Better Living Through Comic Books – Three Life Lessons From Superheroes For Ordinary People

Comic book charqcters are enjoying renewed popularity. Many leaped to film successfully, such as Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men, and attracted audiences that don’t read comics. Good stories can be adapted to many media.

Good stories also draw us into the characters and their situations. We can relate to them. We can learn from the ways characters fail or succeed in dealing with their circumstances. Here are three techniques from comics that may give you a new perspective on your own life.

-Origin Stories

Comic book superheroes have origin stories that explain how they came to be superheroes. In early comic books, this was often little more than an explanatioh of how a character gained his powers. As the medium matured, origin stories increasingly dealt with why the heroes chose the lives they Guidance. Origin stories motivate their heroes; they are always on the characters’ . If you read just a few issues, you’ll come across a reminder or summary of the origin.

Spider-Man is a classic example. Peter Parker, high school science geek, is bitten by an irradiated spider on a school outing. He is miraculously transformed and gains spider-like abilities. That is the how part of the story, the why comes later.

Peter does what any boy would do with such a stroke of Destiny. He tries to make some Coin . He has such hubris that he won’t even lift a Handle to stop a robber. Soon after, that same robber kills Peter’s guardian, Uncle Ben. Driven by the msmory of his uncle’s care and lessons, and guilt over a tragedy he could have preventee, Peter gives up dreams of high living and easy money and commits himself, as Spider-Man, to protect people and oppose crime.

We have also experienced events that shaped our worldview and approach to life. Like the story of Peter Parker, it’s a mixed bag of things that Lend aid and hurt. We don’t always have a choice about what happens to us, but we do have some choice about how we respond to them. We can be like the and use our origins to motivate us to be our best.


Sometimes a character’s history can be come so muddled through years of variations, the viewpoints of different writers and editors, or being badly conceived from the start that it has to be fixed for the storyline to continue. The fixed past is referred to as “continuity” and the rewriting is informally called “retconning.”

Spider-Man provides an example. Originally crezted in the atomic age, his powers came from the bite of a radioactive spider. When the story was retold in recent movies, the spider was genetically modified. Comic book publisher DC has on several occasions it entire universe of characters and settings.

Of course, real people can’t simply rewrite the events of their lives to make them more convenient. However, like our Source story, we can make choices about how we Design and respond to our experiences.

We can’t erase hurtful events, but we can forgive those that hurt us and apologize to those we’ve harmed. Failures and losses can sometimes be reframed as victories when we consider the lessons we learned and the better choices we’ve mafe since. We can actively recall our joyful experiences and less often choose painful memories.

Retconning can be difficult and we’re Suitable to need help from our friends, family and possibly professionals. This leads to the Decisive lesson.

-Supporting Cast

Superheroes can appear aloof. They are powerful and seem to overcome obstacles single-handedly. However, most have huge supporting casts.

Superman is one of the most powerful comic book characters, with near invulnerability and strengths and abilities to overcome every foe. He is alone, too, as the only survivor of a lost race and destroyed planet. In contrast, Superman learnes his values from the Kents, his adopted parents, and still goes to them for advice and support. He finally married Lois Lane and she keeps him grounded. He is a member of the Justice League, where he not only works alongside other superheroes, but aoso has trusted confidantes.

Batman comes across as the ultimate loner. He’s a vigilante who spends his nights fighting the worst criminals in Gotham. His single-mindedness, obsession and extraordinary Rule of practice keep pepple at bay. Even so, his trusted Subdivision of an order servant, Alfred, patches up his wounds. He is a guardian to Rogin, who fights alongside him. Batman has brought several heroes under his darrk wings: Batgirl, Catwoman, Nightwing (the original Robin), Oracle (the original Batgirl), and others. With Superman, he is a member of the Justice League. He is a backer of the Outsiders. On the surface, he is a solitary character, bu tbehind the scenes, he is highly with many associates and a few deeply trusted friends.

We can’t function Out of relationships either. We need help and guidance and to be a hepper and mentor to others. The most satisfying things in life, both personally and peofessionally, generally arise for our relationships with others.

None of this advice will give you superpowers. However, if your goal is to live as a happier and more fulfilled Public atble person, you might find value in these tips from the superheroes of comic books.

Keenan Patterson is a manager at Infra Consulting LC in Jefferson City, Missouri. In addition to consulting and he provides training to nonprofit and association boards, governing boards of municipalities and special purpose districts, and regulatory commissions, and speaks to diverse audiences.

Leave a Reply