I met Steven in the first grade. I had just transferred to a new school half way through the year after my family moved, so I didn't know anyone. Steven says that, at our first encounter, I took his jacket and threw it on top of the softball backstop. I don't remember that, but somehow (in spite of any such imagined cruelty on my part) we became friends. We frequently ended up in the same classes at school, and shared other interests (like marbles, and music, and memorizing all the US presidents by quizzing each other from his collection of milk bottle caps that were imprinted with their portraits), and we maintained our friendship off and on until high school, when we drifted apart. We still saw each other on occasion, but we had different interests. After high school, we did a few things together, and then he moved to Los Angeles or Mars or somewhere. Except for a bit of catching up at our 10-year high school reunion, I knew not whither he had gone or what he was up to.
Then, decades later, through the miracle of Facebook, Steve contacted me. Isn't it amazing to meet up (virtually or in reality) with old friends? I think it is. I think old friends are wonderful because you can get together and talk like nothing has happened in the intervening years. There's a kind of loyalty in friends like that that I really admire. And that's partly why I got so angry when I was looking recently at a graphic novel called "The Dark Knight Returns". I thumbed through it and I may be wrong but I got the very strong impression that Batman was trying to kill Superman, in a very cruel way. What is up with that?
I don't read comic books or graphic novels much anymore. But I used to. Once when I went to Steve's house, I noticed that he had stacks and stacks of comic books. He loaned some of them to me, and I got hooked on a few series. I had already read plenty of comics as a youth (and the Batman and Superman tv series were viewing staples for me - in fact, I went through a phase where I wanted to be Robin), but Steve's example inspired me to begin collecting on my own. My specialty was Wonder Woman, although I liked a few other things, like the Fantastic Four, Hawkman, Huntress, and Batman and Superman, of course.
It all came to a crashing halt back in the 80s when DC did that crazy series where they destroyed the superhero universe and killed off (among others) Wonder Woman. I was so angry I just walked away from it all. I gave my Wonder Woman collection to my younger sister (actually, all my sisters are younger sisters) and never looked back. I bet I haven't read more than 3 or 4 comics since then.
Thumbing through "The Dark Knight Returns" made me glad I had made that decision. Seeing Batman and Superman at odds like that is just wrong, wrong, wrong. It would be like if Steve and I met up again after so many years and I took his head and threw it on top of some softball backstop.
I am definitely a Golden/Silver Age type comic book fan. I still go to the superhero film adaptations (except I haven't seen the film called "Dark Knight". I think there's some crossover contamination from that horrid graphic novel in my reluctance to see the film), but I don't have much to do with the comics anymore.
So who's your favorite superhero or heroine?