Sentimental Sunday – Dad’s Comic-Books

My sons were getting worked up about the new summer blockbusters (movies) scheduled to come out this summer. The Captain (2nd son) and Chef (youngest) want to see the Avengers, with Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and a handful of others. I knew the Captain was excited about it because he described the less-than-a-minute commerical to his mother, MiLady Rabbit, in 22.3 minutes.

“Thor had his own movie last year,” he said, “and so did Captain America … and Iron Man you already know, and the Hulk was the CGI’d green guy whose movie wasn’t so great –“
“You know, dear,” she interrupted, “the Hulk was a TV show first, right?”
“Huh?” answered Captain, “really?”
“Bill Bixby played Dr. Banner,” my wife continued, “and the Hulk was played by a bodybuilder –“
“– named Lou Ferrigno,” I finished. “And before the TV show, the Hulk was grey-skinned in the comic-books!”

“Yeah, right Dad. I don’t think so.” was the smart alek reply, as MiLady googled the TV show details.
I went to the basement and returned a few minutes later with some old memories of life with my Dad; comic-books that he read to me, which I later inherited when he passed away.

“When was that TV show, midear?” I asked sweetly.
“1978 until 1982.”
I plopped the first book on the coffee table. “The Incredible Hulk #1 — 1962.”
“Uh, oh … he’s not green!” cried Chef.
PLOP. “Issue #2 shows him green, see?”
“Look, Captain, they fixed him!” Chef replied in unwavering devotion to the medium of four-colours. “Can I read it, Dad?”
I pretended not to hear the request, and asked Captain my next question: “What was that movie you went to see with Junior (oldest son)?”
“Captain America.”
PLOP. Captain America #117 — 1969.

“He’s fighting the Birdman!” screamed Chef.
“No, that’s the Falcon,” I corrected, “He’s a good guy, it’s just Captain America doesn’t know it yet.”
“Ohhhhh, wow, can I read it, Dad?”

[Insert stiffled laughter from my wife here]
PLOP. The Invincible Iron Man #15 — 1969.
PLOP. Thor #126 — 1966.
PLOP. The Amazing Spider-Man #20 — 1963.
PLOP. The X-Men #5 — 1964. [“Wow,” called Chef, “Can I have that one, Dad?”]
PLOP. The Avengers #7 — 1964.

Finally, the question I was waiting for surfaced. “Where did you get all these, Dad?”
“They belonged to your grandfather, then I got them.”
“YOU read comic-books?” MiLady teased, drawing giggles from the boys. “What did you read?”
“Tarzan, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Buck Rogers, Doctor Fate, Concrete, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles …”
“TURTLES?!?” cried Chef. “They are the best!”
“Only when smothered in nuts and chocolate,” I teased.

“No, way, it’s Superman, he’s better!” the Captain insisted.
“I have some Superman,” I replied, “but he is with the Legion of Super-Heroes.” My son’s eyes widened …
My wife shook her head in disbelief. She cast her vote for The Shadow, while Junior chose Jonn the Martian Manhunter.
I smiled, picked up my books and went back downstairs .. they’re all wrong, everybody knows the Green Hornet tops them all.
My Dad told me so.
Thanks, Dad


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