What is it about comics? As kids, many of us grew up watching an eclectic mix of comics. For me, I am hooked on comic book characters brought to life to our screens. I enjoy the DC and Marvel world. It’s a chance to escape and learn in a fun, engaging way. I find myself investing in the characters for what they represent. The characters who represent honesty, integrity, struggles with society, and patience all have a combination of issues that affect many of us. Their characters often strive to blend in when there is no chance of that happening. Each of them has a way of helping those around them. Sometimes it takes their superhero powers to save the day. In fact, I think many people would enjoy having Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth to help our society find its way back to morals and ethics, but the flip side is that I don’t think society could handle the truth.
I’m going to get geeky for a minute. Are any of you fans of “The Flash?” I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the new season to start. I’m like that with some other shows too. The Flash has piqued my interest in science. Had shows like that been on the air when I was growing up, I think my skills would have gotten sharper. I know I would have been intrigued at being able to go through portals and dimensions. Alternate realities would have made me want to engage with my doppelganger. If you have never watched the show, you won’t get the references, but if you have, you’ll understand what I’m saying. The Flash likes to talk people out of doing bad things. In the real world, that’s not always possible. Sometimes people act on their emotions before anyone has a chance to reach them. Comics help people escape. They can take the world and envision new worlds and methods of communication.
I can’t imagine what Superman deals with. Yes, I know he’s a fictional character. But someone created him. This, someone, was comprised of two men – Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. Their creation of a figure that stood for “truth, justice, and the American way” set their character’s stage to become immortal. Superman represented hope during a time in our society’s life where hope was dim. Comics give people an escape. They allow people to see the world in a broader scope. Dreaming about possible components and elements are a reality. They don’t have to wish they could explore an unknown world when they can read about it and see it on the big screen.
In the 80’s I found a show called “Kidd Video.” I liked it because it had a lot of music and comics intertwined. Sure, it was cheesy, but the music was pretty good, and I thought it was cool how the show had a part cartoon and part real-world mixed -in. This was before CGI. In many ways, the producers and engineers on the shows understood comics because they tried taking the show into the future. I don’t think the world was ready for it or understood what they were doing, but in retrospect, it’s ironic to look on the show and see how young everyone was. Unlike our Superheroes, humans age, and time moves on. Superheroes might now age, but we do. Even though we get older, we still love things that make us feel like a kid again.
A lot of the shows I grew up watching are now considered politically offensive. I understand why but I think too many things have been taken to the extreme and out of context. I’m glad to see diversity is being shown more through the comics and on the screen, but there is still more work to be done with this. The power of comics holds. Believing in ourselves and wanting to make the world a better place happens when we work together. Each of us has had things happen in the lives that affected us. We all bear scars and emotional baggage that won’t dissipate just because we want it to. But we do have lessons that we learn regularly. One of those lessons is regarding empowerment. Comics bring those empowering lessons to life.
Scooby-Doo was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Because he had to overcome his fear when asked to check things out, he became a character I could best relate to. His friends and support system always seemed to have it together and didn’t let fear hold them back. Scooby had to be prodded with a Scooby snack to gain the courage to meet the challenges he faced. While my incentives weren’t always in a snack, there was appeasement that had to be made. It might be a favor that was done to make my life a little easier or a small reward of some type. Scooby taught me that it’s okay to be afraid, but life doesn’t wait for us. We have to be willing to investigate the things that may frighten us, or else we will constantly wonder about unanswered questions.
The Marvel Universe is one of my favorites. There is nothing like watching the Ghost Rider, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and one of my personal favorites, Black Widow. These are just a few of my favorites from the Marvel series, but I love how they are shown to deal with real-world problems in relationships and focus on making the world a better place. Teleportation used to be a thing that was mentioned only on shows like Star Trek. Lasers were something that no one had thought about until they were given a chance to be seen with Kirk and the Enterprise. All of these things are either becoming a reality or have become a reality. The only thing limiting us is our imagination and the will to make those dreams come to fruition.
Yes, there are some very erotic comics out there. It’s not my thing, but I know that a lot of people enjoy them. I’m not advocating for those at all. If that’s your pleasure, that’s on you. My point is that when we allow ourselves to engage in the comics we grew up on, sometimes we see them in a new light. For the people who say they are offensive, some of them are. But to not acknowledge the way of thinking during those times is dangerous. We can’t recognize how far we’ve come if we aren’t willing to see where things went. Comics have changed minds and hearts throughout the decades. If nothing else, we should remember that it took comics to help us get to where we are today.
If you love comics as I do, I hope that you never stop enjoying the stories and the worlds the comics open up. The nice thing about enjoying them is that we all have a chance to grow. We don’t have to grow out of our comic love. Sure, we have to be adults, but we should never forget the inner kid inside us. Teaching can be the best reminders we can have about getting the most out of our lives. Comics can teach us. That’s the beauty of them. They teach us in fun ways. Not everything has to be so strict that it makes us bored. Comics teach us about courage, love, compassion, truth, justice, and forgiveness. They aren’t perfect. Nothing in this world is, not even people. But they do create a reality that gives us an escape, if only for a spell. To me, that’s everything. Losing myself in the stories helps me deal with the insanity around me. In that respect, I’ll take feeling like a kid over being a heartless adult. You don’t have to enjoy comics. But if you find yourself enjoying the stories, there’s nothing wrong with allowing yourself time to explore the alternate worlds they provide. Have a great day, everyone.