February 28, 2010
The following nonsense appeared in The Times newspaper’s page 2 Leading Articles/Editorial on Saturday 27th February 2010. I quote:-
There is a market failure in superheroes
“If all the superheroes had a fight, who would win? In the market place the answer is Batman. An edition of a comic in which Superman made his debut in 1938 sold last week for $1 million. That was then trumped by Batman’s debut comic from 1939 that raised $1.07 million, the highest price ever for a comic book.
But, really, can we just accept the verdict of the market like this? Batman is an interesting character with a tragic back story. The death of his parents gives him the motivation to spend his life righting wrongs in Gotham City.
But there is a problem. Batman is no more a bat than you are. He can’t fly. He doesn’t navigate by echo location. He can’t hang upside down. He just puts a bat costume on. He’s not even really a superhero at all because he has no magic powers. he’s a sort of cross between a CID officer and a Swiss Army penknife.
Superman does have the powers. He can fly, he has X-ray, heat-emitting, telescopic, infra-red and microscopic vision and he can blow out air at freezing temperatures and cause high-speed winds. He also has a cause. Superman is a social activist, fighting crooked businessmen and politicians and demolishing rundown tenements. But it’s hard to know why he bothers. He has the Y-fronts but not the why.
Spider-Man is the only one with both magic powers and a story to tell. He can shoot adhesive spider web, has toxic stingers and can stick people to his back. His enemies, Electro, Mysterio and the Sandman, all have magic powers themselves. And he’s doing it all in memory of his beloved Uncle Ben whose murder he witnessed and might have prevented. Now that is a superhero.”
July 1, 2009
These mini books appeared circa 1966. Despite 52 pages as each page was only 1″ tall there wasn’t room for much more than the odd word and thumbnail sketch (although this one does manage to include Spiderman’s whole origin story concentrated into a few pictures !!). I believe I got mine out of one of those bubblegum dispenser machines with those plastic egg shaped containers which usually produced the bonus of a rubbish plastic “toy” or even a Marvel mini book !!
I know there were also Sgt Fury, Hulk and Thor Mini Books. Although I never had one there was possibly a Captain America Mini book too.