the Fantastic Four
Yesterday, amongst some media attention, Marvel announced an impending gay wedding. I can’t help but notice that there are no fairytales that begin with the main characters’ wedding. When there are weddings, they are the payoff, the money shot, and definitely the grand finale of the fairytale. No one wants to read a fairytale that begins with a wedding, because then it would be about domestic tedium, heated discussions about whose turn it is to fold the laundry or change the diapers. Weddings are how fairytales end. The exciting part of the story is how we get there, how people meet and surmount obstacles. No fairytales begin with the line “and they lived happily ever after”, because that is not as interesting as all the parts before they settle down. The wedding is the clear sign to the reader to stop paying attention because the story is over.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Japan and ensuing tsunami, multiple problems maintaining the countries nuclear reactors are being wrestled with. Amongst all the recent worldwide natural disasters, this threat of nuclear radiation is a man-made one. While fears and concerns about the outcome are varied, as a source of fictional drama, comic books have always embraced the idea with a plethora of radiation-created superheroes.
In an effort to stop worrying about what the future holds, I took a look back at how comic books have treated radiation in the past. I thought about titling this “When Radiation is a Good Thing”, but that seemed a little tasteless. However, by highlighting the superheroes who got their power through exposure to radiation I hope to bring some levity to the moment, so here (in no particular order) are ten of them that I like best.
Last week, on my last day in London visiting the house I grew up in, I decided to tackle my comic book collection. This is a pretty sparse little pile of boxes, taking up some space in my dad’s office. I really wasn’t sure what state they’d be in, or how I’d be able to find them (my dad’s way of storing things is… interesting to say the least), but I was pretty determined. After a day of moving the things that were in front of and on top of the boxes (it turned out he’d put boards on top of them and made them a table to hold a tv and other assorted detritus), we managed to unearth a rather neat little time capsule spanning my comic book collecting years of 1981-1995. Continue Reading »