Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Inspired by comic books, part 3 by Toi Thomas

Image via Pinterest from the My Geekdom board

I’m so excited to dive right into this third installment of my “Inspired by comic books” series. Today, I’ll be talking a bit about Marvel Comics. (If you missed part one and part two, please check them out).

In the first two installments of this series, I included images from the My Geekdom board I created on Pinterest, so I think I’ll just continue with that. I’ll also continue to include posts from My Geekdom, a blog series I wrote, over at The ToiBox of Words. For your convenience, you can check out the post, My Geekdom 04: Marvel Comic Books right here. For this installment of the series I’ll, obviously be focusing on how Marvel Comics have influenced me and my writing in general terms.

But first, here's a very brief history of Marvel Comics.

Marvel is just as old as D.C comics starting near the same time, but it didn’t hit its high point until the 1960s, which is often referred to as the Silver Age of Comics in the US. I can’t remember the original name of the company, but I know it was once called Atlas Comics. It didn’t become Marvel Comics until the Fantastic Four series took off. At the beginning of Marvel’s heyday, many criticized the company for creating knock-offs of D.C. characters (which they did do back then). The company eventually made a name for itself with the talent of Stan Lee and the perfection of the “flawed hero”.

For me, Marvel Comics represents the scariest part of possibility- “fear of the unknown or possible.” Aside from the fact that many Marvel Comic stories take place in the real world, the overall theme of the flawed hero adds a sense of realism or humanity to this comic book universe. There was once a time when all super heroes were near perfect. They were boy scouts and girl scouts, who were perfectly well-adjusted, with little to no vices; and most of all, they were all happy and willing to be heroes. Marvel put an end to all that, and in time, other comic book companies followed suit.

It used to be that freak accidents only created super villains, but in the Marvel Universe, there’s a thin line between what makes a hero or a villain, and freak accidents can and will happen to anyone. This is an idea I like to explore in my own writing. Not all my villains are evil for no reason, though some are; and not all my heroes are perfect angels, even when they happen to be part-angel. While the comic book industry has always been ahead in the game of diversity, it was the Marvel Comics that really stood out to me as embracing the differences in character’s culture, skin color, social economic status, and more.

Marvel Comics gave us the X-Men (mutated humans often hated by other humans even when you can’t look at them to tell they are different). One of my favorite superheroes, and one of the most powerful created, is Storm (from the X-Men), an African woman with the ability to control all weather. Marvel also gave us Peter Parker aka Spiderman (a nerd by social standards who fights crime under a secret identity). One of these heroes was born this way and the other had a freak accident. They both have personal issues, yet they are both heroes, often times fighting to save people who hate them. I hope to someday write something as powerful and impactful as that.

Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:

Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.