05 October 2010

Day 192: Dan Walker (guest blogger)

Kick-Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.  ISBN: 9780785132615.

I was actually going to tackle this subject for my Watchmen post, but Kick-Ass took me a whole hour to read fully, and anyway, Watchmen kind of goes in exactly the opposite direction.

So let's talk superhero fantasies.  When I was a kid, my favorite superheroes were the X-Men.  I've always enjoyed series where you've got a large cast of characters and everyone has their own special power or abilities; my anime-watching preferences can attest to that.  But when you're a kid, stuff like that screws with you, especially when you don't fit in with the rest of the class.  So I spent most of my first 16 years waiting for my mutant powers to develop.  By 18, I was disillusioned and disappointed.  I didn't even have a First Change so I could become a werewolf; what a rip.

But I know strange people.  And it just so happens that a friend of mine did, in fact, offer to start a superhero team with me and a few others in our circle, Kick-Ass style.

You might think this is crazy, but the fact is, people actually do this.  The only thing fictional about Kick-Ass are the characters and setting.  Every now and then, you'll hear some report on the evening news's funny section about people running around in costumes with cans of mace making citizens' arrests or just keeping tabs on ne'er-do-wells and informing the police.  So, yeah, maybe the glamor and ass-kicking parts of this comic are fictionalized as well.  But hey, we've got costumed vigilantes in the United States of America!

And as ridiculous and unrealistic as it sounds, I did consider becoming one myself.  Of course, it would have taken a real feat to get me into shape.  I mean, I've been working out for the past six months or so and I've lost... about 12 pounds?  Maybe less because I'm just now getting back into working out after a month-long hiatus so I could work.  But it's hard work, and it takes a long time.  Also, I wanted to go through something like cold-weather endurance training, and maybe take one of those courses where they train you to identify smells (I think they have those, anyway).  Why?  Because every superhero worth his salt needs a theme, and mine was wolves because I'm kind of obsessed.

Of course, I won't describe my plans beyond that, because you never know.  I wouldn't want to give away my secret identity.

Dan Walker (pseudonym) is a writer from Northeast Ohio, who would be teaching ESL if he wasn't unemployed temporarily working at a bookstore. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Wright State University in 2004 and a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from Kent State University in 2009. He will make some lucky librarian a wonderful husband someday.


  1. We had a masked crime fighting league in Cincinnati, Ohio which probably still exists. I believe the leader of the pack was known as Shadow Hare. One of my coworkers at the time said, "Someone needs to punch this guy in the face before he gets shot." I have to agree with this sentiment: civilians putting on masks and capes to "fight crime" is are really just adorning themselves with all kinds of targets. Wanna be a crime fighter? Become a cop. Wanna be a hero? Become a teacher.

    The comic is pretty good though. (The movie is better.)

  2. That is fascinating, Dayna. I had no idea people actually did that...at least not in Ohio. I might have to do some poking around on the intertubes.

  3. See? I'm totally not crazy about the real-life vigilantes thing. I think the first ones I heard about were in New Jersey or somewhere, but I really can't remember at all.


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