Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who's Your Batman, baby?

As you may or may not have noticed, I'm a bit prone to nostalgia.  It takes very little to spark that fuzzy warm glow of memory in me.  Running into an old girlfriend, hearing a song I haven't heard in years, kicking around a part of town I used to live in.  Heck, I recently blogged about how nostalgic I am about our local mall.

I'm pretty happy living that way.  It's who I am.  As a writer and storyteller, I'm a bit obsessed with stories (if you haven't noticed), so when I run into someone I haven't seen in a long time, I immediately become curious about what their life has been like the last few years, about how their "story" has progressed since I last knew them.  

When I venture into a part of town I haven't seen in years, I automatically reflect on how my "story" was so very different when I lived there, and how I left my "footprints" all over town, and how one simple landmark - like an old apartment or the deli where I bought all my subs - brings back the flavor of that story in an instant.

As you may also know, I like to color.  A lot.  Little things like that soothe me.  Same thing with building models and such.  So anyway, Madi and I color often.  However, I've more than filled up the books I usually color in, and not in the mood to color in one of Madi's Disney Princess coloring books, the other day I hunted the Internet for some free coloring pages.  Decided on Batman, and printed off several different pages of different Batmen.

Not surprisingly, I realized that for me, the true Batman will always look like the one I read consistently as a kid.  There have been several different Batsuits over the years, many of them reflecting different stages in Batman's development, but for me, Batman will always look like this:

The blue cape and cowl, blue gloves and boots and gray suit.  This will always be Batman as I remember him.  There have been lots of other incarnations, but to me - this is Batman.  

This image brings back the hours I spent not only reading the comics but coloring in my Justice League coloring book, and watching both Superfriends and Justice League of America on those blissfully uneventful and responsibility-free Saturday mornings.

Not surprisingly, the image of this Batman that's the most iconic for me is this one....

  Now, at the time I'd been unaware of the reader poll to either keep or kill off Jason Todd (Robin).  I just cruised comic book stores and read as many issues as I could.  I didn't always have the money to buy the issues I wanted, so I missed a few.  

I'll never forget where I was when I read this issue, though. In the Kmart over on State Street, back when they - and lots of other stores, even grocery stores (those were the days) -  had racks of comic books.  

I remember thinking: "No. Freaking. Way.  They CAN'T KILL ROBIN!" Not coincidentally, you'll see the cover of my Hiram Grange resembles this picture quite a bit.

 Anyway. Just another bit of mindless trivia that makes up my life.  Any of you have iconic comic book/television heroes that remind you of a certain time in your life? 

C'mon. 'Fess up. Break out that old black jacket and channel your inner Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff, Knight Rider), and post me some links in the comments sections of iconic images from your childhood...