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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Occupational Hazards of being a Superhero - II

While waiting at the check-in counter, I happened to glance through the barred items list. At first, I found it funny that somebody had actually taken trouble to explicitly bar explosives, flammable gases, cutting tools, gun-powder, toxic substances etc. But then, I pondered over the difficulties faced by the world saviors when they choose to travel and I was moved to tears.

Yes, Superheroes do need to travel by traditional means. Can you imagine Spiderman swinging his way outside of Newyork? What if he has to chase Sandman across territories devoid of high-rises? Batman is no exception either. Superman, theoretically, doesnt need tranditional transport but he can be immigration authorities' headache and aerospace securities' nightmare. A few weeks back, a small private unidentified aircraft carrying two drunk Australians in Singapore contributed to a 45 minutes shut-down of Airport operations. A couple of missile carrying fighter jets were hastily summoned, just in case. Now, give your imagination some exercise and substitute the private aircraft with Superman. Lets also add in the fact that the world will be saved mostly in big cities where the aerospace is monitored even more closely. Phew; Superman will be straddled with fighter jets spewing heat-seeking missiles and before you know it, he might miss out on saving the world.

But then, may be Superman will succumb and try using conventional flights. He will have to break laws for illegally carrying laser eyes. He will, of course, disguise them behind his spectacles . Although, it is not in line with Superman's character to break laws but he may justify this in favor of the greater good. Batman, on the other hand, will have no qualms about breaking such rules. He will simply presume that they dont apply to him. He does have his own set of problems, though. He cant possibly carry batarangs, batmobile etc. while travelling out of Gotham city. Theoretically, he can use his private Bat-plane to travel but even that is subjected to the same jurisdiction. The only way out is to use his financial muscle to bribe his way through. Afterall, he is useless without his gadgets.

Spiderman will also be barred for carrying toxic web-slingers on him. Infact, his spider-sense might also interfere with the airoplane's communication system. He may take down a few flights in an effort to save a distant part of the world. A small price, some would say but again, completely not in line with Peter Parker's character.

If I were a Superhero, I would have taken over the world and not be worried about such hassles ever. But as Batman mentions "It is a remarkable dichotomy. In many ways, Clark is the most human of us all. Then, he shoots fire from the sky and it is difficult not to think of him as God. And how fortunate we all are that it does not occur to him."

PS - If you like this post, check out Occupational Hazards of being a Super Hero - I too.

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