Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Superman AND Captain Marvel!

February 29 is Superman's official birthday. By that I mean, there actually was a comic book story where Superman's birthday was established. As an alien, Superman will never know his actual birthday. However,  facing a world's wanting to celebrate his birthday, he very cleverly picked Leap Year Day as his birthday so that he could stifle the celebrations. Oddly enough, Captain Marvel evidently did the exact same thing! If you aren't familiar with Captain Marvel, he's the guy who switches from being a little kid into a full-grown super-hero by shouting, SHAZAM! He, too, didn't have an actual "birth," so when pressed to reveal his day he chose February 29.

To honor these two great super-heroes, I'm suggesting re-read these two books if they are part of your collection. If they aren't then fly over to your library and reserve both of these books. Or rush over to Barnes & Noble OR and buy them. You won't regret it.  

by Alan Moore and Curt Swan
This is the "last" Silver Age Superman story before he was rebooted in 1985 without Supergirl, Krypto, Superboy, and all the great (?) trappings of the Sixties and Seventies. The tag line is "This is an Imaginary Story......Aren't they all?" Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and all of his other terrible foes get together for one last deadly confrontation....and Superman dies! If you are a fan of old-time Superman stories, this is a great one. When I first read this I had two complaints: the costumes of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the absence of Aquaman (of course!). Now I realize that the costumes seen here were used to evoke the early Sixties, so were appropriate. The absence of Aquaman? Unforgiveable, haha. Other than that, this story is perfect.

SHAZAM: THE POWER OF HOPE by Paul Dini and Alex Ross
Sure, I would have killed to have this pair create an Aquaman treasury-edition story, but this one still is a great read. Captain Marvel's and his alter ego, Billy Batson, visit some children in a local hospital to help lift their spirits, trying to give them the power of hope in this fully-painted adventure.

Both of these stories bring tears to my eyes. Now, those of you who know me know how jaded I am (can be), so believe me when I tell you that if you like well-written and illustrated comic books, you should read these stories.


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