By Tea Krulos
Since it was Father’s Day yesterday, I decided to take a look at some real life superheroes and their superhero children. Unlike Hit Girl in Kick-Ass, real life superhero kids tend to be mild mannered and trained in how to use butterfly knives.
Many real life superheroes that have children cite them as a reason for what they do- they want to make an attempt to make the world a better place for their children and inspire them.
The offspring inspire their super parents in return.
Silver Sentinel, for instance created his persona based on a superhero story he and his daughter created together.
Civitron is from New Bedford, Massachusetts and his 6 year old son has adopted two different hero personas- Kid Civitron and Mad Owl. Civitron explained the origin of Kid Civitron in a phone interview.
“When he was three he was playing with these two little Lego action figures and one of them wore a little helmet and the other was red with black hair. And these two little guys were going on an adventure. And he was playing by himself and I was in the doorway watching him, and he was playing out the adventures of his dad, Civitron, and his dad’s friend, Citizen Prime (a RLSH from Salt Lake City). That afternoon he comes up to me and says ‘Dad, can I be Kid Civitron? My powers are I can run really fast and I can climb mountains.’ I was really shocked, I was really amazed, I never even really thought about it.
He designed his own costume and drew it out. His original suit was yellow, with a red cape; he said ‘when you think Civitron, you think fire!’ So he picked fire colors. He has a mask with a light bulb on it, because he has good ideas. So I got him a cape with fire on the back, and he became Kid Civitron. After that, he found another mask that looked like owl eyes or bird eyes that were angry and he became the Mad Owl and that became his superhero persona. And the Mad Owl became the defender of animals. Any animal in trouble any animal lost.”
Mad Owl got to live out his mission with a stranded turtle at the park.
“We were out on a water bottle mission to the park and he found these two little girls by the pond. And he ran up to them and said, ‘what are you two doing?’ They said, ‘we found this turtle in the parking lot, and we’re trying to get it out of the parking lot and back into the water.’
“They didn’t want to push it or pick it up, or hurt it. And he said, ‘well, I’m a superhero, so I can help.’ They came up with the idea that they would all walk together and take really tiny steps behind the turtle. And as they walked, I don’t know how long it took them, a very long time, taking tiny little steps behind the turtle to get it back into the water from the parking lot.
It’s funny, I think of the scope of accomplishments and the perspective of age, talent, whatever, and he’s done a lot more than I have, just by doing that!”(Laughs)
I asked Civitron if he hopes that Kid Civitron will continue to be a RLSH as he grows up.
“It is up to him. If he wants to do it, that’s great, but the costume part, the superhero part, that’s personal. I don’t want to force that on someone if it is not truly them. I don’t want to be that crazy pageant parent with training and stress. I want to treat it as something positive that could enrich his life. Not something weird and out of the ordinary, but something positive.
It is ok to be creative; it is ok to take that power and control of your personality. Be true to yourself, and do the things you think are important and not think it is weird or odd. I think it has worked. He is really, surprisingly sure of himself. Even where he feels that if he’s not good at something, he is comfortable and confident enough to feel that to know that, and he is ok with it.”
Danger and Wonderboy
The Watchman, my hometown hero here in Milwaukee, decided to get his sons involved with his superhero act, letting them participate in charity events. They thought of their own names- Danger and Wonderboy. The trio delivered a supply of toys together to the Gingerbread House, a non-profit that gives low income families donated gifts for the holiday season. The Watchman told me about this in person and in an e-mail filling me in on how his end of the 2nd Annual Great Lakes Heroes Guild Christmas toy drive challenge was going.
“I’ll have about $100 to buy toys with. I’ll probably be dropping them off either (December) 19th or 20th. I’m still planning on taking my boys along for the drop, but I have to come up with costumes/uniforms for them. The oldest is sticking with the “Wonderboy” name, while the other one has chosen “Danger” as his name.”
He chronicled the mission in a YouTube video, panning over the stock of My Little Ponies, X-Men, Iron Man, and Star Wars action figures, Barbies, G.I. Joes, iTunes gift cards(“older kids often get overlooked” Watchman noted) and video games .
From his lair in his basement, Watchman described the charity.
“The gingerbread house takes care of needy families. They donate toys to families whose parents don’t have enough money to provide toys as presents for their children. This year they served 600 families. That is up quite a bit from last year. I was fortunate this year in that I was able to triple what I was able to do for them last year.” He also introduced Wonder Boy and Danger.
On their very first mission, they helped me donate the toys, they helped me carry them in a dropped them off at the gingerbread House. Good job kids, I’m very proud of you.”
“I think it is important to help out, especially around Christmastime. You’re never too young or too old to be a hero.” Wonder Boy says to camera.
“It’s good to give to people who don’t have enough. I hope we made a difference.” Danger adds.
BloodRaven is a 21 year old from Waldorf, Maryland. She is trained as an EMT and going to school for criminal justice. She described her transformation into a superhero in an e-mail interview.
“I became a masked hero during the summer. My boyfriend decided he didn’t have time for me, so I became preoccupied with other things and as a consequence, almost forgot about him, LOL. Learning everything it takes to be a productive RLSH distracted me from problems in my own life and switched the focus to the world in general. I’ve always been interested in justice work, super heroes, comics… it was a natural switch.”
Besides patrolling her campus, she does litter pickups with her two and a half year old daughter, Blue Girl. As a single mother, it is clearly about connecting in a fun way and establishing a mother-daughter bond.
“(One of the most rewarding things is) teaching Blue Girl what’s right and what’s wrong. She won’t ever litter. She picks it up and puts it in the trash if she sees it. She’s two and a half. She knows about bad guys and that heroes are good.”
Getting kids involved, even at this small level, could do wonders for crime rates and litter rates in the future. The problem is that kids don’t really care these days. No one explains why something is wrong, or why something is right. They don’t get that littering is bad because it kills plants, or that it could hurt animals. They’re just too lazy to find a trash can. I wanna do something to change that. Break the cycle. Kids are much too spoiled these days.”
I asked BloodRaven if she would like to see Blue Girl grow up to be a RLSH.
“I’m not sure. I definitely want Blue Girl to be involved in the community, no matter where we are living. All kids should be. I wish my parents had brought that on me as well.”
I think this will be a great follow up story for my future self- will these kids grow up to be real life superheroes like their parents- or will they pull an “Alex P. Keaton” choosing an opposite path…like the path of a supervillain?! -dun dun DUN!