“I just want a normal life!“
So superhero stories are the new black, apparently. It seems like you can’t turn around without tripping over some network’s drama series about people developing surprising powers. And they all have one thing in common:
Almost everybody in the show is upset about these powers.
Look, I didn’t fit in as a kid. If it weren’t for a serious cultural revolution that has made it genuinely hip to be square, I wouldn’t fit in as an adult. Are you kidding me? I’m gay, I don’t believe in God, and I know way too fucking much about Star Wars. I know what it is to occasionally wish I weren’t different. But I also know what it is to accept and embrace what makes me different.
And you know what kind of being different I wouldn’t have minded for one second? Fucking superpowers.
FFS. Do you have any idea how often I’ve daydreamed about superpowers? I bet you do, because I bet you have too. Man, what I wouldn’t give for the ability to read people’s thoughts, teleport, or for the love of shit soar through the air faster than a speeding bullet.
But no. The people in these shows and movies crave the mundane. Who the fuck is like that?
Hey look. I get it. It’s a metaphor for not fitting in. Being a mutant = being a queer, alright, that version of the symbolism is valid but it has been done. Can’t we just get characters acting like some goddamn human beings and being fucking thrilled to be special?
At least make other characters call them freaks and give them a complex about it, don’t start them off insecure about their awesomeness from square one. I promise you, no teenager wants to have a normal, cliched shitty high school experience. They would not rather do the tux-limo-prom Norman Rockwell thing than be able to melt things with their eyes.
They would not. This goes double for adults. Human beings are fucking crazy and you knock the balance of power out of whack for so much as a second, most people are not going to crawl back into their cages and wait for it to be over. They’re going to grab it with both hands and ride it out.
I know, I know. The refusal of the call is part of the archetypal hero’s journey. But eventually they ought to accept. Otherwise there’s no journey. I’m sick of characters too angsty to do anything. Make them do something they learn to regret. That’s much more interesting.
- Not to mention looking that good in spandex tights, but I digress.↩