Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Heroes... sigh

by Pam Ripling

When I hear the term “superhero”, my mind immediately conjures up the vivid color newsprint graphics of my childhood, found between the semi-glossy covers of Marvel Comics. Because of a popular TV version of Superman, the Man of Steel became my young heart’s hero and I went mad for collecting those comic books, along with my friend Paul. Paul and I spent hours every day after school pretending to be Clark Kent and Lois Lane. SOMETIMES I was Supergirl, and he was Superboy. We flew all over the neighborhood.

As a teen, all my superheroes were rock stars. Bigger than life, indestructible despite their precarious lifestyles, and of course many of them flew—right off the stage and into the adulating crowd! Okay, so maybe that doesn’t count.

Thinking about today’s superheroes, I have to agree with Jacquelyn about dear Harry P. He meets all the criteria. After all, what is a superhero? Someone with powers? Check. Someone fighting for the common good? Check. Someone with mysterious attraction? Double check.

My favorite female superhero would have to be Arwen Undomiel, the half elven daughter of Elmond in Lord of the Rings. She definitely has powers, she is calm under fire and she is beautiful. Played by Liv Tyler in the films, Arwen gets to save Frodo and kiss (and marry!) that hunkiest of all Middle Earth heroes, Aragorn, played by another personal favorite, Viggo Mortenson.

Last, can’t forget Wolverine. Despite those nasty popping knuckle-swords ("retracting bone claws", for you purists), the Canadian X-gene Mutant means well. He can’t help it if he’s a brooding alpha-type. He’s had a tough time of it. While it’s not on the list of “superhero attributes”, it sure doesn’t hurt that his big-screen incarnation is played to the hilt by People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive, Hugh Jackman! Now there’s hero material for you.

Pam Ripling is the author of middle-grade mystery, LOCKER SHOCK! Buy it at Quake, Fictionwise or Amazon today! E-book version now available for your Kindle! Visit Pam at

This article contains artwork that is © 2006-2008 FunDraw.Com


Mary Cunningham said...

I loved Arwen in LOTR, and "Stider" was certainly easy on the eyes, too.

Your heroes have my vote, Pam!


Jacqueline Lichtenberg said...

I found this blog on twitter via Mary Cunningham
MaryCunningham Who are your superheroes? http://www.teen-seen.blogsp...

I am of course a double-dyed SUPERMAN fan, adored LOIS AND CLARK, and still watch SMALLVILLE. They've introduced one of my other comic favorites GREEN ARROW, and veered into the comic-universe creating the League.

I love some of the Batman stuff, and I do appreciate the camp-comic approach some of the movies had.

The Spiderman films are top notch fare.

I like my superheroes conflicted, and seriously challenged by the plots, ethical challenges, emotional challenges, but the simply physical challenges (like Superman fighting denizens of the Phantom Zone or refugees from Krypton) just don't seem to add anything.

That's why they keep taking Clark's "powers" away from him; to test the mettle of his character without "powers."

The key question is, if you were suddenly gifted with "superpowers" would YOU have the fortitude to employ those powers in the service of others? Would you dare to attract the notice of those who could overpower you?

I retweeted a quote today on twitter that seems to pertain:

RT @skydiver QUOTE!!! EVERYONE should memorize: "Never anger the dragon, for you are little and go well with ketchup."

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Ophelia Julien said...

Great superheroes and great reasons - great post!

Pam Ripling said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post! I have to agree that conflicted heroes make the best heroes. Take the more recent Batman films--Christian Bale does a remarkable job as a truly "human" Batman.

When you pose the question of whether or not one would have the fortitude to serve others with their powers, the recent Will Smith movie "Hancock" comes to mind.

Physical challenges, especially in Batman's and Spiderman's cases, do provide a valid basis for character development, as they are more limited in superhero characteristics.

Remember the Flash? The Green Hornet? :)

Alyssa Montgomery said...

You have to love the heroes from Lord of the Rings! Not to mention Harry Potter. What a great bunch of heroes!