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What have they done to our childhood heroes? Featured

What have they done to our childhood heroes? Image source: Twitter

Every so often, I feel like writing less serious matters for my column. This is one of those times.
I’m at an age when a lot of my peers are retired. Some are even dead. But I continue to work for the simple reason that I enjoy what I’m doing. But being a newsman does have its downers. For one, most of what’s considered newsworthy these days is actually bad news. Awful even.
So I relax by watching a lot of movies and TV shows. Being a resident of Makati, I get to watch as many movies as my eyes can take. All free by virtue of my being a senior citizen.
I love fantasy, horror and sci-fi movies. I am especially nuts over the superhero films that have been coming out in the last decade or so. As a kid, I spent a good part of my allowance buying comic books. As a pre-teen, I enjoyed DC Comics, specifically Superman, Batman, and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman too.
But as I grew older, I discovered Marvel comics, and I was hooked. I began collecting the biggies, from SpiderMan to the Fantastic Four to The Avengers, to Daredevil, et al.
At its peak, my collection was in the hundreds, with 90 percent being Marvel and 10 percent DC. If I had taken extra good care of them, they would be worth millions. Yes, millions. But a flash flood in our Pasay home destroyed by collection. That still qualifies as one of the saddest days of my life.
Not too long ago, a young friend who happens to be some kind of techie offered to download for me all the comics of my youth, and then some. So yes, I have my lost collection back, but in digital format. And no, it’s not quite the same.
Anyway, very recently – as in the last three weeks – two superhero movies were shown in the theaters, and I was among the first to watch both. The first was Thor Ragnarok, which I enjoyed immensely. Then there was Justice League, which I really wanted to enjoy, but halfway through the movie I felt cheated.
I had seen Wonder Woman a few months ago, and that was a terrific movie, as most people would agree.
My problem with Justice League? I could not recognize my two favorite DC heroes, Batman and Superman. Their onscreen personas had changed, and not for the better.
First, let’s take Superman. I never did like the change in the costume. Sure, the old Man of Steel wore what looked like his underwear over his tights. But that’s how he was drawn from the start.
And it’s not just the cosmetic change that I did not agree with. In the old days, Supes stood for “truth, justice, and the American way.” He was the American Boy Scout who could fly. He was almost perfect, but for his one weakness, kryptonite.
The Christopher Reeve version of Superman got it perfectly right. But now, we have a brooding guy who sometimes feels sorry or angry at himself for being an alien on planet Earth.
Thumbs down to this not very super Superman.
Then there’s Batman. I don’t know if his late creator Bob Kane would even recognize this version. For one, the original Batman hates guns and doesn’t kill people. For reasons I cannot fathom, the suits at Warner Brothers decided that this caped crusader should be a cold-blooded, trigger happy killer.
Two thumbs down for that, ladies and gentlemen.
Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always believed that superheroes do not only possess all kinds of powers, but they should also be worthy of emulation. They should be the best of the best. Now, what we have are angst-ridden men and women who do not make good role models.
I still enjoy most Marvel movies, even the ones done by Fox and Sony. Most of the time, good conquers evil.
This may not be true for real life, but that’s exactly my point. “Mere” movies should still deliver positive messages.
There may not be real life men and women who possess super strength, super speed and magic hammers. But there is one super powered country, and that’s the US of A. As such, the US should show the world that, as SpiderMan says, with great power comes great responsibility.
What I’d like to see in real life is for the superpower that is the US to flex its muscle and use its strength to make the world a better place. Is that too much to ask?

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