I had my personal favorites among the JLA's ranks. I'd been a collosal Batman fan since the Batman TV series staring Adam West and Burt Ward, so putting the Dark Knight at the top of my list was a natural. Then I'd say the Flash was my second favorite. The thought of a super-hero who could travel at incredible speeds captivated me in a way Aquaman or the Green Lantern never could (besides, I loved the way his compressed costume came leaping out of his ring whenever he changed into the Flash... although I could never figure out how he got it folded back down to that size afterward). Next was the Atom. I don't know what it was about the Atom... he didn't seem quite up to the challenge of the other Justice Leaguers -- he strank down to microscopic size (or smaller) and retained man-sized strength, but he seemed to have much more personality than some of the others. I remember a Brave and the Bold story from the 70's that still sticks with me after all these years. Batman is shot by some thugs and is literally "brain dead". The Atom shrinks down, enters Batman's brain, and brings him back to life, like some caped and cowled zombie, by jumping on key pressure points of his cerebellum. Batman battles and defeats the thugs who "killed" him, then is returned to his former mental state after the Atom repairs the damage done to the Caped Crusader...from within. It was a strange and almost grisly story that appealed to my horror-loving side. I wish I knew which issue that was; I'd sure like to wrangle up a copy of that one and read it again. (If there is anyone out there who has the answer, there's a signed copy of Flesh-Welder in it for you).
During that time, there were pretty much two camps of superhero fans; those loyal to DC and those loyal to Marvel. I began in the DC camp, thinking Superman and his peers had no match. Then, around the time I was twelve, I began buying The Incredible Hulk (mainly because he was like a cross between Frankenstein and Mr. Hyde), and then began to add the Amazing Spiderman, The Invincible Iron Man, and The Fantastic Four to my list of favorite titles. It wasn't long before I was hooked by Stan Lee's incredible characters, although I still continued to buy the DC comics.
Coming up next: My desire to become a comic book artist is derailed when I discover a couple of old-time pulp heroes -- one sporting rippling muscles of bronze and the other a face as pale and emotionless as that of Death itself -- and I am bitten by the notorious "Writing Bug"!