Rock critics have long fallen back on superhero mythology to describe musicians; it’s a handy way to add grandeur to what tend to be fairly rote backstories, bending boring arcs of rehab and redemption into the Hero’s Journey, all in a quest to avoid quoting the drummer. But My Chemical Romance was the first group I covered that actually used that mythology for themselves. Gerard called his band “an idea,” labeled his fans an army. From album to album and show to show, MCR reinvented themselves across a multiverse of possibilities: They were soul-reaving vampires exacting revenge, the ghosts of a marching band returned to serenade you home, a gang of outlaw futurists using lasers and jazz hands to free the world from monochrome mediocrity.
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