6.23.2005

Hal Jordan lives!

Yesterday, after a lapse of about ten years, I started collecting comics again. Part of me is happy about it. Another part feels I’m getting back together with someone I know is wrong for me.

My initial association with the DC and Marvel universes ended much like a doomed long distance relationship. I didn’t have proximity to a good comic store in college so getting together with Batman and The New Titans got complicated. I couldn’t just drive down the road to pick them up so my inclination to seek them out decreased. Money was tighter, too. I had to eat, right? And drink. Did the price of comics really fit into that equation?

Besides, I was suddenly surrounded by these big, beautiful books I’d never read. That they lacked pictures and that people went to school to study them was, I admit, part of their appeal. They were more sophisticated than the shit I’d read in high school, more alluring. They made me feel smarter. So, for better or worse, sometime around the middle of my freshman year I gave up on dealing with comics once and for all.

I can’t say why I decided to get back into it. Maybe it’s all the movies coming out that primed the pump. Maybe it’s the new Green Lantern title—they’re even resurrecting Hal Jordan for it! Or, and this might be a bit closer to the mark, maybe it has something to do with the fact I’m getting married, getting older, changing, and I have some unexplainable urge to bring a bit of my 17 year old self along for the ride.

Chris, I hope it’s one of the first two.

It was funny how easy going back was. In ten years the stores haven’t changed much. They still smell like an odd mixture of plastic and heavy paper. Also, everyone in them still freaks out when a pretty girl enters, as evidenced by the reaction to my finance. Granted, she was wearing a shirt that made it incredibly obvious she was, indeed, a girl, but the sidelong glances even made me uncomfortable. We agreed that she can wait outside next time.

So now I’m starring at the first issue of the newest Green Lantern title, wondering when I’ll read it, wondering what I'll think of it when I do. What if I love it? Can I still be co-editor of a somewhat respectable literary magazine? (Calm down, I said somewhat.) What if I hate it? Have I really changed that much in ten years?

Only one way to find out. I’ll let you know how things turn out.

4 comments:

TMC said...

Oh man, you like the Green Lantern?
He's always been my least favorite superhero, just ahead of Aquaman. I mean, if my power ever goes out and I need to find some spare change under the couch, I'll call on him and his special ring to light things up for me, but otherwise, I just don't get the appeal of the Lantern...

Mike said...

Oh no, I'm surrounded by dorks! Oh, wait, I just posted something about reading Judy Blume books. Never mind.

Apparently I'm one of the only guys I know who didn't grow up reading comic books. Well, except for the free one they gave out at Captain D's restaurants, which featured the adventures of some kid-friendly pirate and talking sea creatures. Man, those were awesome.

aaron said...

Did you guys ever read the Groo the Wanderer comics? About some wandering barbarian who blundered around making trouble...no?...just me then?... oh...ok...

Groo (http://www.groo.com) was illustrated by noted Mad Magazine contributor Sergio Aragones, and throughout the comic, but especially at the beginning, he would draw these panoramas covering both pages with thousands of little peoples scrambling about...comically...
Unfortunately, some of these little people were barechested women, so when my father got a hold of an issue, and after he had gotten tired of squinting and put his reading glasses on, and then rummaged around for a magnifying glass, he saw them and became outraged. Obscene and UnChristian they were! Further, my young blossoming self might be tempted to imagine carnality with these very, very, very small women, though in fairness their chests were not small in proportion. So I was banned from buying any more, and my brief comic collecting phase was over.

joe said...

No way, Tom. He doesn't just light things up. He can create anything with his ring. Anything!! Like a huge baseball bat to club criminals with. Or a force field to deflect their bullets. A force field, damn it!!

Plus the way they wrote Green Lantern in the 80s and early 90s, before superheros got all ironic, he posses this Paul Newman-esque beautiful loser quality that I really dug. It wasn't the powers of Green Lantern that grabbed me so much as the character of Hal Jordan. He was a guy who fucked up everything he'd ever done. As a 17 year old, I could very much releate to that.