Sunday, 25 August 2013

Superhero 2: Power Cat. Code Name: Tiger Claw.

Promises, promises. In Adventure Time (my new favourite show), in the first episode the main character, Finn, breaks a royal promise and is almost burned alive by a giant animated gumball machine. I did say I would follow-up on my blog on Superhero I. Did I promise? A "royal" promise to my royal selfish ass? I better go read it now to see what I said. Superheroes are not supposed to break promises. Earnest is as earnest does.

From what I remember, the intention of the second blog, at the time I was writing the first, was to talk about what appeared to be a dearth of female superheroes and perhaps provide a feminist expose on how superheroines are largely a fantasy created by a male population. How high school. I changed my mind. Turns out there are a lot of heroines:

Most, I have never heard of, likely because I only see what Hollywood provides for me. I should start going to the comic book store with my son more often. I am pretty sure Betty and Veronica don't count as superheroines. This is not the first time I have mentioned Archie comics. Geesh.

I watched the Avengers movie last night. I researched Black Widow this morning. Very Cool.

My superhero(ine) name is: Power Cat. Code name: Tiger Claw. My son was very serious, his brow creased in contemplation, about exactly what my superhero name should be. He asked me what animal I liked. Moving along the thought lines of Wolverine, would be my best guess. I said I like the jaguar, and so cat made sense. Since cat-woman is already taken, that ruled that one out. And she is not a superhero. Not many children want their mom to be a villain.

So, abiding by other superhero naming conventions, there were only a few options left. I was therefore crowned Power Cat. Cool and sexy. I just added that last part (see desired characteristic list for Power Cat below). No child wants to see their mum as sexy either.  Little did we know that PowerCat is the world's largest power catamaran builder. Oh well. I like boats too.

This was followed by a quick conversation as to my designated superhero powers. We threw around some ideas like: super strength, telekinesis, invisibility and invincibility. And don't forget claws. I forget what we decided upon. I am going to do that now. Rather than choose from the drop down list of superhuman traits (see Superhero I),  I will create Power Cat from a hyperbole of myself. A surreal me with a pinch of ridiculousness.

What I choose will be the most interesting part of the exercise. Will I look back to what people have said about me? Will I take inspiration from mythical superheroines? Will I build on what I perceive myself to be or what I aspire to be? I am already apprehensive that Power Cat might end up being a villainous monster. You should try this. It's more fun than doing a "What Superhero are you?"quiz.

This is what I choose:

1. Sexy strong. To note - these are not in any particular order. A boyfriend once said to me that it bothered him when we went out in public because of the way men looked at me, and asked me to turn off my sexiness. How ridiculous I told him. It was probably one of his strange attempts to compliment me. Or give me a line. Anyway, ask your friends to define "sexy" and it will likely be a different answer every-time. Some may not be able to describe it at all. But I have noticed that sometimes I have this "power" to draw men in. My sister too. Maybe it's genetic. Maybe it's learned. Maybe all women have this power, and it's just a matter of tapping into it.

What good is that power? How will that help anybody? Most of the superheroines and villainesses are characteristically sexy. This is why I call it sexy strong. Strong is super fit with a super stamina for fighting. A reason for the "sexiness" could be a distraction tactic. Since superheroine uniforms tend to highlight the feminine body, it may throw a man villain off their game whether its due to attraction or to the fact they assume weakness.

I don't think the latter explanation works so well when you are fighting gender-neutral half alien/half robots. And many/most of the male superheroes also wear tight outfits. Does that distract the villainess? Let's add something to sexy strong: What if I had the power to make any evil being I was fighting have an instant orgasm. That I was skilled in translating orgasm across the universe.  That would be very disarming.

The bottom line is this, in my research on asking friends to define sexy, there was one common element: confidence. Confidence comes from being strong and healthy both mentally and physically. Ya - Power Cat wants that. What's wrong with being sexy? Thinking about Nigel from Spinal Tap now?
2. Super healing powers - the ability to physically heal myself and others. Even though painful emotions often transmute into physical anguish, humans rely on mental healing to help them respect and remember, and as a superhero I don't want to take that away. How noble of me, eh? But if I could heal booboos and fight infections really fast I would want that super-power. I could work in a hospital as a super-infection control agent. Watch out C-Diff! Would I want to bring someone back from death? No. To say that gets muddy is an understatement. Do I want to live forever? My son and I often have the argument about the merits of that super power. He is determined to invent a live-forever serum. I told him I wouldn't want that because a) I exhaust myself and b) I don't want to see everyone around me die while I keep on going. The immortal wanderer is lonely. Maybe to stay healthy young for longer than normal. That would be nice. Let's say that my "tiger claw" aka my nails have a permanent super-healing serum that I can pass on to living creatures when I scratch them. I have to rethink that one - it's a bit creepy.

3. Freeze vision? I don't know if that is the technical term. I have been criticized before for giving penetrating, scary stare-downs. I am not usually conscious of that - I am often just thinking intensely, listening intently or observing intentionally. But doing a Medusa thing without actually turning anyone into stone, just freezing them in place for the moment would be super cool! Slowing down time. Nescafe moments. Professor X can do this selectively. Not really a necessary power, but I choose it nonetheless. And imagine freezing a bad guy in mid-orgasm.

4. Super agility. You can dodge bullets, whisk people out of the way, leap over buildings. And I would not bruise myself on the dishwasher door three times a week because I would have a super sense of avoiding sharp corners. Very Power Cat. Currently very un-me.  I am hoping yoga and wearing my glasses on a more regular basis will help fix that in my non superhero life.

So that's it. That's the list. I think I was a bit greedy. My costume is a spandex suit in gold and black. No cat ears. But a gold cat-eye shaped mask. My hair is lush and fabulous. Combat boots or ballet flats? Definitely the latter. Simple and elegant. I am not being serious.

As I was doing this, I ended up typing and erasing quite a bit. Most of my initial thoughts of desired super-heroine qualities were related to how I would want to protect my friends and family. It started there and I forgot that fantasy superheroes traditionally protect the world in general from the forces of evil. But the exercise became more than just a funny dream of Power Cat. I realized that I wouldn't want to protect the people I love from experiencing life - their life as they choose to act and think. For example, I may want to know some of their thoughts, but I certainly don't want to control or invade them. I don't need to be a superhero to communicate well - all I have to do is ask and listen. And that makes me very ordinarily human - but a good human I aspire to be. A super-smart, super-patient super-listener who can super-comfort as a super-mum, a super-friend and a super-daughter. Let's throw in super(b) lover. Go Power Cat!

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