First thing to say about this is, I wasn’t brought up a Christian. Most kids my age were at least baptised, but that didn’t happen to me. My parents, who were 18 when I was born (and possibly slightly younger when I was conceived), didn’t believe in all that, and didn’t see why they had to Christen me just because that’s what everybody else did. Not that I want to spend too long going on about my Mum and Dad’s religion, but it was 1971 and they were very much into the counterculture of the time - astrology and the occult, Aleister Crowley and Egyptian Gods. There was nothing sinister about it - it was just something they had a shared interest in, and it fed into a few of the lifestyle choices they made. Dad was a biker, an aspiring artist and a big fan of Jimi Hendrix. He’d let the art slide in order to provide for the family, but the other stuff persisted for much longer. Mum was more into astrology and Tarot - one of her great aunties had been a spiritualist medium and early experiences at seances had convinced her there were things beyond our own realm that the prevailing mainstream culture barely understood. By 1980, none of that really showed any more. They were just turning 27 and both had normal lives with normal jobs, struggling to get buy on low wages with a growing kid who demanded at least three comics a week and a trip to Blackpool every August. By then, I’d say it was also fairly normal not to have Jesus in your life. Their parents’ generation had gone to church every Sunday, but I didn’t really know anyone who did that. The only time I went to church as a kid was for family weddings and the occasional school outing at Christmas. That is, until we got to Fairburn. Being a much smaller community than I was used to, Fairburn’s church was quite a large part of the village, relative to its size. The local vicar - I don’t remember his name - was a tall, middle-aged bloke with a big frame and a big, craggy, bespectacled face. Deep, resonant voice, which made him perfect for speaking at school assemblies. I don’t remember anything about the church itself, but the vicar ran a youth club next door to it called the 7-11 Club, specifically for us juniors between the ages 7 and 11. Normally, my Mum and Dad would warn me off anything overtly religious, but this wasn’t really like that. More a space to hang out and play table tennis, drink a couple of cans of pop and finish it all off with a rousing chorus of The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock. I wouldn’t say it was a huge part of my life there, but it was more than I’d been used to. We still didn’t go to church on Sunday, but I knew people who did, and I knew the vicar to say hello to. We sang hymns every day at school and, every so often, we’d learn something about some story or other from the Bible. There isn’t a great deal of evidence for this, but now and again, something crops up to remind me that, around the time I was eight years old, I was engaging with these ideas for the very first time. And this is one of those occasions. I can’t tell you precisely what inspired this, but I’ve obviously decided it would be thrilling to interpret the idea of Jesus - by which I suppose I mean the Son of God, or the son of the creator of the universe - through the lens of superhero comics. Presumably he would have been a saviour in the same sense as Spider- Man, saving the citizens of Nazareth from delinquents and money-lenders (or, if I’d thought about it harder, the Romans, but that sort of thing never occurred to me). There might have been an element of Thor The Mighty about it, in the sense that he was forced to live as a normal bloke in the present day as well as being a God (which would make total sense if you think about it), or maybe even Monkey, where Buddha is portrayed as a giant woman in the sky. I imagine Super Jesus doesn’t always see eye to eye with his father, which would be difficult if he’s as big as the sun. I don’t know what he’s holding in his left arm. It looks like some kind of rope, maybe so he can swing around between the skyscrapers of Galilee. He’d better be careful though - I’m not entirely sure his hands are on the right way round. Come to think of it, his right leg appears to have two knee joints, but this presumably helps him kick sinners when they’re behind him as well as in front. Or maybe it helps him double-kneel, so he can pray upside down. I know it’s not that likely he’d kneel to pray to himself, but you’ve just got to roll with it - he moves in mysterious ways. Probably because of the double-jointed leg. So yeah - I can work out why he’s super - just not quite sure what makes him Jesus. Apart from the beard. I suppose the lightning motif on his top might be styled after that well- known story about Jesus and the Amazing Killer Super-Lightning. Unless he’s just ripped his jumper. I don’t know if I was talked out of it, but more likely I just couldn’t think of anything else to say about him and quickly moved onto something else. Tantalisingly, there’s a title in one of my future English books - Super Moses - which I crossed out and replaced with something else. So I did intend to follow up on this idea. I just never quite got around to it. Which is a shame, as it’s probably one of the first genuinely good ideas I ever had.
March 1980
Super Jesus
Dinosaurs 1 Space Travel Ships Sport Dinosaurs 2 Judge Dredd: The Blood of Satanus Captain Carnivore A-Maze-Ing! Star Poster: Super Jesus The Micronauts: Giant Karza The Origin of Electro Optical Illusion Time Frantic Thingies Men in Space Topic Book Word Find Puzzleman Evel Knievel: Fury Falls More Puzzlers Star Poster: The Hulk 1 Grobschnitt’s Page Captain Starlight Star Poster: The Hulk 2 The Yellyog Gang The Adventures of Puzzlemaster Jupe Woman Line Pin-Up: Doctor Doom Lazer Lash The Human Maze Three Squares Raven Mad Marvel Sketches Robschnitt’s Age: 1 Snotty Notty Space Battles Metalorian Man Robschnitt’s Age: 2 The Superhero Sports Day Captain Kirk & Pywal Carbo-Catalogue How Dumb Are You? The Space Invaders: 1 Pin-Up: The Empire Strikes Back The Space Invaders: 2 Gi-Gant-Ic! Index
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
Super Jesus!
ENGLISH 1 A few tentative steps into a world of terrible writing
Florence Nightingale What if Florence Nightingale had lived in the Year 2000?
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
Captain Carnivore Gary Shepherd is hunted down by a deadly flying meteor
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
Optical Illusion Time Amazing visual tricks that will boggle your mind!
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE
Puzzlemaster Help Puzzlemaster escape the clutches of the Martian spacelords!
Captain Starlight Know your Starlight superheroes with this amazing fact file!
The Yellyog Gang Meet my latest hideous bunch of nutty nightmare fuellers
Super Jesus
March 1980
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
 Super Jesus!
First thing to say about this is, I wasn’t brought up a Christian. Most kids my age were at least baptised, but that didn’t happen to me. My parents, who were 18 when I was born (and possibly slightly younger when I was conceived), didn’t believe in all that, and didn’t see why they had to Christen me just because that’s what everybody else did. Not that I want to spend too long going on about my Mum and Dad’s religion, but it was 1971 and they were very much into the counterculture of the time - astrology and the occult, Aleister Crowley and Egyptian Gods. There was nothing sinister about it - it was just something they had a shared interest in, and it fed into a few of the lifestyle choices they made. Dad was a biker, an aspiring artist and a big fan of Jimi Hendrix. He’d let the art slide in order to provide for the family, but the other stuff persisted for much longer. Mum was more into astrology and Tarot - one of her great aunties had been a spiritualist medium and early experiences at seances had convinced her there were things beyond our own realm that the prevailing mainstream culture barely understood. By 1980, none of that really showed any more. They were just turning 27 and both had normal lives with normal jobs, struggling to get buy on low wages with a growing kid who demanded at least three comics a week and a trip to Blackpool every August. By then, I’d say it was also fairly normal not to have Jesus in your life. Their parents’ generation had gone to church every Sunday, but I didn’t really know anyone who did that. The only time I went to church as a kid was for family weddings and the occasional school outing at Christmas. That is, until we got to Fairburn. Being a much smaller community than I was used to, Fairburn’s church was quite a large part of the village, relative to its size. The local vicar - I don’t remember his name - was a tall, middle-aged bloke with a big frame and a big, craggy, bespectacled face. Deep, resonant voice, which made him perfect for speaking at school assemblies. I don’t remember anything about the church itself, but the vicar ran a youth club next door to it called the 7-11 Club, specifically for us juniors between the ages 7 and 11. Normally, my Mum and Dad would warn me off anything overtly religious, but this wasn’t really like that. More a space to hang out and play table tennis, drink a couple of cans of pop and finish it all off with a rousing chorus of The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock. I wouldn’t say it was a huge part of my life there, but it was more than I’d been used to. We still didn’t go to church on Sunday, but I knew people who did, and I knew the vicar to say hello to. We sang hymns every day at school and, every so often, we’d learn something about some story or other from the Bible. There isn’t a great deal of evidence for this, but now and again, something crops up to remind me that, around the time I was eight years old, I was engaging with these ideas for the very first time. And this is one of those occasions. I can’t tell you precisely what inspired this, but I’ve obviously decided it would be thrilling to interpret the idea of Jesus - by which I suppose I mean the Son of God, or the son of the creator of the universe - through the lens of superhero comics. Presumably he would have been a saviour in the same sense as Spider- Man, saving the citizens of Nazareth from delinquents and money-lenders (or, if I’d thought about it harder, the Romans, but that sort of thing never occurred to me). There might have been an element of Thor The Mighty about it, in the sense that he was forced to live as a normal bloke in the present day as well as being a God (which would make total sense if you think about it), or maybe even Monkey, where Buddha is portrayed as a giant woman in the sky. I imagine Super Jesus doesn’t always see eye to eye with his father, which would be difficult if he’s as big as the sun. I don’t know what he’s holding in his left arm. It looks like some kind of rope, maybe so he can swing around between the skyscrapers of Galilee. He’d better be careful though - I’m not entirely sure his hands are on the right way round. Come to think of it, his right leg appears to have two knee joints, but this presumably helps him kick sinners when they’re behind him as well as in front. Or maybe it helps him double-kneel, so he can pray upside down. I know it’s not that likely he’d kneel to pray to himself, but you’ve just got to roll with it - he moves in mysterious ways. Probably because of the double-jointed leg. So yeah - I can work out why he’s super - just not quite sure what makes him Jesus. Apart from the beard. I suppose the lightning motif on his top might be styled after that well-known story about Jesus and the Amazing Killer Super-Lightning. Unless he’s just ripped his jumper. I don’t know if I was talked out of it, but more likely I just couldn’t think of anything else to say about him and quickly moved onto something else. Tantalisingly, there’s a title in one of my future English books - Super Moses - which I crossed out and replaced with something else. So I did intend to follow up on this idea. I just never quite got around to it. Which is a shame, as it’s probably one of the first genuinely good ideas I ever had.
Florence Nightingale What if Florence Nightingale had lived in the Year 2000?
Optical Illusion Time Amazing visual tricks that will boggle your mind!
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE
Puzzlemaster Help Puzzlemaster escape the clutches of the Martian spacelords!
Captain Starlight Know your Starlight superheroes with this amazing fact file!
The Yellyog Gang Meet my latest hideous bunch of nutty nightmare fuellers