The doors are closed, the lights are now turned off, and everyone has gone home. Salt Lake Comic Con FanX was a bittersweet event for me. As a producer and a host it was one of the most disheartening and frustrating events I’ve done in quite a while. As a host I was able to sit on some fantastic panels talking about subjects I love with the likes of Jason King, Sarah Larson, Bryan Young, Bob Defendi, Kynan Griffin and Jason Faller from Arrowstorm Entertainment, David Farland, and Tracy Hickman.
However, all of this shadows in comparison with one event that happened this weekend, which has has been many years in the making. Many of you may or may not know that I am a huge fan of Superman. It all started when I was eight years old and my friend Chris introduced me to the world of comics with his copies of Superman. At this point in my life I was already in love with Star Wars, He-Man and the Master of the Universe, and Transformers.
Opening the pages of my friend Chris’s Superman comics literally was an event in the history of my life as I found myself immediately drawn to the character. I still have the very first Superman comic that I purchased with my hard saved money. Even though this comic is not in any way in perfect condition, because as a young boy I didn’t care about plastic sleeves or keeping the comic in good condition. All I cared about was the story and Superman.
Even as a little eight year old boy the stories about Superman defeating evil, overcoming great obstacles, and his challenges of being on an alien world and trying to fit in really appealed to me. As I continued to grow, the part of Superman that I truly started to connect with on a personal level was not how the character could repel bullets, run faster than a train, fly across the sky or even defeat the likes of Lex Luthor, Metallo or Darkseid. It was the simple issue of fitting in. All of us including myself have found moments in our lives when we struggled with fitting in and this is what really cemented my love for the character. Even with all of these amazing super powers Superman/Clark Kent struggled with fitting in with society and those around him.
This single aspect is just amazing! That even an individual with God-like powers is still dealing with the same problems I was facing; liking a girl that didn’t notice me, struggling with who I am and what people expected me to be and wanting people to see me for more than the short and skinny redhead boy I was.
And now we fast forward many years to my final day at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX that made the many days of walking the convention floor all worth it, when I got to meet and interview Brandon Routh, who portrayed Superman in Superman Returns. Here I was interviewing Superman and that little eight year old boy inside was just jumping up and down with excitement. If any of you feel like Brandon was a bad choice for the character I challenge you to speak with him for a few minutes. It was a great interview and I will admit when I arrived at the convention it was one of my goals to meet with him. Brandon was very professional, but he was also very personable and friendly, what I feel a true Man of Steel would be.
For those of you that see Superman as character you can’t relate to, because he is an alien from another planet with God-like powers, I challenge you to take a new look at the character. Realize that he is an alien on a planet that is not his own and that he is an orphan that has to learn to live in a home with parents that are not his own flesh and blood. While growing up he had to hide who he truly was and how he struggles between the person he shows the world and who he truly is. All of us have been there in one way or another. The humanity of this character is what in my mind really makes this comic book character so true to my heart. All of the super powers are just extras. Now that the little eight year old boy inside has had his opportunity to meet the Man of Steel and rejoice for that small moment in time, I can now fly off into the sunset like Superman moving forward towards my next big adventure.