There are the X-men, who seem to be coming at us right, left and centre, with a new film instalment due out shortly. We’ve had Iron Man times two, Thor, He-Man (okay, it was a while ago, but still ...), the Fantastic Four, umpteen Batmen and Spidermen, Green Hornet and Green Lantern, the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Hellboy and The Phantom. Captain America is coming soon and apparently next year he’s joining forces with Thor and Iron Man in the film “Avengers”. Sounds good to me, but why are we so fascinated with these guys? (Or is it just that the film companies can’t come up with any original stories?)
The comic book heroes seem to have all the qualities we try to give our fictional heroes, at least the alpha kind – they’re handsome, muscular (have more or less perfect bodies), are always on the side of justice and they're unbeatable. You can depend on them in a crisis and no matter what fate throws at them, they always triumph. The only drawback is that they’re not really human. Maybe it’s the fantasy of these perfect men we like? The thought that somewhere, out there, is a guy like that – almost too good to be true, but real.
So what does that say about all the poor normal men who don’t measure up? Can a normal man actually be as great? Can our fictional heroes? Obviously, they’ll never be as physically perfect (and I kind of feel sorry for the actors who have to play those parts, with all the body-building and incessant eating they have to do!), but not everyone wants a muscle-bound hunk, so nicely sculpted will do. For me, a lot of the comic heroes seem to be lacking a sense of humour too, which is a really important hero trait I think. And although they’d be great at protecting you, I don’t necessarily want a body guard 24/7.
Still, it’s a nice fantasy and my current obsession (apart from Prince of Persia, which I still haven’t let go of) is Thor. Angry, larger than life, but still quite human in his emotions, I think he’s wonderful! If I was to meet any of the comic book heroes, I’d choose him any day. And he doesn’t wear tights, which is always a plus ...
If you could choose a comic book hero, who would it be? (Julie, I think I can guess your answer, but everyone else ...?)