Sunday, March 27, 2011

Designing a Hero

With the time change of our Chicago Champions game from Wednesday to Sunday, I decided to make a change of my own, by retiring good ol' werewolf Primal for something new. I was, at first, a bit flip floppy about what I wanted to do, but I was eventually able to narrow down my choice to a definite, if somewhat vague, concept: a superhero without powers.

Now, I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to comic books. I've read some DC stuff and I've read some Marvel stuff from time to time, but I've never made a really serious effort to learn everything there is to know about the two universes. However, even without that knowledge, I've always loved heroes that don't have powers. Sure, Superman's pretty cool with his nigh-immortality, super speed and strength, heat vision, and everything else, but you've got to respect the guy who is willing to take the same risks and face the same dangers as 'Supes' but without any of the god-like power.

It's always been a topic that me and one of my brothers have argued about. I'm sure it is one that plenty of other people have had before, though I can't claim to understand where this odd conversation piece came about: Who would win? Batman or Superman? Obviously, I go with Batman. No, he doesn't have super speed or ice blasts or mastery of magnetism, but he still manages to fight the big bad guys without any of those fancy tricks. And sure, he's got unlimited resources, a brilliant mind, expert detective skills and mastery of every fighting style known to man, but in the end he's just a normal human being, with all those same human limitations but all of those human strengths.

Just this past Friday I saw the latest Batman: Brave & The Bold which, while hilarious, also reinforced my interest in this sort of character. While he's slugging it out with a red kryptonite-influenced Superman (a fight that heavily references the one in Dark Knight Returns), he says something along the lines of: "Stop this. You know I won't quit." And that's the important element that I love so much about Batman and characters like him. Their ability to stand up to those larger than life villains, without any powers or abilities beyond those of a human being, and winning through sheer courage and ingenuity.


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