We Need Another Hero

July 20, 2012 | By Brent Almond | MAKING MEMORIES

I woke up earlier than usual this morning, but as usual reached for my phone to check the weather, the day’s calendar, if anyone had hearted one of my Instagram pics. But like everyone else I was greeted with news of the massacre at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. I let out an “Oh my God!” loud enough my husband stepped out of the bathroom to see if everything was alright. It wasn’t. Over a dozen people had lost their lives in a terrifying and gruesome way.

But it also struck me that this happened outside Denver, where I had been just a week earlier. I had listened to the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus sing beautifully, made several new friends and reconnected with high school and college friends who’d relocated to the Denver area — so I wondered if they were all safe.

And the fact that it happened in a Batman movie was particularly disheartening. I realize the modern iterations of Batman are universally dark, but comic book characters — be they super, wonderful, or bat-like — are at their root childhood heroes. Not only does this tragedy make me hesitant to see the film in the theater anytime soon, but it tarnishes the joy and innocence of the superhero experience that I’ve spent so much time passing on to my son.

So throughout the day I followed the news and Twitter and articles people were posting, trying to pinpoint how I’d word this post, what angle I would take or what issues I would raise. But the words and angles and issues have all been put out there already, particularly regarding who’s to blame.

Yet I’m brought back to only a few minutes later this morning when I went downstairs to get JJ out of bed. Seeing him in his Batman pajamas, eager to stick on his velcro cape and greet the day, I wondered how I could ever protect him from something like that – a real life super villain. And for the first time as an adult, it made me wish Batman was real, too.

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2 responses to “We Need Another Hero”

  1. Yony says:

    This made me cry, DD.

  2. Noah Moore-Goad says:

    Brent-

    There aren’t words to describe how awful and disturbing this news was to me as well. I can’t even imagine what could cause someone to commit such a horrible act. Comic book heroes and the stories we read are supposed to inspire us to be the people we are today in ways we can’t pinpoint to, but we know we have that inner hero inside of us. Unfortunately, we also have that inner villain as well. The values we have inside us, the ones we hold most dear, are our utility belt, and our Adamantium shield.

    Fear is easy to feel on days when tragedies like this happen. But I hope one thing comes from this, one positive thing out of this, is that there ARE heroes out there. They can’t always make it on time….but that makes them no less super for me.

    Our childhood heroes taught me one important lesson and that was:
    Bad things happen to good people because of bad people… that’s the story. The Good things start happening when the hero decides to put on that cape and mask. He suits up anyway and fights the good fight. It’s that example that we need to remember. We are that example when we choose to be. That hero. JJ has two of the best examples of superheroes around full time; he calls ’em Dad and Papa. We have all the heroes we need, inside us…. we just gotta put on that cape and go!

    Keep JJ in Batman pajamas for as long as you can, and keep the heroics coming!

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