Martha Thomases: The DCU – Getting There Is Half The Fun
Traditionally, the last two weeks of August are the time when everyone goes on vacation. The chi-chi restaurants, the ones that don’t rely on tourists, are closed, which is fine because most tourists seem to prefer chains like Red Lobster, which I don’t understand at all. The kids are home from camp and taking two weeks to go to the beach, or the lake, or the mountains (whichever is closest to grandparents), and that seems like a fine idea.
When I was a kid, that was just fine. No schedules, plenty of new places to explore, or just plop down with a book.
As I got older and more pretentious, I wanted to explore the world on my vacations. I wanted to see the great nations of Europe and more. I wanted to see sites I’d never seen, eat food I couldn’t pronounce, and, maybe, fall for with someone who spoke a language I didn’t understand.
I still want to do that. But I also want flop. Is there anyplace to go on vacation that lets me explore and relax at the same time?
Of course there is! Comic books!
As a DC girl, I tend to think of escapes in the DC Universe. And, for the purposes of this column, I’m assuming I do not have a Time Bubble, so I can’t vacation with dinosaurs or Legionnaires. Even so, I’ve found three places that seem, to me, to be ideal.
3. Atlantis! No, not the resort. Not even the sunken continent of myth. The undersea home of Aquaman, king of the seas. It would have all the grandeur of a royal court on dry land, such as castles to explore, and probably cathedrals (or whatever Atlanteans call their communal spiritual structures) and museums as well. I imagine the food is like nothing I’ve had before, maybe sushi, maybe seaweed, but much, much more salty, since it is grown and prepared in saltwater.
Best of all, I bet that tourists would be able to play with the fish. I’ve fed stingrays, and I’ve swum with dolphins, and both have been so much fun. Sure, it’s for rubes, but it’s fun. I would entirely enjoy being exploited by tourist wranglers in Atlantis, and I’d tip as well as I could afford for the privilege.
2. Themyscira! Again, not the place of myth, but the home of Wonder Woman. Coincidentally, it’s also known as Paradise Island, which is also another name for the Atlantis resort. And I imagine it as a paradise, at least for women. Like the Canyon Ranch, but with optional hunting and sword-fighting, it would be all organic food and rejuvenating spa treatments. I have done neither archery nor horseback riding since I went away to camp forty years ago, but I bet the Amazons would tolerate my ineptness as long as I wasn’t an asshole and I tipped well. I can’t think of a better place to go for a Bachelorette party or a class reunion.
1. Kandor! I’ve saved the best for last. I would like to tell you that I want to go to Kandor, the Kryptonian city that Brainiac shrank and put in a bottle, because it would be educational to learn about a culture that is, literally, out of this world in origin. I’m sure that learning how Kandorians interact, their customs and habits and beliefs, would be fascinating.
But that’s not why I want to go.
Kandor retains Krypton’s environment, which includes red sunlight and massive gravity. Unless I took extra precautions, I wouldn’t be able to get up off the ground.
Slide a mattress under me first, and let my lie there in a lump for my two weeks. Now that’s a vacation.