The Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine! #9

Everyone loves lists, right?  Well, the publication of Powerless is just days away, and to celebrate I present The Powerless Top Ten . . . er, Nine list of the nine biggest influences on the book.  In a lot of ways, writing Powerless was like a walk through my own childhood – many of the things that the 10-year old me loved found their way into the book.

Next week, there will be some great additions and exciting changes made to this website (just wait – it’s very cool!), but in the meantime I will add a new post each day about a different childhood influence on the book. Some are subtle, some are obvious.  My hope is that you’ll read the book, and then come back here and have a nice “aha!” moment or two.

So without any further blather, I present . . . .

NUMBER 9: The Invaders


Full Disclaimer: I’ve never read this comic book.  As a matter of fact, if I had a nice copy of 1946’s All Winners issue 21 I probably wouldn’t be pecking away at the keyboard for a living, or at the very least I’d be pecking away on a nicer computer.  This original comic came and went long before my time.

But the heroes of this World War II era book lived on.  In subsequent years they were dubbed The Invaders by comics scribe Roy Thomas, and he and many others have continued their adventures right up until the present day.  The original Human Torch and his sidekick Toro, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America and Bucky – these were characters that survived wars and witch hunts only to make into the impressionable psyche of a certain ten year-old boy.

It was the pictures of these heroes in their war days that really got me.  I couldn’t read the stories, but I could see the covers in the pages of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and that was enough to leave a mark.  Here was a group of heroes out of the distant (to a ten year-old) past, complete with their teenage sidekicks, parachuting into the European theater of war, or spoiling the plans of some mad scientist bent on world domination.

I poured over those covers in the Overstreet guide.  I memorized the details and made up stories to fit the pictures.  It was like discovering a history, a secret history, that adults were clueless about.

The All Winners.  The Invaders.  The original heroes.


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