And so began my somewhat mild obsession with superheroes and graphic novels. I'm hardly steeped in the superhero lore as some - I don't own any graphic novels because I'm too cheap to buy them, nor do I collect action figurines - but there's just something fun in seeing the good guys beating the crap out of the bad guys with well-placed lightning strikes, sonic screams and admantium claws. And then strike a pose.
I've been asked if I have a favorite hero - I don't. (There many that I don't like at all, but that's for another posting.) Sometimes I find the individual story lines to be a bit boring (too many words in those bubbles, and not enough action - hey, I never said I was an astute reader...), so I generally prefer teams, where the mayhem is super-sized. X-Men is how I started out with superheroes, so I've never lost my liking for this ever-changing roster of characters, including Cyclops, Storm, Rogue, Shadowcat, Emma Frost, Colossus, Angel, and the rest of the gang.
After reading through Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run, I'm now making my way through the New Avengers series, which features the unlikely crew of Captain America, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Iron Fist, up against Iron Man and the rest of the Marvel Universe after the Civil War sparked by superhero registration. And since I love pretty much anything Whedon-esque (including his Buffy Season 8 comic book series through Dark Horse), I'm looking forward to seeing what he does for the Avengers live-action movie that he's been signed to helm.
I'm not a huge fan of the DC Universe, except for the Justice League and Teen Titans. I own four seasons of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited on DVD that I've watched countless times. What's really cool is recognizing several voices as belonging to actors that I know (again with the Whedon connections) - Morena Baccarin (Firefly, V) as Black Canary, and Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse) as Huntress - and other actors, like Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) as Hawk, and Jason Hervey (who played Fred's brother on Wonder Years) as Hawk's brother, Dove. And, I have to admit that even a good storyline like Identity Crisis - which focuses on the DC Universe's response to the murder of Elongated Man's wife, Sue Dibny - choked me up a bit, which I attribute to amazing artwork and fine storytelling. Even if it is only in 2-D.
So, with this in mind, it should come as no surprise that I just about peed my pants with excitement when I saw these "vintage" metal posters at a store in Wicker Park. And though they adorn my office wall, on their own as characters, I find Batman a bit dark, and Superman a bit too goody-two-shoes (although Superman Returns is among my favorite superhero movies). But as part of the Justice League, they're among a larger group of characters, so I don't mind them so much. And Spider-Man is growing on me, especially as part of the New Avengers team.
Oh, and if I could have any power I wanted, I'd want to be telekinetic. So I could do the greatest damage from a distance and not have to get my hands dirty. Like Jean Grey. Before she was Dark Phoenix. And before Marvel killed her off. Again. And again. You get the picture.