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The World Needs a Hero -- Invitation to Write #19

For Writers:

My wife and I have spent the last three months watching a lot of animated superhero programs (notice I didn't say cartoons, because let's face it: cartoons are for kids!).

Batman: the Animated Series is quite good. But, in every episode, someone must fall from a great height. That's a rule that the TV executives made: "Writers, please make sure that someone falls from a great height in each episode, please." The good thing is, you can make a great drinking game out of it, if you're so inclined.

Superman: the Animated Series. Well, I didn't like this one as much. Batman is darker, and the villains are more like family to me. Superman just isn't my type; after all, he's not from here, and I like my heroes human and without superpowers.

I actually didn't realize this about myself until I started watching these animated programs. I seriously don't like god-like superheros. There's simply no thrill in watching a god defeat the bad guys. Give me Batman, or even MacGyver, any day.

For that reason, I didn't love Batman Beyond. Overall, it was a good show, because it's still Batman after all, but it's a new batman set in the near future, and this batman has more powers -- to the point that he almost loses his humanity (not to mention that he's also a teenager, which is just plain silly).

And now we're watching Justice League. This animated program has a lot of the elements I like about Batman, but it's certainly interesting watching seven superheros working together as a team. Scratch that: most of the episodes seem to leave at least one or two of the superheros out of the show entirely -- as if they're "on assignment" somewhere else. The truth is, it's difficult to write a script that includes all seven (and who needs Hawkgirl anyway?).

If you were a superhero, what powers would you have? Would you be the type that worked with the Justice League, or would you be the renegade that worked alone?

"I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman!"
— Homer Simpson


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