Finding a Golden Nugget in Marvel's Civil War Comic Event
Reading comic books is one of my favorite things to do on the weekend, and all throughout the week, really. Grabbing my pull list on Wednesday to read for the week is a mini-highlight of the week for me. As I've been reading comics, I've learned a lot about what they can do. They can be silly and fantastic on the surface, with guys in flying suites of metal, slinging spider webs out of his wrists, or running so fast that they can traverse time itself. But they can also speak to what's going on, and have a deeper meaning, a deeper reason for being written. The X-Men are a great example of this. Created during the 60's, the mutants that made up the X-Men team were a direct symbolism to racism.
Marvel's Civil War, written in 2006-2007, spanning 150+ issues of all characters involved, was a big deal. And while some of what's being talked about and addressed in the comic likely is speaking to how certain people were treated during that time, I found a golden nugget in the Spider-Man book.
For those who haven't read to books, consider this as spoiler, but considering it's almost 10 years old now, I don't feel bad.
In the books, Spider-Man is a key in terms of Team Iron Man or Team Captain America. Originally, Peter starts on Iron Man's team, but something just feels off to him. As the story progresses, Peter realizes that he's on the wrong side, and switches from Team Iron Man to Team Captain America. When Captain America and he speak for the first time, there are 3 pages of gold. Interestingly enough, the basis of what's written on these pages originated from Mark Twain in real life, as written in letters later published after his death. Read for yourself, and look at just how well the entire scene moves, and the power behind the framing of the art as well.
Man, that's powerful. It makes me think, a lot, about being a human being, about being an adult, and about being a parent. In the monologue Captain America talks about remembering what it meant to be an American, a Patriot, but I read that and remember the first time I realized what it mean to be a parent. The whole monologue talks to how and what defines "The Country," but that could easily be replaced with "The Parent." Everyone in the world will do everything they can to tell you how to be the perfect parent, and who the perfect parent actually is. From laws and regulations, to celebrity parents, teen moms and every parent in between, the world is constantly reminding us what the perfect parent is, and isn't.
I love the final statement being made in this scene. "...'No, you move.'" No, I don't have to have a perfect sleep schedule for my 2 year old. No, I don't have to force my baby to sleep in a crib, or ween them, or use that other car seat instead of the one I have now. My daughter wears her Wonder Woman outfit all of the time, it's one of her favorites, and she'll certainly wear it to Church too. My son already has a bit of a comic theme to his clothes and closet, and I hope to continue that. My daughter loves her Kindle and playing with all things tech, even the things she shouldn't get into.
We parent the way we feel is right. We want our kinds to know and feel love, respect, and joy. Being a dad in a culture where geekdom is only recently becoming acceptable, and where being a highly involved dad is still surprising, we often tell "The Parent" "No, you move." We hold onto our values as tight as we can as parents, because as our children get older, it becomes harder and harder to have influence over them and pass those values on. As they become teenagers the whims of the world are there telling there where to go, what to do, and how to be. I want our children to know how to say know, when to buck the system, and when to go down the path less traveled. That's how they will make their impact on the world, leaving their own legacy.
I'm glad I read comics, I really am. I'm glad that I get reminded, in places unexpected, of what I want my legacy to be, and of how I want to raise my children. I'm glad that there are others out there who find their inspirations and reminders from the same places, and more. That's a beautiful thing about being a Geekin Dad, is that parenting truths and inspirations come from all over, and are just waiting to be found.
As this post comes to a close, I want to ask you this: what comics have given you parenting inspiration or reminders? I'd love to hear those stories, to learn and share what inspires the rest of us in our daily lives.