When I was in middle school and high school, I collected and read comic books. The comic books I collected were mostly X-Men related and included Classic X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Force, New Warriors and so on. The artwork, stories and characters drew me in and helped me escape the daily routine of being a teenager. Comic books also helped inspire my writing and gave me ideas for all sorts of magical characters.
The other day I decided to finally bring my boxes of comic books up from my basement. I knew exactly where they were as I’d looked through them a few times and I gathered all three heavy shoeboxes to carry them upstairs. I then brought them into my bedroom and spread them out on the floor space of my recently-tidied room to look them over. Looking through all those comic books, even just seeing the covers, brought back tons of memories and I felt like a teenager again. I could remember how I felt when I first read those comic books, where I was in my life, what my dreams were and so much more! I was flipping pages down memory lane and I felt girlishly giddy!
Looking through the comic books and feeling happy about everything I was reading and seeing opened my eyes to the truth. Even though some of my teen years were rough, those comic books didn’t make me think of those times, they just made me feel happy. They weren’t tainted by the ghosts of my past; they were reminders of an innocence that still lives inside me. Although I don’t have mutant powers like the X-Men and all their spinoff teams, I do have my own form of superpowers and they’ve gotten me through a lot in my life. I’m in a really good place in my life right now and I’m learning that some parts of the past can remain in the past and don’t have the power to hurt me anymore.
As I tucked the boxes of comic books under my bed last night, I smiled as I thought about how much my oldest daughter will enjoy reading them. She can make her own memories with them and find her own inspiration for her writing and artwork. What we gain from comic books may be different but loving them is a tie that binds.