This is the first ever mailbag for Back Issue Ben, where I answer reader questions sent in to me by email, or letter raven. Since I don’t actually get any real questions asked, I’ll just kind of try to imagine some questions I’d get.
Matt from Washington DC writes: Hey, how come you’re always writing about old Marvel comics, how about some Booster Gold?
I think we all come to a point in our lives where we wonder “maybe I’ve taken this comic book thing too far?” An advanced appreciation for Booster Gold could be one of those road signs on the path into total addiction. It’s not too late for you, you can still have a productive life, but it is far too late for me. I’m pretty sure I passed the point of no return somewhere around issue #33 of ROM: SPACEKNIGHT. Now all I need is a Squirrel Girl heroin needle set and I’ll be ready to descend into the bowels of hell.
Duy from Manila writes: Back Issue Ben, how did you become so smart and handsome?
It probably has a little to do with genetics, but I’d like to chalk it up to pure perseverance and dedication. It takes a special kind of person to decide “I will not be uglier than you,” and that person is the kind of person I push down the stairs and take over for.
Chris Corny writes: I really like books like CRIMINAL and PUNISHER, but what books from DC’s New 52 should I buy?
Tough question. I’m not going to go so far as to say that DC hates their characters, but I think they definitely hate me. Why else would they turn Beast Boy into a blood-coughing rage wolf? Didio has been going through my trash at night, I am quite certain of it. Hey, TEEN TITANS belongs to DC. They could do whatever they want to do with it. It is theirs to screw up. I just don’t want to know about it anymore. How would it be fun anymore? Or do I want to know? No, I absolutely want to know about what went wrong here. You never know, DC could throw enough money at some writers and artists that would change my opinion tomorrow. But for now…eh, no.
Except BATWOMAN when JH is drawing. Buy that.
Anonymous writes: What do you think would be better; watching Geoff Johns fight Hal Jordan, or watching Rom vaporize a Kardashian?
Well, one less Kardashian on the planet would be good for the entire human race. I can’t help but feel the Dire Wraiths trapped in Limbo are suffering enough without being subjected to the banal antics of the Kardashians. On the other hand, I can picture a scenario where Geoff Johns meets Hal Jordan, and he’s visibly very excited and really obvious about wanting to take him out on a man date for some beers, but then Hal punches him in the nose, and you can see the disappointment and sadness come pouring out of Johns through his tears. His tears of rejection. I couldn’t pass that up, not even to see the Kardashians eliminated from this dimension.
Mom writes: Why are you trying to be funny? You’re not succeeding.
I’m not sure if this is my mom, but for maximum psychological impact I’m going to assume that it is. If so, I’m still not happy about not getting the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier toy when I was a kid. Let’s see, over the years, I’ve done denial, then anger, what’s next… acceptance? That doesn’t seem accurate. Who wants to be mature and eventually accept things? I think I’m going to revise it to my own personal method, which is denial, anger, angrier, distracted by cosplay photos of Squirrel Girl online and/or nachos, noncommital anger, depression, laziness, nap, denial, and then extreme anger with some unnecessary remarks about DC editorial interspersed in randomly. Stupid DC.
Jeremy from Chicago writes: Tim Drake is the greatest superhero ever. Who is your favorite superhero?
Eventually, Dan Didio is going to have to get a sex change. Just for the shock factor. He’ll be hesitant, but Warner Brothers will come down and say, we need more women in the DC office, but we’re not hiring any more people. It’ll happen, just you wait and see. DC just needs to be in the news every month. Why couldn’t you just buy the comic books like they asked you to? Why did you make them resort to collars and the secret secret origin of Dr. Manhattan?
Oh yeah, and Spider-Man.
Jack from Providence, Rhode Island writes: How come comic books aren’t good anymore?
Sometimes I wish I could wake up in the middle of the ocean with amnesia. I’d get dragged aboard a tuna boat, and then I’d spend the next several weeks rediscovering comics with fresh eyes. I’d meet a nice little red-headed comic, and we’d disappear into some foreign nation, but always wary of the past coming back to haunt us. Then one day, DC executive track me down and kill my new love with a Night of the Owls Batman comic fired out of a gun at deadly speed, and with deadly accuracy. So, I have to come back at them, and it doesn’t end until I’ve remembered my horrible past mainlining sweet addictive Squirrel Girl straight into my bloodstream.
Debra from Canada writes: Want some of our bacon and donuts, eh?
Indeed I do.
That’s it for this mailbag. In conclusion…um, read Marvel, burn DC. Sex changes, Squirrel Girl, anger, and Hal Jordan. Thank you for the questions, imaginary readers. Next time, maybe I’ll answer some real questions (probably not) and I’ll definitely try to figure out how to avoid writing conclusions (this is awkward).