Best Comics-Related News Story Of 2010

The year of 2010 was filled with superhero-related new stories, as more movies, events, and merchandise based on comic books made their way to Hollywood and retail stores.

But the best story, to me, was about a character that had not, until December, appeared in a single comic book.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but in case you haven’t, here’s their deal:  they grant “wishes” for children with life-threatening medical conditions.  These wishes run the gamut from going to the US Open to being a pyrotechnician for Disneyland.  (My personal favourite was the wish for a pirate-ship playhouse; hell, I want one of those.)

Enter 13-year-old Erik Martin of Seattle.  Erik is living with cancer and had one wish:  he wanted to be a superhero.  One Thursday in April 2010, he got his wish.

The day began with a phone call from Spider-Man, who told Erik that the Seattle Sounders (our local soccer team) had been trapped in a locker room by the villainous team of “Dr. Dark” and “Blackout Boy.”  Erik was needed to defeat them in his alter ego of “Electron Boy.”  Taking up his provided costume and lightning rod, Erik was taken by his sidekick Moonshine Maid (who has an entirely different set of powers, several of them inappropriate for children, in the South) to Qwest Field (in a DeLorean, no less), where the Sounders were trapped in a locker room.  After freeing them with the aid of Lightning Lad (whom I hope was not forced to evade lawyers from DC Comics), Electron Boy posed for pictures and received an autographed ball and jerseys.

Good day, right?  And a good story?  Of course it is.  But it’s not even half over yet.

The Jumbotron sparked to life and showed the villains, cackling and taunting Electron Boy with pictures of a utility worker that they’d trapped in the top of his bucket truck.  Again, it was Electron Boy to the rescue, as he, with a 25-vehicle police escort, traveled to Bellevue to rescue the worker.  That job done, there was only one thing left to do: capture Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy!

After getting a tip that the villains were in the Space Needle and had trapped people on the observation deck, Electron boy and his team raced back to Seattle to free the trapped people and have a final showdown with Dr. Dark!

In the end, the villains defeated and Electron Boy stood triumphant, posing for pictures with the vanquished villains.  Electron Boy was presented with a key to the city and had the date of his adventures declared “Electron Boy Day” by the Seattle City Council. Said Erik, “This is the best day of my life.

Before you think, “Well, that was easy; you just get some people to dress up in costume and there you go,” well, you’re wrong.  This took hundreds of volunteers, some of them semi-famous (the Sounders themselves, and Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy were played by two of the stars of The Discovery Channel’s hit Deadliest Catch). The 25-vehicle police escort required off-duty officers to give their time and close I-90 and I-405 for brief periods.  It was a massive effort from local actors, police, politicians, and athletes to give one little boy his greatest wish.

And it was totally worth it.  If you read that story without at least getting a lump in your throat, you have no soul.

But it’s not over yet.

In December, Capstone Comics published a comic book of Erik’s adventures defending Seattle, with all proceeds going to Erik’s family.  As everybody knows, you haven’t made it as a superhero until you have your own comic book, and now Electron Boy has been immortalized in print.

There was definitely bigger news in comics, but nothing so heartwarming, touching, and providing such a positive statement on humanity in general and Seattle in particular as this story.  It should be obvious as to why this was my choice for Best Comics-Related News Story of 2010.

2011’s winner will probably be about the team of real-life superheroes running around the Seattle area, but the year is young, so who knows what will happen.

VS – 1.7.10

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2 Responses to “Best Comics-Related News Story Of 2010”

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