“You’ve always encouraged us to dream…I just wondered what would happen if one of us had a dream you didn’t like?” Malcontent student Quentin Quire asked this of Professor Charles Xavier. Quire was a mutant in a school for mutants, a place where he could be trained, accepted and even embraced by his culture, but this was not for him. He organized the Omega Gang and staged a riot at Xavier’s, putting Xavier’s dream of a peaceful mutant haven to the test.
Created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely in NEW X-MEN #134 in 2003, Quire was a smart little thug who couched teenage self-interest in lofty idealism and violence. He was also a compelling character, one you could simultaneously secretly root for and be glad when he was given his comeuppance. X-Men comics are an ideal metaphor for (among other things) adolescence, and Quire was an ideal teenage hero/villain, fighting for an agenda he didn’t necessarily believe in, hoping someone in authority would stop him, with a vague understanding that he might destroy himself in the process.
Quire’s story began and ended beautifully in the pages of NEW X-MEN, a rarity in superhero comics. But of course no comic company ever lets any story finish, so Quire has returned, but to me he’s not the same character anymore.
There’s also a rumor circulating that Morrison pulled and interesting trick with Quire. In his creator-owned series THE INVISIBLES, Morrison introduced a malevolent, dwarfish, masked psychic named Mister Quimper. At Marvel, he introduced the malcontent Quire. In DC’s ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, a benevolent but somehow sinister character named Mr. Quintum was an ally to the man of steel. One theory is that each of these characters are the same person, beginning with the unformed and angry Quimper and ending with the kindly-but-suspicious Quintum. If so, Quire represents the angry adolescent, forever at war with the world and who he’ll become.
Today’s minibust is dedicated to my friend Youri, who understands why “Magneto was right.”
You’ll want to keep your eye out for tomorrow’s MIGHTY MARVEL MAY character!