of Memento, almost -- this is a story of a memory
defiled in the most direct way possible.

Wonderful.

*

Abyss: Black Ops

Oh, this was just *cool*.

Dark and wild and action-packed as any story following Logan's past should
be. What's that old quote about battleplans?

They're only ever any good until the first shot is fired.

Everyone is in character here, and the plot is downright fucking *creepy* in
parts.

Very, very nice.

*

Alicia McKenzie: Broken

I have a special place in my heart for psychological torture, she said, surprising
no one.

A good writer can take a brave, stalwart hero and break him or her to
matchsticks, can change something bright and beautiful to something
truly horrific. Alicia's one of those writers, and she sure as *fuck* did a
number on Cable in this story.

A long, unflinching look at the project nearest and dearest to Apocalypse's
heart. *purr*

And *shiver*

Perhaps a bit melodramatic in places as the whole world reacts to Cable's
distress, but Cable's hallucinations more than make up for it.

Dr. Benway: X-Manson

Ever read a story that made you scream out loud?

This did.

I'm reminded of the first time I saw the old trick of fusing something
nominally innocuous with something truly horrific. I was a kid, staying up too
late watching horror movies as was (and is) my wont, and the third Nightmare
on Elm Street film was playing. No, not the really, really funny and gay one --
that's the second. The one with that old song playing.

"Have you ever seen a dream... walking? Well, I did..."

That one.

Creeped me the fucked out for a *long* time.

As I mention in my rec for Jus Ad Bellum here, a truly brilliant AU takes
everything you know about the original material and makes it all... God.

It just makes it all *different*, dammit. There's no other way to put it.

It's different. Like growing up is different. Like how there's a difference
between what you believe and what you only *wished* you believed.

This story is fucking brilliant. Period, the end. The first time I read this,
I'd been out and away from the X-Men game for a long, long time. I didn't
remember a lot of the characters, and so the story just didn't work as
well it could've. I'm saying this now -- this isn't the story for people who
don't know their mutants at least reasonably well.

This time... fuck. This time I was just blown away. Have a quote, from a
section of the story where one Erich Lenscherr is being interviewed
about an attempt to rescue forty sailors in a dead sub:

Int: Why did you go to the base at Cape Citadel?

EL: It was the closest military installation to the last reported location of
the submarine. Also, because there was a plutonium processing
installation on the site, they had the equipment necessary to contain any
spills of radioactive material from the submarine.

Int: It was also a missile base, wasn't it?

EL: It was. Not a place that I would normally have visited.

Int: How did you get in?

EL: John bluffed our way in. He made a big noise about being on the
Armed Services Committee and needing to see the base commander.
The Americans were very lax in terms of security in those days. When
the base commander found out who I was, he very nearly had a heart
attack. My actions curtailing the attacks in the Tonkin Gulf prior to the
peace settlement in Hue were well known to the US military, as was
my opposition to the placement of nuclear weapons in Europe.

Int: But you convinced the base commander to allow you to help.

EL: It took valuable time, but, yes, we did. They had regained contact
with the submarine and I was able to put a field around it to prevent
any further structural failure. I was beginning to raise it when we were
attacked by masked children dressed as bumblebees.

~

Dude. Just... *dude*.

Why the fuck are you still here?

Absolute must read for horror fans. Heh. The interview with Domino...

And: The Good Soldier and The Hero

Both stories take some of the best, most unflinching looks at the
reality of war I've ever seen. The kind of wars that go undeclared. The
kind of wars that we all fight, and wind up dying a little inside for.

Jesus.

The Hero in particular I loved, because I've never once read a story
that better illustrated the utter lack of black and white, and the
unmitigated horror -- and necessity -- of grey.

Cynicism has never been written so well.

*

Alara Rogers: A Confession

A very different, very fascinating look at how Charles Xavier might have
approached the problem of mutant/human interaction.

Like the author states in the notes, few writers seem to have clue one
about how Xavier might reasonably go bad. Alara does...

*purr*

Why, yes, I *am* still on my AU kick.

A bit cliched in style, perhaps, but it didn't bother me all that much.

*

Amanda Sichter: The Dancer From The Dance

Bleak and lovely, a beautifully dark look at the coping mechanism of a
warrior.

I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did, and probably wouldn't
have read it if I'd known who the primary characters involved were, so I'm
not going to tell you a thing. *g*

Nyah.

Perhaps a bit melodramatic in terms of language right at the end, but
it's one paragraph out of the story, so I really didn't care overmuch.

Go read.

Matt Nute: Unstoppable

A gritty, beautifully realistic look at what it *really* means to be the
Juggernaut. Beyond giving real depth to a character who has always
been in severe lack of it, this story is filled with countless little details
that only someone who really gives a damn, who has really *thought*
about it, would know.

Wonderful story.

*

Alestar: The Wicked Wolverine

Eeeeek.

One nasty little twist after another and I refuse to spoil a *thing*.

Just... wow.

Why can't more stories be like this?

*

Dannell Lites: Fathers of the Atom

What if?

Is there any cooler question?

Dannell takes the mutancy out of the men, shifts it all a little west, and manages
to write a bleakly beautiful little tale that mixes fact and fiction with both style
and respect.

Really just wonderfully done, and guaranteed to make you sad for... well,
everything.

But in a good way.

*

Kassia: The Blind Eye

Oooh, such a *treat*! Twisty, well-written noir pastiche featuring those
mighty Marvel mutants, and yes, Scott in a fedora. It's a murder mystery
and a deep, deep look into all of the characters, and just *fun* for someone
like me, who, thanks to a certain Canadian who shall remain Otsoko, is
absolutely *addicted* to noir.

I swear, this was like Raymond Chandler without all of the deep-seated
psychological issues.

CANDY.

Er... yes.

About the only thing that might throw you off your stride are some typos
here and there, and a bit of POV whoopsiness toward the end. Honestly,
though? I'm so not complaining when I get candy like this.

*

Jane St Clair: Blues

Ah, the story that pulled me into comicslash fandom and into a months-
long collaboration that still blows me away in terms of quality and production.

But really, how could it not? We're talking about *Jane*.

And we're talking about her writing one of truly favorite favorite pairings. I love
Bobby. I love Hank. Since *I* can't have them, and since they clearly love
each other beyond all reason...

Ah, yes.

This story explores the edges of grief. The hopelessness, the rage, the discoveries
of age and inappropriateness, the stench of blood and the realization that there
are some things you'll never forget, even with the help of someone you truly
love.

Not incidentally, this story was the start of Jane's steady (and successful) campaign
to get me as obsessed with Nabokov as she is.

Beautifully done, and, say it with me -- I can't believe I haven't recced it before.

Poi Lass: First, Do No Harm

So, I have a confession to make. Sometimes? I don't rec stories
because they're just too fucking *sad*.

They're more than good enough, but I get pissed off at the writers
because they made me *cry*.

Like Poi.

Consider this my warning.

An epistolary tale, as two friends work their way back to something
like reconciliation the best way they know how, in their own inimitable
style. God, *Bobby*.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Er... yes.

Buckets of tears. BUCKETS.

*

Swpwarrior: Onslaught: Redemption

More X-Men! And, by God, X-Men done right. This is the reward for
all of you who have suffered through those God-awful "Crossover
Events" and wished for something *better*.

And here it is. A retelling of the Onslaught storyline so good
you'll wish the guy (?) wrote for Marvel. Dead on characterization,
nail-biting action, and a well-written explanation for *so* many
things.

Hmm. Wonder if I can get the guy to write X-Files stories...

Anyway. It's just as dark as the subject matter demands, yet by
no means is it one of those bend-the-characterizations dystopias
I'm so fond of. This one is *on* children.

A few slightly draggy explanation bits, but that might be because
I already knew the stuff.

It's gen, it's wonderful, go *read*.

*

Jane St. Clair: Rictor/Shatterstar stories.

There's a certain slow, deep inevitability in these stories. Pain, love, and an
impossibly dangerous youth of the two men who belong so fully to each
other. Travels and heat, sunscreen and water. Closeness and skin. These
are beautiful, sexy and full of pure, real emotion. I read them over and over...

Ohhhh, and also Where The Wild Things Are!

Dreamy story of want and need and belonging among the X-not quite kids.
Desperate triangle of need in soft, muted tones and psychic whispers. Love.

Absolutely love.

So much love I jumped in her sandbox, via the Hutch.

And while you're in Janeland -- and why would you *ever* want to leave? --
you *must* go to her Imaging the X-Men page. Lovely site, lovely pictures,
and pseudo-interviews that are just these tangy little bites of beautiful
inspiration. We love Jane for thinking this up. Oh yes, we do.

*

Paxnirvana: Stranger Blue

Pax is one of the (very, very) few comicfic writers that
I trust enough to give every story of hers a look, even
if the pairing isn't one that appeals.

She's got this rough, raw style that hits me where I
live, and she's not afraid to let these awesomely
befucked characters be *themselves*.

Something that can't be said for, oh, say, *Marvel*.

*cuts off rant*

Anyway, when I saw that she'd written Bobby/Hank...

Well, I'll spare you the gory details.

Go read, y'all. Whimper and sigh and wet your goddamned
pants.

And then hope to God Pax'll write one of *your* pairings.

Recs Index

Home