Reality Check: Suspend Your Belief... NOW!

A column article, Busted Knuckles by: Beau Smith


When reading comic books as a young kid you're able todo it pretty easy. What's that you ask? Suspend your belief.

Detective Comics #241

 At that point, life hasn't had time to pile on layers and layers of experience to make you stop and question everything. You haven't yet lost that excitement of being drawn into a world of super-hero fiction where monsters, aliens and a clown with a fish handgun dwell without question.

Sure, now and then as a kid, you'll say to yourself "Hey, that can't happen." Then you realize that reading the comic book isn't as much fun if you don't "pretend" it could and you go on reading with pleasure.

The problem comes as we do grow older and all those layers of experience and reality get piled on us. We find our tastes becoming more mature, and that change happens so gradually that we don't even know it's happening. The complex part is that we find ourselves in a weird place where we still want part of our super-hero fiction to remain the same. That means incredible super powers that defy science. It also means flamboyant costumes that nobody seeking stealth and a secret identity would ever get caught dead wearing. Yet, we want the stories to be ripped from today's headlines, politically correct, relevant and adult enough to satisfy our so-called mature need for cussing, sex and gory violence. (And don't forget zombies.)

We whine about the fact that an almost-made Wonder Woman movie had put her in long spandex pants and not a bathing suit bottom. In reality that should have been the least of our cares getting Wonder Woman to the screen. We should spend more time wondering why DC Comics hasn't been able to make the character of Wonder Woman interesting enough for us to buy it in the last 70 years. Get the character on the screen and maybe, just maybe, the screenwriters can give her the personality where comic book writers haven't . They did it with Iron Man and Thor. Why not Wonder Woman?

When you buy a super-hero comic book to read, you really need to keep in a mindset of what you're paying for and seriously suspend belief for the time it takes to read it. Remember that you're willingly paying to walk in a world where a guy wears a skintight, bright red costume and calls himself The Flash. It's a world where a man with no super powers at all is able to dress up like a bat, drive a car that a blind man could spot in a parking lot and never get killed from one trained sniper bullet. This is a world where you pay to enter, don't waste your time saying "This couldn't happen." It does and it always will. Just because you kinda grew up doesn't mean your comic book fantasy world has adhere to your reality.

Real life gives you enough cold hard facts to live with. Escape all that for a little while and enjoy the fiction. Do complain if that fiction isn't written well and the characters aren't likeable or have some emotional depth, but don't complain that in real life they couldn't turn invisible or fly to another planet with a power ring. Real life has TV shows like The Jersey Shore. Don't you want to escape and complain about that?

I do.



Busted Knuckles Manly Cover of the Week:The Mighty Thor #171
December 1969
Cover Art by Jack Kirby
Marvel Comics

In 1969 this is why I bought comics. This is why I bought every Marvel Comic book I could find. Finding comics wasn't as easy in 1969 as it is today. Even though I didn't always understand the way Thor talked as a kid, he always had some of the biggest, toughest and nastiest bad guys to fight. This cover proves that.

Thor #171



Busted Knuckles Babe of the Week: Courtney Henggeler

Being a fan of low budget monster movies, I first saw actress Courtney Henggeler in the terrible but fun, movie The Bog Creatures. Needless to say, I was very surprised when Miss Henggeler showed up on the TV show The Big Bang Theory playing Sheldon Cooper's twin sister, Missy. What a fun episode.

You might have also seen her in such shows and films as Happy Endings, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Let's hope that she makes a return to The Big Bang Theory really soon.

The Roundup

Being the self-absorbed, deservingly egotistical person that I am, I state here publicly that I think it would be fun for the comic book reading world if DC Comics were to collect my run of Guy Gardner: Warrior  (Issues #20 through #44, Guy Gardner Warrior Annual #1 & #2) in a Showcase Presents collection. I know the chances of this happening are slim because of the total reconstruction of the Green Lantern Corps, but that still doesn't stop my run from being fun, quirky, testosterone filled, different and full of great art by such pros as Mitch Byrd, Aaron Lopresti, Phil Jimenez, Joyce Chin, Flint Henry, Brad Gorby, Dan Jurgens, Rick Mays, Mike Parobeck, Marc Campos, Dan Davis and many more.

Most importantly... I might get a royalty check.

Email or write DC Comics and make this happen. I won't share the royalty check with you, but I'll thank you when the book wins some sort of Eisner or Harvey Award.

Your self-consumed amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch


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