Ever since I was a small boy growing up in rural Massachusetts, I have had an ongoing list in my head of unlikely superheroes with their less-than-inspiring superpowers. It might have been provoked by endless hours of Saturday morning cartoons and the unshakeable suspicion that the Wonder Twins probably had some real sibling rivalry issues over their gross imbalance of superpower allocations. After all, one of them could shape-shift into any animal she wanted and the other could only transform into various states of water. And if you consider that the body is already 90 percent water, then it was almost like having only 10 percent superpower.
Generally speaking, superhero uniforms were also ridiculous, with the exception of Spiderman who looked, well, amazing. But to study a lineup of superheroes with all their capes, masks, knee-high boots, colorful leotards, and utility belts with any objectivity would be to notice that every superhero had a weakness for regrettable choices of attire for the average business-casual workplace environment. Still, I wanted superpowers. What boy wouldn’t want superhuman strength, or speed, or the ability to shoot webs from his wrists, or to have X-ray vision? My quality of life would have increased a hundredfold. The benefits of superpowers seemed endless.
It would take years before I finally understood that, on many levels, I had missed the point.
Look for the conclusion of Dan’s two-part blog on Friday!