CARY'S COMICS CRAZE - 'Learn' about life from the cape and cowl crowd

Twenty-two years ago, the public latched onto Robert Fulghum's book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.'
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010

 

Twenty-two years ago, the public latched onto Robert Fulghum’s book “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Imagine if the same idea were applied to the world of comic books:

• The only way to appropriately deal with the death of a loved one is swearing an unholy promise to fight crime. Counseling and crying into your pillow for nights on end are for wusses.

• Being a super hero means being armed with a great sounding alter-ego, the heart of a vigilante and a deep desire for justice. Who needs trained law enforcement agents?

• On the other hand, authorities always welcome advice from disguised Joe and Jane Citizens in solving bizarre, complex crimes. Heck, some of those ranking officers might actually seek your help.

• There’s enough crime (and super villains) to support the existence of multiple heroes and groups in the same city.

• Capes add stylish flair to any costume.

Who cares what happens while you’re climbing a wet fire escape or running full speed to make it through a closing door? Who worries about flying hazards when your cape looks great flapping in the breeze while you zoom by a massive airplane with a jet turbine?

• Death is never final. Never.

• Jumping from building to building is the best form of travel.

• Don’t forget: Any building more than three stories high has flag poles, oversized statues of mythic creatures or ledges that will hold your weight or has spots for your webbing, grappling hook line, etc.

• It’s always possible to beat the laws of physics and gravity. It shouldn’t matter if the person fell from or was pushed out of a tall building long before you.

• Stay away from scientific experiments, especially those dealing with gamma radiation. Very far away.

• Donning a mask and flashy costume automatically means you can deal with any death-defying or previously unfamiliar situation awaiting you, such as flying a severely damaged airplane.

• Wearing a mask that covers most of your facial features is legal in most states.

• Janitor’s closets and nasty back alleys are great places to change (and presumably, hide) your civilian clothes.

• Prosecutors are extremely generous: Committing felonies and misdemeanors while damaging public/private property can be overlooked when pursuing a personal vendetta against “the real bad guys.”

• Your archenemy always will take time to discuss his or her plans for world domination or creating chaos in excruciating detail. (See the entry for “monologuing” in the film “The Incredibles.”)

• The best way to solve any conflict is a violent smack-down. (Deadly weapons are optional.)

• Fighting crime on your own is a great fit for millionaire socialites, mild-mannered reporters or science students with a knack for photography who have trouble making their rent money.

• Being a crimefighter at night rarely interferes with one’s career, social life or sleep patterns.

• Gassing up your high-powered vehicle with tons of options at the local gas station would never be awkward.

• No police officer, who probably has scoured every back road in his or her jurisdiction, should be able to find the access road to your secret hideout.

• It’s never too hot or cold to wear an extra outfit under your civilian clothes.

• Subtly changing your hairstyle, taking off your glasses, changing your voice and mysteriously disappearing at the first sign of danger will keep your longtime co-workers from guessing your secret life as a crimefighter — for years.

• Criminals never take a break. That part, sadly, is true.

TELL US: What absurd life lessons have you noticed while reading comics? E-mail your feedback to columnist Cary Ashby at cashby@norwalkreflector.com.