Six li’l issues of The Avengers. Do they really bear the whole weight of the history of Marvel Comics, and perhaps even of fan culture’s creative intestinal torsion? It can’t be that simple, but even at age thirteen-fourteen, I knew something was happening.
It was an amazing comic. A man has become a muck-monster, his humanity just a memory, seemingly limited to minor human-interest horror-adventures in a swamp, but somehow a magnet for society’s psychological ills, even attuned to cosmic insights, and eventually limping, looming into the central intersection of ultimate forces … Yeah, it’s great, man, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing was really someth — wait, you’re talking about 1973?
In one of the letter columns in the late-80s Question, Denny O’Neil refers to Peter Parker as a schlep, and always having been one. That’s Yiddish, and a little confusing because that precise word is a verb meaning to lug something inconvenient, but here, and as I’ve often heard or used it, it’s short for schlepper, meaning an inept, stupid person.
Yet another example of that precise gap in my superhero comics buying: purchasing Ms. Marvel #1 and following as the newsstand’s inconsistent provision allowed, then missing the whole Avengers/X-Men story, to discover it upon returning to the titles in the late 80s. Then, in retrospect, discovering the original meaning had been long erased.
This is first in a series on comic book vigilantes, focusing mainly on but not limited to the 1980s. It’s a tag-team thing: each post is written either by me or the estimable Steven S. Long, and ended with the other’s response Read the rest of this entry
It’s 1999. I’m in my first prof job at the Bio department at Valdosta State U, in southern Georgia – a much better school and general gig than I’d thought. I’m on the organizing committee for the annual Women’s Studies Conference there, similar to roles I’d played in many such events. “But what straight white guy could do it, and handle it?” “Get Edwards.” At the end of the conference, I’m hanging out with guest of honor Kate Millet, who was kind enough to attend my talk. Read the rest of this entry