By Theron Kusulas
Age : 33 Height: 5′ 9″ Weight : Too damn much.
AND I AM AN ADDICT. Have been for 23 years. Recently I started posting my opinions under the alias Grendel. (Inspired by Hunter Rose, not the Jolie monster) I don’t know why. I was never inclined to talk about it much. I just told my retailer (Pusher) what comics I wanted and if I heard conversation about who could beat up who, or who was cooler, I was determined not to take my addiction that far. And frankly, I must confess, I looked down on those who did. I understood the people in our small community of fellow addicts, but I was the cool kid in high school. Popular, with friends to laugh with, who valued my opinion. I was above reciting the Green Lantern power-up poem in front of people with ears. So while I didn’t deny my obsession, I didn’t champion it either. (Though I did play the Champions RPG)
I can remember when Marvel Comics were 60 and 75 cents. When they were a dollar it was no big deal for my mother to give me $ 10. a week, and I would buy almost every Marvel comic that came out that week. And as a teenager a good friend introduced me to the Watchmen, Miracleman, Badger, Nexus and Wagner’s Grendel. I tracked down The Dark Knight Returns, Miller’s Daredevil and the murders of Frank Castle. I’ve been looking for a fix ever since.
The point is, I know the patterns, I usually know where a story is going after one issue because I’ve read variations of it already. I know that there are places writers of the Big Two can’t go, so we get the same hype and gimmicks over and over again. History repeats. The soap opera B.S. of Lobdell’s X-Men and Spider-Clones, the bastard children of Silver Surfer #50 threatened to drive me away. But I’m still here. Thank you Vertigo. Thank you Dark Horse, Jim Shooter and Spider Jerusalem. Today there are still things that might drive us away. And books that keep us craving more. The books that keep us here give us what we want while breaking the pattern. So indulge me, as I break my pattern, and inform my community. Let Green Lantern’s light shine on The Mighty.
Alpha One is Earth’s only “Superman”, Orwell’s Big Brother made flesh. Peter Tomasi , Keith Champagne, Peter Snejbjerg and Chris Samnee seemingly give him a very Silver Age, Stan Lee origin. A Navy seaman falls overboard during a nuclear bomb test in the Pacific. His flesh doesn’t turn to soup. He is found, reborn and better than before. This book benefits from being it’s own self-contained universe. This must be 1 of DC’s 52 Earths. There is no continuity to adhere to. He has Superman’s powers, including heat vision and possibly more. I won’t spoil anything but this is not a Superman rip. This is doing Superman better. He funds his own private police force to help after he intervenes during a disaster, by licensing his likeness for Alpha One products. The leaders of Section Omega are like his own Jimmy Olsen complete with an electronic A on their palm to signal him with. Only these “chums” keep dying , go insane, or in one case, retire in luxury if they play the good dog. I bought #1-8 at the same time and read them in one sitting. I could not put it down. Who is Alpha One? And what are his goals as he watches over us (like Ozymandias) and manipulates humanity? I can’t say for sure! But I really want to know. The themes in this story are not new but they are executed so well. We get characters that seem like real people to care about. And a genuine, exciting mystery. My faith in the medium is restored. My addiction is satisfied. This is better than Irredeemable and Savior 28. This is DC’s best spandex book. In July The Mighty #6 sold 6,660 copies to place 250 on the monthly sales list. I’d hate to see this book go the way of Manhunter or the last Dial H for Hero book, before its natural conclusion. Give it a try.
Theron Kusulas, NYC. Send your Manchild accounts to firstname.lastname@example.org