Doug: Today you'll need to put on your "thinking cap" (how many of you ever watched a kiddie program called Romper Room?) and wipe away some years. I want you to journey back in your mind to the time when you were a 6-, 7-, or 8-year old comic reader; hopefully I didn't disqualify too much of our audience. If I did, feel free to circumvent my scenario. Anyway, here's what I'd like to find out from you today -- as a child, what was your perception of violence and destruction in comics?
Doug: To be quite honest, I guess I never gave it a second thought. I don't think I had any perception of death or debilitating injury since the same heroes appeared in the next issue. As to bad guys, I'm thinking it was out-of-sight-out-of-mind until they returned again. Concerning property damage, and this may sound shallow or naive... until the 1989 mini-series Damage Control (which I've never read, but fully understand the farcical premise) I don't think it ever occurred to me because the Baxter Building and Avengers Mansion almost always looked the same from tale to tale. Below is a page from Marvels; how long do you think it took the Big Apple to dry out from this attack??
Doug: Of course, the first time I laid my eyes on Amazing Spider-Man #122 (a few years after its publication -- and ASM #90 was way before my time), my concept of death was forever altered; ditto with X-Men #95. In those stories, and afterward, it was apparent that death in comic books was real, that characters' lives could be affected, and that future storylines would be influenced by dark events of the past.
Doug: When you read comics now (old or new), do you get any sense of the amount of property damage or potential loss of life that takes place? I thought that the first volume of The Ultimates addressed these issues; I'm sure other modern comics have done so as well. When did your personal Age of Innocence end, and was there a definitive moment that led to your awakening or maturation?