When I was a kid I had various relatives tell me that reading comics was going to rot my brain, that playing with computers was an exercise in futility as they were a fad, and that video games would lead to nothing.
Well, I didn’t really do much with video games to be honest, but alternately I’ve never had a real wreck and have used skills I learned to avoid turning my car or motorcycle into a deadly missile heading at people.
And with computers I think I made the right choice.
More recently I’m realizing that all those comics stuck with me as my five year old has been fascinated by the Hulk. She’s always been a little fascinated with big green, but lately she’s been asking me to tell her his stories.
This has presented an interesting set of bedtimes stories I tell Maggie (and sometimes Aerin,) based on the Incredible Hulk, and anger management allegories that work in her life.
We’ve covered things such as why we don’t shove people, why we get angry sometimes and cannot stop, how we can be angry at ourselves, how it may appear that being angry wins but you don’t, and the dangers of trying to give someone a blood transfusion if you’re the Hulk.
That last part might not be particularly relevant to her life, but I don’t want her trying it even without gamma irradiated blood.
It’s been interesting too. I’d picked up the Hulk after a long absence from comics. It’s Amadeus Cho now, the Totally Awesome Hulk or some such. They’re pretty much running the new character through a quick reimagining of the Hulk comics where I quit reading for a while (Planet Hulk/World War Hulk,) and they’ve got a more She-Hulky take on being the hulk.
And evidently the dangers of trying to lock your anger away. I’ll actually have to keep up with Cho Hulk more.
A little planning to figure out which enemy represents which issue we might confront (MODOK and Leader = arrogance, The Abomination = the easy way, Loki = liars and false friends, Banner = thinking we don’t need to ask for help/an adult, etc).
Combine with the actual stories I remember, rephrase some things slightly, and nearly every day we have a Hulk story that 1) talks about her day and helps her understand something, 2) may actually have been a Hulk story I read at some point.
Maybe she’s just excited to hear stories about someone has problems they can’t solve on their own, but the stories are asked for and sure beat a retelling of Goldilocks and the Infinity Bears.
Alternately maybe she’s just using it to stay awake longer and I’m just rationalizing buying comics again.