Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"

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Which Comic Book Superhero are You?

This may not be the first time someone has asked this question, but with which comic book superhero do you most identify? I don’t mean what super power would you like to have (or do have), or who is your favorite hero, but what character in comic books have you ever come across and said, “Hey, there’s a little bit (or a lot) of me in that character!”

The WatcherWell, mine is a little unusual– it is Uatu, the Watcher. I first caught this character in Fantastic Four comic books of my childhood. Basically, he watched–observed– and reported what he saw. Is that a great job or what? Uatu and his kind had a strict code of non-interference, meaning even if the existence of the civilization they observe is threatened, they cannot intervene.

What appealed to me instantly was the idea of being able to watch everything this going on within a defined universe, and interpret it; that is, being the go-to guy for an overview of what’s going on in the world. I like to listen, to know what’s going on. That drew me to the storytelling aspects of radio, journalism, blogging, and public relations. What was a little off-putting was the inability to affect change, participate in or even be seen by those you observe. Big bummer. Of course, followers of Marvel Comics in the 60’s and 70’s know well that Uatu broke his vow of non-interference in order to help the Fantastic Four and other heroes save the earth from Galactus and other baddies.

In short, it is impossible to be purely an observer; one must participate and contribute. So, I don’t just read blogs or write my own; I spend much more time reading others and commenting there; listening to podcasts and commenting there as well. It’s a participatory culture, one that is bringing many of my colleagues in my line of work, PR, to a new/old way of thinking.

So which Super hero are you? Are you Batman, dark and brooding with an urge to right wrongs through your own methods? Are you uber Boy Scout Superman? Or maybe Spiderman, an awkward Everyman who bears the burden of suddenly acquired power? Or maybe, like me, you identify with a slightly more obscure character. I’d like to hear from any one who stumble across this post…

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6 Responses to Which Comic Book Superhero are You?

  1. Scott Monty says:

    While not (originally) a comic book hero, Sherlock Holmes comes to mind. He’s been dubbed the Original Caped Crusader.

    I identify with Holmes because he’s a bit of a loner, but he knows how to read people (that’s a superpower, right?. He’s a loner and makes a habit of applying out of the way and trivial knowledge to great effect. He’s an icon.

    While he may have been difficult to be around, he values the friendship he has with John H. Watson, who we should remember, was a doctor. Not stupid by any stretch of the imagination, Watson seemed less intelligent because he was around the great detective. Holmes once said of Watson:
    “It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it in others.”

    Not a slam, but a compliment that Watson was a useful agent – like the violin, the tobacco, the many newspapers Holmes received every day – to help him in his line of work. When he retired to the Sussex Downs to keep bees (his Fortress of Solitude?), it was a well-earned rest after decades of crime-fighting.

    One final thought: Detective Comics was founded with the original detective in mind. In certain issues, Batman actually refers obliquely to an ancestor who kept bees.

  2. It’s funny that I rarely “identified” with specific superheroes as surrogates for me. Instead, I wanted to be all of them. I was a mix of a Marvel kid and a DC kid. I loved Batman, but knew I’d just have to find the right spider to be Spider-Man. As time went on, I loved Travis Morgan, the Warlord (dude from modern times finds a wild jungle world with wizards and crap- swordplay ensues). I loved Moon Knight way back when (though why a superhero would run around in white seemed fairly stupid to me).

    I was not a kid who identified with the Hulk. I didn’t think of The Thing as a surrogate for zitty kids. Instead, I wanted repulsor rays in my gloves. I wanted a fast black car. I wanted to be as physically capable as Captain America, but morally ambiguous like Batman.

    In recent years, I’ve felt that if I had extra time to write, I’d have a really neat relaunch idea for Dr. Strange, Doc Midnight, and a few lesser used characters.

    Who would I have the best chance of really being? Doctor Midnight. Blind dude who basically just throws smoke bombs and beats people up.

  3. Doug Haslam says:

    Wow, cool responses so far– Brogan, if you wanted to be all of them, maybe you are Peter Petrelli, the empath from NBC’s Heroes (or Sylar?)

  4. Sjoerd de Boer says:

    I identify a lot with the superhero Rorschach from the amazing comic The Watchmen. An fairly normal guy (with the occassional doomscenario / sick image flashing through his head) who decides the world is both crazy and corrupt. A bit paranoid and strange, but non-compromizing and not afraid to have a different opinion…

    Can’t wait for the movie by Zack Snyder!!! (see http://www.imdb.com – Watchmen for more info)

  5. Doug Haslam says:

    I, sadly, have not read The Watchmen (ducks). I have been hearing about the potential movie for years, and the whole concept sounds intriguing. I also know The Watchmen was a major influence on my new favorite TV show, Heroes.

    Interesting choice!

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