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September 22, 2012

As Time Goes By: Even superheroes have to face the fact of getting old

In my day, the ability to scratch up 10 cents to buy a “hero” comic book was a big event. Better yet was the fact that every comic book that entered the household had to pass censorship. You had to hand the comic book to mother, who would quickly scan the pages. If all the women in the stories were “covered,” you could read the comic. Today a kid has a $199 e-reader and the stories are no longer censored.

While walking down the lane of nostalgia, I started thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) about what happens to comic book characters when they start getting old.

How embarrassed was Superman when he said, “Up, up and away” and he didn’t leave the ground? Does he try and pass it off as a verbal gaffe and hide in the men’s room? Worse yet, picture Superman and Lois Lane on a couch and she whispers into his ear, “Are you still the man of steel?” Superman says “Up, up and away” and all you hear is, “ffffffffiiisssssllllee.”

What about his clothes? Superman travels at the speed of light. You have never heard of any incident where Superman’s suit bursts into flame from the friction of air passing by. You never find Superman in the ICU burn unit of some hospital telling the nurses “All of a sudden my leotard burst into flames.” I can hear the response now, “Sure we believe you.” (It’s true, nurses have seen everything — count on it.)

I realize that wondering about where Green Lantern buys his candles for his light is going to date me, but let’s face it, these superheroes are not the brightest stars in the sky.

Picture this if you will, Green Lantern is fighting a bunch of warehouse thugs and suddenly his candle burns out. “Kato” he yells, “help me out.”

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