Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Fuel of Red Suns Flows in My Veins!

I spent a little time, this morning (OK, more than just a little time) searching the Internet for an image from an old comic book that I remember reading as a kid.

Think that it's easy to find anything that you want, on the Internet? Think again, sons and daughters of Superherodom!

I wanted to find that particular image, because it is probably the one scene from a comic book that really drew me into the superhero genre of comic books. It was a comic book that my daddy kept under his bed mattress.

Irony being what it invariably is, my daddy wasn't really a big fan of superhero comic books. It was just one comic book out of what was, perhaps, a couple of dozen that my daddy kept as a handy stash to sate his appetite for an occasional comic book read.

He much preferred Scrooge McDuck to Superman, but I acquired a taste for both.

From Superman to the Justice League is not a particularly big leap, if you stop and think about it. It's a natural progression for a kid introduced to comic books, one without a background of experience to draw upon.

Enter Starbreaker!

Starbreaker was the first real cosmic-level super villain that I encountered while browsing through the comic books sitting in that comic book spinner rack in that drug store located next to that Ben Franklin store. At least, he was the very first one to make a real impact upon me and my comic book tastebuds.

It was this image right here, of Starbreaker handling the Man of Steel with such casual ease, that stuck with me

Now, this was not the image that I was looking for. Rather, this particular image hails from a Justice League of America comic book. For a kid's imagination, Starbreaker was a big step up the ladder into the realm of super powers. A cosmic vampire! Now, that's what I'm talking about!

Looking at this image, today, I wouldn't be likely to award the colorist any awards. But, back in the day, man oh man! This was an image that had visual impact to spare.

The power of a red sun flowing through his veins, Starbreaker had so much power at his disposal that Superman's otherwise equally-invulnerable costume was torn to tatters. Damn! Superman is sent reeling. If Starbreaker can do this to Superman, then what hope does anyone else have?

When - and if - I find that other image that I as looking for, I'll be sure to post it - and to comment on it at greater length. For now, though, I'll have to console myself with second place - the second place tier of influential images in the span of my superhero loving life.

It's less about superheros and super villains than it is about the concept of super powers, themselves. Load them up with all sorts of powers, and let them have at one another. The human imagination becomes a super-powered playground.

It remains that way, today.

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