Hello there! I’ve been thinking a lot about Stonecoast and all of the awesome people I’m missing right now (it’s summer residency and I’m not there *sadness*), plus all of the conversations I’ve had with these people. One topic that never seemed to lose its attractiveness was superheroes. A hazard of specializing in popular fiction, I guess. These talks ranged from debates about who would beat who to the lack of females (as strong primary characters) and POC (persons of color) characters when we were growing up.
Personally, I grew up with the Bishoujo Senshi and a ton of other magical girl anime (a topic for another time), so I never really noticed a lack of strong female role models in my superheroes. I suppose I should thank my obsession with anime and manga for that. Honestly, I never really paid attention to any of the lacking qualities of the genre until I got to grad school. Even when the flaws were pointed out, they didn’t really bother me much. I was always the kind of person who could find some character to relate to regardless of how dissimilar our outer appearances were. I mean, come on. Do you know how hard it is to find a wheelchair bound superhero? Let alone someone who started out that way (meaning their disabilities weren’t caused by accidents and injuries). Yeah… Charles Xavier and Barbara Gordon as Oracle are the two who spring to mind most readily (both of whom were injured, not born that way).
Actually, Oracle never really interested me that much anyway, so I’m not entirely sure she even counts as one of my heroes. Yeah, Batman will always hold a special place in my list of favorites because he was one of the superheroes my dad and I always followed together. Bats, Gargoyles (does anyone else even remember that show?), some Superman stuff. It was all daddy-daughter time, thus it was all special. I still love all of those heroes, but they were never my favorites. The X-Men held the number one spot in my ranking from the very beginning.
Now, I could go into some deep philosophical debate as to why they were my favorite, but it’d be a load of crap. I could tell you that I fell in love with the idea that a random genetic screw up could lead to superpowers instead of crippleness and the like. I could tell you it gave me role models who were similar to me in the fact that nature had messed with us and turned us into freaks. Today, yeah, that might be part of why they continue to hold the number one place for me. When I was a kid, though? No way! Rogue and Storm were kickass, I was utterly in love with Gambit, and I totally adored so many of the “villains.” There was no deeper meaning. I was simply enamored by the X-Men.
So, who were/are your (super)heroes? Are they all from western comic books? I have way too many from both comic books and manga (hence the “part one”). I’ll talk more about my anime and manga heroes later. Now, I kind of want to binge watch all the X-Men things.
Until next time!