The following piece from my new collection “CREEK SONGS (and Other Seductions), is certainly one of my personal favorites. One of the first comic books I bought as a kid was Jack Kirby’s Challengers of the Unknown. Over time, it has emerged as my all time favorite – quite a distinction when you consider that we’re talking about a kid who started collecting comics in 1962…and still does.
No regrets. No shame. I still LOVE the expensive little piles of paper.
But that’s a topic for another time. I still love the Challengers, because I was able to join them.
I challenge the unknown. All writers do. We stare into the abyss of a blank page and pull something from the nothingness. Entrepreneurs (of which I am also a proud member) challenge the unknown every damn day. They take that first step, and the next one, and however many more it takes to build a business from what began as an idea, a dream, a passion.
That is what I love about both writing and entrepreneurship. Dreaming. Questioning. Thinking. Creating. They keep me near that edge that Vonnegut talked about…and I still really like what I see. Every damn day.
THE CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN
If I was a super hero, I wouldn’t be one. I’d be
The Challengers of the Unknown!
They’re not super – even though they hang out in purple jumpsuits with white gloves.
White Gloves. What’s up with that? Not very practical. Probably had to wash them every damn day, for crying out loud.
They’re not super. We’re not talking Superman or Spiderman or Jonn Jonzz, The Manhunter from Mars.
We’re talking guys like you. Guys like me. Well, close anyway. They get dirty saving the world. I guess that’s actually why the white gloves bother me. They get dirty. And even apart from the dirt factor, I don’t think I’d ever wear white gloves for anything.
Ace (the decorated pilot). Rocky (the world-champion wrestler). Red (the mountaineer/daredevil). Prof (the scientific genius/skin diver) These guys are like every thing a kid ever wanted to be. Except maybe a cowboy.
But that wouldn’t work.
See they’re on this plane. Don’t know each other, never met. The plane crashes. They survive. They cheat death (big skeleton guy with a wicked sickle standing menacingly above the wreckage of the plane as my boys emerge, you know, “unscathed”).
Living On Borrowed Time.
They are The Challengers of the Unknown.
They get it done because they don’t. fear. death. Not because they can leap tall buildings or telepathically command all the creatures of the deep. Not because they have a magic lasso that bends men to their will.
They can’t fly to get away from danger. They can’t burst into flame to melt bullets. They can’t teleport. Or run faster than the speed of light.
Living On Borrowed Time.
They’re not afraid. Not of the dark or what’s in it. That kinda makes them super.
They fight the fear, the chill, the I-can’t-do-its. They take on Multi-Man; defeat the insidious Gargoyle; discover alien artifacts and solve ancient mysteries.
They challenge the unknown. And they win.
Wow. I always wanted to do that.
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