**WARNING: While this post puts comics in a good light, I am in no means encouraging you to check any out or saying that they’re pure goodness and are essential to a person’s TBR. They’re not. There are much better books to read XD We good? Great!**
I’ll say it once, and by good gracious I will say it again. Fantastic Four was better in the comics than in the movies.
I have no clue where on earth our FF copy went- but I do know that it, along with a number of others- was picked up and read by a rather naïve little reader who wanted a good story. I was a little too young to get all of it- just like I was with the others taken home and pored over- but looking back, there’s some connections made that have actually been influential in helping me understand things? Which is weird, I guess, but it really did.
*sighs* I remember being squished with four other people over a copy of Civil War- or at least I think it was Civil War. We had ZERO clue that not only would we have to read Cap and Tony fighting- but only a few years later, we’d actually see that play out. We didn’t even know Spiderman could be that deep. That comic taught me something that’s stuck: that when you give the power to any one person, it can affect millions more. Nobody here on this earth has the ability to have all the power and use it for good all the time. No one government, no one union, no one thing. And that trying to take away the freedoms of those who fight for freedom to fight for it- that takes away the freedoms of those who can’t fight for it too. That was a tongue twister but it’s true. 😛
So fast forward a few years later, heading about stuff like trade wars and borders and what country is doing what, and what comes into my head is Spiderman trying to revoke the Registration Act. My brain is weird. But it worked.
Heard on the news about overpopulation and euthanasia and how the world is following a path of destruction and pain, and Reed Richards’ attempts to change the future make sense now. I get why he tried to do that.
But I also get why that’s wrong.
I learned how to be brave from Peter Parker. That sometimes in the fight for good, you will lose, and lose, and lose what you love and it will hurt. Bu you gotta do it anyway.
I learned that more lies and more deception NEVER end up good. Seeing Black Widow and The Winter Soldier trying to sift through what’s real and not real- watching as people in real life had to do just that- as I had to do just that- it clicked. I got that.
I learned that what makes you a hero or a villain is your heart. We could all be villains deep down. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and even they fail. Even Captain America, supposedly a foundation of truth and everything good- he’s human. He fails. In the end, there is one Hero, and He never fails. (And yes, I just said that. Because it’s true.)
You need to work as a team. Squirrel Girl was enough lesson for me. Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and T’challa taught me the importance of family. Iron Man taught me to concentrate on today. The Avengers as a whole taught me that life is so much more important that any “greater good”. Life IS the greater good.
I learned that you are gonna have to find a standard. You’re gonna have to find your code of life, conduct, your reason for why you do what you do, your morals, what you absolutely will not cross and what you might have to. You’re gonna hafta be brave.
Maybe from all the comics, something that resounds loud and clear is that it’s not about you. It. is. not. about. you. Steve Rogers gave his life- many times- for his country. Nat went back to the Red Room, where she’d been broken and torn and made into an assassin, to end it so no other girls would have to go through what she did. Spiderman loses a lot. He loses Aunt May. He wears a mask and fights and still manages to crack a joke because it’s all part of making sure his city’s safe. Need I say more?
Comics are not perfect. Comics are not clean. There are some really bad things you shouldn’t see, bad elements that are wrong, yes, that’s true. Definitely read with the critical(est) of minds. Marvel isn’t perfect. Far from it- Marvel, DC, and other great comics come from fallen studios churning out stories about fallen people.
But it’s not fair to say that you can’t learn something from them. You can. Maybe it ain’t in clear black and white, maybe it doesn’t need to be. It’s not fair to say that they don’t teach important lessons. It’s not fair to say that valuing life- at no matter what cost- isn’t a theme worth portraying. Because it is.
Maybe some of the most important things are displayed in 24 panel art with people wearing Spandex and throwing shields.
I know that’s how I’ve found them.
(not all most important things, mind you, just some. 🙂 )