Of 7-year-old boys and Spaceknights

By Eric S. Brown | Mar 20, 2013

It should come as no surprise to readers of this column that I am a lifelong comic book geek.

My comic collection may be small some hardcore aficionados’ viewpoint but still the amount of books I own is so vast that they are split between two houses in terms of storage. I seriously have a room that looks like a shrine to or museum of all things DC and Marvel and it’s still not big enough to contain it all.

The oldest book I own is a Wonder Woman #11 from 1942. My biggest “run” to use comic book jargon is of the Fantastic Four. My collection of that title is missing less than 20 books in the entire series from 1961 to present day. My love for comics spills over into my life. At Christmas, our tree is adorned with Flash, Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, etc. ornaments.

If you see me out and about Haywood County, I am normally in some kind of comic book related apparel. I try hard as a parent to pass on my passion for reading to my children and comics are a super way to do that. However, it is seriously against the rules for my 7-year-old son to go digging through my books without being accompanied by dad.

Not so very long ago though my son broke into my books without me. As I am not a big Spiderman, Batman, or Ironman fan in terms of the books I own, I imagine he was sort of disappointed initially during the beginning of his search to find something to read. When I discovered where he was and what he was up to, I panicked like any owner of such a collection would but my fear was for naught.

I found him holding a Rom the Spaceknight issue 1 and that he had treated my books with great respect. To be honest, I had forgotten I even had the book as Rom hasn’t been around much in the world of comics for three decades. I was stunned speechless as my son proclaimed his love for this old, and yet newly discovered by him, hero.

Rom suddenly ranked right up there with Spiderman and Batman to my 7 year old. We went on a Rom hunt together and tracked down most of the series from the late 70s and early 80s. He devoured them all and still wanted more.  On occasion, he will ask for a Rom toy for whatever holiday is coming up and I will have to explain that Marvel dropped Rom long ago and that Rom comics and merchandise are no longer being made.

At which point, he will stare at me and say, “You need to get a job at Marvel so you bring him back.” As a DC loyalist in terms of my own fandom, I can only laugh at this but this whole situation proves that like any great literature, comic books too can be timeless and reach across the generations to enthrall younger readers and encourage them to read.