From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

Archive for the ‘Superhero’ Category

Sometimes the truth is not enough

In blah, Superhero, top 10 on December 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm

I’ve always been used to fairly simplistic super-hero movies. The ‘typical’ superhero has a standard set of abilities, which usually mean above average physical strength, one unique power and a monk-like righteousness. The story revolves around these as a given with a cute love-interest, a quickly-passing moral dilemma and yes, the villain, with powers that just about match those of the hero.

Its not like we don’t know how the story is going to pan out, I’ve always found they’re fun to watch nevertheless, because of the always improving special effects and the no fuss victory of good over evil that end with the superhero kissing his love interest, lots of applause all around and a burning city in the background. Makes you wonder whether only tourists form the cheering crowds given I wouldn’t be jumping around waving wildly if my home or office or both had just been leveled by marauding alien robots (Transformers), blown away by a flying man dressed in bright red (Superman) or simply punched aside by a huge pissed off green dude in pants that seem to have torn around the calves (The Incredible Hulk). More likely taking pictures for the insurance claim.

I’d done my top 4 list of superheroes way back when not all of them had been turned into moderately successful movie franchises. And since everyone loves a superhero, I didn’t pay much attention to the brouhaha over the latest DC comics offering ‘The Dark Knight’. I’d even seen it, since I and the missus have an unsaid rule about watching any superhero flick that comes out (and I do mean ‘any’, since we’ve even watched ‘The Fantastic Four’! Invisibility, biceps made of rocks and spontaneous combustibility might be very practical powers, but what self-respecting hero acts like a rubber band!). Memories of batman limited to an evidently gay side-kick exclaiming “Holy utility belt Batman!”, a long week and a 11.15pm show meant that I didn’t catch much more than the opening credits, closing credits and some exploding buildings and yet felt I’d got the gist of it.

I finally actually watched it on dvd and woah! The batmobile and the bike must be the best looking modes of transport used by any superhero. Come to think of it, most superheroes don’t rely on mechanical modes of transport so there’s not much to compare. The supporting characters are not as one-dimensional as I usually like them. The villain describes himself as “a dog chasing cars”, sets fire to a mountain of cash and extols the virtues of chaos. He oozes menace in the way he makes clear that he wants to gain nothing and had nothing to lose. But it’s the last sequence that erased all memories of brightly silly exclamations and anatomically correct outfits (remember Alicia Silverstone?). There are no wildly cheering crowds. Only the body of Harvey Dent, activist District Attorney reduced to Two-Face. Commissioner Gordon saying

“He’s the hero Gotham deserves…but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero…he’s a silent guardian…a watchful protector…A dark knight”

Brilliant!

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The Showdown

In blah, Superhero, top 10 on July 8, 2006 at 8:14 pm

Most people who throw threats or insults my way find it to be a frustrating experience because they never stimulate responses. Mainly because I’m too lazy to…However, when people start questioning…nay..mocking fundamental tenets of life on this planet..then someone’s gotta take a stand! So, in continuation with my previous post…and not in continuation with the rantings and ravings of the zealous fanatics (who sometimes do not stop to question what it is that they believe in so fervently)…a rather objective (mostly) comparison of certain key aspects of being a superhero.
Category

Spider-Man

Superman

Genesis Regular bloke…irradiated spider…changes that didn’t seem like powers at first…Spider-Man! Different species…what powers?! On Krypton he’d be…just another guy!
Costume Form-fitting…black web pattern on red and blue…masked face…covered eyes…an actual costume Red underwear over tights…yes tights..nothing for the face…hmmm…quite a disguise
Love Interest Mary Jane Watson-Parker: Known Peter for years…likes the super alter-ego…has always loved the man himself. Lois Lane: Has worked with Kent for years, treats him with disdain…orgasms for him in tights…the word ‘shallow’ comes to mind? fooled by the different hairdo…bright too apparently
Weakness Loses powers when self-belief wanes…depends on himself to get it back Green rocks from home, can do jack in their presence
Bottomline
  • Powers don’t make you super, character does
  • Sharp objects and bullets…hurt
  • Rural America better find another hero (tall buildings a must for web-slinging)
  • You’re not from around here…automatically makes you special
  • Flight, X-ray vision, Immense power…must be a stretch beating up on others
  • Wear underwear outside to prevent accidental wedgies

For the initiated…here’s a list of some actual superheroes…With Great Power

Bring it on…

With great power…

In blah, Superhero, top 10 on April 20, 2006 at 10:46 am

comes…no..not great responsibility….but a humongous power bill..so turn the damn lights off!

“Only three others share the secret…Our friend the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms and Orko…” if none of that made any sense, that might be the cue for you to skip this post 🙂

Before there were nerdy-looking adolescents brandishing twigs to defeat all forms of evil, things were done in the proper manner, by troubled young-men with extraordinary physical strength and other ‘super’ powers.

For those who partook of a steady diet of Marvel and Indrajal…my top four in ascending order goes….:)

Wolverine

Real Name James Howlett, now Logan
Alias Weapon X
Occupation Former CIA Operative
Base Unknown
Affiliation X-Men
First Sighted Marvel 1974
Claim to fame
A mutant with extraordinary strength owing to a skeleton laced with unbreakable metal alloy, resulting from being an unwitting guinea-pig in a secret government military program. Given to beserker rages in combat, his feral instincts mean that he is most likely to permanently deal with adversaries. Inspite of a quicksilver temper, Wolverine has been descitbed as a warrior poet with an iron will. His mortal enemy is his half-brother known as Sabretooth

The Incredible Hulk

Real Name Robert Bruce Banner
Alias Mr. Fixit, Professor, Green Behemoth
Occupation Nuclear Physicist
Base Dayton, Ohio
Affiliation Pantheon, Avengers
First Sighted Marvel 1962
Claim to fame
The mightiest mortal to ever walk the earth. Mortals fear him, Gods respect him. Having buried his emotions arising at the hands of an abusive father, Bruce, is gamma-irradiated when attempting to save a civilian who mistakenly enters the nuclear testing facility. The Hulk represents the mortal fear of every human being; within everyone lies great, destructive rage and egotism, capable of shambolic destruction

The Phantom

Real Name Christopher Walker
Alias Ghost Who Walks
Occupation Guardian of the Eastern Dark
Base Skull Cave – Bangalla
Affiliation The Jungle Patrol
First Sighted Feb 1936
Claim to fame
The original masked superhero. Legend has it that generations of the Phantom gave rise to the alias “Man who cannot die”. Kit Walker is the 21st Phantom and has no ‘supernatural’ powers, but rather relies on his skills as a horseman, marksman and a fighter. His helpers, a mountain-wolf ‘Devil’, his white stallion ‘Hero’ and ‘Fraka’ the falcon. His prowess has given rise to ‘old jungle sayings’ like “Phantom’s anger chills tiger’s blood”, “Great cat is quick, Phantom is quicker”

Spider-Man

Real Name Peter Parker
Alias Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Occupation Photographer – Daily Bugle
Base Manhattan
Affiliation Avengers
First Sighted Marvel Aug 1962
Claim to fame
The son of secret agents of agency S.H.I.E.L.D, Peter’s parents were killed by Red Skull and was raised by his uncle Ben and aunt May. A shy introverted teenager, he gained his powers on being bitten by an irradiated spider. His dual identity has him pay dearly with the death of girlfriend Gwen Stacy, though he has various love-interests culminating in the lovely Mary-Jane Watson. Apart from superior athleticism and the ability to shoot webs, his most potent weapon is a sixth sense that activates and alerts him to threats.

Feel free to share your top 3/4. And yeah, that second line indicates the secret that the most powerful man in the universe and the guardian of Eternia is in fact the rather colorless Prince Adam.

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