Hello and welcome to all our readers, old and new alike. Here, for your reading pleasure is the next issue in our ongoing series, “Confessions Of A DC Geek”.
In this issue, we speak to DC World reader, and serious DC fan of many years, Max Byrne. As you will read, the world of DC has played a massive part in Max’s life since he was a young whippersnapper. This interview is another great read and is the reason we want our readers to get involved – I particularly love the fact that his mother helped along with his fandom.
Before we get on with the interview, may I please give my thanks to Max for putting up his hand to take part and answering the questions with such feeling and for sending us pictures from his collection. Always very much appreciated.
We are a fan site and this series is for you, fans of the DC Universe. If, like Max, you’d like to put yourself out there, please feel free to get in touch (contact details at the end) and put your name forward to take on these questions. Without you, where would DC be?
Anyway, on with the interview…
First of all, tell me a bit about yourself – name, age (if willing), where you’re from and what you do for a living, anything else you wish to mention.
My name is Max Byrne, aged 38. I live in Bolton with my fiance and kids, and work in Purchasing/Imports, which I have done for the last 12 years or so.
What, or who, helped kickstart your DC Comics fandom and when?
It all started for me as a young child aged about 5, when Kenner Toys released the DC Super Powers action figures. I absolutely adored them, and couldn’t leave the house without taking a handful with me. From there my dear Mother used to pick me up bundles of Dc Comics to read, from Antique Fairs and Flea Markets, great stuff from the 60’s onwards. That was it for me, hooked!
Who is your favourite DC Superhero?
Batman. I love everything about the character. The absolutely unwavering strength of will, the borderline psychotic obsession with justice and most of all, the fact that an ordinary man with no powers can stand shoulder to shoulder with modern day Gods and not only be their equal, but be their leader too! Also, the character of Batman is something that could actually happen in the real world. A man with unlimited resources could train his mind and body to peak condition and do what the caped crusader does!
Who is your favourite DC Villain?
Deathstroke. A complex character that isn’t evil as such, but a mercenary that kills for money. He has a sympathetic backstory and a family, but is also capable of slicing anybody in half for the right price. One of the few villains to have his own title too, which just goes to show his appeal.
Overall, who is your favourite DC character?
Batman, with Superman, Deathstroke, Nightwing and B’Wanna Beast not far behind. Was joking about B’Wanna Beast… (Really, even with this cool costume? – John)
What is your favourite DC Movie?
Superman The Movie from 1978. A perfect portrayal of Superman by the late Christopher Reeve and from top to bottom a great film. Even with the now-dated special effects, the film still captures my imagination just as much now as it did for me as a child.
TV shows – which is your favourite DC effort?
Absolutely loved Smallville, it was the show that blazed the trail for the current Arrowverse shows. The sheer number of DC characters that appeared over the course of its 10 seasons was a treat for any DC fan. It was full of golden moments.
Is there a DC character, one we haven’t seen a live action version of, that you would like to see enter the movie or TV Universe? If so, who?
I would absolutely love for to see the Phantom Stranger be realised as a live action character. A character with a backstory shrouded in mystery, with supernatural elements. It would make for a captivating onscreen character, which would have fit in nicely as part of Zack Snyder’s aesthetic, but I guess we will never get to see any more of that in the DCEU…
The DC Universe has featured many, many actors on TV and in the movies, as well as animated movies/series’, so I ask you – who is your favourite actor, anyone who has made some sort of appearance within a DC creation?
Clancy Brown’s voicework as Lex Luthor in the Justice League animated series is a personal favourite. A great character actor that has appeared in so many great films and tv shows, his portrayal of Luthor had just the right mix of arrogance, menace and charm.
Comics – do you read them? And if so what is your favourite comic/graphic novel to read?
Avid reader of comics, constantly picking them up. Favourite graphic novel of all time is The Dark Knight Returns. Currently reading several ongoing DC titles, would be lost without something to read! Anything written by Scott Snyder or Geoff Johns gets my vote!
This issues controversial question: In the Wonder Woman movie, we’re her digitally bleached armpits as controversial as some media sites made out?
Of course not, absolute nonsense. Must have been a slow news day. Bleached armpits or not, what a brilliant film!
Now we have the necessities from you, on to the reasons that I created this feature, your DC collectables/memorabilia or whatever you wish to call them.
First up, do you collect large amounts of DC merchandise or is it just a select variety of items that appeal to you, which you like to pick up?
I collect Action figures, figurines, and books. Those are the things that appeal to me the most above anything else. They just look cool on display!
Do the items you collect relate to one specific character/movie/TV Show etc. or is it just all things DC Comics?
I collect anything that catches my eye, it doesn’t have to be a specific character, anything that looks good and is not overpriced is worth a punt. I have quite a lot of Marvel stuff too, as it’s perfectly ok to like both! Although DC will always come first of course.
Of the items you own, do you have a most prized possession? – I’m not asking for your favourite here, but the one/s you cherish most of all. Why does it/they mean so much to you?
It has to be my JSA comic signed by Marc Guggenheim, which I won in a DC World competition, of course!
Aside from that, I have a copy of The Art of Jock, signed by the man himself. It’s not always easy to meet current, top level comic book artists without paying for the privilege, so to get it done for free at a signing in my local shop was amazing. Lovely bloke too!
Is there something in your collection that you would consider the strangest? If so, what made you buy it?
I have got the Batman 66 TV series soundtrack on original 60’s vinyl. It’s strange because I don’t own a record player, so can’t even listen to it! But it’s a great piece to have so couldn’t say no.
Do you have something in your collection that could be described as a rare item?
I have got an original Batman metal lunchbox from 1966. In mint condition with the thermos included, it would be worth approx $1600, but sadly I don’t have the thermos and it’s not mint! But it is a thing of beauty, a treasured childhood present. (I really love this, one hell of an item – John)
What is the your “go to” item when showing off your collection to, say, friends or family?
My display cabinet with the complete DC Superhero Figurine Collection. It has the entire run of figures, including all the specials and the subset, total figures 155!!
Also my collection of all the New 52 characters
What is the biggest/smallest item of DC memorabilia that you own?
Biggest would be a combination of all the books I have accumulated rather than one individual item. Rapidly running out of space in the house for them!
Smallest would be a Lego Green Arrow figure. I bought it when my 3 year old son was born, as we named him Oliver, so it seemed very apt. I am emotionally attached to it for that reason.
Is there a Holy Grail for you, an item that you would love to own that may prove to be extremely difficult?
I would love a replica 1966 Batmobile, fully kitted out with all the toys. Sadly not being mega-rich, it remains a pipe dream. If I ever could get one, I would live in it!
Cheeky question, but most and least expensive collectible you own?
Most expensive is the aforementioned figurine collection, it must have cost in excess of a thousand pounds, although the cost was spread out over a long time! Well worth it though.
Least expensive is a rubbish Justice League phonecover I bought for about a quid a few years ago, unofficial and now somewhat faded……
Once again, an issue of “Confessions Of A DC Geek” comes to an end.
I have no doubt that you will all have enjoyed reading this issue and that Max really is a DC Geek, just like the rest of us. If you enjoy what Max has said, then he can be seen on Twitter @maxybyrne – well worth a follow.
Again, my most sincere thanks to Max for taking part, it is always appreciated when our readers get involved. Please feel free to leave a comment below or on our social media pages, always very welcome.
If you would like to get involved and take part in a future “Confessions…” issue then you can contact me direct via the following:
DC World Team Twitter: @_DCWorld
Or even by commenting below. I do hope that you get in touch as this is a segment of the site that I really enjoy putting together and the whole team are supportive of. This site is run for you guys, so more than welcome.
Many thanks for reading and look forward to hearing from you.
CONFESSIONS OF A DC GEEK WILL RETURN