When Comic Heroes Remind us What it Means to Be Human (Deadpool 20 and Amazing Spiderman 248)
Heroes and villains are like peanut butter and jelly. But what about the victims of those villains? Ordinary citizens (human and alien alike) are rarely seen as more than people fleeing from a city with frightened faces that are rarely given definition. But once in a while, you get a comic that focuses on the victims and gives them a name. And then there are gems that appear where you realize what a hero is all about. If you do not want to have two amazing comics be spoiled, then please find Spiderman 248 and Deadpool 20 before proceeding.
***FROM THIS POINT ON, MAJOR SPOILERS!!!***
Amazing Spiderman #248
It is the writing that gets me every time. The first part of the comic is a pretty standard affair for the era and comics in general (Spiderman versus Thunderball). But where this comic shines is the last few pages when a second, different story is introduced.
Spiderman makes a house call and visits a boy named Tim. Spiderman comes to find out that Tim is a true super fan, Tim owned articles as far back as when Spiderman first appeared. He even owned bullets that were lodged in a wall from a heist where Spiderman saved the day!
As the story wraps up, Spiderman reveals his secret identity to Tim. This delights Tim in a way that only heroes can. Peter Parker is very protective of his secret identity and frankly it is a shock that he would even do so. But what gets me every time (and yes, I am crying as I type this) is that Tim is in a cancer ward at a hospital and has terminal leukemia. Heroes do not have to save a world, just save one life. Even if it is to save that life for one more day.
And so to bring it back to something more relevant, we come to Deadpool #20. Deadpool is for mature readers. Deadpool does not and should not have a filter. Over the years, Deadpool has become an anti-hero who does not mind hurting and killing bad guys. So when you come across Deadpool 20, you take notice.
The comic starts off with Deadpool finding a young lady on the edge of a building. She is about to jump to her death. He disarms her with his words and a promise of allowing her to jump off Parker Industries later. He takes her to see Hamilton, on a bust to beat up a local thug, and to take out a hacker’s ring.
By the end of the night, Deadpool knows that he cannot help her. She still wanted to kill herself, but Deadpool took her to a hospital to get help. What gets me every time is how important this message is to victims and those who want to help – we rarely have the tools to help. But in this information age everyone has access to find help.
When Comics Remind us What it Means to Be Human
Both stories serve as a reminder that heroism can be about one life. Saving one life is all that is needed. All too often, millions of lives are saved, but we know nothing about those lives, we forget about the one life. If you are always saving the whole world, you can forget about the people who live in it.