High School is Forever…so is Captain Marvel
Don’t get me wrong, I still loved Superman, the Flash, and Spider-Man, but girls, sports, and hanging out with friends took over.
Of course, as life is wont to do, things come in circles and a love for comics simply just does not leave you.
It always comes back. Sometimes it’s just for a little while. Sometimes it’s back for good, to remain permanently.
Being a Spider-man fan, Topher Grace’s Spider-Man movie in the early 2K’s got me back into comics, but only briefly and sporadically.
It was not until months before my 25th birthday, when I seriously started considering a career as a comic book artist, that I fully rekindled my love for comics.
It was here at this point in my life, that I happened across Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder.
As noted above, after I read it, I’d had the soul-changing realization that not only had I always loved Captain Marvel, he was my favorite.
In pondering how I had never come upon this realization this before, two different memories jogged up that helped me begin to fill in the puzzle.
The first was that in my youth, after I had read the Terminal Velocity storyline from Mark Waid’s run on The Flash,
I did not pick up another Flash comic until Captain Marvel crossed over into his book seven issues later, and following that, I had not bought another for about two years.
SHAZAM! Who’s the Star?
This made me realize that I got that comic strictly because of Captain Marvel, not the Flash. What’s more, this was the exact same reason that made me buy First Thunder.
You don’t subconsciously buy a book of one of your favorite characters because of another character unless he’s already one of your favorites.
Life, I inferred, had come in a full circle.
The second memory was from Kingdom Come, where bar none, my favorite moment in that story was Captain Marvel sacrificing his life. Superman told him to choose who – whether humans or metahumans – should die.
Captain Marvel, being both a human and metahuman, knew what everybody else did not; that choosing one or the other was a false illusion, and that there was only one correct choice:
Then he sacrificed his life for that choice.
It was a powerful moment that may be Captain Marvel’s best in his entire existence and defined the kind of hero he was.
My 25-year old self still had yet to see a more powerful display of valor in comics since reading Kingdom Come, and I’d felt a deeply pervasive sense of loss when Captain Marvel gave his life.
Captain Marvel was the purest hero there was and my inner child loved it.
The memory of that moment in Kingdom Come took me back to my days as a young boy who loved superheroes. It took me back to the first time I met Captain Marvel and the awe I felt when I did.
Ah, the inner child. We’ve now come full circle.
Here’s why I value my inner child: The older I became, the more essential it became for me take the time to indulge the childlike aspect of myself, so that I do not take myself too seriously as I grow older.
Many psychologists believe that true adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and spending time with one’s own inner child. By aligning my adult self with inner child, and by indulging it, I grow.
Captain Marvel-ous Conclusions
But what exactly does my inner child have to do with Captain Marvel?
Captain Marvel is not just a bona fide wish fulfillment fantasy for kids, he is a metaphor for the inner child within all of us, given that he quite literally has a child inside of him.
So metaphorically speaking, we are all Captain Marvels. Each of us has a Billy Batson deep inside of us. And like Captain Marvel, our inner child is who we really are.
We cannot forget that, so it is important that we call down the lightning and let our inner child be the superhero of our lives that it really is.
I love Captain Marvel because he reminds me every day that I have to nurture the best part of myself, my inner child.
That is why he means so much to me.
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Read my article on Race and Gender Bending