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Monday, July 31, 2006

A Lactose Intolerant Superhero?

I started reading Marvel Comics with Fantastic Four #8, back in 1963. I had already been reading comic books for years, with Superman and Batman as my heroes, even though those books were going through the worst period of their 60-year history. I was too young to know or care. But the Fantastic Four looked and sounded nothing like the DC heroes. I started sporadically buying Marvel. I wasn't hooked immediately, though. I remember one time that I was sick and asked my father to buy me a Superman comic when he went to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine. Somehow he returned with the first issue of some new comic called Spider-Man. It was so totally awful that I traded it away for a 25¢ DC Giant, and was very proud of myself.

Despite that, I soon became one of the Marvel fanatics and stopped buying DC comics entirely. As I got older and learned more about how comics were put together I worshipped the amazing Stan Lee, someone who could write 8 – 10 full comic books every month and make each of them special, exciting, funny, and chock-full of ideas.

Poor Stan. He didn't know what he was starting, or that his life would be taken over by cheesier and cheesier versions of his galactic-level ideas. Now he's the host of Who Wants to Be a Superhero? If you've somehow missed the endless promos, that's a reality show on the Sci-Fi channel, in which a dozen idiots in underwear are competing to be the star of a comic book and movie based on their character. And one of them is one of us, as explained in this article from the San Bernardino Sun.

By contrast, Major Victory's abilities seem to be limited to speaking in a deep bass voice reminiscent of a caffeinated radio announcer and filling out his red spandex uniform. Watters admits his character has his drawbacks: "I have a hearing loss, I'm lactose intolerant and have bad athlete's foot.''

And if you think that makes him weak and helpless, he'll be in even worse shape if he wins:
"The winner has no rights: You should see the contract our lawyers drew up,'' Lee says with a cackle.

Even superheroes, it seems, are powerless against attorneys.

Even lactase pills can't alleviate that horrible a symptom.

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