Monday, January 18, 2016

Captain Marvel's Character: Compassion

Compassion is another aspect of Captain Marvel's character that draws me to him as a hero.  In this article I want to illustrate the compassion of Captain Marvel.

What is compassion?  Here are some brief thoughts and definitions that will help frame compassion for this article:
  • A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
  • Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another.
  • "Compassion is passion with a heart." Tom Krause
  • "A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal."  Steve Maraboli
An example of Captain Marvel's compassion is displayed on the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures #79.  In the story, "Captain Marvel and the World's Worst Actor" we are introduced to Elroy P. Fauntleroy.  Fauntleroy is described in this way, "Elroy P. Fauntleroy has been, in theatrical language, 'at liberty' for twenty-five years.  The reason for his unemployment is simple!  He is the world's worst actor!"  We see Elroy sneaking out of his rented room (so as not to be questioned about paying the rent!) and going to station WHIZ to audition for a television role under director Billy Batson.

Due to a disrespectful comedic actor, Captain Marvel takes over as director when Elroy Fauntleroy comes to audition.  Fauntleroy's audition is horrible, and Cap gently breaks the news to him that he's not going to get the part.

As Fauntleroy is leaving, something catches Captain Marvel's eye.  He sees that Fauntleroy's pants are worn out and thinks to himself, "A patch in his pants!  He isn't as prosperous as he'd like me to believe!" Suddenly Fauntleroy faints and a doctor's examination reveals that he fainted due to not eating  "a square meal in weeks" - Fauntleroy is practically starved!

Knowing that Fauntleroy is in great financial need and in need of a steady income, Captain Marvel's compassion drives him to action.  Cap decides to hire Fauntleroy as an actor knowing that it will meet his needs.  Cap's compassion motivates him to meet the physical and financial needs of this man.

Captain Marvel's compassion is clearly seen through his actions in dealing with the unfortunate Fauntleroy.  There are many other examples throughout the pages of Cap's comics, but this stands out to me as one of the better examples.  
Captain Marvel is a compassionate hero, and that's just one more reason he's been my hero and a hero to countless others!

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