By The Poet 1 Comments
So a few weeks ago, I read the non-fiction novel "Catch Me If You Can" by Frank Abagnale Jr. This 1980 novel was what inspired the 2002 Movie staring Leonardo DiCapro and Tom Hanks. Just yesterday, I posted a review of that book on my blog: The Ponsonby Britt Report!
Any who, the first line of the book is just SO significant:
"A man's alter ego is nothing more than his favorite image of himself"
If you have seen the film or watched the musical (like I did...I also reviewed that!), then you would know that Frank Abagnale Jr. was a con man and a check forger who impersonated a Pam Am Pilot, a Doctor, a Lawyer, a sociology teacher and several other identities (one of which was named Barry allen after his favorite superhero!).
The minute I read that first sentence, I began to wonder if it could also be applied to superheroes. I mean, alter egos are very important to most superheroes (if you don't count beings like the late Elongated man or the fantastic four whose identities are public). So, lets have fun and examin some superheros and their characteristics and see if the quote makes sense if directed to them.
Ok, you knew it was coming. Bruce Wayne masquerades as a vengeance seeking superhero with bat-themed weapons. Many a writer and character have noted that Bruce prefers this vampiric-looking alter ego to that of the playboy he uses without the mask. So, is the Dark Knight Bruce's favorite image of himself? If we look at some versions of the story where Bruce was afraid of the bats, then one could say he becomes what he is afraid of when he puts on the cowl. We could also say that after Joe Chill killed his parents, Bruce's favorite image of himself was that of a man who prevented the disasters of the future.
One could say that Peter Parker's favorite image of himself is a jokester-like character who helps people.
Well, I could say that Steve's favorite image of himself is a patriotic man who fights for the American way of life.