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Airman amasses huge comic book collection

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Super-speed, excessive strength, X-ray vision--realistically, no human can obtain these skills naturally, but comic books provide a way to vicariously live through the lives of fictional characters who do have these abilities.

And for Airman 1st Class Jeremy Evans, 375th Communication Squadron, the excitement of a getting a new comic book shows that you're never too old for super-heroes.

"My father kind of handed down the comic tradition to me," he said. "He was into Richie Rich. That's where it started, I suppose. He always supported me in my comics."

The hero-craze started when he was a just a child growing up in the south side of Chicago. Due to the high rate of crime, he wasn't allowed to leave his home very often.

"My neighborhood was pretty rough," he said. "I wasn't even allowed to be in my front lawn. There was just a lot of gang activity."

Growing up, he was the only child on his block to have a father living with them.

His father would come home from the barber shop he owned and take his two siblings and him to Walgreens to spend their $10 allowance.

"Of course you can save your money if you wanted," he said. "I always went to the candy aisle. They always had comic books at the end. I used to collect 'The Amazing Spider-Man series.'"

The series had begun its publication in 1963, so the young comic enthusiast had started his journey in the middle of the storyline.

"I had no clue where the story was going, but I was seven years old, it's Spider-Man and I wanted it," he said.

He expanded his collection as he delved more into the universe of the two biggest names in comics, Marvel and DC.

"The big fight in comics is the companies. It's always DC vs. Marvel," he said. "I am a big DC fan now."

He couldn't narrow his favorite super-hero down to just one person. His top two favorite characters are the Green Lantern and Booster Gold.

"I'm huge on Green Lantern because there are so many of them," he said. "There is Hal Jordan, or you could go into Green Lantern Core, which is all of the team. You could also go into the newer series with the Red Lantern.

"Booster Gold is kind of a more underground super-hero. No one really knows of him. He's a newer character who goes back in time to fight alongside the classics."

The comic-fanatic has collected more than 1,000 comics and completed many comic series' such as "Superman: The Last Son of Krypton," "Superman: New Krypton," and has kept up with one of the newer DC comics, "The New 52," up until he had to leave for basic training.

"I've probably spent enough money to buy a new 2012 Camaro," he said. "I go to comic conventions to find the comics that I don't have. I'll find stuff like issue 17 of Spider-Man for something like $300, and I'll spend that money knowing I'm never going to open it."

Back when he used to work at Barnes and Nobles, he would spend most of his paychecks on his obsession.

"I got paid weekly back then, so my paychecks were about $120," he said. "I spent about $100 every paycheck. I could barely afford gas, so I just stayed inside and read comics.

"Everybody wants to be a super-hero in a way," he said. "Everyone wants to be an astronaut or something, but at one point in your life you say to yourself 'why not fight crime' or 'I want superpowers.'"

Evans said he wants to continue to increase his collection and read new comics as much as he can because, "Reading about these characters isn't just a hobby--it's life."