Superheroes conjure a different type of image with all of us. They are not mere men in costumes. They are often intended to be a superior version of our normal selves. Though we revere them in their roles, we seldom think of anything that can go wrong with them. They seem to move with great agility, strength and speed. Their so-called invincible traits are what make us accept them as they are – superhuman – and when they use those abilities for the public good, they become superheroes.
Now, wait a minute, have you ever thought about what can go wrong with them, especially in the way they move or transform( I’m not referring to the Transformers, mind you) ? Call it simplistic or paranoid thinking if you will but sometimes we just got to think of what can go wrong first before agreeing on what’s right with them and we all know - aircraft have crashed, spaceships have exploded, ships have sunk – that the unexpected could be something just waiting to happen. Come on, it’s never a perfect world out there, not even for the superheroes, right? Or is it just me?
Four Superheroes and their Weaknesses
Iron Man jets himself off the ground with amazing thrust from those rocket-powered legs. His mighty arms steer him on course and he is out of the atmosphere before you know it. Nevertheless, I have often wondered what if all of a sudden those supersonic boot jets produced disproportionate thrust and he lost the manoeuvring capability from his gauntlets and consequently lost aerial balance. Now, just say he somehow happened to be directed straight toward the ground, he would be accelerating towards it at enormous speed, ever faster and faster, and then…Splat! Urrghh! With his red suit he’s going to look like squashed tomatoes on the ground. Don’t even imagine that!
You would think his latest self-seeking body parts will fare better. Hopefully, at the speed at which they reattach, one doesn't go off course and hit him smack in the face and knock him out flat.
Batman always poses the question if he’s flying or gliding. That cape of his seems undersized and too flimsy for any serious attempt at flying or worse still, trying to land with it. It does look like while gliding and eyeing on what are the goings-on at Gotham City, Batman could possibly be seized by a sudden gust of wind from behind which blows his cape over his head and causes him to bungle into some street-lighting posts…Ouch! Certainly not the graceful landing on his feet that he was contemplating. He may just stick to his Batmobile to fight crime and the Joker.
Spiderman has to cast his web every time he needs to move more than crawling distance. Now, that puts him at a real disadvantage if you ask me. He basically relies on the strength of his spider web. What is the guarantee that his web will have the same strength each time especially when he is going for ever taller buildings and jump distances? Even the real spider’s web gives way occasionally and makes gaping holes. What if there is a bad tear as Spidey spins his web or it's just one of those days where he unthinkingly attaches to a flimsy pole and does not realize it in his hurry to save sexy Miss Muffin from falling off the top of a building? He’s just going to go smack into the face of the building, hopefully not after taking her in his arms, otherwise it is likely to look very ugly. He may risk being relegated to his desk job at the Daily Bugle for the rest of his life talking about what he was once capable of.
Hulk has to turn green with anger for anything to work out for him as a superhero. Turning green is not all of it. He has to build up all that bulging brawn in real-time to help him make the ‘superleaps’ with his powerful legs. Sure, he also needs a super wardrobe to go with his profile for tearing up those clothes all the time but that’s not a huge problem(he just has to make sure he’s got strong nylon undergarments on). Let’s turn to his transformation, for goodness sake!
Unlike other superheroes who seem to be in slightly better shape regarding this because they come prepared on the scene, it disturbs me to see that Hulk has to spend about 30 seconds to transform to Mr. Muscle. That’s alright, really – at least he doesn’t have to pump iron to look like that – but I was wondering what if his nemesis clobbered him while he was busy ‘changing’ himself! After all, they are all fast, aren’t they? He’s not going to be very useful as a superhero at that point.
Then again, think about it, what if he just doesn’t get ‘angry enough’ for that change. I am trying to say here that he gets sort of upset but he’s not quite there yet, so much so that it doesn’t turn his greening mechanism on. So if he proactively shredded his clothes while screaming away in anticipation of his transformation, he’s going to look like an idiot afterwards if he doesn’t.
Thinking of all this is depressing! That our superheroes should have such weaknesses that may spoil their reputation as public saviours. We should hope that they work diligently on their weaknesses for their own sake so as to remain lofty in the public eye or face damnation forever as fallen superheroes!
Now that we’ve completed a wrap-up on superhero weaknesses(or most of them), I’ll let you in on who I think actually strikes it off much better except that this is not a superhero but a ‘supervillain’.
Darth Vader probably is foolproof in terms of such tragedies as mentioned above. For one thing he doesn’t have to change suits or transform into anything. He’s always the way he is and all he uses is that light sabre. He just needs to walk around in his dark suit and imposing headgear with the cool, menacing demeanour of his to strike terror into his enemies. A man of few words but great strength and wisdom. Alas! He is but of the Dark Forces though…
No one knows why it’s the villains that spend a lot less energy convincing people they are cool and hence they don’t need to reinvent themselves. For example, Spiderman had to change from casting a natural web to one that was thrown out by a gadget on his wrist. Iron Man seems to have some kind of identity crisis now that he wants his body parts to self-assemble. Now, they will have to think about those gadgets not working again especially under the most dire life-saving circumstances!
All things said, it does take a lot more energy to do good than evil. So, don't give up, stay with our superheroes! They will always deliver in the end. At least, hope so.