By Munawar Mobin Cover art: E. R. Ronny
As citizens of the world, we all have the four common necessities needed to survive, prosper (and reproduce) on this planet: Food, water, shelter and superheroes. Today's article is obviously about the last one on that list. From the beginning of when they showed up, superheroes have been known for doing two things best: managing to pull off the 'underwear over latex' look and always saving the world. Superheroes are awesome, loyal, honourable, honest, and we have all looked up to them for centuries. They look over us, keep us safe and of course ensure our continued existence from any threat that might appear.
At the end of the day, superheroes always need some rest (and caffeine, for the next day). They take off their capes, rings, suits, claws, masks, helmets and they spend time with their families. What with Father's day and all, this article will be directed towards the fathers.
“My dad's never around. He doesn't find time for me; something or the other always comes up. Most days he uses the 'Joker escaped Arkham' excuse; other days he uses 'robbery' or 'murder'. It's sad that the only time I spend with him is in a party or charity event. It's sad that he's never around to read me bedtime stories cause he 'only works in the night'; but it's fun and awesome that he's got cool gadgets and even though he's never around he always buys me anything I want.”
Says Damien, son of Bruce Wayne. The five year old ensures us that even though some superheroes are never around for their children, they always manage to show them how much they care and love. Most times, these superheroes might seem hard to understand, or be a little unresponsive at the dinner table, but at the end of the day they always come out on top and express their feelings perfectly.
After Gotham City, our reporters took a turn towards Smallville. From the yellow corn fields of the town, seventeen year old Clark Jr. teaches us a few things about his super-dad.
“My Father can be a little too controlling sometimes. He can hear me talk and curse around with my friends with his stupid super-hearing. He can see through the walls and see whatever I'm up to in my room. Thus he can be a super pain in the butt. My dad, despite being as controlling as he is, can always somehow manage to surprise me and turn out amazing for a while. That's the best thing about him: no matter how fearful he is, he's always dependable and you can really count on him to do the right thing. The only reason he doesn't let me fly too high is because he knows it might burn my wings.”
The next half of the conversation went onto Clark Jr. explaining to our reporters how the last line was a metaphor because he didn't really have wings. For Superman, it seems like the apple fell far from the spaceship, but the point that Clark Jr. made was that some superheroes tend to control their children's lives. What they really want you to know is that they've got a plan and they're only doing what's best for you.
We couldn't get word out of Bruce Banner's daughter, but there are things we have to do sometimes to get the truth out there. So we broke in and stole his daughter's diary. Here is an extract:
“ARGHHH SMASH! ARRGHHHHH ICECREAM!”
(translated into English)
“Today, dad got angry again. Dad can get really angry sometimes. He gets mad at something (it's mostly the bottle of jam he always breaks with his fingers in the morning) and he starts shouting, ending each sentence with a 'smash'. Today, he got angry at something momma said about school. I thought he got mad at something stupid like every other time but I was a little surprised when I heard that it was because of what momma said about the other kids bullying me in school. This is one of those times when dad gets angry at the right things. He was super nice to me after he heard and even agreed when I asked for ice-cream!”
From what we gather from the rough translation of Banner's daughter's diary, we can see that sometimes superheroes get mad. They can get really mad; so mad that at one point you might realise that anger is the only thing he ever reverts to. Superheroes can get angry sometimes but, when needed, they drop whatever they have going on and make the best out of even their worst attributes to make things alright for their children. They're gloomy and bad at connecting but when the time's right, they always get you to smile.
“Father once told me that he taught me how to walk, holding my hand, one step at a time and whenever he let go to let me learn on my own, and whenever I fell and cried out, it hurt him much much more than it hurt me; and now that I'm older, and I'm running with my own life ahead of me, he's just as afraid of hurting as ever before.” - Supergirl
At the end of the day we should all look towards the fact that superheroes save the world every day, and that no matter what, inevitably they always manage to find time to put aside their superpowers and be amazing fathers. They find time to listen to your problems, no matter the amount of work piling up on the desk. They might not know your favourite colour but they always know what to say to make things alright. Fathers give us a shoulder to lean against; they're a dependable lot and they are amazing, each in their own ways.
Our fathers are our superheroes.