Here is a piece of old news. I love superheroes. But I also love my country.

Superheroes, like countries, all have different doctrines and identities. Every country a plethora of heroes not found in the Marvel, or New 52 universes, with their own philosophies and personalities. But unlike the heroes of comics, national heroes have helped shape entire countries global identities.

I am Canadian. And my nations heroes are very different then our close neighbours of the United States. To contrast George Washington, we have Sir Issac Brock. Now my outsiders opinion of George Washington is that he was a patriot, a man that fought to start a country that he loved. My insiders opinion of Brock is that... He was kind of a jerk. Where Washington loved his country, Brock HATED Canada, and wanted nothing to do with it.

Small Canadian history lesson. In 1812 the United States of America invaded Canada, out of fear of a future British invasion. They were simply striking first. One of the military leaders was Sir Issac Brock, the hero of Upper Canada!...
Its a well known fact that Brock hated Canada, he thought his efforts were wasted protecting this back water colony when he could be in Europe fighting Napoleon. Yet he died defending Canada, and is now a celebrated hero, we named a university after the dude.

Another contrast between Canada and the United States heroes. Wyatte Earp, famous for his epic shoot out at the OK Corral, and the Mountie Sam Steel, famous for never resorting to fighting. He'd always talk people down from violence, never drawing his weapon in the line of duty as member of the RCMP.

Those are two stark contrast in my mind. But the Canadian hero, that I think is most prominent in the minds of my nation, is a 23 year old who was named Terry Fox. He was an athlete who lost his leg to cancer, a disease that has affected us all in some way I'm sure.
In 1980 Terry set out on what was called a marathon of hope. With only one leg, he was going to run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research. A little Canadian geography lesson... Canada is fucking big.

Terry didn't make it. The cancer that had taken his leg, had spread to his lungs. 9 months after finding this out, Terry was dead. This depresses me, so I'm going to cheer myself up by connecting Terry Fox to superheroes... Easy! The guy that played Iceman in the X-Men films, played Terry in a Tv movie.

I'm no historian though. In fact the last class I took on history was called “History of Comedy”. So not only am I not qualified, I don't want to take the time to go through the family tree of Canadian heroes to see how our ideals on heroics, and our national identity were created. I'll just say where I think we ended up.

The Canadian identity is that we're peaceful and polite people. Hell its often said Canada is the only country to win independence by asking nicely. I think that's why our heroes are forgotten and unknown. Its not polite to brag.

A Canadian hero, like most great heroes is selfless. But also polite, not naturally aggressive, and always for peaceful resolution. Kind of boring sounding to be honest. But there is more to it, Canada as a nation is reserved, until threatened.
Americans, I believe wear their patriotism on their sleeves, right next to their heart. Canadians keep their patriotism in their back pocket, and it only comes out when its called into question.
The Canadian identity, and the identity of our heroes can be summed up in, stereotypically, in a beer commercial. Back in the late 90's Molson Beer had some AWESOME beer commercials proclaiming I AM CANADIAN.

The one that depicts Canada best features a Canadian, new to an American office. His co-worker says, “So your from Canada, EH?” and goes onto mock the Canadian repeatedly. The Canadian politely nods to his coworker, smiling, until he becomes annoyed, and jerseys the guy. We then hear the slogan and see the graphic proclaiming, “I AM CANADIAN!” The next shot is the Canadian sitting at the bar drinking with his still jerseyed American coworker.
The Canadian klinks beers with the man and says, “No hard feelings eh?” The American giggles, “You said eh.”
That final moment, presents the most important quality of a Canadian hero. What happens on the ice, stays on the ice.

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