What’s the name of this superhero?
I don’t know…Wolverine?
Yeah, it’s Wolverine. What’s his superpower?
Let me look…Oh, good God. Are those 10-inch claws on his hands? Turn the page.
OK, who’s this one?
Um…”The Thing”. Apparently his superpower is eczema.
Oh, look! Spiderman! How’d he get his spider powers?
Let’s see…it says he was bitten by a…radioactive spider? Oh, that’s nice. What’s the recommended age for this book anyway? Twenty-five? Remind me to thank your uncle for giving you this. Like at 2 a.m. when you’re screaming your head off because you think psychotic wolf people are in your closet. Let’s thank him then.
What’s radioactive mean?
Radioactive is when…protons, I mean neutrons…make energy? Or…why can’t I remember this? I can totally picture the little blue radioactive logo and those cute orange Hazmat suits… Does it have something to do with radios? Like radio waves? No, no, that’s stupid. Oh! Is it the mushroom cloud thingy?
Do you know what radioactive means or not?
Am I ever going to get bitten by a spider?
Not if you make your bed every day.
What’s that supposed…
Look! The Jolly Green Giant!
That’s the Hulk. (Long disappointed pause) How come you don’t know anything about superheroes?
Um, I guess I never…
Tommy’s mom loves superheroes.
Tommy’s mom is a pasty white computer engineer who looks like Bill Murray. I mean, I liked other things when I was in school.
Fresh air. Not having pig’s blood dumped on me. Bananarama. You know, the usual.
Well, I think superheroes are cool and I’m going to read comic books every day. Even when I’m a grown-up.
Then I hope you like living with your mother.
Hey! Who’s this girl?
She’s pretty. You should get a suit like hers.
I don’t think so, honey.
Because mommy has a superpower, too. It’s called cellulite. And it’s the most powerful force in the universe.