Since I have been able to read, I have always loved reading comics. I remember when I was nine I used to sneak down in the early mornings before school – around 5 am – to read my fathers collection of Fart og Tempo. It was a comic book from the 1960s and 70s, which collected different ongoing series like Michel Vaillant by Jean Graton (racing), Hergés Tintin and Goscinny and Uderzos Asterix.
Disney’s Donald Duck, Goofy and Mickey Mouse also entertained me many a time during my childhood. Actually the comics from Marvel Comics were only among the many comic books I read as a teenager, where I frequently visited the library and often came home with 15-20 albums. Especially Charlier and Girauds albums about the charismatic western hero Mike Blueberry were high on my reading list. I have always been fascinated with the old west.
Why is it then, Marvel Comics now by far is my number one favorite in the world of comics? I think Marvel got my attention during the years in boarding school, when I was 15-16 years old. At the school I got some friends, whom also liked the universe of Marvel. Suddenly I had somebody to discuss the comics with. We also bought the Marvel Super Heroes basic set and started role playing. You know Dungeons & Dragons just with Marvel Super Heroes instead.
I was sucked into the universe of Marvel and began to understand the complexity of the different heroes. Especially the X-Men fascinated me. Here were a group of mutants feared and hated by the world – outcasts like colored people in 19th century USA, Jews in Germany during World War II and gays in the 1980s – well among some people even in the 21st century.
The mutants of X-men have not only to fight the bigotry, they also have to learn to use their – for some – very uncontrollable powers, so they not accidentally hurt or kill somebody. None of the X-men have asked for these powers, they are born with them and for most of them the powers erupt, when they turn teenager.
The morale of the story is that with so much hate towards them, the mutants (Homo superior) could just as easily turn evil – like Magneto in the early days – and fight the Homo sapiens. But Charles Xavier gathers this group of mutants and learns them not only to control their powers, but to use them for good instead of evil – in order to protect all mankind no matter color, religion or race.
Another one of my favorite characters is Spider-man. If you peel away all the superhero stuff, the story is about a – shy and nerdy – teenage boy, who tries to find his place in this world. As a young teenager I could relate with Peter Parker.
One of the most brilliant and famous line in Marvel Comics is Uncle Bens words to Peter Parker “with great power there must also come great responsibility”. (Written by the great Stan Lee). These words are a guideline for Peter, whenever it gets tough in his life both as Spider-Man and as Peter Parker.
One of the things I like mostly about Marvel Comics – and properly also why I never got attached to DC characters like Superman and Batman – is that the Marvel characters are very human. They have normal everyday problems and they are not in anyway perfect. You can relate to them, and that is why I love Marvel – oh besides the marvelous drawings and the intriguing story lines …
Forever and always Make Mine Marvel!