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Heroes, Villains, and Me: Bullying, Spidey, Cap, Burger King, and Me

Heroes, Villains, and Me: Bullying, Spidey, Cap, Burger King, and Me

“Heroes, Villains, and Me” is a periodic article on Geeky KOOL by Larry Litle about the world of comic books and my reaction to it. “Heroes, Villains, and Me” is not a comic book review article. I will write about current events, speculation and rumors, or my own wacky thoughts about the world of comic books and related stuff.

A couple of days ago, I watched the below video. It is worth checking out. It is a PSA about bullying from Burger King. Kudos for Burger King and their focus on stopping bullying.

This video brought back a lot of memories. 30% of kids are bullied.  I was one of the 30% as a kid. I was bullied quite a bit growing up.

I was an easy target for bullying. I was a fat kid with attention and dyslexic issues. My family didn’t have a “good” name for my little town.  My family was part of the working poor so money was always a problem.  I was a geeky kid who loved comics, Star Wars, science fiction, and fantasy.   To say the least, I wasn’t a popular kid.

The bullying I faced came in several different forms over the year.  I was made fun of and called lots of names over the years.  I was physically bullied by bigger kids.  I was shoved into the door of my locker the the first semester of my freshman year.  The popular kids never seemed to understand what they were putting me and others through in grade school and part of high school.

There came a time in my Freshman year when I learned to stand up for myself.  I found my way to protect others from also being bullied afterwards.  I learned to stand even when I was scared to death.

This is all good and well Larry but how does this relate to comic books?  I am glad you asked.

Peter Parker has always been the comic book character that I most related to on a person level.  Parker was a science nerd. His family didn’t have much money and in fact they often had money issues (just like mine).  He was endlessly bullied.  Yet when Peter got super powers, he never used his abilities to put the bullies like Flash Thompson in their place.  In a time when DC Heroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman didn’t really have personal problems, Peter was the extremely relatable character that I needed.

When Peter put on the Spidey costume, he became the person he dreamed of becoming.  He was fast with the one liners.  He took on the bullies and bad guys.  He became the hero that he had dreamed about.  If only I could have done the same.

My second favorite superhero is Captain America.  Steve Rogers was a kid that was sickly and puny. He was constantly bullied growing up.  After he receives the Super Soldier Serum, he became a true specimen.  But yet he doesn’t let it go to his head. Instead, he stands up to Bullies and bad guys.  He became the protector of those who were treated poorly.

Comics were my great escape from my life as a kid.  It was comforting to know that heroes like Peter and Steve could deal with being bullied and overcome it.  Both became standards for protecting others and standing up to bullies.  They helped me reach down inside and stand up to my bullies and help others stand up against their bullies.

Will you be like the only 12% of Burger King customers to stand up when others are being bullied?  I know that Peter and Steve would.

Stay Geeky My Friends!

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