Up, Up and Away!


I’m going to get this out of the way: I’m a comic book nerd. There’s no need to sugar coat the truth. It took a few years, but I’ve come to terms with what I am, even without the need for a support group. It’s a pretty big deal.

My addiction to comics is so bad that it’s seeped into my daydreams to the point that I frequently imagine having superpowers.

Walking through a parking lot has my mind wandering to thoughts of flipping cars over just for kicks. At work, I sometimes (okay, at least twice a day) lightly drag my knuckles against cubicle walls and imagine the damage I would cause if I had Wolverine’s claws.

In my most bored and slightly violent woolgathering (a much cooler sounding word for daydreaming) state, I think about hurling cars through the air when they cut me off in traffic.

Apparently I have a lot of issues with cars.

Anyway, as a comic book nerd, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the bevy of comic book based movies coming out this summer. Most summers, Hollywood releases two or three with only one of them being centered on a big name character, but not this year.

This year we’re all going to be blessed with at least four movies that pull their ideas from comics.

The greatest thing about comic book movies is that they provide the ultimate form of movie escapism. Even with movies that are intended to be more realistic (i.e. The Dark Knight), there’s no debating that this is not our world these characters inhabit. In these worlds, there are (for the most part) clear cut good guys. We know which side to cheer for and which side to revile. In other words, it’s nothing like our world.

As a country, we could use some escapism from time-to-time. Since the first modern comic book movie made a big splash (X-Men in 2000) we’ve had a few big events hit us. Obviously there’s Sept. 11, 2001, which changed the way that our country operates. Financial markets came to a standstill, we went to war against Afghanistan, and our stance against terrorism changed how we travel and embroiled us in further conflict in the Middle East. Is it any surprise that we want to escape to worlds that provide quick, easy and satisfyingly violent answers to their problems?

Look at a Marvel movie coming out this summer, Captain America. Cap (as he’s lovingly referred to in the comics) is the ultimate patriot. He was a scrawny kid that was rejected for military service only to be part of the Super Solider program that made him into a one man war machine.

Who doesn’t dream about being transformed into something greater than themselves? Cap fights Nazis. There is no other clearer enemy in American history than the uber-villainous Nazis. While we concern ourselves with hard to define real world issues, our on screen heroes know exactly who to punch and how to save the day.

We yearn for a simple world; one where the big issues have splashy answers, but it’s not that simple.

This world is gritty, confusing, and it’s ours. Some people look to a higher power for help, while others try to rely on themselves. Either way, a comic book movie offers a temporary respite from the volatile nature of this world.

Plus, who doesn’t like to see a Nazi get punched?

Email your comments to Josh at [email protected].