written by Ghost Writer #445
I had a childhood hero. In 1974 my parents took me to the drug store and I was allowed to pick up one comic off the spinner rack. You see I know this is hard to believe for some but there was a time when there was no such thing as a comic book store. Back in the day one got their comics from spinner racks at the grocery or drug store. I am sure this was not my first comic book, but it is the first comic I remember owning. It was Action Comics, number 445. I was 5 years old and this Man who could fly captured my heart and I often pretended I was him in my playtime around the house wearing a towel around my neck (oh – like you never did). Of course I bought other titles, but I always held a special place in my heart for The Man of Steel. Then, four years later I saw a trailer. Not any trailer, but the trailer that told me I would believe a Man could fly. Of course I begged my parents to take me, and afterward was even more smitten with the character. After a few more years like most kids do I sadly “grew up”. “Comics are for kids” and sold my collection for pennies at a yard sale.
I was in college when they announced that Superman was going to be killed off. Wait, what? They are going to kill off this fictional character that provided my childhood would so many hours of fantasy and playtime? I knew I had to be a part of this and by this time Comic book stores were a thing, so I went to a local Comic book store and was fortunate enough to pick up all the pieces that had been released at the time leading up to Superman 75. I remember standing in line; it was November if I remember correctly, what I will always remember was an elderly man in front of me. I of course struck up a conversation with him and he explained to me what a travesty this day was. He went on to say that it was Superman Comics that got him and his fellow soldiers hope during the war. It was there that I really realized what an American Icon Superman truly was. I decided at that point to make collecting Superman my hobby, no that is not the right word, my obsession.
Over the next 7 years or so I was buying whatever Superman I could find. I made a checklist of every Post Crisis Superman book they had. If I went on vacation, I had to see if whatever town I was in had a comic shop and see if I could check another book or two off the list. Then one day, the search was over, every Action, Adventures of, Superman and Superman Man of Steel as well as the 6 issue Man of Steel mini series was mine. Of course after that I did the next logical thing, I started going backwards. My goal was to find a copy of Action 445 and go forward, this task I never finished.
Sometime in the mid to late nineties the powers that be turned Superman blue, then they split him in two and made him Red. What the heck was this garbage? I was outraged, This is not my Superman. I should have known it was just a story, I should have known that it was not permanent, I should have known do not rage quit, but that is what I did. In a moment of frustration and anger I called my local comic shop and dumped my entire collection that I spent the last 9 years or so accumulating. And not just comics; there were statues, posters, action figures, magazines, adds from old magazines advertising Kellogg’s corn flakes with an option to buy Superman’s belt with proof of purchases. If any of you have ever been obsessed with a pop culture icon, you will probably grasp the magnitude of this collection. Looking back, that is the biggest mistake I ever made.
I have been in and out of comics since then, I even bought Superman again but not like before. When the New 52 came about I jumped back in but quickly was right back out again. When I first heard about Rebirth I was excited but skeptical. However the more I read, and learned the more I got excited about the possibility about a Superman I can read and enjoy again. I was fortunate enough to get in on the ground floor of “The final days of Superman “ story arc going through the last 2 months of Superman books in the New 52. Then last week was Rebirth. It solidified my decision that Superman was once again my guy. So this is not only DC’s Rebirth, but mine as well. Let’s hope I have learned from my mistakes and never give up on the man in the blue tights again.