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Jun 07

I want to be my son’s superhero…

Have you ever noticed that major comic book characters are adults, yet comics have been generally associated with childhood.
Even today’s relative acceptance of all-things-geek hasn’t changed this perception, for the most part.

Now, most people who know me will agree – I’m a proud geek, have been since I was a kid, and I still have thoroughly enjoy the comic book genre… and yes, I’m ecstatic about all of the superhero movies lately.  Now that I am expecting a son, I’m looking forward to sharing this love with him.

But have you ever wondered what it is about superheroes that kids find so interesting, intriguing, enthralling, and fascinating?

Do you think it is because of all of the fantastical powers and the like?  I’m not going to say that isn’t a major part of it… but is that all?

Maybe it’s the possibility of being like them when they grow up?  Fighting the good fights, making the good decisions, and helping others… Maybe superheroes are adults in comics because that’s what kids want to see in real life?  I’m not speaking literally, of course, nor in a cosplay sort of way (which, I admit, some people do very well!) – I’m speaking in the archetypal way.  Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Green Arrow, et al. aren’t just primary-coloured spandex-wearing, larger-than-life characters – they are dynamic figures in folklore, as real to a child as a Deity is to a religious adherent, who embodies – and, in many cases, teaches – all of the things that are good and right, even in the face of personal tragedy and tribulation.  A hero makes the best choice they can in the face of intense adversity, never abuses the power they have/earned/developed/made even though it could be very lucrative, and always owns up to their mistakes…
Although they make mistakes and errors in judgement, they always seem to come around.

But is this what kids see?  We are, after all, a “monkey-see, monkey-do” species…
Arguably, all too often people tend to justify their greed, anger, jealousy, self-service, etc. etc. by blaming another source, and in turn making themselves to be the wronged party – and this is what children see; this is what they emulate.  It is a declining trend in the majority of North American society for someone to take responsibility for their actions – instead always trying to blame someone or something else… No wonder children want to live in the fantasy world of comic books – because the notion of honour, integrity, justice, and fairness lives there…
Maybe children want to see us adults acting more like the superheroes they idolize?

Is this why there is such a booming industry in the geek market?  I would hazard to guess – yes.  Even adults want to have an ideal to believe in…

So, my thoughts are simple – I want to be my son’s superhero.  I want him to see me as at least a role model trying to embody all of the good morals and values that the costumed heroes stand for so that he can see that being a good person isn’t just something that happens in the imaginary world…

 

 

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