It has been a while since I graced a keyboard with the intent of writing. The year started off okay, then sickness, work, chaos and now childcare all stacked together to create excuses. Then when I thought about actually writing I couldn’t produce something awesome as an appeasement for my absence, so I allowed that to keep me from writing.
But last night I found it. And it was thanks to one of my excuses. And it is very timely as Guardians of the Galaxy just released to theaters. Let me set the scene, I was sitting on my bed, the baby was in my arms asleep. I picked up the book I had been reading for the last week and started reading aloud. His mother came home and asked if I read to him. Of course, I did and told her so. We started talking about the book. Of course, it wasn’t something that an 8-month-old was interested in, but he was asleep and the benefits of reading to him are not contingent on his understanding.
Before she left, and to my surprise, I identified the character in the book as my very first superhero. My son who was listening said, “Do you really think Zorro is a superhero?”
Absolutely, he was a masked vigilante who pretended to be someone he wasn’t by day and right wrongs by night.
This is the formula for 90 percent of our superheroes. Superman: Clark Kent, Wonder Woman: Diana Prince, Scarlett Pimpernel: Percival Blakeney, The Shadow: Lamont Cranston, The lone Ranger, The Flash, Daredevil, Spider-Man, and of course Batman: Bruce Wayne. There are tons more, but you get the point.
Funny that I should mention Batman because after my son left not at all convinced of my reasoning behind Diego being a superhero, I did some research. The creator of Batman used my favorite /second favorite swords man as his inspiration for his character.
Here is the thing, I grew up watching Guy Williams and Tyrone Power play him and watching both the Batman movies and cartoons and never even realized.
Someone once told me that all the stories have been written but not from your point of view. Which must have some grain of truth because Zorro created in 1919 and The Scarlet Pimpernel created in 1905 basically became the blueprint for every comic book hero creating the Marvel and DC universe as well as any hero who hides his identity. So, as we begin the summer with Guardians, Thor, Spider-Man lets pay homage to the original masked man who left his calling card on the wall and butts of the bad guys.