Take a second to think about that one character from your childhood who could lift your spirits no matter what mood you were in. The fact that we can remember characters like those are what make them so iconic, no matter how much time passes, memories of that one person can still make you smile when you’re feeling down.
For me, that character was Clark Kent. I was introduced to the world of superheroes at the age of eight, by a new television show called Smallville starring Tom Welling. People seem to have varied opinions of the show, but for me, it was the greatest ten years of my life. This show wasn’t about a clumsy reporter who suddenly became confident when donning a spandex suit of primary colours, this was about a teenage boy who was trying to discover who he was. I grew up watching this boy go through all sorts of heartbreaking events, and he just kept seeing the good in everything. Some characters said that was his weakness, seeing good in people where there was none, but to me that was what helped me get through tough times. If Clark Kent could be a beacon of hope after all the pain he had endured, then I could definitely try and see the bright side of things.
I know what you must be thinking, that he was a fictional character so of course it was easy for him to stay positive, but the fictional nature of this icon didn’t affect how real he felt to fans. Despite his alien problems, Clark went through some very relatable issues on Smallville. He lost people he loved, failed relationships, got the confidence to be who he is, and most importantly, he went through leaving a toxic friendship behind. The classic idea of Superman is helping others and always doing what is right, but the story of Clark Kent is about accepting yourself and embracing who you are, not to mention learning to trust the right people. I can honestly say I would still be hiding my love of comics and all things geeky if it wasn’t for this character showing me that you need to accept yourself before others can accept you. That’s why I believe it was so important to see Clark for who he was before the tights and cape, everyone needs someone they can connect with to show them hope.
Natasha Leduc is an aspiring novelist with a passion for superheroes, and young adult and youth fiction. A nature lover, she lives in a secluded area surrounded by water and trees, the perfect place to take a notebook out and write whatever comes to mind.