An Origin Story
I have long considered myself a comics geek. In my younger days I collected practically every title with an “X” in the name. I started with Excalibur and became a lifelong fan of both Shadowcat and Nightcrawler. My fandom then extended to the flagship title the Uncanny X-men. By the time my mania was in its full throes, I probably collected 10 titles a month. I had expanded out to Spiderman and even (shudder) the New Warriors. Speedball? Night Thrasher? What the hell is with those names?
So, when you get right down to it, I was a Marvel fan-boy to the bone. Excelsior! You win a No-prize.
Back in the day, you really had two options for mainstream comics; Marvel or DC. Yeah, there was Dark Horse and other independents like Dave Sim‘s Cerberus, and eventually Image, but it was essentially like the American political system, 2 big parties and you read along party lines. Didn’t think too much about it at the time. I mean you gotta love the Batman, and you have to at least respect Superman, but I couldn’t make myself care about the others. Aquaman? It’s practically de riguer to make fun of him. And without really thinking about it, my preferred Nazi puncher was always Steve Rogers not Diana of Themyscira.
All well and good I guess, but eventually I stopped collecting and reading comics as voraciously as I used to. Now I pick up a graphic novel every once in a while or check out a wiki to get caught up on new developments in my old friends’ lives. Recently though I have found myself interested in the other side of the coin. Maybe my boyhood prejudice against Detective Comics is childish and uninformed. That then, is the purpose of this column. To educate myself about men who run around in tights and women whose breasts defy gravity. To gain a bit of respect for a detective from Mars who is deathly afraid of fire. To learn what makes a time-traveling showboat from the future tick. To understand the psyche of a man from Atlantis who can talk to fish. I gotta say though, I think I will always prefer Namor to Aquaman.