Posted on December 3, 2007 - by MG
On the left: my sister (in the pretty dress) and I (in the Batman costume) dine out with clowns at Mexico City’s Mauna Loa restaurant. I’m probably 7 years old here.
On the right: our six-year old daughter as Mistico, the masked wrestler, taken a few weeks ago by new friend via Flickr, Alejandro.
Our six-year old daughter has a thing for Mexican masked wrestlers. I’ve seen it all before and I know where it leads.
I became fascinated with Batman via a fascination with the masked wrestlers who were and are still such big heroes in Mexico. When I was little it was Blue Demon and El Santo. These days there are others, like Mistico.
Truthfully I had no idea that the costumes I saw being sold all over gaudy stalls in Mexico’s Chapultepec park were anything to do with wrestling. I thought they were caped crusaders. And that was cool. So when our little daughter begged us to buy her a Mistico mask in Playa del Carmen recently, I knew just how she felt.
Somehow that fascination turned into a full-on obsession with Batman (that I’m not really over to be honest…). My Uncle Johny, a childhood pal of my father’s was always crazy for comic books and ‘pulps’. So naturally his boy, my cousin Juan Fernando, had the best batman suit money could buy. How I envied Juan Fernando that suit. I coveted it something rotten, so when Juan grew out of it, my uncle and aunt kindly gave it to me. The true owner! Only I truly loved that suit.
I wore it everywhere and all the time. I wore it to the university where my grandfather worked and the students would ask ‘Hey Batman, where’s Robin?’ until I actually got fed up.
There wasn’t always a Robin, yanno…
I wore it to restaurants. There was no point arguing with me on this. Thank goodness there were no family weddings or christenings that summer or I’d have worn it to them too.
My Uncle Johny had a library that was to me, basically like a temple. It was full of book shelves and cases of precious sci-fi books, adventure stories, comic books and collectibles. He used to lend me his Ellery Queen books and his Batman paperback versions of the comics. It was in Johny’s library that I first read the Batman origin story, the most impressive one, I believe, for any caped crusader. A rich, privileged boy sees his beloved parents murdered in an alleyway by some thug, all for a string of pearls. And that’s it: over. His life of privilege and all his riches can never replace what he loses right there – his childhood. Bruce Wayne spends his whole life trying to put back something that can never be fixed. And he’s never content – how can he be? No bereavement counselling for Bruce – just a premonition in a bat cave and a life of violence and vendetta against the breed of scumbag who destroyed his life.
Gosh it’s cool.