The League XII: “When I Was 12…” Part 4 – Comics.

 

This is my fourth and final answer for this week’s League of Extraordinary Bloggers question.  Again, for those joining late, the League is a loose group of bloggers that answers a weekly question and shares links and its a nice little hang out on the internet.  All of this is created and maintained by Brian over at Cool and Collected.

http://coolandcollected.com/

This week’s question was:

Grab Rufus and head to the phone booth, because this week, we’re going back in time! Dial up the year you turned 12, and revisit the last official year of your “childhood.”

In Part 1 I looked at music

Part 2 was television

Part 3 was Jim Henson

and part 4 of something that changed my life way back in 1990 involves that world I love. The world of comics.  You see, because in 1990 the first issue of an amazing comic book came out.

New Warriors #1

Most of you may be unaware of this fact, but I have the largest Speedball collection in the world.  From his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man annual, to his 10 issue series, all the way through New Warriors and Penance and so on.  Plus his Heroclix, the only piece of merchandise thus far made for Speedball.  I even have a home made Christmas ornament featuring panels from his various appearances.

So I’m a big Speedball fan.  I bought every issue of his comic with the biggest smile on my face.  Then it was gone.  He had sporadic appearances in comics like Marvel Comics Holiday Special – Winter 1988 and things like that.  But for a regular Speedball fix, there was nothing.

And then this team of super powered teens show up in a Thor comic book during Acts of Vengeance.  And Speedball is one of them!

I was already deep in love with comics at this point, but still very ignorant.  I hadn’t read older books, I didn’t have a knowledge of history, and so the idea of a teen super hero team seemed original.  Yeah, I hadn’t read a single issue of Teen Titans or New Mutants at this point.  I liked Spider-Man and Avengers and Daredevil and that was about it.

But here is Speedball and these all new original teammates.  Characters who had never existed before like Night Thrasher, Firestar and Nova.  I’m right on one of those.  Told you I had yet to learn my comics history.

New Warriors became the greatest comic book in the world to me.  They battled other teens like Midnight, Silhouette and Psionex.  Universe threatening bad guys like the Sphinx.  Plus there were love triangles, betrayals and humor.

Speedball and the New Warriors became the first comic that was “mine”.  Everyone knows Spider-Man and Batman.  Daredevil and Captain America were around long before me.  But Speedball was new.  No one knew or cared about him.  Yeah, that’s a lot like how I felt when I was younger.  Its alright that I’m ignored.  Its fine that people pay more attention to the bigger and stronger.  Me and Robbie Baldwin will find our place.  Just like Speedball found the New Warriors, I eventually found my fellow Hellions.  Friends I’ve known since… oh look… right around when I was 13.  We read comics, we watched wrestling, we discovered weird shit at the video rental stores together.

I didn’t blame myself for destroying a town, or cause Civil War.  Nor did I have sex with Squirrel Girl.  But I did find my hero and my team in 1990 and to this day I think they’re both the greatest in the world of comics.

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