The good, the godly, and what we are

I watched ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ today — and I loved it.  While this post does deal with the Star-Spangled hero, it is not because of the film that I write this. 

I am a comic book nerd and I have been since I was 9 years old.  I remember picking up a copy of Superman and being addicted.  My parents gave me $5 dollars every month for doing chores, and I used that cash to but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and comic books.  My dad would take me to the Cliff’s Comic World to buy baseball cards.  I would spend a dollar on a pack of trading cards, and then buy a few issues of spandex clad story telling. 

I am, and forever have been, a nerd.  My sister’s were cool, and I was the dorky younger brother.  I escaped into the various worlds of novels and comics.  The hero that I wanted to be was Superman.  He is unstoppable.  He can fly, shoot heat beams out of his eyes, has some sort of chill breath, is super strong, super fast, is impervious to everything but Kryptonite, AND the ladies dig’im.  Slings and arrows cannot harm this man, and thats why I wanted to be him.  His alter ego, Clark Kent, was a nerd.  Awkward, not athletic, and lacked the ability to communicate with everyone.  How could someone like myself not relate?

We all want to be Superman, there is no denying that.  When the chips are down, the guy you want is the one that cannot be harmed.  He will go into situations not worrying about what may or may not harm him.  He is, and does, what is needed — which is why I love Captain America.    The recently released movie accurately described the Marvel hero: modest, humble, and willing to sacrifice for the good of others before himself.  Steve Rogers was a nerd, but became so much more.  And, yes, he did gain muscles and superhuman abilities, but the core of goodness was already there.  The abilities gained allowed him to expand his ideals to others, which is somewhat mentioned in the film.  He became a real Superman. 

Marvel is often described as the company that grounds it’s characters in the real world.  The traumas inflicted upon our lives are relatable to the characters on the page.  They just gain kickass powers after all the suffering is over.  I find it impossible to connect with DC characters, but I still want to be them.  To be ridiculously strong or smart would be great, but that wont happen.  I am not saying that one set of characters is better than the other, but that two characters have more of an impact than the rest.  One is a God-like character that we all wish we were, the other is a super-human that we all need to be. 

We all go through our lives seeing those that need assistance, and often turn the other cheek.  We want to be the hero to save the day, but we say its not our business or we cannot help because we don’t have enough to make a difference.  That is us wanting a Superman.  We can make a differnce every day, all it takes is courage.  Which is why we need to be more Captain America, and less of something we cannot be — a Superman.

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Comments
One Response to “The good, the godly, and what we are”
  1. Great post m’friend. Indeed, on a daily basis we see things that need attention and “wish” we could do something about it. Life happens for all of us, but I think we as a society need to take step back and ask ourselves what we can do rather than dwell on what we wish we could. Very insightful and a enjoyable read. You will always be my supernerd. But remember the immortal words from an immortal movie, “Superman isn’t brave. . . .” Peace.

    -Phil

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