Recently I’ve been buying up a few old comic books, trying to finish up a few collections I had, maybe starting to collect again (but not with this $4 per bullshit, plus ten covers for each fucking issue!). I’m two issues shy of having a full run of Batman from 400 to 500; once I get those I’ll probably fill in the ones I need in some of the discontinued series such as Legends of the Dark Knight, Azrael, Shadow of the Bat, whathaveyou. Sure, I get some flack for it, but for me comics were always a way out of a mundane, sometimes lowly existence. Anyone who knows me will be able to tell you that I had a rough time in school and at home when I was a kid; in fact, I highly doubt anyone would recognize me today. I’ve run into a few former classmates who were a bit surprised, esp. when I told them to fuck off. I got teased quite a bit, sometimes a bit harsher than normal. I remember asking this one girl out in high school; she said ‘no’, which was fine, but damn, did she have to tell the entire school about it? I really got picked on for that one. But hey, shit happens, right?
So comics were a way out for me, a way to read about people who were much larger than life. These were people who had a choice to make; to do good or do evil. But it wasn’t always that simple, since there’s really no good and evil, only infinite shades of gray. So even your goodie two shoes could cross that line and commit an act they would otherwise detest. It’s probably why I liked Batman so much. Here was a guy who had no powers, only a determination to protect innocents from the criminals of Gotham. He wasn’t by the book and he didn’t necessarily obey the law. He would do what he had to do to protect those who he felt needed protecting. He was somewhat of a Spock; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Of course, he considered himself to be one of the few.
The other heroes didn’t necessarily strike me as much as Batman did. Some didn’t want their powers, hiding them or running from them. But in the end they always had to face them and make that choice: good or evil. We can’t run from our fears or our insecurities; we can’t seek solace in an imaginary god. We have to face life and make a lot of difficult choices. If all we had to choose was good or evil, we’d be in great shape. But unfortunately, most of what we have to decide is much more complicated. And unlike the comics, there can be real consequences.
Now I just collect them for the sake of it. In high school, comics were my solace, where I could read about people who could do things that I never could. They could take a stand, they could put up a fight; right or wrong, they stood on their principles. There were setbacks, there were defeats, but in the end, they won. And some didn’t even need any special powers.
Anyway, was just feeling a bit nostalgic so I thought I’d go ahead and write something after my little hiatus. I need to find out why the hell my Moon Knight comics aren’t in yet, not to mention those Batmans that I ordered from eBay.