Personal Essay #5 – Superheroes

Personal Essay Button I’ll be writing and posting Personal Essays on the last Tuesday of every month. They will be honest, sometimes vivid explorations of my life.

I’m writing them for two reasons: to help put my experiences in perspective and to purge myself of any residual compost.

Since it is good therapy, you are invited to join me, post your link in comments and I’ll be sure to drop by.

Let it begin:

I know I’m still in tune with my inner child, and may only think I’m hiding the fact of what I’m about to share; does everyone all ready know that I love superheroes? I love Tina Turner’s song about needing a hero. I loved, so loved, Christopher Reeve as Superman and Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man—the duality of it all was captured perfectly. Yet, throughout my life I never wanted to be one; it would be too much. The new movies based on Marvel Comics create a hope in all of us regardless of our ages or backgrounds and when I watch them I fill with warmth, thinking more hopeful seeds are being planted in the young.

I Need a Hero. Oh, sure there are other songs. I still remember tearing up the first time I heard it. Crazy, and true. The song moved me, because I needed hero too, and sadly never found one. It was as if she was singing from my very soul; I identify with Tina more than I care to admit.

I still watch the old Superman and Spider-Man movies. Because of Christopher Reeve and Tobey Maguire’s portrayals, I realized how much sacrifice is required to save the human race. I never wanted that for either hero, but it was that type of martyrism that showed us what we are worth as individuals and a community. The goodness in these imaginary characters will never compare to the human heroes all around us, and they don’t have to go that far to show they care. Some drop change in a hat, visit the elderly, volunteer at the local school or hospital and all of them leave their mark.

I’d never want to be a superhero. I couldn’t do it, and it’s not because of my lack of powers or bravery. It’s because I wouldn’t want to give up all I know and love, or have no hope of keeping my loved ones safe, knowing they are my only true weakness. I’m too selfish. Then there would be the responsibility of all those lives so vulnerable, so dependent on me.

Imaginary or not, there is one thing superheroes give us that all of us need. It’s a seed of hope that no matter how bad things get there is one person trying to save the day. And when we watch our favorites, it’s that one little chance that keeps us holding our breath, cheering and sometime laughing as they go against impossible odds to save us all. The new movies based on Marvel Comics are touching a new generation and I hope they love them as much as I do. Go Ironman!

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21 responses to “Personal Essay #5 – Superheroes

  1. I have always had a thing for superheros as well, maybe because I had an older brother who mostly ruled what we watched on Saturday mornings or even played for that matter (He-Man and G.I. Joe, and Transformers were always his top choices) but either way I am right there with you. I never did read comics but I loved the cartoons and movies just as much as you. In fact I still do. I have so far watched every single movie made about all my childhood favs.

  2. Awesome post and I totally get what you mean – As much as it seems awesome to be the hero, I am not sure I could fill the shoes either!

    i enjoyed your superhero ramblings 🙂

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

  3. I loved Superman, adored Batman (Michael Keaton only!!!), drooled over Iron man. (what can I say? He’s cute and sarcastic, love it!) I miss the innocence of youth and the joy I felt believing in them. Another excellent post Em.

    • I remember a scene in Batman, with Keaton, where there are autumn leaves flying in chaos and the only stable thing in the frame is the batmobile. My heart went in to my throat.

      When I bought the VHS tape it wasn’t in letter box, no leaves nothing. But I still see it in my mind and its awesome. 🙂

      • I love the soundtrack more than the movie. (Though don’t get me wrong the Movie is in my top 10 forever greats list). But it’s the soundtrack that i’ve listened to every day for years. (since it came out practically). First soundtrack I ever bought. Love Danny Elfman’s stuff, love Michael Keaten’s acting and I love the darkness in that movie. And yes I”m watching it now, still no leaves! 🙂

  4. sherry fundin

    I love this post. I am going to have to think about this and maybe give it a try. It sounds challenging and fun. I love superheroes!

  5. jenniferbielman

    Superheroes really do give up a lot. I don’t know if I could do that. Lovely post.

  6. I never watched a lot of superheroes movies, although I can remember loving the Powerpuff girls a lot when I was little. I don’t think I would like to be a superheroe, there’s so many people depending on you and indeed you have to give up so much. I did read an interesting superheroe MG book last year, the Nikki Powergloves serie sby David Estes. I still have to read book 3 and 4 though.

    • Superheroes aren’t for everyone and I get that. It’s the way they make me feel that has me so attached. MG is a great time to discover any kind of hero. It can urge a child to read and I’m all for that 🙂

  7. I just spent a lot of my weekend watching super heroes on tv from Thor to the X-men. I adore superheroes and always have. I secretly want to believe.

  8. Beautiful! This is great!

  9. I love iron man! But I also sometimes like the bad guy. I love Loki! I know he’s bad but I always hope that there is some good in there, somewhere!

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