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Off My Mind: Should Super Heroes be Hounded by the Paparazzi?

Do they have paparazzi following them around?

In our world, people and the press love celebrities. There's no end to the coverage of which actor or sports figure is dating who and where are they going for dinner. The paparazzi sit outside their house, hoping to get a picture of these media figures, even if it's just taking out the trash. In comic books, celebrities may be a focus for attention but clearly the public would be far more interested in the lives of superheroes.

People may be impressed with superstars but nothing they do can compare to the feats of superheroes. People look up to heroes (literally when they're flying overhead). We see the fascination with celebrities because we want to know more about them. Imagine how this would be even more intense for masked heroes.

When superheroes try to keep their identity a secret, would this become even more difficult if tabloids were watching their every move?

== TEASER ==

Every now and then we see signs of merchandising in comics. We'll see the occasional kid wearing a Spider-Man or Superman shirt. There has also been mention of comic book adventures within the comic universe. This just proves that the public in comic books does have an interest in superheroes.

The paparazzi can make millions off of one photo. When the cry goes out for help, if a hero is in his or her civilian guise, they'll need to change quickly into their superhero costume. Doing so many times, they've become experts at doing it away from the prying eyes of the public. But not even a hero like Spider-Man with spider-senses can always be on their toes. In Amazing Spider-Man #262, Peter was changing and a photographer had the incredible luck of being able to snap a photo before he could put his mask on (maybe that should be the first thing he puts on?). If that photographer managed to sell that picture, he would have been set for life. He would just have to decide if it'd be worth more to the newspapers or to Spider-Man's enemies.

Not all superheroes have secret identities. The Fantastic Four have been open with who they are from the beginning. They may live high up on the top floors of the Baxter Building and have a robot receptionist and private elevator, but it's strange that you never see any photographers around.

The same goes with the Avengers Mansion and Avengers Tower. With the Avengers, not all members have openly disclosed their identities. With the mansion, you would think that a high powered lens would be able to catch something juicy through the windows.

How much does this app cost?

Batman used to be an urban myth. He was a story that kept criminals on edge. He was thought to be a demon. Now that the idea of Batman, Inc is known to the world, it's accepted that Batman is just a normal guy (extremely well trained, of course) that dresses up in a costume. The publicity for Batman could be good for Wayne Enterprises. Since everyone knows Bruce Wayne has been funding Batman, the value of stock for Wayne Enterprises has most likely gone up.

There was also hint of how their every moment could be captured and tracked in Supergirl #60. An app for smart phones was invented and users were encouraged to take a photo and tag the superhero when they managed to see one. Anyone exploiting this data would soon be familiar with the heroes normal patrol patterns. Eventually the hero would slip up and someone would catch them changing or flying into their home.

What is surprising is that we don't see more super-powered photographers. When Peter Parker was in need of money (in Amazing Spider-Man #559) and shady newspaperman Dexter Bennett took over the Daily Bugle, Peter had a short stint as a paparazzi. With his abilities, it was easy to get the money shot. We see most individuals that gain superpowers use them to either be a hero or a villain. You don't often see characters exploit their powers for financial gain.

Of course there are some heroes that would crave the attention. The first that naturally comes to mind is Booster Gold. He would welcome the attention and any chance of the Booster Gold Fan Club to be a reality.

There's also the villain Screwball. She was the first live streaming super-villain and was mainly concerned with the number of hits she would get on her webpage.

It's probably for the best that the hunger for intimate details in their private lives isn't a factor for superheroes. You would think speculation would run rampant if heroes of the opposite sex (like Spider-Man and Spider-Woman) were seen teaming up together. Superheroes have enough to worry about. They don't need to be concern with someone snapping a picture of them fixing their costume if they happen to get a wedgie. Then again, this could just be a part of comics we simply aren't seeing. Heroes deserve praise and recognition for the hard work they do but they shouldn't have to worry about their privacy being invaded.

47 Comments
Edited by RUSTMAN

I'm of the opinion that celebrities shouldn't really complain about the paparazzi because if you're an actor or a musician or something you know what you're getting into and what kind of business it actually is... I guess some superheroes don't really have the luxury of choosing to have their abilities and their fame so they wouldn't really be prepared for all the attention... 
 
Interesting topic...  
 
(whoo just happened to stumble onto it and got the first comment in!)

Posted by Paracelsus

Depends- some "out" heroes/heroines such as the late Janet Van Dyne are occasionally hassled by the media (usually to confirm or deny that they are dating this or that celebrity), but once they know who you are(pace the Fantastic Four), they usually leave you alone for the most part!
 
Terry

Posted by NightFang

A very Interesting topic, but heroes should be prepared for the paparazzi like politicians.

Posted by Vision2.0

those 80s marvel comic covers were embarrassing... 

Posted by Soldier zero

It's very likely that paparazzi can be a problem for superheroes. After all they went after everyone who is even remotly cool and heroes usually had a quite high coolness factor. But they also have to consider the personal risk: stalking a famous actor or politician it's unlikely to win you a full night hanging upsode down while waiting for Spidey's webbings to melt, or having your precious camera burned to slag by a burst of Superman's heat vision.

Edited by matthuliz
Edited by dorsk188

Joan Rivers: Spider-Man! Who are you wearing?

Spider-Man: Let's see, it's an FF issue so, unstable molecules by Richards, I guess...

(Also, lol@silver age feminism on display in GL panels.)

Posted by Henrypm

yeah i never thought about that but it should happen , they can be more popular than movie stars and singers that should happen crazy fans and paparazzi annoying them
Posted by Norusdog

let them be.  sure.  They'll be killed by the hundreds.
 
Just wish we had something they'd follow that dangerous in the real world

Posted by TDK_1997
@RUSTMAN said:
I'm of the opinion that celebrities shouldn't really complain about the paparazzi because if you're an actor or a musician or something you know what you're getting into and what kind of business it actually is... I guess some superheroes don't really have the luxury of choosing to have their abilities and their fame so they wouldn't really be prepared for all the attention...  Interesting topic...   (whoo just happened to stumble onto it and got the first comment in!)
Posted by Billy Batson

If you're a celebrity (in this case a superhero) you will have paparazzi after you... 

BB

Posted by Out_of_Space

Lost of topic to me.

Posted by xerox_kitty


I don't think even real people deserve to be hounded by the paparazzi... But both Superman & Spider-Man ARE part of the paparazzi!  Peter Parker made a living from selling pictures of himself as Spider-Man! 
 
It's the internet that seems to be the bane of their existence these days.  Speedball's current problems in Fear Itself: Home Front being a key example of how ordinary people use the internet to gang up & try to beat him up.
Posted by Transmetal

It be funny as hell if a cameraman made it into the batcave....the newscrew probably wouldn't see him for a few days
Posted by Iron_Turtle

I think all paparazzi should follow Superman..... While he takes a quick dip through the heart of the sun.

Posted by mohawkmoose12

As far as heroes and the paparazzi go, I doubt that most of them would have much of a problem getting away from them if needed.

Posted by RareCheshire

They are more of role models than celebrities are, so yes although they would probably get in the way and cause too much trouble for the hero if they're saving the day.

Posted by kapitein_zeppos

Superheroes would be the biggest game of all, just like celebs but with added bonusses.
 
Unmasking the hero, reporting mistakes and slip ups, any costume changes etc will all be huge $$$ for a certain section of the "news" media.
 
Look at how celebs and politicians are scrutinized, it will be same (or worse) for superheroes. 

Edited by Xenozoic Shaman

Nobody likes the paparazzi, so I don't think people would mind if a "hero" slew one or two as an example.  That would keep most of them at bay. :P
 
...or perhaps the "hero" could just withdraw their protection on the most annoying of the lot.

Posted by Icemizer

I can see lots of lawsuits from following super beings around. Your following the Flash and are suddenly frozen by Captain Cold. Your standing near Booster Gold and the next thinig you know your under attack by an OMAC. Just how much danger pay would a reporter get from following one of these Heroes around?
Posted by djotaku

I've been away from comics for too long to know if the Civil War Story arc I've seen in TP form at my local shop is still in effect in the Marvel universe of if it's been magically erased (via M or some other retcon producing entitiy) but I found out on comic vine that some of the heroes went public with their civie IDs during that story arc.  I'd imagine those people would now be followed by the papparazzi.  "See superheros are just like us....."

Posted by Marshal Victory

Should super heroes be hounded by the paparazzi? 
Sure! 
 
Just imagine how the heard of them would be thined when they try to take pics of the punisher! 
Kinda brings a smile just thinking about it ? 
 
Or ... Hulk no like camera flash...Hulk Smash!
Posted by DarkShadows

I really hate paparazzi. But being a superhero is like being a famous movie star.

Posted by Mbecks14

nobody SHOULD have paparzzi following them. but it makes sense that superheroes do

Posted by blaakmawf

It kinda sucks, but I'm not surprised.

Posted by Trodorne

man that hal jordan really has an affect on teen age girls. before justin beiber was hal jordan.

Posted by Kairan1979

I don't think any paparazzi in his right mind will try to make a photo of Rorschash twice.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

Not to spam about this or anything, just that this topic relates to my comic.  In Monkey Boy I thought that every time he is seen by the public everyone would whip out their cell phones all the time.  In this day and age it would be hard not to get your photo taken by anyone on the street if you were a superhero.

Posted by Darkmount1

Paparazzis are vultures. They're one of the reasons celebs go off the deep end most of the time.
Posted by turoksonofstone

I love these G-Man. These observations of yours are rife with inspiration.

Posted by mark5
@Iron_Turtle said:
I think all paparazzi should follow Superman..... While he takes a quick dip through the heart of the sun.
LMAO 
@Marshal Victory said:
Should super heroes be hounded by the paparazzi? Sure!  Just imagine how the heard of them would be thined when they try to take pics of the punisher! Kinda brings a smile just thinking about it ?  Or ... Hulk no like camera flash...Hulk Smash!
reminds me of Ultimate Hulk 
 
@rarecheshire said:
They are more of role models than celebrities are, so yes although they would probably get in the way and cause too much trouble for the hero if they're saving the day.
Agreed, but they could or maybe should try to make some money off that like Spidey. 
 
 
 
I believe this whole point of paparazzi was brought up in several spiderman cartoons and shows. Also in Ben 10 and well any superhero tv show or a show about super powered people usually has an episode when their identities are revealed. 
Posted by SpidermanWins

Lol I remember thinking in that Spider-Man issue "Why did they say he was coming out of the closet?"

Posted by Amegashita

  Sounds like opportunities to sue heroes.  Hounding Superman, and then he accidentally (hypothetically of course) knocks five reporters to  the moon.  Not good for reputation, if you ask me.

Posted by qzack41

MARVELOUS

Posted by qzack41

Yes. But only the popular ones.
Posted by Mr.Q
I think they may try and avoid it. remember when Tommy Lee pushed that one photographer into a crowed and he cried for two months about it? how would that story play out with Wolverine? 
Posted by Grandmaster_Fro

I'm pretty sure when the founding fathers wnated "Freedom of the Press", they never envisioned paparrazi. That being said, I'd feel bad for the reporters who happened to be killed in an accident during a battle between supers
Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

On the flip side, should supervillains be hounded by paparazzi? Seems to me that paps would go for anything to turn a good buck and I dare say that villains would be open season just as heroes would be. Intriguing idea, no?

Posted by jerfro23

well heroes will have lots problems with this they have to protect there indintiy and if in wrong hands there own rouges galley could get hold said information try come after them or loved ones
Posted by Maki_P

I imagine Superheroes get followed by paparazzis, but not all the time, after a while the novelty wears off, you see him or her up in the sky doing the same thing. And like it's been said before, there are a lot of risks involved in following a superhero.

Posted by Eyz

It has always been a fun part of superheroics. You know, their great fan following or hate amongst the public.
 
And I guess that would happen in "real life", if someone had great powers. (it already does with athletes, great men like astronauts, etc..)

Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k
You don't often see characters exploit their powers for financial gain. 
 
Oh, you don`t? what about all the superpowered villains robbing banks and stuff like that? :)
 
Ok, I know that you meant ordinary jobs, but still.
Posted by unbreakableburr

An interesting post, and one that points out something I am frankly very surprised doesn't happen more often. Jennifer Walters is a badass who flaunts her identity in the public eye, she gets constantly photographed and loves it, yet her cousin Bruce doesn't get the same scrutiny and you'd think he would.

Posted by Blacklightning13

Superheroes definitely should and this would also cause celebrities to be nothing and there would be far fewer actors there by far fewer janitors super market workers etc. so the entire economic situation would be different lol jokes but celebrities would get less attention i mean think about the attention fictional super heroes get now imagine if they were real. Have you ever seen celebrity? well imagine if that was instead a guy who could fly and lift a planet with 1 hand behind his back. Or have you ever been in a crime or been mugged? well if you have 1 in 2 of you would of actually seen a superhero come along and zap or punch or blow up who ever it was if this happened i think they would get a lot of publicity also with supervillians around everytime there was a big attack you would here about it then you would here even more about it when some guy came along faster then a speeding bullet and fryed him with laser coming out his ears. So in all yes i think there would and should be papparazzi following heroes.

Posted by Pizawle

How would they keep up?

Posted by RichyRich

In Youngblood from image comics, they tackle this. Since Superheroes are so famous, these heroes are media darlings. Advertisments, endorsments, talk show appearances, their celebrities. Its pretty fun for a Liefeld idea
Posted by Paracelsus

Perhaps superheroes could be afforded special protection( much like CIA operatives or special forces members like the SAS or US Navy SEALs) in concealing their identities from the general public?

Personally I think that if even in real life complaints about the "stalkerazzi"_ as the late Princess Diana aptly dubbed them( not to mention Lady Gaga and film star Drew Barrymore who memorably observed that every time somebody called her a "celebrity", she wanted to shoot them), then they could only be that much more intrusive where superheroes are concerned!

Terry