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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Mid-Life Crisis On Infinite Earths...


If I didn't feel old already, this year is the 30th anniversary of the publication of DC Comics' Crisis On Infinite Earths - one of the first (and still the best) of the 'event' crossover comic book mini-series.

Author Marv Wolfman was due to visit Forbidden Planet in London this month to sign copies of  the anniversary edition of this tale (as well as the latest collected edition of his seminal Teen Titans run) and I'd pre-ordered myself a signed edition.

Sadly he has had to pull out of his appearance (he fell while walking his dog and broke his hip).

On his Facebook page, Marv has promised fans he will get to England as soon as he can though, so hopefully this signing will be back on the agenda then.

An autographed Crisis On Infinite Earths would be an aptly titled cornerstone to my 'mid-life crisis' project.

Many men, as they race towards 50, try to recapture their youth through fast cars and women, but I'm not interested in fast cars and I already have the best wife imaginable, so I'm recapturing my youth in my own unique way: by trying to track down all the comic books that originally inspired me to become a comic book fanatic.

I already have my framed copy of Black Magic #1 in the gamesroom, and I have a reprint of the story from Fantastic Four #17 (an actual, decent copy is currently outside my budget), but there are two comics from the murky memories of my childhood that have eluded me.

I'm not sure if I read them or just saw them in that fabled newsagents many decades ago when holidaying with my parents on the South Coast: a copy of The Flash and a Shazam (or maybe Marvel Family) comic.

Of course, once I really started to think about it, the idea came to me that with modern technology I just needed to find images of the covers of those titles from around the same time that the first issue of Black Magic was published, and see which rang any bells.

One of the few - but key - elements I recalled from The Flash cover was him ricocheting off a series of villains and with a bit of Google-Fu this cover popped up from 1976:


As to the Shazam issue, my memory is even vaguer, but I'm sure it featured the Marvel family standing against a black background, which means it could well be this issue from 1973:


Both these issues were available on eBay for way less money that Fantastic Four #17 (about a twentieth of the cost!), so I picked them up...

Now I just need to get a couple more picture frames for them so they can join my growing gallery of crucial covers in the gamesroom.

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