Comic Vine News64 Comments
Off My Mind: Does Needing Help Make a Superhero Less Cool?
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
"I get by with a little a little help from my friends."
These characters have trained themselves so much or simply have such great abilities that they can go out there alone and get the job done. They may have to take a few punches once in a while but at the end of the day, they are victorious over the villains.
RazzaTazz brought up the topic of characters needing help. Specifically she mentioned when Nightwing was defeated by Blockbuster (in issue #93). He could have been killed if he didn't get help from someone else.
What happens when those really cool loner villains can't get the job done alone. Some of them take on sidekicks. Others join teams of super-powered individuals. Sometimes it's a matter of upgrading their arsenal to include armor or other high tech gadgets to make things easier for them. When this happens, when these awesome heroes need help, does that make them a little bit less cool?
== TEASER ==
Whether you like him or are tired of him, Batman is the hero that can kick everyone's ass. The common belief is that, with a little prep time, he can defeat anyone. Yet it was one year after his debut that he took on Robin, a kid from the circus, to become his sidekick. Sure, he felt bad for little Dick Grayson having lost his parents but did he really need to turn him into his crimefighting partner? It never really seemed that Batman needed Robin until after the death of Jason Todd. Tim Drake came up with the notion that Batman did, in fact, need a Robin. When Darkseid sent Batman back in time, at the end of the journey, Bruce discovered that he did need others. He accepted that he couldn't and didn't have to go on his mission against evil alone. Is Batman no longer capable of fighting on his own?
What about Wolverine? He's supposed to be the best there is at what he does. How many female sidekicks has he had? Whether it's Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Armor or even X-23, it seems Wolverine can't stand to be alone. He might be trying to be a father figure to them but his fights usually get pretty bloody and violent. It's not exactly the best place to take an impressionable youth. What about all the teams he's currently on? He's on the X-Men, X-Force and Avengers. What is it that he's best at these days? It could be an evolution of his character but a big part of Wolverine's character has been his lone samurai persona. It looked like he couldn't be tamed enough to be part of the X-Men and now he's part of the team's heart and soul.
What about Hercules? He's the Prince of Power, son of Zeus, the Lion of Olympus. How many times has he recently been saved or assisted by Amadeus Cho? Sure Amadeus is one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe but he's still a kid...and Hercules is a demigod. What does it say that he's had to rely on a kid for so many of his battles?
Who else is there? Spider-Man used to be a loner and now is hanging out with the Avengers and Future Foundation. Punisher was a one-man army but had to rely on Microchip many times. Superman has even received help from Jimmy Olsen, the guy who needed a signal watch and to be saved himself so many times.
There's nothing wrong with asking for help. No one can do it all alone. But what happens to that badass character that needs help? Do they lose some of their cool points or does it strengthen their character and make them a little more human?