Peter Durand

A Superhero Party and the Apollo Jumpsuit

In Family, Journal on August 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm
Superhero Party, originally uploaded by AlphachimpStudio.

On a marathon late summer Saturday, we made two big birthday parties with the Family: a pool party and a superhero party!

Seeing the five- and six-year-olds transformed by their masks and capes reminded me of this story.

When I was in pre-school, the Apollo Missions were still in full swing. I had my own silver space suit that I chose to wear every single day.

For footwear, I refused to venture out with anything other than a pair of large cowboy boots handed down from my aunt, who was 7 years older.

The kindly teachers at the pre-school called my mom in for a talk.

Apparently, my running and jumping skills were drastically altered by way-too-large clompy boots and a way-too-tight swishy Mylar jumpsuit.

(Notably, this was the same year as the release of David Bowie’s 1972 masterpiece The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars, so I was just way out front of my pre-school classmates.)

Although just three-years-old, I was already reading and an avid comics fan. Mostly of superhero comics. On Saturdays, I’d ride with my dad on errands and get fifty cents allowance which all went to comic books.

Incredible Hulk, vol. 1 # 140, June 1971, Marvel Comics (originally $0.15)

Incredible Hulk, vol. 1 # 140, June 1971, Marvel Comics (originally $0.15)

Even today, I can recall the awe and fear inspired by The Incredible Hulk. He was so big, so powerful, and his rage followed no moral compass.

The Incredible Hulk TV series debuted on CBS in 1978

''The Incredible Hulk'' TV series debuted on CBS in 1978

“HULK SMASH!!” The television series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno came along when I was older, in fourth grade when my friends and I could debate plot lines and scientific theories, but the comic version had already burned itself into my young brain–the nice guy got mad and he turned into an unstoppable monster!

This was a pretty appealing concept to skinny little boy, who, quick to tears, suffered frequent ear infections, awoke most nights with bad dreams, and was afraid of everything except being alone and drawing.

Eventually, my mom had to away all my comics as I continued have nightmares. At almost 40, I am still feel transformed when I don a cape and mask! Not to mention, still reading comics. (NOTE: In my defense, I at least don’t still live at mom’s house.)

Below is our mysterious Super Baby Monkey and her DynoMom crossing a deadly lava pit at the superhero party.

Super Lucy Crossing Lava


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