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Celebrating National Superhero Day

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If you know anything about the Nerd Initiative community, it’s that we love characters, especially superheroes. From anime to comic books, movies, and video games, our list of heroes goes far and wide. Since today, April 28th, is National Superhero Day, we thought we would share some of our favorite superheroes with you.

Pooja Chand – Captain Marvel

While I’d always heard about Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel, I’d never had the opportunity to read the comics and based much of my understanding of her character on what I’d read on the internet. So naturally, my official introduction to her character was through her very own film, Captain Marvel which stars Brie Larson as the one and only Carol.

Her arrogance is often criticized but I mean, look at what she can do! It’s also often mistaken for pure confidence and the fact that she has the capability to believe in herself and persevere, regardless of the circumstances. Carol wants to be who she is and feel what she feels, and ultimately she finds a way to utilize her emotions for good. As someone who experiences emotions very strongly, I can’t help but love her. Also, she is part of the reason Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan exists, so that’s a major plus!

Janelle Holland – Aquaman

Aquaman, the king under the sea. This character has resonated with me since I began reading comics. Not only is this character so amazing with his powers and abilities, he really loves his family. Aquaman brings two worlds together, the surface world and the sea. I always thought he was heroic in the way that he just loves his people and is proud to be an Atlantean. I’ve always liked Greek Mythology and anything ocean related. So I was not surprised when I fell in love with Aquaman comics, so quickly. He can use the trident and swim extremely fast under the water. He is a reckoning force and an outstanding addition to the Justice League. The Geoff Johns series on Aquaman is my favorite. Many people do not want to give him credit or call him corny. I always admired how he cared for the sea creatures and treated them like people. He has a connection to the water, that cannot be broken. I think Aquaman will always be in my heart because the focus is mainly on his family and his buddies from the Justice League. Please check out some Aquaman comics, at your local comic shop!

Mickey Smith – Captain America

My favorite superhero is none other than the star-spangled kid from Brooklyn himself, Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America! Ever since Cap showed up in 1941 punching Hitler on the cover of his self-titled comic book by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Steve Rogers has been fighting for freedom and liberty for all people, no matter who they are or where they’re from! Even though the world may change around him, such as advancing technology and the red tape of complicated politics, Cap remains the touchstone of what it means to be a hero. It may at times seem like Steve is holding on to the past, but what he is really doing is just holding on to the ideals of what it means to be a good person, always to do the right and
honorable thing.

Captain America has seen the country he loves change in many ways, good and bad, but is always hopeful that he can bring people back from the worst places, and protect innocent people from those that won’t listen to reason. Cap doesn’t judge people or weigh and measure lives against others. Cap represents many of the values I hold dear: Integrity, resilience, and empathy. I’ll always strive to honor the legacy of Steve Rogers aka Captain
America and that’s why Captain America is my favorite superhero!

Ken Maney – Spider-Man

The concept of a superhero is hard to define. It has evolved over time to the point it can be blurred. Ever since the first documented superhero debuted back in 1936 with Lee Falk’s Phantom, fans have been enamored with the idea of a costumed individual fighting the forces of evil in the name of good. Even back then, it didn’t take long to start the evolution when a man from Krypton crashed into the hearts of pop culture fans with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman in the pages of Action Comics in 1938. It is literally that moment the world became aware of superheroes and never looked back.

Throughout the history of comics, heroes have come in many forms with varying motivations. The vengeance-fueled Batman, the patriotic Captain America, and the Amazonian warrior Wonder Woman are all notable names. The definition has evolved with the dawn of the anti-hero with characters like Wolverine, Punisher, Spawn, and Ghost Rider. Even with those heroes in the mix, there is one (to me personally) that stands out above and beyond: the Amazing Spider-Man.

Superman might be the definition (as stated in a previous article) but when it comes down to it, Spider-Man surpasses it because of what he has to work with. Peter Parker is flawed as a character and outmatched by many opponents. He’s not bulletproof. He can’t fly. He can’t move things with his mind. Yet, time and time again, Peter swings into action giving it all no matter what the cost. He connects with fans for this factor. Superman inspires hope, Spidey inspires action. He makes you think YOU can be a hero because he is an everyday person with gifts and literally lives the motto: “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.”

But at the end of the day, it is what the character does with their abilities and gifts that defines a superhero. Celebrate the ideals and concepts cause the world can always use a superhero.

Sean Winningham – Daredevil

My love for superheroes and their stories was rooted in two events: The 1980s iconic movie characters of Christopher Reeve’s Superman and Michael Keaton’s Batman, and my uncle who introduced me to comics. When I was about 9, I was going through his comic book collection and came across the character Daredevil, I asked my uncle who this person was. After he shared details about the character, The Man Without Fear became an instant favorite of mine.

As someone who was raised Catholic and suffered from hearing loss since birth, I saw myself in Daredevil in many ways. Matt Murdock was also a Catholic who, at an early age, became blind due to an accident during his heroic action in saving an old man from getting hit by a truck. So to see so many similarities between us, I was always inspired by how his disability never held him back from being his best and doing what was right (of course, having enhanced senses definitely helps!). I always love seeing Daredevil in action. Whether it’s in a comic book or on screen, I am excited to see that this amazing character is getting more and more popular every year.

Nerdtooine – Nightwing

Who is my favorite hero? Well, that is not a simple answer, the majority of my favorite characters are the brutal and tragic anti-hero archetypes like The Punisher, Moon Knight, or Wolverine. However, when I think about who my favorite true blue hero is there can only be one answer, Dick Grayson, Nightwing. I feel at their core heroes are meant to inspire us to be better versions of ourselves and for me that is Nightwing. Dick has gone through so many traumatic events in his life, including watching his own parent get murdered, yet still has a joyful hopeful optimism.

He broke free of his sidekick persona and became one of the most iconic heroes in all of comics and would go on to lead his own legendary team the Teen Titans. Nightwing takes the best aspects of Batman, his fighting ability and next-level intelligence, but trades the serious, sometimes one-note Dark Knight with sharp-witted banter similar to Spider-Man. No matter how dark or terrible the world around Nightwing might be, he remains positive and still able to deliver a sick “drop the mic” one-liner, and that is what makes him my favorite.

Derek Hoskins – Iron Man

The quality of a hero is often judged by the quality of their villains. With Iron Man, his greatest enemy is not some super-powered, dastardly rogue, but Tony Stark himself. Tony is a brilliant, but deeply flawed human being who does everything in his power to make the world a better place. He does this to atone for past sins. However, he is defined by his failure. What makes him a hero worth rooting for is the fact that, no matter how many times he fails, he keeps moving forward.

Tony has no superpowers outside of a genius-level intellect and Iron Man was born out of his own determination and brilliance. Iron Man is a man amongst gods, and I will always go to bat for the human being who went from a morally bankrupt weapons developer to one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Sean Winningham
Sean Winninghamhttps://www.thecaptionedlife.com
Better known as “The Captioned Life” on social media, Sean has been in love with comics, the superhero genre, and all types of fandoms since he was a kid. Sean is the host and producer of The Captioned Life Show, a show for the most casual and dedicated fans of comics and pop culture. He is also the Social Media Engagement Manager and Contributor for Comic Watch. As Senior Multimedia Producer at Nerd Initiative, Sean is instrumental in helping creators to share and discuss their love of superheroes in a toxic-free environment.

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