The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Justice League of America’

Why don’t super heroes ever smile?

Posted by keithosaunders on September 17, 2016

I was a big comic book fan growing up and I have a retained a love for the Marvel and DC silver age books that I collected. Every once in a while I’ll look at a recent issue of the Avengers or the Justice League of America to see how my favorite heroes have progressed.  The drawings are more realistic and the dialogue is more sophisticated but overall the current books are joyless affairs.

Where is the whimsy that I remember?  The Justice League had a beatnik sidekick named Snapper Carr who had no powers whatsoever.  Sure he was annoying and practically superfluous to the plot, but he was someone that you might actually meet in real life.  Remember Spiderman?  He had girlfriend problems, as well as a nagging, pain in the ass aunt for crying out loud!

The current heroes have all the charm of TSA agents.  Not only would I not want to hang out with them, I would be scared to death!

Image result for silver age justice league of america

the Justice League of America of the Benes!!!!!!!! by dinei

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Days of comics

Posted by keithosaunders on November 4, 2015

jla2

Moving on.  (I’m still in the denial stage of what just happened re the World Series.)

I follow this person on Twitter who posts pictures of silver age comic books from the 60s and 70s.  He’s running an ebay business and the photos come with a link where you can purchase said comics, some with a price tag north of $100.00. Still, I enjoy seeing the photos of the comics, many of which I bought new, before tragically selling them for a pittance after deciding I had outgrown them. I wrote about that here.

At first I dabbled in Archie comics but soon gravitated towards the superhero books.  I was more of a DC man but I bought Marvel as well.  My favorite comic was the Justice League of America. I loved the idea of an interchangeable roster of heroes, each with his or her distinctive costume. I can still name the seven original Leaguers: Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, & Wonder Woman.  Like major league baseball, expansion would come to the Justice League and the first three additions were Green Arrow, the Atom, & Hawkman. (think of them as the Mets, Colt 45s, & Angels)

My favorite heroes’ were the Flash, the Atom, Hawkman, and Green Lantern.  I wasn’t that interested in Superman and Batman since they were kind of obvious and over-exposed.  What’s the deal with Superman anyway?  Is he some kind of Aryan ideal?  Batman is damaged goods – a psychotic who saw his parents gunned down.  (Come to think of it that actually makes him more likable) Aquaman’s power was too limiting, requiring water for him to be of any use.  Green Arrow was not exotic enough and I was never a Robin Hood guy.  In the early 70s, in an effort to compete with the more colorful Marvel personalities, DC gave Green Arrow a spiffier costume, long hair and a hipster goatee.  They also gave him a hothead personality, as well as a love-interest, Black Canary.  I liked him a little more in those days but he never cracked my big four.

I was drawn to the more science-fictiony characters.  The Atom could shrink yet somehow retain his true weight. Hawkman, being from the planet Thanager, used alien science. The Flash was a police-scientist in his secret identity (Barry Allen) and Green Lantern?  Well he’s not that sciency, but come on, what’s cooler, than an enormous power-ring green fist?

Next post we’ll go over baseball cards.

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The DC reboot

Posted by keithosaunders on September 2, 2011

When I was eight my Mom, Aunt, brother, and I drove from Los Angeles to Bakersfield to go to a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.   After the service there was a party at my cousin’s house.  At some point I found myself alone in his room, and there I discovered his comic book collection.  He had dozens, if not hundreds of magazines.  I spent my remaining time at that house holed up in that room reading Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman comics.

When we returned home I started asking my parents for spare change so I could buy my own comics.  In the next two years I amassed a fairly respectable collection.  The Justice League of America, which consisted of most of the aforementioned heroes, was my favorite title , but I also liked the Legion of Super Heroes, as well as some of the Marvel books, such as Iron Man, Thor, Spiderman, and the Avengers.

Comics cost 12 cents when I began collecting, and by the time I stopped they had gone up to a quarter.  These days they’ll set you back between $2.50 and $3.00. 

One day, when I had reached the ripe old age of thirteen, I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard when I came across a collectible store, filled with old movie scripts, posters, and yes, comics.  There I learned that you could make cold, hard cash by selling your comics to the store.  It was that easy.  So, like the idiot I was, (and would remain) I sold my entire collection.  For $20.00.

A few years later I was nineteen, and thanks to a drummer friend who had saved his comics, I got back into collecting.  At that time, if you weren’t that picky about buying mint condition, you could still get the old Silver Age comics for decent prices.  [The Silver Age generally refers to the comics made between the ’50s and the early ’70s.]

I was able to replenish most, if not all of my collection, and this time I was smart enough to hold onto them.  They exist today 3,000 miles east of where I live in an upstairs garage in Shokan, New York. 

This is top of mind because of all things, DC comics is in the news.  In the last week I have heard a segment on All Things Considered, as well as read an article in the Oakland Tribune, about DC comics.  DC is the older of the two big comics companies — that’s where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman come from.  Marvel has Spiderman, Hulk, and Captain America, among others.

But I digress.  This month DC is in the process of rebooting their entire catalogue of comics.  Every book — I believe there are 52 of them — is starting over at #1, and the heroes are going to have different origins, and in some cases, different powers.  In the case of Action Comics this is a shame.  Superman originated in Action Comics way back in 1938, and the book has remained in existence all of these years, making it well into the 900s.  How cool would it have been to have a chance to buy Action 1,000? 

A lot has said about the rebranding of these heroes, but I have read very little about what the differences are going to be — just that they want to make them more relevant to modern times.  What does this mean?  Are the heroes going to use smart phones and have tattoos?  I hope this isn’t a lot of smoke and mirrors about change.  (I’m looking at you, Obama!)  If they’re going to the trouble of starting over, I want to see some real change. 

I’m actually considering checking out some of these books.  I may even subscribe to the new Justice League.  I hope they do a good job, but if they don’t, I hope they revert to Action Comics #945.             

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The 2011 state of the NL

Posted by keithosaunders on March 30, 2011

Ah, the senior circuit:  Land of no designated hitter, the double switch, and the greatest team in the world, the New York Mets!  What follows will be a biased and warped view of the aggregations that comprise this fine league.  I’ll begin with the…

NL West 

I moved to Berkeley, California last year, arriving in the Bay Area on August 18th.  At that point in the 2010 season the Giants were mired in a slump and sitting three games behind the front running Padres.  They proceeded to go on a 10 game winning streak, and in September they won 18 of 26 games, clinching the division on the final day of the season.  They did it with stellar starting pitching and a bevy of clutch hitting from the unlikeliest of sources.  (can you say Cody Ross and Pat Burrell?)  I see no reason, barring injuries, that this year should be any different.

Poor San Diego.  Even though they play in a Republican city, they deserve better.  They managed to lose over half of their offense to free agency, and by half I mean Adrian Gonzalez.    

Speaking of once proud organizations, the Dodgers followed up their putrid 2010 season with an equally putrid offseason.  At this writing the bottom third of their lineup features Juan Uribe, Rod Barajas, and Tony Gwynn Jr.  Tony Gwynn Jr?  I just threw up in my mouth.

Everyone wants to make sexytime with the Rockies.  I don’t.  Troy Tulowitzki is a top five player, and Ubaldo Jiminez is an outstanding pitcher, but I’m not sold on the rest of their staff, and Huston Street can’t play a full season.  Talk to me when Aaron Cook and Jorge De La Rosa emerge as legit 2nd and 3rd starters.

Arizona has John McCain as their senator and J.J. Putz as their closer.  Nuff said.   

NL Central

For some reason the central division teams have always reminded me of the more obscure Justice League heros.  Like The Atom, Hawkman, and The Flash, they never get as much play as they should.   The division is chock full of old-time teams that fly under the radar, but are fun to watch and root for.  Call me nuts, but I have a soft spot in my heart for these koo-koo central teams.  Even Houston.

2011 could be the  Cubs year.  Hold on, I’m getting a deja vu.  Oh yeah, I said that last year….and the year before that, and the year before that…

I’d like to see Milwaukee finally get over the hump.  Be prepared for a monster walk year from Prince Fielder, and enjoy the young studs, Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee.  John Axford is a premier closer but their starters, outside of Yovani Gallardo, are a bunch of question marks.

I like the Reds.  They’re our oldest, most venerable team, and I wish them the best.  There’s a lot to be excited about in the Queen city.  Joey Votto is an animal, and Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs are stars of the future.  Reliever Aroldis Chapman can throw a baseball 150 miles per hour —  I’ll set the over-under on the date of his first rotator cuff surgery at July 2nd. 

Of Tony La Russa and the Cardinals I have this to say:  Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.  Get out of here with that delicate genius bit of batting the pitcher 8th, and emptying the entire bullpen in a two inning span in a barrage of lefty-righty matchups.  Bite me.

And now for my Charlie Sheen impression:

[clears throat] 

Houston…shit. 

  

NL East

If I believed in reincarnation, which I don’t, but just for the sake of the story let’s say that I do —  I would want to come back as the Mets team doctor and see to it that INJURED PLAYERS SOMEDAY RETURN TO ACTION!  Carlos Beltran hasn’t played in a ballgame since the 80s.  He’s on the opening day roster, but I have the feeling that it’s more for show than anything.  Johan Santana is working on his third injury as a Met — he is expected to make his return sometime this August, which in Met years means 2015.  What can I do, they’re my team.   So oil up the home run apple, wheel out Ralph Kiner, and let’s go Mets! 

The Phillies.  Ugh.  Cliff fucking Lee?!  Are you ^%$#%^ kidding me?!!  I’ve got news for you, though.  Their starting lineup, which is missing Chase Utley, and features a brittle Jimmy Rollins, an over-the-hill Raul Ibanez, and a bevy of role players, is not going to make anyone forget the ’27 Yankees.  I am not a Brad Lidge believer, nor a Ryan Madson fan.  Still…starting pitching.  I get it.

The Braves, with their inane Tomahawk-chopping fans, are experiencing a renaissance of a sort, and could well challenge Philly for the division.  But I don’t feel like writing about them now — I’m too aggravated.

It looks like a another long year for the Nationals, but if Steven Strasberg’s arm ever heals, and first round draft pick Bryce Harper lives up to expectations, the future could be bright.  I’d like to see them finally get good —  I always liked the Expos.  It was a shame that for all the great players they developed, they were never able to make it to the World Series.    

Which brings me to Florida.  Has there ever been a team that has able accomplish so much for so few fans?  With a roster that boasts Wes Helms, Randy Choate, and Javier Vasquez, this doesn’t figure to be a year rife with accomplishment.  In fact, they could break an attendance record of sorts:  Most surly Jews ever to attend a ballgame.

Enjoy the season!

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