I attended the birthday party of my three year old granddaughter yesterday. She has been all into watching Spidey and Friends as one of her new favorite cartoons. Her party was Spidey themed and Spiderman himself made an appearance. Spiderman, an orphan boy bit by a radioactive spider who then becomes a superhero with super human strength and spider senses. My granddaughter loved her party and loved seeing Spiderman in real life.
Superman, Spiderman, Batman, The Hulk and other super heroes have been with us since the 1930's. Superheroes bring wonder and a sense of hope to the world in difficult times. They first came on the scene after the Great Depression had begun. Captain America debuted in 1941 at the start of World War II with the first cover of the Captain America comic showing him giving a left hook to Hitler. Captain America was designed to give hope to the U.S. as it entered the war. Superheroes give people something to look up to as they go about their days battling the evil villains and upholding truth and justice.
Today, superheroes are big business. Superhero movies have made billions of dollars at the box office. Marvel has cashed in over the last decade with numerous movies involving their superhero line of characters. America and the world love their Superman, Batman, Spiderman and other series of movies. I enjoy some of these movies and the on screen action that they bring. Kids of all ages love dressing as a superhero at Halloween and birthday parties. My son-in-law seemed to enjoy being Spiderman yesterday! I'm sure he felt a little "super" and powerful dressed in his red outfit.
As a kid, I was never into superheroes as much as some. I enjoyed the comics and I liked them pretty well, I just was not infatuated with them. My superhero, as I have said before, was Evil Knievel who could leap over cars and buses in a single bound. I had the Evil Knievel lunch box rather than a Superman lunch box.
My real life superhero was my dad. I always thought he had super human strength and was the strongest man I knew. He could always loosen the tightest bolts on a car engine and could always open the jar of pickles or jam. He could lift and maneuver all manner of things. He could do anything he set his mind to. He could fix anything and make anything. I always felt protected and safe when he was around, much like having Superman looking after me.
Real life superheroes for most of us are evident by the network programming you see on TV or on streaming platforms. The most popular programming includes fire and emergency shows, police shows and medical shows. The firemen, policemen and doctors are the real life superheroes out there! I remember watching Adam-12, Emergency and Kojak among others back in the 70's. Today's lineup include numerous shows including the Chicago Police, Fire and Med trio.
My most recent brush with real life superheroes was during our time in Houston while my wife was treated for cancer. The doctors, nurses and other medical personnel were outstanding and their dedication to their job and care for their patients was something else. It is real life superheroes like them that give real hope to the world.
Maybe you are a superhero! You may have saved a life or rescued someone. You may be a parental figure to someone who didn't have the real deal. When my kids were young I often felt like a superhero when I picked them up after a fall or fixed a broken toy. I remember my daughter saying "You saved my life" when I rescued her from the top of her swing set slide after she climbed the ladder to get away from a bug on the ground. Super Dad to the rescue! Recently I felt like a superhero when my granddaughter said her dad broke the toilet, but Pawpaw fixed it! A chain on the flapper had come loose and I reattached it and she thought I had saved the day! I'll revel in the superhero moment no matter how small.
Who is your real life superhero? Is your hero a parent, grandparent or other friend or relative? Is your hero someone who rescued you in an emergency or gave you a kidney? What fictional heroes did you enjoy when you were young and today? Have you been the hero? And most importantly, did you have a cool, metal, superhero lunch box?