My kiddos have started watching a show on the Hub. It’s called The Super Hero Squad. It’s all marvel characters–heroes and villains–drawn in a cartoonish manner and act in a childish way. It’s a parody in a way of the marvel universe where the characters find them selves in sit-com like situations.
As a long time Marvel fan and a fan of their heroes and villains alike, it grates on my nerves. The villains are nothing but big bullies who are incompetent and the heroes themselves are, well, not heroes but bumbling children with few actual adult characteristics. Some characters act as adults but others, like Captain America (a favorite of mine), are bumbling dolts who are stuck in the past. At least Wolverine still has some of his flair and acts like an adult as does Iron Mine. But Ms. Marvel–a strong woman character in the Marvel universe–comes across as a winy brat.
And this is what my kids are watching. And I try to not let them watch it but sometimes it gets past me when I’m not home or when I’m not paying attention like I ought to when they’re watching TV.
There’s a deeper issue to why I don’t like Super Hero Squad. It has to do with true heroes and villains. I want my children to know what heroics is all about. I want them to know what it means to see evil in a villain. They need to know that villains are more than just bullies, bumbling bullies at that. Dr. Doom is evil. He is vicious. And in Super Hero Squad he’s just a bumbling bully with bumbling cohorts and lackeys.
We need heroes. We need to know that things will be safe when heroes abound. And I’m not just talking about super heroes but every day heroes. I want them to respect their heroes not find humor in them. Yes, each hero has a flaw. Each person has flaws. I want them to see the flaws but not in a humorous way. I want them to see it in a true honest way. A true hero fights despite their flaws. A true hero lives in light of their flaws. A true hero is a wounded hero.
A wounded hero is much like a Henri Nouwen’s wounded healer. One who has been a victim as much as they have been a hero. One who offers space and room for people to see them as heroes but at the same time honest with their flaws. In Super Hero Squad, the heroes flaws are comedic. They are over the top parodies of the real flaws of the heroes they portray.
I don’t want my kids to see heroes as bumbling dolts who somehow win the day. I want them to see a hero that fights for whats right despite the odds and despite their flaws. I want them to see a hero as one who lives what they say and not as a bumbling dolt.
The same is true for villains. I want them to shy away from evil. I want them to walk in ways of righteousness flaws and all. I don’t want them to sit with the scoffers, to walk with those who do wrong. I want them to see villains in this world and see evil for what it truly is. When they know good and what is right, they can see evil in this world. And evil is wrong. It is bad. And it is not bumbling or comedic. It is real and there are really evil people out there.
If they think that evil is funny they won’t shy away from the villains of this world. They won’t see their ways as wrong. They won’t see the heroes that fight each day against evil. They’ll just see bumbling people in comedic situations.
Jesus is the ultimate hero. He fought the ultimate fight against the ultimate evil. He willingly went to the cross to die in order to win the fight. He was a true hero. He is the hero that I want my children to know. There is light and darkness in this world. Jesus is the light in the darkness and the light has over come the darkness. He is the ultimate hero.
So, the Super Hero Squad Show is on the Hub. I don’t like watching it. Heroes need to be heroes and villains need to be villains. There are some dark and light things in this world and we have the knowledge that there is victory in the ultimate hero, Jesus. For the light has overcome the darkness.