It was the merry month of March of 1982, I was twelve and my mind was BLOWN when I saw the cover for Marvel Super Heroes Contest of Champions issue number one. Never in my wildest dreams had I ever thought that you could pack so many superheroes into one book!
The most I could hope for would be a super team cross-over with the Avengers and the Defenders, or the Justice League and the Justice Society. Having just reread the first issue the story is a bit thin, but set-up for the ensuing contest is fun. Seeing how the heroes interact with each other while not in battle is a hallmark of Marvel Comics. It also seems as if the books were to be platforms for nationalized heroes… some ridiculous as the Shamrock of Ireland, Collective Man of China, or Blitzkrieg of West Germany. These were lazy filler characters and a tad bit patronizing, if you ask me. I can see wanting to, perhaps seem more inclusive, or to break into more of the international market but they could have done a better job rather than be on the nose with some of these characters.
While I’ve seen far grander scale of mini series cross-overs in my now 51 years of existence, this was my first and it still has a treasured place in my geek heart. I may not remember more than a handful of lessons from my grade six year but this like this, what cartoons and movies I was introduced to and the toys I received as gifts are seared into my psyche for ever. This is the way. I don’t see life in the terms of good or bad at this point, but I can reflect on those earlier times as say they were best.