Last year, I took up bullet journaling. To fill up a blank space in my weekly spreads, I took to including a quote that inspired me—something cheerful or uplifting from Parks and Recreation or a Disney movie. (Yes, I’m that person.)
During the trashfire hellstorm that was 2017, though, those quotes shifted to being about different things: Defiance. Resistance. Endurance. Truth.
As we get ready for what’s sure to be another difficult year, I’m stockpiling quotes for my 2018 bujo. Here’s a few sentiments from my favorite heroes that I’m going to try to keep in mind:
“Good is not a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” —Ms. Marvel #5 by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna
The line that won a million readers over to Kamala Khan, and always true.
“You’re much stronger than you think you are. Trust me.” —All-Star Superman #10 by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Jamie Grant, and Travis Lanham
All-Star Superman is honestly not my favorite, but this moment, when a dying Superman takes time out from fighting the cosmic evils of the world to stop a suicidal teenager with a few reassuring words, is perfect, and gets to the heart of what makes him such an enduring character.
“When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world: ‘No. You move.’” —Amazing Spider-Man #537 by J. Michael Straczynski, Ron Garney, Bill Reinhold, Matt Milla, and Cory Petit
Forget what a mess Civil War—and Civil War II—was, and what a jerk it made out of every hero involved. Forget Nazi Cap. This quote—in isolation at least—is Steve Rogers at his best. The MCU version (from Peggy instead of Steve) is pretty damn great, too.
“I think of every reason there is to live. Mothers, and sisters, and gorillas, and cake. Flying.” —Wonder Woman #42 by Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Fernando Dagnino, Wayne Faucher, Doug Hazlewood, and Javier Bergantino Menor
It’s hard to stay positive when everything feels like an endless, unwinnable battle. It helps to know that Wonder Woman feels that way too sometimes. And also to remember about gorillas, and cake.
“The universe is so big, it has no center. We are the center.” —Ms. Marvel #18 by G. Willow Wilson, Francesco Gaston, Ian Herring, and Joe Caramagna
In this issue, Kamala’s best friend Bruno has just moved to Wakanda to attend a prestigious science academy. He feels lost and unmoored until he realizes how strong the friendships he’s made are, and recalls the above quote, a Wakandan saying. I don’t know if the universe tends to order or chaos, but either way, when despair threatens, human connection is what matters.
“Do good to others and every man can be a Superman.” —Superman #156 by Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan, and George Klein
Apparently I really like stories where Superman is dying? This final message to humanity—carved on the moon with heat vision—embodies exactly who Superman is to me, and why superheroes matter.
“What do I do?” “You fight.” —Daredevil #26 by Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez, and Joe Caramagna
When you’re on the ropes and everything you hold dear is threatened, there’s only one appropriate response.
“Everything doesn’t have to be about fear. There’s room in our line of work for hope, too.” —Batgirl #5 by Bryan Q. Miller, Lee Garbett, Sandra Hope, Oliver Nome, John Major, and John J. Hill
From Stephanie Brown, the most dogged try-hard in comics, comes a reminder that the carrot is just as important as the stick.
“Friendship is real, yo, and it kicked your butt!” —The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5 by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham
Human connection and collective action are the real superpowers, even if you do have all the powers of a squirrel.
“Bees. My god.” —Amazons Attack! #3 by Wil Pfeifer, Pete Woods, Brad Anderson, and Travis Lanham
Because sometimes bees.
I’ve got 42 more spaces on my weekly spreads for inspiring quotes! What are some of your favorites from superheroes?