By Roy Mathur, on 2011-11-18, at 17:22 MUT, for Boldly Voyaging the Multiverse: Probably the Best Nerd Blog in the Multiverse
Right after Raiders of the Lost Ark first came out I found myself in a second-hand shop in Blackheath Village (UK), buying a battered brown fedora. This hat stayed on my head for the next 5 years, evincing much ridicule through the remainder of my time at school and university. I only stopped wearing my challenging head attire when it finally fell apart. But it occurs to me now, years later, that the fedora is a much maligned piece of sartorial elegance and manliness. If we are to put aside Indy, which incidentally, is what my mother started calling me almost from the day I began wearing the hat, we should take into account that many of the tougher, darker pulp and comic book heroes share a taste for these hats, and the history goes way back:
My favourite of lot is The Question; Dennis O'Neill's interpretation of the character from 1987. I discovered the series about two months ago and read it, in its entirety, non-stop. If there is any vestige of doubt remaining of the comic book's validity as a serious adult-based medium, it should end with this series. It's the kind of story that makes Batman look like a spoiled brat. The hero's daylight identity is the orphanage-raised Charles Victor Szasz who works as TV news presenter Vic Sage. At night, with the help his ex-university professor Aristotle Rodor, he becomes the Question, a faceless vigilante martial arts expert. He's selfless, socially conscious, and tragic. A dark, painful read. Highly recommended. Next time you meet a dude in a fedora, show some respect. Unless he's that old bloke who used to attack people with a stick at Charing Cross tube. Or Gestapo thugs.
When age finally reaps my hair, I'll see you again sweet hat.