Monday, December 1, 2014

The Matt Signal Advent Calendar 2014 Day 1: Who's Who in the DC Universe #2

So, this weekend, Dan and I had a discussion about some kind of countdown to the holidays/advent calendar, and we settled on a month of comics that have mattered to us. Not comics that MATTER, like Action Comics #1, Giant Size X-Men #1, or Watchmen #1, but comics that matter to us personally, ones that have mattered to us over the course of our lives. We'll be each doing a few days here and there over the course of the month, so I'm starting today.

Who's Who in the DC Universe #2, April 1985

When I was five years old, I was handed this comic by one of my uncles. I'm sure there were other comics with it, as I have occasionally found comics of similar era in my grandmother's house, but this is the one I remember, and the one that, when I found it in the house years later, I bagged and boarded it and added it to my collection, condition be damned. And that's because, to me, this will always be my FIRST COMIC. Now, yes, it is not technically a comic in the strictest sense, since it is a text and illustration guidebook, but it still sparked my imagination.

I knew Batman from Super Friends and re-runs of Batman '66, and there was a heck of a lot of Batman in here. Both Earth One and Earth Two Batmans, Batwoman, Batgirl, Batmite, Batcave, Batmobile, Batboat, Batplane, and Batman's Utility Belt. I remember vaguely being kind of confused as to why there were two Batman entries, with the same name and slightly different backstories, but whatever. I remember looking at the utility belt schematic, and thinking that I could totally find all that stuff and make my own. Sadly, at thirty-four, I still think that sometimes. Maybe the five year old in all of us hasn't died yet. Or at least the five year old in me. I think this explains a lot about my love of Batman to this day.

There are a lot of other characters in there, and looking back at them, some are now favorites: Black Canary, Big Barda, and the Blackhawks are all in here too. But back then, this was a book about Batman, I loved that, and I don't think I've looked back since.

For the collectors out there, the various versions of Who's Who all had absolutely excellent art from some major names, both this classic volume and the loose leaf one that came out in the mid-90s. Just look up the art on-line. It's impressive.

So that's day one. Come back tomorrow for day two (and probably reviews. I have to finish this week's books tonight).

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