This is something of a thematic continuation of yesterday’s post in that it involves a spontaneous, opportunistic visit to a purveyor of reading materials.
I found out yesterday that my paperwork had been processed and finalized to obtain a new building pass/ID badge for work. Such is the incrementally metered way of government contracting gigs: everything issued to you so that you can fulfill the functions of your job has an expiration date, especially when you’re in a situation (such as I am) where your company has been granted a contract consisting of renewable “option years” … I can sense your eyes glazing over so let’s just move along. My badge was set to expire at the end of this month (and in September of next year not only will my badge expire yet again but my access card for the government computer network will, too!) but once I received the paperwork notification all I had to do was zip over to the Pentagon’s ID office, show the papers, and trade in the old badge for a new one.
The Pentagon is two Metro stops away from my current office, and honestly when I don’t have to drive on 66 and pay exorbitant parking fees and ride the Orange Crush at rush hour, I don’t mind the Metro quite so much. So as of yesterday I started thinking about whether or not there were any other Metro-accessible destinations where I might stop off while on my badge-updating errand, and while thinking in that vein I realized that the next day (today) was Wednesday, a.k.a. New Comics Day, and this month is September, a.k.a. The Month DC Comics Reboots Every Title They Publish With Brand New #1’s. And when a little googling revealed a comic book shop in Alexandria within three blocks of another Metro stop on the Yellow/Blue Line, I had myself a plan.
So I went and renewed my badge late this morning and that went without a hitch; then I got back on the Metro and onward to Alexandria and at about 11:25 found the comic shop … which didn’t open until noon. (Teh interwebs had told me they opened at 11. I hates it when teh interwebs are wrong.) So I grabbed some lunch. And then I hit the shop.
The place is a total hole in the wall, but still managed to be overstuffed with goodies that I probably could have spent a much longer time perusing if I hadn’t needed to hurry back to work. I was able to find a few #1’s that piqued my interest, including Green Lantern #1, which I’m sure comes as a tremendous shock. It is, I believe, Green Lantern volume 4 #1. Volume 3 #1 just came out about … six or seven years ago? And I bought that one on its release date, too. Just like I had bought #1 of the prelude-to-relaunch miniseries eight months before that. And like I had bought the first issue(s) featuring new Green Lantern Kyle Rayner back in 1994, which were somewhere around #50 of volume 2. I also picked up a copy of volume 2 #1 at a convention somewhere. Volume 1 #1 from 1960 is significantly rarer and of course before my time so that’s the exceptional GREEN LANTERN FIRST ISSUE!!! I don’t actually own (though of course I have acquired many reprints of it over the years).
And really it's that strange, legacy completist instinct in me that compelled me today. I don’t expect the single monthly issue I bought today to rock my GL-loving world, and I kind of hate myself a little for showing implicit support for DC’s linewide reboot by going out and paying good money for examples thereof … but, eh, it was nine bucks and who knows how much longer they’ll even continue to print comic books on paper instead of digitally, and how many more times I’ll be able to go into a friendly local comic book shop and pick up the latest greatest saga-begins-anew installment just like I’ve been doing since I was ten. Oddly enough I seem to have two different yet equally cynical voices in my head trying to answer that one, one saying “probably not too many times before old media becomes dead media” and the other one saying “probably more times than you can count because the publishers are going to keep pulling this stunt over and over again like always”.