Thursday, January 13, 2011

Super Heroes & Comics.... A Geeks Shakespeare

Harry Potter and other teen lit are devoured by young teens now a days like a Shark feeding frenzy. Book stores have midnight releases that people line up for days in advance . In my day I think young teens had the Tired Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series ( That I believe the last book was written in the early 60’s) and nothing more. But we did manage to find a outlet for our literary void in the story’s of Marvel and D.C. Comics.

I hated DC comics ( with the exception of their War titles)... I never liked their heroes... my first introduction to marvel was Sgt Fury, My Friend up the street gave me two hard bound small books that were compilations of the Fantastic Four, my Super Hero eyes were at last opened.

Captain America (Spoiler Alert: AKA Steve Rogers) was my early favorite and still holds a warm place in my heart. As I got older I turned to the Uncanny Xmen, though not the originals ( I.E. The Beast etc). I am still amazed at some of the story arcs they had, The graphic novel “God Saves, Man Kills” and the Phoenix Saga were but a few. I also was a follower of the “New Mutants” books from issue 1, allot of angst filled stories. I read some less popular titles, Vietnam, G.I. Joe and the Micronauts and I actually thought G.I. Joe had some good stories as well.

I remember the Secret Wars, The Beyonder and all the Franklin Richards jokes all the Comic Geeks used to toss around with nerdy abandon. The thrill of my first Comic convention up in the Radision in Wilmington... then a larger one in Philadelphia.

Comics were my geeky crack for a while... always stopping by Captain Blue hens (when it was in the house on main street) to see if they had the latest version of this or that. I still remember my favorite Comic female... That would be Rogue from the Xmen... and my favorite sound effect... When Thunderchief hit Wolverine square in the jaw “SPANG!”.

Sadly I also remember the day I stopped being a diehard comic fan, when I stopped going to the Comic Store every week. I picked up my latest issue of the Xmen... and there emblazoned on the cover, was the title “Phoenix lives”...”WTF” I thought, hadn’t I just lived through the original Phoenix saga... were they that desperate for stories that they were digging up Jean Gray that fast? I havnt picked up a Mutant book since.

I began to move from the DC/ Marvel world, Direct Comics ( Man...The Rocketeer is still one of my fav’s) and the new world of Manga. In High school I started to read Fantasy but I’ll still picked up a book now and then. I don’t think the Kids these days eat them up like we did, I could be wrong. I wonder if they still have that excitement...the anticipation... getting that book and cracking it open for the first time and getting to one of those “No Flaking way!!!” moments that twenty years latter you still talk about (“Watchmen” or the “Dark Night Returns”for example). For some of my generation the Graphic novel and comic were the finest literary works of the age.


Andy said...

Ah but what are you reading now? The Marvel cosmic line (especially Nova) has some fun stuff, Star Wars: Legacy is top notch, Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run will give you a great nostalgic thrill, and the one-eyed warhorse, Fury himself can be found in Secret Warriors, an interesting and sometimes excellent espionage/conspiracy/war book.

Anonymous said...

I was a huge comic book nerd, making the same weekly trip you talked about. Thor, Cap, Spdiey, the Mutants - I think I read pretty much every Marvel title except the Hulk. DC heroes were always just plain bad to me (except Batman, who I can at least respect). I only saw the Phoenix Saga in retrospect, so didn't have the same negative reaction to Jean Grey's return - and she's one of my favorites, so they can bring her back as much as they want, as far as I'm concerned. Days of Future Past...still one of my favorite things to read. Funny, Rogue has always been my favorite female superhero. Maybe it was the way she said "sugah".

The Beyonder. Secret Wars. Walt Simonson's epic run on Thor. All good times. I loved Marvel, right up until the Spider-Man Clone Saga. I heard about it coming down the pipe, and stopped reading new comics altogether at that point. Now, I just read the old compilations. It's a damn shame that Marvel hated Mary Jane Watson that much.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I still have every one of my comics from those days. You can take them when you pry them from my cold dead hands, as long as you promise not to take them out of their poly-bags.

Dave Starks said...

Liked supers from the short animated features of DC heroes that used to come on back in the day and also the original Spider-Man cartoon (what were the webs attaching to???). Didn't seriously read them until I picked up X-Men 113 almost at random from 7-11. Claremont & Byrne; i had never seen artwork so good in comics; I was HOOKED!!!!! Then I found friends at school who were way into collecting and they showed me "Days of future Past" with Wolverine on the cover as the last survivor...what could be more gnarly than that! Miller's Daredevil was intense back then, too...