I spoke on here before about my sister's kid who has a savant level amount of knowledge about DC characters, despite the fact that she's only three. I was blown away one day when I caught her pretending to be Black Canary while playing with her cousins. No, she wasn't yelling because she was mad, she was yelling because she actually knew that this B-level or perhaps even C-level character's power was her voice.
But I was talking with her parents the other day at a family birthday party, and they confessed that my neice didn't know much about Marvel. I said, "What!!!1!" This just wasn't okay. Marvel is the good one, after all. My brother-in-law called over his daughter, and, perhaps in some attempt at repentance, asked her to demonstrate her Marvel knowledge.
"What does Hulk say?"
"Hulk smash!" she replied.
So, there was that.
This morning, however, I had the perfect chance to test this comic book savant. She had spent the night at my house in a veritable frenzy of cousin craziness. School's out for summer, after all. So, right before I left for work, I pulled out my Marvel Comics character shirt (the one I'm wearing in the picture below), and asked her to name some characters for me.First of all, I started with the easy ones. Spiderman she got right away. I moved on to one I assumed she would also get, Wolverine. She seemed to have a spark of recognition behind her eyes, but the name wasn't coming to her. I shook my head, I might have to call Child Protective Services on my brother-in-law, because he was seriously neglecting this child's education.
Who should I quiz her on next? Another icon would be best. I pointed at Captain America. A blank stare was her response. SHE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW CAPTAIN AMERICA! That's like, unamerican or something. I'm sure Glenn Beck or one of those types could spend an hour on their show talking about the failure of all that's good when kids don't even know Captain America. I wonder if maybe she could have pulled it out if it was a full body drawing of Cap instead of just his head...
Next I pointed to Iron Man, but her cousins jumped in and shouted his name before she could even try to answer. Everyone seems to know Iron Man these days.
Lastly, I lobbed her a slow pitch, pointing at The Incredible Hulk. She nailed that one at least, but she already knew his catch phrase, so recognizing his face was no feat.
All in all, I was disappointed. My brother-in-law says that she learned all her DC knowledge from the Justice League Unlimited series, which he owns the DVDs of. I think I need to make Christmas gifts of some Marvel series DVDs like The Spectacular Spider-man, or something like that. Just to get this child out of the sad state that she's in.
It's just a shame. Kids today...
(In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that my own kids would be similarly at a loss when asked to name DC Characters, although I think they'd at least manage to get the names of the big ones, Superman, Batman and Robin, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, even those crappy Hawk people. But they wouldn't likely have a clue about Black Canary, that's for sure. But, really, who cares? Marvel is the good one, after all (did I say that already? Sorry, but it bears repeating (can you put parentheses inside of parentheses? Or do you need to use brackets or something like that? What about parentheses inside of parentheses inside of parentheses. Ow, my brain is starting to hurt). My son can name every single character on my shirt though. I tested him, and he nailed them all, only struggling with Magneto and Juggernaut, because they both look similar in the head shot picture, red helmets and all...)