Are You Iron Man or Thor?

Have you seen The Avengers movie yet?

I've been mainlining Avengers related media for months now.  In addition to all of the recent Marvel movies, I've been loving the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon.  I've even gotten my 6-year old son into The Superhero Squad.

What do superheroes have to do with creativity?

Whether you're a musician, writer or visual artist, constructing a piece of art is a super power.  Most folks just can't do it.

Every hero has an origin story.  Lots of heroes are born with mutant powers, like The X-Men.  Some obtain their abilities through a freak accident, like The Fantastic Four.

Then you have Thor.

Thor has lots of cool powers, including:
  1. Superhuman Strength
  2. Flight
  3. Weather Control
Do you know why Thor has all of these awesome abilities?

He's a frikkin' god. 

Now...

Did you obtain your ability to create because of a freak nuclear accident?

Are you a mutant?

Are you a god?  (Ghostbusters has taught us to answer this question in the affirmative, but I think it's okay to respond negatively in this case)

I'm guessing your answer to all of these questions is no.

Which brings us to the superhero that we can all relate to:

Iron Man

Iron Man isn't a god or a mutant and he didn't get his powers through an accident.  In fact, Iron Man doesn't really have powers at all.  He has a suit of power armor... that he built... by himself. 

How can we build our own suit of armor?  By practicing our craft... every day.  Tony Stark works tirelessly at improving his technology.  He's constantly tweaking the armor to make it better.  As creators, we have to continuously improve, by working every day.  Every. Single. Day.  

You don't need to be a god or a mutant to do that.

Work hard.

Be Iron Man.

So who are you?  Iron Man or Thor?

Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

26 comments:

  1. I'm iron man cause my superpowers are from a human standpoint when it comes to running

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    1. Cool. Thanks for stopping by terrex.

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  2. This is the BEST post for creative people I have read in a long time! Not only is it fun and geeky, it makes you look at how you approach your work habit. As much as I'd love to say I'm Thor (let's face it, he got cool powers as a god), I'm happy to be Iron Man. While I may not write every day on one project, I do try to something creative every day. Even when I'm not able to physically do something creative at any given moment, I at least think about it and how I can keep improving. Thank you, John, for a wonderful post!

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    1. Thanks R.J.! I often have to remind myself to focus on the work. In this day and age of social media, we can get sucked into spending a lot of time trying to be recognized for our work. For me, this can often lead to a sense of unease. I feel the most centered when I've taken the proper amount of time to work on my music. Glad to hear that you got something out of this.

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  3. Great post! We tend to immerse ourselves in a community of similarly talented, hard working artists and I think as a result we forget that we do indeed have super powers. We do amazing things and yes, to do so requires a lot of hard work. Thanks for the reminder that what we do is special.

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    1. You're very welcome Sue. I think the key to all of this is consistent work, good or bad. I feel most comfortable with myself when I just put my head down and get some work done, every day.

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  4. Oddly enough, I'm a Thor. I was born with my powers and I appreciate it every day. But even Thor constantly tests his abilities against his friends, in tournaments and even against villains. He never rests on the fact he's a God. He knows that the price of native talent is the fact that even a God can be replaced by something more efficient.

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    1. Well said. If you do any sort of creative work, there is probably at least some bit of aptitude towards it. I feel like I have a knack for coming up with a catchy tune, but I worked hard to learn how to write better lyrics, which didn't really come naturally to me. Whatever gifts we have, we owe it to ourselves to develop them to the fullest.

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  5. I'm Batman

    ...wait...

    No, just kidding. This is a great analogy. It takes hard work to go through and develop your craft and improve yourself. So, yeah, Iron Man all the way.

    But can I have his billions as well?

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    1. Oh sure. I'm assuming we all inherited billions of dollars. That goes a long way towards developing our craft. :-)

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  6. Wait -- what about Hank Pym? Created the formula to make him Goliath, Antman, and Yellowjacket (and to make Janet the Wasp). All from his own hard work -- and he did it while working a day job for somebody else because he wasn't born rich.

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    1. Erin, Pym is an excellent example! Most of us still have to work our day jobs while we pursue our passion. I've interviewed lots of published, well known Sci-Fi/Fantasy authors on the Functional Nerds podcast and very few of them make a full time living as writers. Ultimately, we have to create our art because we love it. Most of us aren't going to be able to make a living doing it, and that's okay. The world is a better place when we all express ourselves.

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  7. John, I'm Iron Man, because it's all about working hard and using that work to make myself a better writer. I've been meaning to mainline more super hero animation after the Avengers, too, especially since I'm working on a super hero serial novel. Perfect timing!

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    1. Cool! Thanks Dale. Good luck with your novel. I highly recommend checking out that Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. I thought it was brilliant. It's on Neflix streaming too.

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  8. This is a wonderful post. Thanks for it. I think, for me at least, that's the draw of Steampunk as a reader. It's all focused on the ability to do it ourselves if we just set our minds to it.

    However, I have to quibble a bit on the Iron Man. I mean, he's an almost psychotic genius, so not an everyman hero. At the same time, while we might not be able to discover a new element in our basements, we each have unique talents that can be honed and refined by hard work.

    On a side note, have you read Alexander Irvine's novelization of Iron Man 2? He did an excellent job of capturing the comic book feel while offering more layers. I reviewed it here: http://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/iron-man-2-by-alexander-irvine/

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    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for stopping by. I never thought about that aspect of Steampunk, but that makes perfect sense.

      Point taken on Iron Man not being an everyman hero.

      I haven't read Irvine's novelization, but I'm going to check out your review right now to learn more!

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    2. Let's not forget Tony Stark's long-running problem with alcoholism. I can hope my coping mechanisms are healthier.

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    3. Unfortunately, for a lot of creative folks, self-medication seems to be a common trait. Hopefully, we can all maintain control over those impulses.

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  9. Iron Man.

    I don't have the "inborn talent" of a God as Thor does. Everything I do, from writing book reviews to photography, is gained through practice and effort.

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    1. Well said Paul. I think that's the way that most of us work. It's kind of the only way, even if you are born with a lot of ability.

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  10. Definitely Iron Man. He's also a little like Bond with money and gadgets.

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  11. I'm Iron Man, because I drink too much and drive too fast. ;) Really, though, you've hit the nail on the head as to why Iron Man is my favorite super hero. Even Batman pays somebody else to build his gadgets; Tony gets in there and gets his hands dirty!

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  12. Great point. Iron Man is a self-made man.

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