11 films, 23 hours, and one simple way to help kids in need feel like the heroes they are.
image via (cc) flickr user kindercapes
We’ve still got almost a month to go before the release of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Marvel Studio’s next sure-to-be uber-mega blockbuster, and already the hype is reaching fever pitch. Every second of new footage crammed into each successive trailer, preview, and “tv spot” is treated like its own cinematic release, generating reddit thread after reddit thread of analysis and argument. All this before anyone even knows the film’s plot beyond the few sentences made public by the studio.
In the midst of all this rapidly intensifying pre-Ultron buzz, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes superhero films—to say nothing of superhero stories writ large—so compelling in the first place: The fact that, at their core, they are stories of people (or space raccoons/Hulks/etc) coming to the aid of those in need. And we, for all our shortcomings as a society, like seeing those who can help those who can’t.
It’s in that spirit that Eric Glover and Rob Rodems have organized “Give A Sit: The Marvel Movie Marathon” in which the two New Yorkers will plow through the entirety of the Marvel studios filmography, all while raising money for children in need. Glover and Rodems explain on their crowdfunding page:
At some point late in 2014, Rob (having never seen a Marvel movie) made the promise to his boyfriend Eric to watch all TEN (10) movies in the Marvel Universe before the release of the eleventh installment. Eric (being a great citizen of the world) saw this as an opportunity to raise some funds for a good cause.
Money pledged to the duo between now and April 27th in support of their Marvel marathon will be donated to Capes4Heroes, a Bay-Area-based nonprofit which creates custom, personalized superhero capes for children suffering from disabilities and live-threatening illnesses.
"But but but......why capes?" ask Glover and Rodems. "Turns out treating kids like they're brave makes them *feel* brave.” Or, as Capes4Heroes’s homepage puts it:
We hope our capes give these deserving kids an extra boost of strength and courage and make them feel like the superheroes they truly are!
At Comics Alliance, Glover and Rodems are quoted explaining their entire game plan, which involves spreading their heroic efforts across two days before leaving the comfort of their sofa to top off the marathon at an opening day screening of Age of Ultron in theaters. The entire marathon will be livestreamed, in case other people watching movies for hours on end is your idea of fun. Theirs is, as the duo seem keenly aware, one of the least taxing forms of marathon charitable giving around. “It's (really not) hard work,” they write, “but somebody's gotta do it.”
With no explicit connection between “money raised” and “movies watched” the project is probably better thought of less as a “fundraiser” and more as a “profile-raiser.” Glover and Rodems have put Capes4Heroes on people’s radars, even if—strictly speaking—there’s nothing compelling Eric and Rob to watch, nor anyone else to give them money for doing so.
Still, simply by encouraging others to refocus just a fraction of the energy, attention, and money lavishly poured toward Age of Ultron’s release, Glover, Rodems, and the folks at Capes4Heroes are, in their own small way, bringing hope and joy to those who need it. And that’s what real heroes do.