If you know me, you know that I am a passionate nerd interested in a number of subcultures. The Marvel Universe, however, is my greatest interest ever since I was a young girl. There are many reasons for Marvel to be held so high in my opinion, and I love explaining it to others.
First of all, the origin of this love story began over fifty years before I was born. My father, a young kid growing up in Los Angeles, became interested in comic books at a young age. He would bike around to all of the liquor stores around town to make sure he would have ever edition. From Fantastic Four to X-Men and beyond, my dad collected and read hundreds of comic books over the years. His favorite, though, was Spiderman. My dad was like Peter Parker in a number of ways. Both were young men, dealing with their smaller stature in school, but had an innate style of justice and high intelligence. Then, in high school, both of them became stronger. Peter Parker got his powers through the loss of his Uncle Ben and a bite of a radioactive spider, while my dad received his strength through his Water Polo skills and confidence. My dad also kept all of his comic books for years, organizing them carefully and cataloging them. To this day, they stay in my family’s garage in plastic sleeves to protect them from infestation, and I read them occasionally.
Another way that Marvel comes into my life is in the cinematic universe known as the movies. With the more modern movies released with all the special effects we have available, the comics of my father’s childhood came alive on the silver screen. A fantastic cast of actors, streamlined storylines, and those special effects give a depth to the two-dimensional characters. Out of these movies, this ‘nerd stuff’ became cool and popular to like again by the masses in an easily digestible form. My personal favorite films had to be the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy series. The Avengers in the Cinematic Universe are vastly different than the comics, however, their working dynamic is as strong and attractive as they were in the canon fiction. The Guardians of the Galaxy, however, were a surprise. Not only did they exceed the expectations of the disappointing original comics, they made their own large territory in the Marvel Universe. There are a lot of wonderful things to come of these movies, and it will be exciting to see what happens next.
But overall, the part of Marvel that makes it so appealing to me is the moral dilemmas that Marvel is able to tackle. Not only do these heroes have to decide the difference between good and evil in others, they also have to deal with the responsibilities they have with their powers. They are not perfect superheros, they are selfish and traumatized and depressed and damaged from years of struggle and turmoil. But their ability to get up every morning, to keep pushing on and protecting others, that is what has always made them super to me.