Yesterday, some readers and I had a discussion about what’s so wonderful about pictures of superheroes- or the actors that play them, I should say- and children. The conversation stemmed from newly released photos of Superman himself, Henry Cavill, posing with children on the set of one of his films. While the timeline of that photo has now come into question (it might not be from Justice League, but rather Batman V Superman, despite it only being posted a day or two ago), the idea remains: Children love, respect, and admire their superheroes, and it’s great when the folks involved with these gigantic Hollywood productions take the time to honor that relationship.
Yesterday it was Superman hugging children on a film set. Today it’s Spider-Man (Tom Holland) visiting kids at a Children’s Hospital in Georgia.
Holland, who will be playing the new cinematic version of Peter Parker/Spidey in Marvel’s upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming after being introduced in Captain America: Civil War, posted some photos on his Instagram from his time at the Egleston Hospital for Children.
You can check out the heart-warming shots below:
I know this isn’t exactly a news story, but it’s just nice to take a break from reporting about movies like Spider-Man: Homecoming in order to shine a spotlight on the impact these kinds of projects have on children around the world. Lost in the frequent conversations about making films like these more gritty, morally complex, grounded, and grown-up is the fact that heroes like Spider-Man and Superman were designed as a form of youthful wish-fulfillment; To capture their imaginations, fill them with awe, and give them a hero they can live vicariously through.
That’s what makes moments like these special. Whether it’s Mark Hamill making an appearance at a hospital as Luke Skywalker last year, or Robert Downey Jr. making a dream come true for a child who recently had his arm amputated by bringing him a bionic Iron Man arm, or even Ron Perlman visiting a boy with Leukemia in full Hellboy makeup because he’s the boy’s favorite, it’s all a joy to see.
In another life, I used to make superhero appearances myself. I’ve been Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man and, while donning spandex is never fun, some of the reactions from kids I got over the years were truly priceless.
Did you have any notable experiences “meeting” a superhero as a child? Share your stories below!