If you don’t know it by now it is the 75th anniversary of Batman. The character of Batman has become such a part of the modern culture that everyone knows of him. Either from the comics, TV show, animated series and movies. Batman has become the hero to generation’s of people of both genders and other cultures.
In a recent podcast I listen to various guest on a panel celebrating the creation of this character and what it had meant to them. How this character had help shaped and formed them and still does to this day. So I thought about how characters in comic-books had shaped me, how they had help me to make decisions both conscientiously or not.
Like any young kid I first was attached to the books because of the pictures. Super hero people, soldiers, aliens that packed action on almost every panel. Not being able to read was not important. The pictures told the story. As I grew older and started to learn how to read that open a whole new experience. The words and art together opened me up further to what was happening in this fantastic world. Then when I found the X-Men my world exploded.
The X-Men were my favorite book and like many Wolverine became my favorite character. But it was the X-Men as a whole that I identified with. I was in my teens and was going through my change. Nothing like the X-Men but I could see how there gifts/curse was effecting them. I could see myself in those men and woman. Not knowing what is happening and feeling of being alone because I thought I was the only one going through it. I found an escape in those books wishing I was one to them. Wishing I had those powers, any powers so I could escape for real.
Then came Wolverine. In that character I found someone that I was not. Tough, strong, fearless and a sense of honor. Wolverine stood up for his friends and those that could not defend themselves. A person with inner struggle trying to always do better even when he thought he could not. A man on a continue path of growth. There are still days I wish I was still him. The older I get the less I think of it. Maybe to this day that is way at 52 I still get my comic-books. Not X-Men(that is a different article) but many others. I still feel like that young man I was. Still trying to find my path and understand who I am. When I thought I could become someone better. Maybe that sounds sad to some but not to me because that means that those lessons are still there. That I still want to be a better person. The X-Men of the 80’s will always be my favorite books and my favorite vision of these characters.
In part 2 of this article I ask a couple of friends to tell me what character they identified with and how they effected them.