Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Improper Poll: Those Summer Superheroes

 I have loved Spiderman ever since college, when I found a discounted air mattress for under a dollar emblazoned with the word, “Spidey” in a drugstore sale bin. It was sickly yellow and grew on me the way certain hideously ugly things do, and it never seemed to give out—as certain hideously ugly things don’t. I took it to the beach with me for years, and it was always a conversation piece. I could swim for ages and know that it would be there when I returned.

I used to read the newspaper comic and have always loved the way it was drawn. Spiderman is so visual. The thing that makes him a figure drawer’s dream is the same thing that gives any movie about him an automatic appeal: he puts the “A” in “action hero.” Because of course Spidey is acrobat, gymnast...and yogi. Who can resist that contemplative, upside down Buddha-on-a-string look?

I love that he started out as human, but becomes spider-like against his will—and then evolves into defending others as a response to his own tragedy and loss. And he sacrifices his own happiness in order to protect his true love, at least for a whle. Yet she chooses him in spite of the risks. Now that’s love.

Most of all, I am drawn to the recurring theme that if we have the power to do good in the world, we also have the responsibility to do good. What we choose in life, whether good or bad, creates a ripple effect.

So—in spite of the horrifying fact that I have always seemed to attract spiders, Spiderman is my favorite superhero. Who’s yours?


  1. I grew up on the Hulk television show (with "The Courtship of Eddie's father" as David Banner..wasn't that his name?). I admired Christopher Reeve's strength after becoming paralyzed, so I got sucked into Superman. I've never seen any of the X-Men movies, yet I'd willingly drool over Hugh Hackman. And the first super "hero" I was drawn to was Mighty Mouse.

    So I guess I'm saying, in a round-about, non-succinct way, is that I'm NOT really that into superheroes. But it definitely would be fun to swing around and go upside down like a "Buddha-on-a-string."

    I think this post has the potential to be an essay to be submitted, but since you don't need any help "pulling out" pieces, I'll shut up. ;)

  2. I still say the Green Lantern can take him in 2 falls out of 3.

  3. My daughter was into Wonder Woman (so was her dad) and my son liked Super Man, but you give me that little ET dude and I'd keep him for a pet. I took my mom to see E.T. and she walked out because he was so weird he scared her. Ha ha

  4. No contest. My superhero is a mild-mannered reporter who transforms into a savior of the little guy and scourge of villains.

    Clark Kent aka Superman--the man of steel--is faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He fought for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

    Yep, my vote is for the journalist with a secret life.

  5. Not really superheroes...but I used to love The Avengers, starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg as John Steed and Emma Peel.

  6. Funny you wrote about Spidey. Decades ago as a teenager I wrote a fan letter to the comic book, Spiderman. The editors printed it so I've been a fan ever since!

    Critter Alley

  7. Love your post... I didn't have any superhero fans. Boring.

  8. Sioux, thanks for reminding me about Mighty Mouse...and Bill Bixby was one of my first crushes ever.

    Tom, I have to admit, I like Green Lantern a lot better since he came out. Makes him so much more interesting.

    I never thought of ET as a superhero, Linda, but if he is, I might have to change my vote.

    Beautifully put, Donna!

    Well now, spies, Val - that just opens up a whole new debate.

    What an interesting story, Pat! Hope you still have a copy.

    Lynn, you WWWPs ARE superheros.


Any return "messages" are appreciated!