While the Lehigh Valley is home to several comic book creators, the area has also served as a backdrop for a handful of the medium's most popular costumed heroes and villains.
Here are five instances in which the Valley has been featured in, or inspired comic book settings:
"X-O Manowar" No. 2 (Valiant Comics, March 1992): In the second issue of Jim Shooter and Steve Englehart's run, the titular hero finds himself, as the caption reads, in Bethlehem. The series was eventually canceled in 1998 but revived 14 years later.
"Catwoman" No. 0 (DC Comics, October 1994): Writer Doug Moench and artist Jim Balent explore Selina Kyle's pre-Catwoman days -- specifically her time spent at Seagate, a fictional institution for underage criminal offenders. Moravian College alumni will notice Seagate's design has a strong resemblance to that of the former's Comenius Hall.
"Incredible Hulk: What Savage Beast" (Marvel Comics, July 1995): In this paperback novel, the Green Goliath finds out that longtime love Betty is pregnant with his child. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Written by fan-favorite scribe Peter David, "What Savage Beast" is also set in Bethlehem.
"Daredevil: Dark Nights" (August 2013): Weeks returns to the Christmas City once again to tell the story of Daredevil racing against the clock and traversing a blizzard-riddled Manhattan to help a young girl desperately in need of a heart transplant. The series features a hospital sequence that takes place in Bethlehem.
Marvel One-Shot: Item 47 (2012): OK, so this is a bit of cheat since it's film and not a comic book. But -- at least according to the narrator -- Item 47 is set in Allentown, so I'm counting it. Taking place after the events of The Avengers, the opening sequence to this live-action one-shot focuses on two street criminals who decide to rob banks using a Chitauri plasma gun they found during the battle of New York.
Bonus picks: Weeks' 2000 miniseries "Spider-Man: Death and Destiny," features ol' webhead swinging by St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. Though not set in the Lehigh Valley, legend has it that the look of the hospital depicted in the comic was inspired by St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem -- where Weeks' children were born.
In 2008's "Superman/Batman" No. 53, Batman catches four teenagers in the act of vandalizing a Superboy statue. The group of teens looks an awful lot like that of formerBangor-based rock band Postal. The letters "POSTA" can be seen spraypainted on the base of statue as the quartet scatters. The issue was drawn by artist Ralph "Rags" Morales, who happens to reside in the Slate Belt.