Thursday, March 18, 2010

Captain Mar-Vell, not your typical superhero

I wanted to post this page from Marvel Comics' Captain Marvel #55, March 1978, written by Scott Edelman, penciled by Pat Broderick, and inked by Bob Wiacek. In this issue, Mar-Vell decides that he must get a job to stay on Earth.



Mar-Vell is unlike most other superheroes. He is an alien with no true alter ego. For much of his time on Earth he would trade atoms with Rick Jones. but this was not a typical "in costume/out of costume" situation, it was two distinct people sharing time between Earth and the Negative Zoe. But by this issue, even that relationship had been severed, and Mar-Vel was a man on his own.

He'd had a brief period with an alter ego in his first dozen or so issues, when he would disguise himself as the mysterious rocket scientist Walter Lawson. But he abandoned that identity when situations forced him to leave Earth. Ironically, in this issue, he was faced with an adversary who had been a victim of one of his battles in his Walter Lawson period, but that's not why I posted this page.

I wanted to point out how, briefly and efficiently, Mar-Vell describes the difficulty an alien on Earth would have getting a job, and how his life would have to be if he were to follow the example of almost every other superhero. He would then become "--a schizoid in a three piece suit--" pointedly illustrated by the absurd picture of Mar-Vell in office attire, including glasses.

But no, Mar-Vell rejects that model, and decides that he will make his way in the world as himself "...or not at all!"

You go, boy! Way to reject the status quo! How many of us live schizoid existences, going to work so as to support the life that we really wish we had? I have been there, I have done that, and every time I have to do it, it kills a piece of me. How many of us want to be remembered as the person ho did the specific day job that we do? Wouldn't it be more satisfying and fulfilling to be remembered for doing what we love? Id if we cannot make our way in the world doing what we love, being who we are, then are we really truly complete beings?

But then ,some people find their completeness in home and family. Work then is a sacrifice they make to support that home and family, and they are heroes, of a sort, or that, and they are remembered for their role in the family.

Just a thought, and perhaps a good topic for debate...

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