Super Heroes and Adoption

I must admit I never had much interest with Super Heroes until recently when my son (3) has become interested (or is that obsessed?).  I did not remember that Superman was adopted until over a year ago at Halloween when I was reminded of that by some parents in our adoption playgroup.  The child dressed as Superman, mom was Wonder Woman and Dad was Lex Luther.   With the news that Superman was adopted, I immediately liked him.  Last fall I found a red cape at a consignment sale and gave it to my son and told him it was his Superman cape.  He got a new red superhero cape for Christmas too.

I have never read comic books, except for the preschool comic books I have read to my son, so I have had to do a little research on Wikipedia to get this information. At first I thought it was just Superman, then Batman I read this week was adopted.  Could there be more?

Let’s recall.  Superman was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton. He was sent to earth in a rocket by his father moments before the planet Krypton exploded.  He was raised by a Kansas farmer and his wife and was then known as Clark Kent.  They gave him a strong moral upbringing and he vowed to use his powers for good.

Batman, which I read this week, saw his parents murdered by villains when he was a young child. He vowed to avenge crime and fight for good.  He was brought up by Alfred, his parents’ butler.  (It did not say that he officially adopted him.) But still a child who lost his birth parents.

So I started looking up the few super heroes I did know.  Spiderman is also popular in this household.  Of course Spiderman doesn’t have a cape, probably because it would get tangled in his feet as he was climbing buildings.  But Peter Parker  has a story of loss too.  As a high school student, he was a science whiz,  an orphan, and living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben.  And then Uncle Ben is murdered by a burglar, so he is then raised by his only family, Aunt May Parker.  It wasn’t clear to me how his parents were killed, but certainly the murder of Uncle Ben by a burglar would help point him along the way to being a super hero.

I don’t know much about Iron Man, except every third 3 and 4 year old boy was Iron Man for Halloween 2010.  And my son has an Iron Man toothbrush.  Could Iron Man be adopted too?  He is a boy genius and enters MIT at age 15.  After his parents’ death in a car accident, he inherits his father’s company.  OK, a little more research shows that he inherited his father’s company at age 21, so technically he was an adult when his parents died in a car crash. But still he is orphaned at a very young age in modern society.  I guess he didn’t have the benefit of adoptive parents, as he was too old by the time his parents died.

My knowledge of super heroes is limited.  I looked up The Incredible Hulk and Green Lantern, and they did not appear to have been adopted.  But of the six super heroes I know, having two-thirds adopted is a little out of the ordinary.

I will make sure my son knows that Superman, Batman and Spiderman were adopted. And he can be anyone he wants to be.   Superman is still my favorite, because he has that cool red cape. And really any toddler who is a super hero needs a cape. Although WordPress is in a different time zone as me, or I have yet to figure out how to change timezones, this first entry was written on the third anniversary of my son’s Giving and Receiving Date, that is the day we adopted him at 7 months, Jan 22, 2008.

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