Saturday, August 22, 2009

Silver Age Man-Caves

Back in the Silver Age, a hero wasn't a hero unless he had a swingin' pad all his own. Someplace he and his teenage sidekick could kick back and relax after a hard day's do-gooding. Luckily, a lot of 50's superheroes were independently wealthy. Here are a few of the most famous super-hangouts:

1. The Fortress of Solitude. Whenever Superman needed to get away from the rigors of his daily life of doing lots of heroic things, he headed to the North Pole. Superman's pad had everything. A model of Krypton, statues of his adoptive Earth parents Ma and Pa Kent and his Kryptonian birth parents Jor-El and Lara, robot duplicates of Superman, statues of Clark Kent and all of Superman's girlfriends and even a miniaturized Kryptonian city in a bottle. Did I mention the freakin' zoo of alien animals?? The Fortress of Solitude could only be entered by unlocking the door with a giant key, disguised as a navigational marker (I'm no pilot, but I'm pretty sure there aren't a whole lot of giant, arrow-shaped markers littering the arctic wastes just to guide planes.) I always wondered what would keep anyone who found the Fortress from just walking in the 20-foot high keyhole.

2. The Batcave. Probably the coolest, most iconic of all superhero hangouts, the batcave is the secret lair of the Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. Situated beneath Stately Wayne Manor. The Batcave housed Batman's equipment, the Batmobile, Bat-copter, Batplane, Batboat, Batcycles, etc. Also in the Batcave was Batman's workout facility, crime files and the coolest trophy room ever. I love the giant penny, the giant Joker card and the T-Rex sculpture. The craziest thing about the Batcave is what a perfect hideout it is thematically. Bats live in caves, Batman lives in a cave (sort of). However, the good folks at DC seem to have overlooked that easy piece of logic when the went on to give some of their other heroes hideouts, for example:

3. The Aqua Cave. Yeah, Aquaman and Aqualad have an undersea cave. It's really not that elaborate a hideout, just a couple of hammocks and a lantern fish in a fishbowl on the nightstand. And I guess it makes sense, sort of, that the two fish guys live in an undersea cave. I guess. Certainly there can't be that many heroes living in caves, can there?

4. The Arrow Cave. Why, on Earth does Green Arrow have a cave? I think he and Speedy even live in the city limits. Where did they find a cave in Star City? Under their apartment building??

5. The JLA Secret Sanctuary. Located outside of Happy Harbor, RI, the SECRET SANCTUARY IS IN A CAVE. I'm not even making this up! Geez, silver age heroes seem to spend more time in caves than Cave Carson. Incidentally, Cave Carson never owned a


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