Jan. 26, 2008
Karen keeps me up to date. On Thursday she brought me the final four Silver Surfer comics ever: Silver Surfer Requiem, with appearances by the FF, Spiderman and Mary Jane, and even Doctor Strange (aka Stephen Vincent Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme).
This was the Marvel I grew up reading: tales of the strange and bizarre, with emotional characters and moral messages. Before any of these characters appeared, I read of people whose hate destroyed them, of fictional civilizations that lived and died according to their politics and beliefs, the good within those we think of as monsters, and the evil within us. I grew up believing in a better world, one without the need for war, greed, and hatred, largely because of Marvel. This is the world that Karen visits now; she knows more about the current Marvel universe that I would think possible, certainly more than I used to know. The “walking bowling trophy” does indeed die, but not before teaching a random civilization the fallacy of war, visiting his home planet, and being briefly reunited with Shalla Bal, a woman he could never love! After saving his planet from Galactus by going to work for him, he had to leave all he loved behind. In the end, the destroyer of worlds finds himself touched by the surfer’s heart and soul, qualities of the most honorable being he had ever known, even though old SS had rebelled against his master to save our planet from consumption (we will probably do that well enough ourselves).
Old SS gets to ride the spaceways again courtesy of J. Michael Straczynski, who is the man Karen admires most, I think, besides her dad. She reads everything by Strączyński, and has seen every TV show and movie he has created. JMS created the Babylon 5 series, and spin-offs, and has written everything from New Twilight Zone shows and stories to Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Supreme Power, Midnight Nation, and a host of other comics and books. He is a prolific writer and producer, having worked on Jake and the Fatman, Murder She Wrote, Walker Texas Ranger, and an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Karen is quite a fan, although fan is a bit of an understatement. He writes or produces it and she reads it or sees it. Anything anyone wants to know about him, she knows.
Having grown up on similar stuff from Marvel throughout my young years, I understand the attraction of these stories to Karen. As a fan, she is well aware of Straczynski’s political leanings from his writings, blogs, and his constant interaction with fans. Oddly enough, although he is younger than me, he appears older. If I had done as much as he has, I’d be older too. I wonder if he gets much exercise?
There’s that theme again: age. I keep coming back to it. I never thought it would matter to me, but my own age keeps me from Karen, for which I have cursed growing old. It is said that one is only as old as they feel. Hah! Sometimes I feel 114 years old! In my head though, I’m still 26, riding my bicycle through the universe (although these days it has an engine). I see a woman like Karen, and I actually think I could have an intimate relationship with her. Not even the power cosmic could do that for me. (What exactly is that power cosmic anyway, if it can’t even save the Silver Surfer?) I should be writing fictionalized stories about all this; get some mileage out of it like Mr. Strączyński. Instead, I simply entertain myself and the occasional reader here.
Thursday’s lunch was back on track, just as I expected. Turns out Karen hadn’t read my Barstool Cowgirl story yet, nor seen any of my other writings. She is already planning for Halloween, and has several projects in mind. She will be able to use PVC pipe in her creations, giving her the ability to break things down for storage. Of course, that means she can store more. The woman is going to need a big house some day; I wish I could get one for her.