Mary Marvel - Truth

Sometimes hearing the truth is difficult. Sometimes finding the truth is difficult. The old colloquialism is correct – “the truth will set you free”. Depending on the truth there is a moment of relief, then the realization comes, “I do not have to hide the truth anymore.”  

Truth

 “I know what I Know! I know the TRUTH!” - Mary Marvel*

 Saying the wizard’s name “SHAZAM” will transform Billy Batson, orphan and teenage radio announcer, into Captain Marvel. But Billy Batson has a twin sister. They were separated when Mary Batson was adopted by the wealthy Bromfeilds. Mrs. Primm the orphanage director told Billy he had a twin sister that wore the other half of a broken locket. He and his best friend Freddie Freeman found Mary Bromfield as she was being kidnapped. The three teenagers, kidnapped, were tied up and bound. As Billy was saying his magic word, SHAZAM, the magic lightning bounced off him and transformed Mary and Freddie. Mary became Mary Marvel. Now there were three, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel JR, and Mary Marvel.

 We are told from a young age to always be honest and to always tell the truth. Sometimes that is a difficult task. Practicing a spiritual life changes us. We begin to seek knowledge about ourselves. We begin to see “truth” differently. We begin to see more clearly the deeper truth. Speaking honestly with friends and family gives us power; it builds trust and strengthens connections. In finding the truth and honesty we begin to see the real power of love. Seeking the truth we begin to conform to the reality of situations. We find the actual state of being honest and truthful. We begin to build integrity – our actions and beliefs become the same. And this is a truer state of being.

 Mary Marvel
First Appearance: Captain Marvel Adventures, #18 (December 1942), Fawcett Comics

Creators: Otto Binder (writer) Marc Swayze (art)

* “Perceptions”, Supergirl Plus+, #1, February 1997, DC Comics

 

Flying Fox - Tribe

I have a Tribe. My tribe of friends is very strong. My tribe is accepting – all are welcomed. I’ll give anyone the opportunity to join my tribe. It is a tribe of choice. I choose who I want in my life. For me that is very powerful. My tribe has walked with me through the good and bad.

Tribe

 “I was sent here by my Tribe, which dwells in a secret place, to do what I could to help with the war against evil.” - Flying Fox*

 The Native American, Flying Fox, comes from Canada. During WWII his tribe was attacked by the Nazis. Flying Fox watched his father, the chief, murdered by the Nazis. The tribe’s shaman his grandfather taught Flying Fox the ways of the shaman. To prove himself as chief he had to go out and fight the evil that killed his father. With a fox skin cloak and the mystical powers of the shaman, Flying Fox joined the young All-Stars, and gained honorary membership to the All-Star Squadron. Connecting to his ancient tribe through magic gives Flying Fox his great powers, some of which are flying, invisibility, astral projection, empathy and telepathy.

 To have a tribe is a wonderful thing. To connect to a group of people and learn from them is something we can all benefit from. To be part of a culture and learn from that culture is important. It keeps the culture alive and it can blend with other cultures creating a new one helping peace become stronger. Sometimes the ideas of the culture or tribe can be built from tradition. Traditions can be broken but they are still nice to be revisited and learned from. We grow from traditions – we practice traditions every day. Our morning rituals are traditions. When our friends and family become involved in our rituals then these traditions become a culture for the family. The family becomes a tribe.

 Flying Fox
First Appearance: The Young All-Stars, #1 (June 1987)

Creators: Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas (writers) and Michael Bair, Brian Murray (artists)

* “A Call to Arms”, The Young All-Stars, #3, August 1987

Northstar - Treasure Friendship

I would be lost without my friends. If not for my friends I would not have the family of choice that is so important to me. My friends have supported me through some very important events. I have tried to be just as supportive for my friends. Friendships are important and we all need friends.

Treasure Friendship

 “I -- have always found it difficult... to express myself, to... admit that I care. But I do! If anything, this ordeal has taught me to treasure friendship, embrace it. I hope maybe, when all this is over... we can start afresh.” - Northstar*

 Canadians, Northstar (Jean-Paul Beaubier) and Aurora (Jeanne-Marie Beaubier) are mutant twins with the ability of superhuman speed, durability, flight, and in Northstar’s case light manipulation and in Aurora’s light generation. Jean-Paul Beaubier, Northstar he was the first openly Gay Superhero. For any kid struggling with their sexuality, superhero, mutant or human, is a difficult task. We have come a long way but we still have far to go in the acceptance of ALL people in race creed color sexual orientation or religious affiliation. But the one thing that has helped Northstar the most over the years is his friendships. He cherishes his family and friendships as familial relationships.

 Friends support and walk with you. We all need friends. Choosing friends is easy and the friendship is difficult. As Northstar’s quote suggests, we have to express ourselves, admit we care, embrace each other, and finally treasure the friendship. Today let your friends be there for you.  

 Northstar
First Appearance:  Uncanny X-Men #120 (April 1979)

Creators: Chris Claremont (plot), John Byrne (art)

 * Northstar #4 (July 1994) Simon Furman (plot), Dario Carrasco Jr. (art)

Songbird - Tougher

I am reminded today of Peace. I try to seek Peace in my actions, my meditations and my thoughts. It’s the same way I seek Balance, physically, spiritually and emotionally. For me the best way I find Peace through acceptance. I treat people the way I want to be treated – with acceptance.

Tougher

 “…And baby, when you’ve lived the kind of life little Mimi has – there ain’t NOBODY tougher!” - Songbird*

 Melissa Joan Gold, ran away from home and her alcoholic abusive father. Melissa was living on the street and referring to herself as Mimi. She met up with some wrestlers – the Grapplers. Their showy antics made them renowned and popular. The wrestlers became a covert team for Roxxon Oil Company; they each got special apparatuses to make them stronger. Melissa got a carapace that gave her supersonic screams. She called herself “Screaming Mimi”. She eventually joined other villain groups and each group used her as a scapegoat. The evil Baron Zemo devised a plan to take Villains and dress them as heroes and perform heroic acts to trick the public. Melissa was one of these villains. She found she liked being a hero. People loved her, they were not afraid of her. Other heroes respected her. Her carapace was strengthened and she took the name Songbird.  She is a supersonic siren superhero fighting the good fight.

How often do we have issues with other people?  Once a week? Twice a week? Every day? Did you ever meet a bully in school? Honestly have you ever taken the time to ask yourself what is wrong with these people? The “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu says “Compassion: Attack with it and win. Defend with it and stand firm” (translation by Addis & Lombardo). This means take a moment and be compassionate toward the issuing person. What about your life? How do you react to situations that remind you of those long ago issues? Be compassionate toward yourself and try not to react selfishly, or with anger. Showing compassion, striking with compassion and defending yourself with compassion will win the battle. Remember treating ourselves like precious objects will make us strong.

 Songbird
First Appearance: (as Screaming Mimi) Marvel Two-in-One #54, August 1979

First Appearance: (as Songbird) The Incredible Hulk #449, February 1997

Creators: (Screaming Mimi) Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio (plot) and John Byrne (art)

Creators: (Songbird) Kurt Busiek (writer) & Mark Bagley (artist)

 * “Thunderbolts” (Decisions part 1: Turning Point) #20, 1998

Zatanna - Together

As for as magical characters go Zatanna is one of the best. I have always loved her. Trying to figure out her backwards spoken spells is always fun for me. I draw backwards often because of her. I get use my creative mind differently. That’s the whole point for being an artist or practicing a spiritual life. Having the opportunity to see the world differently.

Together

“All of us together. SDNIW ESAEC OT EB!”          Zatanna*

The golden age hero and powerful magician Giovanni Zatara is missing and his daughter Zatanna Zatara uses her skill and her connections as a stage performer to search for him. In the process she finds that he is a well respected superhero. She receives assistance from, Batman and Robin, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, the Atom, Green Lantern and the Elongated Man. Eventually she finds that she herself is a powerful sorceress. Zatanna soon becomes the Justice League’s top Magical Member. She casts her spells backwards - if it can be said backwards it can happen. She continues to live in her family home Shadowcrest and she is one of the world’s foremost Stage Performers. Zatanna is normally pivotal in bringing together all other magical heroes in times of crisis.

Why do something alone, when doing it with someone is fun, easier and faster? The best way to learn about someone is to work with them. In his book “A Walk in the Woods”, Bill Bryson’s 1998 book about discovering the Appalachian Trail writes about fellow hikers. “You become part of an informal clump, a loose and sympathetic affiliation of people from different age groups and walks of life but all experiencing the same weather, same discomforts, same landscapes and same eccentric impulse to hike to Maine.” This is a lovely description of people working together. Right now look out the window the people on the street are “experiencing the same weather, same discomforts, same landscapes”.

Zatanna

First Appearance: Hawkman, vol. 1 #4 (October–November 1964)  

Creator: Gardner Fox (writer) and Murphy Anderson (artist)  

* “Worlds in Limbo”, Crisis on Infinite Earths, #5, 1985

Æon Flux - To Live Only Once

Living is in the present. I do not want to miss any part of this life. I don’t want heavy baggage when I leave this place. The best way to do that is to remain present.

To Live Only Once

“To live only once…with Hope.” - Æon Flux *

The country of Bregna is a police state ruled by Trevor Goodchild. Bregna is also referred to as the “Republic of Goodchild.” The Monicans are part of a community called Monica; they are the rebels, the underground resistance. Æon Flux is the Monicans best assassin. She is sent on missions to try and assassinate Trevor Goodchild. In much of her attempts Æon Flux fails and dies. She is then replaced by her clones to complete the mission. Since there are many different versions of Æon Flux there are many different versions of the story – we never know if this is a future earth or a different planet. The most popular version we learn that Æon Flux and the Monicans are fighting to stop the cloning process.

We have only one life – it is the one we are living right now this moment. Some people believe in reincarnation, in which when you die you are reborn to relearn the lesson that we failed in our pass life and eventually to reach heaven because you have learned everything. That is a lovely concept but what about this current life? It is better to focus on this life learning the lessons, not focusing on the future or past living only in the present. We have learned from many of the superheroes already that a life lived in hope is a much better and easier life to live. With Hope the past was beautiful, the future is bright, and the present is manageable and complete.

Æon Flux
First Appearance: Æon FluxSeason 1 (September 1991), MTV Broadcasts

Creator: Peter Chung 

* “Æon Flux “, starring Charlize Theron, 2005 Release from Paramount & MTV

Superstar - The Price

Everything comes with a price. There is loss and gain in every situation. We do not let these ideas stop us. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the loss or to see the gain but both are present. Sometimes just take a step out of self and try looking at the big picture.

The Price

“He’s going to keep doing what he does. Because it’s what he wants to do. Who he wants to be. He just hates the Price, that’s all.” - Narrator*

Cody Bridges grew up in a home with a wealthy but unavailable and abusive father. When it came time to be an adult Cody put himself through school working odd jobs. While in Austria as a ski instructor Cody participated in a Parapsychology experiment. There was an accident and an explosion. Cody Bridges found he absorbed the strength and power from those in the room. As people believed in him he grew stronger. Eventually his father got involved and cooked up a plan to increase his power through publicity, media and sales. Cody Bridges became “Superstar” and as his popularity grows so does his power. Cody is a media Superstar, but it comes with a price. To be a superhero Cody must take from his fans, who truly love him. For Superstar is it worth the price? 

A comic book page is a series of panels or images to create and ongoing story through words, dialogue and art. Taken out of context a single panel could be beautifully crafted, but the words do not make sense. Continuing to read the other panels we get an idea what the page is about and by reading the other pages we finish the story. As humans we get so caught up in our individual panels we forget the page or the story. Trying to decide the “right path” we get bogged down in worrying about the outcome. Step back from the comic book page and try to see the big picture. Will this decision help reach the destination or just be an interesting path of folly? Make the decision and take that next step. When the decision is made turn the page of your own heroic comic book and continue reading the story.

Superstar (Cody Bridges)
First Appearance: Superstar: As Seen On T.V.! , #1 (June 2001), Image Comics

Creators: Kurt Busiek (writer) Stuart Immonen (art)

* Superstar: As Seen On T.V.! , #1 (June 2001), Image Comics

Dazzler - The Moment

My life changed the moment I stepped on the plane to move to DC. However, my life truly changed the moment I put my hand in that hat and drew out the piece of paper with Washington, DC on it. I celebrate other moments in my life. Those moments, successful or failure, are important to me and should be celebrated. I try not to let those moments pass. Those “moments” have guided me into the person I am today.

The Moment

“This is the Moment I’ve been waiting for…the moment I’ve always wanted…” - Dazzler*

Just like regular folks’ superheroes have dreams and aspirations to become singers, artists, doctors or lawyers. Alison Blaire wants to become a singer and she has a beautiful voice but her strict father wants her to become a lawyer. At a high school dance, she is asked to sing and is so excited. It is at this moment her mutant ability manifests. Alison Blaire has the ability to turn sound into light, the stronger the sound the stronger the blast of light. Despite that she has a fabulous power that coincides with her talent. Despite she has teamed with the X-Men. Alison Blaire still became a lawyer. She eventually learned that those gifts made her special. She began to chase her dream. Wearing a silvery white jumpsuit, mirrored bracelets, disco ball necklace and mirrored roller-skates Alison Blaire became, Dazzler. Disco was never the same.

We can use Dazzler as a good example. We have discussed chasing our dreams before. But let’s look at “the moment”. Many mutant abilities manifests at extreme moments. Alison’s while she was singing. Wolverine’s while defending his father. Rogue’s while receiving her first kiss. Alison knew that moment she step on the stage her life would change. We all feel moments like these. We let fear and worry hold us back. We let fear of the outcome hold us back. We let fear of appearance hold us back. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. The book, A Course in Miracles, written by Dr. Helen Schucman suggests that fear is just a mental manifestation and a truly spiritual life. With a connection to the spiritual there is no room for fear. We create our own fear. Today enter that Art Show or go on the new job interview or step out on stage and sing. Be dazzling! There is no fear!

Dazzler
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men, #130 (February 1980), Marvel Comics

Solo Appearance: Dazzler, #1 (March 1981), Marvel Comics

Creators: Tom DeFalco (writer) John Romita, Jr. (art)

* “So Bright This Star”,  Dazzler, #1 (March 1981), Marvel Comics

Tor - The Luckiest Person

I believe in luck. I believe in Hope. I also believe in hard work. I used this phrase before,  it reminds me to participate, “If you pray for potatoes grab a hoe.” I must do the work. Doing the work in front of me will put me in the position to accept luck when it comes my way.  The same could be said of Joe Kupert. He did the work that put him in a position to become one of the greatest comic book artists. 

The Luckiest Person

“I was and still am the luckiest person in the world.” - Joe Kubert

The Prehistoric World was not a safe place for the primitive man. Tor, our hero, sees the primitive world differently. He is learning and growing. He finds it difficult to follow the rules of the clan and seeks what is right or just. Saving his friend Zul from a dinosaur causes Tor to be exiled from his clan. Alone he and his companion, a monkey he calls Chee-Chee must face the challenges of the Prehistoric World. He uses his wits and strength to face these challenges. To Tor he may even think it is luck to survive.

It is difficult to talk about good luck because we immediately start thinking about the bad luck. Luck is one of those things that can be confusing or profound. How often do we find bad luck which eventually turns into the luckiest thing? Successful people in the world often talk about “being in the right place at the right time”. This is not to discount the hard work successful people do. We start seeking ways to be in that right place to test luck. Seeking luck does not help. Let us forget luck and just focus on what is in front of us to accomplish. Luck is going to happen either way we turn. Focus on the moment. Focusing on the present relieves us of the desire for luck. We have a goal, seek to make the accomplishment and at the end we will see just how lucky we really were.

Tor
First Appearance: 1,000,000 Years Ago, #1 (September 1953), St. John Comics

Creators: Joe Kubert

Iron Munro - Terra Firma

I used to keep my head in the clouds and people would often tell me to keep my feet firmly on the ground. Two friends of mine and I decided that the best thing to do would be wear “Pretty Pink Patent Pumps” then our feet were firmly on the ground and our heads could still be in the clouds. That was one of the many conversations that let me to seek Balance (PSE).

Terra Firma

“Me, I’ll keep busy down here on Terra Firma.” - Iron Munro*

Arn Munro grew up in a small Colorado town; he was naturally stronger and faster than his classmates. Being a great athlete he acquired the name Iron Munro. But he was super strong, superfast and could make super leaps. He wanted to join the army and join the fight during WWII. But being 17 he was too young. One night, Iron Munro rescued the heroes TNT and Dyna-Mite from a Nazi villain the Valkyrie, Gudra. Unfortunately TNT died in the attack. Iron Munro in befriending Dyna-Mite joins the Young All-Stars. This was the perfect opportunity to fight for his country. The Young All-Stars is an offshoot of the All-Star Squadron, Earth 2’s premier superhero team.

When dealing with creativity or spiritual matters it is easy to our heads be in the clouds. Heck, we’re talking about superheroes – what could be more “head cloudy” than Superman?  There should be balance in make believe and reality. There should be balance between the spiritual, physical and emotional. When eating a meal what happens when we get full? We push away from the table. Many meditation practices use tools to help keep the balance and bring the follower back to earth. There are prayer beads, rosaries, labyrinths, and chimes. All these help manage head space. One trick that might help the beginner after the allotted quiet time take a minute or two to look out the window picturing the world as it truly is – home.

Iron Munro
First Appearance: The Young All-Stars, #1 (June 1987), DC Comics

Creators: Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas (writer), Michael Bair, Brian Murray (art)

* “Vengeance is Ours”, The young All-Stars, #3, August 1987

Eternity Smith - Technology

It’s hard to remember what life was like with out smartphones. I can sit back and remember the ground like phone, a time without the internet. Do I want to go back to that time – no. However, I do turn off my phone and go for a walk or read a book lying on the couch. I find ways to disconnect from technology so I can reconnect with myself.

Technology

“Technology is neither good nor evil. Technology simply is.” - Eternity Smith*

In the year 1976, scientist, Ethan Caldwell Smith was teleported into the future to battle evil. He spent years fighting in a future war. 10 years later, 1986, he returns to find the evil that started the war. Using the moniker Eternity Smith and the technology from the future, Ethan finds his daughter Sky and the two set out to prevent the future he experienced.   

These words are true. “Technology is neither good nor evil. Technology simply is.” Technology is a tool we use it daily. However, we forget to use it sparingly. For many of us it is our main source of connection, communication and entertainment. We forget that the electric flashes from the screens are not good for our eyes or minds. We are always in front of a computer or Smartphone. We forget to get exercise. We forget to communicate using our voices and good manners – people are just texts on a screen. It is best to get up and go for a 20 minute walk. It is a good idea to put the technology down for 20 minutes and meditate with our eyes closed. It would be awesome to meet a friend in public at a nearby coffee shop and speak with our voices.

Eternity Smith
First Appearance: Eternity Smith, #1 (September 1986), Renegade Comics

Creators: Dennis Malonee (writer) Rick Hoberg (art)

* “Windows of Opportunity”, Eternity Smith, #3 (January 1987) Renegade Comics

 

Arak - Talk Too Much

Communication is so important to finding Balance (physical, spiritual and emotional). We can get bogged down with the worry and fear. It’s taken be a long time to learn that the best defense against worry and fear is a little action. Instead worrying about something get up and do something different to take your mind off the worry. Get up and do something toward alleviating the fear. A little exercise will clear the head to think clearer.

Talk Too Much

“Wizard you talk too much…And act too little.” - Arak*

Bright-Sky-After-Storm, is the son of a Native American, Quontauka Princess and the Quontauka Thunder God, He-No. The Serpent tribe attacked the Quontauka tribe. He-No to protect his son set him adrift in a canoe on the sea. Bright-Sky-After-Storm was found by Vikings and was given the name Arak. Arak joins the Vikings on several adventures before they were beaten by a witch, Angelica and her sea monster. Arak avenges the Vikings. He then finds himself befriended by Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne) and his Knights. Arak adventures lead him to the past and future, to meet other heroes and to meet Valda, the woman he would have a relationship.

Arak has a good idea – stop talking and start doing! Today these words can take on two meanings. The first, get up and go get some exercise. Exercise is good for the body heart and soul. We find Balance (Physical, Emotional and Spiritual) in exercise. Secondly, we could use these words to give us courage to follow our Heart’s Desire. Your Heart’s Desire, Emmet Fox writes, “God Himself has whispered into your heart just that very wonderful thing, whatever it is, that He is wishing you to be, and to do, and to have. And that wonderful thing is nothing less than what is called Your Heart's Desire.” When we are following our Heart’s Desire everything we need is provided for without worry. So why do we sit around and talk about our Heart’s Desire? It is the fear and negativity in our lives that hold us back. Today get up stop talking and do something – Exercise or something toward the Heart’s Desire (or both).

Arak
First Appearance: Warlord, #48 (August 1981), DC Comics

Creators: Roy Thomas (writer) Ernie Colon (art) 

* “Sword of the Iron Maiden”, Arak, Son of Thunder, #3 (November 1981) DC Comics

 

Clint Barton - Take the Shot

I am so glad I took the opportunity to move to Washington, DC. It was the best thing for me to do. When I must decide, I try not to worry about the “what if” or the “yeah but”. My focus is on the decision. The decision is the most important part.

Take the Shot

“Take every shot, Kate. If it’s worth caring about, no matter how impossible you think it is…” - Clint Barton *

Years ago Clint Barton was a member of the Avengers, as Hawkeye. A fellow team member Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch had a nervous breakdown and destroyed the Avengers, killing several members. Hawkeye was one of these people. But through a mishap in the time stream Clint Barton was brought back to reality. Eventually he was involved in a new group of heroes, the New Avengers. But not as Hawkeye, he donned the moniker Ronin. Clint Barton took this name because he was able to start fresh and change. He took the opportunity to become a better hero.

Opportunities arise and pass every day. Some we don’t even notice. Those that we do notice can be important and need some thought and a decision. If it is meaningful, something you truly like, and in the direction you are going…Take It! The opportunity came up for a specific reason. Opportunities are spiritual in nature; they are signposts or forks in the spiritual path we are on. Take a moment and decide. That is all it is, a decision. Trust you made the right decision and continue on your journey. There are those that say “Take every Opportunity”. The life is yours to decide. What opportunities will you take today? 

Clint Barton
First Appearance: (As Hawkeye) Tales of Suspense #57 (1964)

First Appearance: (As Ronin) New Avengers #27 (2007)

Creators: (Hawkeye) Stan Lee (plot), and Don Heck (art)

Creators: (Ronin) Brian Michael Bendis (plot), and Joe Quesada (art)

 

 * “Young Avengers Presents…Hawkeye” #6, 2008

Captain America - Strength

I’ve always liked Captain America. Not for the patriotism or some symbol for the USA. Captain America is for the people. The regular people come first. It never matters what color, religion or orientation, all humans are to be protected.

Strength

“...Strength isn’t born just of the body and not simply of the mind. It’s an outlook. It’s your goals…” - Captain America*

Steve Rogers is Captain America an American Icon. Steve was a frail and sickly man trying to enter the army but kept getting the 4F.  He was given the opportunity to join the army through science to take part in experiments to create a “super soldier”. The experiments worked and Steve became Captain America.  He was given an indestructible shield that can also be used as a weapon. Captain America is the cornerstone of the American people and/or the hokey Boy Scout with the idealistic optimism of the 1940’s America. No matter what, no matter how idealistic or hokey one thing is always certain – Captain America will be there to help. He will always do what’s right and help whoever is in need; building strength through actions and beliefs.

That is truly a profound statement from one of the strongest characters. The idea of true strength being the accomplishments of goals or actions is different from how we normally perceive strength. The idea of strength being connected to our integrity adds to a greater idea of holistic living. Yes physical strength is connected to weight or stamina. But integrity is when our actions and beliefs are the same. Let’s look at Gandhi, not a physically strong person but spiritually strong.  For spiritual principles he chose to be a change in his world. Did Martin Luther King know his conviction to the dream would bring emotional healing for all Americans? We may not be these great human examples but we can exhibit the same strength.  Waking up each morning we pray and meditate. We try not to yell at the selfish coworker. These are good examples of different kinds of strength that would include the physical, spiritual and emotional stamina. Captain America has an excellent idea using a positive outlook along with the physical spiritual and emotional strength to reach that goal.

Captain America
First Appearance: Timely’s Captain America #1, March 1941

Creators: Joe Simon (writer), Jack Kirby (art)

* “Tigra”, Icons, #1, May 2002

Darkstars - So Damned Much

I can get so bogged down in my little life that I forget to look out the window or to smell the flowers. It’s during these times I call a friend and just talk. I may not talk about my issues – I may just listen to them and their needs. For that moment I’m taken out of my own head and I’m thinking of someone else.

So Damned Much

“You’ve got so damned much to live for.” - Darkstar, Ferrin Colos*

From an alternate timeline continuity come the Controllers – an offshoot of the Guardians of the Universe (creators of the Green Lantern Corps). The Controllers also believed in Peace and Safety through the known Universe. Using the energy powers, they possessed the Controllers empowered a specific armor called the “Crimson Exo-Mantle". Then the Controllers created NEMO (the Network for the Establishment and Maintenance of Order) to police the Galaxy. Members of NEMO were called the Darkstars. They wore the Armor traveling and protecting the universe. Members included John Stewart, Donna Troy, Vardan Radz, Galius Zed and Ferrin Colos. Ferrin Colos was from the planet Zamba. The Zambians knew nothing of space travel or people from different planets; they were a primitive people. Zamba was plundered of its rich resources by the Qinoori raiders. The result left the Zamba a wasteland with few survivors. Darkstar Vardan Radz found Ferrin Colos and offered Ferrin Colos an opportunity to join the Darkstars and help all people. Ferrin Colos found peace and much to live for.

Sometimes when we are having issues and problems we forget that there is a world outside the window. Our issues and problems are just that and nothing more. Think of them as math equations – there is always a solution. Yes, we get stressed and find the equation difficult and hard but there is always a solution. Step back take a moment and look out the window. There is “so much to live for” and our problem just needs to find a solution. Try talking to a friend about the problem. Even if they just hold our hand or nod their head in support that might be just the inspiration needed to continue. A good friend is something to live for.  

Darkstar (Ferrin Colos)
First Appearance: The Darkstars, #1 (October 1992), DC Comics

Creators: Michael Jan Friedman (writer) Larry Stroman (art)

* “Mean Streets”, The Darkstars, #1 (October 1992), DC Comics

Gravity Girl - Shouldn't Hit a Lady

I loved the Galaxy Trio by Hanna-Barbera. The simplicity of the stories boiled everything down to simple messages. For example, having good manners is an easy way to keep the peace.

Shouldn’t Hit a Lady

“Shouldn’t hit a lady Mr. Robot!” - Gravity Girl*

There is a band of Peacekeepers that travel the universe protecting the innocent – they are the Galaxy Trio, Meteor Man, Vapor Man and Gravity Girl. Gravity Girl is the daughter of King Gravitas and she has the ability to lift things up or weigh things down by her mind. This ability also gives her the power of flight.  In a time of peril, she decided to leave her life of privilege and home to join the Galactic Patrol to defend the universe from evil. She is a founding member of the Galaxy Trio. Gravity Girl always keeps the two other members on their best manners.

Sorry gentlemen there are NEVER reasons to hit a lady; even if she hits you first. Find another way to get your message across. The same could be said to the women. Ladies there is never a reason to hit a man. There is never a reason for violence – FIND ANOTHER WAY. If you have good manners there will never be a reason to fight. Always have good manners and there will be a calm and gentle atmosphere around you. Remember what the spiritual thinkers teach, “a man of war will find war.” Therefore a man of Peace will find Peace.

Gravity Girl
First Appearance: The Robot Revolt, Birdman & Galaxy Trio TV Show, Sept. 9, 1967, NBC

Creators: Alex Toth, Neal Barbera, Phil Hahn, Producers Hanna-Barbera  

* “The Robot Revolt” Birdman & Galaxy Trio TV Show, Sept. 9, 1967, NBC

Stingray - Salvage

At one point in my life I wanted to be an oceanographer and studying the oceans. It was all because of Aquaman, Namor and Stingray. These characters made the oceans and marine life so interesting to me. But I took an art class in school and all that changed. I’m still fascinated by the oceans and marine life.

Salvage

“SALVAGE, as if the junk we’re dredging up from down here is going to help me put my life back together.” - Stingray*

Brilliant scientist and oceanographer, Walter Newell, designed an incredible diving suit based on Manta Rays. This suit gives the wearer air for underwater breathing, enhanced swimming speed, limited flight, super strength, and electrical blasts.  Taking the name Stingray, Dr. Newell becomes a superhero. His base of operations is the Hydro-Base. An artificial island that can be located anywhere. At one point the Hydro-Base was the home of the Avengers. Eventually the Hydro-Base was destroyed by Dr. Doom’s Doombots, robotic soldiers. Salvaging what he can Dr. Newell has become a member of Avengers, Defenders, and Heroes for Hire. Stingray protects the oceans with Namor, the Sub-Mariner and the Inhuman, Triton.

Humans often experience events that leave a mess in our lives that need to be cleaned up. Recovering alcoholics refer to these events as “Wreckage”. We all have wreckage we need to repair. There are parts of the wreckage that can be salvaged. When the hurricanes strike, people try their best to salvage their lives back together with the help of volunteering humanitarians. But what happens when a relationship ends can we salvage parts from that wreckage? The answer is a simple yes. We remember the good times. We remember the lessons learned from the experience. We collect new positive memories. When we find we must rebuild or repair damage we may cause we deal with our actions and only apologize for what we caused. In all events we make a strong effort to change and help in the salvaging and repairing the wreckage.

Stingray (Dr. Walter Newell)
First Appearance (as Dr. Newell): Tales to Astonish, #95 (September 1967), Marvel Comics

First Appearance (as Stingray): Sub-Mariner, #19 (November 1969), Marvel Comics

Creators: Roy Thomas (writer) Bill Everett (art)

* “Acts of Vengeance: Some Assembly Required”, Avengers Spotlight, #27, December 1989, Marvel Comics

The Avenger - Sacrifice

Sacrifices are a part of life. We all make sacrifices. It’s what we do with the sacrifices that is important.

Sacrifice

“My sacrifice of the Star-Jet was well worthwhile!” - The Avenger*

In the 1950s, Roger Wright a brilliant and revolutionary scientist designs a new jet, the Star-Jet. The Russians learned of this jet and set to steal the plans. After kidnapping Wright’s brother, Roger Wright dons a red clad uniform and attempts to rescue his brother. Although the plans were saved Wright’s brother was not. Roger Wright develops the hero, the Avenger, to right the wrongs and to protect the innocent. 

When we think of sacrifice automatically we think of a martyr. But sacrifice does not need to be so dramatic. Sacrifice is just giving something up or letting something go. To Eastern Philosophies moving forward means leaving something behind. The gaining knowledge means losing ignorance. We sacrifice time for family, friends and work. Choosing not to argue is a sacrifice. Choosing to forgive a wrong is sacrifice. Remember a caterpillar sacrifices to become a butterfly or the mighty oak sacrifices the comfortable acorn to become a tree.

The Avenger (Roger Wright)
First Appearance: The Avenger, #1 (March 1955), Magazine Enterprises

Last Appearance: The Avenger, #4 (August 1955), Magazine Enterprises

Creators: Gardner Fox (writer) dick Ayers (art)

* “The Avenger”, #0, 1996, AC Ashcan Edition, AC Comics, reprint of “The Metal Menace”, The Avenger, circa 1955, Magazine Enterprises