With blue skin, elfin ears and a tail, Kurt Wagner stands out in a crowd. He would probably frighten most children (and adults) if they ever were to set their sights upon him.

That wasn’t the case, however, during the last Saturday session at Superhero School, held at New World Comics, 6219 N. Meridian.

At 10 a.m. every other Saturday, store owner Buck Berlin welcomes adults and children alike to come learn about ultrarich vigilantes, space aliens, people bitten by radioactive spiders — you know, superheroes.

Wagner is a mutant better known as Nightcrawler, a moniker given to him by his fellow X-Men.
Instructor Laurie Blakenship  presented drawings of the creature to the roughly 20 kids gathered. Despite Nightcrawler’s unique appearance, she said, he is “one of the nicest guys you would ever meet.”

The germ for Superhero School formed while Berlin brainstormed ideas for special events. Employees and volunteers determined which heroes would be ripe for discussion.

The most exciting part for attendees is seeing the characters come to life by volunteers wearing self-made costumes.

It turns youth into avid readers, according to Berlin. He noted that comics characters often face everyday problems, whether it be Peter Parker enduring the taunts of jocks or the relationship travails of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.

“Kids will say, ‘This character is just like me,’” Berlin said. “It’s really sweet.”

In realization of their restlessness, Blankenship let the children stand up for a break during the X-Men day. She then urged children to shout, “Bamf!” in unison while jumping back and forth on the floor.

For those not equipped with a Superhero School education: “Bamf!” is the sound Nightcrawler makes when using his mutant ability of teleportation. 

Holy smokes! Free comics!
Superhero School takes a break this Saturday, as New World Comics will be among several metro shops taking part in Free Comic Book Day.

The annual event is just what it sounds like: free, exclusive comic books and related activities at participating stores. For titles and locations, visit freecomicbookday.com. Kapow!

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