The Golden Age Superman was a Badass Vigilante (Part 1 of 2)

Superman Action Comics #1

I had the good fortune of picking up Superman: The Golden Age, Vol. 1while it was on sale at Comixology.com a few weeks ago. I like the Golden/Silver Age stuff as a historical artifact of how comics shaped pop culture. In the case of Golden Age Superman, the results were really eye opening.

I knew that Superman’s early days were very different from the Man of Steel we know today. He didn’t have heat vision, couldn’t fly, and kryptonite wasn’t a thing yet. However, I didn’t realize how fully early Superman embraced his role as a man of the people – or how well the stories serve as middle-class wish fulfillment.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

Captain American Punching Hitler was Once Controversial

Captain America 1In 1941, the people of the United States got their first taste of a superhero known as Captain America. This star-spangled soldier introduced himself to the world by punching Adolf Hitler in the face. Can’t get more American than that, right?

Too bad Cap’s creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby got death threats over it.

Read more at Time for Backstory!

Captain America is Ruined Forever! (But Not Really)

Steve Rogers Captain America #1After several years of not being Captain America, Steve Rogers has once again donned his iconic blue suit, albeit with a few changes to the overall look.

Oh yeah…there’s one other big change to the original Captain America – one which, according to many people on the Internet, ruins him forever.

Since Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 only hit shelves this week, I’ll add an off-topic spoiler space for those who want a chance to be surprised by the big twist.

Read more at the Screamsheet!

Fallen Hero

Originally published in The Lyndon Review.

Green Lantern #10

He walks across the baseball field where we like to hang out. His left hand swings casually at his side, but his right fist lies hidden in the deep pockets of his navy blue corduroys. The crisp autumn air has left the field abandoned for weeks now, and the pitcher’s mound lies covered in the dead Technicolor of Vermont leaves. He brushes the old foliage away with his foot, never removing the secret from his pocket. Climbing onto the mound, he stands as close to heaven as either of us will ever get. He points his head toward the setting sun. His hand shoots out to follow his line of vision, finally revealing the secret on his right index finger. The small plastic band still glows green from its hiding place in darkness. He smiles as I let out a gasp of awe.

It’s his power ring. It cost him two proofs of purchases and half of his allowance for shipping and handling, but it has finally arrived.

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Fantasy as you Like It

Originally published in the Chaffin Journal (as Charlie Martin)
Winner of the 2006 Chaffin Award for Fiction
Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics)

A man in a lab coat stands in the middle of the desert. His mouth hangs open in an extended scream as his body twists and grows. His glasses fall off and his clothes tear at the seams. American soldiers surround him on all sides, their jaws slack in shock as they watch an ordinary man become a seven foot tall gray-skinned behemoth. A giant question mark hangs in the air behind the scene, invisible to all but the reader and posing one apparently all-important question.

IS HE MAN OR MONSTER OR…IS HE BOTH?

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