Marvelling At The Past

A friend of mine gave me a gift last week, a little chunk of my childhood preserved in near-mint condition. And in the box, no less.

In middle school, I played a LOT of Marvel Super Heroes. It was the second game system I ever played and the first system I ever GM-ed. This holds a metric ton of mental real estate in my warped and addled noodle.

The first character I played in MSH was Wolverine—and frankly I was shocked that he'd been included in the game. Wolvie was a rare character as far as I was concerned (I was 11 in 1984) and hadn't yet grown to the popularity of being a title player in every other Marvel comic released. I was excited to play him, but more so to feel as though I were a part of Marvel's fictional worlds, especially those nooks and crannies that (in my mind) were lesser known.

The game was perfect only in its simplicity. Character growth and development were for the most part non-existent and what was there didn't really make sense, from a story point of view. Still, I preferred this to the “Advanced Set” that came out overly complicated, and didn't quite capture the same four-color anti-realism that this box set produced.

Middle school was a simpler time, but not necessarily a better one. If I ever had the opportunity to revisit those years, the biggest motivators (and possibly the only real ones) for me would be the awesome games we played. As with everything else, though, the memories probably paint the experiences as better than they were.

But at least I have this touchstone of my childhood, this mosquito preserved in amber, that I can share with my kids. Thanks, Aaron. You probably didn't realize what you were handing me last week, but I truly appreciate it.