John’s #fourcomics

As Jerry explained in his #FOURCOMICS article:

Last week, comic book writer Jim Zub introduced the #fourcomics hashtag, looking for comics that influenced people growing up. There are so many different ways that could be taken, and the response has had all of us digging into our long boxes to seek out long lost treasures.

So I am here now to tell you about four of the most memorable comics in my collection. They aren’t all worth a lot of money but they are comics that I distinctly remember both the book and the experience of reading the book. I remember what stood out to me about each book and I can now look at them and think about why they were important to me as a kid.

Action Comics #481 (March 1978): I was 8 when I found out that Superman had a flying car that could duplicate each of his powers even though he had lost his. If you are 8 and that doesn’t sound like one of the coolest possible things that you could have then you and I are very different people. A burst of red solar energy from an exploding star washed over Earth and reduced Superman’s powers in half. It also awakened Amazo, an android with all of the powers of the entire Justice League and an urge to use them for nefarious purposes. It was years later before I read the first half of this story but that issue was just to set up this bad boy right here. The Supermobile … suck it Batmobile.

Super Friends #14 (November 1978): The Super Friends comic book was based on the Saturday morning cartoon from back in the days when Saturday morning cartoons ruled our lives. It was also the first comic to which I ever got a subscription. Getting that comic every month in the mail was a huge deal and it introduced me to the ins and outs of the main DC superheroes. I learned that Aquaman needed to touch water once an hour and that if Wonder Woman took off her bracelets she would gradually go insane. This particular issue had a riddle where they had to figure out how to find wind where there was no air. The answer was solar wind which is an actual thing! Perhaps that helped lead me toward my interest in science.

New Teen Titans #1 (November 1980): This was it kids … the book that turned me into a collector. I was no longer a kid that bought comics when I came across them … this title was the one where I had to get every issue. I picked up #1 at the EZ Shop and this was a gem. Writer Marv Wolfman and penciler George Perez created a book that rocketed to everyone’s best of list. I already knew Robin, Wonder Girl and Kid Flash and while Changeling (previously Beast Boy) had already existed he was new to me. We were also introduced to Cyborg, Raven and Starfire (Hubba Hubba). The eleven-year old (we didn’t have tween’s then) me had found a book that wasn’t just superheroes, but young people trying to figure out who they were and who they wanted to be. I missed issue two and bought it later at Clint’s Comics downtown. It was $20 at the time. That still marks the largest amount of money that I have ever paid for a single issue of a comic. I’m cheap that way.

Justice League #200 (March 1982) – This was an epic showdown of new vs old Justice League. It was my first introduction to the origin of the Justice League and to the Martian Manhunter whose adventures I had never read. George Perez did the main story but it had art by Jim Aparo, Joe Kubert, Carmine Infantino, Dick Giordano, Gil Kane, Brian Bolland and Pat Broderick. There is a great two page splash after the original Justice Leaguers come to their senses where the entire Justice League, new and old, charge into action. I remember it said something like, ‘They have no battle cry … nor do they need one. They are the world’s greatest superheroes.’

There were lots of issues between and after these but these four issues will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Do you remember these issues or have four special issues of your own? Let us know!

Categories: John, Worst Comic Podcast Ever

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