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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Occupational Hazards of being a Superhero - I

We were watching the movie - Superman returns and somebody asked the question why people can't link Superman's face back to Clark Kent. An honest reply came that it is so because Clark Kent wears glasses. It brought smile to my face but also took my mind to another tangent. Clark Kent does'nt just wear glasses, he also wears the Superman Costume (Complete with the cape, though they never show that) underneath his normal clothes. If the size of the cape fluttering behind a flying Superman is anything to go by, then it would be quite ackward to wear it underneath. Going further back, imagine how much time it would take Clark Kent to get dressed in the morning. I remember having dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow to a theme party. It took me over half an hour to put the damn thing on and that too when I did'nt have a Superman's costume underneath. That is a mighty waste of time when you could put it to better use such as killing the bad guys or taking your women to a space-trip.

When Clark Kent goes to the tailor, he probably has to get his measurements with the costume on so as to accomodate the extra inches (meters if you are thinking about the cape). The tailor has to be one of the best if Clark Kent's fitting clothes are anything to go by and probably quite expensive too. But then, probably Superman covers it off by offering his services in exchange like precision-cutting the cloth via his laser eye thing.

That is not a problem for Spiderman, though. His costume is really tight-fitting and his normal clothes are conveniently ill-fitting to hide the costume underneath. If not, he will probably need to offer to stitch for the tailor in exchange for his services. Come to think of that, Spiderman and Superman can really be a great business team - Cut and Stitch tailors. They will probably need to hire professional designers, though; who wants to wear their underwear on top of their pants or a tight mask making it difficult to breathe or to be kissed.

Spiderman, however, has other problems. I, for one, would not want to live in the same city as Spiderman. Imagine the plight of the municipality when the whole city is swarming with Spidey's webs hanging from every sky-scraper and too strong to be just wiped away with a broom. Living in such a city, one will always be prone to walk into a maze of slimy webs created by a mutant, making your skin crawl. Consider you are jogging and all of a sudden you are catapulted into two-three spins before hitting the ground face-first because you ran into a waist-high rope slung by Spidey a couple of years back. No sir, I will prefer to stay in a city ridden with crime than share it with Spiderman.

Batman, however, is neat and tidy. He is rich, has got good taste and barring some rare displays of bat-flurry, mostly leaves you in peace assuming you pay your taxes on time. But his gadgets are something to be considered - batarangs, bat mobile, bat sub, utility belt..., the list is endless. Think about batarang, the bat-shaped throwing weapon. I remember the scene in "Batman Returns" where Bruce Wayne is working on a machine to make batarangs. If you are remotely like me who looks at every task and immediately starts thinking about how difficult that task is, how much time/effort/money is involved and eventually gives up on the task, you would know what I am talking about. In any case, these batarangs are of bat-shape, of course and would take a professional hours to get the right shape and size. Assume that Bruce Wayne imports small metal pieces in bulk and then shapes them into batarangs on a portable machine. Now, do you see the difficulty. The fact that he uses Wayne Enterprises money for his personal whims should be a topic for debate on corporate responsibility. If he is using Alfred to make these batarangs, that is a bloody murder and he will probably need to pay a rich monotony allowance. Consider Alfred watching Batman thulp the bad guys on Bat-TV and when Batman throws a batarang, he would have to gasp - "Oh there goes another one. Now there are only 223 left in store."

All the above is probably the reason why they don't have any girl friends. See some conversations:

Woman: Lets make love.
Clark Kent: Ok. I will need about 25 minutes to get out of my clothes and then I will try and last for a good five minutes.

Woman: Why dont you spend more time with me.
Batman: Umm, I have to make 473 batarangs before the sun goes down today.

Well, you get the point.


rt said...

and if these guys wear tight undies all the time (after all, they need to be ready to serve humanity any time of the day or night), then chances are that they have lost the ability to last for 5 mins.

do u think the khandaani dawakhana at daryaganj can take care of superheroes' issues?

also, one would think if these guys wore tight undies, their voices would be squeakier. how do u think all these guys have voices like they do (with the exception of toby)?

Anonymous said...

Interesting entry.

Have you ever wondered why do we have abundance of male superheroes and why don't we have so many female superheroes? I dont want to start another MCP kind of a discussion here but my comment has a lot to do with the Girl Friend aspect of superhero's life. Would it not be funny if Spiderman was paired again Super women. The conversation will then go -

Spideran: "Let's make love"
Superwoman: "Okay and through her superpowers removes" .. well you get the idea..

Beta said...

RT - Its a pity that these superheroes wear tight undies and deny humanity the chance to pass on their super-genes. But a visit to the Khandaani Dawakhana @ Daryaganj might be very helpful. Come to think of it, that was exactly what Peter Parker did, albeit when he was missing his superpowers. Think they are too egoistic to try a Khandaani Dawakhana @ Daryaganj.

I am not so sure about the relationship between tight undies and squeaky voices. In any case, only Batman has a really heavy voice and he probably uses some kind of voice synthesizer.

Nameless - Pairing Super-men with Super-women, thats an interesting concept. It has, however, been tried before with Batman who apparently has a very soft spot for Bat-woman (who has duped him many times before, though). May be we can start a Superheroes dating service and we will be known as Super-pimps :-))

Anonymous said...

Spiderman is still okay atleast you have only cobwebs all over the city, just imagine if you are a resident of rajnagar or some such place where the great Nagraj resides.(those ignorant of existence of Nagraj, the greatest Indian super hero please visit

Imagine the plight of people when you have snakes hanging from all sky scrappers as well as roadsides waiting for preys.

Beta said...

Nagraj is by far the biggest authentic Indian Superhero. Its a pity that they havent done much with him. I would like to see a movie on Nagraj, with Ajay Devgan as the lead.

However, Nagraj's snakes go back inside his body prompty after having done their work. So, Rajnagar would be safe from snakes and criminals alike :-)

Trishanku said...

And I thought people wrote sensible things on their blogs! Sigh!!!

shrenik said...

well, i think Super Commando Dhruv (or Dhruva, as Raj Comics insists), is yet another Indian original.
There are countless other spin-offs and 'inspired' entities in the "Raj Universe", which I used to rent from a guy in KGB ka rasta (as you might know/remember) on my Jaipur trips.
My fave is clearly Dhruv, though Doga is decidedly racier (and more violent!). Nagraj appeals less to me with frequent diversions into mythology-like sub-plots and backgrounds, and super-powers explained as "god-gifted", versus in Dhruv (self taught/acquired).

Beta said...

Shrenik - Let me guess, you will so prefer Batman vs. Superman, wont you? :-))

On a separate note, thanks for reminding me of the good old times when comic books during hot summer afternoons used to be the only source of entertainment :-)

kar said...

Nagraj is most powerful, and I would like to see Hrithik Roshan as Nagraj in movies.