Superheroes, especially those who’ve been around for decades, have more faces than Eve. If Superman is your favorite and you started reading him before World War II, then, like him, you might just be a rebellious social activist who mocked authority with a big s@#$-eating grin on his face and wasn’t above flying a crooked mayor out of town on a rail. Okay, you probably aren’t like that guy, but I bet you wish you were.
Superman was a big blue Boy Scout in the 1950s and 1960s, dabbled with social issues in the 1970s and 1980s, looked like he was on steroids during the 1990s and renounced his American citizenship this year. If you approve of that last bit of character definition, you might just be on the government’s “No-Fly” list. Which is more of a problem for you than it would be for Supes.
You’re a textbook list of mental and social disorders and an outright criminal. You have abandonment and anger issues and dabble in child endangerment and other oddities, such as cavorting with a young sidekick who wore short pants into his teens. Did we mention that superiority complex that led you to devising plans to take out any Justice League member you deemed a potential threat? Superman changes with the times, but Batman gets crazier every year.
You proclaim your individuality by being one of 3,600 other Green Lanterns with the same shtick. Your ring can create anything your mind conceives, which would be totally sweet if that stuff wasn’t green and nothing but. Even Kermit the Frog likes to see some blues and pinks occasionally.
You’re probably a family man. Sex with your adaptable Mister Fantastic body and your hot wife allows for maneuvers that would sober Charlie Sheen. You also have that live-in best friend – the Thing – to watch your kids while you and the missus perform those “scientific experiments.”
Let’s run down the list. Leather. Motorcycle. Dabbles in satanism. Flaming skull. You are clearly a heavy metal stoner.
Your self-esteem needs some work if Aquaman is your favorite superhero. The other heroes make fun of him. Which isn’t fair when you consider your turf is bigger than a hundred Gotham Cities. Let go of that repressed anger and smack Green Arrow with a whale. That might even catch Wonder Woman’s attention.
There’s nothing unmanly about having Wonder Woman as your favorite superhero. She comes from an island of beautiful, strong women that she shares with her Amazon sisters. A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?
If Captain America is your favorite superhero, you’re a patriotic liberal. Sorry, conservatives, but the shield-slinger was an FDR Democrat. He has championed civil liberties and equal rights for African-Americans, gays and independent superheroes. He has acted against illegal government acts. Indeed, he once tracked a right-wing conspiracy right into the Nixon White House.
If your all-time favorite superhero is the most iconic version of Spider-Man, you’re probably the typical middle-class guy next door and God bless you for it. You relate to young Peter Parker struggling to make ends meet and be accepted by the cool kids. You do the right thing, even when it complicates your life. You’re what America is, or, at least, should, be about.
Thor? You’re a fraternity boy with a good heart and a hammer that is the envy of all. You like a good party. You like a good fight. And you’re so buff women swoon when they see you. But you’re never a dick about it. Yeah, you’ve got some daddy issues with Odin, but you’ll work it out. You’re a good guy and a good son.
If the X-Men are your favorite superheroes – and I’m talking about the group as a whole – then you’ve a large capacity for tolerance. You’re more concerned about the things we all have in common than the things that make us different. You’re more about understanding than fear. You’d make a heck of a leader, if you could get elected in this era of crazy partisanship and poorly-disguised bigotry. On the other hand, you’d lock up the mutant vote and, really, aren’t we all some kind of mutant?
You’re tough and tough-skinned with more than a couple anger issues. Romance doesn’t exactly elude you, but the survival rate of your lovers is pretty close to zero percent. Alas, not even a mutant healing factor can fix a broken heart.
You have so many anger issues you could open a comic-book store. People not only don’t like you when you’re angry, but your girth and ragged appearance discomfits them. Try to mellow out with some stylish slimming clothes and eat a damn salad once in a while.
You’re easily impressed by expensive technological toys, expensive cars, expensive houses and expensive women. And who can blame you? Still, your Xbox is sweet, your Honda Civic runs pretty good, your apartment’s nice and your girlfriend turns heads whenever you take her out for dinner and a movie. You’re the Tony Stark of your world. You don’t need a suit of armor to be her hero.
As for your humble author…
My favorite super-hero is Black Lightning, whom I created when I was a full-time comic-book writer for Marvel and DC Comics in the 1970s. He was a schoolteacher who fought organized crime in the slums of Superman’s Metropolis. If I must self-analyze myself, this choice signifies my gut feeling that we can’t rely on supermen to get us through the bad stuff. We have to rely on ourselves and start with the schools, the streets, the cities, and then our country and the world. Which is way too serious a note on which to end this piece.
So I’m going to go with Richie Rich. Okay, not a super-hero in the traditional sense of the term, but he could buy and sell Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne. Just imagine the comic books, action figures, and other geek bling I could buy with his money. I’d buy the Avengers Mansion for my New York home, Wonder Woman’s Paradise Island for my vacation home and, for my man-cave, the Batcave! Crazy or not, Batman does have the best toys.