An Insanely Optimistic View on Comic Book Movies and the Heroes We Love.
As an editorialist who only posts when he really feels like he should; This is an editorial that hopefully reminds us what we truly love about our heroes, the movies based on them, and why they are so important to us.
We love our comic book heroes. We love them for a wide variety of reasons as wide as the variety of causes, characteristics, powers, and beliefs that they stand for.
I hope that this statement holds true to all of us. It should. For some, it should go without saying. For others, it may have been forgotten. In this day and age, with the film industry re-igniting the age old battle of D.C. versus Marvel, perhaps rightfully so with the quality(or lack there-of) of the products they've given us, it's easy to forget where we came from together on this journey.
Too many articles and editorials create or propagate the grand debates that have their rightful place in our minds. I fear that we all, as decade long readers or complete newbies to the realm of comic books, have lost sight of what they truly mean to us.
I myself have fallen into the abyss. I have posted more than one article and countless comments decrying the state of the New 52 or Marvel's efforts to trump the New 52's recognition. As well as voiced disappointments or worries about the future of their upcoming film interpretations. It's all too easy...
But let's remember something; Once in our lives whether we remember it or not, there was a moment when we were truly in awe of a superhero. With any luck, we experienced that more than once. We remember watching Richard Donner's Superman or Tim Burton's Batman, Batman The Animated Series, reading or relating to Peter Parker, or reading X-Men for the first time and relating to their sense of exclusion, heck even the 1960's Batman, and being in AWE of that hero. I wish I remembered my first moment like this. I really wish I do. I remember recent moments though...
Bryan Singers Superman Returns, while polarizing, filled me with hope and love again-the use of John Williams themes helped a lot sure, but I related to dear old Clark coming back to a world and a woman that had moved on. V for Vendetta ignited a passion in me to question authority and Watchmen made me question the heroes I hold so dear. Sam Raimi's first Spiderman EXCITED me again, I mean genuine EXCITEMENT. The X-Men movies, which sadly were my first real exposure to the X-Men reminded me that there were people out there that no matter how hard they tried, would always to ostracized by the very people they were trying to protect.
We love the heroes we do, not because of how well their respective movie's do, but because they helped build us. A comic helped us cope with a loss, or a sadness, or even a single bad day. For a person like me, I take great comfort in knowing that every wednesday, I have something to do. I have a ritual. I am lucky enough to have a comic shop filled with people I'd call friends. The ritual isn't simply purchasing a handful of pages to read for an hour or so. Its a moment to be with a community that accepts me, that likes me, that is happy to have me. I feel special. I feel welcomed.
I hope everyone who loves these heroes tries in some way to emulate them. I hope in everyone's lives they try to live by the codes that their favorite hero lives by. I, myself, got the Green and Blue Lantern symbols tattooed on my chest, not because I love Green Lantern, but because I believe in the power of Hope and Willpower. These are things I live by. Green Lantern, specifically helped me through some rough times in college, and years later I made a permanent mark on my body to remind me of that. Thats why I can't throw the Green Lantern movie under the bus-Because it tried. That's all any of us should ask of ourselves. Just try. Try to be the hero you love, whoever they are. I'll be honest and wish we had a real life Punisher running around. At the same time though, I wish we had a Captain America too. Don't we all?
A little while ago I posted an admittedly naive editorial on trolls and the likes of them. In the comment section I responded to another commenter saying that I would soon try to post a call-to-arms to the Good Guys. Honestly, I truly believe anyone on this site is a good guy or girl. When something tragic happens, countless of us post thoughtful and supportive comments. When someone, often the trouble-makers I optimistically defended, get out of line so many support those whom they are attacking. I stand by my statements that even the "worst" of us are trying to help the people they are opposing.
Truth is, there are real heroes out there. They don't have super powers, they don't need them. None of us do. Until an alien benevolent member of a dying race shows up or a radical mutation gives a select few of us the powers to fix our world, we need to open up our favorite comic, or re-watch our favorite movie and remember why we fell in love with these fictional heroes, and do our damndest to make them as real as we can. Otherwise, whats the point of arguing til were blue in that face as to which one is better?
Good Night, and Good Luck, True Believers...
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