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Every Single Thing That’s Dumb About Superheroes

Superheroes are extremely popular now. Whether you want to blame it on the success of Marvel’s Avengers franchise or DC’s scrambled attempts to match it, people sure like superheroes.  Gone are the days when people felt ashamed of being a nerd.  Clearly this is wrong. Sorry to ruin your prolonged childhood. But some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. Some men just want to watch the world learn… every single thing that’s dumb about superheroes.

Firstly, to the three people that haven’t seen a superhero movie let me explain. Every movie has some fundamental components, starting with at least one good guy and at least one bad guy. To avoid any confusion or *cough* legal ramifications we’ll be referring to characters by they’re knock-off costume names. For example  Psycho *cough* Clown and  Superhero *cough* Man *coughing fit*. Sorry, just feeling a little sick at the moment. Our house has mould. It’s a long story.

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When you’re Margot Robbie and some random disses you on the internet.

Plot wise, almost all superhero movies have the same structure. Starting with some confusing scene with psycho clown and his faceless henchmen preparing something while ominous music plays. The first time you watch this you won’t understand what’s going on here, but that’s okay because by the end of the movie you’ll have already forgotten about it.

Then Bam! In comes Superhero man. Everything starts off fine for him despite having absent/dead parents, until Kapow! Someone close to them, let’s call them Uncle Substitute for father, gets killed meaninglessly. After mourning Uncle substitute for father Foreclosure! Superhero Man captures Psycho Clown without compromising his morale code.

Meanwhile… since there’s still half of the movie left, Psycho Clown needs to break free with little to no effort. Apparently Psycho Clown’s “plan all along” was to get captured. From here Superhero Man and the revengers *sneeze* must either kill or seriously maim an exorbitant number of faceless henchmen. After this the revengers team up to apply some fight fire with fire logic to stop Psycho Clown’s doomsday device. Although Superhero Man’s plan doesn’t go by the book it is inevitably “so crazy it just might work.”

Finally in a last ditch attempt to defeat Psycho Clown, Superhero Man needs to sacrifice everything in order to give up nothing. For a second it almost seems like he might not make it, spoiler alert: he does and his love interest looks on from the side with a single tear rolling down their cheek. So apart from being the same stupid story we paid to see the last time the franchise was rebooted what else is wrong with superhero movies?

Wow the new Batman reboot looks dark!

Well you could ask Joss Whedon, the guy behind the two Avengers movies. When asked to describe the first film he says “I just see ‘flaw, flaw, compromise, laziness, mistake.’” Maybe Whedon is just being hard on himself. Maybe you can’t make a movie with over 6 main characters. This issue became more apparent when the first cut of Avengers: Age of Ultron came in at around 3-and-a-half hours. Holy under-developed characters Batman! That’s a long movie.

In fact Whedon describes being “beaten down” not only by the process of fitting so many superheroes into the avengers but also by having to deal with Marvel. In Marvel’s defense when you pay 250 million dollars for a movie you’re probably hoping for a little bang for your buck. You can’t have some guy called Joss spending all your money on a movie about how he feels about humanity. Especially when you could make the same kind of money with tits and explosions. It’s the equivalent of when someone promises to “shout you a couple of drinks when we get in” after you pay for the Uber to the bar, except for some reason there’s a 250 million dollar surcharge.

So this is usually where superheroes and their movies fall apart. All this pressure from the production company inevitably leads to a story that perpetuates this narrative of oversimplified conflict you see everywhere. It’s us vs. them. Good and evil. You know that scene where your meant to feel sorry for Superhero Man just because he goes and get’s himself injured?  Should we really feel that sorry for this omnipotent, faceless henchmen killing machine?

Superheroes never plays by the books because, they never have to. They’re allowed to flaunt the law and endanger the lives of innocent civilians all with zero culpability. Who needs due process and hard evidence when there’s psychotic masked vigilantes to fight your battles?

Superhero Man might be the hero we deserve but he’s not the one I need right now. So that’s why he’s dumb. Also what’s up with lasers? Do they just stun you or kill you?



About Alex McRae

Alex McRae
Alex has been at uni for so long he not only remembers the roundhouse he remembers when schooners at happy hour were $2.50. He's actually pretty self conscious about his age so try not to bring it up. Certainly don't chase him down the street swinging a sack full of doorknobs screaming, "thanks for murdering the great barrier reef, Grandpa!!!" He just picked up knitting and spits flames on his mixtape, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

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