Tony’s recent Off My Mind’s regarding superheroes’ day-to-day got me thinking again. How seriously do super-heroes take their day jobs? It sounds like a silly question, sure, but it's actually got some dramatic implications. Think of all the commentary there’s been about how Bruce Wayne is really the mask that Batman wears or how Clark Kent is really just a role Superman plays to critique and parody normal beings. Questions of identity (secret or otherwise) are central to the superhero mythos, but I can’t think of too many examples where this particular piece of the puzzle has been explored that far.
It’s less of a question for the billionaires and the professionals. Tony Stark is Iron Man - - they’re one-and-the-same. Being Captain America is Steve Rogers' job. But what about the part-timers? Thor was a doctor, Kyle Rayner was a comics penciler... and the list of day jobs goes on, ad infinitum, without even mentioning all the student-vigilantes. Hell, the core of Spidey's drama is about how his superhero duties get in the way of his schooling and his job (among many other commitments.) Super-heroics are quite dangerous, time-consuming and arduous for what's essentially a hobby at the end of the day. == TEASER ==
See, most people you meet do a number of things, but they prefer to be defined in respect to just one of those things. The bassist of the local band probably won’t want to identify himself as a courier, even if he spends far more hours a week delivering packages than slapping strings. So, if most capes are reluctant heroes whose "great power and responsibility" gets in the way of their real vocations, then what are they in the long run, as the years accrue? Working stiffs who do high-profile charity work? Or adventurers who're holding down 9-to-5 until they get big enough to do this kind of stuff full-time?
Actually, do any of you remember that ASTRO CITY story that reveals how Samaritan lets a machine do all his work at the Newspaper for him? Maybe the real answer is that all these heroes just half-ass it.