â€œHow did someone like you get into comics?â€
I am often asked this question whenever people discover that I am a comic geek. I find it an odd question and Iâ€™m not entirely sure what they mean by â€œsomeone like youâ€. I assume they are referring to the fact that I am a woman but many times the conversation shifts and focuses on my looks. Whatever the case, itâ€™s funny when people say how impressed they are that I know who Geoff Johns is or that I can name a particular Batman: The Animated Series episode by title. Iâ€™m not just into â€œgirlâ€ comics; I remember reading the Justice League when Ted Kord and Booster Gold provided the comic relief and when the X-Men took in Joseph, who was actually Magnetoâ€™s clone. This brings me back to the question, â€œHow did someone like you get into comics?â€
I grew up watching many comic based shows such as the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series and the Super Friends but I didnâ€™t truly fall in love with the superhero world until the Tim Burton Batman movie was released in 1989. At the time I was only allowed to watch the Adam West version of Batman but a classmate brought in the comic book adaptation of the Tim Burton film. My parents couldnâ€™t forbid me from reading a comic at school and I felt victorious as my male classmate turned the pages (I was apparently not allowed to handle the book thanks to a condition I suffered from along with the rest of my gender called â€œcootiesâ€). I was intrigued by this man who dressed up as a giant bat and gave the bad guys a beating they deserved. I also found myself irritated that my classmates had dubbed me â€œVicki Valeâ€ because of my name. How could I be Batmanâ€™s girl if I wasnâ€™t even allowed to see his movie? Boysâ€¦
By the time the film was released on VHS my parents had given in and allowed my siblings and I to watch it. Iâ€™m sure my relentless begging may have played a part in changing their minds.Â The movie began my love affair with comics and I began reading Batman, X-men, Justice League, Superman and Wonder Woman. What was it about superheroes that attracted me? I find them to be extraordinary beings, whether they are human or not. The X-Menâ€™s battle to protect a world that hated them drew me in along with each team memberâ€™s unique abilities (particularly Wolverine and Rogue). There was a point in my life where like many, I felt like I didnâ€™t fit in and longed to attend Xavierâ€™s Institute for Higher Learning. The Man of Steel was flawless to me and I have fond memories of watching the first two Superman films with my brother and sister. I can still hear my brotherâ€™s laughter when Supes emerged from the chamber in the Fortress of Solitude and crushed General Zodâ€™s hand. Iâ€™m surprised my video tape didnâ€™t burst into flames from playing it daily. I enjoyed his adventures not only in comics but in the films (the first two anyway). Superman was the very definition of a hero and I was in awe of him.
Wonder Woman proved that you didnâ€™t need to be a man to be one of earthâ€™s greatest heroes. This Amazon power house stood beside the best of the best with her stunning beauty, heritage and strength. Of course there is also the Batman whose traumatized childhood and super cool gadgets captivated my imagination. I not only enjoyed the Bat but the villains he faced as well.
I remember the highs and lows of superhero based cartoons and films (High: the X-Men animated cartoon on Fox. Low: The David Hasselhoff Nick Fury movie) and such important events as the shocking murder of Gwen Stacy. My mother took me to the comic shop several times a month and I began playing video games like Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcadeâ€™s Revenge. I had a Storm, Wonder Woman and Superman action figures and my mother created a homemade Supergirl costume for me. I never tire from the battle between good and evil. I often wonder what super powers I would want and what measures I would take to punish the wicked. There are certain â€œvillainsâ€ that I view as not entirely evil such as Black Adam. Would I stay with the pure heroes like Superman or be drawn to someone like Black Adam?
Today almost 20 years after I read my first comic book, I am still collecting everything from trade paper backs, toys, hats, props, DVDâ€™s and more. Iâ€™ve also brought many characters to life through cosplay. Iâ€™m a comic geek, a self proclaimed dork and I wouldnâ€™t have it any other way. Being a contributor for Major Spoilers and having people in the industry I am lucky enough to call friends, blow my mind. I never would have imagined that I would be in this position. It is truly a dream come true and itâ€™s all thanks to the wonderful world of comics.