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November 17, 2012

As Time Goes By: Time to revisit tales of aging superheroes

The Daily Star

---- — For all of my readers who indicated your appreciation for the first article on aging superheroes, this continued saga is just for you.


We take for granted that the people who we grew up with remain ageless and yet our comic superheroes age just like we do. Picture our superhero Wonder Woman as she aged.

As her alternate ego Diana Palmer wore eyeglasses that she didn’t need, so too Wonder Woman didn’t need glasses either. However there came a time when Wonder Woman noticed that she kept getting into the wrong invisible airplane. (How did she know this if it was invisible to start with?)

She went to see her eye doctor, who asked her to read the bottom line on the eye chart and she replied, “What eye chart?” She was eligible for full coverage under ObamaCare and soon she was sporting a brand new pair of inch-thick lenses with a frame that cost more than my first tractor.

She left the doctor’s office but found that she had misplaced her invisible plane again. “Darn,” she thought (actually she said something much stronger but this is a family newspaper), “I could have sworn I parked that plane in B section, row 8; or was it 8 section, row B?”

I was always puzzled with the invisible airplane. Wasn’t it obvious to everyone that when Wonder Woman flew through the air, all you saw was her in a sitting position? I could just picture all the people saying “There goes that crazy Wonder Women, flying through the air again, at least she could have the decency to use a broom.”

What about the propeller? When the engine was running turning the propeller, did it make any noise? Maybe it was as silent as some of the motorcycles that go through town. You could be walking in some parking lot and walk right into the invisible airplane with the invisible propeller. 

Can you picture walking into the house with your clothes in shreds perhaps missing some body parts and your wife asks, “Where have you been?” What is going to be your response? “I had only one drink at the corner bar and when I stepped out the door to come home I was hit by the propeller of an invisible airplane.” Oh sure she’ll believe you! (Move over doggy, daddy’s sleeping with you tonight.)

No macho guy would ever want to date Wonder Woman. There you are knocking on the front door but when she answers, she drops the “lariat of truth” around you and sweetly asks “What are your plans for me tonight?”

What are you going to say? The lariat of truth has you in its grip so you “spill the beans,” including the part where you ply her with drink, and the key to a cheap motel room falls out of your pocket. As you attempt to defend yourself she smacks you with her indestructible bracelets until you are senseless. Ooh, boy, wasn’t that fun!

Then there was the problem with her hearing. She was relentless in asking people to repeat what they were saying. When it got to the point where she was asking three and four times, her boyfriend of the time drove her to an audiologist where she eventually got hearing aids.

About the same time, Wonder Woman started to “chunk up.” Where she once looked sexy in her skin-tight leotards, she found that she needed to let out some seams to allow for a growing “muffin top” waist. It all came to a head when she bent over in her leotards and heard a long ripping sound. When she felt a draft she realized that the time had come to start a diet. She stopped using the invisible plane to fly to Paris for a fancy supper.


When he was young, Plastic Man loved to spend weekends in the Hamptons being very mischievous with his extendable hands. Many a young man’s face was slapped for doing something they didn’t do.

Then one day he noticed that he wasn’t as fast as he once was and started getting caught with his hands where they didn’t belong.

The end of Plastic Man was very sad. One day while using a public bathroom he noticed that his stall was out of toilet paper. While trying to get some toilet paper from an adjacent stall he over-reached his limits and accidentally picked the pocket of a Supreme Court Justice.

His trial was very short and he was sentenced to 100 years of community service picking up waste paper in the gutters. By accident, he was scooped up by a “Green” truck and was recycled into a … sippy-cup.


As you know, “Spider-Man” was a huge hit on Broadway where an actor flew through the air on a cable.

In the comics Spider-Man was invincible, fighting fiendish foes one after the other until he decided to get serious with his love interest Mary Jane (or “MJ,” as she was called).

It started out innocent enough when Spider-Man got down on one knee and presented MJ with a ring. MJ immediately asked how many carats the diamond had. Spider-Man said it was 5 carats, which made MJ very happy until she found out it was Diamonique, and could be bought for $79.95 on QVC.

Then there were all the visits to relatives. Spider-Man met so many people, he had difficulty remembering names, so he decided to use the trick of associating a name with a physical attribute. This worked very well until he became confused and thought Aunt Mary had a full mustache and Uncle Bob had a size 48 D-cup chest.

As he aged, he “went to seed” and put on weight. He had arthritis in all his joints, which slowed him down considerably. Crooks got away with murder. His demise came about when he was using a can of “RAID” house and garden spray and holding the can backwards sprayed himself. His last words were “I should have gotten a V8!”

As time goes by, fewer people will be left to remember the superheroes of yesteryear. Until next time, keep moving.

Henry Geerken is a three-time NYSUT award-winner writing humorous articles addressing retiree and senior citizen concerns. Geerken also writes for Sail-World, World Cruising Newsletter, regarding his many humorous sailing episodes through the years. He can be reached by email at ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at