Reviews for A Very Merry Lang-Van Dyne Christmas
Mikaelus chapter 1 . 1/1/2020
Sorry I didn’t see these latest two fics sooner than December 30th. Surprising as it may be, despite “looking forward to what author f-romanoff-13 presents next” (and yes, that is my Cassie Lang review’s ending that was cut off), I don’t make a habit of checking any of my favorite fanfiction writers’ collections on a daily basis. Most of my life is lived beyond the internet, even if it “is hectic and hard”.
But with that out of the way, one thing about both A Very Merry Lang-Van Dyne Christmas and Rainy Days strikes me harder than anything else; their publishing dates. Just four days after I posted my lengthy review of Cassie Lang: Matchmaker, author f-romanoff-13 struck again for the first AND second times in nearly six months — and if that’s not enough, both works are Scott and Hope (Ant-Man and the Wasp, my two favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes) fanfics. Coincidence? Not a chance. Evidently, my praise has not fallen on deaf ears. The “gods” have heard, contemplated, and answered. I’m flattered to get a reply in such a fashion, and if my review was any inspiration, then I’m also honored to have helped.
But yeah, as long as I’m here, I might as well post an actual review, shan’t I? So here we go.
If everything I’ve said above isn’t indication enough that the author is responding to my review, the title is just one more nail in those doubts’ coffin. I said I was a fan of Christmas, and I “awarded bonus points” for setting one of my favorite chapters of Cassie Lang: Matchmaker in the holiday season, and if my assumptions thus far are correct, then f-romanoff-13 is back for seconds. A cheeky move and, for creativity’s sake, not one I’d recommend trying thrice (unless said author comes up with something REALLY special), but a successful one nonetheless. Coming out with a Christmas-themed fanfic, and during the holiday season no less, was a lovely touch. But on with the story.
For better or worse, the title does give away what you’re going to get, at least, at first. I’m sure there are a few different things the title could have suggested — for example, in the first Christmas of Scott and Hope’s relationship, Hope (and maybe Hank) is invited to join Scott, Cassie and the gang, leading to some truly heartwarming moments — but for me, it was exactly what I expected; Cassie rushing into Scott and Hope’s bedroom early on Christmas morning. (Is it too inappropriate a joke for me to say “I’m glad she didn’t catch them in the middle of a different kind of ‘Christmas gift exchange’”? *Laughs* I’m so sorry…)
But that’s about as predictable as it gets. While this story is not especially unusual, and very likely has happened to many people in real life, it didn’t quite go the direction I thought it would, as the opening did. Scott and Hope aren’t dragged out of bed at an obscene hour to kneel by the tree and start opening gifts — that might have made for too obvious a Hallmark image — but instead, fate opts for a generous compromise, which I give credit for. Cassie gets her Christmas bright and early, and Scott gets a few more Z’s. And really, what’s more beautiful than a family happily opening their gifts on Christmas morning on mommy and daddy’s bed?
And speaking of family, it isn’t revealed until the end that it’s a family of four — which leads to the biggest surprise this fanfic has to offer. Not only is there a second child present, but she’s referred to as Lizzie — as in, Elizabeth Alice “Baby Bumble” “Lizzie-Bee” Lang-Van Dyne (I’ve tried saying THAT five times fast, to no avail). After all these standalone stories (though again, I consider Baby Bumble to be a loose sequel to Cassie Lang: Matchmaker), I’m pleasantly surprised to see one that officially connects to another. I take it as a sign of growth in the author; they’re moving on from standalones to interwoven stories. Who knows, we may one day be reading a multi-chapter story — I mean REAL multi-chapter, with web pages some 1500 words long and a “Next” button to take you to the following one — by f-romanoff-13. Though I hope said author won’t take this as pressure to do so — they should do what they’re comfortable with, evolve at their own pace.
And that’s most of what I have to say. All that’s left is to give my overall thoughts, which are these; A Very Merry Lang-Van Dyne Christmas is good. It’s not REALLY good like Cassie Lang: Matchmaker, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. It’s just a soft, quiet sample of (this rendition of) Scott and Hope’s life together, on what some think of as the most beautiful day of the year, and that’s okay. Is it as long as I’d like? No, I’ll bet this review beats it for word-count. Does it still suffer from grammatical errors? Of course, what unofficial work doesn’t? Do the words “We only thought it fair” sound out of character for Hope? Absolutely. But I’m strangely okay with all that. When I think about it, this fanfiction really is like a Christmas gift that wasn’t on your list (in my case, a toothbrush); though it may not be THAT well-made, and you may not get as much use out of it as the other gifts you did ask for and received (in my case again, a DVD of Spider-Man: Far From Home), you still use it, appreciate it, and are moved by the thought behind it. Given the time of year it was released, I’d call A Very Merry Lang-Van Dyne Christmas a sweet little holiday gift from f-romanoff-13.
And in light of this, I’ve decided to return the gesture with a gift to them — after all, what more can an author want from their readers than reviews (ideally positive ones)? My mind is made up; I’m going to give all of this author’s Scott Lang/Ant-Man-and-Hope Van Dyne/Wasp fanfictions the same treatment I gave Cassie Lang: Matchmaker. I’ve discovered that I’m quickly falling in love with f-romanoff-13’s fanfictions, and I can think of no better way to show them their due attention than to critique them — the good, the bad, and everything in between. Some may mockingly point out how much time I’m devoting to “meaningless, unofficial fanfics” when I pat myself on the back for living in the real world, but we all need hobbies. I’m trying this as a new one, I’m not blowing that much of my time on it, I’ll be doing it at my own pace and leisure, and what can I say, I see potential in this budding author. (Don’t let that last remark fool you into thinking I’m some big Hollywood producer who seeks to make f-romanoff-13 a success — I’m more the sad, unsuccessful Toronto filmmaker-type.) With that, expect Mikaelus’s review of Baby Bumble anytime.
I can only hope it won’t be so long that the last twenty letters, spaces, and punctuation will be cut off.