Follow Us:
Friday, August 12, 2022

Why I won’t be introducing my child to Stan Lee’s universe just yet

Marvel comics were much less darker than DC. And because of that the superheroes are a lot more self-aware. They are able to mock their own superpowers and those of their counterparts.

Written by Arun George |
Updated: April 10, 2019 12:12:46 pm
spiderman, marvel comics, stan lee legacy Spiderman, the reluctant superhero with an aching heart. (Source: Dreamstime)

Stan Lee passed away on Monday at 95. He may have had a role in the creation of many of my favourite superheroes, but for me he’ll be the guy who popped up in every Marvel film, starting from Spiderman. It was the cameo to watch out for, reflecting the self-awareness that Marvel superhero films that have since shown, which make them a little more likeable than their dark DC counterparts.

However, Lee’s legacy has impacted my life in other ways. The X-Men was a fabulous comic series to read in my teenage years. Here are a bunch of superheroes who save the day, and yet struggle to be accepted. One of the first comic books I ever read outside of The Phantom was one featuring Jean Grey turning into Phoenix. After becoming the Phoenix, she proceeded to eliminate every member of the X-Men methodically, and without any hesitation, as they struggled to stop her. They failed. The premise was completely unexpected for a comic book. So when I later discovered Batman, its darkness wasn’t half as shocking.

x men marvel, jean grey phoenix, stan lee legacy Jean Grey, the X-Men’s nemesis. (Photo courtesy

Then there were Wolverine and the Hulk, which is what teenage years are all about: random, misdirected rage, and the occasional flashes of complete self-awareness. There was also Spiderman, who faced regular teenage problems with a constantly aching heart. Peter Parker was the superhero you wanted to be. Becomes a superhero by chance, doesn’t really enjoy having his powers, might have done fine without them, but does good now that he has them. And then there are wisecracks and jokes.

Marvel comics were much less darker than DC. And because of that the superheroes are a lot more self-aware. They are able to mock their own superpowers and those of their counterparts. And which may explain why they’ve made for much better cinematic adaptations, many of which even kids can watch.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key-August 10, 11, and August 12, 2022: Why you should read ‘Euthana...Premium
Laal Singh Chaddha: A comfortable film for the obedient IndianPremium
What is border post 918 which provides shade to both India and Pakistan?Premium
Ravi Shankar Prasad: ‘(Nitish) is nothing on his own… He may be honest bu...Premium

Also Read: 24 graphic novels that can turn your kids into book addicts!

But would I recommend Marvel pantheon to my child? No, not yet. My fundamental grouse against most comic books is that they lack strong female characters, who have the same motivations and abilities as their male counterparts. I admit my knowledge of comics is very limited, there may be editions and characters out there who meet all the criterion that I seek (please direct me to them). For me the best characters from the Marvel universe still reside in the X-Men, where there’s a woman capable of destroying the world if she deems it fit. I don’t want my daughter to destroy the world, but I’d like her to know that she has the power to do anything she’d like. However, I’ve not been able to find that comic yet.

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Parenting News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
First published on: 13-11-2018 at 01:19:27 pm

Featured Stories