My wife has no use whatsoever for superheroes. Despite that, she’s agreed to attend the Marvel Movie Marathon with me and a couple of our friends on May 3rd. Six movies. Fourteen hours. The last movie we’ll be seeing? The Avengers, at midnight. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury, all in one movie. With my wife. I wish I could go back in time and tell 8-year-old me that this was actually happening.
Or 16-year-old me.
Or 20-year-old me.
Or 28-year-old me.
Or me from last fall.
Once I got into the comic book buying habit, I never really grew out of it. Sure, there have been hard financial times when I’ve had to set the habit aside for a bit, or times, like now, when the price of a single comic book is not justified by the amount and quality of content inside (I prefer to purchase collected editions or “graphic novels”), but I’m always reading comics. And, yeah, I’m usually reading about superheroes.
I am not an overgrown child trapped in a child’s body. The stereotype of the 30-year-old arrested adolescent living in his mother’s basement, picking Cheetos out of the beard he thinks makes him look older and playing video games while debating disembodied mouth breathers over a headset during online Halo games about whether or not Batman’s 1950’s adventures with their sci-fi trappings can be squared with the persona of the “Dark Knight” is, unfortunately, based on some all-too-real individuals. But they’re not as numerous as most people think.
Most geeks or superhero fans have a steady job, a spouse and kids. Or they at least aspire to some combination of the three. Many are college-educated and can hold real conversations. You may be tempted to stare at their chests and wonder at the magnificent shield of Captain America screenprinted upon it, but–hey now–their eyes are up here.
A grown man with a love for men in primary-colored tights is ridiculous on its face, but only if you reductively describe the passion as such. What it’s really all about, at least for me, is the simple power of great imagination in the service of telling a story of good triumphing over evil.
My worldview is reinforced and stuff gets smashed. That is never not going to be entertaining.
So, in a couple of weeks, I’ll put my love to the test and plant my butt in a seat for 14 hours and see just how much awesome I can take. I’ll also put my other love to the test. I hope she likes Thor as much as I do.*
Like superheroes? Hate ’em? Love to hear your reasons why or why not.
*I seem to be the only person on Earth who understands that Thor is the best of the Marvel movies. So far, anyway.