His Alter Ego: BD Correspondent

“It was my big break,” he said. “It taught me the power of The Times. I’m an asshole writing about it, but it had a really big impact.

Over the course of two decades, Mr. Gustines tackled a variety of comic book-inspired stories for multiple Times news outlets, including an article for Styles about the evolution of superhero costumes. In 2015, he announced that writer Ta-Nehisi Coates would write a new Black Panther series. More recently, he reported that the new Superman, who is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, is dating as bisexual. Another career highlight, he said, was being the editor of a Stan Lee tribute comic, published the same day the comic book icon died.

His reporting was noticed by many comics professionals. His likeness has been portrayed by artists in several mainstream comics, including Daredevil and Action Comics (where Superman debuted in 1938).

Most of his time outside of work is devoted to this singular passion. “A big part of my life revolves around comic books: the movies, the TV shows, reading them and writing about them,” he said.

It also permeates its living space.

Although Mr. Gustines had to give up most of his “floppy disks” or single issues – “Real estate in Manhattan doesn’t give you much room for that kind of stuff” – he has many collected editions, autographed books and original comics. art. He also amassed around 200 action figures, displayed in a room in his apartment.

Superheroes even shape his fitness routines. Using an app that tracks his miles of runs around town, Mr. Gustines plots specific routes, sometimes creating different comic book logos. He once tried to illustrate the iconic Batman symbol using the Manhattan street grid.

“It was a little clunky, but it got the job done,” he said.

During Mr. Gustines’ career, comic book fans were able to enjoy a more traditional glow, thanks in large part to the proliferation of blockbuster television shows, video games, and movies inspired by superheroes. hero.