Superman: Peace on Earth (January 1999)
"Superman: Peace on Earth"
Paul Dini-Alex Ross
NOTE: Due to the size of this book, there was simply no way to get entire pages scanned on the equipment we own. In some cases, even individual panels had to be compromised. We regret any inconvenience toward your viewing pleasure. Karen: As we head into a new year, hopeful that it will be better than the previous one, we conclude our review of this beautifully illustrated story that has more than a little to do with hope and faith. Superman has taken on the herculean task of attempting to feed the world's hungry for a day, and after his first couple of stops, he feels like he's made the right decision. The people he's encountered so far are grateful and happy to receive his help. But things swiftly change when he delivers his cargo of food to an unnamed war-torn European country, where the gray-garbed people eye him with suspicion. They silently accept the packages he hands out, except for one small boy, who asks the Man of Steel, "Will you come back tomorrow?" Superman has to turn away.
Doug: It's here, in the second half of the story, where we begin to be able to place ourselves in the story. Superman, in today's first scene, has obviously landed somewhere in a war zone in what used to be Yugoslavia. While no mention is made of the political factors that led to the genocide, Dini's minimalist script gives us a very real impression of what has gone on. And the comment from the small boy just breaks the heart -- not only of the reader, but of Superman himself. I think this tiny vignette does many things. It contrasts the "localness" of Superman being able to check in on the young girl from he'd assisted at the beginning of the tale by taking her to a Metropolis shelter for rehabilitation and care with the needs of a very similar youth on the other side of the planet. While Clark Kent is indeed a Superman, he's never been able to be in two places at the same time, and this weighs on him. And in the contrast I've also brought forth a comparison -- hunger is universal, and not so easily fixed. In setting a goal to end "world hunger", Superman has discovered that "world hunger" is indeed made up of millions of individual stories.
Karen: Superman flies huge cargo ships full of grain and other foodstuffs across the globe; the scenes of him holding the ships above his head are really impressive. By the middle of his day, he returns to Africa, determined to reach as many remote villages as he can. As he hands out rice, he realizes that the vast crowds moving across the dry land have started a brush fire. Superman streaks off toward the fire and discovers that not only is there a fire, but it's caused a bunch of animals to stampede straight towards the village. OK, this is hokey but I loved it. It reminded me of something you might see on one of the old Superman cartoons from the 60s. Besides, Ross does a great job drawing elephants, zebras, lions and all other sorts of critters. Superman uses his body to dig a trench in front of the panicked beasts. Most turn around, but a few continue forward, and so we have some exciting shots of Superman man-handling an elephant, a rhino, and a lion. He flies off to a near-by lake and funnels the water over to put out the fire. With the situation in hand, he returns to distributing food.
Doug: Paul Dini, in just a few sentences (Superman's musings on helping everyone for just one day even though he knows they need more), says what political authors have filled volumes with: "I know at best this will provide only a day's relief for people who need so much. But perhaps that's what's needed to start the rest of the world thinking about a permanent solution." It's probably no mistake on the part of the creators that the setting for these lines is southeast Asia, where the Second World nations continue to pile up human rights violations while keeping the masses in Third World poverty.
Doug: In a totally different mood, I am reminded of the wonderful scene we showed two weeks ago in our review of Silver Surfer #4, when Norrin Radd reclines with the animals of the African wild. Ross's representation of the same creatures is a breathtaking as that of Big John Buscema. Karen: But the animals Superman faced in Africa were nothing compared to the inhuman creatures he would face next. In what appears to be somewhere in east Asia, Superman enters into a stand-off with a military dictator. On one side of a river are the desperate, hungry people of that country. On the other, the dictator and his army. The dictator thanks Superman and tells him that he and his troops will distribute the food. Of course, Supes knows darn well that the man has no intention of giving the food to those who need it. Instead, it will most likely keep it for himself or resell it. The Man of Steel asks to hand it out himself, and then finds the soldiers' rifles trained on the innocents. The dictator says he won't have Superman inciting a riot. Ross does a nice job here with Superman's facial expression; he's both stoic and contemptuous all at the same time. Superman quickly tosses the food on the side of the river with the civilians. The soldiers open fire but he blocks their bullets with his body and uses his heat vision to melt their rifles. But the dictator ultimately wins this round: he knows that Superman would have to leave eventually, leaving these people vulnerable to his retribution, and Supes knows this too. He leaves without handing the food out.
Doug: I wondered if Superman had landed in North Korea in this part of the story, as the previous scene from SE Asia seemed to have referenced China or Vietnam. The creators do a service in not naming any person or nation specifically, but the implications are pretty clear. You know, even though this scene is only a few pages long, there is great tension here. And how do you think Superman felt? He could have taken this guy out in any number of ways, and in an almost-instant fashion. Yet he stays true to his moral code, lets the guy have his day, and then brings succor to the people anyway. I love the panel you cited where Superman stops the bullets and uses his heat vision -- Ross has always been dynamite at depicting that power.
Karen: From his initial hopeful position, Superman gradually finds himself feeling more discouraged, as he delivers food to cities with empty streets, the hungry residents too fearful to come out of their homes to accept the food he brings. In other places, he is actually pelted with rocks and regarded as a political enemy. In a particularly harrowing scene, Superman lands in a country where the people have become nearly mad with hunger. They surround and swarm over him, and he has to perform one of his patented "drill through the Earth at super-speed" moves to escape.
Doug: Again, Dini's words are as pretty as Ross's pictures. On the page you reference: "Oppression breeds a spiritual starvation all its own... I can't overcome their generations of fear any more than I can force them to accept what I've brought." And... "Their rocks shatter as they hit me or bounce harmlessly aside. Every one hurts." I don't know that Superman has ever felt that outsider complex, as maybe Spider-Man or the X-Men have. "Every one hurts." Karen: On his last run of the day, Superman once again carries an enormous cargo ship overhead, only to have it dramatically blown up by a missile launched by a belligerent nation below. Not only do they completely destroy the ship, they also release a deadly gas which poisons the grain, despite Superman's best efforts to sweep the gas away. He lands amidst the wreckage of the ship and its contents, and sits, defeated, sifting the ruined grain through his fingers.
Doug: With the mention of poison gas, should we assume that this was the regime of Saddam Hussein? The panel where Ross shows Superman flying at super-speed to dissipate the gas is incredible. The last scene where Superman sits amidst the spoiled grain is similar to panels of abject defeat we've witnessed before -- Captain America at the end of the "Under Siege" storyline, Batman at the death of Jason Todd...
Karen: Back home in Metropolis, Clark sits in his apartment and ponders his failed mission. He feels badly for the millions of people who he couldn't help. He wonders how he thought he could really succeed. And then he begins to wonder if he was taking the right approach to things after all. He goes for a fly in the night air to clear his head, and then "gives an interview to Clark Kent", to try to explain what he was attempting to do. He says that he realizes that the task of taking on hunger was too much for any one man, even him. Besides the hunger he encountered, he also encountered terrible poverty, particularly in some men's souls. Superman says that if there is a solution to world hunger, it must come from the compassionate heart of mankind, and a willingness to reach out and share one's knowledge, time, and generosity. There is a beautiful shot here of Superman in space over the rim of the blue Earth and it reminds me a lot of the Christopher Reeve Superman films.
Doug: The word messiah means "annointed one", and there have been many to have claimed to be, or were claimed to be, messiahs throughout Jewish history. Yet the Christian use of the term is of course more specific to one man, and to the prophecies that He will one day return to Earth. Dini ventures into this territory on the page where Clark sits alone: "Most of all, I feel the disappointment of millions who still look skyward, yet know in their hearts I won't be coming. Did I truly think I would succeed? Knowing what I do of human nature, why would I believe everyone would willingly accept what I had to give? Then again, maybe I wasn't giving the right gift." Karen: There's no doubt that implication was intentional. The Superman movie of course, made it even more obvious when Jor-El talks about sending his "only son" to help the people of earth. It's hard not to see Superman as a Christ figure. The man become God and vice versa. On the last page of the story, it is now spring, and we see Clark with a group of young school kids at a farm. Just as his father showed him when he was a child, so he shows them now how to spread seeds in the rows, so that each has a chance to grow.
Doug: "...if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour; if you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn." -- attributed to Anne Isabella Ritchie, Great Britain, c. 1885.
Karen: All in all this was a very enjoyable read. I thought they captured the essence of Superman (as I see it) very well. Despite his great powers, even Superman can't solve this terrible man-made problem (which is as it should be). At best, he can inspire people to do better. And in the end, he follows his own advice, in his human identity of Clark Kent, by working with a group of schoolkids to share what he has learned about how to grow food. You can't help but think that perhaps this smaller, more modest gesture will be the one to bear more fruit.
Doug: Since we're in between our 2-part look at Alex Ross's and Paul Dini's Superman: Peace on Earth, I thought we'd pause for a bit and ponder a question. The inspiration for said question was an article in the recent treasury-sized issue of Back Issue! magazine. One of my favorite "big books" of the 1970's was the Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez-illustrated Superman vs. Wonder Woman. At the beginning of the article was a photo of television's Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, with co-star Lyle Waggoner. And here's what immediately leapt to mind:
DC has struggled (sometimes mightily) in getting any traction under Superman and/or Wonder Woman projects on the big or small screens since the late 1970's; Superman has obviously been involved in a few long-running series like Lois and Clark and Smallville, but do Bronze Agers think of Dean Cain and Tom Welling first when they think of Supes? And part of that may be due in no small part to the performances and general looks of actors Christopher Reeve as Superman and the aforementioned Carter. Any actors who venture into those iconic costumes are forever measured against what for many Bronze Age Babies remain the definitive performances of those two characters. So, finally, here's the question: Between Christopher Reeve and Lynda Carter, who will "own" their trademark role the longest?
Karen: Since my partner recently updated everyone on the state of his comic room, I thought I would do the same. I am at the point where I am having to rotate things now; there's too much to keep it all out and adequately displayed. Even now it feels a bit cramped! But I still enjoy looking around whenever I sit down in my 'sanctum'. I've asked my husband to take some wide-angle shots of the room with his super-duper Nikon camera. I'll try to give some comments on each one. If you'd like to see how much things have changed, you can take a gander at this post: http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2009/11/karen-says-welcome-to-sanctum-part-1.html, from way back in 2009. I still have a lot of the items pictured there (like the comfy chair) but a lot of new goodies too. Most everything is modern; all the toys and models I had as a child got tossed when I moved out of my parents' house (by me, not them). So the stuff I have here has all been accumulated in the last ten years or so. Here's a shot as you enter the room:
From left to right we have Star Trek items, Planet of the Apes, various science fiction film characters, my Avengers mini-mates, the Cap shield, the Frankenstein shelf, the Creature shelf (and Universal monsters below him), then assorted 50s' sci-fi critters on top of right-hand glass case, a Frankenstein-Dracula-Wolfman face-off, some Star Wars figures, and Adam Warlock. The next view is looking from the comfy chair:
Here you can see Galactus and the Silver Surfer hanging out on the sub-woofer, the TV (obviously), and the assortment of posters that cover the walls and closet doors. Most of the smaller comic posters are from either the Asgard press calendars or the Eaglemoss figurine magazines. Hiding behind the TV is the shelves with some smaller figures, mainly super-heroes. This next shot shows that shelving a bit better:
All of my Avengers Eaglemoss lead figures are on the top shelf. I got the Black Panther for Christmas. The only figure I still really want now is Hercules. The Justice League have their own shelf a little further down. Here's a shot of the Frankenstein and Creature shelves. I got back into the classic monsters in a big way a few years ago, and these two are my favorites (like you couldn't tell).
A continuation of the Frankenstein theme carries over to the shelf below the top one, where we also have Marvel's Zombie hanging out. I really love this Bowen mini-bust and statue.
Next up a shot of the southwest corner glass case and bookcase with a lot of my larger figures on top.My trades and masterworks are all below. I'm at the point though where I need a bigger bookcase for them all.
I'd like to end with a look at my mini-mates. I know, probably too cutesy for most of you guys, but I love the little buggers. And a big plus -they don't take up a lot of space!
I hope you enjoyed your tour through my little hideaway. If you have any questions about anything, please ask away! Edit: Since some of you asked to see my trades, here's a shot of them:
Doug: Welcome to our annual examination of "the big haul". Today we'd like to hear what sort of pop culture love all of our readers received over the holidays. I'll start it off -- I had let it be known that Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story would be swell, as would the Legends of the Dark Knight: Marshall Rogers hardcover. Mission accomplished for both! Additionally my oldest son got me a 2-pack of black socks featuring very large images of Iron Man on one pair and Captain America on the other! Those should be a hit once school resumes. My younger son got me a couple of posters for the comic room. We have to exchange one, as he actually purchased the wrong poster from the right slot (let the buyer beware!). On the exchange, I think I am going to make up the difference with him and get a 24"x36" reproduction of either the cover to Batman #251 ("The Joker's Five-Way Revenge!) or Captain America #109 ("The Origin of Captain America!"). Lastly, my bride got me the Hallmark Green Lantern ornament, which is very cool. It's a likeness of Ryan Reynolds in full garb with his ring to the lantern. There's a little button on the side, and the whole thing lights up while you hear him recite the oath. Nice!
Karen: That's a pretty sweet haul, Doug. I can't complain myself. My husband spoiled me again. He gave me the Mezco 18" Frankenstein figure, who has already taken over a section of my comic/monster room. He also got me both the Frankenstein and Creature from the Black Lagoon banks from Diamond Select, and the McFarlane King Kong figure that came out a few years ago. I've tried to get my hands on that Kong before and never managed it so that was a very pleasant surprise! My good pal Larry gave me a super-cool 16" Gort figure (the robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still). He'll go really well next to my Robby the Robot figure! I got blu rays of both Soylent Green and Logan's Run; I never had the first film in my collection, and now I can replace the standard DVD version I have of Logan. Oddly enough, I didn't receive any trade paperbacks or masterworks this year! But we made a stop at the local comic store this last Saturday and I picked up the trade paperback version of Cosmic Odyssey to read, so I wasn't devoid of comic goodness on the holiday. Karen: So let's hear it: what kind of cool stuff did ya all get??
Karen: I was introduced to the works of Robert Heinlein when I was a pre-teen by my older brother. I started with books like Orphans of the Sky, The Door into Summer, then onto Starship Troopers, The Puppet Masters, and then to the really odd stuff, like Stranger in a Strange Land. Heinlein didn't become a favorite of mine, but I appreciated much of what I read. He's certainly not without controversy amongst the SF community though, particularly his final novels. Any thoughts on this writer?
Superman: Peace on Earth (January 1999)
"Superman: Peace on Earth"
Paul Dini-Alex Ross
NOTE: Due to the size of this book, there was simply no way to get entire pages scanned on the equipment we own. In some cases, even individual panels had to be compromised. We regret any inconvenience toward your viewing pleasure.
Doug: A few weeks ago we solicited from our readers their favorite holiday stories. We received several great nominations, and will dip into that well in the future. But today, and next week on New Year's Eve, we'd like to examine a book that no one mentioned -- not even your moderators! While surfing the Internet for holiday images, I came across some scans from today's book and was suddenly hit with a big "Well, duh!". Although this tome falls a good decade-and-a-half beyond our general Bronze Age parameters, the fact that it's treasury-sized puts it squarely in our wheelhouse. Because of the length of the story, Karen and I will take turns shepherding you through these wonderful pages. We hope you'll have as much fun reliving this tale as we did reading and writing about it.
Doug: As stated by me many a'time in days of yore, I am a huge fan of Alex Ross's work. I know he has his detractors, but I have a difficult time even getting myself to a point where I can agree to disagree. I know we've had commenters argue that realism in comics is almost oxymoronic; for my money (and it is my money), it's the realists who tend to draw me in. Give me a Buscema brother, a Neal Adams, John Romita, Jim Aparo, the Filipino masters -- any day. Ross is the next generation of those larger-than-life pencilers of the Silver and Bronze Ages. And on top of all that, he's a heckuva nice guy! He's never been anything other than a gentleman in the four or five times I've met him, including the opening of a gallery show in Chicago where I also met his dad, Clark. You may recall that he was the model and inspiration for the Kingdom Come character Norman McKay. But I digress.
Karen: You'll get no arguments from me; I absolutely love Ross' work.
Doug: One of the neat features of the Dini-Ross collaborations was the inclusion of a two-page origin of the star character at the beginning of each of the four editions that did feature solo heroes. The "updated" version of Superman's origin, sans any mention of Superboy, is used here. After a page where each creator thanks certain folks instrumental to the project, we dive in. We'll find that the story is framed by agriculture, of all things, and seemingly by a morality play akin to the parable of the sower (found in the Bible in Matthew 13: 18-23):
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.21 But
since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or
persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.22 The
seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but
the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.23 But
the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and
understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred,
sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Doug: Clark Kent reflects on time spent as a youth with his father Jonathan, a Kansas farmer. Clark's father spoke to him about seeds, and about nurturing them. He spoke of some not having much chance to mature, and others that would produce bountifully. Clark took all of that in, and knew that his father was telling him a story with a deeper meaning. Clark has always given of himself, and reflects on compassion and kindness as he delivers Metropolis' Christmas tree. The throngs of people cheer him as he plants the tree in its base, and then using his super speed decorates it in a flash. While those present want him to linger and speak, he instead flies off -- knowing there will be other less festive events to tend to. And as he takes to the skies, he hears a cry for help behind him. It's a young girl who's fallen in the midst of the onlookers; Superman swoops from above and whisks her away. As he cradles her in his arms, he feels her bones through her clothes. She's fainted, and it's not from the excitement. The girl is starving. Karen: I love how the flashback scenes with young Clark and Pa Kent are bathed in a soft golden light -the warm glow of memory but also perhaps the warm glow of the nurturing sun. I'm so pleased that it is Clark's upbringing here on Earth that is so integral to the story - I'm really not a fan of the more Kryptonian Superman that seems to be popular now. Ross' choice of angles as Superman carries in the tree really convey the size of it and the magnitude of his feat -all through the book, I am constantly impressed by Superman's various actions, which Ross manages to make look so much more majestic than ever before.
Doug: Clark takes the young lady to a homeless shelter that he's dealt with in the past -- one that has a health clinic. She's taken in by Dr. Rebecca Mason, who reminded me of Dr. Leslie Thompkins from the 1970's (and beyond) Detective Comics Batman tales. Dr. Mason offers to care for the girl and make sure she's nursed back to health; Clark can't get the situation out of his mind. He asks to run a feature on the homeless during the holidays, to draw attention to their plight. He tells himself it's really just an excuse to check up on the girl, which he does. And while there, the doctor tells him that Superman saved the youngster's life -- but it's too bad Superman can't be there for everyone in need. Clark skips the Daily Planet's holiday party the next night and instead spends his evening in the paper's archives, researching issues related to world hunger. Dini tosses in a nice bit of characterization in telling two things -- "in the blink of an eye I zip through pages of statistics and volumes of reports." and "I don't need to eat. I will never know hunger." While I found the first line entirely possible in the mythos, I've never really understood the latter idea. We all know that Superman gets his powers from the yellow sun; but does he draw his very life force from it?
Karen: I love looking at the faces of all the people Ross populates the shelter with -everyone is different, and real-looking! As for Supes not needing to eat -I too wondered about that. Does he really get all of his energy from the sun? He draws nothing from food? No need for the minerals or other substances found in food? I find that a bit hard to believe. But it's a minor point. Doug: Clark thinks again of Kansas, and of the teaching of his dad. He determines, through his research, that there is more than enough food in the world for every person on the planet; it's getting it to those people that is the issue. Issues of geography, politics, sectarianism, culture -- those are the walls that have been built by man. But what if one man could leap those walls, in a single bound? And on a single day? Clark broods over this for several days, and here is where the story becomes many things, including the worth of one man, but also the values that one person can show that can start a chain reaction. Clark decides that he will become an example of altruism that the world can follow.
Karen: Unfortunately this is a road that even a superman cannot tread down easily. This is a problem so enormous that to even consider doing something about it either requires tremendous courage or a huge ego. In fact, you have to wonder what Superman really hopes to achieve with this mission of his. Doug: Superman requests to address the Congress of the United States of America. The story takes somewhat of an Americentric turn here, but I don't think that's out of character -- after all, Jerry Siegel's and Joe Shuster's Superman fought for "truth, justice, and the American way". And even though Superman is going to tackle world hunger, it is with the resources of the fields of the U.S.A. that he will fight. He requests access to the surplus, and while there is some skepticism he eventually carries the day. Over the next two pages we see Superman gathering the grain, carrying train cars and ships as if they were toys, and towing a legion of combines through the fields in a super-harvest. His first delivery is to a reservation in the American southwest, to an old Native American. The man is grateful, and Superman leaves him, feeling good about the mission.
Karen: Again, the visuals here are simply stunning. We've seen some similar things in comics before but never like this. Doug: Superman next heads to Latin America with his deliveries, and ponders the dichotomy that large cities like Rio de Janeiro pose -- a sparkling jewel from the sky, but a cesspool of human suffering on the ground. He flies in a huge pallet of foodstuffs and places it on the ground. The people clamor to touch him, to thank him. Although he acknowledges that it is only one day's food that he's brought them, he is proud of himself for making the effort, and optimistic that the world will notice and stand up alongside him. As he thinks to himself, "With every minute I feel more sure I have made the right decision." Karen: He gives us too much credit...
Doug: It would be very easy to say that the art carries the story in this exquisite storybook. But even stopping here halfway through it, I think we see that the creators are weaving a tale that is many-layered. What are Clark's motivations? Is it really altruism? Is he self-absorbed? Is the situation hopeless and he's just fooling himself? Paul Dini maximizes meaning in each of Ross's paintings with his very few words -- it's truly a marvel to see how his minimalist script brings full meaning to the already poignant images. Karen: I do think Superman's actions stem from good intentions more than ego. But does his faith in mankind come from his apartness from us? Or from his smalltown upbringing? He wants to believe in mankind, even when we fail him at every turn. Man, there really are a lot of religious overtones in this stuff!
Doug: Here's a simple question, with all BABers living in the same fantasy land: Let's just suppose that either Karen or I won the lottery (which we didn't), and allowed every one of our readers to go to their local comic shop or a convention nearby and pick out one item -- on us. What would you get? To complicate your thinking just a bit, this is your LCS; it's not a mail-order offer. Nope -- you go to the LCS or a convention that is closest to you and pick out one item. Again, what would you get? Money is no object, because, hypothetically (don't anyone try to send us a bill!) we're going to reimburse you.
Doug: So what's that one thing you'd love to have, have always stayed away from due to price, but now in this fantasyland you could finally own? Does your LCS have a great stock of back issues? Is there a hardcover or omnibus you've wanted? How about statues? What's the nearest convention to you like? Is it a megacon like New York, Chicago, or San Diego? Or is it a smaller, mom-and-pop show in a hotel ballroom or civic center? The sky's the limit today, friends, based on your circumstances -- wish away!
Doug: Below is something I wanted many years ago, when the Warner Bros. Studio Stores were still around. It's a very large print, painted of course by Alex Ross of the Legion of Super-Heroes (I believe Karen ran this image previously in a post she penned). Framed, matted -- wow. I'd love to have this! And I know that I've seen these at the Chicago Comicon in past years, so I meet my own criteria for today's post. Pricey, this is! And, in the event that I could not get hold of this beauty, I'd probably purchase myself the set of bootlegs of the 1966 Marvel Super-Heroes cartoons -- someone please tell me why these never received the DVD treatment?
Karen: Because you (OK, it was Richard really) demanded it - make your case for which better tells the story: the movie or the book?? We're speaking generally here, but please cite some examples.It's entirely possible Richard and Edo have hashed this out, but let's give everyone a chance to air their point of view.
Doug: Today's post was perhaps inappropriately named. While I do intend to show you something that I own that is perhaps unique (it's at the least unusual), I don't want to really dwell on my collection. I'm more interested in that corner of your collection where lay things that are just a bit out of the ordinary. We all have our comics, trade paperbacks and hardcovers, playthings, etc. But what would you like to discuss today that would really be just a bit of you showing off?
Doug: I'll be the first to admit that I have no idea a) why I bought this, or b) what I am ever going to do with it. It should have been a failed purchase right from the start. Below you can find a couple of photos of the inside and outside of an uncut sheet of covers to Avengers #360 (March 1993). I purchased this from a dealer on eBay -- not sure when. But for those of you who remember the issue, it was on cardstock (not too stiff) and had the (obviously) gold foil stamping; ah, the 1990's! So my point is that it was rolled for shipping -- any manner of indiscretions could have arisen! But alas, it's in great shape. Again, I don't know how useful it is, but it is sort of cool. I also have no recollection of the price I paid, but I know it wasn't unreasonable. What's it worth? What's it worth to you -- that's what it's worth, pal.
Doug: So as I said at the top, I'd like to know what oddities you have. I wish we had a way for you to upload photos if it's really cool or strange -- I guess if you can host them yourselves and don't mind, send us a link in the comments, so we can all check it out. Thanks!
Karen has joined the ranks of podcasters along with her friends Larry and Bob on the Planet 8 podcast. Click on the image to hear them explore all things geek!
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Karen and Doug met on the Avengers Assemble! message board back in September 2006. On June 16 2009 they went live with the Bronze Age Babies blog, sharing their love for 1970s and '80s pop culture with readers who happen by each day. You'll find conversations on comics, TV, music, movies, toys, food... just about anything that evokes memories of our beloved pasts!
Doug is a high school social science teacher and department chairman living south of Chicago; he also does contract work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with two adult sons, also both married.
Karen originally hails from California and now works in scientific research/writing in the Phoenix area. She often contributes articles to Back Issue magazine. She is married. She hangs out with Joe Biden occasionally.
Believe it or not, the Bronze Age Babies have never spoken to each other...
We don't own property rights for any of the images we show on Bronze Age Babies -- those copyrights are retained by their respective owners. Most images are from books, etc. that we have individually purchased, while others have been copied from the Internet. All images are displayed here for the purpose of education and review within the "fair use" terms of U.S. Code: Title 17, Sec. 107. If we've used something we shouldn't have, please ask and we'll take it down. Thank you -- Doug and Karen
Dig Karen's Work Here? Then You Should Check Her Out in Back Issue!
BI #44 is available for digital download and in print. I've read Karen's article on reader reaction to Gerry Conway's ASM #121-122, and it's excellent. This entire magazine was fun! -- Doug
Back Issue #45
As if Karen's work on Spidey in the Bronze Age wasn't awesome enough, she's at it again with a look at the romance of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Back Issue's "Odd Couples" issue -- from TwoMorrows!
Karen's talking the Mighty Thor in the Bronze Age!
Click the cover to order a print or digital copy of Back Issue! #53