Super Heroes, Schmuper Heroes

superheroI’m just going to be straight with you all, since we’re close and whatnot. I don’t really care for super hero movies based on comic books.* Those blockbusters that come barreling into movie theaters every summer just clog up the options for what I would really want to watch. Listen, in a world going to heck in a hand basket, I understand why super heroes are great role models. They give messages like: you can change the world! be a force for good and not evil! care for and protect your fellow humans!

I just think there are other lessons going on, too. Like: it’s important to train in order to beat people up/shoot them with arrows/focus your laser-eyes at them. Or: Sure! Go ahead and destroy a city block in your fight against your enemy. Someone else will clean that up! Or: If you do anything important with your life you’re not allowed to fall in love because it’s too dangerous for the other person. C’mon now. Don’t we all know love is a battlefield anyway? I don’t know why Clark Kent can’t get that through his skull if the rest of us have.

To me, the plot of every super hero movie can basically be summed up like this: a person with special abilities fights a big uga-uga bad guy and the battle takes place at the end of the movie and then (SMASH! BANG!) the super hero wins.**

Maybe if I had read comic books growing up, I’d get more out of the movies. But now I’ve watched The Big Bang Theory, so I know it’s a whole “thing” and it’s a subculture that I’m not prepared to get into at this stage in my life.

Arrow_posterSo when several friends that I trust recommended that I give the show Arrow a try, I was skeptical. Since the CW’s marketing campaign seemed to consist of Stephen Amell shirtless on any promos, I did not have high hopes that I would love it. That approach doesn’t exactly smack of smart writing, after all. But I watched it and I was hooked! The mythology is amazing, the characters are well-developed, and the action is addicting. I also tried the spin-off The Flash that started this fall and am really enjoying that, too. And then I tried Gotham and was intrigued (I’m several episodes behind, though). Then I had a teensy-tiny crisis because I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore.

But then I realized! The television stories gave me CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and that’s why I was so drawn in. It’s the same with my reading habits. All the books I love the most drew me into the story through the character. Phew. Crisis averted.

Now, even though I do enjoy these shows I have to say that there are still things that I don’t quite understand, especially about Arrow (you thought you were going to get away without a list on this post, didn’t you? Bwahahahaha!).

  • Especially in the first season, the main character Oliver Queen, uses a “hit list” of bad people who his father left him and one by one takes them down by saying “[Insert name here] you have failed this city!” And the intro to every episode says that he became the arrow to “save my city”. Here’s my thing: what’s so great about his city? I certainly do not feel similarly toward Colorado Springs. Likely if half of the bad things that happen in Starling City happened here, I’d just move. I don’t get it.
  • How is it that no one can tell who you REALLY are, even though all you’re wearing is dark make-up around your eyes? Or a pair of glasses? People are not stupid. These super heroes need to get better costume designers if they really don’t want their secret getting out.
  • Why is it that machine guns never hit anything? I suppose I should be thankful, but why do bad guys insist on buying the gun that does the LEAST amount of damage? The hero always seems to be able to dart to a safe place under machine gunfire with very little problem.

I’ll just have to take the implausible with the good. After all, these are make-believe worlds so I have to give them some leeway. Even though my clearly brain has a hard time doing it. But there’s hope: I managed to believe that every person in a small town could speak quickly with eloquent speeches dotted with pop-culture references in order to enjoy Gilmore Girls, so I think I’ll be able to get there.



*The only exception for me is the X-Men movies, especially X-Men: First Class.

**Granted, I like movies that have dumb plots, too. See if this sounds familiar: Misunderstood Boy who dances meets girl who dances. They each become part of a crew to participate at a dance-off of some kind. By dancing, they solve the world’s problems. But I still can’t get enough of the Step-Up movies! So, I guess it’s just what you like. We can agree to disagree.


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