Embracing My Inner Nerd…

I don’t know if the term “nerd” is still widely-used or not. I know that for a while, being a nerd was cool. It sure as hell wasn’t when i went through school. Regardless of the term’s current standing, I’m quite proud of my inherent ability to absorb and process information, and the fact that I was always a little more on the cerebral side than some of my peers. So please accept my humble apologies if referring to myself or others as a nerd offends anyone. That isn’t the way it’s intended, but this is the way of the new world; normal things will often offend. That’s all I’ll say about that. Moving on…

I got my first taste of superhero lore when I was barely five years old, when my father sat with me and we watched the original Superman movie that was released in 1978. Ironically, only three months after I was born. But we didn’t get to watch it until it was released on video cassette (the predecessor to DVD’s, for you young’uns). I remember being fascinated by what I was seeing; a man who could fly, shoot beams from his eyes and couldn’t be physically harmed…. Superman has set the standard against which most superheroes are held.

I spent my youth collecting comic books, reading traditional books and delving deeply into the superhero genre. I was doing all of this through the years when Thanos was the antagonist in a comic line entitled “The Infinity Gauntlet,” which was followed by two sequels, “The Infinity War” and “The Infinity Crusade.” What we’ve seen in the MCU is based on The Infinity Gauntlet, even if they called it Infinity War. Despite exploring all these different stories and superheroes, Superman has always remained my favourite and despite differing reviews, I have loved ALL of the movies and series.

About a month ago, I decided to celebrate my birthday by walking into the value mall down the road and perusing a used book store. I sold off the remainder of my comic book collection a few years ago when i thought we might be moving and needed some extra cash so I was delighted when I came across a batch of graphic novels just sitting there in pristine condition. I decided that a fine gift to myself would be to allow the purchase of a few graphic novels to be read for leisure. I spend so much time reading and studying things, sometimes it’s nice to let your head cool and simply read something for fun.

This is where I got my hands on this little gem. For those of you who aren’t versed in comic lore (and I can admit that I no longer am), DC comics decided to refresh itself in 2011 and scrapped all its current existing title for their top characters and revamping them based on the outcome of a key storyline. They called it the New 52 and it saw a number of well-known characters be re-invented and have an altered appearance, altered power set and in some cases, slightly different origin story. I haven’t read a great deal of them, but I remember mixed reviews.

Most companies occasionally feel that change is good, especially if things have gotten stagnant or boring. But most of population don’t like someone messing with an old classic, like Superman. Despite that line of thinking, I have to say that I’m greatly enjoying this graphic novel. Without providing any spoilers, this storyline provide a look at a raw, rougher Superman who is at odds with the law and the status quo. Most importantly, he isn’t all-powerful and completely immune, which makes him more relatable as a hero to normal people, I think. If you haven’t been reading these, I highly recommend it as your next option. For fun, if nothing else.

I usually use my lunch hours at work to read. This is a good way to let my head cool, change gears and refresh myself before dealing with the afternoon. I usually bring a novel of some sort, science fiction or fantasy. I’m still reading the Wheel of Time. But this time around, it was good to revisit a familiar hero in a somewhat familiar environment and think back fondly to those warm, comfortable afternoons on the couch, watching Christopher Reeve show us that a man can fly. ☯️

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

2 thoughts on “Embracing My Inner Nerd…”

  1. The New 52 was a complete train wreck, lol. First, the premise behind the need for the reboot was flawed. Readership was dropping, especially among younger readers, and DC rationalized that was because younger people didn’t know who Batman and Superman were. Movie and cartoon reruns everywhere, but nobody knows Superman is Clark Kent, lol.

    Reality is DC’s storytelling got worse and worse leading up to (and after) the New 52. Their answer to everything is a bigger and badder cosmic level threat to create excitement. It’s the comic book equivalent of what Hollywood has been doing (SFX instead of plot). Still, the reboot COULD have paid off for a much longer term if DC had thought out it’s storylines. Plots went nowhere, books were canceled and hastily replaced with other titles that fizzled at least as fast… There have been 4 partial reboots in the 10 years since the New 52 launch.

    The other reason that sales had been dying off for SOME books is (IMO) a somewhat sad commentary on society. Alot of people don’t like characters like Superman and Captain America anymore. They want their heroes to be dragged down to their moral level instead of being something to aspire to.

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    1. An interesting perspective, to be sure. I can concede that this was the first instance of dipping my toe into the New 52, since I stopped buying new comics sometime in the early 2000’s (key word new, I was excited to find certain graphic novels like Flash’s Terminal Velocity and Batman’s No Man’s Land). But I have to say, I still enjoyed this book. But then, I’ve always been a fan of alternate storylines like Elseworlds and What If (the actual comic, not the Netflix series) so this catered to that. I definitely like and agree with your last comment. Heroes are meant to inspire and should be looked up to. Something to motivate and aspire is to greater things.

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