Nice Guy Superheroes 

I work for a nice guy. 

Just simply that: he’s a nice guy. No agenda or favor implicit in that statement. I make it my business to not work for or associate with jerks and Scott Carty isn’t one. I knew he was a nice guy when he offered me an internship (giving me a shot is a total nice guy move) but when I heard about his work with Mason Nettleton, I was even moreso impressed and proud to be associated with his outlet. I contacted him to ask him if there was anything I could do because it touched on some important things I love spend my time on: kids, fighting illness, non-profit organizations, superheroes, making someone’s dream come true. He didn’t need me to do anything because he had it all handled like, well, a boss. All of it. Even living in a telecommunication-type world, there’s still a lot I can’t do without being “boots on the ground” but he said just my support was enough. Done and done, boss-man – easy day. 
And so I watched the story unfold as Mason had his special “Superhero for a Day“. It was breaktakingly and heartachingly beautiful. Mason himself is a cute kid but lots of kids are cute; what sets Mason apart is that he is tenacious (no doubt inherited from his parents). Bad things may happen but, as is my mantra, “it’s not how you hit the mat but how you get back up”. The Nettleton Family is the very embodiment of getting back up and continuing to fight. Their organization to support Seattle families dealing with childhood illness is actually called “Footprints of Fight” so it’s right in the title. There are many that lose the fight and no, that’s not their fault and it isn’t because they didn’t battle hard enough, but seeing someone fight and win as handedly as this family has is inspiring. It’s a combination of a lot of different factors, including science, but all these factors combined perfectly and Mason is still with us today, fighting like champ alongside his parents and sister. 

When I took Abby to see “Spiderman: Homecoming” today, it felt more special. We had watched Mason’s journey on his epic day and knew how much seeing this movie and having that experience meant to him. I, myself, am not an incredibly huge Spiderman fan but I went into it with my little girl (about Mason’s age) and enjoyed it with a fresh perspective. I scooped my daughter into my arms and cuddled her as we watched, knowing that her time on this Earth is precious and it’s small moments like these that can last a lifetime. After the film, she asked me why Mason wasn’t in it, swinging from buildings with Tom Holland; I’m looking at the fine folks at Marvel Studios to rectify this for the next installment…

Stars of “Spiderman Homecoming” say “hey!” to Mason

The movie itself was good but without the tie-in of knowing about Mason’s story, I probably wouldn’t have been as jazzed to see it as I was. It’s not that it was bad or I wasn’t looking forward to it in general – I would give it a solid 8.0 and encourage anyone to watch it – but it’s just not in my particular geekdom wheelhouse. I’ve always liked the character but I haven’t been a super-fan like Mason or as much an embodiment of his spirit as Mason is. 

As to the movie itself, the filmmakers did a “spectacular” job bringing the true essence of the character to film and making him mesh well with the rest of the MCU. The cast did a remarkable job all around, even being as young as they are. I particularly liked the effortless back and forth of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark as well as the evolution of those two characters. Michael Keaton brought a very different side to the Vulture to film. Keaton made him human, sympathetic, and relatable while still having him be a “bad guy” that needed to pay for his crimes; it shows how even the most “normal” among us can stray down the wrong path or, in other words, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. The struggle Peter faces as a teenager with his priorities and goals as Spiderman and how it coincides and differs with his “everyday” responsibilities as a teenager is actually quite relatable, even to us old people out there. The soundtrack was solid and had a lot of really amazing songs in it that heightened the jovial mood (and made me feel a bit aged) while not being campy. I liked that they put Parker in a science and tech-minded high school but acknowledged, even a program with extremely intelligent kids, bullying can be a problem no matter where you are/who you’re around (I.e. Flash Thompson is, as always, a jerk). Like I said, it’s a good film and I’ll definitely be buying it to round out my collection. I didn’t buy Spiderman 3 but I’ll definitely buy this one (see? I have standards!).   

But…a fictional superhero didn’t get me to the movies this afternoon with any great haste – a real life one did…and I’m happy to say that both superheroes made it a wonderful experience.

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