Kennedy has recently announced that she is “obsessed with X-Men.” As a geek/nerd, I’m familiar with obsessions, tracking and analyzing them in the wild. I know the tug of sci-fi stories, the allure of fantasy, the power of a good narrative. Kennedy’s interests have moved from Blue’s Clues to Dora the Explorer to Disney princesses to Shake It Up to Wild Kratts to X-Men. I may have missed a few properties, but that’s more or less the trajectory.
Her interest came when she started watching X-MEN EVOLUTION on Netflix. She devoured the four seasons and is now watching the series a second time. She’s read a few of the X-Men comics I have available. Her favorite character is Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat.
This is the first time that one of her obsessions is one of my obsessions. I love comic books and super heroes, but I’d like to think my tastes are more varied and nuanced. I used to just read X-books. Now, I dabble in a little bit of everything.
I understand the appeal of X-Men, of course. It’s not too odd to think that a sweet and intelligent girl would appreciate X-Men. It’s a melodrama. And as kids mature, they begin to crave more diversity with their narratives. They don’t just want talking cartoon animals on harmless journeys. They begin to understand evil and danger in the world, and melodramas allow them to experience such perilous worlds.
My dad came to visit on Tuesday. During dinner, she was adamant to be part of the conversation. She looked at my dad and asked, “Who’s your favorite X-Man?” Geeks have a tendency to turn every conversation back to their own area of interest. A day later, she asked April. “Who’s your favorite X-Man?” Yesterday, she wanted to know which “X-Man” April would be. I suggested Jean Grey. Kennedy agreed, then said she’d be Shadowcat. I could be Beast.
Kennedy is very much looking forward to Dallas Comic-Con. I’m taking her on Sunday. I promised her one X-Men related t-shirt, toy, or statue. We’ll walk the exhibitor floor and see what’s available. (Exhibitors take note. I’m an easy target.) She’ll also take her sketchbook to the show and buy a few commissions. Probably X-Men.