My Comic Book Heart
I’m not a comic book geek.
I’m just not. I know way more than most girls do about Spiderman, Batman, the X-men; I make jokes and obscure references that make boys laugh, and geeks riot, but despite my knowledge, I wouldn’t consider myself a comic book geek. The only comic books I ever actually read were Elfquest comics, and boy did I eat those fuckers up, once upon a time.
Still, I have a VERY soft spot for Superman.
Is it because of Christopher Reeves, or the impact of the films when I was young? No. It’s this.
Oh my god, I just pressed play on it again and I am almost tearing up.
Yes, it is John Williams, and it is amazing, but the music itself isn’t what causes the emotional impact. It’s because I’ve been carrying an image in my head for years now that fires off whenever I hear it.
Imagine, if you will, that a young man witnessed an event where a seemingly normal boy did something extraordinary. That the basis for Superman was an actual event, an actual person in our world with these abilities. Imagine if ‘Clark Kent’ actually existed in this world, but never revealed himself, and instead watched as a comic book inspired by him took the world by storm.
Now imagine a little boy devouring Superman comics with his doting mother in tow, regaling her with tales of his heroism and abilities as they meander through the streets of Boston, New York, Chicago – anywhere – and she smiles and nods and humors him. He assures her he believes he’s real, living amongst them – tales he gathered from a doting father who has recently passed. A normal day, anywhere in the world, normal people running errands and living their lives. Then something goes horribly wrong – Catastrophe on a profound scale and it becomes clear that as the city is being destroyed, this little boy and his mother are going to perish.
I see them cowering behind a car, the mother clutching her son trying to calm him, trying to protect him from fear, when she herself is terrified, and the sadness in her eyes when her son says, “maybe Superman will save us,” and she has to decide to either humor him and give hope, or take it from him.
Now imagine that at this moment, before she can decide, the sound barrier breaks with the speed of something flying overhead. Yet, we don’t get to see the son’s faith restored and validated. It’s the mother’s face. You see the mother, hair blasted by the force of the air moving over them, turning in disbelief, tears in her eyes, as SHE realizes that heroes are real.
That moment is what I see when I hear this song now. The moment of validation for someone who never admitted they wished he was real. THAT moment would be universal to SO many people – comic lovers or no – that moment could be one of the most moving things ever.
Then I saw this trailer.
“He saw what Clark did.”
I almost BAWLED MY EYES OUT when I watched this trailer for the first time. My god, I cannot wait to see this movie.
And yet, even if it is a masterpiece, if one day I am asked if I would like to do a NEW version of Superman – given how happily the industry revisits the same tales – I will say yes. I’m saying yes now, because that one shot – that mother’s face – I would love to share that with the world.
Alright, I’m done being weird.