Hidden Tragedies Behind Five Classic Superheroes
Oh how wonderful the lives of our comic book heroes must be. They get to fly, have awesome adventures in space and wear colorful tights without anyone calling them gay. But in (fictional) reality, the seemingly joyous and wondrous existence of many beloved characters is underlined with tragedies the likes of which we can’t even imagine. As it turns out, it’s not a perpetual coke party in the life of…
Why his life seems awesome: As the leader of the X-men, Cyclops gets to command a team of demigods in spectacular fights against their enemies while shooting colorful death out of his eyes. That and bone Jean Grey – and you KNOW she has to get freaky with that telekinesis bit of hers.
Why it’s not: Cyclops is basically colorblind. When he doesn’t have that protective headgear on, Cyclops has to keep his eyes closed. Otherwise he risks turning the local nursery into a smoldering pile of sorrow with his laser vision. The only way he is able to see is through a special pair of goggles, which in almost every incarnation of “X-men” are of a red tint. This logically means Cyclops can only see the world in a constant shade of red, which is actually worse than regular colorblindness.
Of course colorblind people can still lead exciting lives full of sex and gratuitous violence, but for someone in Cyclops’ position the ability to discern between colors seems somehow necessary. For piloting the X-men plane for example, or even recognizing the enemy.
Besides that, Cyclops will never truly enjoy a movie, a clear blue sky or the calming sight of a beautiful winter landscape. To him the entire world is constantly bathed in blood.
Why his life seems awesome: It’s not always you get to be called the Fastest Man Alive without some asshole taking a shot at your prowess in bed. The Flash’s magnificent speed further allows him to hang out with the Justice League and witness more wonders on a daily basis than all of humanity ever will in a thousand years.
Why it’s not: The Flash is, mentally, an ancient man. In order for Flash’s super speed to make even a tiny iota of sense, his mind must be as fast as his body, otherwise he would splat himself like a particularly disturbing inkblot on the nearest wall. Not only his brain, but also all of his other senses, meaning that while in sonic mode the world virtually stands still from the Flash’s perspective… but his mind keeps going normally.
By this, The Flash’s psyche must have incredibly aged from all the time he spent speeding. His 10 second sprint from our POV may seem like an hour to his super-accelerated mind. To extrapolate from that: a day would seem like a month, a week like a decade, a year like eternity. And with his super fast sense, can you imagine what it would feel like if Flash was ever stabbed while not being able to move? The knife would seemingly take years slowly edging itself inside his body, causing pain and suffering which would give Satan a boner.
Why his life seems awesome: Because he is Superman, that’s why. Not only does he have every super power imaginable, he is the only person in existence cool enough to be patriotic with that “Truth, Justice and Apple Pie” bit. It’s not easy being more or less a God, but Sups pulls it off nicely.
Why it’s not: Sups is more or less a God. From what we can gather about him, Superman is near immortal, invulnerable, balls strong, and with his speed and that global hearing we saw in “Superman Returns” it’s safe to say he is virtually omnipresent. But, he is a God who has to live along humans without reigning over them from a diamond palace in the sky.
It’s like a human being trying to “belong” to a herd of swine, only much worse, because compared to Superman humanity comes off less significant than termites. It must be so freaking lonely for him all alone up there at the top. He is the God of Earth who will never belong and who will never have a real connection with humans because he is so much better than us.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Superman is constantly controlling himself to not enslave humanity. We know we would. Especially with the blue balls he must have. Oh right – seeing as Superman can level the entire northern hemisphere by sneezing, do you know what would happen to Lois Lane or anyone else if he just… “let go” in bed? A giant crater where their bed used to be. The man probably will never get his rocks off unless he tries to bone The Moon.
Why his life seems awesome: With Logan’s adamantium skeleton, healing factor and claws, he will never suffer a broken bone or a scar, and will always have a handy-dandy can opener on himself, no matter what.
Why it’s not: Take a look at Wolverine. He looks, what, 30-40? Probably depends on the artist, but yeah, something like that. He certainly isn’t a young chipper anymore, meaning that despite his regeneration power, Logan is aging. Very slowly. Further meaning that he will get to enjoy the wonders of crippling old age roughly 10 times longer than nature intended.
The act of aging is programmed into our DNA, causing tissue and cell degeneration until we croak. Logan’s power keeps that process slow but it evidently cannot halt it completely. Thanks to that, Logan will be “80” for a few decades, with his power getting weaker and weaker, allowing for torn muscles and broken hips but still keeping his wrinkly, bony body alive, like some overzealous and deeply disturbing life-support aparatus.
By the end of it, this proud warrior will be begging for death after the 17th year of being “100” and pissing his pants for the 3rd time that day.
Why his life seems awesome: Green Lantern’s power ring can do anything. Need an interstellar rocket? Wham, ready. Translation from Seti-Alpha-3-ish to Armenian? Nothing simpler. Hell, with the right amount of concentration and will power, Green Lantern’s bling could create an Uwe Boll movie that doesn’t suck… probably.
Why it’s not: It’s a pretty safe bet that Green Lantern is utterly addicted to his ring. From what Dr Wikipedia teaches us, the heroes of the GL comic book were all humans like us who one day got invited to the Green Lantern corps (probably as token homo-sapiens due to Affirmative Action). So in an instant these people went from regular Joe Blow to Shaper of Reality.
How could anyone return to normality after tasting Godhood?
They can’t, that’s how. Once you go green there is no possibility of living as a regular person again. That would be like taking an Ethiopian orphan, giving it the best medical care in the word, feeding it and placing it with a loving family… and after a week sending it back to Africa. Do you see? No one would be able to go through that without turning insane.
A depowered Green Lantern would have to start doing everything for himself, like make physical effort, take the bus to work, and if he wanted to order an Armenian hooker he would better have a dictionary ready. Plus, once you have learned about all those vast and rich alien worlds out there, how could you ever care about the mundane bullshit of typical human life?
If a human Green Lantern ever lost his power ring he would hang himself on the doorknob faster than you could utter: “So, how are you planning to make a living now? I heard McDonald’s is hiring.”