Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Superest of Costumes

My son is a full fledged Harry Potter fan. He has five Harry Potter video games, has watched the four films innumerable times; when his reading level allows him to attack the books I'm quite positive he will tear through them like a rabid badger. Since getting his glasses he even bears a substantial resemblance to Harry, though his facial scar is due to a villinous playground step and young legs moving faster than he could properly control, and well hidden on the underside of his chin.

From the previous Halloween when he and his sister dressed up as Mouseketeers (The cult of Disney is the most fully ingrained at Casa Karaczewski), he has insisted that this Halloween he was going to dress up as Harry Potter. But what came back from our local Target was no wizard robe but the bright primary colored surprise of a Superman costume.

Growing up as a comic fiend - I mean, enthusiast - I was drawn to Marvel comics almost innately. I'd occasionally pick up a Batman comic (and then only after reading Frank Miller's Batman), but I doubt that I have more than a dozen DC titles stored away among the hundreds of Spiderman comics. I enjoyed John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries, but the first official Superman comic I bought was the one where they killed him, and soon as they contrived him back to life I was out.

I was never a fan of the movies (Superman 2 kinda freaked me out when I was young - couldn't tell you why). So, when my son picked out his costume for this year, he wasn't acting on any kind of influence of mine. As far as I know, before choosing to be Superman, he didn't know that Mr. Kent existed, nor that there were enviable powers to emulate. For him, it was the draw of the costume, a universal draw of red blue and yellow that my Mom reminded me when I informed her of my son's choice that I myself adorned one Halloween at about his age, at a time before I would have known the particulars of the hero I was assimilating.

Pulling the costume from my son's closet to examine the symmetry of the fake muscles, the sharp-edged kinetic energy of the diamond S on the chest, the cape that begs to be caught up in wind behind you, I admit it is striking. But I still feel that what constitutes its exceptional universality is beyond my superpowers of description, and call on you heroes for an articulation, or testimonial.

1 comment:

That's Mr. Anonymous to you! said...

I was at a church "harvest party" tonight and saw a young boy dressed in that same costume. For a brief instant I thought, "Boy, it must be cool to have those fake muscles on."