Tag Archives: comic books

Origin Story

It began, as most Wednesdays do, with a sojourn. The work day complete, I depart from my hole-in-the-ground and set forth along the cow paths of Massachusetts Avenue, passing by the Christian Science Center Reflecting Pool and continuing along past Berklee, up over the Mass Pike to The Otherside and within ten minutes I’m standing outside the door of Newbury Comics, awaiting the days’ haul. I enter the store and approach the front desk and without saying a word I receive a stack of fresh comic books from the cashier, the newest issues, just released that date. I thank her, then walk towards the back corner of the store to check the New Release racks to make sure I’m not missing anything.

That’s when I discover the truth: Animal Man #16, Unwritten #45, and Wolverine & the X-Men #23 are all missing. They were not in the pile that was handed me when I walked in, and they are not among the racks with the other new releases.

Breathlessly I dash back to the front desk. “Jesse,” I say to the manager (because obviously I’m on a first name basis with the comic book guy), “There’s an emergency! I’m missing 3 comics!” Before I finish speaking, he’s at the inventory computer, fingers racing across the keyboard, clock ticking fervidly, each passing second echoed deeply in my head. After 83 seconds that feel like a lifetime, Jesse turns to me and says, “It looks like Animal Man and Unwritten were undershipped from the distributor, but they’ll be here next week. I’m not sure why Wolverine & the X-Men wasn’t in your box, but I have an extra copy here that you can have. I’ll put it in the computer now to make sure we don’t forget again.”

“Awesome! Thanks so much, man. Sorry to be a pain.”

“No problem dude! She’ll ring you up at the register,” he says as he enters the information. I handle my transaction with the other cashier and as I type my secret PIN into the code box I hear the tinny ding!ding! of the metal detector at front of the door. This of course attracts my attention, as it does the entire staff. “Let me just check your bag real quick?” Jesse asks the customer. His manner is pleasant and unaccusing as he steps out from behind the computer at the front desk, but it doesn’t matter; the guy makes a run for it, slamming through the door, stutter-stepping at the sidewalk, and bolting down the street. Jesse follows as quickly as human legs can take him, but by the time he’s hit the street, the thief has already lost himself in the throng of early-evening shoppers.

This all happens in the time it takes me to enter my 6-digit PIN to complete my transaction. Jesse walks back into the store, defeated and enraged, and immediately the phone to call the police. It was in that moment that I knew: this would be the last time I stood idly by as twisted criminal scum had their way with my comic book shop. For I was too engrossed in entering my PIN, too wrapped up in myself to take the necessary action, and because of my selfishness, my recklessness, who knows how many innocent used CDs have been lost?

As a wise man once told me, “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility,” and from that day forth I have committed myself to justice. I have recreated myself as a symbol, because symbols have the strength to battle evil.

I am Regular Wednesday Comic Book-Buying Guy.

Cool Shirt, Dude

Arms outstretched in private places,
grasping for a friend, the searching
eye will diagnose the iconic lines
emblazoned on his breast, a symbology
that triggers this camaraderie of kin
otherwise abandoned thin in social
isolation. But here amongst the hive
where such subversive patterns grow,
the mirror still surprises him
with faces that he knows.

The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee

An outtake from my new play, True Believers.


The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee is the ultimate weapon of the future, the final outpost for the salvaged prophecies of the greatest human mind, enhanced by futuretech created as a part of PROJECT: A.L.P.H.A.MECH for the technological improvement of mankind. The head retains a shred of Stan Lee’s consciousness — specifically that portion of his brain governing strategic extrapolations. While much of Stan’s face was destroyed in battle with the cancerous rays of the Los Angeles sun, his flesh was virtually reconstructed with an adamantium alloy to replace the pulverized skin. The scientists were also able to establish a basis for the integration of miniaturized relay-circuits, protected by a steel plate implanted in the skull. This plate is further equipped with a pneumatic lens for enhanced 4D vision, as well as an audio receiver and a voice box electronically amplified to approximate human speech. Pope Sylvester II was known to confer with a similar artifact during the 10th century, one that spoke to him of God’s Will. The Cyborg Head of Stan Lee was sent back as a beacon from the end of time, imbued with the Voice of Stane Lee, the new God, according to the gospel of Jack Kirby. It is my mission as its guardian to right the future and change the timeline for the sake of mankind, beginning with Alan Moore’s coming magical war.

Villanelle for San Diego Comic-Con Regrets

I will not be at San Diego Comic-Con this year,
and every time you ask me I’m reminded
that instead of standing in long lines I’ll just be sitting here.

I will not be the very first to hear
the latest comic news, at least not until it’s tweeted.
I will not be at San Diego Comic-Con this year.

I will not see the costumes that appear
on the awkward and undeodorized
standing in long lines. I’ll just be sitting here.

I wish that you and I could grab a beer
after getting all 160 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man signed,
but I will not be at San Diego Comic-Con this year

Think of me when you are hanging out near
Joss Whedon, or Katee Sackhoff, who you think you spotted
while standing in long lines; I’ll just be sitting here.

On the bright side, I don’t have to worry about finding a tear
on my rare exclusive SDCC variant cover. So to everyone who asked:
No, I will not be at San Diego Comic-Con this year.
Instead of standing in long lines, I’ll just be sitting here.

Claremont/Loeb: Red Reign X (part 1)

Part 1 in a 4 part limited series.

Meanwhile, famed X-Men scribe Chris Claremont found refuge in the Holodeck Training Room of the mysterious alien space craft. Yes! This will be an excellent position from which to prepare my counterstrike against HULK writer and newly announced Marvel Executive Vice-President of Television Jeph Loeb, the mad cretin against whom I most battle in order to satisfy my lust for vengeance! Chris Claremont furrowed his British brow as he contemplated his next move. I contemplate my next move, he thought as a subtle wind from a recently opened door nearby rustles through his bold, white, British beard, returning his focus to the present. What was that? A subtle wind, rustling through my bold, white, British beard! It must be from a nearby door that was only just opened! That can only mean one thing — Jeph Loeb has found me! But how could he find me so quickly when I am hiding out in the Holodeck Training Room of the mysterious alien space craft?

No sooner was Chris Claremont struck by this thought that he was attacked by a Type 3 Subsonic Plasma Blast. The explosion hurled his fat British body into a wall nearly 30 feet behind him, the force of which dented the metal and sent mysterious alien rubble crashing down around him. He soon found himself buried up to his waist in debris. The force of the blast knocked me into the wall nearly 30 feet behind me! It must have been at least a Type 3 Subsonic Plasma Blast! But who is capable of wielding such power?

At that moment, Chris Claremont’s angry British eyes — until now hidden by his furrowed British brow — collided with the eyes of his attacker. “Of course!” he cried. “Who else could it be but —”

“It is I! Jeph Loeb!” the attacked belched with a smarmy grin. The lights of the mysterious alien Holodeck refracted off of Jeph Loeb’s shiny forehead, as revealed by his receding hairline, and his LA TV executive sunglasses absorbed the energy in order to convert it into Type 3 Subsonic Plasma Blasts for his next attack.

“Tell me, Chris Claremont,” said Loeb. “Have you read HULK #24 yet, the latest chapter in my Red Hulk epic, a modern classic?” Chris Claremont spit daintily at the foot of his aggressor, as his proper British upbringing prevented him from engaging in any less polite or more combat-appropriate etiquette.

“Ha!,” replied Claremont. “Do you truly believe that a master of the form such as I would have the time to read such filth?”

“Perhaps if you stopped relying on such lengthy exposition, you would find the time! You should try phoning it in like me, rather than relying on convoluted storytelling like you always do! Then you will become a true master of the comic book from.”

“Only a master of evil, Jeph,” responded Claremont as he reached for his laser sword.

“Chris Claremont — there is something you must know. You are actually the gender-swapped alternate reality cyborg clone of the Red Christine Claremont from Earth-418, who is a writer on the HEROES remake in the 33rd century!”

Chris Claremont’s body went prostrate from the shock of this revelation, causing him to drop his laser sword, his last line of defense. “No!…that’s…that’s impossible!”

“Search your feelings, Chris. You know it to be true! Joe Quesada uncovered the truth when he got drunk with Stan Lee at Comic-Con last month. But he didn’t tell you, because he hates you and only keeps you around out of pity!”

This revelation filled Chris Claremont with a rage that his otherwise well-mannered British self had never encountered. A tingling sensation began to flow through his veins, like feet regaining feeling after falling asleep, and his skin turned a shade of blue-ish grey. Loeb was terrified, frozen in fear — he knew what this meant, of course, and it was as unexpected as it was inevitable.

“Loeb,” said Claremont as his body stretched and grew. “It’s %&*#in’ break !@$# time!”

To be continued!