“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.” – Stan Lee,
I grew up reading comic books and loving superheroes as a kid. It’s a passion that I was lucky enough to share with my 7 year-old nephew. He is starting to outgrow the whole superhero genre as he expands his hobbies and curiosities. But face front, true believers, I am proud to say that I will never grow out of my superhero loving phase.
Back in elementary school I had the pleasure of giving a speech about comic books and why I loved them so much. They were more than silly little adventure books filled with musclebound heroes and heroines to me. Comic books made me enthusiastic about reading and helped to develop my vocabulary. In order to fully appreciate these clever books, I would often have to reference the dictionary to find out what all of big words meant. There was a lot of scientific and medical terminology to go along with all of the action filling each panel. The storylines were captivating, the characters larger than life, and each book was so vividly coloured that it practically jumped off the page. And at the core of every story was a lesson about morality, loyalty, and perseverance.
While I do not read comic books anymore, my love of superheroes has not waned over the years. What I liked and still do like about superheroes was that despite their incredible powers and fantastical adventures, at the end of the day, they were real people with real problems. They were far from infallible. These larger than life characters were not bigger than the personal and societal problems with which they struggled.
There are some valuable life lessons that can be learned by reading a comic book or viewing one adapted for the big screen. My favourite characters are the most complex, both blessed and cursed by their incredible abilities and the immense responsibility that comes with it. They are the ones who wrestle with their own morality and mortality while living with the burden of keeping the world safe. Desperately they try, usually unsuccessfully, to maintain some sense of normalcy when they assume their secret identities. Pretty heavy stuff for a bunch of guys and girls running around New York City in spandex fighting villains and invaders from outer space.
For years, movie studios didn’t have the technological wherewithal to do justice to the wealth of superhero stories that needed to be told. Now with the advent of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), the awe-inspiring mythology of comic book heroes come to life has been realized. And while the genre has become over-saturated in recent years with countless movies and television series, when they are done right, superhero movies provide an exhilarating ride for anyone, young or old, who grew up loving and cherishing these characters.
“We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.” – Grant Morrison
To receive similar content, “Like” us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/niagarabuzz.ca