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Monday, April 15, 2013

What maketh a superhero?


The fact that my last post on superheroes got a great response from my readers has led me to shed some more light on the topic.
Who is a superhero?
We mostly recognize our favorite superheroes by their attire, by the special look of theirs, of course. Although a superhero's costume may make identifiable or recognizable, instantly, costumes do not make a man, and as such a vibrant or colorful costume, often with a logo incorporated, cannot be a guarantee of one's being a superhero, can it?
Well, any hero who is a Tom, Dick or Harry may not qualify to be a superhero.
A superhero is simply someone who is born with exceptional, and rather unexplainable powers;
the powers need not be super-powers
but they need to be used for the greater good, unselfishly, heroically.

The selflessness of the superhero is of utmost importance.
A lot of obstacles, a lot of weaknesses are required to be overcome by a superhero, he might have to battle with his personal tragedies, has to grapple with personal tragedies and great personal losses, and yet he has to hold dear the cause of society, or his city which is faced with huge crises, he has to be willing to sacrifice himself for the cause, he has to have an unflinching desire in his model role-play as a savior.
My favorite superhero, many of my readers have wanted to know, had been Superman, since I was first introduced to superheroes - when I was a kid - by the Superman comics and the films (starring Christopher Reeve). But, later, I shifted my loyalty to Batman, the other immensely popular cape-clad superhero, largely influenced by the Tim Burton film (1989) and by the recognition of the fact that Bruce Wayne did not need any superpowers to become Batman; he used intellect and martial arts skills and was aided by wealth and technology to combat the villains, which was quite a style statement for my impressionable mind as a teenager.

Spider-Man captured my imagination much later. No wonder that the comic-books chronicling Peter Parker's grappling with adolescence, his emotional vulnerability, and his self-obsessions, along with his agility and super-strength, the transformation to Spider-man, have attained cult status. Even as an adult I could relate to the protagonist's yearnings and leanings. The trilogy of the live-action films starring Tobey Maguire became my instant favorites as I loved them all (2002 - 2007). The franchise has had a reboot with Andrew Garfield playing the superhero, and although I have a special soft corner for Tobey in the role, am hooked on the new take (the first film in this series, 'The Amazing Spider-Man', was released last year). Glad to have found Andrew Garfield fitting the Spidey suit to a T.

3 comments:

Joy said...

I guess I can say without inviting protests from my friends that Andrew Garfield makes a very good Spider-man, as all things one characteristically associates with this superhero are aptly portrayed by him....... girls and guys are equally contented thus. :):)

Miimzo said...

A nice post yet again.

Arunima said...

I always like reading your post and this one is no exception! However,generally speaking(not attributing to your post), I find the whole idea and mass romanticism about superheroes quite disturbing from a socio-psychological angle! I love the movie Bolt's take on superpowers actually! :)