Recently, my son and I watched the original Super Man movie. Not the first superhero movie we have watched together. Like most 8 year olds, my son has a fascination with the comic book world come to life on screen. It occurred to me that at that time, when I was a young lass watching this movie (1978), there was not the constant supply of super hero action adventures that have been gracing the movie world since the nineties. Maybe it was because reality TV was starting to dominate the airways, and the WHAM! BAM! Batmans had nowhere else to go.
For me - it's not bad thing. I love all types of movies, including documentaries, but superhero movies are definitely a guilty pleasure for me. I am guessing that the reasons my son and I like them so much differ, but then when I really thought about it. I think they might be the same. Inspiration and Aspiration.
Definition of superhero from dictionary.com: A hero, especially in children's comic books and television cartoons, possessing extraordinary, often magical powers.
So who are we looking at here: Superman, Spiderman, Hulk?, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Batman, Wonderwoman, Supergirl, Wolverine, Fantastic Four, Green Lantern, the rest of the Avengers Ensemble, Dr Who, X-Men, and more...
For the purpose of this blog, let's focus on the ones who were "magically" mutated or who are aliens or demi-gods. It occured to me (duh?) first of all that there are not that as many female superheroes, and today I am going to focus on the male ones. Tomorrow I will examine both the dearth and qualities of the female superhero.
Secondly it occurred to me (again duh) that the magical male superhero powers could be easily translated into the ideal man - a man that my son might aspire to be someday and for me, an ideal partner in my life, and also if I remove the gender factors (aka big muscles and a penis), qualities that I would want to emulate. Dr Who by the way has two hearts....hmmmm.
There are too many characteristics to examine all of them in any depth. For those of you who want to geek out and/or test their superhero knowledge, here is a list of superhuman features and abilities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_superhuman_features_and_abilities_in_fiction.
I will attempt to translate the more well-known ones:
Super senses: vision - the ability to see deeply into another person's soul; hearing, smell, touch, taste?: awareness and respect for other people through knowledge and attention to non-verbal language
Flying: Ability to rise above the negativity and go for what you want despite the risks of falling
Super-strength: A healthy body - also important for a healthy mind
Super-agility: Ability to be flexible and to know what direction to move in and when its appropriate
Wall-crawling: Challenging the barriers in life and using alternative methods to get around them (its not always about the smashing the wall). I had to put that one in. Spidey is my favourite.
Telepathy: Good communication skills.
Super Intelligence: Life long learning and self-educating.
Changing Size: Self-awareness. Knowing that sometimes you must be small (follower, listener) and sometimes large (a leader, someone your family or co-workers can look up to)
Super-breath: Emotional Intelligence. Ability to control where and to what effect you "blow your wind" (I used that one before and it is still funny)
Healing factor: Being a good friend, listener and hugger.
Slow or non-ageing: In touch with your inner child/younger self, ability to explore, experiment, pursue the joys and challenges in life with vigour.
The majority seem to also be super good looking - in both the Hollywood and comic book versions. Not sure what to do with that one. You can't really work out your face except with smiles (positive attitude?) and good dental hygiene.
So those are a few that I could think of for now. There are other characteristics on the aspiration list although a prevalent super sense of humour seems to have been assigned to the non-mutant/aliens from what I can recall off the top of my head. Maybe this will be a three part blog.
To note, my superhero's code name is Tiger Claw. My son and I made that up today. Would help if I could remember what my actual superhero name is...I will ask him tomorrow so I can continue my blogging on the superheroine.
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