I got the call from my former roommate. He kept telling me that I needed to go see this movie. That it was actually killing him a little bit that I hadn’t gone to see it yet. And it was on my radar, life just had gotten busy. So my future wife and I sat down on a weekend night in late 2000 to watch this movie he was absolutely sure I needed to see. I’m not sure if Courtney knew what the movie was going to be about… I didn’t have a clue aside from maybe one trailer.
And then the following text greeted us:
“There are 35 pages and 124 illustrations in the average comic book.
A single issue ranges in price from $1.00 to over $140,000.
172,000 comics are sold in the U.S. every day.
Over 62,780,000 each year.
The average comic collector owns 3,312 comics and will spend approximately 1 year of his or her life reading them.”
Courtney looks at me and says, “What have you taken me to see?”
“I don’t know.”
See, this isn’t like it is now, with a new superhero movie coming to theaters every couple of months. Or that a new tv show premieres every year (and sometimes on multiple networks). It had been a couple of years since the last Batman movie (the less said about that one the better) and X-Men had come out earlier in 2000. But this wasn’t something to be expected.
If you’ve seen Unbreakable you either love it or you just didn’t care. And after all, M. Night Shyamalan had just come off of The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable wasn’t exactly what people were hoping for.
For a guy who was a part of the stats above (only 3,312 comics though? Lightweights!), the movie was this idea that just felt perfect. In fact, when others said they didn’t like it, I was ok with it because it was something for ME and not them.
Flash forward some 16 years later and his new movie Split comes out. And it looks interesting enough, but I hear a little mixed reviews. Maybe I’ll catch it on HBO at some point.
And then I read a spoiler about Split: David Dunn (from Unbreakable) is in the movie.
So it’s in the same universe?
And then they announce Glass.
So the week before we see Glass we watch Split. And I get the initial mixed reviews. MCAvoy is amazing in the role. Taylor-Joy gives an excellent show as our eyes and ears. Frightened and fearless at the same time. The movie itself feels like it wants to be bigger. And when we get to the scene that connects it with Unbreakable… it feels right.
Glass was unexpected. And expected. And everything I didn’t know I wanted.
Glass is something that we’d been asking for since Unbreakable, even if we didn’t know how it could be done. Something a couple of friends could talk about. Come up with potential ideas for storylines that they might follow. But then you’d end the conversation the same way: acknowledging that it might be better to not have anything else. To let this movie just stand on its own as this powerful thing.
And it may be something that needed 18 plus years to cook. For the characters to grow older. For the son to be an adult.
I don’t want to spoil anything in Glass. Like any M. Night film, there are twists and turns. Some hit me with the same force that the ending of Unbreakable did all those years earlier. That understanding which comes with a revelation that is both out of the blue and so obvious at the same time. McAvoy is truly the missing piece to their puzzle.
And much like all those comics upstairs, it did what the best of them always do… it stays with you in the hours and days after you have finished with it. You look forward to when it will be time to give it another viewing. When those pages with burst forth from your hands and burrow into your brain. You’ll look at each moment to see if there was anything you’d missed.
In the way that Glass connects to a time before comics took over everything, you get to relive a smaller world. Maybe even connecting to the you of a decade earlier as you began your journey down the path with that very first comic.
John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!
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He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com