This time of year, we celebrate what we are thankful for. As for myself, I plan to stuff myself with turkey and stuffing and be thankful for the fact that I live in the real world and not a comic book. I know what you are thinking, “but comics are awesome! Why wouldn’t you want to live in one?” It’s true, comics are awesome, but most events that make comics enjoyable for us readers make the lives of the characters a living Hell. Don’t believe me? Well take a look at the Top Reasons You Should be Thankful You Don’t Live in a Comic Book.
I’m going to go ahead and get the obvious one out of the way. Supervillains are dicks. They exist only to cause trouble and conflict. And if you live in their world, their very existence stands to ruin your life. People like Lex Luthor manipulate the world economy, causing rapid unemployment. Dr. Doom invades a country every other week. Mutants slaughter humans. The Joker…is just the Joker. It’s not just A-list villains like Luthor and Dr. Doom, even minor villains like Captain Cold can make your life suck. Here’s a little example for you. You walk into the bank after a hard day working in hazardous conditions for minimum wage and Lexcorp to cash your check. You stand in line, waiting for your turn. You cash the check and turn around to be flash frozen by a guy in a blue parka. He’s busy getting yours and the banks money and your genitals are busy getting frostbite.
And let’s not forget about the countless alien threats that are just waiting to invade Earth and harvest you for food.
This is an odd entry to think about, but go with me on this. In Marvel and DC, characters like Reed Richards and Lex Luthor make amazing inventions that could better the lives of the entire world…and they don’t share.
Luthor can build a self-sustaining energy source; instead, he will destroy the energy source and hike up gas prices because he is Lex flipping Luthor! He does shit like that for kicks. Also, if the economy were to experience turmoil it could potentially destabilize his competition and make it easier for him to seize control. “But what if they share the technology with us?” You ask? An economy where constant accelerated breakthroughs in technology exist would constantly fluctuate because the job market would be unstable. Yeah, robots make great sources of labor, but it puts your ass out of a job. Industries would rise and fall overnight. No job would be safe.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait,” you say, “There is NOTHING wrong with superpowers or having powers.”
I know where you are coming from. Having superpowers seems like it’d be a blast! Being born with awesome reality defying powers seems awesome. I mean who wouldn’t want to be able to ignore gravity.
Powers seem cool, unless you are in the Marvel Universe in which case those wings that sprout from your armpits when you jump in the air make you a Mutant. You’re horrible freak of nature that nearly everyone in the world wants to kill. You are branded as a monster and no one wants to be around you.
Even if you aren’t born with powers, the very laws of physics in mainstream comics basically seems to guarantee that some horrible accident will occur forcing you to have superpowers. If that happens, just pray that you live in DC, where everyone is beautiful. Unless you aren’t beautiful already, in which case…let’s just say it was nice knowing you. “Fine, I won’t get powers, I’ll just get to see my favorite heroes have powers.” That’s even worse. You are back to being reliant on heroes to protect you from villains. Remember Marvel’s Civil War? Think of all the innocent bystanders who died without powers. This brings us to Number 2.
2. You Exist Just to Die
Let’s face it; everything in the comic world is designed to kill you. You are an unnamed person, an NPC, a poorly drawn character in the background of a panel. Your very existence hinges on the fact that heroes must save you every day. You live only to die in order to motivate the heroes or further the plot.
You’re not Batman. You’re the little girl with blonde pigtails that Batman fails to save from the burning building. You exist only to cause conflict.
1. You’re a Fictional Character
You are a character whose fate is controlled by a writer, or multiple writers. Your fate could change the moment that writers are switched on your title. Sure, sometimes you will be safe. You think, “Hey, I live in Connecticut. Nothing ever happens there. It’s Connecticut.” Well, do you know what happened in Connecticut? The start of Marvel Civil War! A whole town of nameless characters, such as yourself, was just snuffed out to give birth to one writer’s idea. If a write thinks that it would be a great idea for everyone on Earth to get put in a giant refrigerator, Final Crisis will happen. Anything is possible. You have no control over your fate; everything is up to the man at the keyboard.
So, sit back, eat your turkey and be glad that you live in the real world. Unless this isn’t the real world…
Richard "Hawk" Hawkins
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