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  • Writer's pictureMarika

Optimism: The Ultimate Superpower

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a typical superhero. You can probably see a physically strong, Greek god type body forming in your mind's eye. Fierce determination set in the jaw, chest puffed out, piercing look in the eyes, fists clenched, muscles taught, head held high, sturdy legs at the ready to break out into a leap, bound or run at a moments notice. In the last century, these characteristics defined most superheroes, from Batman to Spider-Man, Black Widow to Black Panther. The superheroes listed above also a proclivity for borrowing their names from animals both scary and deadly.

It is for those reasons that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was such an original and satisfying read.

Unless you have walked into your storage space to find a family of squirrels nestled in your boxes (summer 2017, a girl doesn't forget), these precociously adorable creatures do not evoke any terror into the hearts of a major super villain the likes of Thanos or Galactus. Cute and ubiquitous, they simply seem to co-exist with us, to the point that one may be forgiven for even noticing they are there.

Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, does not seek to strike heart into those that would seek the destruction of Earth. She simply knows that these Big Bads must be defeated. And if the Avengers are not available, well then, hell, she'll just have to do it herself.

That confidence, gumption, earnestness, honesty and courage are the qualities we try to teach our kids, qualities that we appreciate in our friends, emotions that make up the great moments in life. Most superheroes are built like tanks and more brilliant than Steve Jobs. They have more in common with the gods of old than they do your average Joe. Squirrel Girl defeats the big bad by not only embodying these qualities, but also with an honesty about who she is and her capabilities. She is overt about them. She is earnest about what she can accomplish. And she has an unabashed optimism that in the end, she will be victorious.

Her fierce humour, her speedy intelligence and her loyalty to her friends completely eclipse any of her physical attributes, and for this reason above all else, I highly recommend further investigation. We can defeat evil with optimism and humour and honesty.

I don't know where along the line in the world of superhero comics we forgot that the perfect body and mind do not make the best heroes, but I am grateful to Doreen for reminding us that at heart, any of us can be the hero we need in our lives. Just know that you can be.

Geek Steeped:

Teas drunk while recording:

Kelly & Marika: Zhen Tea Huang Da Cha

Teas drunk while geeking: :

Kelly: David's Tea Peanut Butter Cup

Marika: David's Tea Forever Nuts

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