Celebrating real life heroes on National Superhero Day

Illustration by 🖊: Mike Hawthorne 🎨: Edgar Delgado

Today is National Superhero Day. As someone that produces a regular podcast for Watershed Voice that is based solely on superheroes, that’s a special day for me.

We’ve been doing this podcast for about four weeks now, and it’s become a large part of my life. I wake up in the morning and check forums for rumors, I go to work and discuss the upcoming episode with my co-host, and then I go home and end the evening with a MARVEL TV show or movie before I lie in bed and read a comic before I go to sleep.

I love superheroes. I love imagined universes where the laws of reality are different and the good guys usually win. It’s a brilliant model to express the fullest extent of our imaginations.

A lot of people like superheroes. They’ve become more and more popular lately, and I find that very exciting along with this designated day to celebrate, but this year, I’m thinking of superheroes in our reality. Before I switch gears, real quick—Spider-Man is the best comic book character ever written, Poison Ivy over Batman, and Charles Xavier is the absolute worst.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the heroes of our current time, in our current world. The villain has made itself known: COVID-19, and this isn’t a late night re-run. This villain is unknown, unpredictable, and (currently) virtually unstoppable.

But our heroes are known; they do not have a secret identity, and they’re right here. Through this crisis, our heroes are nurses that fight on the front line, and custodians that dispose of potentially hazardous materials. Our heroes are truckers that deliver essential supplies and food to our stores, and mail carriers that take on the risk of transmission.

They are grocery store workers that continue to show up everyday, and first responders that take extra precautions to protect their family, and even people who aren’t working, that practice social distancing and help slow the spread. Truly, in this fight, we’re all in it. 

This battle isn’t like the Avengers saga. We don’t have an epic hero with super-abilities beyond our comprehension to save the day, we just have each other. There are very few situations that show us how we are all connected and why we should look after each other to the capacity that a pandemic can.

Thank you to all the heroes out there, every one of us, but if you run into one of those special superheroes working on the front lines, maybe let them know how grateful we all are. Make them feel like a superhero. 

Michael “Hogey” Hogoboom is a writer and podcaster for Watershed Voice.