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March 04, 2007



For me, it was buying the All-Star Squadron in which Tarantula gets a new costume. This is very early in my comic book reading career, so I was thoroughly confused about such things as the 40s-style Batmobile with the big bat-face in the front. I don't think I even knew what the golden age was, let alone who all the characters were or that it even took place in non-contemporary times.

I didn't touch ASS for a number of years (best title acronym in comics history) and even traded that issue away. It's back in my collection now, of course, because the golden age eventually became one of my favorite eras to visit.

I love that stuff too.

Mark Engblom

I'm sure those issues of All-Star Squadron were a blast for younger readers who, even if they didn't get the Earth-2 or WWII message, still had a virtual crowd scene of cool superheroes to marvel at. It sounds like for you the fun was also in the challenge of finding out more about these masked mystery men (and women)....yet we've been told for years this is "box office poison" when it comes to attracting and retaining new readers. Yeah...to some extent comic book crowd scenes require a degree of coherency and the "artful explanation" (otherwise it's just pure anarchy), but at the same time, what's the harm holding out a bit of a mystery and letting the reader do a little "work" in unwrapping it?

I'm all for making books reader-friendly...but not to extent of banishing fun concepts like the Multiverse for fear of alienating a handful of dullards who need their food pre-chewed.

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