By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist
I’m not a conventional superhero.
I battled my adversary verbally. My adversary, a very cute girl,
asked me something I’ve always dreamed a very cute girl would ask me:
“If you could be a superhero, which one and why?”
Keep in mind, I got asked this question as I sat inches away from my
Spider-Man wall hanging, with a Fantastic Four movie in the DVD player,
and just days from the postal arrival of my Blu-Ray copy of “The Dark
I always imagined I’d answer this question with a marriage proposal,
but instead I answered the question honestly and with the tenacity of
an IRS audit.
I landed the first blow. I’m not going with Superman, I said.
But, but, she loves Superman. He’s cool, and he’s handsome, and he can fly, and she’d marry him if she could.
Of course Superman can fly, I said, but so can the Human Torch, Iron
Man and numerous others. Besides, I also judge Superman on the company
he keeps, and Lois Lane’s way too naive. As the story goes, Lane, a
Pulitzer Prize winner, couldn’t figure out that coworker Clark Kent’s
five-year leave of absence in “Superman Returns” coincided perfectly
with Superman’s five-year journey of self-discovery. One could also
assume Kent and Superman have the same height, weight, hair color and
eye color, and a pair of glasses is all it takes to fool Lois.
My friend landed the second blow — Spider-Man’s a whiny wimp, she said, and he couldn’t tell Mary Jane Watson he loved her.
I ordered her to never speak of Spider-Man that way again. Of course
he loves Mary Jane, but he keeps her at a distance because villains
will endanger her to get to Spider-Man. What makes Spider-Man a great
hero, I conclude, is that being Spider-Man comes at a great financial
and emotional toll, but he does it anyway.
But I didn’t want to be Spider-Man, either. I hate heights enough without swinging from spider web strings.
And so, I ran through all of the heroes I could think of.
Iron Man? I’d like to think I’m too humble to pull off the Tony
Stark playboy lifestyle, plus my invention skills fall somewhere
between a good smoothie recipe and IKEA furniture. This reasoning also
eliminates Batman, one could presume.
Wonder Woman? The corset wouldn’t fit, and I always forget where I park my transportation without it being invisible.
Captain America? I’m always leery of the guy who comes off a little too patriotic.
I went with the Green Lantern, an outside-the-box pick. He’s powered
by a ring, I told her, and the powers were only limited by the
ring-wearer’s will power. I could fly, create force fields, read minds
and even travel in time.
Theoretically, I could travel back in time, hear her ask the
question again, and just say, “Superman, of course.” Then she’d marry
me, thinking she’d found the perfect guy all along.
Yep, I’m no hero.