Friday, May 20, 2011

Favourites #10 : Superheroes

Those who went to school with me might remember that I had a hobby that gave my parents and teachers plenty of headaches; I was obsessed with superheroes, to the extent that I must have written and drawn no less than thirty different series of them in exercise books. Most were simply my version of the popular superheroes at the time, but there was a handful of them that I created and those were the only ones that I finished drawing from cover to cover.

Too bad I threw them all away in a tantrum. Can't remember why.

Apparently my superheroes were not immortals...
As an adult, I barely draw anymore. I'd hate to give up my love for all things creative and artistic, but if things don't look up, I might just have to. Well, at least there are superhero movies I could enjoy.

Speaking of which, Superhero movies is pretty much a genre that is here to stay, and frankly I welcome it to stay for as long as possible. But all the same, superhero movies are a bit of a hit-and-miss type of thing because for every one superhero movie that I like, there are heaps that I simply loathe. For example, I never reviewed Ghost Rider [2007], but that was a god-awful superhero movie, wasn't it?

Even my love for badass bikes and leather jackets couldn't save it...
Sometimes it's not even about B-list superheroes. Other big names like Superman had also fallen out of my favour since he was all about whining, stopping Lex Luthor's real estate scams and rescuing kittens. So yeah, being all powerful does not guarantee that I will like it, as evidenced by this list of five superheroes that I like;

#1 The Comedian


Movie : Watchmen [2009]
Watchmen was not "just a superhero movie", if anything, it was one of the best movies I've ever seen. It's one thing to make a dramatic superhero movie like The Dark Knight [2008], where more focus was given on making it realistic. Watchmen on the other hand, played with many conventions with the genre while injecting a very credible human (superhuman) drama.

At the center of the events, we have The Comedian, a character who completely captured my imagination. An amazing feat once you consider that he died very, very early in the movie. I don't know why, maybe it's his ambiguous morality, or conflicted persona... Anyway, he's my favourite superhero now.

#2 Hit-Girl


Movie : Kick-Ass [2010]
The Lolita of superhero movies, it caught me completely by surprise when she blasted into the scene where she took on a room full of thugs. There's nothing cerebral about her, just plain ol' superhero badassery delivered by a preadolescent girl. I may have laughed a number of times at the mindlessness of it all, but all the same I was intrigued when I saw all of those acrobatic gunfights. I remember thinking, "Dang, this girl is really awesome..."

#3 Batman


Movie : Batman [1989], Batman Begins [2005], The Dark Knight [2008]
I know, weird right? A franchise, a legacy that spread across several generations yet he came in third on this list? I mean, he's one of the two "established" superheroes on this list, what gives? Well, it's not because I don't think a lot of him as a superhero, I'll tell you that much. If anything, he's one of the more believable superheroes out there, aside from the fact that he is rich enough to have shrugged off some terrible business investments.

What's there to love about Batman is that he is the right man for the right job. Gotham City is a city infested with crazy villains that it will take a psychotic superhero to get the job done. Combine that with Christopher Nolan's take on Batman's staunch belief in his moral code, we get a superhero that gets increasingly more interesting with every movie.

#4 Wolverine


Movie : X-Men [2000], X2: X-Men United [2003]
I must say, I have always liked Wolverine although I have never read any issue of the X-Men comic books. Everything that I know about X-Men prior to the movies, I knew from the cartoon series. I didn't knew Hugh Jackman back then, but I thought it was a weird choice considering that he was a lot taller and more ruggedly-handsome than the comic book incarnations of the character.

Tell me, is there a more badass superhero than Wolverine? It didn't take me long to warm up to him, the very moment he was introduced in that cage fighting scene in X-Men [2000] I thought he was the coolest dude I've ever seen in a long time.

#5 Defendor


Movie : Defendor [2009]
You know, if I were any crazier than I currently am, I might have just taken up vigilantism myself. You could very well tell by now that I certainly romanticise the idea of it, but thankfully I also know that real life is not a damn thing like the movies.

But still when you look at Defendor, you can't help but be touched at one man's desire to put things right when the law is riddled with loopholes and politics. You might think he's crazy, but is he really the crazy one when it's us who put up with all the nonsense and bullshit imposed to us?

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