Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Reflection #19/40

In the fall of 1982 I got to miss school so I could go with my parents to Philadelphia. We were there so my father could attend a library convention. We stayed in a hotel, which I remember as being huge and being super-fancy, and we walked around and took in the sights, and it was awesome. 

One of the best things about the hotel is that it was near a 7-11. Every night we would go down to the 7-11, and I would look at the comic books on the spinner rack, and my parents would buy me one. they were only 60 cents back then. They were displayed on a spinner rack. Is there anything more enticing, more filled with possibility, than a spinner rack of comics that you’ve never read?

I still remember looking through those comics on that rack, including that intriguing issue of Batman Family that I didn’t end up getting. The comics I did choose, over the course of that week, were an Archie, Marvel Team-Up #121 (Spider-Man and the Human Torch vs. the Speed Demon), Flash #313 (Flash vs. Gorilla Grodd and Psykon, with a Doctor Fate back-up story), Iron Man #162 (Iron Man fighting planes, maybe?), and Defenders #111.  

This is such a wonderful cover. Could you resist buying this? I couldn't. 

There's nothing I don't love about this cover. It's really got it all.

Aaaaand here's Iron Man fighting planes.

That issue of Defenders focused on a character called Hellcat, who traveled to Hell and met the Devil. I remember lying on the hotel floor, trying to puzzle this scene out—I was only six, so there were plenty of words I didn’t know. 

I asked, "What does S-A-T-A-N spell?" Without pausing my mother said, "Satan." There were no follow-up questions. 

Growing up in the Bible Belt, I would come to know plenty of kids whose parents forbade them to read certain books, or play certain games, or watch certain movies, because of imagined demonic overtones.  But I, at age six, could read a story that actually featured Satan as a character, and my parents didn't freak out.  I will always be grateful for that.

This comic has been missing its cover for a long, long time.

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