(... part two.)
April O’Neil is pivotal to the early era of the comics. Her 1st appearance, with jumpsuit & feathered hair, influencing her cartoon counterpart, before adopting her black curly perm, more associated with how people recognise April in the Mirage comics.
Aside from cover art, April’s predominant appearance had been in black & white. So when colour was added, either through reprints of old comics or new art, colourists used their own interpretation of what race April should be. This has meant April’s skin tone has ranged from been black, mixed race & white, with much lengthy debate online to the subject.
April’s ethnicity has generated more interest, than much of her character arc in the Mirage series.
The once intelligent lab assistant, who went on to run her own business, subsequently lacked much career ambition, certainly anything that could serve purpose to the crime, science & fantasy elements of the stories. Casey Jones over time would be regarded as the main human character of the series & by volume 4, April was further put in the shadows, this time by her appropriately named step-daughter Shadow.
Used either as a plot device to be saved, or to be constantly emotionally or physically tortured.
April’s most significant arc in the final issues of the comic was the revelation she had been created by an ink drawing. Aside from been regarded as too absurd, even for a comic about mutated fighting amphibians, it undermined the characters grounded history & never led to anything significant, as April was still human, but just depressed for a while. Even her time as the masked Nobody was quickly abandoned as soon a she assumed it.
While other versions April O’Neil have sometimes found ways to evolve the character from her origin, it’s still the Mirage comics April, that set the template they all work from.
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It was the night before boards, and Cho’s nerves were strung tight like guitar strings and every little thing send a ripple down them. Everyone was on edge. A twenty percent failure rate was just high enough to make everyone paranoid. It meant that she and Cedric had gone to the bar with the aim of drinking away some of the tension without it resulting in a hangover. The next morning, they had to get through it and everything was going to change. It was their best option, and Cedric had always been her best choice of company. When she’d gone to get him, it had been to find out that Blaise was in the middle of a marital crisis and Colin was busy trying to calm him down. There was absolutely no way Cedric would be getting any sleep whatsoever in there, so the natural solution had been obvious: he should come to her room instead, since with Romilda missing in action, she didn’t have to share and got a double to herself.
They’d been best friends long enough by now that Cho wasn’t even phased by it, and the alcohol had mellowed her down from the high key panic of knowing Xia would be one of the people there tomorrow. It was enough to take the edge off a bit, and knowing she’d have her favourite person right there with her through the night until the next morning was strangely comforting. When they got to the door of her room, Cho exhaled and looked at Cedric before chuckling wryly and opening the door. “Let’s hope I make less noise than Blaise mid-crisis or you’ll never get any sleep. I feel for him though, what horrible timing. As if we didn’t all need a drink badly enough,” she said as they headed inside, the door shutting behind them a much heavier sound than she’d anticipated. That was when her eyes travelled back to his, and she made a teasing remark that sounded different somehow to her own ears. Like flirting. “Did you ever share a bed with a woman before?” It was playful, but at the same time it felt there was a very different question under it that neither of them had ever asked before. It took the nervous, almost hyperactive, can’t be tamed night before stress and turned it into something else. Her heart felt like it was suddenly beating in her ears. Cho could feel it in her throat, suddenly far too aware of everything as she looked at Cedric. What is this?
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Full-Circle: Matthew & April.
Remember Season 10 of Grey's Anatomy? When April was engaged to be married to a nice, Christian paramedic? She had her entire wedding all planned out and was acting thrilled about it. She flew her family out, her sisters were going to be her bridesmaids, but then they weren't.
Then the wedding came. She walked down the aisle, on her father's arm. She was smiling from ear to ear. She was pretty in her spectacular wedding gown. But when Jackson stood up and said "I love you April," it all went to hell for her and Matthew. Mainly because there wasn't an April/Matthew anymore.
Flash forward to Season 14, and that episode titled "Personal Jesus". April's been divorced from Jackson for some time now and has a daughter, Baby Harriet, with him. They're co-parenting peacefully. She sees her ex-fiancé come in with his wife. Yeah, his wife. He got married some time between when we last saw him (you know having been left at the altar) and us seeing him running in from somewhere because his wife was giving birth.
Sadly, Matthew's wife dies. She dies because of some unpronounceable medical condition she'd gotten after having given birth to sweet baby Ruby. So now Ruby's motherless and he's a widow. He disappears and we don't see or hear from him until the end of the season. The end of April's time on the show is coming near, and we're wondering why/how she'll be leaving. We hadn't heard of Jackson leaving, so there was no way the two of them were getting back together and riding off into the sunset.
After April and Matthew spend the day treating patients at a homeless shelter, they miss a turn and get into a car accident. Matthew is taken to the hospital, and he reveals that April had been with him. But where is April? She didn't come in with him when he'd been rushed in, so did she just escape scrape-free?
Turns out, she'd fallen down into a river and was almost dead or so it seemed. My guess is, if she couldn't immediately be revived, they'd fight like hell to get her back. And they do- fight like hell. Multiple doctors are involved in getting April back. Although everyone loves April and wants her back, the two people who are closest to her- Arizona and Jackson- have no idea she's even in the hospital. Jackson's off in some surgery and Arizona's consulting on some pediatrics case.
When Jackson is told, it's almost by accident. An intern is rushing to the bloodbank to retrieve plenty of blood for April, and is admonished by a nurse. The intern fights back saying "we're trying to save Dr. Kepner's life" before rushing towards the OR where April is being saved. It seems that Owen, who'd found April and brought her in, was busily operating on her along with Meredith, Maggie, Bailey and Webber. Everyone's fighting like hell to get her back.
They save April and she's brought into the ICU to recover. This is when Arizona rushes in to see her best friend (I always imagined them as best friends), and be by her side when she wakes up. This is when Arizona reveals that April had been secretly dating her ex-fiancé. The same guy who'd just lost his wife, at least a few months prior. To me, I was kinda shocked. It seemed a bit too soon. And Arizona acknowledges that it may seem like it's too soon for the two of them to be together. But, she says, they understood each other's pain. He- Matthew- had lost his wife and April had lost her son. They both had been through so much in their years apart, that it made sense-they'd grown- to be together.
We get to the season 14 finale. Alex and Jo are set to be married on some island set up by April. The wedding is stunning. Jo is in a beautiful wedding dress and we see Alex all dapper in a suit. He's happier than I think he was with Izzie, but that's not a story for now.
But this is Grey's, and no wedding that didn't have some kind of drama would be fit for GA. The wedding planner almost dies because she eats shrimp when she's allergic. The caterers are super late, and the minister doesn't show up. By the time the ambulance shows up for the wedding planner, most of the wedding party packs up to leave, where Alex and Jo elope on a ferry boat a la Meredith.
But Jackson, Arizona, April, Sofia and Matthew stay behind just in case the minister does show up. While they're waiting, Matthew and April are having some kind of heart-to-heart conversation in which he proposes to her, again. She, again, accepts because she genuinely seems happy. The minister shows up just as Matthew's proposing, and April asks him if this is meant to be. So yes, it was meant to be. They make an impulsive decision to marry right then and there.
We don't hear much about how Matthew and April are doing because neither one are on the show anymore. But we briefly hear Jackson mentioning April in some random season 17 episode. He talks about how Harriet had been staying with April and Matthew and that she loved it because her stepfather made peanut butter sandwiches better than Jackson did. But that's pretty much it. Seems pretty domestic and happy. No mention of Matthew resenting April even years later. Or of him being mad at God for taking his first wife away.
But when we see April again as we're prepping for Jackson's move to Boston, it's revealed that, unsurprisingly, Matthew and April just didn't work out. April doesn't seem too upset, though she'd probably had plenty of time to process her second marriage being over. It's like April's not willing to fight for her marriage to Matthew quite like she'd been with Jackson.
So...were Matthew and April meant to be? Nope I don't think so. They were a cute couple, they were, but I never thought the two of them worked quite like Japril did. Jackson just understood April.
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