With Iron Man 3 and Superman: Man of Steel coming out this summer, there are going to be a lot of kids running around in capes. And I think it’s great. My kids love super heroes. Super heroes are fun and imaginative. Movies based on the comics are usually family friendly, so we can enjoy them together. Along with their entertainment value, I love super heroes for what they teach kids about living heroically. Take a look.
BATMAN: ANYONE CAN BE A HERO
The lesson of Batman is this: you don’t have to be born with super powers to be a hero. Bruce Wayne can’t fly, he’s not part god, he doesn’t transform when he’s angry. He just fights bad guys. And he’s filthy rich.
SUPERMAN: DON’T REVEAL YOUR WEAKNESSES
Superman is a great role model. He’s an all-around nice guy—practically perfect in every way. He makes a crucial mistake though. He spills the beans on the kryptonite thing. Don’t advertise your weaknesses, kids.
THING: A SENSE OF HUMOR GOES A LONG WAY
I’ll just say it: Thing is really ugly. But he makes up for it with a great sense of humor. If good looks aren’t your strength, try to be funny. It’s not nothing!
THOR: ONLY THOSE WORTHY OF POWER POSSESS IT
I don’t know if you know this, but Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, has this engraved on it: “Whoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Kind of a sword-in-the-stone-type thing. What’s your takeaway? Even if you aren’t from Asgard, if you’re worthy you can possess great power.
PROFESSOR X: DIFFERENTLY ABLED
Disabled? I think not. Professor Charles Francis Xavier is a paraplegic, but he possesses one of the most powerful mutant minds of all time. Brains over brawn, FTW.
ROBIN: YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE CENTER STAGE
You don’t always have to take center stage to do good. Robin always gets it done in his capacity as Batman’s side kick. Some folks are destined for sidekickery.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: BE GOOD
Captain American exemplifies the best of humanity, American or otherwise. He is selfless, brave, high-minded, and thoughtful. You could do a lot worse than Steve Rogers.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY
Do you want to be part of the Justice League or the Secret Society of Super Villains? Are you Team Avenger or Team Masters of Evil? Choose your friends wisely.
THE HULK: CONTROL YOUR TEMPER
Don’t get me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry. Keep that temper under control.
IRON MAN: THE GOOD OUTWEIGHS THE BAD
Tony Stark lacks discipline. But he tries hard to overcome the worst parts of his personality with his genius mind and good intentions. Pepper Potts brings out the best in him.
HAWKEYE: PEOPLE CAN CHANGE
Hawkeye was initially inspired by Iron Man to become a hero (good) but then he became a criminal to impress Black Widow (bad). He died defending the Earth (sad) but was reborn as a hero again (yay).
SPIDER-MAN: WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY
Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben tells him, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I plagiarize this all the time because it’s good advice.