Sunday, April 7, 2019

My Love for Super Hero Movies by Harlie Williams

I know this is so far off topic in romanceland and let's face it, there is still some weird stuff going on, that I felt like talking about my happy place.

As a boy mom, I knew that I would have to jump on the bandwagon when it came to all things, boys.  I have a secret though...I was a total tomboy growing up.  Drove my mother absolutely crazy.  She wanted a little sorority girl but instead, she got a daughter that can change the oil in her car, read the sports and business page and didn't mind getting dirty when needed.  Yes, I still love sports, baseball is my ultimate favorite and for a time I work for the Dallas Stars Hockey Club.  I love American Muscle Cars to this day (Ford Mustangs circa 1963-1969), old school video games (Tempest was my jam), and Tom Clancy/Robert Ludlam books.  The crazy thing is that I loved to play dress up, my baby dolls and can still entertain like a 50's housewife.  I know that's how my mother taught me; she was a home ec teacher back in the day.

My happy place has always been comic books/heroes.  When the book "The Death of Superman" by Roger Stern came out, I had to read it.  I still have it and it is put away for safe keeping.  I cried real tears like a member of my family had passed away.  It rocked me to my core that bad.  I grew up on Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Spiderman.  Note:  I didn't read Wonder Woman at all; just watched the television show.  Yes, I love both DC and Marvel.  But then again, I love Star Wars and Star Trek, too.  Sue me.

When I read the comics, I was transported to adventure, fantasy, and some romance (Clark Kent/Lois Lane, Steve Rogers/Peggy Carter, Peter Parker/Gwen).  Growing up in the late '70s and early 80's it was interesting, to say the least.  Big hair, fluorescent anything, heavy metal music (Woo Hoo!) and teen romance movies where my jam, too.  I didn't read Jane Austen or dream of Mr. Darcy.  I dreamt of Batman, Superman, Steve Rogers and how I could help them and maybe steal a kiss or two.  Still dream of kissing Steve Rogers/Captain America.

So when the superhero movies starting really coming out in the '80s with Batman starring Michael Keaton, I got to see my heroes on the big screen.  I never stopped watching.  I count down to the next one coming out.  Throughout the years, some of them have been complete disasters but some of them have been winners.  Case in point, our son and I just saw Shazam.

Awesome movie and its got CHUCK in it.  Yes, I love the biggest nerd of them all...Zachary Levi!!  He is perfect to play a superhero and a 14-year-old boy.  Throughout the movie, he never fully embraces that he is a superhero, just that he has superpowers.  Hilarity ensues but in the end, it has a lot of heart.  The family is the main theme of the movie and it is played out brilliantly.  I won't go into the back cover copy of the movie but it is definitely a movie for the whole family.  Humor, action scenes, family issues and a 14-year-old boy just trying to fit in.  I highly recommend it.

Which brings me to the most anticipated movie this spring...Avengers Endgame.  It will be the end of an era for me.  No more Captain America, Iron Man, Thor...I know this going into the movie.  And I can still be sad.  Unfortunately, with baseball season and end of the school stuff, we won't be able to see it until late May.  But I do have the Aquaman DVD to keep me company until then.  Plus, I can watch a marathon of all the Captain America movies.

So why is it an end of an era for me?  Well, the new Marvel movies coming out (except the new Spiderman in July) really don't interest me.  My heroes will be gone and now that the DC universe is in upheaval with the apparent dismissal of Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck (who I ADORED as an older Batman), the looks of having another Justice League movie is farfetched right now.  Of course, an Aquaman sequel is already being written and Wonder Woman 1984 will be out soon but still...  It feels like my childhood and my happy place are going away.  ****Spoiler Alert***My teenage fantasies died when Han Solo was killed in the first reboot of Star Wars.  I cried like a baby and I still can't watch that movie to this day.

I watch superhero movies and read the comics for an escape.  Yes, books do that too but my first love will always be superheroes.  Batman is rich, Superman is nerdy, Captain America is loyal, and Spiderman did stuff that you wish you could have done when you were a teenager.  There is a sense of belonging, to do better and to be better. Plus, getting lost in a fantasy world isn't all that bad.  The argument could be said about books, too but I just don't feel that same connection I guess.  I don't ugly cry over books except for the above-mentioned book.

Does that mean that I don't read romance books for an escape?  Yes, I do but for different reasons.  As most people know, I don't watch the Hallmark Channel.  Yes, I don't.  The movies to me are all the same.  With comic books/movies, the storylines continue for years.  In books, it's shorter.  And while at times, I have the attention span of a gnat, I know that comic book storylines will continue long after the movies have run. Romance books/movies have a definite HEA/HFN while comics have the ending of will be continued and that's okay with me.

So forgive me while I still go to my happy place for now.  I'll be the one in the corner, nose deep in a comic book with her Captain America action figure, Han Solo Funko bobblehead, wearing my Superman/Batman t-shirt, watching Aquaman and still wanting that kiss from Steve Rogers/Captain America.


Melissa Keir said...

I am a fangirl! I love the superhero movies but mine go back to Christopher Reeve and Superman. I even watched the old cartoons and TV shows like Aquaman and Shazam. I love how Stan Lee took this idea and created an empire with Marvel. I'm going to be bawling in April over Endgame. I will still watch all the superhero movies because some day I want to be one!

Tina Donahue said...

I have to say, I've never been into superheroes or comics. However, I would go see Aquaman because of Jason Mamoa. My God, that man is a hunk. He seems like a decent human being too. Lisa Bonet is soooooo lucky. :)

Harlie Williams said...

@Melissa Endgame not only will be a game changer but I'll be a wreck for weeks. I watched all the television shows, too. Again, there were some comics that I never read but watched the shows/movies instead.

@Tina Aquaman is great. Even if you don't read the comics, overall a great movie. And yes, Lisa Bonet is very lucky indeed.

Fiona McGier said...

Mom never let me read comic books....except for graphic novels of classics, like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, that scared the beejeebus out of little me!

I didn't have any past relationship with the superheros when husband started dragging me to all of the movies. But I was a convert from the first one! I LOVE superhero action! I just wish there were more superheroines! I LOVE Black Widow, and want her to do and be more. I love Wonder Woman, even though I didn't think the actress had big enough boobs to do justice to the character. But she did all right. I'm totally in love with Wolverine, though I detest Hugh Jackman as any other character, because he always singing and dancing, and that's NOT my jam!

And I'm with you, Harley. I'm Star Trek all the way, have been since TOS was still on live TV. But I also love Star Wars. I loved Babylon 5. HATE Lost in Space, but that's because the first thing I'd have done is throw Dr. Robinson out an airlock, to get rid of that sniveling little weasel!

Ah superheros. When the world seems like such a messed-up place, we need to believe in the fantasy of someone...anyone...being able to clean it up nicely, so we can all have nice things...not just the obscenely-rich people, but all of us.