Today, I want to talk about the Killjoys.
I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes, expecting this to be another blog post about My Chemical Romance breaking up.
No, it’s not just that. The Killjoys were never just My Chemical Romance to me. They were so much more than that.
When Danger Days was announced in 2010, I had fallen out with pop punk a bit. I still listened to my old standbys, but I was so bored with it. I hadn’t even listened to My Chemical Romance in ages at that point. Not out of not being a fan anymore. The darkness of their previous records just wasn’t appealing to me at the time.
And then, Art is the Weapon came out.
This was unlike anything I had seen from MCR before. It was bright and colorful. It was a punk rock apocalypse inspired by cheesy 80s movies and cartoons. It was a future where the primary weapon was a modified NES light gun.
It was also the quickest I’ve ever started planning for a Dragon*Con costume.
For a year, Envy Green was my baby. It was more than a costume to me. It was creating a character in a universe where creativity was the ultimate form of rebellion. It was the reason I started learning how to sew. It resulted in hot glue burns, needle stabs, and a constant feeling that it wasn’t really done until the night before the convention.
Y’know… like an actual costumer.
I poured my soul into creating Envy. If the costume hadn’t been so freaking hot, I would have slipped into her more, but Georgia humidity doesn’t lend itself to creative costumes with lots of heaviness. Still, it kills me that the jacket has been MIA for about a year. I have an idea of where it is, but that’s truly where her soul resides.
But for nearly three years, the story wasn’t complete. We had Danger Days, there was the Mad Gear and the Missile Kid EP, and there were the videos. But the knowledge of the comic of a similar name had been around since summer of 2009. Meaning that it was all a part of a greater universe. So the fandom waited… and waited… and waited…
Finally, at New York Comic Con 2012, Gerard gave us the information that we were waiting for. That four years after the initial announcement and nearly three after Danger Days had released, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys comic was coming out. The idea had changed since its original inception, with the story becoming more about The Girl than anything else.
Then, five months later, MCR announced their break up.
Suddenly, that comic wasn’t just closure for Danger Days. It was going to be closure for fans as well.
And really, it has been that so far.
Only two issues have been released at the time of this blog, but the theme of the two issues has definitely been learning to live without. The Girl from the videos is 18 years old now. She’s been living and running by herself in the desert after her protectors died trying to save her. Now she’s learning how to adapt now that she’s been thrown back into the world that she ran from.
It’s very much Way’s letter to his daughter Bandit. A lot of Danger Days was. There are so many themes of survival and fighting back between the two that it does feel like he’s telling her that she’s strong enough to live without him.
And to some extent, it seems like that’s what he’s telling the fans too. A lot of MCR fans are young women. I was either 14 or 15 when I heard ‘I’m Not Okay’ for the first time. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge was one of the soundtracks of my early teenage angst along with a bunch of Green Day albums and Bleed Like Me by Garbage. I later switched them out for Letters by Butch Walker, but it doesn’t mean that they stopped being important to me. I was sad when MCR broke up. I was sad for my friends who were devastated by it.
But The Girl’s story is a story that could be ours as well. Way has stated that before. She’s special, she’s smart, and she’s stronger than she knows. It’s a great message for the fans who cite MCR as life savers, but also for girls in general. Young women are rarely allowed comic book heroes written for them. The only other one I can think of that is currently running is Princeless by Jeremy Whitley (which is an amazing series and Jeremy and his wife Alicia are super nice). (Also, if there are more comics that are female centric that actually feel female centric, feel free to let me know.) While the Girl is currently nameless, there’s a story building there that looks like it could be an amazing story of a girl finding her own strength.
It’s also worth mentioning the character of Blue. Blue’s a porno droid, which is Battery City’s fancy phrase for “robot prostitute.” Much of the time, sex worker characters are shunted to the side for jokes or cautionary tales, but Blue is given a lot of sympathy. She’s working twice as hard to try and help her fellow droid (sister? lover? bff?) Red and even went through of ton of bureaucracy to do so. And it looks like as of issue #3, she’s going to be fighting back as well.
I’m cosplaying Blue at Dragon Con this year. While it has been nowhere near as much work as Envy, this is the most excited I’ve been about a costume since Envy. I guess that’s appropriate to how the Killjoys initially made me feel. It was about art, creativity, and radical self-expression. Where I am in my life now makes me feel empowered to dress as her and I look forward to doing so, whether anyone else is or not. I’m powerful, and no one else will be allowed to tell me otherwise as soon as I put on those boots and slide my new ray gun into my stocking.
I mean, wasn’t that what being a Killjoy was all about?
When all six issues are out in November, I’m going to have a more coherent review of the story. I just wanted my readers to better understand my connection to the world of the Killjoys.
Why I nearly cried when I received the FCBD story “Dead Satellites” though? Well, maybe that’s a story worth keeping a secret from the internet at large for the time being. Maybe some other time, Dust Angels…