When you’re a late 80s/whole 90s kid, you are very much shaped by what movies, cartoons, music, video games, and even toys were popular during those years. I have an affinity for Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, Transformers, The Goonies, Indiana Jones, Nintendo, and comics. This latter one is what I want to talk a bit about today.
With all the Marvel films and shows coming out every year (mainly the MCU and Netflix shows), I wanted to talk a bit about how I’m more of a fan of Marvel Comics than DC Comics. Honestly, it comes from the FOX Kids X-Men animated series that ran from 1992 thru 1997. I loved this show growing up and watched it every Saturday morning (it has quite the kick ass theme music by the way). Much of my education about the characters and world created by Stan Lee and others came from this habitual watching experience. This extended into comics and while I was busy spending my allowance on basketball cards rather than comics, I did buy a few (there were only a few I was allowed to buy and it depended on the level of weird and violence depicted on the cover; parenting 101 won out every time back then).
As I got older though, I read and got into other marvel characters like Spider-Man, Darkhawk (there’s a deep cut), and the Fantastic Four. X-Men continued to be my first love though and while I’m lukewarm on most of the movies (Days of Future Past still remains my favorite), I have dived deeper into the world and mythology over the years even as an adult. X-Force and X-Factor were extensions that introduced more great characters like Deadpool and Cable (I’ve seen Deadpool 2 twice now! So good!). For whatever the reason, I loved this imagining of heroes and villains differentiated between abilities they were born with. As a kid, I had no idea mutants were a parallel allusion to civil rights born back in the 60s. To a kid, they are colorful customers with superpowers. That’s all you need!
All I know is we love what we love. Nowadays, there’s no shame in being a nerd and comic fanboy. For that, I am grateful. Who knew that in 2018, you could get away with wearing a Marvel-themed t-shirt and not be ostracized. Even in grade school, I don’t think I ever wore a comic book-related t-shirt (nor did I own any to be honest).
This is not to say I hate DC Comics and it’s brand of characters. In fact, I’ve always loved Batman. Whether it’s Tim Burton’s “Batman” or the “Batman: Animated Series”, I’ve always thought Batman was one of the better super heroes out there. As I’ve gotten older, the complexity of the character and his inner demons make him even more captivating to me (you all know I’m a sucker for a conflicted character).
I’m excited to see where the future goes with all these Marvel properties, though. So far, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed many of the recent adaptations. Go back and check out some of my reviews to get more in depth looks. It really is refreshing to see the care to detail the film industry puts towards these characters I grew up with and devoted a great deal of time and money towards.
Call to Action: If you have a chance, find interviews of Stan Lee (there are several on YouTube) and listen to the pride and joy he has in his creations. It’s amazing the success he had on writing and drawing masked and costumed characters.