All superheroes have a back story about how they became crime fighters and protectors of their respective cities. Bruce Wayne, the billionaire son of Thomas and Martha Wayne, was inspired after witnessing the murder of his parents as a young child to become Batman, the protector of Gotham City. However, for one Monmouth County resident, it was different kind of tragedy that inspired him on a totally different kind of quest.
While it didn’t cause the widespread destruction of Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene in 2011 wreaked havoc on certain areas and caused significant damage to residents of the Jersey Shore. One of those residents is Steve Steinhauser. Steve’s Monmouth County home was severely damaged and rendered uninhabitable by the flash flooding of the Swimming River Reservoir, which was located across the street from his residence. The flooding was so powerful that it caused the reservoir to overflow and take out a nearby bridge that crashed into the house of Steve’s neighbor and rock musician Sebastian Bach.
When Steve arrived back the day after the storm to see the damage that his home had encountered, he knew immediately things weren’t looking good. In addition to the house itself, Steve lost most of the items inside including family photos, furniture, electronics and musical instruments. But besides the family photos, the items that caused the most heart ache were his comic and toy memorabilia collection. It was a collection that he had been meticulously putting together since he was a child and the sentimental value alone made these items absolutely irreplaceable. Hundreds of comics stacked in boxes, trading cards, action figures, and even an authentic batman costume were among the casualties taken by the raging flood waters.
Steve was heartbroken at losing so many items that he cherished, but was thankful that he and his Grandfather were not in the house during the storm. As demoralized and depressed as he felt, he knew he couldn’t let the storm get the better of him and a few months later decided to do something about it. Steve would embark on a quest to not only rebuild his collection, but document the process as well for a web series called “My Nerdy 30’s.” The series, which can be viewed on his YouTube page, follows Steve’s nerdy adventures as he tries to recapture some of his most prized possessions. His journey has taken him from collector’s homes all the way to the huge conventions like the New York Comic Con. For more, check out the video above.