By Staff Reports
(DGIwire) – Is there anyone who wouldn’t love to be able to lift themselves off the ground and swoop through the air at will (without a plane ticket)? Of course, the annals of comics are brimming with superheroes who possess this ability; but even aside from Superman and his ilk, there are plenty of others worth admiring. Here are three of the most imaginative examples.
- Mary Poppins: It must have been that umbrella. Perhaps the most striking scene in the 1964 film featuring Julie Andrews—and among the most memorable entrances in cinematic history—was her gliding down in front of the Banks family house to apply for the nanny position. No wonder she got the job.
- Carl Fredricksen: Technically speaking, the animated character Carl from the movie Uphad no innate flying ability—he could thank the hundreds of balloons he’d tied to his house to lift him up, up and away. But his ingenuity earns him a place on this list along with the amazing adventures that followed.
- Peter Pan: In J.M. Barrie’s play and novel, Peter teaches the Darling children to fly using a combination of “lovely wonderful thoughts” and fairy dust. In another Barrie book, The Little White Bird, Peter’s ability is accounted for by the fact that he is part bird! Whatever the true case, Peter’s flying is one of this hero’s most iconic traits.
“Being able to fly becomes a key plot point when Peter and the children visit Neverland,” says John Leonard Pielmeier, author of the recently published Hook’s Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself (Scribner, 2017). “But that is by no means the most interesting thing about this unique literary character. Another worth pondering involves his exact relationship with Captain Hook—a topic that I decided to explore from the latter’s perspective in my own novel.”
As we learn in Hook’s Tale, Captain James Cook (a/k/a Hook)—long defamed as a vicious pirate—was in fact a dazzling wordsmith who left behind a vibrant, wildly entertaining and entirely truthful memoir. Now Pielmeier is proud to present this crucial historic artifact in its entirety for the first time. Cook’s story begins in London, where he lives with his widowed mother. At 13, he runs away from home but is kidnapped and pressed into naval service as an unlikely cabin boy. Soon he discovers a treasure map that leads to a mysterious archipelago called the “Never-Isles” from which there appears to be no escape. In the course of his adventures, he meets the pirates Smee and Starkey, falls in love with the enchanting Tiger Lily, adopts an oddly affectionate crocodile and befriends a charming boy named Peter—who teaches him to fly. He battles monsters, fights in mutinies, swims with mermaids, and eventually learns both the sad and terrible tale of his mother’s life and the true story of his father’s disappearance.
“Whether seen from his own viewpoint or that of his long-time nemesis, and whether in the air or on the ground, Peter is a timeless character of wonder,” adds Pielmeier.