Behind the Mask, by Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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8 Responses

  1. Rick Taylor says:

    I think it speaks to people's sense of helplessness and frustration.They want to DO something immediate to change things for the better and help those who seem in need.They want to 'do the right thing'.Isn't that what inspired the concept of the costumed hero?

  2. John Tebbel says:

    Lot going on here–Adolescents adopting roles as lone good-deed-doers.The influence of the folkways of the cartooning and printing industries in late 30s.The comparatively late arrival of decent Spandex.

  3. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    Here's a piece from a few months back about "Reals" (RL Superheroes) in the midwest.As neat and thrilling an idea as it sounds, I forsee ending much more like the first issue of Kick-Ass than any later issues.

  4. Dave says:

    When I was a kid, there was a guy in the Los Angeles area who dressed up and called himself Captain Peanut Butter. He wasn't a vigilante – just a guy who made appearances at local events. But someone got the idea of putting out a black and white comic book of him which I thought was cool.There was also a daredevil who called himself The Human Fly. One of his stunts was walking up the side of a building like a real fly (or Spider-Man). Marvel made a comic books series (which lasted 19 issues) based on him.If we ever had a real life costumed hero (we already have many non-costumed heroes), he would likely get his own comic book series – with a movie & TV series thrown in for good measure.

  5. Russ Rogers says:

    I went to my first comics convention last weekend. I got a dollar discount on my ticket, because I brought a canned good for the local food shelf. I got a nice drawing for only five buck donation to the Lupus Foundation. (Thanks to Henry Ferkey for donating his time and talent.) Money was also being raised for the Hero Initiative and the CBLDF. I wore my Batman T-Shirt and I brought a can of baked beans.There are also groups of CosPlayers who dress up as heroes and visit Children's Hospitals!…There are lots of ways to be heroes. And if you get a thrill dressing up to do it, that's fine by me. Wouldn't it be cool to see a Habitat for Humanity House getting built by Imperial Storm Troopers! That would ROCK!

  6. Neil in Nashville says:

    great column, Martha! fantastic!