Simms Jr. writes about the first thing that sent his heart racing. The Incredible Hulk punching someone.
My first crush was Mary Jane Watson. You know, Spider-Man’s girlfriend. I then moved on from her, and started really digging on Storm, of The X-Men. But, I had no shot with her, because she was into this guy name Forge. I thought Wonder Woman was hot, but let’s be honest. She always had a thing for Superman. I really never had a shot.
Yup. I’m a nerd. And a comic book geek. Still. I don’t buy them like I used to. It’s hard to find the time to read them these days. But, when I was a kid, that’s nearly all I did. I’d spend hours reading comics. Much to the chagrin of my parents, who wanted me to at least attempt to play outside.
I first started liking comics when I lived in Chicago, where I was born. But, when my family and I moved to Cleveland, Ohio, I fell head over heels for them. Why? Well, I also loved sci-fi at the time. If you are a member of Gen X, you know that the early ’80s were the prime of the George Lucas/Steven Spielberg Super Nerd Assault on pop culture (Star Wars, E.T., etc.). Besides the movies, you could also find the same material with the same sensibility in comic books. Big, epic adventures that took place in far away lands. Classic battles between good and evil.
But, what I liked most about comic books (as a kid) were that they were cool. Spider-Man always triumphed, but by the skin of his teeth. Batman was the biggest bad-ass ever. Wolverine could send villains running just by unsheathing his claws. The super heroes had secret lairs. Superman’s Fortress Of Solitude. The Batcave. Avenger’s Mansion. Oa. They had cool abilities. Flight. Invisibility. Steel skeletons. The proportionate strength of a spider. Lifelong martial arts training. Abilities us normals couldn’t have.
When I think on it, I realize the thing I most loved about comic books was the concept of secretly being…better. I was a very awkward kid growing up, and seeing someone like Peter Parker was awesome. Here was a guy who, in his everyday life was a dweeb. But, when danger arose, he would don his costume and become Spider-Man. A guy with superpowers. Parker could take off his glasses, and be Amazing (pun intended). I can’t tell you how many times as a child that I wished I could just put on a costume and punch a bully. Or fly at supersonic speeds, just because it would have been fun.
Anyhoo, that’s my first love. The funny books. We got away from each other for a while. When I became a teenager, I traded in Marvel Comics for rap music and girls. But, my first love and I reunited in my 20s.
And I’ll never let her go again.
Photo Empire’s Comics Vault/Flickr