The five-year-old boy inside me is sulking.
Yes, the tyke who ran around Granny Tyree’s house with a newspaper for a cape is upset that most media outlets gave short shrift to the recent 75th anniversary of the release of “Action Comics” #1, featuring the first appearance of Superman.
I did see that National Public Radio and the Los Angeles Times noted the milestone, but for the most part the event went unheralded by the mainstream press.
With the rich history of the Metropolis Marvel and the excitement of the “Man of Steel” movie coming in June, it would have been a natural story.
Perhaps the Boston Marathon bombing bumped it from the headlines. Perhaps reporters wanted to take a break from glamorizing geek culture.
Or, most likely, everyone was trying to be kind and ignore the advanced age of the franchise. *Sigh* Admittedly, there have been several signs of “Supes” not aging gracefully:
• His x-ray vision is OK (with drugstore glasses), but ear hair has royally messed up his vaunted super hearing.
• Arch-enemy evil bald scientist Lux Luthor is replaced with arch-enemy Bathroom Scales.
• He now wages a never-ending battle for truth, justice and “opening these doggone child-proof caps.”
• Whines to Batman about how billion-dollar ransoms used to cost a dime and how the criminals used to say “sir” or “ma’am” before they tossed their empty gun at you.
• Big red “S” symbol is replaced with a “Do Not Resuscitate” sticker.
• Friends are relieved that wearing his underwear on the outside is the WORST thing he does.
• Citizens emit a few too many yells of “Look! Up in the sky! It’s your toupee!”
• Makes a habit of spinning the earth backward on its axis to turn back time so he doesn’t miss “Wheel of Fortune.”
• Those trips to his “Fortress of Solitude” are requiring way too much fiber.
Two years ago DC Comics revamped its entire “universe.” I understand even more changes are in store to counter the aforementioned flaws and modernize the Man of Tomorrow. Rumor has it that the changes will include:
• All those varieties of Superman’s Achilles heel kryptonite are whittled down to the benign “gluten-free kryptonite” and the deadly “Big Gulp kryptonite”.
• Hard-hitting journalist Lois Lane beats mild-mannered Clark Kent to a Pulitzer-winning scoop.
• Superman takes to flying nude, because recent carry-on charges for the cape, boots, belt buckle, etc. are astronomical.
• The humanoid super-computer villain Brainiac is downgraded to an app that comes free if you purchase the new Angry Birds.
• Rocketed to earth from the doomed planet Krypton — OR slightly less eccentric long-lost member of the Duck Dynasty? You be the judge.
*Ahem* Well, whatever it takes, I hope that the hero created by Cleveland, Ohio, youths Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster all those years ago will continue to thrill and inspire new generations for many years to come.
May his legend’s prominence go ever “up...up...” but never away. ———
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©2013 Danny Tyree