I have collected comic books since I was 5 years old when my father bought me an early Conan the Barbarian. (Fill in the appropriate “Joey, Do you like gladiator movies?” comment here.) My old man liked Conan, but I was a super-hero junkie who dreamed of joining the Avengers or hopefully becoming disillusioned and angst-ridden enough as a teen to garner an invitation from Professor X to the secret school that everyone knew was in upstate New York.
My friends and I never debated who would win the super-hero fight between Superman and Batman because even to a 5 year old a utility belt is a poor substitute for heat vision that can melt your face. Over the years, we tackled the important issues of why Wolverine would be the ultimate running back (a lot of guys are invulnerable but his stiff arm is unquestionably the best), does Iron Man pee in his suit like astronauts? (yes, but that is mainly due to his drinking problem), and could a well-placed Hulk fart sink California? (Yes, be careful Hollywood.) We did not have the internet super readers and we were forced to look into the cosmic cube of our own imaginations to combat the ultimate nullifier of boredom.
This brings me to the boy. We share the same passion for comic super-heroes and at 4 years old he has reached the age of reason knowing that a batarang is a poor substitute for the strength to push the moon out of orbit. He and his sister will play super-heroes which combines dress up with the Marvel inventory of Wolverine’s mask, Hulk Hands, Thor’s hammer, and Captain America’s shield to produce an epic battle between two Skrull warriors in drag.
After bath last week, the boy skipped the usual full moon performance and instead announced, “I am Jazzy Wang!” and proceeded to do a dance more suitable for the uncut Magic Mike DVD. I am not a parent of content, but context. I told him to put some pants on and let’s talk about Jazzy Wang.
ME: Who is Jazzy Wang?
BOY: Dad, you’re not supposed to say wang because it means penis.
ME: You screamed it at the top of your lungs and did a dance. Is that OK?
BOY: It’s OK because he’s a super-hero.
ME: Does he have a costume?
BOY: Nope, just his wang.
ME: Does he have any super-powers?
BOY: He pees on your head.
ME: That’s not a super-power.
BOY: If you can pee on the Hulk’s head it is.
ME: Anything else?
BOY: Probably heat vision. That’s cool.
There is a new super-hero patrolling the streets Gotham, Metropolis, and all points in-between tonight. He has your best interests at heart and a unique ability to stop evil-doers dead in their tracks, but when someone screams “Look! Up in the Sky!” I suggest you take his word for it that he’s doing a good job.