I always had a super secret growing up. It was something that I didn’t want to just share with anybody because you never knew how people would react. The secret first started when I moved to Virginia as a young boy.
I had just learned how to properly read and form sentences. I knew exactly what I wanted to use this skill for. No longer was I a kid who looked at pretty pictures, but now I was going to understand what was being said!
I remember approaching my cousin Rico’s room. Inside he always had stacks and stacks of comic books in drawers and on the floor. My cousin Rico, was not ashamed nor his best friend Damian. They were the two coolest older kids I knew. If they were not afraid to display their love for comic book super heroes, why should I?
I had always watched cartoons, and knew about super heroes. But now I was at the grand mecca of resources. From the first moment I read my first Spider-Man comic, my childhood obsession with super heroes and comic books began!
Growing Up With Comic Book Heroes
Fast-forward to today, and the kids don’t realize how good they have it! I remember the first X-men cartoon I ever saw. It was at 5AM on a Sunday morning. I had to force myself out of bed because the syndication channel aired random cartoons. And than I saw it! The heroes I had fantasized from reading my cousins comics on my TV!
Not too many people remember that cartoon because four years later, the X-men had a weekly animated show on Fox!
Now, the X-men’s parent company, Marvel Comics, have movies coming out every other summer! I would have never guessed this would be life in the twenty first century! These are exciting times for people like me!
As a youngster I gravitated towards Marvel Comics more than I did DC Comics. But that didn’t mean I never knew who Batman & Superman was. I knew all their storylines as I studied profusely through movies, cartoons and comics over the years.
As I got towards my college years, I got busy with schoolwork and life and lost touch. The last X-men storyline I fully read was the whole Onslaught saga where it turned out Professor X was the traitor (Not Gambit) of the X-men that the future always talked about.[If you have no idea what I just said, remember I don’t judge those who binge watch Netflix shows! We all have our own obsessions at different points in our lives!]
Speaking of Netflix, it’s awesome that Hollywood has become fanatical with comic book heroes. I’m now able to get adult versions of Marvel Hero’s on Netflix.
It’s Tough Being A Hero
Heroes always at some point come in and win the day. That’s what makes them so appealing as a youngster. You need something to believe in and that’s where hero’s come in. But their lives are not easy. Here are 7 reasons as to why being a hero is so hard:
“With Great Power comes Great Responsibility”
This infamous quote comes from Peter Parker aka Spiderman’s Uncle Ben. It is a phrase that has haunted Spiderman through out his entire super hero journey. It was Peter Parker’s fault for his Uncle dying.
Peter had just gotten his Spiderman powers as a teenager. He decided to make some cash and in the process of being angry, he let a criminal escape. At the time, Peter didn’t feel it was his problem. Sadly that same criminal murdered his beloved uncle.
When we are going through our lives, we have to be responsible for our actions. One argument with a parent, or one bad investment is all it takes to completely change our lives for the worse. If we refuse to take responsibility for the outcome, we will never be as great as we could be just be being responsible.
A young Bruce Wayne witnesses his parents murder right in front of him. That tragic situation motivated him to do something about the crime in his city. That painful journey leads to the creation of Batman.
We all live in this game called life. It’s egotistical to think you can go your entire life without experiencing some pain. Pain is a natural part of life. Yes it hurts. Yes it sucks. That pain helps us know we are alive. It let’s us know that we are human.
What you do with that pain is up to you. Heroes fight through that pain and try to become great. What are you doing with your pain? Are you caving into it? Or are you ready to wipe the tears from your eyes and get up!
In the 80’s Barry Allan aka The Flash was faced with a life or death situation. He was the only one with the power to prevent the Earth from dying, but by using his great power, he would die. Like a true hero he sacrificed his life to save the world.
This was not just some story of the week. Barry Allan actually died! He was gone from DC Comics for 20 years! It’s very rare for a comic book to kill off one of their most beloved heroes. Barry Allan truly did make a sacrifice.
We mere mortals don’t have to save the world from imploding, but there’s no question we have to make sacrifices. All the great hero’s do it. Some are easy to do while others take weeks of pondering.
Is the new job worth the extra hour-long commute? Is losing twenty pounds worth me giving up cake? The impact of the sacrifice is all in the eyes of the one doing the sacrifice. What’s easy to one seems like the weight of saving the entire world to others!
Heroes are expected to be in peak condition. How many overweight heroes have we seen over the years? Not too many. Our heroes have the physiques we always dream about. If you’re going to wear spandex, than I guess you should have a 6 pack poking out and not some tightly squeezed man-boobs!
In the heroes off hours they take the time to work out. How else do you think they look that way? Haven’t you seen famous athletes who look completely different now than they did 15-20 years ago? If you don’t keep your physique up, you’ll lose it in a heartbeat!
Every move a hero makes is going to be criticized by the public. J. Jonah Jameson ripped Spider-Man apart every chance he got in his newspaper, The Daily Bugle. Lois Lane obsessed over Superman like a rock band groupie. The X-Men and their fellow mutants were labeled as freaks with smear campaigns run against them by religious and political groups.
Hmmmm does any of this sound familiar in today’s 24/7 news?
Heroes are held to a higher standard in the public eye. The media is doing it’s best to take a person down. Negative news is the best type of news. Remember that as the public looks at you.
A hero is defined as being noble and good. When the media is saying negative stuff, a hero is still going out and doing the right thing. While the X-men’s Nightcrawler was being perceived as a demon and monster, he still saved countless lives. He could have easily been what they defined him, but he chose to be good and stick to his faith.
We all know how much easier it is to be a bad person. Tearing people apart takes less effort than being kind to another person. Humans by nature like to do the easy things. You should strive to be better in your life. Say nice things to one another. Be a good guy!
A hero has to know when to keep his ego in check. Tony Stark aka Iron Man may be one of the exceptions to the rule. But for the most part a hero stays humble. Most don’t want the world knowing their secret identity. Imagine saving the world and not taking the credit. What sane person does that?
Every day we each have our own secret lives. How many of us truly knew the day-to-day sacrifices our parents made for us? How many people out there truly tell their family about the job they hate? Most suck it up and try to stay humble.
Every hero has some type of villain to make his or her life miserable. Batman has the Joker. Superman has Lex Luther. Captain America has the Red Skull. The list goes on and on. No matter how many good things a hero does, the archvillian always finds a way to pop up and create havoc in a hero’s life.
I can think of several archvillaians over the course of my life. Have you had any bullies you had to deal with as a kid? How about now at work, is there someone that just makes your daily life a pain? That person is definitely your archvillian! Handle them like a true hero.
As you read this, I hope you realize that superheroes are not just something made up in comics. Heroes are actually out here in the real world. They do things in secret every day.
The widow on minimum wage raising five kids all by herself. The Veteran who lost his leg protecting our country in a war that people ignores. The immigrant who went from persecution in his home country, to learning English and establishing the best restaurant in his city. The teacher using her money to pay for her students’ books.
The media refuses to acknowledge these heroes. Why? Because we know it’s easier to focus on the negative of the world than the good heroes do.
Does that mean the heroes stop doing good deeds? No! They stay in the shadows and continue with what’s in their hearts. To them, just helping out one life is a reward in itself.
I have had several heroes in the course of my life. I’m sure if you look deep enough in yours, you will discover some as well. Maybe it’s time you became someone’s hero.
Just be ready to give more than you take!