I was at the end of fifth grade when the Spider-Man film starring Tobey Maguire premiered in the US. That wasn’t the start of my love for heroism in storytelling: as a preschooler, I pretended to be a fire fighter like my grandfather had been; in third grade, I fell in love with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; later, I obsessed over shows like Cardcaptors and Sailor Moon.
But it was in fifth grade that I was brought into American superhero comic stories, and Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker did it. After watching the movie with friends, I checked out the novelization from my library. I devoured it and watched superhero cartoons – Teen Titans came first, then Static Shock. I ended up secretly writing Teen Titans fan fiction in junior high.
At that age, I probably would have said that I liked these series because they were action stories, but as an adult (especially as an adult who’s lived through the Dark And Gritty DC Movies era) I can now identify something else that drew the younger me to these stories: they’re mainly lighthearted, showing protagonists who are funny and motivated by a desire to help others and be a good person – not by darker motivations like revenge. [Read more…]