Silly Spandex and Bouts Of Sadness: The High Cost Of Being A Superhero
At one point in his youth, every young boy longs to be a superhero. To don a cape, and some spandex (the weirdest part of the whole gig, actually), and help protect the innocent by fucking up the ne’er-do-wells. But there are certain aspects that factor into being a superhero. Aspects that most young boys don’t think about. It wasn’t until I began to look at the (obviously, fictitious lives) of superheroes in comics that I noticed the trend. Almost all the most famous and well-known superheroes have been through some of the most terrible stuff imaginable. Stuff even Keanu Reeves wouldn’t be able to handle. So the next time y0u catch a young boy dreaming aloud about how he wants to be a hero to all of society, and risk his life and self-respect in the process, you might want to forward this article to him. Just so he really knows what he is getting himself into.
First off, think about the big guys. The main superheroes. Spiderman had to lose his Mom and Dad very young, and then was forced to live with his inexplicably elderly uncle and aunt. Ofcourse, he actually factored in to the death of his uncle Ben (who makes some awesome minute rice, by the way), therefor scarring all his future relationships with males, and opening the door for abandonment issues. Add to that the Gwen Stacy death, which he is DIRECTLY responsible for, and you see a life marred by death and loss, of his OWN doing.
Just by existing, he caused a great number of people to die.
” Am I fighting crime, or just really messed up and taking out all my issues on thugs for self-therapy?”
Next up, Batman. Watches both his parents die in front of him. This is enough to push him into a life of dressing like a man-sized bat and beating bad guys to near death. Never all-the-way to death, but very close on many occasions. But what happens next? Much like Spiderman, and all these cases, his BEING Batman is the direct cause of death of some others who love him. Like Robin, for example. I mean, after all he had already been through, don’t you think the fact that Joker beats Robin to death with a crowbar just to get to him would push him over the edge? Great man, a young kid (and the only surviving male in his family) dies because of you. How do you feel?
Also, we need to ask, does Batman exist to fight all those criminals, or do all those criminals exist BECAUSE Batman exists? And what makes them “loony” and him good? They all play dress-up, but because Batman beats people to near-death for the LAW, he is a good guy? Some of these crooks in Gotham just want money. And you’re telling me a man who dresses like a bat and assaults people is somehow more respecting then them?
Despite what popular culture tells you, both of these people are equally crazy.
And in the most extreme case of all, Superman, it took the complete destruction of your planet, and the death of EVERYONE YOU LOVE as the precursor to you becoming a superhero. I mean, I realize it is just a comic book, but there are people who walk around and do this superhero stuff for real now. Do these people grasp the amount of loss and grief their heroes have had to endure And in some cases, not only suffered through, but caused? And they WANT that life? That is like a young girl saying: I hope my weird uncle feels me up and I become an exotic dancer.
It just doesn’t make sense. It is not something people should want.
And in every case I have cited so far, these superheroes have had to “die” atleast once, too. Also, no paycheck.
And don’t even get me started on the idea of reading someone their rights. Why does no one ever factor in the fact that NONE OF THESE superhero busts would hold up in court, because you can’t just “tie someone up” in the name of justice. Sadly, there is such a thing as civil rights, even for “bad guys.” So really, these guys are only making the problem worse by slowing down a judicial system that already moves at a snail’s pace.
And you want to know why I am bringing this all up? Because yesterday, it was announced that Superman will be leaving The Daily Planet to pursue a blogging career in the newest Superman comic. No, I am not kidding you. Read about it in depth here.
Do any of you see how stupid and surreal this is? Also, ironic. Why? Because I was one of those kids. I was stupid enough to want to be a superhero in my youth, because I didn’t see the big picture. I didn’t see the amount of loss and tragedy one had to deal with.
In case you don’t know, the Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds played in the movie eventually finds his dead girlfriend stuffed into a fridge.
Yes, that is the X-Men enemy, Blob, eating Wasp. And no, he is not a zombie in this scene.
From being blind, to losing every woman he has ever loved, in some ways, Daredevil has it the worst.
And don’t even get me started on Wolverine, or Preacher, or some of the darker, indie stuff, because trust me, no matter how badass retracting metal claws are, you do NOT want the life that goes with them. And I can see that now.
But the irony is, I spent my whole life wanting to be like them. not aware that the tragedies going on all around me DID make me like them. But once I got old enough, I realized, I didn’t want that anymore. I wanted simple. I wanted quite. And I still do.
And now, in the strangest turn in all of history, when I finally woke up and realized I didn’t want HIS job, Superman wants MY job. Superman wants to be a blogger. I can’t be the only one shuddering from the irony of it all, can I? I am my hero’s hero.
Can someone explain that to me?
How one man can be masochistic enough to want TWO nonpaying jobs is beyond me.