Monday, October 25, 2010


My girls worry about me sometimes. The youngest ones think I need something to protect me in the car on my long drives. Carly, the six year old, bought me the Spiderman. Lyla, the seven year old, knows Green Lantern was a favorite of mine when I was their age, so she got me, him for my last birthday. I thought that the girls saw Spiderman and Green Lantern as heroes and thus, considered their "powers" real so that's why they thought I needed them. I was wrong. Talking to Carly and Lyla aka Goose and Bug, they told me that, when I was a little boy, superheroes were important so I would like having them to protect me. According to them, they don't need superheroes. They have mommy and daddy and sometimes their oldest sister when she isn't being mean. This, of course, made Bobina and I swell with pride but then we started thinking about what comic books, Star Wars people. superheroes, Disney Princesses, etc meant to all three of our kids. They told us they just liked them, they were funny, fun to watch, and fun to play with but they weren't "real". Maybe my kids are weird, well ok, they are, but I think today's children are more self aware and quite frankly, smarter, about what real life means to them.

Today, I read an article about the people who are now caretaking the Superman comic book image, changing him to be edgier, more maleviolent, moodier, and even changing his costume to a hipster vibe with a hoodie and skowl.

At first I tweeted how dumb it was, but then I started thinking; if my kids don't put superheroes on a lofty perch, then maybe today's comic book writers need to make Superman less symbolic and more entertaining. Heck, I always thought Superman was an alien dork who needed to loosen up and be dark like Green lantern and a smart alec like Spiderman. I don;t know if a hoodie, bad attitude, and edgier storyline will do it, but if it makes little boys and girls more entertained, and less confused about what and hwo real heroes are, I'm all for it. I'm traveling in a rental car right now. I miss my Spidey and Lantern. Hope my Spidey sense and power ring are transferable over 800 miles. Wait, what am I saying? Hope my kids don't read this. I'm supposed to be their hero. I should have written all this in the Comic Sans font.


  1. Nah. Some things don't need to change. Unlike DC Comics who have their copyright to protect and make money off of, and risking sounding like a gray haired old geezer, Supes needs to stay like he is.

    Who ever said change is for the better? Was it better once we had in the grasp calls? Or how about letting home field advantage go to the team who's league won an exhibition game? Do The A Team need to ever shoot more than tires on fleeing vehicles? Does Rocky need to smack talk? Change .. meh.

    Even in the current DC Universe, Supes the big ol boyscout is venerated by the likes of Hal, Ollie, Diana, and heck, even Bruce. There should always be a goal beyond our reach to look up to (not literally here, no one under 25 reads comics anymore) but that gold standard should remain solid and unchanging.

    And this from a guy who doesn't even like Superman, but realizes he serves a purpose just as he is and how he has been for the past 72 years.


  2. Heroes evolve with the times. When Superman started, he was all about the common man.

    I think the problem with any of these "let's make him current" is that they don't get the central thing that makes a character great. Superman can hear every single crappy thing we do. He sees how lousy we can be. And he still chooses to help.

    That's his lesson. That's how he stays relevant. Not with a hoodie. (Not a knock. Totally want to read this book.)

  3. Exactly Alan, he is the archetype of who people -could- be if they wanted. Not faster than a speeding bullet, leaping tall buildings on a whim, but able to help when you have all the power in the world.

    That said, I still don't want to read it because I'm more Green Lantern than Supes! :)

  4. the underlying theme to this blog is how today's kids are apying attention to real life role models. I honestly think my kids see fictional characters as fun not symbolic like we did.

  5. How many kids even know about this in the first place? I'm going to think probably not. As far as I can tell still being in the hobby, comics are irrelevant to them. They barely even know they exist.

    I see your point though, but didn't we have that as well when we were their age? I mean, sports heroes and music heroes far outweighed literary heroes.

    I know, I'm pulling your blog waaaaay off course .. I will shaddap now wabbit.

  6. two things Barry, and do whatever you want with my blog.

    1) you and I delt wit sports, music, and comic book heroes more than my kids and theur friends.

    2) i have girls. girls are defintely different than the ones we knew 30 plus years ago.