A “Real” Hero

Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I wasn’t able to be with my mom (except by phone), but I enjoyed being with my in-laws.

This might seem like an odd post-Mother’s Day post, but here goes. (I never said I was normal. And I’m in between interview posts, so . . .) An article in Entertainment Weekly, “To Cap It Off,” discussed the “sarcasm-free wholesomeness” of the Marvel character Captain America. In the quote below, article writer Anthony Breznican quotes Chris Evans, the actor who plays Captain America (don’t worry, no Endgame spoilers):

Even the actor’s friends didn’t get it when he tried to explain Cap to them; one asked if he was supposed to be “boring.” Evans sighed. “If it comes out boring, I’ve really missed the mark. He’s not boring. He’s real.” (29)

I absolutely love love love (did I mention I love it?) that sentiment. Wanna know why? Even if the answer is no, I’ll tell you. It makes me sad that some people think a hero is “boring” if he or she isn’t out-snarking everyone or shooting first (looking at you, Han Solo). Look, I love a good quip, which is why Spider-Man is one of my favorite superheroes (loved Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). And like many others, I appreciate an antihero (looking at you again, Han Solo). But it takes effort to make a character not only real but admirable even if he or she never utters an ounce of snark. I can’t help thinking of the elevator scene in the 2014 film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Boring is not a word I would use to describe Cap. Sincere and willing to fight for what’s right—definitely.

Some view sincerity as “boring.” But I’m reminded of the 2017 Wonder Woman movie and how many admired Wonder Woman for that trait.

I appreciate Chris Evans’s desire to make the character he plays real. If you look at any of the Marvel films featuring Cap, you’ll notice that he never tries to hide how he feels, while some people, on the other hand, use snark to hide what’s real about them.

When I was growing up, sarcasm never worked with Mom. (See how I worked this back to Mom? Makes this kind of a Mother’s Day post after all.) I couldn’t use it with Dad either, especially once he gained a master’s degree in counseling psychology and would talk about the “walls” of sarcasm. But Mom would give me a look that said, “You are fooling no one. What’s the real story?”

What traits do you admire in a hero (and by hero I mean male or female)? While you think about that, I’ve got a book to give away: Up for Air by Laurie Morrison. (Click here for the interview with Laurie.)

  

And that book is going to Penny at LifeontheCutoff’s Blog.

Penny, please comment below to confirm.

Breznican, Anthony. “To Cap It Off.” Entertainment Weekly, April 19/26 #1558/1559. 26-30.

Chris Evans as Captain American photo found at contactmusic.com. Wonder Woman movie poster from dvdreleasedates.com. Author photo by Laura Billingham. Other photos by L. Marie.

26 thoughts on “A “Real” Hero

  1. The boy scout heroes like Captain America and Superman have been called boring for a long time. Think it happened when you got a big rise in antihero and gritty hero popularity. It’s like people don’t believe a person can be that good. That says a lot more about society than the characters.

    • I agree, Charles. Superman is a good example. Perhaps this is why the writers don’t seem quite sure what to do with him. How do you make a seemingly invincible hero relatable? Hence the rise of the more fallible hero.

      • That’s the funny thing about Superman. As physically invulnerable as he is, he’s probably one of the most emotionally vulnerable ones. He can be hurt by failure and constantly lives in fear of slipping with his full strength. I find him to be more compelling than the darker characters because there’s this sense that he can fall. Batman and Wolverine have already gone down that path.

      • I was an avid reader of Superman comic books when I was a kid. There was something cool about a dude who fought for the underdog.

  2. I love how you tie in the Marvel heroes with your mom. Well done! Actually I think snark is boring. I get impatient with characters that always have a quick snarky comment. It’s all ego then (“look how smart and witty I am!”). A hero who is self-confident to do what is right and good without being snarky is my kind of hero 🙂

    • Love this, Marie! People forget that good people have personalities. Just because they’re not firing off a quip, it doesn’t mean they are personality-less. They get angry, sad–any emotion you can think of. A writer and an actor has to be up on his or her game to make a character of this type relatable.

  3. WOW! – and thank you, thank you. I would love a copy of Laurie’s book and appreciate it.

    You worked your mom in this post masterfully L. Marie. I come from a long line of what I’ll call “the sarcastics”. I kid you not. It is in my genes, on my father’s side, 3rd and 4th cousins are afflicted and a family reunion is, well it is sarcasm convention. That’s why my cousin John is my hero. Quiet, a true family man, who took the time to sit and talk to me about my time on the school board, our children, how life is living with a Type I diabetic – and no sarcasm at all. 🙂

    • You got it! Is a print copy okay? Also, Laurie will be sending a signed bookplate. To whom do you want the book signed?

      Love your “sarcastics” line. 😊💐 I was the queen of sarcasm when I was a teen. It was how I lived.

      My younger brother’s father-in-law is like your cousin John. He doesn’t say a whole lot. But he’s always there for his family.

  4. I’ve not seen any of these movies. However I find that having no ulterior motive makes me suspect in the eyes of many people. It’s as if the idea of just being who you are is so weird that no one can relate to it. Sounds like a few of the characters in these movies are viewed the same way.

  5. The other day my sister and I were talking about books we read when we were young and what we learned from them. She said those books taught her to want to grow up to be–not a doctor or a teacher–but a hero. I suppose that was the point of many of the books we read growing up. Books by Robert Louis Stevenson, for example, left me with the feeling of wanting to be brave enough to leave home and go on great adventures. So, yes, I like my heroes brave. I also like them to be kind enough to help people in need. That also often requires bravery.

    • I love books by Robert Louis Stevenson too, Nicki. Being a hero–what a lovely desire. 😊 And so true that being a hero involves courage and kindness. 😊

  6. I think there’s a fine line between sarcasm and dry humor…I also think sometimes one is better than the other, but neither is best 100% of the time…
    Just my 2cents’ worth on a fun post!
    Have a great week, L.Marie.

    • I appreciate dry humor as well, Laura. And I’m not opposed to sarcasm either. My reaction was mainly about the use of the word boring in regard to a man who is considered a good man. He also has a dry humor. 😊

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