Superman, Spiderman and Batman – these marvel characters are not strangers to most people who grew up reading comic books. While characters may be fictitious and sometimes portrayed in a more dramatic manner, they are a relatively true portrayal of characters in the real world. The same goes for the movies that were made from Marvel comics (some obviously better than others!)
Take the Batman series for example. Think of the inherent themes – a hero who gave it all up for the people, who is hard working and dedicated and loved by most, despised by some. I’m not going to mention names but I’m sure a few spring to mind – fearless leaders who persist despite persecution. Peter Parker (the main character from Spiderman), a shy teenager who discovered that a genetically engineered spider bite could give him superpowers, may be just be a character from the comic, however, the comics and movie clearly depicts the emotional struggles that teenagers face throughout puberty and adolescence. That is possibly their marketing strategy to gain more teenage fans too, HA!
No doubt, most of the writers of these comic books do have a hidden agenda, however, they are just not presented so blatantly.
Calvin and Hobbes, a comic strip which I read while growing up has its fair share of learning points (depending on how you see it too!)
The comics told me that while there are rules for me to follow, I can set my own set of rules too! I think that’s true. I mean not for everything but there are gray areas to life where I think that applies. Furthermore, there were online debates about whether Hobbes was real or was he Calvin’s subconscious? Well, I guess reality is in the eye of the beholder just like how beauty is. Perhaps, one day, someone will invent a contraption that allows us to turn imaginations into reality. Who knows.
Finally, did any of you ever read the “Young Romance” comics? It’s a bit old school but one of my favourites as a kid. It created the most absurd (yet highly idolized) characters (think lines like “Oh sweetheart, you are the most perfect man in the world….”)
The story also tells of parents who slogged their guts out so that their child would marry the perfect partner. I don’t know if such plots happen in the real world, but I do acknowledge the hardwork and worries of parents for their children’s future – especially those who uprooted themselves and moved to countries with better prospects for their family’s sake.
I had my fair share of recalling my comic days while writing this post. What’s your favourite comic character and what has it taught you? Share with us on our Facebook page!
– Jia Zhen