New Castle News

September 15, 2012

Josh Drespling: Maybe ‘super powers’ of our heroes aren't so super after all

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — After years of superhero admiration, and in spite of the fact that were are firmly planted in the center of the glory days of superhero movies, I have come to a disturbing conclusion: Our superheroes are in need of a serious upgrade.

Many of these super humans were spawned from the imagination in the mid-20th century. Science and technology have advanced to such a  point that many of these special powers are inconceivable, defy the laws of physics, or simply are not practical.

Take, for instance Superman and his ability to fly. The origin of his power is that he was from the planet Krypton, whose sun emitted red solar radiation. When he was in the earth's atmosphere with our measly yellow sun and it's lower yield radiation, he suddenly has super-human ability to defy gravity and act independently from it. Could someone explain to me how the type of gases burning several million miles away from a planet could possibly affect the gravitational pull on a human-sized pile of carbon?

Additionally, if he is capable of overcoming gravity, how then does he produce thrust or, better yet, how does he stop? If he is able to defy the laws of physics, then why on Earth (no pun intended) does he feel the need to wear a cape?

Then there is Batman. He has no powers at all. He is nothing more than a handyman with a belt full of gadgets and a cool car. If he really had a fanny pack capable of holding all the devices he uses, it would be the size of a giant suitcase. Additionally, how does he see the Bat Signal in the sky when he spends all his down time in that subterranean lair? And why does he also feel the need to wear a cape?

Is there is some kind of prerequisite to graduate superhero school that you must don a flamboyant cape and skin-tight pants?

We also have that city-dwelling web slinger, Spider-Man. He always manages to contain his battles to cityscapes. I implore you to come out in the open and fight man-to-man. Enough of the ducking, weaving, and hiding routine. I bet I can fix that spider bite with a little Benadryl or perhaps some Raid.

Then there is Aquaman, who is often perched on one of the lower rungs of the superhero greatness scale. He possesses the only power that is remotely feasible. His ability to sonically communicate with aquatic life aligns with scientific study. Only problem is that this is just lame.  If I'm a bad guy, one step away from the water's edge you can do nothing to me. Na-nana-na-na. Save it for Shark Week.

I could go on and on about the uselessness of Wonder Woman's lasso or Captain America's shield. Even better, we can dive into the topics of annoying sidekicks such as the quirky Robin and spin-offs like SuperGirl or Wonderboy.

I know these heroes were born out of pure fantasy and entertainment, but I need something a little more current and reality based. I'm not saying I want a hurricane fighting, fiscally responsible, fossil fuel generating caped crusader. But one that ran around and turned off all the lights left on in my house would be a good start.

I know, I strip away all the fun and adventure from the story, but if I don’t get my way, I'm gonna get angry and “you won't like me when I'm angry.”

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