- Posted June 6, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
My life with Superman
Four years and hundreds of episodes of Superfriends later, at age seven, my cousin and I walked from my grandmother’s house (with permission of course) to the 7-11 to get Slurpee's in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace cups after seeing that movie mere hours earlier.
We got brain freeze and dreamed of super powers, and then we played Superman. In a fitting nod to comics we'd never read nor wouldn’t read the re-telling of for many years, there was an accident with kryptonite that split Superman into two entities. I was Superman blue, (basically Superman in his usual get up minus the red shorts) and he was Superman red (all red, no blue anywhere... you've no idea how saddened I was in my late teens to discover that the writers of the comic were no more creative than two seven year olds.)
The only way we could be re-joined as Kal-El was to find Lex Luthor and stop his nefarious plot. Our parents at the time thought it was cute that we used words like nefarious, and correctly to boot... Plus we'd peeled ourselves away from our Transformers for about three hours to run around in daylight, so they were pretty happy with the notion.
We took advantage of our situation to prove to the world beyond a shadow of a doubt that Clark Kent and Superman were not one and the same. If my cousin was stopping a nuclear missile from destroying Metropolis, I was Clark Kenting my way around The Daily Planet in full view of everyone while TV crews filmed the Man of Tomorrow.
Even then, I preferred Clark Kent to Superman and played Superman Blue as being pretty much the same in both roles. When Christopher pointed out that I wasn't playing Clark properly (and to his knowledge of the films that was certainly true) I blamed it on the Kryptonite transformation.
We ultimately found Lex Luthor, hiding under a tree waiting for us. He'd just launched two nuclear devices, one at the White House and one at the Kremlin. I bolted for Russia while my cousin raced to D.C. Metropolis being so much closer to D.C. he saved his city first and flew as fast as he could to help me stop my nuke. We ran toward each other in the soft grass and slammed together just as the characters we played managed to get the nuke just out of Earth's atmosphere before it went off. The resulting nuclear explosion re-formed the one true Superman of the era: Christopher Reeve.
We each fell backward to the ground and laid there for what felt like hours dreaming up more and more adventures for the once again whole Superman. I wish I could remember the adventures we set him on, but I can't and it isn't important that I do.
It's enough to know that at that point in time Superman dared two little seven year olds to dream for hours. We came inside when the sun finally disappeared completely, and as always Superman flew off around the planet stopping to wave at us and smile as he disappeared out of view.
That's what Superman was to us; he was our great hero who couldn't be bested. Not by Red Kryptonite, not by Lex Luthor, and surely not by a nuclear missile. He was always out there, just out of view: a real entity that watched over us. The cold war, even to seven year olds, seemed frightening but we knew it couldn't ever really be so bad because if we needed him: Superman would come.
We believed in him just as fervently as we believed in God and the Easter Bunny, and he would always be there for us. I've read many a comic, seen many a television episode and more than a few movies... but a lot of my love for the man of tomorrow stems from those magical Christopher Reeve films.
I would later fall in love with the comics themselves, and would spend almost all of my life as a fan of the Man of Steel - but it all began with that mythic portrayal by Christopher Reeve.