The Incredible Hulk
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.
Here are links to all the Comics You Should Own essays I have written so far. Plus, I’ve added some explanation. Enjoy!
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The most depraved and sick comic books are healthy and possibly even necessary. This is a difficult article to write, and I’m not sure if this is going to go down too well, but it needs saying. These comic books are doing us a public service, helping us to live out our most dangerous fantasies in a safe environment which harms no one else. This way, when we can accept our unacceptable selves, we’re able to let go of them and move on. Continue Reading »
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 »
There’s nothing cool or sexy about reading comics. I mean it, and I should know, I’ve been reading them all my life, since I could only understand the pictures and wonder what the hell the words meant (but when the comic books you’re reading are your dad’s stolen Fat Freddy’s Cat, not being able to read detracts nothing). Up until very recently, my comic book habit was only just tolerated by most of my friends, I’d try to get them into it, giving them graphic novels and saying “Oh, I bought too many copies of Violent Cases, you might like it…” they didn’t). Time moves on, and now at least a few of them see the value of the medium, and I’m lucky to say that some of my friends are even fellow zealots.
But when I was the only little english girl in the playground who wanted to play X-Men, running around pretending to be Phoenix with my telekinetic powers, or the Hulk (I really enjoyed growling “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”, and then roaring a whole bunch – who wouldn’t?), everyone else wanted to play Charlie’s Angels (and what were their superpowers? Long hair?) When people saw me reading Superman, or Love & Rockets, they balked. It quickly became pretty clear that comics weren’t socially acceptable. Even on my annual visits to America to visit my New York dwelling family, I only occasionally glimpsed a world of comic-influenced play, and that place was clearly reserved for the boys. I could ask to play with their Batman toys, coveting those batmobiles that actually shot little missiles (to this day I still fantasize about inheriting my dad’s), but owning my own superhero toys was a step too far into overt weirdo territory.
Nowadays, despite the growing popularity of comic books and the superhero medium, I haven’t really changed. Continue Reading »