Monday, 23 May 2011

I'm not a genetic freak, I am actually a super hero

Alright people brace yourselves, things are about to get geeky!

This is a side of myself that I tend to keep under wraps, but I have decided to let you all in on a little secret...I am a serious comic book nerd. I might even go so far as to refer to myself as a "Fan Girl" - if that is even a genuine term. By geeky I mean, "I have a legitimate lifetime membership to the comic book store up the street" (*insert shout out to Paradise Comics here) kind of geeky, I said brace yourself!

My husband and I went to see Thor a couple weekends ago (which was fabulous by the way - despite not staying entirely true to the source material), and on the car ride home our discussion inevitably digressed into comic book geek-dom and we stumbled across some fabulous genetic disasters who are quite prominent in the super hero world. Leading me to think that perhaps my love of this genre stems from some sort of strong affinity felt towards these characters, and the hope that what can seem like a curse initially can actually become your greatest source of power. So with that in mind, I proudly present "I am not a a genetic freak, I am actually a super hero"...

Next level of Evolution?
Team Genetics:
X-Men immediately come to mind when we start talking about genetic mutations. All of these characters possess the X-gene, a genetic trait that allows them develop superhuman powers and abilities. Unlike most Marvel superheroes who develop their powers as a direct result of exposure to some kind of outside stimuli, the X-men are born with the genetic potential to possess their powers. Does all of this sound familiar, are you beginning to see how I relate? I also have specific gene that has caused my heart condition to manifest, and like all of the best kinds of genetic mutations, their mutant powers don't typically manifest until late adolescence. The X-men all struggle to come to terms with their genetic differences. They struggle to overcome their genetic short-comings and harnesses their power for the good of everyone. They all just want to be normal, something all of us genetic mutants can relate to.

Team Cyborg
Team Heart:
Iron Man and I are definitely built from the same mold, or at least we both share a mechanical heart. His magnetic mechanism keeps the shrapnel from entering his heart, and mine just keeps it beating regularly. It is because of this device and his traumatic experience that Tony Stark realizes his true potential and harnesses his abilities to become one bad-ass crime fighting machine. Taking his cyborg nature to a whole other level. My hope is that through my device and my own experiences that I can learn to embrace my Darwinian failings and show everyone (including myself) that "endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory". I want to turn what 
Hulking Out!
could be seen as a negative experience in one that can be a true testament of strength. And kick some genetic ass while I am at it!

Edward Norton's interpretation of the Hulk was one that I especially enjoyed, and could relate to. Mostly because he has to run around with a heart rate monitor for the entire movie to ensure he avoids turning into the Hulk at inopportune. This is an experience I can connect with. When I hit the pavement I will never leave home without my trusty heart rate monitor. I mentioned in a previous post that my heart rate runs high when I am exercising, but there are drawbacks to having it run too high. I have in the past inadvertently tested out the defibrillation capabilities of my device, and that is not something I am eager to repeat. The zap your body gets to try to correct a heart rate that is beating too fast feels a bit like being hit between the shoulders with a 2x4. A sensation I now lovingly refer to as "Hulking Out". Needless to say, after that little adventure we changed the thresholds on my device for one better suited to the needs of an active 20 something girl. UGH! And I now ensure that my heart rate stays in a happy place, below 200 - the same number as my hulky super hero.

Team Boobies:

Wonder Woman are those real?
My love of the superhero genre inevitably began where it is likely to begin for most girls, with Wonder Woman. She's an Amazon Princess, sent to earth with the mission of bringing the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn apart by the hatred of men. She is a feminist's dream and sexy to boot. She is everything you would ever want to be and then some, but I think we can all agree that those proportions are not realistic. No woman has boobs that perfect. And if your waist is that small, well then your curves are not going to be quite so voluptuous. Thus, leading me to speculate that she's probably had some work done. And that her and Power Girl probably have the same plastic surgeon. I mean come on boys, could you make it any more obvious that the comic book world is largely dominated by the fantasies of men? However, if fake boobies are okay for Wonder Woman, than I guess they will work for me too. Who knows, maybe they may just end up being my best assets and source of strength in my own battle against genetics.
Umm...enough said

Well I think we can all agree that the fantasy world created by these comic book characters tends to straddle a fine line between moderately ridiculous and widly so, yet there are still lessons to be learned. It should be clear by now that the super hero world is dominated by those characters forced to choose an atypical and difficult path, while still longing for a normal life. It this through these challenges that these characters come to relaize their true potential and harness their inner strength and ability, and it is my hope that this is where our greatest similarities will lie.

Love Your favourite Darwinian Fail,