“Heroes are made by the path they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”
I’ve never been a fan of comic books. But as a kid, my favorite tv show was the Super Friends. I looked forward to tuning in each Saturday morning to watch Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, and their super hero friends battle super villains from the Legion of Doom. I was always especially happy when Flash had a main role in an episode. (For those of you who know the series well, I was never much of a fan of Wendy, Marvin, the Wonder Twins, or Gleek.)
The Super Friends super heroes are a product of D.C. Comics. They were easy to like and root for because they never did anything wrong. They made mistakes sometimes, but they were never mean and always did what was right. They were perfect. They fought villains who were equally perfect at always being bad.
As an adult, I prefer the heroes of Marvel Comics. Characters like Wolverine, Black Panther, Black Widow, and the Hulk all battle evil, but they also battle inner turmoil. They struggle with their own emotions and inner conflicts as much as they struggle with villians. In fact, it is usually when they overcome an internal conflict that they are able to beat their foe. That is something very human and very relatable.
Marvel Comics also portrays the villains as more than just purely evil beings. They too have inner turmoil that they struggle with. For the villains, the inner turmoil leads them to be “bad”. It is often the case that because they do not come to peace with their inner conflict they are defeated by the heroes.
Many comic heroes face greater personal challenges than do the villains. I’ve wondered: if all of the characters have internal conflict, why do some become heroes while others become villains? Of course, the answer lies in the IB Learner Profile. Really, it does. The heroes and villains alike are Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Risk-Takers, and Reflective. However, only the heroes are Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, and Balanced. Obviously, this highlights the critical importance of helping our children (and ourselves) develop all attributes of the IB Learner Profile.
At home, we have been re-watching many of the Avengers films recently. In addition to thinking about the different heroes and villains and the IB Learner Profile, watching the films made me think about which character I would be. This is something that changes regularly, but I think I would be Groot.
I asked some students and staff which hero (or villain) they would be, in general their responses were:
The youngest children wanted to be a superhero based on the cool powers they had. For example, two girls would want to be Wonder Woman because she is strong and has her magic lasso.
High school students wanted to be a superhero that had powers to make their life easier. For example, someone who could teleport so they could sleep in later and arrive at school in an instant.
Staff members wanted to be a superhero with the powers to make their job easier. For example, Professor Charles Xavier so they could better understand their students’ thinking about an assignment.
If you would like to share the superhero you would like to be and why, please email me–I’m curious to know.
“It’s not about what you deserve; it’s about what you believe.”