Saturday, December 6, 2008

Super Heroes

When I was a little kid my favorite cartoon was Super Friends. Aqua Man was my favorite. I'm not sure why since he is the least cool superhero and I have always hated water. Even as a kid I noticed that Super Friends was a little bit formulaic. In almost every episode they would find themselves in the villain's trap and would say "Getting dizzy, must contact Hall of Justice... or getting weaker must reach bat utility belt...". I also loved the narrator's customary segway "Meanwhile over the Mohave Desert... " The only negative was the inclusion of the Wonder Twins and Gleek. They were an abomination and didn't belong with the cool superheroes. As much as I disliked them I have to admit I have been guilty of doing the "form of a woolly mammoth/form of an ice shield" routine with friends to get our powers to activate over the years.

Most guys like superheroes. You can come up to any guy on the street and ask him what super powers he wishes he had and he will immediately share several answers. Girls on the other hand will just roll their eyes and think you are stupid. Growing up I could probably only name the most popular ones like: Superman, Batman, Hulk, Wonder Woman, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, and maybe a few others. Anyone who really knows superheroes would considered me a poser since I have never purchased a comic book and probably only know 1/10th of the actual superheroes that exist. The main comic book publishers are DC, Marvel, Image, and Dark Horse and they have created hundreds of characters over the years.

Most people probably hadn't heard of Iron Man, the Silver Surfer, Daredevil, Hell Boy, Elektra, or the Phantom before movies came out about them. I've been surprised to learn that some movies were based on comic books because they don't fit the typical superhero mold and there is nothing comical about them. Some of the darker ones are Blade, The Punisher, Spawn, Watchmen, Judge Dredd, etc. There have been some good superhero movies over the years. I've ranked my all time favorites below:

The Matrix (Neo may not be thought of as a traditional superhero but he flies.)
Iron Man
Batman Begins/The Dark Knight
Spider Man
Superman (Although the continual sequels just kept getting worse)
Hulk (The most recent one)


MikkSolo said...

Amen Brother! This is a post I can get into! I will admit I am consumed by super hero's. Superman is still at the top for me, but he is kind of a boy scout! I like Batman's "Dark side." Spiderman is too young, Hulk too chaotic, and how do his pants always still fit him after he changes back? Ironman, regular rich joe that get's his super powers through his suit. All pretty good though. The all time worst "super hero" is the bumbling idiot from "American Hero" in the early 80's. You know the one, blonde afro, cheesey, red suit, save people by accident, stupid disguises, etc... Even had a lame theme song that I have to turn off every time I hear it. "Believe it or not I'm walking on air . . ." Life is too real from day to day. It's always fun to escape through fun things like the super hero culture.

Excuse me now. I'm going to go find a towel, wrap it around my neck like a cape, and jump off a chair!


Angie said...

Great post. I have thought about this a lot: what is so compelling about the stereotypical superhero movie, and I think we as human beings are so drawn to them because deep down, we all wish we were super heroes. You know?

I love your list of favorite super hero movies, although I haven't seen the Dark Knight. But one I would add is The Incredibles. I know it's animated, but it's one of the most perfect movies ever made, so that should count for something.

Tom said...

I agree with you about the Incredibles. It is my favorite animated movie.