Saturday, June 21, 2008

Americans and Their Super Heroes


Like my fellow cozy chick Maggie, I love movies. I love spending two plus hours in a dark room, surrounded by strangers and the smell of buttered popcorn. I love the previews and the anticipation I feel when the MGM Lion roars upon the screen.

I noticed a surplus of comic book-driven blockbusters is on the movie menu this summer. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Batman will be attracting old and young to the theaters. I’ve seen Iron Man (I really liked it) and The Hulk (it was okay, but worth any dull moments just to watch Edward Norton) and will definitely see Batman during its opening week. I love the nocturnal hero and think Christian Bale is an extremely talented actor. I will be hard to see Heather Ledger in his final role though.

These movies got me thinking about comic books. I always thought they were uniquely American, like baseball or apple pie, but the Aussies beat us to them, publishing the world’s first comic, Kookaburra (aka The Adventures of Bloodthirsty Ben and Callous Claude), in 1931.

The American comics hit the scene soon afterward and this was when the epitome of the superhero was born. Never before had readers been exposed to caped crusaders, men who could command that dolphins, or possessed the strength of mythical giants. No wonder kids went wild over the things!

Now, I go to Barnes & Noble and marvel (no pun intended) over the shelves of Manga. I feel so out of touch when I glance at those graphic novels. I didn’t start reading comics until college and those all had dark themes about vampires and The Sandman, but I remember both my brothers poring over G.I. Joe and other comics.

How about you? Did you read comics as a kid? Any takes on the two superhero movies released thus far? Who is your favorite superhero?

(I’m a swimmer, so I love Aquaman , though I never liked his outfit. Batman is the sexiest though, so if I had to pick one oft hem to have dinner with, it would be The Dark Knight)