So, I am taking this online course through edx.com about Superheroes and Their Influence on Pop Culture. I was creating my own superhero, but decided to opt instead to discuss possible influences and origins for my favorite superhero…
It’s a little bit of an odd choice: even though he has his own movie, he’s not really an A-lister like Superman or Batman or Spiderman. (Or, thanks to the MCU, Iron Man.) Oh, I am looking at the increasing interest in Eastern philosophies and practices at the time he was created, as well as possible influence of both Hindu and especially Zen Buddhist deities and beliefs. (Yes, I know, more than any other superhero Dr. Strange is a poster child for cultural appropriation.) Toss in a bit of Merlin, and there you go.
I was puzzled a bit about why I like Dr. Strange so much. Until I watched the movie again (for the sixth time). I have always loved the movie for 1) Benedict Cumberbatch and 2) street origami, but it also resonated for me subconsciously. But now, as Dr. Strange struggles to put on his watch…
He has tremors. I have tremors.
I know what it is like to have your hands not be able to do what you so desperately want them to. My tremors are so ingrained in my psyche that his did not jump out at me, other than as the reason he left neurosurgery behind for magic. It sounds odd, but I think I just didn’t see the tremors consciously.
He can’t be a neurosurgeon; I can’t make jewelry or draw.
Maybe I love Dr. Strange because he shows that one of my disabilities does not mean that I can’t go on to do great things.
Or maybe I just have a huge crush on Benedict Cumberbatch.