Tagged: Legion of Super-Heroes

Mindy Newell: Butterflies Are Timey-Wimey

Before I get started – or let’s pretend that I have just stopped time – just want to say regarding Martha Thomases’ column of last week:

Shit, Martha, why the fuck didn’t I think of writing that?

•     •     •     •     •

See, about two months ago I hurt my middle finger at work. It got caught between a stretcher and a door. The noted and very adorable Dr. Christopher Doumas used the C-arm to check it out. Nothing was broken – be thankful for small miracles, right? – but there was plenty of soft tissue damage, meaning I bruised the fascia, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Plus broken capillaries and such. Which caused my ahem middle finger to swell up and turn several shades of purple.

But you know how they say that soft tissue damage hurts worse than a broken bone? – well, maybe you don’t, but trust me, they do say that – so believe me when I tell you:

Goddamn, it hurt!

Anyway, I had to write an incident report, which meant I had to go to the boss’s office. The boss is from the Midwest, and, imho, the outfit that owns my ambulatory surgery center reflects that what’s the matter with Kansas? mentality. So I’m sitting there trying to write, which was extremely difficult because said middle finger was on my right hand, and I’m a “righty” – the only thing about me that is.

Just trying to use the keyboard was a pain in the ass – or finger – and I muttered “Fuck, that hurts.”

My what’s the matter with Kansas? boss looked very disturbed. Did she say, “I’m so sorry, Mindy.” Did she say, “Do you want an Advil?” Did she cluck and coo and offer other bromides?


She said, “Don’t use that language. It’s not professional.”

I looked at her. I thought are you kidding me?

And I said:

“I’m from New York.”


•     •     •     •     •

I will now allow time to resume its normal linear course.

I have always, always loved time-travel stories.

Last night I was watching The Timey-Wimey Of Doctor Who on BBC America when, all of a sudden during a commercial break, I remembered a Silver Age Superboy story in which the Boy of Steel discovers the origin of Cinderella’s glass slipper – all of which inspired me to write about time travel today. Anyway, I was sure the Cinderella story was featured on the cover. But guess what I discovered when doing my due diligence?

The Cinderella thingy was only a “side-trip” in a very famous and critical-to-DC-mythology story written by Robert Bernstein and penciled and inked by George Pepp. The story was “Superboy’s Big Brother” (Superboy #89, June 1961), featuring the introduction of Mon-El – whom I’ve also always loved, but that’s a topic for another day and another column. Leaving Mon-El to hang out at the Kent home with his parents, Clark goes to school ‘cause he has a test he can’t skip. I guess it was an English class, or maybe history, or maybe even creative writing because one of the questions on the test is about the origin of fairy tales and uses the Cinderella story as an example.  Clark remembers meeting the real Cinderella in the past. I guess to jog his memory – although since Superboy has super-memory I don’t know why it needs jogging – he decides to revisit the past to make sure he’s got the details right.

Clark asks permission to get a drink of water. (The teacher says okay, which means allowing him to leave the room during a test. Try doing that these days, kids!) Changing into Superboy, he flies through the time barrier to Egypt, circa 4,000 B.C. He takes a drink of water from the Nile – ‘cause, you know Superboy never tells a lie, and this way he can honestly tell the teacher that he got his drink of water. While getting his allotment of H2O, he sees an eagle steal a sandal from a girl putting a bassinet made from reeds into the Nile. There’s a baby inside. It floats down the Nile to where the Pharaoh’s daughter is bathing. The Pharaoh’s daughter finds the baby in the bassinette, and names him Moses….

Strike that.

Superboy is about to go after the eagle when that super-memory of his is jogged once again, so he does nothing. Instead he watches as the bird drops the sandal in the Pharaoh’s palace. The Pharaoh searches for the woman whose foot fits the sandal. He finds her and makes her his queen. Aha! thinks Superboy. This is the Cinderella story he came back in time to see. Now it’s time to go back to school and finish that test.

So Clark writes up the story, but the teacher says he has no proof, so only gives him an 89. (Guess it wasn’t a creative writing class after all.) And Clark isn’t unhappy, because if he had aced it, the teacher might suspect he’s Superboy because Clark is so smart. (Huh?)

Meanwhile, suspecting that Mon-El is lying about being his brother – um, excuse me, but aren’t you the one who assumed that he was, Clark? – Superboy exposes Mon-El to a meteorite that looks like Kryptonite but is really made of lead.

Oops. Your bad, Superboy.

Mon-El is really Lar Gand, a native of the planet Daxam. And Daxamites can’t handle lead. In fact, it kills them. Like the Roach Motel: once they check in, they don’t check out. Swearing that one day he will find a cure to the fatal lead poisoning, Superboy has no choice but to send Mon-El to the Phantom Zone in order to save his life.

Leading in a timey-winey, butterfly effect way to the other time travel story that added-to-the-DC-mythology big time, the introduction of the Legion of Super-Heroes (Adventure Comics #247, April 1958, by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino). And if I have to recount that story, you shouldn’t call yourself a comics fan! J The Legion traveled through the time barrier by means of a “time bubble,” which maybe was inspired by the bubble in which Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, travels to Oz. Only they don’t ask Superboy if he is a witch. They also don’t think Krypto is a witch.

It was Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes who, in “The Secret of the Mystery Legionnaire” revealed that he had discovered a permanent cure for Mon-El. This happened in Adventure Comics #330, March 1962, by Jerry Siegel and John Forte. This is only a year for us poor Earth-Prime Homo sapiens who are cursed to experience time in a this-way-forward linear manner, but it was about twenty centuries as a phantom for poor Lar Gand.

No wonder he went nuts.

TUESDAY MORNING: Emily S. Whitten, Esq






June 5th, 2012 – Mount Laurel, NJ – Join Tom Sniegoski and Dennis Calero for a very special Shadow story in The Shadow Annual #1 featuring a cover by Alex Ross.  In The Shadow Annual #1, The Shadow is tormented by visions of New York City plagued by living fire-fire in the shape of a Chinese dragon-fire with the potential to spread hungrily to the world.  But what do these visions mean?  The Shadow will peel back the layers of mystery, leading to a confrontation that could very well shake the pillars of Heaven. Who are the waifs of Li-Lung, and what are their connections to Brother Pritchard’s Orphanage for Wayward Children, and to crime boss on the rise, Vincent Ruzzo? Soon, the Shadow will know.

“When I found out that Dynamite had The Shadow license I was ecstatic . . . and when they asked me if I was interested in writing the first annual I just about had a seizure,” says writer Tom Sniegoski.  “First of all, anybody who knows me knows how much I love the pulp characters, and the Shadow is number one on my list of favorites.  I cut my teeth on the whole pulp hero thing in 2009 with my novel, Lobster Johnson: The Satan Factory, which won the Best Pulp Novel of 2009 from The Pulp Factory Awards.  Looking back, I feel like that book was a warm up to the main attraction, now I was going to get the chance to write the character that almost all other pulp characters were trying to emulate, now I was going to get the chance to write The Shadow.  To say that I was a little nervous was an understatement.  First I had to come up with an idea for a story with the same kind of punch that the original pulps had, and was as powerful and exciting as Garth Ennis, and Aarron Campbell’s current run.  After some serious thought (and a few tumblers of scotch) I came up with a story idea that everybody seemed to love.  It’s got everything that I’d be looking for in a Shadow story: mysterious locales, organized crime, dreams of an apocalyptic future, blazing Colt 45’s and Thompson Machine Guns, and creepy kids with psychic powers . . . what’s not to love?”

“Tom and I have known each other since he was the main writer on Vampirella back in the ‘90’s,” adds Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci.  “With his success in prose, it was hard for him to make time for comics work.  We’re very happy that he was able to work on our first The Shadow Annual.  It’s an awesome tale, and Dennis’ art compliments the story incredibly well.”

Tom Sniegoski has worked for all the big guys in the comic book industry, Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, Cartoon Books, and now Dynamite! Some of the characters Tom has written include Batman, The Punisher, Hellboy, Wolverine, Devil Dinosaur, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and he even wrote the prequel to Jeff Smith’s award winning series Bone, which was called Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone. His most recent comic book work (written with frequent partner, Christopher Golden) is The Sisterhood, published by Archaia Studios Press. This dynamic duo also worked on the mini-series Talent from Boom Studios which was optioned by Universal Pictures.

Dennis Calero’s work includes Acclaim Comics’ licensed-product titles Sliders and Magic: The Gathering; Moonstone Books’ TV tie-in titles Cisco Kid and Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Platinum Comics’ Cowboys & Aliens; IDW Publishing’s Masters of Horror: Dreams in the Witch House; and Marvel Comics’ X-Factor, during his tenure on which the title was nominated for the Harvey Award for Best New Series (2006). In 2006, IDW announced that Calero will be one of the cover artists on its six-issue Star Trek: The Next Generation TV tie-in miniseries The Space Between, scheduled for 2007.  Calero drew an arc of Legion of Super-Heroes for DC Comics and his new Marvel series, X-Men: Noir, was released by Marvel in December 2008. X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain was released in 2010. That same year, he drew the Dark Horse Comics relaunch of the former Gold Key and Valiant character, Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom, which was written by Jim Shooter.

Be sure to get The Shadow Annual #1 in September!

Become our fan on Facebook at facebook.com/DynamiteComicsJoin the conversation on Dynamite Entertainment’s twitter page at http://twitter.com/DynamiteComics

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MARTHA THOMASES: Superman Red… or Blue?

My last two columns generated a certain amount of off-topic political discussion, which is 1) exciting and 2) frightening. The fright stems from the fact that political discussions got us kicked off this site four years ago.

The excitement comes from proving something I have always believed. Feminists claim the personal is political. I think the arts are political, too. You may have a different opinion. It depends in your definition of art. I think art is something created by an artist that makes you see the world in a new way.

Forty years ago I had surgery, and was lying on my parents’ couch zonked on major pain killers. I was reading Dune, watching the Olympics and the political conventions. I couldn’t tell which was which. Maybe that’s because Dune is a mind-blowing book. The sequels never moved me as much. Perhaps it was the drugs, or maybe they need world-class diving in the background.

Different people with different perspectives can find enjoyment in the same entertainment. The Hunger Games, which seemed to me to be a reasonably populist and feminist fable, has made over $200 million as I write this, and I doubt all those ticket-buyers are part of the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

Comic books would seem to be an All-American form of entertainment. Especially superhero comics. Truth, justice and the American Way. Upholders of the law who best criminals and ne’er do wells. And yet, those of us who consider ourselves rebels and/or leftists have found plenty that resonates.

Superman is an undocumented alien. The X-Men are scorned because they are a minority, born different from the rest of us. The Legion of Super-Heroes imagines a future in which we not only survive, but learn to use science to live in peace. Mostly.

Often it is the sensibility of the writer that makes a story resonate politically. Twenty years ago, when Bill Clinton was running for his first term, Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove supported his candidacy. Dan Jurgens did not. If you were reading Superman comics then (when one storyline ran through four different titles, each published a different week of the month), you might have been able to pick out their different points of view.

There are people who share my political beliefs whose work I don’t like, and people with whom I disagrees whose work I read avidly. There are writers like Jamie Delano, who I mostly love but whose work I like less the more I agree with him.

We have an election ahead of us this year, and I hope that, as a nation, we can debate issues on their merits, and not descend into the kind of lies and distortions that frequently foul our discussions. And I hope comics do their part, presenting different issues and different perspectives through the prism of graphic fiction.

I think Superman is a Democrat. How about you?

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman Goes To The Big Show

MINDY NEWELL: Two Karas And A Buffy

…with thanks to Martha Thomases!

A long time ago – in 1959 – in a galaxy far, far away – well, actually, just over the Bayonne Bridge on Staten Island – I met Kara Zor-El.

I was six. She was 12 years old … in Earth years.

I could walk, run, ride a bike, and ride a horse. She could fly.

I was always getting numerous cuts and scrapes and bruises. She was invulnerable.

I had 20-20 vision. She had X-ray vision, telescopic vision and heat vision.

I would get in trouble for not hearing my mom or dad calling for me to come in and eat supper. She had super-hearing.

I was fast. She could break through the time barrier.

I got kicked out of Girl Scouts (remind me to tell you why – it’s not what you think). She joined the Legion of Super-Heroes.

My mom gave me money to go rent a horse for an hour so I could ride. She had her very own horse. Okay, he was actually a handsome man from another planet, but let’s not get Freudian here, okay?

I didn’t have a dog. I really wanted a dog. My parents said no. Okay, she had a cat. Not a fan of cats. Why couldn’t she have a dog?

I wasn’t Superman’s cousin. She was.

If Superman got in trouble, I couldn’t do a damn thing to help him.

She was his secret weapon. Which meant that he depended on her to pull his green-glowing ass out of the Kryptonite frying pan time and again.

No wonder I loved her.

Kara Thrace.

A long time ago – 150,000 years ago – in another galaxy far, far way, she fulfilled her destiny and led the rag-tag fleet led by the Battlestar Galactica – all that was left of the human race after its destruction by the Cylons – to a new beginning on a new Earth.

Stogie-chomping, card-sharking, Viper-jockeying, Kara Thrace.

Hard-drinking, troubled, two-timing, bitchin’ Kara Thrace.

Killed in action, resurrected, disappearing-into-thin-air Kara Thrace.

Call sign: Starbuck.

Frakkin’ Kara Thrace.

No wonder I loved her.

Buffy Anne Summers.

Not that long ago – 1992 – in still another galaxy far, far away, an apt description of California to some – a fifteen year old girl who lived in Los Angeles met her destiny while sucking on a lollipop on the steps of her high school. Soon after she burned down her high school gym. Her parents divorced and she and her mom moved to Sunnydale to start over.

Only Buffy couldn’t start over.

For “in every generation, there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.”

For seven years, Buffy took on the natural and the supernatural, the unworldly and the all-too-real world, took on and stood up to and faced it all.

Vampires. Robots and a cyborg. Witches. Demons. Gods.

High School. College. Relationships. A job she hated.

The divorce of her parents.





She cried. She fought. She survived.

And she went to the mall.

No wonder I loved her.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis


“Shelly” Moldoff: 1920 – 2012

One of the last of the Golden Age greats, artist Sheldon “Shelly” Moldoff, died today at the age of 91.

Best known for his work on the Batman titles between 1953 and 1967, Shelly first visualized such canonical characters as the original Batwoman, the original Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite, Clayface (Matt Hagen), Poison Ivy, and Ace the Bat Hound.

Shelly was a major contributor the DC / AA Comics lines, starting with the sports cartoon “Odds ‘N Ends” published in Action Comics #1. He took over Hawkman shortly after its creation. He also drew Blackhawk, the Black Pirate, Space Ranger, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Batman and Robin team-ups in World’s Finest, an occasional Superman story, Gang Busters, a multitude of Jack Schiff’s public service pages during the 1950s, and the covers for the first appearances of The Flash (Flash Comics #1) and Green Lantern (All-American Comics #16).

During his long and bountiful career, Shelly also drew Kid Eternity for Quality Comics, Big Boy and many other commercial comics, and was one of the earliest contributors to EC Comics.

On a personal note, I had the privilege of hosting Shelly on many comics convention panels and always found him to be an affable, well-informed contributor. He honored my late wife on her 44th birthday with a beautiful recreation of the All-American #16 cover, which featured Linda’s favorite character.

Funeral services will be Tuesday at Kraeer funeral home, 1655 University Drive, Coral Springs Florida.


MARTHA THOMASES: Superman Family Values

As we gird our collective loins for another presidential election season, we become accustomed to another iteration of praise for “family values.” It is a phrase that has different meanings to people of different political persuasions. To Democrats, it means a living wage and a financial safety net for the poor, the old and the infirm. To Republicans, it means no gay marriage, no sex outside marriage, and no abortion.

For me, neither viewpoint is adequate. I strive for Superman Family values.

As a woman of a certain age, I remember a comic book series dedicated solely to the Superman family. It had stories about Superman, of course, but also Supergirl, my favorite character, and Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane and Krypto. At 60¢ (not the standard 15¢ or 20¢), this was a big, fat comic book, good for a whole afternoon.

I learned a lot about family from those books, and not just how to get some extra change from my parents.

Superman grew up with loving, principled parents in the Kents. He lived on a farm where everyone had chores that contributed to the family fortunes. He knew he was adopted, so he knew his parents really wanted him. However, since he was Kryptonian, he had powers and abilities far beyond those of his friends and classmates. His parents taught him to value his differences, but not use them to draw attention to himself for personal gain. His gifts were best appreciated when he used then to help his community.

Years later, Superman discovered he had a teenage cousin, Supergirl. He didn’t know anything about her, yet he immediately accepted her and loved her.

When he grew up and moved on to his adult life, Superman, like the rest of us, assembled a family of sorts, of people he chose. Most of this family came from the people with whom he worked, Perry White a surrogate father, Jimmy Olsen like a little brother. Bruce Wayne was his best friend, a peer who understood what it meant to live life with secrets.

I have to believe that Superman would favor the rights of immigrants, since he is one. I have to believe that a man who has roamed the various universes and seen thousands of different societies would develop respect for people with different beliefs than his, and different ways of defining family.

As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman had good friends who were in romantic relationships that were not only not conventionally heterosexual, but often between two different species. If this bothered him, we never saw his discomfort in the comics. He accepted his friends as they presented themselves.

Is Superman political? I have always imagined him to be a New Deal Democrat, or what the GOP today calls a “socialist.” At the same time, I don’t see him as an activist, nor even all that partisan. As Clark Kent, he votes, he serves jury duty when summoned, and he pays his taxes.

To him, family is a joy and a refuge. It isn’t something for politicians to use to bludgeon each other and score points.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

Here Comes Space Kid!

Space kid – honorary deputy of the Space Patrol!

Space Kid! is a pulpy, old-school, retro-sci-fi, all-ages fun-and-adventure weekly webcomic by John MacLeod. Launched in June 2010, Space Kid is a weekly web comic with a new page posted every Sunday — all previous pages are still up and easily viewable so you can read Space Kid’s adventures from the beginning at http://www.spacekidcomics.com/.

If you like your sci fi mixed with pulpy fun, then give Space Kid a shot.

About Space Kid:

Welcome to the 26th century — as viewed from 1950.

Space Kid! was inspired by artist John MacLeod catching sight of a graphic on a T-shirt: a retro-cartoony style drawing of a big-headed boy in a classic retro bubble-helmet spacesuit. That drawing suddenly triggered a huge wave of flashbacks to the sci-fi junk from the 50s and 60s that he grew up on and loved. Things like The Jetsons, Adam Strange, Marine Boy, Magnus: Robot Fighter, most of the Supermarionation shows, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Perry Rhodan, and other Googie visions of the future that saturated the pop culture of those days, and which he found so much fun and so terribly exciting as a kid. And more flashbacks, to things from the old days which he didn’t discover until much later, like the 50s sci-fi work of Osamu Tezuka and Cyborg 009 and Star Blazers and Dan Dare. According to MacLeod, You will find echoes of all these [and probably lots more] in Space Kid!

You can read the adventures of Space Kid at http://www.spacekidcomics.com/.

MINDY NEWELL: Comics Are For Kids?

There’s a great interview with Grant Morrison on the website of Rolling Stone magazine.  The reason I bring it up is that I’ve been thinking about last week’s column.  The more I thought about Action Comics #1, written by Morrison, the more I really liked it.

But I’m an adult.

I’ve been a fan of Grant’s since his debut on this side of the pond as the writer of Animal Man back in the 80s. It was a book that I adored. But Animal Man was under the Vertigo imprint, whose aim was to bring a sophisticated, i.e. adult, audience and slant into the comics industry – at which it incredibly succeeded, of course. In fact, if I remember right, the “hook” for the entire line of Vertigo books was sophisticated horror.

But I’m an adult.

And the Vertigo books aren’t for kids.

I grew up during the Silver Age of comics. When Lois was constantly getting into jams thanks to her penchant of trying to discover Superman’s secret identity. When Jimmy was constantly being exposed to some weird amulet that turned him into Elasti-Lad or a giant turtle or a bearded man. When Perry smoked cigars and yelled “Great Caesar’s Ghost” all the time. When Supergirl was alive and acted as her cousin’s secret weapon. When Superboy was a teenage Clark Kent living in Smallville and had a secret passageway and robots to cover his “tuchas” when he was away on a mission and his parents were alive and Lana Lang was his sweetheart. When Kandor was in a bottle.  When the Legion of Super-Heroes travelled through time in a bubble. When the “editor’s note” would inform me that the sun was 93,000,000 miles away from Earth.

Okay, it was a more innocent age. Well, not really. There was the Cold War and the U-2 incident and the Korean War and the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis and Barry Goldwater and the John Birch Society and “advisory troops” in a country named Vietnam. The Suez Canal crisis.

It was the Mad Men age.

And then we all grew up to be Mad Men.

The assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The assassination of Martin Luthor King. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Women’s rights. The Black Panthers. Newark, New Jersey in flames. The Weatherman. The Vietnam War. Tricky Dick. The Chicago Democratic Convention. Dan Rather being manhandled and dragged off the floor of the convention center. Cops in riot gear beating up college students. The Pentagon Papers. Pot. Hash. Timothy Leary. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. Tune in. Turn on. Drop out.

The thing is, I think all those people marching and rioting and fighting and reacting to what was wrong in the world, what they did, what we did, was because we were raised on the ideals of what America was supposed to be about, what we really did believe, growing up, America was about.

I look around now, and I wonder, why aren’t people out on the street marching in the hundreds of thousands protesting? Angry people march. Angry people riot. Angry people force change.

Six out of 10 children are living in poverty in this country. In fucking America, man! Why aren’t their parents out there marching? We were lied into Iraq more blatantly than we were ever lied to about Vietnam. Why the fuck aren’t we out there marching? We’re building infrastructures and schools in Afghanistan while our own bridges and roads are collapsing and our school buildings are rotting. Why the fuck are we not out there marching? Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, the Koch brothers and about 10 other Wall Street operators are speculating in oil prices. Why the fuck aren’t we out there marching? The President lets the Republicans walk all over him and the Republicans can’t stand that the black guy in the White House isn’t the valet. Why the fuck are we not out there marching?

What has changed?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t.

But I’m sad, and I’m scared. Really scared.

Superman used to be written for kids. As was Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, and Supergirl, and Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Grant is a great writer. Grant is a brilliant writer.

Grant is not a writer for kids.

And Action Comics #1 isn’t for kids.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis

MINDY NEWELL: Back In The Saddle Again

There’s a scene in Sleepless In Seattle where Tom Hanks, whose libido has been dead in the water since his wife died, comes home from work to discover his young son hanging out with a friend in his room – and that’s a literal hanging out, as the two of them are cozy cuddling on one of those mod hanging chairs built for one. Oh, did I forget to mention that the son’s friend is grrrl? One of those 9-going-on-24 types who seem to have waaaay too much information ‘bout the birds and the bees and who looks on grown-ups as burnt-out Muggies without a clue about the magic in the world and who you just have to tolerate because, well, that’s just the way life is.

“H-A-G,” the girl says to Tom. And, proving her point, he says, “Huh?”

“Hi and good-bye,” she sighs with a sad shake of her head.

“Oh. Yeah. Right” says Tom, and closes the door. Now Tom is such a brilliant actor, and you can just see the thoughts going through his head about just being kicked out of his son’s room, number one being, my 9 year old son is gettin’ some! And number two being fuck that! And the soundtrack gears up and Gene Autry sings “I’m Back in the Saddle Again” while we watch Tom going through his Rolodex and dialing the number of that cute interior decorator he works with.

So how does that relate to comics? As you’ll learn as you read my columns, my mind works in mysterious ways and I have given up trying to understand how that works.

See, it was a Saturday. A few days earlier Mike Gold had asked me to write for ComicMix. I was so flattered that I said yes immediately, and then after we hung up I’m like, “What the hell am I doing? Why did I say yes? I haven’t written anything in years. I’ve haven’t been involved with comics for years. I don’t even have an account at my local comics store anymore. I’m calling him back and telling him, thanks, but no thanks.” Only I didn’t. I watched Sleepless on HBO instead.

So the next day is Sunday and I’m driving out to Watchung to see my parents, and I’m listening to the Buffy “Once More With Feeling” soundtrack for like the millionth time and singing along and all of a sudden in the middle of I’ll Never Tell my mind flashes on that scene with Tom and his son and the wise-ass girl and Gene Autry singing in the background and I say to myself, Back in the Saddle Again. What a great title for my column.

So here I am.

I was going to write today about how I got into comics. See, I’m a nurse. An R.N. With extensive education and fancy certificates. I don’t talk about my “other career” at work. (For a reason. I’ll tell you about that later on, maybe.) But somehow someone always finds out. Through their kid, or their cousin, or their accountant, who are readers or collectors and “your name came up in conversation yesterday and my boyfriend asked me if you’re the Mindy Newell who wrote Wonder Woman. And I googled you and, wow, you worked for DC?” And then, you know, gossip, and in the middle of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, the surgeon says to me, “Somebody told me you wrote the Legion of Super-Heroes. I loved the Legion. Read it all the time when I was growing up.” Once I had a patient who couldn’t get over that the writer of the Amethyst mini-series was his nurse.

And on the other side, the people who do read and work in comics, they always find it fascinating that I work in the operating room. A lot of them – maybe it has do with being comics fans? – always ask me about the blood, they all think there’s a lot of blood in the operating room, they’re like “how do you handle all that blood and guts and stuff?” and their eyes are glowing with excitement, and I swear, some of them, their mouths are watering, and I know they think I work in The Tomb of Dracula, but I love to fuck with them, and so I tell them that there really isn’t a lot of blood in the operating room, and that it can really be quite boring, but no one ever believes me, and they look so disappointed, so for those of you who really need that blood gratification, I will say that, yeah, sometimes there is tons of the red stuff, and that’s when it’s Avengers Asssemble!!

I promise I’ll tell you next time how I got into comics.

Oh, and one more thing.

I love being back in the saddle again.

Hope you’ll join me.

TUESDAY: Michael Davis!

‘Wanted’ director Timur Bekmambetov produces ‘Black Lightning’ movie – see the trailer now!

‘Wanted’ director Timur Bekmambetov produces ‘Black Lightning’ movie – see the trailer now!

All right, so Black Lightning is the translation of the movie title Черная молния from Russian.

And it probably won’t have that name when it gets released in the United States, as it has as much to do with the DC Comics character created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden as Mr. Miyagi’s protege has to do with the Legion of Super-Heroes. (Hmm. Maybe not the best example there.)

But it’s still a great deal of fun. Take a look:

Now, if you actually want to see more work from Black Lightning’s creators, we’re happy to show you the latest chapter of The Original Johnson by Trevor Von Eeden here on ComicMix just up today (the print edition is available for pre-order now in the Diamond catalog, hint hint) and you can visit Tony’s web site for great reviews and commentary.