|Hola pandemic pals,
I was thinking about Superman today. He was designed to be the ultimate hero. He’s strong, fast, smart, and full of empathy. He’s everything a kid could want in the super-est of superheroes.
And that’s why it’s damn near impossible to tell a compelling story about him without invoking one of his two great weaknesses: kryptonite and loving humans.
My favorite superhero stories are the ones where the heroes fight their alternate-dimension doppelgangers.
Ultraman (pictured above) is Superman’s evil alternate from Earth 3. He’s the opposite of Superman. Where Superman is allergic to kryptonite, Ultraman likes to ride the green pony. Seriously, here’s a line from his Fandom Wiki:
Ultraman possesses the standard powers of a Kryptonian, only he is empowered by green Kryptonite (being able to crush it into powder and even snort it like cocaine) and is weakened by yellow sunlight.
Right about now I wouldn’t mind snorting some sunshine. It’s been a tough year. COVID-19 waded in like Ultraman and upended everything.
But our yellow sun still rises everyday. The vaccines are on the way.
It occurred to me that we’re Superman. We’re what’s going to stop COVID-19 because it’s the exact opposite of everything we stand for.
It keeps us apart. It forces us into lonely isolation where our mental health issues turn into mental health crises. It changes who we are as a society.
That’s why we have to be Superman. He always manages to beat all his evil doppelgangers because in the end, he’s willing to sacrifice. Superman’s humanity (despite the fact he’s an alien) is his greatest strength.
We have to be willing to sacrifice. The pandemic’s getting worse. Cases are going up. Deaths are going up. It’s time for the third act, the part of the movie where the heroes dust themselves off and dive back into the fight.
I know you’re tired.
But it’s time to win.