What did I think about, you ask? Was it literary theory? Philosophy? Politics? Religious conflicts? The social construction of our society? No, no. What was on my mind -- given the fact that I'd just been writing about superheroes and watching coverage of the war -- was comic books.
Specifically, I got to thinking about the old war comics, and how there was inevitably a group of American fightin' devil dogs in costume, and they would always pound on the Nazis. And of course, there had to be some explanation of why this didn't end the war in five minutes, so the Nazis always had a group of German fightin' devil dogs in costume, and they would always pound right back on the Americans. And I thought, boy, that's kind of a happy coincidence for both sides, isn't it? Because, you know, if one side had a superhero and the other didn't, you're stuck with a Dr. Manhattan scenario.
Which in turn led me to all sorts of digressive notions about a 'superhero gap', and how a whole subculture of black ops would arise to try and kidnap the superheroes' relatives or blackmail them or in some way severely compromise them, and how opposing nations would literally bankrupt themselves trying to develop a cape-and-cowler of their own a la the US/Soviet arms race, and how much of a temptation to use these people as an instrument of policy enforcement might be, and what might have happened if, say, baby Kal-el's rocket had happened to land in Okinawa or on a collective farm in Russia instead of Smallville. And I thought about how there have been some good stories written along these lines already (I'm thinking particularly of "Marshal Law"), but how there's a lot more good stories to be written about them, and I would write them myself if I wasn't lazy and could draw. And then I thought 'boy, Leonard, you've spent a couple of hours engaging in in-depth speculation about the geopolitical ramifications of the Fantastic Four. You really are a geek.'
Anyway, it was a good sandwich.